Dr. Michael Seto
Forensic Psychiatry
Michael Seto
Contact Info
T: (613) 345-1461 2605
Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
1804 Highway 2 E
Brockville, ON, K6V 5V8
Appointment Status Primary

I received a B.Sc. in Biopsychology from the University of British Columbia (1989) and completed my M.A. (1992) and Ph.D. (1997) in Clinical Psychology from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

I currently work as Director of Forensic Rehabilitation Research in the Integrated Forensic Program of the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group, based at the Brockville Mental Health Centre site. I previously worked for over 14 years at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada.

I have published extensively on paraphilias, sexual offending, and violence risk assessment and regularly present at scientific meetings and professional workshops on these topics. My research has been funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Ontario Mental Health Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and the Correctional Service of Canada.

I have also appeared in a variety of media outlets to talk about these topics, including CBC Radio One, CBC Newsworld, CTV, Global Television, TVO, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, and Maclean’s magazine.

My main research interests are pedophilia; sexual offending against children; child pornography; risk assessment; mentally disordered offenders; psychopathy; and program evaluation. Much of this work is described in my recent book, “Understanding pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and intervention”, published by the American Psychological Association in 2008. Frequent collaborators include Ray Blanchard, James Cantor, Meredith Chivers, Angela Eke, Grant Harris, and Martin Lalumière.

I am currently on the editorial boards of Archives of Sexual Behavior and Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, and provide ad hoc reviews for many other journals, including the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Law and Human Behavior.


Dept of Psychology, Ryerson University
Dept of Psychology, Carleton University
Depts of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Ottawa


Research Synopsis

pedophilia and other paraphilias; sexual offending; mentally disordered offenders; violence risk assessment; psychopathy; program evaluation


Publications and Awards

Recent Publications

Seto, M. C., Kjellgren, C., Priebe, G., Mossige, S., Svedin, C. G., & Långström, N. (2010). Sexual victimization and sexually coercive behavior: A population study of Swedish and Norwegian male youth. Child Maltreatment, 15, 219-228. doi:10.1177/1077559510367937

Kingston, D. A., Seto, M. C., Firestone, P., & Bradford, J. M. (2010). Comparing indicators of sexual sadism as predictors of recidivism among sexual offenders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 574-584. doi:10.1037/a0019734

Seto, M. C., & Lalumière, M. L. (2010). What is so special about male adolescent sexual offending? A review and test of explanations using meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136, 526-575. doi: 10.1037/a0019700.

Seto, M. C., Reeves, L., & Jung, S. (2010). Motives for child pornography offending: The explanations given by the offenders. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 16, 169-180. doi: 10.1080/13552600903572396.

Lam, A., Mitchell, J., & Seto, M. C. (2010). Lay perceptions of child pornography offenders. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 52, 173-201. doi:10.3138/cjccj.52.2.173

Chivers, M. L., Seto, M. C., Lalumière, M. L., Laan, E., & Grimbos, T. (2010). Agreement of self-reported and genital measures of sexual arousal among men and women: A meta-analysis. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 5-56. doi: 10.1007/s10508-009-9556-9

Lin, N., Kirsh, B., Polatajko, H., & Seto, M. C. (2009). The nature and meaning of occupational engagement for forensic clients living in the community. Journal of Occupational Sciences, 16, 110-119.

Jespersen, A. F., Lalumière, M. L., & Seto, M. C. (2009). Sexual abuse history among adult sex offenders and non-sex offenders: A meta-analysis. Child Abuse and Neglect, 33, 179-192.

Seto, M. C. (2009). Pedophilia. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 5, 391-407.

Seto, M. C., Marques, J. K., Harris, G. T., Chaffin, M., Lalumière, M. L., Miner, M. H., Berliner, L., Rice, M. E., Lieb, R., & Quinsey, V. L. (2008). Good science and progress in sex offender treatment are intertwined: A response to Marshall and Marshall (2007). Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 20, 247-255.

Chivers, M. L., Seto, M. C., & Blanchard, R. (2007). Gender and sexual orientation differences in sexual response to the sexual activities versus the gender of actors in sexual films. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 1108-1121.

Langton, C. M., Barbaree, H. E., Seto, M. C., Peacock, E. J., Harkins, L., & Hansen, K. T. (2007). Actuarial assessment of risk for reoffense among adult sex offenders: Evaluating the predictive accuracy of the Static-2002 and five other instruments. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34, 37-59.

Långström, N., & Seto, M. C. (2006). Exhibitionistic and voyeuristic behavior in a Swedish national population survey. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 35, 427-435.

Seto, M. C., Cantor, J. M., & Blanchard, R. (2006). Child pornography offenses are a valid diagnostic indicator of pedophilia. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 610-615.

Seto, M. C. (2005). Is more better? Combining actuarial risk scales to predict recidivism among adult sex offenders. Psychological Assessment, 17, 156-167.