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Autoerotic Asphyxiation in a Female

Gosink, Paul D. M.D.; Jumbelic, Mary I. M.D.

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
Articles
Abstract

Autoerotic asphyxiation is an unusual but increasingly more frequently occurring phenomenon, with >1000 fatalities in the United States per year. Understanding of this manner of death is likewise increasing, as noted by the growing number of cases reported in the literature. However, this form of accidental death is much less frequently seen in females (male:female ratio >50:1), and there is correspondingly less literature on female victims of autoerotic asphyxiation. The authors present the case of a 31-year-old woman who died of an autoerotic ligature strangulation and review the current literature on the subject. The forensic examiner must be able to discern this syndrome from similar forms of accidental and suicidal death, and from homicidal hanging/strangulation.

Author Information

From the Department of Pathology, State University of New York Health Science Centers, and the Onondaga County Medical Examiners Office, Syracuse, New York, U.S.A.

Manuscript received July 2, 1999; accepted September 21, 1999.

Address correspondence to Mary I. Jumbelic, Chief Medical Examiner, Center for Forensic Sciences, 100 Elizabeth Black-well Street, Syracuse, NY 13210, U.S.A.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.