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Criminology Sex Crimes
by
Karen Terry

Introduction

Sex offenders constitute a heterogeneous group of individuals. The term “sex offender” is applied to individuals who have committed offenses as diverse as rape, child sexual abuse, possession or transmission of child pornography, and indecent exposure. Offenders can be adults or juveniles, male or female, and of any age. Most perpetrators know their victims and are either related to them, in a relationship with them, in a position of authority over the minor, or otherwise acquainted. Acts defined as sexual offenses vary across religions, cultures, nations, and states, and definitions of sexual offenses change over time based on prevailing social norms. For most sexual offenses, there must be a lack of consent on the part of the victim and some level of intent on the part of the offender. Many laws have been enacted since the mid-1980s to increase supervision and management of sex offenders in the community. Examples of such policies include registration and community notification, residency restrictions, sexually violent predator legislation, GPS monitoring, and mandatory chemical castration for paroled sex offenders. This bibliography reviews some of the key resources that analyze the prevalence and types of sex crimes, theoretical explanations for deviant sexual behavior, and responses to sexual offenders.

General Overviews

There are numerous resources that provide a general overview of material related to sexual offending and victimization. It would be useful to use these books as a base and supplement them with further readings from journals or chapters on specific issues. Holmes and Holmes 2008 provides an overview of sexual offending, with a focus on offenders (particularly on “nuisance” sex behaviors) rather than on policies related to sexual offending. Though somewhat dated, Marshall, et al. 1990 provides an excellent overview of theories of sexual offending and treatment for offenders, with chapters that are still heavily cited today. Sample 2009 provides a succinct chapter on what is known about sexual offending and offenders, the legislation that has been enacted to better supervise and monitor them, and the flawed assumptions upon which these laws were based. Terry 2006 provides information about types and theories of sexual offending, as well as treatment and legislative responses to it. Thomas 2000 focuses primarily on the responses to sexual offending and the laws that are applied to sex offenders in the community.

  • Holmes, Stephen T., and Ronald M. Holmes. 2008. Sex crimes: Patterns and behavior. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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    Provides an overview of the issues related to the history of deviant sexual behavior, types of sexual offenders, and nuisance sex behaviors. Should be used in conjunction with empirically based articles discussing these issues.

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  • Marshall, William L., D. R. Laws, and Howard E. Barbaree, eds. 1990. Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender. New York: Plenum.

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    A classic text on sexual offending and the responses to offenders by top researchers in the field. The chapters are still relevant to the field today.

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  • Sample, Lisa L. 2009. Sexual violence. In The Oxford handbook of crime and public policy. Edited by Michael Tonry, 51–70. Oxford and New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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    An overview of sexual offending, divided into six sections: assumptions about sex offenders and offending, trends in sex offending and victimization, sex offender recidivism and the propensity to kill, causes of sex offenders’ behavior, effectiveness of sex offender laws, and conclusions and future directions.

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  • Terry, Karen J. 2006. Sexual offenses and offenders: Theory, practice, and policy. Belmont, CA: Thomson Learning/Wadsworth.

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    Covers the development of our understanding of deviant sexual behavior, types of sex offenders, theories of sexual offending, treatment for sex offenders, and management and supervision policies for sex offenders. This is a survey text that can serve as a basis for understanding the research in the field.

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  • Thomas, Thomas. 2000. Sex crime: Sex offending and society. Cullompton, UK, and Portland, OR: Willan.

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    Provides a thorough overview of sex crimes and the social response to them. The focus is on sex crimes in the United Kingdom, but the work is applicable to understanding sex crimes in the United States or the United Kingdom.

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Data Sources

While it is understood that rates of sexual victimization are high, the true extent of sexual offending and victimization is difficult to estimate. Data sources on the prevalence (the proportion of a population that has experienced a particular event or behavior) of sexual offending include official statistics, victimization surveys, and research studies. Official statistics will greatly underestimate the prevalence of sexual offending because it is significantly underreported. The best resources for official statistics in the United States are the Uniform Crime Reports (compiled annually by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with data derived from local police agencies) and the National Crime Victimization Survey (compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, with a focus on additional data about crimes that were not reported to the police). Internationally, key resources on crime data include the European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics 2006 (providing crime data from thirty-six European countries) and the International Crime Victimization Survey (providing data from more than seventy-eight different countries worldwide; see van Dijk, et al. 2008 for key findings). Researchers have also used a variety of methods to estimate the levels of sexual victimization in the population. Finkelhor and Jones 2004 provides one of the more methodologically sound estimates of child sexual abuse, with comments on possible reasons for the decline in this behavior throughout the 1990s.

  • Bureau of Justice Statistics.National Crime Victimization Survey.

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    Aims to understand the “dark figure” of crime, or the amount of crime that is unreported. Data are collected through household surveys from residents aged twelve and older. The NCVS began in 1973. Rates of rape have consistently decreased since the 1970s (though there are questions about the validity of this, as the survey was redesigned in 1992).

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  • Dijk, Jan van, John van Kesteren, and Paul Smit. 2008. Criminal victimisation in international perspective: Key findings from the 2004–2005 ICVS and EU ICS. The Hague, The Netherlands: Boom Legal.

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    Provides a summary of important findings from the International Crime Victimization Survey (ICVS), including information on crime, policing, and crime prevention. This is the fifth summary of data. Available online.

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  • European Sourcebook of Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics 2006.

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    The third edition of the Sourcebook provides crime data for the years 2000–2003 for thirty-six countries.

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  • Federal Bureau of Investigation. Uniform Crime Reports.

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    Provides official statistics on eight index offenses, including rape, which is narrowly defined as “carnal knowledge of woman forcibly and against her will.” As such, Uniform Crime Reports statistics may be useful for understanding crime trends over a period of time, but it would be difficult to compare the data to other sources with broader definitions.

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    • Finkelhor, David, and Lisa M. Jones. 2004. Explanations for the decline in child sexual abuse cases. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection.

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      Reports that from 1992 to 2000 the number of substantiated sexual abuse cases peaked at approximately 149,800 in 1992, followed by annual declines of 2 to 11 percent per year through 2000, when the number of cases reached a low of approximately 89,355. The authors discuss possible reasons for the decline. Available online.

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    Recidivism and Specialization

    Though it is a common conception that sex offenders recidivate at high levels, official statistics and studies do not support this contention. One of the key studies of sex offender recidivism is Hanson and Morton-Bourgon 2004, which shows that sex offenders recidivate at lower levels that most other types of offenders. Most studies that measure levels of recidivism show sex offenders who do recidivate are more likely to commit nonsexual offenses than sexual ones. In other words, most “sex offenders” do not specialize only in sexual offending. This has important policy implications, since sex offender laws target serious, repeat sexual offenders who are at high risk to commit future sexual offenses. Key studies of sex offender versatility and specialization include Lussier, et al. 2005; Miethe, et al. 2006; Simon 2000; and Soothill, et al. 2000. Lussier, et al. 2005 analyzes a group of 388 sex offenders to determine whether their criminal behavior can be explained by a general construct of deviance. In a study of ten thousand sex offenders released from prison in 1994, Miethe, et al. 2006 finds that sex offenders have low levels of specialization and persistence compared to other offenders. Soothill, et al. 2000 examines the criminal careers of sex offenders released in 1973, and finds that sex offenders commit a variety of offenses, and that many can be considered both generalists and specialists. Simon 2000 discusses how assumptions that sex offenders specialize will lead to inappropriate policies and may impede investigations by focusing only on known offenders.

    • Hanson, R. Karl, and Kelly Morton-Bourgon. 2004. Predictors of sexual recidivism: An updated meta-analysis. Research Report No. 2004–02. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.

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      In their meta-analysis of ninety-five studies, the authors found that 13.7 percent of sex offenders recidivated with a new sexual offense within five to six years. These recidivism rates increased to 36.2 percent when any sexual or nonsexual offense was considered. The key finding is that sexual offense recidivism was quite low compared to all other crimes.

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    • Lussier, Patrick, Marc LeBlanc, and Jean Proulx. 2005. The generality of criminal behavior: A confirmatory factor analysis of the criminal activity of sex offenders in adulthood. Journal of Criminal Justice 33:177–189.

      DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2004.12.009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The authors found that both rapists and child molesters were more likely to have previously committed property offenses than sexual offenses, and that rapists were also more likely to have committed previous violent offenses than sexual offenses.

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    • Miethe, Terance D., Jodi Olson, and Ojmarrh Mitchell. 2006. Specialization and persistence in the arrest histories of sex offenders: A comparative analysis of alternative measures and offense types. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 43:204–229.

      DOI: 10.1177/0022427806286564Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      In a sample of ten thousand sex offenders released from prison, the authors found that sex offenders specialized substantially less than other types of offenders, though the child sexual abusers in this sample were more specialized than the rapists.

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    • Simon, Leonore M. J. 2000. An examination of the assumptions of specialization, mental disorder, and dangerousness in sex offenders. Behavioral Sciences and the Law 18:275–308.

      DOI: 10.1002/1099-0798(200003/06)18:2/3<275::AID-BSL393>3.0.CO;2-GSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The author found that incarcerated child molesters are twice as likely to have another conviction of child molestation than other offenders. However, she notes that all sexual offenders who recidivate are more likely to commit nonsexual offenses than sexual ones.

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    • Soothill, Keith, Brian Francis, Barry Sanderson, and Elizabeth Ackerley. 2000. Sex offenders: Specialists, generalists—or both? British Journal of Criminology 40:56–67.

      DOI: 10.1093/bjc/40.1.56Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The authors examined a sample of convicted sex offenders in England and found that there was a high level of versatility among the offenders in their sample. They note the importance of the findings in light of policies implemented that target recidivistic sexual offenders.

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    Theories of Sexual Offending

    There are many possible explanations as to why individuals commit sexual offenses. The theoretical literature on sexual offending has traditionally provided micro-level explanations of deviant sexual behavior, though many current explanations have been developed from an integrated approach. The early theories focused primarily on biological/physiological or psychological explanations, while more recent theories have incorporated information on sociological, situational, and integrated approaches.

    Single-factor Theories

    Early single-factor theories of sexual offending focused on the biological and psychological abnormalities of the offenders. A work of historical importance is Krafft-Ebing 1999, first published in 1903 by one of the first psychoanalysts to systematically study sexual deviancy. Biological theorists have hypothesized that sexually aggressive behavior can be at least partially explained by physiological differences in individuals. For an example of the biological studies conducted in the field, see Rada, et al. 1983. By the end of the 1960s, theories began to focus more on behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and sociocultural explanations of behavior. Gene Abel and William Marshall have been two leaders of research in this field from the 1970s onward and have published hundreds of studies analyzing cognitions of sex offenders, the predispositions for their behavior, how they learn such behaviors, and characteristics such as loneliness and poor attachments. Representative articles are Abel, et al. 1984 and Laws and Marshall 1990. Abel’s work is of key importance to the field, as he is credited with identifying cognitive distortions in sex offenders and adapting cognitive-behavioral treatment approaches accordingly. Other key researchers include Bartholomew (on attachment styles, see Bartholomew 1990) and Ward and Keenen (implicit theories, see Ward and Keenan 1999).

    • Abel, G. G., J. V. Becker, and J. Cunningham-Rathner. 1984. Complications, consent, and cognitions in sex between children and adults. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 7:89–103.

      DOI: 10.1016/0160-2527(84)90008-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Identifies seven cognitive distortions of child sexual abusers and discusses how these develop. These cognitive distortions are reinforced through the behavior of the offenders, and the offenders develop lifestyles to further support their beliefs.

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    • Bartholomew, Kim. 1990. Avoidance of intimacy: An attachment perspective. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 7:147–178.

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      Bartholomew introduced a new model of attachment styles in this article, providing a framework for how individuals cope with emotional distress. Mulloy and Marshall 1999 later applied this framework to sex offenders.

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    • Krafft-Ebing, Richard von. 1999. Psychopathia sexualis: With especial reference to contrary sexual instinct; A clinical-forensic study. Translated by Brian King. Burbank, CA: Bloat.

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      A psychoanalyst by practice, Krafft-Ebing claimed that sexual disorders were a permanent part of a person’s character that could not be changed. He examined those with deviant sexual practices and blamed their disorders mainly on the practice of masturbation. He wrote up case studies on these sexual deviants and claimed that excessive masturbation causes individuals to become pathological.

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    • Laws, D. R., and William L. Marshall. 1990. A conditioning theory of the etiology and maintenance of deviant sexual preference and behavior. In Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender. Edited by W. L Marshall, D. R. Laws, and Howard E. Barbaree, 209–229. New York: Plenum.

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      Presents a theoretical model of sexually deviant behavior that describes how deviant interests may be learned through the same mechanisms by which conventional sexuality is learned. The model is divided into two parts: acquisition processes and maintenance processes.

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    • Mulloy, R. and Marshall, William L. 1999. Social functioning. In Cognitive behavioural treatment of sexual offenders. Edited by William L. Marshall, Dana Anderson, and Yolanda Fernandez, 93–110. New York: Wiley.

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      Applies Bartholomew’s four-category model of attachment (secure, preoccupied, fearful, and dismissing) to sex offenders to explain how they cope with emotional stress.

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    • Rada, R. T., D. R. Laws, R. Kellner, L. Stivastava, and G. Peake. 1983. Plasma androgens in violent and nonviolent sex offenders. Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 11:149–158.

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      The authors measured testosterone levels in rapists and a control group and found no differences in hormone levels between the two groups. Their work was later supported by other researchers.

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    • Ward, Tony, and Thomas Keenan. 1999. Child molesters’ implicit theories. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 14:821–838.

      DOI: 10.1177/088626099014008003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The authors claim that the cognitive distortions of child sexual offenders emerge from five underlying implicit theories that they have about themselves, their victims, and their environment. These implicit theories consider the following factors: children as sexual objects, entitlement, a dangerous world, uncontrollability, and the nature of the harm.

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    Integrated Theories

    Most theories of sexual offending today are developed through an integrated framework. Integrated theories are rooted in empirical research, emphasizing developmental, interpersonal, personality, epidemiological, sociological, and situational variables. Finkelhor’s four-factor model of the preconditions to child sexual abuse (Finkelhor 1984) is one of the foundational models of the field, and he is among the most cited researchers in the area of child sexual abuse. Likewise, Marshall and Barbaree 1990 concentrates on the preconditions to child sexual abuse. Hall and Hirschman’s four-part model identifies motivational precursors that increase the probability of offending (Hall and Hirschman 1992). The four components of the authors’ theory are physiological sexual arousal, inaccurate cognitions that justify sexual aggression, affective dyscontrol, and personality problems. Beech and Ward 2004 addresses static and dynamic risk factors of sex offenders to present an etiological framework for their behavior. Ward and Seigert 2002 critiques these and other theoretical perspectives and presents the most comprehensive integrated model of offending, known as a pathways model. Ward, et al. 2006 provides an overview of single-factor and multifactor theories of sexual offending.

    • Beech, Anthony R., and Tony Ward. 2004. The integration of etiology and risk in sexual offenders: A theoretical framework. Aggression and Violent Behavior 10:31–63.

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      The aim of the article is to construct a theoretical model of the etiology of sexual offending using static dynamic risk factors. The authors present four etiological theories to show the correlation between risk and causal mechanisms of sexual abuse.

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    • Finkelhor, David. 1984. Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York: Free Press.

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      States that the preconditions to abuse include (1) some motivation to sexually abuse, such as emotional congruence, sexual arousal, or blockage to “normal” sexual relationships; (2) the ability to overcome internal inhibition to act upon the motivation to abuse; (3) the ability to overcome external factors that may act as inhibitors to the abuse; and (4) the ability to overcome the child’s resistance to the abuse by “grooming” the child.

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    • Marshall, William L., and Howard E. Barbaree. 1990. An integrated theory of the etiology of sexual offending. In Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender. Edited by W. L. Marshall, D. R. Laws, and Howard E. Barbaree, 257–275. New York: Plenum.

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      The authors focus on the preconditions to child sexual abuse through an integrated approach. They address the motivation to offend and the rationalization of the behavior. The focus is on the inhibitions of the offenders (internal barriers); when these barriers are diminished, distorted thoughts can lead to deviant actions.

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    • Hall, Gordon C. Nagayama, and Richard Hirschman. 1992. Sexual aggression against children: A conceptual perspective of etiology. Criminal Justice and Behavior 19:8–23.

      DOI: 10.1177/0093854892019001003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Identifies the motivational precursors that increase the probability of offending. One factor, however, is prominent and constitutes the primary motive. Activation of this primary motivational precursor increases the intensity of the others and propels the individuals above the critical threshold for performing a deviant sexual act.

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    • Ward, T., and R. J. Siegert. 2002. Toward a comprehensive theory of child sexual abuse: A theory knitting perspective. Psychology, Crime, and Law 8:125–143.

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      Each distinct pathway has its own etiology, but at their core, all sex offenders suffer from these fundamental deficits and “dysfunctional mechanisms.” The five distinct and interlocking psychological mechanisms within this theory are intimacy, deviant sexual scripts, emotional dysregulation, antisocial cognitions, and multiple dysfunctional mechanisms.

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    • Ward, Tony, Devon L. L. Polaschek, and Anthony R. Beech. 2006. Theories of sexual offending. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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      An overview and critique of theories of sexual offending. Includes a discussion of Level I theories (multifactorial theories), Level II theories (single-factor theories) and Level III theories (descriptive models) of sexual offending.

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    Paraphilias

    Paraphilias are diagnosable sexual disorders. Features include recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors over a period of at least six months involving nonhuman objects, suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, children, or other nonconsenting persons. These paraphilias may be mild, moderate, or severe, and the behavior, urges, and fantasies cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (American Psychiatric Association 2000) is the primary resource for information on the paraphilias, though several researchers have conducted studies on issues such as the prevalence of paraphilias in sex offenders (Abel, et al. 1987) and the misconceptions about paraphilias (Seto 2008). Some studies such as Marshall 2007 question the existing definitions of paraphilias, which is a timely issue now, as the DSM is currently under revision.

    • Abel, Gene G., Judith V. Becker, Mary Mittelmen, Jerry Cunningham-Rathner, Joanne L. Rouleau, and William D. Murphy. 1987. Self-reported sex crimes of nonincarcerated paraphiliacs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2:3–25.

      DOI: 10.1177/088626087002001001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This article was controversial when released, as it was one of the first to empirically document that paraphiliacs often have multiple diagnosable paraphilias. This challenged the notion that sex offenders specialize in a particular type of sexual interest or behavior.

