Monday, July 23, 2007

One third of male psychiatrists will be disciplined for sexual misconduct sometime in their careers.

I have been playing with numbers, and I come up with something interesting that deserves to be a well publicized factoid.

To begin

1) I estimate that about 1% of the population of practicing psychiatrists are disciplined for sexual misconduct each year. This varies by country and state, and needs to be verified on this basis. The one data point I have on this is for Western Australia for one year where the population is rather small, and the enforcement is rather light. This matches up with other numbers I have seen elsewhere. It is a simple matter of how many psychiatrists, and how many disciplinary actions in a particular year. As I said, the numbers I have seen are consistent with about 1% per year, although, as we shall see, this is alarmingly high. Normal numbers should be less than 1/10th of 1% per annum.

2) The major question is what are the odds for an individual psychiatrist over the duration of a typical career of 30 years.

Interesting Question, no?

The odds are not just a straight 30%, based on 1% per year.

Take, for example, dice rolling.

If I roll a common six sided die six times, what are the combined odds for rolling a 1 for any one of those six times? The odds are NOT 100%

Odds For Rolling a 1 = 1/6

Odds For Rolling a 1 twice =1/6 x 1/6


Odds For Not Rolling a 1 = 5/6 = 83.33%

Odds For Nor Rolling a 1 twice = 5/6 x 5/6 = 69.44%

Odds For Nor Rolling a 1 three times = 5/6 x 5/6 x 5/6 = 57.87%


This for not rolling a 1 in any of those multiple sets of rolls, for that entire set.

A similar thing happens with the shrinks

We calculate the odds for not getting caught by multiplying the appropriate percentage for the appropriate number of years.

Then we flip it around to get the odds of getting caught.

Odds for shrinks not getting caught per year = 99.0 percent

for 5 years = 0.99 x 0.99 x 0.99 x 0.99 x 0.99 = 0.95099
= 5% chance of getting caught

for 10 years = 0.90438
= 10% chance of getting caught

for 20 years = 0.817907
= 18% chance of getting caught

for 30 years = 0.739700
= 24% chance of getting caught

for 40 years = 0.668971
= 33% chance of getting caught

So the conclusion is that for for an average 30 year career as a psychiatrist, any psychiatrist has about a one chance in four of getting caught and disciplined for sexual misconduct.

We can also mention that since the vast majority of psychiatric sexual offenders are men, that the odds for male psychiatrists getting caught over their career is about 50%. Abuse by female psychiatrists is not impossible, but it is quite rare.

Thus we get to the factoid that one half of male psychiatrists will be disciplined for sexual misconduct sometime in their careers.

But since the numbers are shaky we'll say it's one third. Let's be generous, shall we?

This will vary by the actual rate of disciplinary actions in each state and region, but you get the general idea. If the rate we start with is "2% of psychiatrist are disciplined yearly", then the 30 year rate is 45% for all psychiatrists, possibly 75 to 85% for all male psychiatrists. The numbers are quite sensitive to the number of shrinks actually caught. (naturally) The numbers actually doing bad things, who are not caught, would naturally be higher.

So we need to get actual numbers for major areas of the USA, Britain, and elsewhere, to firm this up. But these are the methods I used.

Normal numbers and rates should be less than 1/10th of 1%, yielding a 1% to 5% rate of criminal behavior over the length of an average career.

No comments: