Child molesters vs. rapists as reflected in their self-figure drawings: A pilot study

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Eliezer Witztum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study explored whether child molesters can be differentiated from rapists in their self-figure drawings. To achieve this aim, the Machover Draw-A-Person test (Machover, 1949) was used. A sample of 41 male adult perpetrators of sexual assault, 19 rapists and 22 child molesters (all incarcerated in jail) participated in the study. Participants were given paper and pencil and were asked to draw themselves. Results indicated that self-figure drawings of rapists had more indicators of a violent aggressive behavior trait than drawings of child molesters, whereas exaggeration and emphasis of penis were more obvious in the self-figure drawings of child molesters. However, indicators of anxiety were not found to significantly differ between the groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number1
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2006


  • Child molesters
  • Rapists
  • Self-figure drawings
  • Sex offenders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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