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    • American Psychiatric Association. 2000. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

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      Presents an overview of the eight primary paraphilias: exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism (touching or rubbing a nonconsenting person), pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, transvestic fetishism, and voyeurism.

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    • Marshall, William L. 2007. Diagnostic issues, multiple paraphilias, and comorbid disorder in sexual offenders: Their incidence and treatment. Aggression and Violent Behavior 12:16–35.

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      Critiques the definitions of paraphilias in the DSM and the process of diagnosing offenders with these disorders.

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    • Seto, Michael C. 2008. Pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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      Addresses the many misconceptions about pedophilia and discusses issues of detection, risk assessment, intervention, and treatment for pedophiles.

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    Rape

    Like those who commit acts of child sexual abuse, rapists are a heterogeneous group of individuals who commit offenses for a variety of reasons. Prior to the 1970s, most researchers looked at individual differences (such as increased levels of testosterone) or sexual motivations of the offenders to explain rape, but books such as Brownmiller’s groundbreaking work, Against Our Will (Brownmiller 1975), focused on sociocultural explanations of rape, arguing that the use of coercive force to achieve sexual conquest represented an exaggeration of prevailing norms rather than a departure from them. By the late 1970s, researchers began creating typologies of rapists based on both sexual and nonsexual motivations of rape. The key researcher at this time was A. Nicholas Groth, who developed a classification system based upon the degree of aggression used, the underlying motivation of the offender, and the existence of other antisocial behaviors (Groth and Birnbaum 1979). This was one of the first classification systems for rapists. Knight and Prentky 1990 expanded on Groth’s typologies and created the Massachusetts Treatment Center: Rapist Typology, version 3 (MTC:R3). Whatever the motivation for committing sexual assaults, rapists tend to have cognitive distortions that help them to alleviate the guilt and shame of their actions. A classic study of rapists’ cognitive distortions, Scully 1990 is based on interviews with incarcerated rapists about why they committed their acts and how they excused their behavior. Beauregard, et al. 2007 uses a rational choice approach to analyze the hunting patterns of serial sexual offenders, focusing on the environment of the offenses rather than the psychological motivations of the offenders. Rape has also been prevalent in predominately male institutions, such as prisons and the military. Several studies have been conducted since the implementation of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (see Kaufman 2008), and many researchers have addressed the issue of rape during wartime (see Stiglmayer 1994).

    • Beauregard, Eric, D. Kim Rossmo, and Jean Proulx. 2007. A descriptive model of the hunting process of serial sex offenders: A rational choice perspective. Journal of Family Violence 22:449–463.

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      A qualitative study of sixty-nine serial sex offenders incarcerated in Canada that uses a rational choice perspective to describe the offenders’ hunting patterns. The focus is on the environment of the offenses, including offender and victim routine activities and the location of both attack and release.

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    • Brownmiller, Susan. 1975. Against our will: Men, women, and rape. New York: Simon and Schuster.

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      A seminal work in the field. Brownmiller states that sexual assault is intrinsic to a system of male supremacy. She also argues that rape is a tool for men to dominate and control women, and that it is the consequence of deep-rooted social traditions of male dominance and female exploitation.

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    • Groth, A. Nicholas, with H. Jean Birnbaum. 1979. Men who rape: The psychology of the offender. New York: Plenum.

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      This volume put forth one of the first classification systems for rapists, consisting of four typologies of rapists: power reassurance rapists, power assertive rapists, anger retaliation rapists, and anger/excitation rapists.

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    • Kaufman, Pat. 2008. Prison rape: Research explores prevalence, prevention. NIJ Journal 259. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice.

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      Provides a summary of key findings from two Bureau of Justice Statistics studies on rape in prisons. Both studies were undertaken after the passing of the Prison Rape Elimination Act in 2003. The article contains information on the nature and scope of rape and sexual assault in prison. The studies summarized are Sexual Victimization in State and Federal Prisons Reported by Inmates, 2007 and Sexual Violence Reported by Correctional Authorities, 2006. Available online.

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    • Knight, Raymond A., and Robert A. Prentky. 1990. Classifying sex offenders: The development and corroboration of taxonomic models. In Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender. Edited by W. L Marshall, D. R. Laws, and Howard E. Barbaree, 257–275. New York: Plenum.

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      The authors created the Massachusetts Treatment Center: Rapist Typology, version 3 (MTC:R3), a classification system for rapists, with typologies of opportunistic, pervasively angry, vindictive, and sexual rapists.

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    • Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, Public Law 108-79, 117 Stat. 972, US Congress.

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      The Prison Rape Elimination Act was designed to increase understanding of the nature and scope of sexual assault in prison for the purpose of creating prevention strategies. The act also called for research on the prevalence of rape in prison and training of correctional officials to better understand sexual assaults.

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    • Scully, Diana. 1990. Understanding sexual violence: A study of convicted rapists. Boston: Unwin Hyman.

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      From her interviews with 114 incarcerated rapists, the author explains five ways in which rapists commonly justify their behavior: they claim that the victim is a seductress; women mean yes when they say no; most women relax and enjoy it; nice girls do not get raped; and the rape was only a minor wrongdoing.

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    • Stiglmayer, Alexandra., ed. 1994. Mass rape: The war against women in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Translations by Marion Faber. Lincoln: Univ. of Nebraska Press.

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      Rape became a classified as a war crime during the Bosnian War, and this is one of the first assessments of rape in that context. In particular, see Ruth Seifert’s chapter, “War and Rape: A Preliminary Analysis” (pp. 54–72), which is an excellent analysis of the effects of rape during wartime.

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    Sexually Motivated and Serial Homicide

    Rarely, some sexual offenses result in homicide. Despite the media coverage of high-profile cases of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of children (e.g., Megan Kanka, Polly Klaas, Jessica Lunsford), most sexually motivated homicide victims are adults. Despite the small number of cases involving these extreme offenses, there are some key publications that address this issue, most of which relate to serial sexual homicide and the typologies or profiling of offenders. The classic study in this field is Ressler, et al. 1995, which created a typology of serial killers with an aim to better profile crime scenes. Though the book’s organized/disorganized typology is often cited, many researchers have conducted follow-up studies that do not support this dichotomy (see Cantor and Wentink 2004). Kocsis, et al. 2002 moves away from this dichotomy and examines the efficacy of profiling serial offenders using themes. More generally, Schlesinger 2004 provides an overview of sexual homicide through the analysis of case studies and clinical data, and Hickey 2006 provides a summary of information related to serial murderers and their victims.

