Discrepancies in the lit, I
A recent paper looking at empathy between sadistic and non-sadistic sexual offenders indicates that sexual sadism is a “deviant pattern of sexual arousal” but has no relation to a deficit in empathy.
According to this perspective, sexual sadists can commit acts of degradation and humiliation not because they are unable to comprehend or feel what they are inflicting on their victims but because they achieve a hedonic state through such acts of sexualized violence.
The present results seem to contradict Kirsch and Becker’s (2007) hypothesis that sexual sadists may not suffer from impairments in cognitive empathy, but they may lack an affective response to their victims’ distress.
Oh, I’d say there’s an affect response. Just not that one.