Class Notes (838,691)
Canada (511,049)
Psychology (7,812)
PSYC39H3 (177)


36 Pages
Unlock Document

David Nussbaum

Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders CHAPTER 9: Sexual Offenders LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Review the scope of sex offending and consequences for victims. 2. Introduce the paraphilias and their diagnostic criteria. 3. Cover some of the major theories explaining the initiation of sex offending. 4. Examine some typologies of sex offenders. 5. Review key research on factors associated with the initiation of sex offending. 6. Examine observed rates of sexual recidivism and predictors of sexual recidivism. 7. Introduce some of the key assessment instruments used to estimate risk of recidivism among sex offenders. 8. Consider various approaches to the treatment and management of sex offenders and the extent to which these approaches are effective in reducing sexual recidivism. CHAPTER SUMMARY A significant minority of the population are victims of sexual offences. The majority of sex offences are not reported to the police, and sex offences are less likely to be reported than other violent crimes. Of the sex offences that are reported, approximately one-third are not cleared. Of the sex offences that are cleared and result in a conviction, approximately half result in a sentence of incarceration. The vast majority of sex offences are committed by male offenders. Both sexual offending and victimization are more common among younger people. Offenders and victims know each other (e.g., acquaintances, friends, family members) prior to the sexual offence in the majority of incidents. Sexual victimization is associated with a number of negative emotional reactions as well as physical and psychological problems. Contrary to public opinion, there is no evidence that sex offences are on the rise in Canada. Sex offenders are heterogeneous. Their characteristics, motivation, and behaviour vary considerably across and even within offence type. Some paraphilias can manifest as sexual offending; specifically, pedophilia, sexual sadism, frotteurism, exhibitionism, and voyeurism. However, it is important to remember that paraphilia and sex offending are not synonymous. For example, one can be a pedophile but never commit a sex offence against a child and one can commit a sex offence against a child but not be a pedophile. There is considerable overlap and convergence in most theories and models of the initiation of sexual offending. A number of factors likely combine and interact to cause sex offending. It is generally difficult to research the causal factors, but numerous observational studies suggest the following are associated with the initiation of Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 183 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders sex offending against adults or children: childhood sexual victimization, deviant sexual interests, general antisociality, low self-esteem, intimacy deficits, poor social skills, beliefs supportive of sex offending, and neurodevelopmental perturbations. Sexual recidivism rates are generally low; relatively few sex offenders are charged with new sex offences after their initial conviction. The best predictors of sexual recidivism are sexual deviance and general antisociality. Risk factors can be static, stable dynamic, or acute dynamic. Static risk factors indicate a baseline of risk and an estimate of the likelihood of sexual reoffending over the long term. Stable dynamic factors indicate potential treatment targets and permit measurement of improvement or deterioration over time. Acute dynamic factors indicate the imminence of sexual recidivism. Subgroups of sex offenders who have higher rates of recidivism can be identified and managed by assessing static and dynamic risk factors with risk-assessment instruments. The accuracy with which sexual recidivism is predicted is highest for empirical actuarial and mechanical instruments and lowest for unstructured clinical judgment. The predictive accuracy of structured professional judgment approaches falls between actuarial and unstructured clinical judgment. Researchers generally find lower recidivism rates among treated compared to untreated sex offenders. And programs that follow the general principles of effective corrections appear to be more effective than programs that do not. Although these findings are very encouraging, debate continues about whether the lower rates of recidivism associated with sex offender treatment actually demonstrate that it is effective because the research methodology used in most studies leaves the results open to alternate interpretations. More creative and innovative research will move us closer to resolving these and other important questions about sex offenders. LECTURE OUTLINE 1. Introduction:  Reading the opening vignette and considering sex offences presented in the media raises a number of intriguing questions.  How common is this sort of behaviour?  What are the causes of sexual offending?  What are the prototypical characteristics of sex offenders?  After being caught, do sex offenders typically persist with sex offending?  What can be done to identify the most persistent sex offenders and reduce their risk of sexual recidivism?  we will consider the scope and characteristics of sexual offending in Canada.  A number of psychiatric disorders called paraphilias relevant to sexual offending will be discussed. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 184 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  We will also review a number of key theories that attempt to explain why some people sexually offend.  Research examining the association between sex offending and some of the factors identified in theory will also be reviewed.  We will then present research findings on predictors of sexual recidivism, a number of key sex offender risk assessment instruments, and the research on the predictive accuracy of these instruments.  