    • Canter, David V., and Natalia Wentink. 2004. An empirical test of Holmes and Holmes’s serial murder typology. Criminal Justice and Behavior 31 (4): 489–515.

      DOI: 10.1177/0093854804265179Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Cantor, a leading profiling researcher in England, along with Wentink, tested the organized/disorganized typology of serial homicide offenders. Their findings do not support the dichotomous typology.

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    • Hickey, Eric W. 2006. Serial murderers and their victims. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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      The author studied 367 serial homicide offenders and provides a summary of their characteristics. One of the few large studies of serial homicide offenders.

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    • Kocsis, Richard N., Ray W. Cooksey, and Harvey J. Irwin. 2002. Psychological profiling of sexual murders: An empirical model. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 46 (5): 523–554.

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      Assesses the use of themes of crime-scene behavior in sexual homicides to identify distinct offender characteristics. The researchers identify four themes related to offender characteristics.

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    • Ressler, Robert K., Ann W. Burgess, and John E. Douglas. 1995. Sexual homicide: Patterns and motives. New York: Free Press.

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      A classic study by FBI researchers of thirty-six serial homicide offenders in which the authors created the “organized/disorganized” typology of offender profiling. Though frequently cited, later studies found the dichotomy to be flawed.

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    • Schlesinger, Louis B. 2004. Sexual murder: Catathymic and compulsive homicides. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

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      Through the use of case studies and clinical literature, the author provides a review of historical and contemporary data on sexually motivated homicides.

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    Child Sexual Abuse

    Resources on child sexual abuse present information about the characteristics of abusers (poor social skills, low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, loneliness, a sense of worthlessness or self pity, vulnerability, a hindrance to normal adult relationships, or previously frustrating experiences with adult relationships), typologies (situational abuse or strong sexual attraction to children), grooming behaviors (how abusers get a child to participate in the abusive behavior), and the situations in which the abuse occurs. David Finkelhor is a leading expert in the field, and his Child Sexual Abuse (Finkelhor 1984) is a seminal work in the field. Additionally, Finkelhor 2008 provides current research about the victimization of children. Jenkins 1998 provides a historical overview of the changing concept of the child molester and how this socially constructed view changed over the course of the 20th century. Pryor 1996 provides in-depth information about the reasons men sexually abuse children; the greatest strength of this book is the chapter on grooming behavior (including the use of verbal and/or physical coercion, emotional manipulation, seduction, games, and enticements). Terry and Talon 2004 summarizes the vast literature on child sexual abuse. Most studies address individual factors that facilitate the etiology or maintenance of offending behavior; however, it is also important to understand the situations in which abuse takes place in order to implement effective prevention strategies. Wortley and Smallbone 2006 is an edited volume that addresses various aspects of child sexual abuse and the situations in which the abuse occurs. Based on their study of incarcerated sex offenders in Queensland, Australia, Wortley and Smallbone explain how the unique environment of the situation helps the potential abuser decide whether or not to commit a particular act. If the opportunity to commit the crime is blocked and the situation presents too much risk, offers too little reward, or requires too much effort, then the offender is less likely to commit the act. Terry and Ackerman 2008 compares findings from the study on the nature and scope of child sexual abuse by priests to Wortley and Smallbone’s findings in an effort to identify strategies that could help create safe environments for children in the Catholic Church.

    • Finkelhor, David. 1984. Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York: Free Press.

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      A classic text in the study of child sexual abuse and victimization. Finkelhor summarizes what is known about child sexual abusers and victims and presents a model for understanding the preconditions to the sexual abuse of children.

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    • Finkelhor, David. 2008. Childhood victimization: Violence, crime, and abuse in the lives of young people. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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      Systematically addresses what children are at risk to be abused, the types of abuse, the effects of that abuse, and the responses to abuse.

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    • Jenkins, Philip. 1998. Moral panic: Changing concepts of the child molester in modern America. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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      Provides an excellent overview of sex offender legislation over the last century and links this to the cyclical moral panic over sex offenders.

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    • Pryor, Douglas W. 1996. Unspeakable acts: Why men sexually abuse children. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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      A qualitative study on child sexual abusers that is both well researched and thorough. Pryor interviewed thirty child sexual abusers about their offenses. A key component of this text is Pryor’s overview of grooming techniques.

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    • Terry, Karen J., and Alissa Ackerman. 2008. Child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church: How situational crime prevention strategies can help create safe environments. Criminal Justice and Behavior 35 (5): 643–657.

      DOI: 10.1177/0093854808314469Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Using Wortley and Smallbone’s situational crime prevention framework (see Wortley and Smallbone 2006), Terry and Ackerman provide information on how situations play a role in sexually abusive behavior by priests, and on how employing the situational crime prevention strategies of increasing effort, increasing risk, controlling prompts, and reducing permissibility can reduce the likelihood of abusive behavior.

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    • Terry, Karen J., and Jennifer Tallon. 2004. Child sexual abuse: A review of the literature. New York: The John Jay College Research Team.

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      A literature review and annotated bibliography of child sexual abuse. Topics include: prevalence and reporting data, theories of abuse, typologies of abusers, evaluation and treatment of offenders, and victimization. Available online.

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    • Wortley Richard, and Stephen Smallbone, eds. 2006. Situational prevention of child sexual abuse. Cullompton, UK: Willan.

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      Chapter 2 introduces situational crime prevention concepts, describes an earlier study of child sexual abusers in Australia, and outlines seven factors indicating that the environment plays a critical role in child sexual abuse cases. Chapter 3 reviews dispositional and situational factors in which abuse occurs, noting the difficulty in preventing child sexual abuse, given that most abuse cases happen in the privacy of the victim’s and/or the offender’s home.

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    Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers

    To better understand distinctions between types of child sexual abusers, researchers have created typologies, or classification schemes, based upon offender characteristics and/or victim choice. The reason for creating these typologies is so that a better understanding of interpersonal and situational characteristics of child abusers will lead to a greater likelihood of controlling such behavior in the future. Groth, et al. 1982 presents one of the earliest fundamental classification schemes, the fixated-regressed typology, which is based primarily upon the level of attraction the abuser has to children. Based on their research conducted during the 1980s at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, Knight and Prentky developed multidimensional typologies of child molesters that take into consideration levels of social competence and the meaning of the contact with the child (Knight and Prentky 1990). Robertiello and Terry 2007 summarizes the typologies of all types of sex offenders.

