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Chapter 1

CRIM 316 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: National Crime Victimization Survey, Motor Vehicle Theft, Psychological Trauma

Course Code
CRIM 316
Eric Beauregard

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Sexual Offenses and Offenders
Chapter 1 Sexual Offences and Offenders
Sexual offence incidents ↓ but sanctions constantly ↑ (Empirical research doesn’t show that sanctions
significantly deter offenders or reduce recidivism)
Once-size-fits-all policies Supervision, monitoring, & incapacitation of sex offenders gone full circle = not
3 general topic areas of sex offender research:
1. Factors associated with sexual offending including personal characteristics & situational variables
2. Sex offenders’ risk of recidivism
3. Efficacy of policies and programs for sex offenders
What is a Sexual Offense?
Acts such as rape (Violation of the person & emotional and psychological trauma) are harmful acts
condemned in nearly every community
Sexual behaviors other than for the purpose of procreation (:to make babies) (ex. homosexuality, incest,
adultery, etc.) have vacillated among social acceptance, stigmatization, and illegality
Criminalized sexual offenses vary by type, degree of severity, class of offense, and length of sanction – they
can be broadly categorized into 4 categories (not necessarily mutually exclusive)
oSexual acts with contact
Touching of intimate parts of body (even just over clothes) or penetration (sometimes
forced) without consent or by someone incapable of consent under law (ex. underage)
oNoncontact sexual behavior
Acts for purpose of sexual gratification but NO contact (ex. voyeurism)
oViewing, possessing, or producing child pornography
Viewing or producing visual material of child for sexual gratification of adults (ex. “sexting”)
oSexual solicitation or trafficking
Acts based on sexual service exchanged for financial or other types of compensation (Ex.
Also could be adults seeking sexual relationship with adolescents online/offline
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Trafficked victims (adults, minors, domestic, international)  lured into sex services for
promise of money and/or better life
In the US, rape = sexual imposition / gross sexual imposition (N. Dakota)= sexual assault (Colorado)
oThe specific definitions of crime differ in who can be victim or offender (ex. age)
Most offense must be lack of consent from victim and some level of intent by offender BUT some
consensual acts can also be illegal  adultery, incest, bigamy, female genital mutilation, etc.
Consent is lacking from sexual act when:
oAct is result of force, threat, duress
oReasonable person would understand victim didn’t consent with clear or implied statement OR
oVictim is incapable of consenting because they are blow age, mentally disabled, physically helpless,
Offenses vary by type, degree of severity, class of offense, and length of sanction
Prevalence of Sexual Offending and Victimization
Most data on sex offenders relate to those who are either arrested or convicted  just a small %
Funnel system”  means the further researchers are from the point crime was committed, further they
are from knowing the true nature and scope of the sexual offending (i.e., not all reports end in arrest =
hard to tell nature)
“Children who experience sexual abuse often experience multiple types of abuse” (ex. assault,
maltreatment, etc.)
omultiple victimization
Several factors associated with delay of disclosure of victimization reporting
oRelationship between victim and perpetrator
oSeverity of abuse
oLikely consequences of disclosure
oAge, developmental, & cognitive variables
o“grooming” behavior that offenders use to entice children to participate in sexually abusive
Reports beginning to emerge about high rates of sexual abuse of boys in particular institutions and
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