Finally, some of the major approaches to treatment for sex offenders will be presented and research on the effectiveness of treatment will be reviewed. Scope of Sexual Offending  Before examining sex offenders themselves, it is important to consider the scope of sex offending.  Estimates of offending are typically derived from two main sources: surveys of the public and police reports.  In 2004, a representative sample (territories excluded) of people over the age of 14 in 24 000 Canadian households was telephoned (random digit dialing).  Sexual attack: During the past 12 months, has anyone forced you or attempted to force you into any unwanted sexual activity, by threatening you, holding you down or hurting you in some way?  Unwanted sexual touching: During the past 12 months, has anyone ever touched you against your will in any sexual way? By this I mean anything from unwanted touching or grabbing, to kissing or fondling.  Considering both types of sexual assault (i.e., sexual attacks and unwanted sexual touching), approximately 512 200 people in Canada reported having been sexually assaulted in the past 12 months on the 2004 GSS  Few of these offences were reported to the police.  Responses on the GSS indicate that less than 10 percent of sexual assaults were reported.  The reporting rate was slightly higher (22 percent) when only more violent forms of sexual assault (i.e., sexual attacks) were considered.  for all forms of sexual assault, the rate of reporting to police was considerably lower than for other violent offences (robbery, 47 percent; physical assault, 40 percent).  Victims’ reasons for not reporting sexual assault incidents to the police most commonly included: “felt it was not important enough” (58 percent), “incident was dealt with in another way” (54 percent), “felt it was a personal matter” (47 percent), or “did not want to get involved with the police” (41 percent).  Another valuable source of information about the scope of sex offending in Canada is the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey.  The UCR Survey reports on the incidence of crimes reported to police in a given year and some of the characteristics of those crimes. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 185 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  In contrast to the GSS on Victimization, the UCR Survey includes offences against victims of all ages and includes the territories as well as the provinces.  On the UCR Survey, sexual offences include sexual assaults of varying severity (i.e., Levels 1, 2, and 3) and other sexual offences, many of which are against children (e.g., sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching).  In 2007, 73 sexual offences were reported per 100 000 people in Canada.  The UCR Survey also tracks clearance rates.  Clearance refers to laying charges or otherwise resolving reported offences (e.g., complainant asks that charges not be laid, accused is deceased, or police discretion).  Clearance rates were lower for sexual offences than other violent offences in 2007.  Over one-third (37 percent) of sexual offences were not cleared by police, whereas only 26 percent of other violent offences were not cleared.  In terms of sentencing, convictions for sexual offences (54 percent) were more likely to result in custodial sentences (e.g., prison rather than probation only) than other violent offences (30 percent) for adult offenders in 2006–2007  Contrary to what people might hear in the popular media, there is no evidence that sexual offending is on the rise.  Neither self-reported (GSS) nor police-reported (UCR Survey) data show an increase in victimization over the past five to ten years.  Although any amount of sex offending is a serious concern, its frequency does not appear to be increasing.  more serious types of sexual offences are relatively rare.  The minority of sexual assaults reported in the 2004 GSS were sexual attacks (19 percent); most were incidents of unwanted sexual touching (81 percent).  14 percent of sexual offences reported to the police in 2007 were for Level 2 or 3 sexual assaults and other sexual offences; most were for Level 1 sexual assault (86 percent).  only the minority of cases fit the sensational sexual offences often portrayed in the media.  The GSS and UCR Survey indicate that women and girls are more likely to be victims of sexual offences than men and boys.  Young people are at greater risk for sexual victimization.  Most sexual offences reported on the GSS were against victims aged 15 to 24 and the rates dropped off steeply as victim age increased (recall that the GSS does not include anyone under 15).  the UCR Survey indicates that the majority of sexual offences are committed against victims under the age of 18 (25 percent below age 12).  UCR Survey data indicate that men are more often the offenders in sexual crimes (97 percent) than in other violent offences (78 percent). Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 186 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Sexual offences reported to the police in 2007 were committed considerably more often by young people (rates for youth aged 12–17 were 90 per 100 000 people) than even slightly older people (e.g., rates for 18–34-year-olds were 55 per 100 000).  Both GSS and UCR Survey data indicate that the offender and victim often know each other (e.g., acquaintances, friends, family members) prior to the sexual offence in the majority of incidents.  Children are most often victimized by family members, whereas adolescents and adults are most often victimized by acquaintances or friends. Consequences for Victims  Physical injury to victims occurs in relatively few sexual offences (7 percent on the GSS and 23 percent on the UCR Survey).  On the GSS, victims reported a number of negative emotional reactions following the sexual assault: anger (24 percent); confusion and frustration (20 percent); shock and disbelief (16 percent); annoyance (16 percent); and fear (15 percent).  More generally, sexual assault and child sexual abuse are associated with a number of negative outcomes, such as concerns about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and sexual disturbances. Paraphilias  Paraphilias, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM-IVTR) “are recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving 1. nonhuman objects, 2. the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or 3. children or other non-consenting persons that occur over a period of at least 6 months”  Not all paraphilias involve illegal behaviour (e.g., fetishism), but many can manifest as sexual offending; specifically, pedophilia, sexual sadism, frotteurism, exhibitionism, and voyeurism.  Pedophilia comes from the Greek words pedeiktos (young children) and philia (love) and generally refers to a sexual preference for children who have not yet begun puberty  The specific diagnostic criteria for pedophilia in the DSM-IV-TR are: 1. Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger). 2. The person has acted on these sexual urges, or the sexual urges or fantasies cause marked distress or interpersonal difficulty. 3. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children in Criterion 1.  Although the terms pedophile and child molester are often used interchangeably, they are NOT synonymous. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 187 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Some adults who sexually abuse prepubescent children are not pedophiles and some pedophiles do not sexually abuse children.  Child sexual abuse can be motivated by a number of factors besides a sexual preference for prepubescent children.  Sexual sadism refers to being sexually aroused by inflicting humiliation or pain on others.  Even among sex offenders, sexual sadism is relatively rare, but because of the extreme victim injury often associated with sexual sadism, it is a concern with both rapists and child molesters.  Frotteurism is an interest in touching and rubbing against a non- consenting person.  These acts often occur in crowded places (e.g., full subway car) where the frotteur can more easily access victims and avoid detection.  Exhibitionism refers to an interest in exposing one’s genitals to an unsuspecting stranger.  Voyeurism involves an interest in observing unsuspecting people naked or engaging in sexual activity. 2. Explaining Sex Offending:  A number of theories have attempted to address this question and explain the initiation of sex offending. Finkelhor’s Model  attempted to organize existing explanations of child sexual abuse into a multifactor framework, which reflects four underlying factors he identified in the literature.  The first is emotional congruence and refers to a perceived “‘fit’ between the adult’s emotional needs and the child’s characteristics”  An individual may find sexual contact with a child emotionally gratifying because he or she is psychologically immature and views him or herself as a child.  some individuals may feel emotionally gratified by sexually abusing a child because they feel powerful and competent when doing so  Emotional congruence alone would not necessarily lead to sexual abuse of children.  What is also needed is some degree of sexual arousal to the prospect of sexual contact with a child, which is the second factor in this model.  This need not be as extreme as pedophilia, but there must be at least some arousal to children.  Blockageis the third factor and refers to the idea that some people may be blocked from meeting their sexual and emotional needs in prosocial ways (e.g., consenting sexual contact with adults).  Blockage may occur because of social anxiety, social skills deficits, problems in a current romantic relationship, or repressive beliefs about sexual norms (e.g., against masturbation and extramarital affairs). Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 188 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  The final factor, disinhibition, refers to the fact that inhibitions against child sexual abuse are either circumvented or are absent to allow one to act on his or her sexual interest in children.  Disinhibition may occur because of personality (e.g., impulse control deficits, lack of empathy), situational (e.g., intoxication, extreme stress), or cultural factors.  not all four factors are necessary for a person to sexually abuse a child, but they likely work as complementary processes, possibly having additive or interactive effects.  “many people have important prerequisite components to engaging in child molesting, but never do.  Theories from only one level of the model will never accurately discriminate between those who engage and do not engage in such behavior.  Sex abusers will always show up as having some of these characteristics, such as arousal to children, shyness, impulsivity, or need for dominance, but there will also be large numbers of non-abusers in the population at large who have these characteristics too Integrated Theory of the Etiology of Sexual Offending  This model proposed a biopsychosocial explanation of sexual offending against adults or children.  biological, developmental, socio-cultural, and transitory situational factors can create a proclivity to sexually offend.  Concerning the biological contribution, the default position for men is the fusion of sex and aggression.  If a boy’s childhood experiences and culture do not teach him to inhibit aggression in the context of sexuality, sexual offending may be likely once he reaches puberty.  Although this is the default biological position, the researchers argue that environmental factors are the primary determinants of whether one becomes a sexual offender.  Negative childhood experiences, such as abuse and neglect from caregivers, lead to insecure childhood attachment and provide models of aggressive and self-centred antisocial behaviour.  Consequently, the child enters puberty without the social skills and self- confidence required to establish relationships with peer-aged partners. Inability to secure intimate relationships with peer-aged partners may then lead a young man to turn his sexual attention to children, who are viewed as less rejecting and intimidating than peers, or to sexually aggress against peers.  This may occur first in his masturbation-accompanied fantasies, which would condition arousal to children or violence, and then occur in actual sexual offending.  The researchers argue that socio-cultural messages and situational factors may interact with a vulnerable predisposition to increase or decrease the likelihood of sexual offending against children or peers. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 189 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Transitory situational factors also interact with predispositions and can either inhibit or facilitate sexual aggression.  The biological, childhood, socio-cultural, and transitory situational factors are thought to interact with one another to produce varying levels of propensity for sexual offending. Quadripartite Model of Sexual Aggression against Adults  This model proposed a quadripartite model to explain why some men sexually assault women.  The four factors are physiological sexual arousal, cognitions that justify sexual aggression, affective dyscontrol, and personality problems.  Sexual arousal to rape or generally high levels of sexual arousal are thought to increase the likelihood of rape.  A variety of cognitions may also increase the likelihood of rape.  Affective dyscontrol refers to anger and hostility as motivating sexual assault.  Sexual assault may also be motivated by personality problems, particularly antisocial personality features, which may be rooted in adverse developmental experiences such as parental divorce, criminality among family members, neglect, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.  Not all four factors are necessary for sexual assault to occur  it generally becomes more likely as the number of factors present increases.  The relative strength of influence among these four factors varies across offenders to create subtypes; for example, for some offenders sexual arousal may be the dominant factor leading to sexual offending, whereas for others the primary motivational precursor may be cognitions that justify sexual offending. Quadripartite Model of Sexual Aggression against Children  Hall and Hirschman (1992) also applied their quadripartite model to explain sexual offending against children.  The first factor is physiological sexual arousal to children.  The second factor, cognitions that justify sexual abuse of children, refers to beliefs such as that sexual contact with children is not harmful or wrong and is enjoyable for victims.  Such beliefs are often called cognitive distortions.  Child sexual abuse may also result from negative affective states.  It may be an attempt to cope with negative affective states (i.e., depression), or, less commonly, an expression of anger and hostility.  The final factor, personality problems, refers to developmentally related personality problems or disorders, which can manifest as emotional difficulties, poor social skills, or impulsivity.  One of these four factors or various combinations of these factors can lead to child sexual offending.  The relative strength of influence among the factors varies across offenders to create subtypes; e.g., for some offenders sexual arousal to Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 190 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders children may be the dominant factor leading to sexual offending against a child. Hierarchical-Mediational Confluence Model (HMC)  This is an etiological model of sexual aggression against women derived from his extensive  The model is an ongoing process and has been revised over the years, incorporating new research findings.  According to the model, there are two major paths that lead to sexual aggression: the antisocial and impersonal sex path and the hostile masculinity path.  In the antisocial path, abusive home environments (e.g., physical violence between parents and childhood physical or sexual abuse) lead to early delinquent behaviour (e.g., delinquent peers, running away), which leads to impersonal sexuality (e.g., young age at first intercourse and many sexual partners), which in turn leads to sexual aggression.  In the hostile masculinity path, attitudes accepting violence toward women (e.g., rape myth acceptance and acceptance of interpersonal violence) lead to narcissism, hostility toward women, and sexual dominance, which in turn lead to sexual aggression.  In addition to an independent influence on sexual aggression, these constellations also interact with each other, such that an increasing number of risk factors greatly increases the risk of sexual aggression.  empathy and nurturing personality characteristics moderate the influence of the risk factors listed above. Specifically, for men who are low in empathy and nurturance (egotistical and self-oriented), the risk factors listed are strongly associated with sexual aggression.  for men who are high in empathy and nurturance (empathic and other- oriented), the risk factors are only weakly related to sexual aggression. Evolutionary Explanation of Rape  Evolutionary psychology involves the idea is that in our ancestral environments, certain physiological, psychological, and behavioural characteristics were associated with increased reproductive success (i.e., having a relatively high number of children who in turn have a relatively high number of children, and so on).  To the extent that such characteristics are heritable, the genes responsible for them would be passed on to subsequent generations more so than genes that are responsible for characteristics associated with reproductive failure.  Today, we generally think and do what led to reproductive success in ancestral environments.  A very important thing to  in evolutionary psychology there is the distinction between proximal and ultimate causes: Proximal causes are immediate influences that motivate or otherwise drive behaviour, whereas ultimate causes refer to the reproductive fitness selection pressures of ancestral environments. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 191 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  People are driven by proximal influences, but these influences may have been shaped by ultimate causes.  most people do not consciously choose to have sex with the opposite sex instead of trees because they want to maximize their reproductive fitness.  Instead, most people are simply driven by their attraction to the opposite sex.  Adaptive does not necessarily equal “good” in a moral sense.  Some of the behaviours people view as immoral and wrong may have been adaptive in our ancestral environments.  Conversely, some acceptable behaviours (e.g., homosexuality, celibacy) would not have been adaptive in our ancestral environments.  the evolutionary psychological perspective neither condones nor condemns any characteristics or behaviours, but rather seeks to explain their origins.  It is an important perspective to consider because it may provide a fuller understanding of why such behaviours occur and how to deal with them.  A final distinction to make is between mating effort and parental investment.  Both are reproductive strategies at opposite ends of a continuum.  Mating effort refers to a short-term, low-investment approach to mating in which the focus is partner variety and casual sex.  Parental investment, in contrast, refers to a long-term investment in ensuring the health and well-being of one’s offspring.  Although the most successful strategy would usually have been a blend of both approaches, high mating effort may have been a reproductively successful strategy depending on the individual and the conditions.  For most mammals, including humans, the minimal parental investment is much lower for males than females.  The man’s minimal investment is limited to the time and sperm it takes to impregnate a woman, whereas the woman’s minimal investment goes well beyond sexual intercourse to include carrying the fetus and giving birth along with all the physical demands and health risks of pregnancy and labour.  Although many men willingly choose to invest in their partner and offspring, they have the option of choosing not to do so.  This discrepancy in minimal parental investment resulted in different selection pressures for men and women in ancestral environments.  sexual intercourse was more costly for women than men in terms of minimal parental investment: women who were more selective about mates both in terms of attractiveness and status were more likely to have successful offspring than women who mated indiscriminately.  because of the difference in minimal parental investment, there was (and is) less variability across women in the number of offspring they would produce compared to men. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 192 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  a man could, at least theoretically, impregnate hundreds if not thousands of women every year of his adult life; the main limits would be opportunity and stamina.  The model attempts to explain sexual assault from an evolutionary perspective:  rape is part of a general antisocial, aggressive, and risk-tolerant lifestyle and that very few rapists specialize in rape  most rapists fall into one of three groups: young men, competitively disadvantaged men, or psychopaths.  Adolescent and young men typically have relatively few resources and low status, which puts them at a competitive disadvantage relative to other males with whom they are competing for mates.  Through violence (including sexual coercion) and general risk taking, these young men may be able to increase their status, resources, and/or access to more and better mates.  as they move into adulthood and begin to acquire legitimately gained resources and status, they switch from high mating effort to high parental investment.  So the sexual assaults and other antisocial behaviour of this group are limited to adolescence and young adulthood.  This is the most common type of rapist.  This desistance with adulthood does not occur for the competitively disadvantaged men.  Their sexual coercion and other antisocial behaviour is life-course persistent.  The ability to compete for resources and status in prosocial ways is impaired by early neuro-developmental insults, such as obstetrical complications and low IQ.  Because men in this group do not have the skills or abilities to achieve status and resources in prosocial ways, they maintain their high mating effort and antisocial approach into adulthood.  The psychopaths are also life-course persistent.  In contrast to the competitively disadvantaged men, psychopaths are not competitively disadvantaged but select high mating effort over parental investment as an alternate strategy.  The competitively disadvantaged and psychopaths are thought to make up a small proportion of rapists. Seto’s Developmental Theory of Child Sexual Offending  This model draws from a very broad literature of theory and research.  It is somewhat similar to the model above in that there is an adolescence- limited path, a pedophilia path, and an antisociality path, which includes the sub-paths of competitive disadvantage and psychopathy.  adolescence-limited child molesters are those who may be blocked from romantic relationships with peers because of lack of resources (e.g., unattractive, poor, weak) or poor social skills. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 193 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  These boys may occasionally sexually abuse a child.  Some adolescence-limited offenders may also be pedophiles, motivated by their sexual interest in children.  persistent offending may be a manifestation of antisociality, stemming from enduring competitive disadvantage or psychopathy.  Sexual attraction to prepubescent children (pedophilia) would be another cause of child molestation.  