    • Groth, A. Nicholas, William F. Hobson, and Thomas S. Gary. 1982. The child molester: Clinical observations. In Social work and child sexual abuse. Edited by Jon R. Conte and David A. Shore, 129–144. New York: Haworth.

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      Though other typology systems are more advanced and take into consideration additional issues, the fixated-regressed typology is based upon the offenders’ primary motivation to abuse children (a strong sexual attraction to the child or the regression to abuse because of situational circumstances).

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    • Knight, Raymond A., and Robert A. Prentky. 1990. Classifying sex offenders: The development and corroboration of taxonomic models. In Handbook of sexual assault: Issues, theories, and treatment of the offender. Edited by W. L. Marshall, D. R. Laws, and Howard E. Barbaree, 23–52. New York: Plenum.

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      Presents typology systems for child molesters and rapists based upon two axes. Axis 1 addresses the degree to which an offender is fixated with children and the offender’s level of social competence. Axis 2 evaluates the amount of contact an offender has with children, which is analyzed according to the meaning (interpersonal or sexual) of that contact.

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    • Robertiello, Gina, and Karen J. Terry. 2007. Can we profile sex offenders? A review of sex offender typologies. Aggression and Violent Behavior 12 (5): 508–518.

      DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2007.02.010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A comprehensive overview of typologies of all types of offenders, including rapists, juvenile offenders, female offenders, and cyber offenders, though the primary emphasis is on typologies of child sexual abusers.

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    Pornography and Sexual Offending

    Many researchers have questioned the link between pornography and sexual offending. Studies in the 1970s focused on the link between pornography and rape, while today most research focuses on the link between child pornography and child sexual abuse. Wortley and Smallbone 2006 provides an excellent overview of child pornography, including typologies of offenders, methods of collecting and distributing pornography on the Internet, and legislation. Wolak, et al. 2005 is the result of a national study known as the National Juvenile Online Victimization (NJOV) Survey, funded by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which assessed the link between possession of child pornography and the sexual molestation of children. Taylor and Quayle 2003 also studied this issue, with a focus on the COPINE project in Ireland. Quayle and Taylor 2005 and Jenkins 2001 explore the effect of child pornography on the Internet, particularly its prevalence, the ease of accessing such material, and the difficulty regulating it. Langevin and Curnoe 2004 examines the use of pornography by a variety of sex offenders.

    • Jenkins, Philip. 2001. Beyond tolerance: Child pornography on the Internet. New York: New York Univ. Press.

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      Addresses jurisdictional issues, vagueness of definitions (such as possession), and the social construction of child pornography as a problem.

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    • Langevin, Ron, and Suzanne Curnoe. 2004. The use of pornography during the commission of sexual offenses. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 48 (5): 572–586.

      DOI: 10.1177/0306624X03262518Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Examines the use of pornography by a variety of sex offenders (adult and child victims, exhibitionists, etc) during the commission of their crimes. Of the 561 sex offenders in their study, 17 percent had used pornography at the time of their offenses. Those with offenses against children were more likely to use pornography than those with adult victims.

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    • Quayle, Ethel, and Max Taylor, eds. 2005. Viewing child pornography on the Internet: Understanding the offense, managing the offender, helping the victims. Lyme Regis, UK: Russell House.

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      An overview of issues related to child pornography on the Internet that provides several useful chapters related to the prevalence of the problem, offenders, and victims.

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    • Taylor, Max, and Ethel Quayle. 2003. Child pornography: An Internet crime. Hove, UK, and New York: Brunner-Routledge.

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      The authors studied child pornography through the COPINE Project at Univ. College Cork, Ireland, an archive of child pornographic images and video clips downloaded from newsgroup postings. As of 2007 there were more than 700,000 images on file.

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    • Wolak, Janis, David Finkelhor, and Kimberly J. Mitchell. 2005. Child pornography possessors arrested in Internet-related crimes: Findings from the National Juvenile Online Victimization Study. Alexandria, VA: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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      The authors studied the link between the possession of pornography and the sexual abuse of children. They found that 40 percent of those arrested for possessing child pornography were “dual offenders,” both possessing pornography and molesting children. Available online.

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    • Wortley, Richard, and Stephen Smallbone. 2006. Child pornography on the Internet. Problem-Oriented Guides for Police; Problem-Specific Guides Series, no. 41. Washington, DC: US Department of Justice. Center for Problem Oriented Policing.

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      Provides one of the most comprehensive descriptions of child pornography offenders, including typologies of offenders; motivations for possessing, collecting, and distributing these images; and the laws regulating this behavior. Available online.

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    Juvenile Sex Offenders

    Much of the knowledge about juvenile sex offenders has been derived from either studies of adults or from a report from the National Task Force on Juvenile Sexual Offending (National Adolescent Perpetrator Network 1993). Studies such as Zimring 2004 have been highly critical of that report and the assumption that juvenile sex offenders are likely to recidivate as adults. Zimring, et al. 2007; Zimring, et al. 2009, Miner 2002; and Vandiver 2006 (among other studies) have found that juvenile sexual offending has little predictive value on the likelihood of committing sexual offenses in adulthood. This is timely information, as recent legislation such as the Adam Walsh Act (see Sex Offender Legislation) further increases the level of supervision and management of adolescent sexual offenders in the community.

    • Miner, Michael H. 2002. Factors associated with recidivism in juveniles: An analysis of serious juvenile sex offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency 39:421–436.

      DOI: 10.1177/002242702237287Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The author’s analysis of eighty-six male adolescents shows that risk factors predicting juvenile reoffending differ from those of adults. As such, he cautions that the risk assessment methods used on adults should not be used on adolescents.

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    • National Adolescent Perpetrator Network. 1993. The revised report from the National Task Force on Juvenile Sexual Offending. Juvenile and Family Court Journal 44:1–120.

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      A report compiled by a variety of experts who work with juvenile sex offenders to document the nature and scope of juvenile sexual offending and discuss potential treatment and prevention efforts. The report includes 387 assumptions for how to manage adolescent offenders—assumptions that have been criticized by some researchers.

