The sick and the dead: the development of psychological theory on necrophilia from Krafft-Ebing to the present.J Hist Behav Sci 1982; 18(3):242-54JH
Researchers dealing with necrophilia over the past century have conducted their investigations using a great variety of methodological strategies and theoretical formulations. The multiplicity of approaches has been partially responsible for the diverse nature of speculations on the etiology, essence, and evolution of necrophilia, and for the accumulation of case histories and an aggregation of data from which it is exceedingly difficult to draw generalizations. There are only two assumptions on which most of the investigators agree. One is that necrophilia is exceedingly rare. The other is that the literature on the subject is severely limited. This paper not only questions the first assumption but establishes that the second is demonstrably false. It also attempts to locate some measure of constancy among the several theoretical lines on necrophilia that have emerged since the time of Krafft-Ebing, to evaluate their effect on scholarship, and to provide some sense of the directions taken by more recent investigators.