Myths and facts about sex offenders

This emphasis on labeling, rather than looking at each case individually, results in incorrect diagnosis, misleading assessments, and ineffective treatment-service protocols. Experts say sex offenders fit no recognizable profile but are a diverse group that mirrors the general population in terms of race, income, looks, education, employment, marital status, family life, criminal record, mental health, and other observable behavior. Alcohol and drug abuse may increase the likelihood of sex offending for those already predisposed to commit such a crime, but not otherwise. Sex offenders over the age of 50 re-offend after prison at half the rate of those younger.

Sexual violence against children as well as adults is overwhelmingly perpetrated by family members or acquaintances including authority figures, even though programs, laws and media attention focus largely on stranger committed sex crimes. In there were , recorded victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault, age 12 and older. An estimated 89, cases of child sexual abuse were substantiated by child protective agencies.

Rape and sexual assaults are 3. Despite the increase in publicity about sex crimes, the actual rate of reported sexual assault has decreased. The U. Between 10, and 20, are released into the community every year. The location of an estimated , convicted sex offenders is unknown to law enforcement agencies. The sex offender recidivism rate is much lower than most people believe. A study of 9, male offenders released from prison in 15 states found that within three years, 5. Most sex offender prisoners who are going to sexually re-offend do so soon after their release from prison.

In other words, three out of four did not re-offend. The reality is that the experts don't agree on why sex offenders commit their crime, perhaps because it is not one behavior, the dynamics are so complex, and the situations are so diverse. There are those who believe sex offending is caused by a mental illness or psychopathology associated with irresistible impulses resulting in uncontrollable sexually aggressive tendencies. However, there are those who argue that sex offenders are more likely to be rational, calculating human beings who expend time and energy in planning their sexual criminality and are not really mentally ill.

MYTH vs FACT: Top 10 Misconceptions About Child Sex Cases, Debunked

There are those who think of sex offending as an addiction. Feminists may explain sexual abuse primarily in terms of society's acceptance of male dominance and power over the female. Sexual assault as a child may be a contributor to later adult sex crime behavior, but not necessarily as the prime determining cause.

Others look to the media and popular culture as a cause citing the glamorization of unacceptable sexual behavior. Or the blame is put on the prevalence of permissive family life or the lack of suitable religious upbringing. Or on personality characteristics such as poor self-image, stress, and the inability to have positive personal relationships.

Contrary to popular belief long term treatment is now deemed effective for some, but certainly not all, sex offenders, particularly when carried out alongside certain management and containment measures. However, many sex offenders do not receive long-term community based therapy.

Myths and Facts About Sex Offenders - CSOM

Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Once a sex offender … always a sex offender: Myth or fact? This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Alexander, M. Sexual offender treatment efficacy revisited. CrossRef Google Scholar. American Correctional Association The American prison: From the beginning … A pictorial history. United States: American Correctional Association.

Google Scholar. Sex offender recidivism prediction. Forum , 8 2. Available: www.

New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry

Belfrage, H. Recidivism among rapists in Sweden who have undergone forensic psychiatric examinations. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 5 1 , — Berliner, L.

A sentencing alternative for sex offenders: a study of decision making and recidivism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 10 4 , — Bowker, Lee H. Corrections: the science and the art. New York: Macmillan. Bremer, J. Serious juvenile sex offenders: treatment and long-term follow-up. Psychiatric Annals, 22 6 , — Broadhurst, R. The recidivism of sex offenders in the western Australian prison population.

The British Journal of Criminology, 32 1 , 54— Center for Sex Offender Management , August. Myths and facts about sex offenders [On-line]. Dwyer, S. Treatment outcome study: seventeen years after sexual offender treatment. Eisenberg, M. Recidivism of sex offenders: Factors to consider in release decisions. Fitch, J. Men convicted of sexual offences against children: a descriptive follow-up study.

April 2014

British Journal of Criminology, 3 , 18— Gallagher, A. A quatitative review of the effects of sex offender treatment on sexual reoffending.


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Corrections Management Quarterly, 3 4 , 19— Gendreay, P. The effects of prison sentences on recidivism [On-line]. Solicitor General of Canada User Report: Hagan, M. Ten-year longitudinal study of adolescent perpetrators of sexual assault against children. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 31 1—2 , — The efficacy of a serious sex offenders treatment program for adolescent rapists. Hall, G. Criminological predictors of recidivism in a sexual offender population.


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Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55 1 , — Hanson, R. Predicting sex offender recidivism: Videotape training and manual [videocassettes]. A comparison of child molesters and nonsexual criminals: Risk predictions and long-term recidivism. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 32 3 , — Long-term follow-up of child molesters: Risk predictors and treatment outcome [On-line] Solicitor General of Canada No.

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Long-term recidivism of child molesters. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61 4 , — Hedderman, C. Does treating sex offenders reduce reoffending? Kruttschnitt, C. Predictors of desistance among sex offenders: the interaction of formal and informal social controls. Justice Quarterly, 17 1 , 61— Marshall, W.