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    • Vandiver, Donna M. 2006. A prospective analysis of juvenile male sex offenders: Characteristics and recidivism rates as adults. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 21:673–688.

      DOI: 10.1177/0886260506287113Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      The author followed three hundred male adolescent sex offenders for three to six years to assess predictors of recidivism. A critical finding is that nearly half of those studied were rearrested for a nonsexual offense, while only 4 percent were rearrested for a sexual offense.

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    • Zimring, Franklin E. 2004. An American travesty: Legal responses to adolescent sexual offending. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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      Reviews what is known about adolescent sexual offending and provides an overview and critique of the laws regarding their management and treatment. Zimring is highly critical of the National Adolescent Perpetrator Network report and of the increasing punitiveness toward juvenile sex offenders, with more juveniles being tried as adults and more severe sanctions applied to them than ever before.

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    • Zimring, Franklin E., Alex R. Piquero, and Wesley G. Jennings. 2007. Sexual delinquency in Racine: Does early sex offending predict later sex offending in youth and young adulthood? Criminology and Public Policy 6:507–534.

      DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-9133.2007.00451.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      An important examination of longitudinal data of juveniles who committed sexual offenses in Racine, Wisconsin. Among the key findings is that adolescents who committed sexual offenses had a low risk of committing sexual offenses as adults, while most adults who committed sexual offenses did not have sexual offense convictions as juveniles.

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    • Zimring, Franklin E., Wesley G. Jennings, Alex R. Piquero, and Stephanie Hays. 2009. Investigating the continuity of sex offending: Evidence from the second Philadelphia birth cohort. Justice Quarterly 26:58–76.

      DOI: 10.1080/07418820801989734Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Describes how the findings of Zimring, et al. 2007 were replicated in the Philadelphia birth cohort.

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    Treatment

    Research on treatment for sex offenders has developed substantially since the late 1990s, and the focus has shifted to what works for whom and in what situations. This is particularly important, since many states now mandate various treatments for sex offenders living under correctional care in the community. The first and most important step towards effective treatment is accurate assessment of the sex offender. Hanson 2000 provides an overview of risk-assessment issues and protocols for sex offenders. Marshall, et al. 2006 reviews the history of treatment, types of treatment, and for whom this treatment is most effective. Marshall 1996 discusses the development of treatment for sex offenders, while Marshall, et al. 1999 provides comprehensive information about cognitive-behavioral treatment. Hanson, et al. 2002 is one of the most methodologically sound studies on treatment efficacy to date, though Marques, et al. 1994 is one of the first studies on the efficacy of treatment using a matched control group.

    • Hanson, R. Karl. 2000. Risk assessment. Beaverton, OR: Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

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      An informational package published by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers that provides information on static and dynamic risk factors of sex offenders, types of risk assessment instruments, issues related to predicting the risk of recidivism, and recommendations for evaluators. Available online.

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    • Hanson, R. Karl, Arthur Gordon, Andrew J. R. Harris, Janice K. Marques, William Murphy, Vernon L. Quinsey, and Michael C. Seto. 2002. First report of the collaborative outcome data project on the effectiveness of psychological treatment for sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment 14:169–194.

      DOI: 10.1177/107906320201400207Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A meta-analysis of forty-three studies comparing sex offenders who participated in treatment to controls. The authors found lower recidivism rates in treated sex offenders for both sexual and general recidivism.

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    • Marques, Janice K., David M. Day, Craig Nelson, and Mary Ann West. 1994. Effects of cognitive-behavioral treatment on sex offender recidivism: Preliminary results of a longitudinal study. Criminal Justice and Behavior 21:28–54.

      DOI: 10.1177/0093854894021001004Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Discusses the practical and ethical difficulties in conducting methodologically sound studies on sex offender treatment. The authors used two control groups to study a sex offender treatment program in a California correctional institution and found that the treatment group had the lowest rates of reoffense for violent and sexual offenses.

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    • Marshall, William L. 1996. Assessment, treatment, and theorizing about sex offenders: Developments during the past twenty years and future directions. Criminal Justice and Behavior 23:162–199.

      DOI: 10.1177/0093854896023001011Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Explains how early treatments were limited in scope but developed into multimodal programs providing sex education, enhancing self-esteem/social skills, reducing hostility and anger, addressing substance abuse issues, and teaching offenders how to manage their own behavior.

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    • Marshall, William L., Dana Anderson, and Yolanda Fernandez. 1999. Cognitive behavioural treatment of sexual offenders. Chichester, UK, and New York: Wiley.

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      A comprehensive text analyzing the various treatment modules of cognitive-behavioral treatment programs from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.

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    • Marshall, William L., Yolanda Fernandez, Liam Marshall, and Geris Serran. 2006. Sexual offender treatment: Controversial issues. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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      Presents current debates about risk assessment, evaluation, and treatment of sex offenders, emphasizing new developments in treatment over the last decade. Builds upon Marshall, et al. 1999.

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    Sex Offender Policies

    Since the early 1990s there has been a proliferation of laws enacted to increase sentences for sex offenders, permit the state to commit them involuntarily to secure facilities, and regulate the behavior of those living in the community. The key policies for the regulation of sex offender behavior in the community are: registration and community notification laws, sexually violent predator legislation, residency restrictions, GPS monitoring, and mandatory chemical castration of sex offenders once released from prison. Federal legislation includes the Jacob Wetterling Act, Megan’s Law, The Pam Lychner Act, the PROTECT Act, and the Adam Walsh Act.

    Sex Offender Legislation

    The Jacob Wetterling Act (1994) is a federal law requiring registration of sex offenders in each state, and the Pam Lychner Act (1996) expanded this to require a national database of sex offenders. “Megan’s Law” (1996) further expanded these laws, requiring notification of sex offenders to the community. Perhaps the most well known of the sex offender policies, Megan’s Law is named after Megan Kanka, a seven-year-old girl from Hamilton Township, New Jersey, who was raped and killed by a recidivist pedophile living across the street from her. Megan Kanka’s mother claimed that the community should be notified if sex offenders are living in the neighborhood. The goal of the PROTECT Act was to prevent the abduction of children and eliminate the sexual exploitation of children through the implementation of numerous crime control and prevention policies. The Adam Walsh Act set national standards for registration and notification, civil commitment, child pornography prevention, and Internet safety, and it made failure to register as a sex offender a felony and a deportable offense for immigrants. This law is controversial, however, and has yet to be fully implemented in any state. In addition to federal legislation, many states have implemented laws that set precedents for sex offender legislation across the country. Most importantly are the State of Washington’s 1990 Community Protection Act, which was the first state policy to allow for registration, notification, and civil commitment of sex offenders; Florida’s Jimmy Ryce Act, which allowed for the long-term commitment of sex offenders; and Florida’s Jessica Lunsford Act, which increased penalties against sex offenders.

    • Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Pub. L. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, 629 (July 27, 2006).

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      Signed into law in 2006; states are required to implement this by summer 2009. As of April 2009, no states were in compliance because of the complicated guidelines as well as a hesitation on behalf of many states to implement legislation with increased punitiveness (e.g., juveniles aged fourteen and older are subject to the registration requirements).

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    • Community Protection Act. 1990. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. 4.24.550.

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      A Washington State law that contains fourteen provisions related to the punishment, supervision and management of sex offenders. It includes America’s first community notification statute, as well as a provision for the civil commitment of sexual predators.

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    • Jacob Wetterling Crimes against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. 1994. 42 USC. § 14071.

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      Legislation that requires each state to create a registry for offenders convicted of sexual offenses. Named in honor of eleven-year-old Jacob Wetterling, who was kidnapped by a masked gunman and whose body has never been found. Passed as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

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    • Jessica Lunsford Act. 2005 Fla. Laws 28.

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      Signed into law in Florida in 2005 after the kidnapping, rape, and murder of nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford by a registered sex offender. The law, which has been proposed at the federal level, increases the punishment for sex offenders and requires other types of supervision in the community, such as GPS monitoring.

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    • Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators Treatment and Care Act. 1998 Fla. Laws 338.

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      A Florida law named after nine-year-old Jimmy Ryce, who was kidnapped at gunpoint, raped, killed, and dismembered. The law allows for the civil commitment of sexual offenders upon completion of their criminal sentences if they are assessed as a high risk to reoffend.

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    • Megan's Law. 1996. Pub. L. No. 104–145, 110 Stat. 1345, to amend Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

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      State legislators signed “Megan’s Law” into effect just eighty-nine days after Megan’s death, and less than two years later a federal version of Megan’s Law was enacted. Megan’s Law expands the Jacob Wetterling Act by requiring that the community be notified of high-risk offenders.

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    • PROTECT Act of 2003. Pub. L. 108–21, 117 Stat. 650–695.

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      The goal of this act is to prevent the abduction of children and the sexual exploitation of children. The act created an AMBER Alert program, modified the statute of limitation for sexual abuse, increased the amount of supervision for sex offenders upon release from prison, and increased penalties for offenders who sexually abuse or exploit children.

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    Assessment of Sex Offender Policies

    Many of the sex offender policies that have been enacted were based on emotional cases related to children who were sexually abused and/or killed; often these policies were named after the children. Few studies have provided empirical support for these policies, as indicated in Wright 2009. Winick and La Fond 2003 presents an analysis of these laws from a legal and psychological perspective, exploring potential alternatives to such policies. Most of the resources on sex offender legislation assess registration and notification issues (see Terry and Furlong 2008, Tewksbury 2005, and Zgoba, et al. 2008), though there is also emerging research on residency restrictions (see Nieto and Jung 2006) and civil commitment of sex offenders (see Harris 2005). Other resources critique the legislation generally (see Levenson and D’Amora 2007).

    • Harris, Andrew J. 2005. Civil commitment of sexual predators: A study in policy implementation. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing.

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      Presents an overview of civil commitment laws in the United States, including the historical development of the laws, the theoretical framework for their implementation, challenges to their implementation, and the efficacy of these policies.

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    • Levenson, Jill S., and David A. D’Amora. 2007. Social policies designed to prevent sexual violence: The emperor’s new clothes? Criminal Justice Policy Review 18:168–199.

      DOI: 10.1177/0887403406295309Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Levenson is a key researcher in the assessment of sex offender policy, and this article is a much-cited critique of sex offender laws and their lack of an empirical basis.

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    • Nieto, Marcus, and David Jung. 2006. The impact of residency restrictions on sex offenders and correctional management practices: A literature review. Sacramento, CA: California Research Bureau.

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      Explains what residence restrictions are, the scope of the restrictions in various jurisdictions, and the collateral consequences of these policies. Available online.

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    • Terry, Karen J., and John S. Furlong. 2008. Sex offender registration and community notification: A “Megan’s Law” sourcebook. 2d ed. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.

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      Provides information on registration and notification laws in every state, the guidelines for implementation, summaries of cases and their constitutional issues, and an overview of the history and development of the legislation. Because the laws change so regularly, the authors provide an annual or biannual supplement for the book.

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    • Tewksbury, Richard. 2005. Collateral consequences of sex offender registration. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 21:67–81.

      DOI: 10.1177/1043986204271704Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      In one of the first studies to examine the collateral consequences of sex offender registration, the author presents data on 121 registered sex offenders in Kentucky, showing high levels of social stigmatization; loss of relationships, employment, and housing; and assaults.

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    • Winick, Bruce J., and John Q. La Fond, eds. 2003. Protecting society from sexually dangerous offenders: Law, justice, and therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

      DOI: 10.1037/10492-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      An edited volume that includes chapters assessing recent sex offender policies, including sexual predator commitment laws, registration and community notification laws, and chemical castration laws.

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    • Wright, Richard G., ed. 2009. Sex offender laws: Failed policies, new directions. New York: Springer.

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      An edited volume that includes chapters on the history of sex offender legislation and recent laws that have been passed regarding sex offenders. The book is critical of the laws and the lack of empirical support for them.

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    • Zgoba, Kristen, Philip Witt, Melissa Dalessandro, and Bonita Veysey. 2008. Megan’s Law: Assessing the practical and monetary efficacy. NIJ Report 2006-IJ-CX-0018. Washington, DC: National Criminal Justice Reference Service.

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      The most comprehensive study to date analyzing the efficacy of registration and community notification laws. The authors found that Megan’s Law had no effect on reducing sexual offending in New Jersey, on the time to first rearrest, on the type of offense committed, or on the number of offenses the offender committed. Available online.

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    LAST MODIFIED: 12/14/2009

    DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396607-0018

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