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Lecture 3 Sexual Offending (Paedophiles Child Molesters) 2013

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Forensic & Applied Cognitive PsychologySexual Offending: Paedophiles & Child Molesters
Dr Ann HenryTuesday 12thNovember 2013
Sexual Offending
Media coverage – recent Jimmy Saville case & other cases of paedophilia/ child sexual abuse/ abusersExtreme hostility & negative stigma towards paedophilesRecidivism comparatively lowMegan’s law (USA) Megan abducted & murdered in 1994Sarah’s Law (UK) abducted & murdered in 2000. & inconclusive research on role of pornography & sexual offendingInternet paedophiles (discussed fully in week 8 lecture)
Media images of JimmySavillestory
Sexual Offending
Classifications of child molesters(Groth & Birnbaum, 1978)Fixated OffendersDevelopmentally fixated on a permanent or temporary basis. Sexual interest in children rather than adults.
Sexual Offending
RegressedOffendersMen matured in their sexuality but return to an earlier level of psychosexual development.Psychosexual history shows primary interest in peer aged or adult individuals, rather than younger ones
SexualOffending: Definitions
Paedophilia (Pedophiliain US):Persistent sexual interest in pre-pubescent children as reflected by one’s sexual fantasies, urges, thoughts, arousal patterns or behaviour.Hebephilia: refers to a sexual interest in youngpostpubescentchildren.Ephebophilia: denotes interest in children in mid-to-late adolescent range.Seto, 2009 (cited in Miller, 2013) argues thatHebephilia&Ephebophiliamaybe distinct fromPedophilia.DSM-V – Paedophilia under ‘ParaphilicDisorders’.
SexualOffending:Paedophilic offender typologies
Holmes & Holmes (1996) extended earlier worka) Situational child molester – four sub-typesb) Preferential child molester – three subtypes
a) Situational child molester
Does not have preferential interest in children per se – but will molest them as targets of opportunity if other outlets are unavailableFurther divided into four sub-types:
a) Situationalchildmolester: Regressedpedophile
Usually molestfemale children in response to some ego-threatening situation.Canengage in sex withadults – but likelyto regard child as ‘pseudoadult’ –
a) Situationalchildmolester: Morally indiscriminatepedophile
Has sex with adults, but may forcefully or coercively abuse children as a way of heightening his excitementEnjoys controlling helpless victimsFantasises using bondage-related pornography
a) Situationalchildmolester: Sexually indiscriminatepedophile
No particular preference for children, but abuses them – often his own children or stepchildrenPart of a more generally sexually omnivorous pattern involving a wide variety of common & unusual sexual practices and partners
a) Situationalchildmolester:naive/ inadequate child molester
Suffers from some form of brain syndrome, intellectual deficiency or mental disorder that makes him unable to understand the wrongfulness of his actions and/or control his impulses.Abuse children because he is regarded as too weird or undesirable by peers to obtain sex through usual social channels
b) Preferential child molester
Prefers children to adults as sexual objects – divided into two sub-typesSeductive molesterFixated molesterSadisticpedophile
b) Preferential childmolester: seductive molester
Courts & grooms his victims with gifts & attentionLikely to rationalise that he and child have special relationship based on mutual affectionHe may concurrently molest several childrenLeast likely of three sub-types to use violence
b) Preferential childmolester: Fixated molester
Fixated at a primitive stage of psychosexual developmentFinds children attractive because he is psychologically a child himself – often appearing socially immature and socially ineptNot likely to physically harm victimsSlowly wins victims over by gradual process of seduction & physical affectionIntimacy with the children is as important as actual sex
b) Preferential childmolester: Sadisticpedophile
This is the most violent type of molesterErotic gratification is based on fusion of sexual arousal & sadistic aggressionPremeditated & ritualized- moves from place to placeTypically prefers young boys – will stalk them & abduct themEnjoys torturing, sexually assaulting & mutilating the children.Gains max pleasure from fear, pain & horror of victimsChild often dies, but sometimes lives with disfigurement or permanent disabilityLike a serial killer or serial killer with children as victims
How common isPaedophilia?Unclear as depends on definition of sexual abuse used e.g. indecent assault, gross indecency, buggery, intercourse, rape.Non-paedophile sexual arousal – using volume or circumferencephallometry(akaplethysmography) conflicting findings (Hall et al, 1995)Youthful offendersGraves et al (1996) in USA found that up to half of child sexual abuse carried out by persons under age of 21
Sexual Offending:Theoriesof Paedophilia
Preconditions modelPsychotherapeutic/ cognitive modelSexualisation modelPathways model
Preconditionsmodel of child molestationAraji & Finkelhor (1985)1) Emotional congruence with children (lack self-esteem, psychosocially immature, may have need to dominate)2) Social arousal by children (child pornography, hormonal abnormalities/ imbalances)3) Blockages preventing adult contact (lack effective social skills, problems relating to adult females, repressive sexual socialisation in childhood)4) Disinhibition of norms against adult/child sex (offenders may be senile, alcohol may decrease inhibitions, incest-tolerant subculture)
Psychotherapeutic/ cognitivemodelSuggests 4 steps1) Cognitive distortions/ distorted thinking e.g. having sex with a child is a good way of an adult teaching a child about sex. Beliefs about sexual nature of children.2) Grooming (bribes of sweets, other treats, trips out, threats of violence)3) Planning through fantasy4) Denial – denying the consequences of their actions