Offending against children would be especially likely when both antisociality and pedophilia are present. 3. Typologies: Massachusetts Treatment Centre: Child Molester Typology, Version 3 (MTC:CM3)  This typology reflects the heterogeneity of child molesters  The MTC:CM3 was developed with 177 extra-familial child molesters (only contact sex offences; at least one victim outside the family; victims under 16 years old) civilly committed (from one day to life) for their sex offences and evaluated at the MTC between 1959 and 1981.  There are two orthogonal (or distinct) axes on which child molesters can be differentiated.  On the first axis, child molesters are differentiated by their level of fixation, which refers to the extent of their pedophilic interests: child molesters who think and fantasize about sexual contact and interpersonal relationships primarily with children would be high on fixation.  Each of these groups can be further differentiated by their degree of social competence, which reflects their degree of achievement with regards to adult responsibilities and relationships: someone with an unstable employment history, no long-term live-together sexual relationships with adults, no involvement in any adult-oriented organizations, and no adult friends would be considered extremely low in social competence.  Axis I defines four types of child molesters differing in their degree of pedophilic and social competence.  On Axis II, child molesters are first differentiated by the amount of time they have spent with children in both sexual offence and non-sexual situations: child molesters who are involved in work or leisure activities that put them in close proximity to children, such as a school teacher or coach of a children’s sports team, would be considered high contact.  The high-contact child molesters are further differentiated by the meaning of their contact with children: interpersonal versus narcissistic.  For the interpersonal type, the goal is to establish interpersonal relationships with children, whereas for the narcissistic type, the motivation for contact is exclusively sexual.  So the interpersonal type (Type 1) views the sexual abuse as a mutually satisfying romantic relationship, whereas the narcissistic type (Type 2) is self-focused and views the sexual abuse primarily as a means to achieve his own sexual gratification. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 194 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Like the high-contact child molesters, low-contact child molesters can also be further differentiated.  First, they are distinguished by the degree of physical injury they inflict on their victims: low physical injury versus high physical injury.  These subgroups are further differentiated by their degree of sadism.  Type 3 (Exploitative, Nonsadistic) inflicts little physical injury on victims.  If any aggression is used, it is instrumental (i.e., aggression may be used to gain compliance from victims and the amount of aggression does not exceed what is required to gain compliance), and this aggression is not sexually arousing for the offender.  Type 4 (Muted Sadistic) has sadistic sexual interests and fantasies (i.e., is aroused by the pain, fear, and humiliation of victims) but does not act on them enough to cause physical injury to victims.  Type 5 (Nonsadistic, Aggressive) uses violence causing physical injury to victims, which is either accidental or motivated by anger, but in neither case is it sexually arousing for the offender.  Type 6 (Sadistic) inflicts injury on victims and is sexually aroused by their pain, fear, and humiliation. Massachusetts Treatment Centre: Rapist Typology, Versions 3  A typology of rapists.  The most familiar and commonly referred to version of their rapist typology is the Massachusetts Treatment Centre: Rapist Typology, Version 3 where rapists are distinguished by four primary motivations: opportunity, generalized anger, sexual gratification, and misogynistic anger.  Opportunistic rapists (Types 1 and 2) are generally antisocial and impulsive men who commit sexual assault when the opportunity to do so presents itself (i.e., a potential victim in the right context).  these rapists may commit sexual assault during the course of burglary if a woman happens to be present in the home.  They are more influenced by situational factors than driven by enduring sexual fantasies or preference for rape.  In contrast to some of the other rapist types, there is little offence planning and any non-sexual aggression is primarily instrumental.  As a result, physical injury to victims is relatively low.  Opportunistic rapists are further distinguished by their level of social competence.  Social competence here refers to “the presence and durability of interpersonal relationships and the stability of the offender’s employment and wage-earning history”  Type 1 rapists are higher in social competence and their impulsivity emerged in adulthood, whereas Type 2 rapists are lower in social competence and their impulsivity became apparent during adolescence. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 195 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Pervasively angry rapists (Type 3) are characterized by global anger, which manifests as sexual assault against women as well as non-sexual aggression against men and women.  These rapists have long histories of aggressive behaviour and engage in relatively little offence planning.  In contrast to some other types (e.g., opportunistic), they use expressive aggression in their sexual assaults that results in higher levels of physical injury.  Rapists motivated by sexual gratification are characterized by enduring sexual or sadistic fantasy or preoccupation.  Compared to the other types, these rapists engage in more offence planning.  They can be divided into two groups based on the presence or absence of sadistic fantasies.  Sadistic rapists are further divided into two groups based on the extent to which they act on their sadistic fantasies.  