Have Thought All Along
An obsessive sexual fixation with their mothers is the drive behind vandals' acts of mindless destruction.
A three-year study by the Department of Psycho-Sexual Studies at Wolviston University, Teesside, has conclusively proved that it is this guilt-laden deviance that is blighting communities across the UK - and costing the taxpayer millions of pounds every year.
The findings fly in the face of the sociological theory that vandalism is a symptom of a disenfranchised and alienated youth.
Definitely not so, says Professor Nadine Benedict, who headed the research.
"Vandalism as a symptom of a breakdown in society is a convenient, but entirely erroneous, premise," she stressed.
"The fact is, every act of vandalism is a subconscious bid to recreate the illicit thrill of maternal incest. If anything, it is a behavioural by-product of what Freud described as the Oedipus complex.
"The study, which proved extremely difficult as our sample was not initially willing to speak freely on such matters, produced a conclusion that many will find disturbing - the overwhelming majority of vandals are compulsive and obsessive masturbators and their mothers are the wellspring of their sexual fantasies."
Prof Benedict's research, carried out over the length of the study with a team of 75 post-graduate students, involved multiple interviews with over 3,000 young men, aged between 14 and 25, spread between the south of England and the Scottish Highlands.
All admitted to performing, or having performed, acts of vandalism.
Prof Benedict explained how such acts mirrored the sexual behaviour of the perpetrators - covert, thrill through guilt and awareness that the actual act itself was wrong.
"Take someone who scratches the side of a car, for example," she continued. "The vandal doesn't know what's involved in terms of repair, costs, insurance or inconvenience. All he cares about is the act itself and not being caught.
"That is not out of a fear of the law; it is a fear of the shame of being revealed to the mother - a similar shame that would come if the mother discovered that she was the centre of his sexual fantasies."
The university's research also reveals that vandals cease their destructive behaviour when they enter a sexual relationship.
"It is also unfortunately true," the professor added, "that their sexual partners are mother substitutes. The Oedipus complex is fulfilled, but only by proxy and, until our study, it remained these males' darkest bedroom secret."