Question: My 18-year-old son and a slightly younger friend recently found some mice and decided to dispose of them. They drowned one and set the other one on fire. When I confronted my son for torturing animals, his response was “They’re just mice.” Is this typical boy behavior or should I be concerned?
Answer: This may be “boy behavior” in that boys are certainly more likely to do such things than girls, but it is definitely not typical boy behavior. Animal torture and abuse is a very strong marker of Antisocial Personality Disorder. The website “How to Spot a Sociopath” (www.wikihow.com/Spot-a-Sociopath) defines APD as a “disregard for the feelings of others, a lack of remorse or shame, manipulative behavior, unchecked egocentricity, and the ability to lie in order to achieve one’s goals.”
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