overt sadistic rapists (Type 4) act on their sadistic fantasies, evidenced by sadistic acts and resulting in a high degree of physical injury.  Muted sadistic rapists (Type 5) engage in acts intended to scare and humiliate the victim (driven by their sadistic fantasies), but inflict relatively little physical injury.  Non-sadistic offenders are also divided into two groups based on their level of social competence:  Type 6 is characterized by higher social competence and Type 7 is characterized by lower social competence.  Vindictive rapists are motivated primarily by misogynistic anger.  In contrast to pervasively angry rapists (Type 3), vindictive rapists’ anger is not global but rather is focused exclusively on women.  Their intent is to degrade, humiliate, and physically harm their victims.  There is relatively little offence planning.  these rapists use expressive aggression, which results in high physical injury.  These rapists are divided based on their social competence: Type 8 is lower in social competence, whereas Type 9 is moderate.  Since the initial development of Version 3, new evidence suggests some structural problems exist with the MTC:R3  these new findings have been incorporated and the typology revised to create Version 4 of the Massachusetts Treatment Centre: Rapist Typology (MTC:R4).  The main changes are that the muted sadistic type (Type 5) has been dropped, some of the types have been repositioned, and the linear structure has been reconfigured as circular  the MTC:R4 better fits with current empirical evidence. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 196 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders 4. Researching Initiation Factors:  Two recent meta-analyses provide much needed summaries of existing studies comparing  Seto and Lalumière (2009) meta-analyzed studies comparing adolescent male offenders who had committed sex offences to those who had not.  Whitaker et al. (2008) meta-analyzed studies comparing men who had committed sex offences against children to men who had committed sex offences against adults (rapists), offenders who had committed non-sexual offences (non-sex offenders), and men who had not committed any offences (non-offenders).  A third meta-analysis (Jespersen, Lalumière, and Seto 2009) focused exclusively on differences in childhood abuse and neglect between sex offenders and various comparison groups. Childhood Sexual Abuse  Many of the theories we have mentioned posit that sexual victimization in childhood plays an important role in later sexual offending.  Studies generally find a strong association between childhood sexual abuse and sexual offending.  Adolescent sex offenders have been found to have experienced significantly more childhood sexual abuse than adolescent non-sex offenders  adult sex offenders have experienced higher rates of childhood sexual victimization than adult non-sex offenders and non-offenders  even when information beyond self-reports was used to document childhood sexual victimization, sex offenders were still found to have significantly higher rates of victimization than non-sex offenders  These analyses compared reports of abuse based solely on self-report with information gained in part by other sources of information (in combination with self-report), such as reports from parents or exclusively from files from child protection agencies.  Thus the higher rates cannot be accounted for simply by potential biases associated with self-report.  For example, we might expect some sex offenders to falsely report childhood sexual abuse after being caught for their offences in an attempt to gain sympathy or to excuse their offending  Sex offenders against children have significantly higher rates of childhood sexual victimization than sex offenders against adults.  This is the case for adolescent sex offenders and adult sex offenders  These differences also remained significant and in the same direction whether abuse was determined exclusively through self-report or other sources of information Childhood Physical Abuse  Higher rates of physical abuse in childhood have also been found among sex offenders compared to non-sex offenders and non-offenders, but the Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 197 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders differences between groups are not as dramatic as for childhood sexual abuse.  Significantly higher rates of physical abuse have been found among adolescent sex offenders than adolescent non-sex offenders (  A similar significant difference was found for studies on adolescents based on self-report only, but virtually no difference was found for other sources  Significantly higher rates of physical abuse have also been observed among adult sex offenders than among non-sex offenders and non- offenders in one meta-analysis but the higher physical abuse rates among sex offenders compared to non-sex offenders did not reach statistical significance in another meta-analysis that included a larger number of studies  when based on self-report, adult sex offenders had non-significantly higher rates of childhood physical abuse than non-sex offenders, but non- significant differences in the opposite direction were found with sources beyond self-report  In contrast to the findings for childhood sexual abuse, sex offenders against children were less likely to have been physically abused in childhood than sex offenders against adults.  