SexualisationmodelHowitt (1995) Experience of sexual abuse in childhood is a developmental process which can lead to paedophilia.Early sexual abuse – especially if extreme or repeated - possible sexual experience with peers- adolescent paedophile career – paedophile adultControversial theory as women are more likely to be victims of childhood sexual, but less likely to be sexual offenders
Pathwaysmodel(Ward & Siegert, 2002)Multi-factorial model – combining elements of previous models/ theoriesDistal & Proximal factorsDistal factors (predispositions e.g. genetic/ childhood development)Proximal factors (that might trigger predispositions e.g. environment, negative mood state)
Pathways Model
4 psychological mechanisms1) Intimacy & social skills deficits2) Deviant sexual scripts3) Emotional dysregulation4) Cognitive distortions
Cognitive Distortions
Children as sexual objectsEntitlement- to have their sexual needs metDangerous world– children seen as reliable & trusting & gives offender comfort against dangerUncontrollable– claims not to be on control of own actions & blames outside factors e.g. drugs/ alcoholNature of Harm– believes not all sexual activity is harmful & children can benefit from sexual activity with adults
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs)
Strickland (2008) true figure of FCSOs is unknownIn USA – average age of FCSOs 26-36, but can also be younger & much older womenFinkelhoret al (1990) 17% of male victims reported being abused as a child by women & 1% of female victimsFCOSs may choose victims of convenience of opportunity e.g. may be family caregivers or take jobs working with children as teachers/ child care workers etc.Usually known to their victims & more likely to commit offences with male co-perpetratorTend to use less physical force than men – rely more on seduction or coercionLess likely to use drugs or alcohol at time of offence
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs): Developmental Background
Tend to come from more deprived backgrounds than non-sexual female offenders.Often subjected to poor living conditions, food deprivation & lack of medical careFrequently suffered extreme emotional, verbal, physical & sexual abuse within their own families of origin(Gannon & Rose, 2008)
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs):Psychological traits & Disorders
Emotional immaturity & dependencyLow self-esteemPhysical/ psychological abuse as childrenDomestic violenceSocial isolation & impaired intimacySexual dysfunctionDeficient or confused interpersonal boundariesSuppressed needs & repressed angerSubstance abuseView themselves as victims & powerless to change their lives
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs):Psychological traits & Disorders
Factors listed on previous slide might result in a stunting effect of normal developmental pathways needed to build appropriate coping and social skills, healthy personality organisation, communication skills, social relationships, and feelings of self-worth.Borderline and paranoid personality characterise many FCSOs – little evidence for psychopathy or anti-social personality disorders (which are common with male sex offenders)
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs): Typologies
Predisposed (intergenerational) FSOTeacher/ Lover FCSOMale-coerced FCSOPsychologically disturbed FCSOHeterosexual nurturerNon-criminal heterosexual offenderHomosexual criminal offenderFemale Sexual predatorYoung adult child exploiterAggressive homosexual offender
Female child sex offenders (FCSOs): typologies summarised
1) True Sexual predators of young adolescent boys2) A romantic relationship with a young teenage boy to compensate for unmet needs for intimacy and approval3) Career criminals who exploit children & adolescents for profit4) Mentally disordered offenders5) Female sex offender under the influence or coercion of a male partner
Sexual Offending
InternetPaedophile offendingControversial topic – whether linked to contact paedophilia or notRobbins & Darlington (2003) 27,000 people in the world go onto child pornography sites every day. A million images of child sexual abuse in circulation.Internet chat roomsSexual fantasy vs contact sexual acts with children
Useful references
Craissati, J.,Falla, S. ,McClurg, G & Beech, A. (2002). Risk reconviction rates & pro-offending attitudes for child molesters in a complete geographical area of London,The Journal of Sexual Aggression,8(11),22-38.Davidson, J (2006). Victims speak: comparing child sexual abusers & child victims accounts, perceptions & interpretations of sexual abuse.An international journal of evidence-based research, policy, & practice. 1, 159-174.Middleton, D. Elliott, I.A., Mandeville-Norden, R. & Beech, A,R, (2006). An investigation into the applicability of the Ward &Siegertpathways model of child sexual abuse with internet offenders,Psychology, Crime & Law,12(6) 589-603.Miller, L. (2013). Sexual offenses against children: patterns & motives.Aggression & ViolentBehavior,18,506-519.Murphy,W.D. & McGrath, R. (2008). BestPractices in Sex OffenderTreatment,Prison Service Journal,178,3-9.Mark E.Olver, Stephen C.P. Wong (2013)Treatmentprograms for high risk sexual offenders: Program and offender characteristics, attrition, treatment change andrecidivism.Aggression and ViolentBehavior, 18,579–591Ward, T. & Brown, M. (2004). The Good Lives Model & conceptual issues in offender rehabilitation.Psychology, Crime & Law,10(3),243-257.





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Lecture 3 Sexual Offending (Paedophiles Child Molesters) 2013