This is the case (significant) for adult sex offenders and held whether the comparisons were based only on self-report or other information  non-significant differences in the opposite direction were found with adolescent sex offenders: adolescent sex offenders against younger children had slightly higher rates of childhood physical abuse than adolescent sex offenders against peers or adults. Neglect and Emotional Abuse  Rates of neglect or emotional abuse were also significantly higher among adolescent sex offenders than non-sex offenders  The size and the direction of the difference were similar for self-report and other sources, but were only significant for self-report  Among adult offenders, however, neglect and abuse were non- significantly less common among sex offenders than non-sex offenders  Sex offenders against children had slightly (but non-significantly) higher rates of neglect and emotional abuse in childhood than did sex offenders against adults Attachment and Family Functioning  Despite the higher rates of abuse among sex offenders, it is somewhat surprising to find that problems with attachment and family functioning do not differ between child molesters, rapists, and non-sex offenders  when compared to non-offenders, child molesters do have more problems with attachment and family functioning Deviant Sexual Interests  sex offenders generally have more deviant sexual interests than non-sex offenders and non-offenders. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 198 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Adolescent sex offenders also have more deviant sexual interests than adolescent non-sex offenders (e.g., behaviour, fantasies, and interest in sexual contact with children or sexual assault).  Adult child molesters have significantly more deviant sexual interests than adult non-sex offenders and non-offenders but do not differ from rapists  Considering sexual interest in children, in particular, child molesters showed much more interest in children than non-sex offenders, but this difference did not reach significance in the meta-analysis  When this finding is considered along with a number of earlier studies not included in the meta-analysis, there is little question that the average child molester is more sexually interested in children than the average man who does not molest children  Meta-analytic reviews indicate that, on average, rapists show greater sexual arousal to rape than non-rapists  Arousal to non-sexual violence, however, does not appear to distinguish most rapists from non-rapists but it does distinguish rapists who have seriously physically injured their victims from those who have done less serious physical damage  It is generally assumed that the greater arousal to rape observed among rapists compared to non-rapists is most often the result of reduced inhibition of sexual arousal in the presence of violence rather than a sexual preference for rape over consenting sex  Although there are certainly some rapists who prefer rape and are sexually aroused by the violence and suffering of the victim (e.g., sexual sadism), most rapists do not seem to differ from non-rapists in the extent to which they find consenting sex arousing.  What differentiates most rapists is that their sexual arousal is relatively less diminished when sexual activity is accompanied by violence and victim suffering.  This is consistent with the results from a study comparing the penile arousal of rapists and non-rapists  penile plethysmography (PPG), involves the physiological measurement of penile tumescence (erection) during the presentation of various stimuli, such as descriptions of sexual activity.  Sexual attraction is usually inferred from the amount of arousal in response to deviant stimuli (e.g., stories about sexual abuse of a child, rape) relative to non-deviant stimuli (e.g., stories about consenting sex between adults).  As measures of sexual interest go, PPG has received much research attention and is among one of the best measures currently available  Other measures of sexual interest include self-report, viewing time and more recently, a number of promising cognitive approaches  Although on average differences in sexual arousal to rape have been found between rapists and non-rapists, there is considerable variability from study to study. Copyright © 2011 Pearson Canada Inc. 199 Psychology of Criminal Behaviour: A Canadian Perspective Chapter 9: Sexual Offenders  Different interpretations of the source of this variability have led to different conclusions about the role that sexual interests may play in rape.  Some researchers have attributed the variability to the samples examined, whereas others have attributed it to the stimuli and procedures employed.  With regard to the samples, some researchers have argued that elevated sexual arousal to rape is only found in groups of rapists with high proportions of sadistic rapists.  They argue that sexual arousal to rape is only characteristic of a small number of rapists who are sadistic, but not the majority of rapists.  In contrast, other researchers argue that rapists can be differentiated from non-rapists when appropriate stimuli and procedures are used. General Antisociality  On average, sex offenders do not appear to be higher on general antisociality than non-sex offenders.  They are more antisocial than non-offenders.  Specifically, child molesters generally are more angry and hostile than non-offenders, but slightly less angry and hostile than non-sex offenders and significantly less angry and hostile than rapists  Child molesters were significantly lower on lifestyle instability/impulsivity and antisocial personality disorder than non-sex offenders but did not differ from rapists on antisocial personality disorder (comparisons were not done for lifestyle instability/impulsivity because there were too few studies)  In contrast, child molesters were higher than non-offenders on lifestyle instability/impulsivity (non-significant) and antisocial personality disorder (significant)  Experts found that adolescent sex offenders were generally less antisocial than adolescent non-sex offenders in a number of areas (e.g., fewer prior involvements with the criminal justice system, lower general antisocial beliefs, fewer antisocial associations).  adolescent sex offenders did not differ from adolescent non-sex offenders on antisocial personality traits  experts found adolescent sex offenders against children were less generally antisocial (e.g., antisocial personality, substance abuse, antisocial attitudes, antisocial associat
More Less

Related notes for PSYC39H3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.