Nahn and colleagues found that judges reported assigning punitive "treatments" to sex offenders to enhance punishments beyond what is recommended by sentencing guidelines Nhan et al. There is no usual age that represents the sex offender — some are young, some are middle-aged, and some are more elderly. Nonetheless, it is an important risk factor for sex offenders. Cognitive Distortions or Pro-Offending Attitudes Those who work in this field generally agree that sex offenders are aware that acts such as rape and child molestation are not only illegal but also harmful to others. This seems to suggest that there may be some sort of relationship between having been maltreated and later engaging in sex offending behaviors, especially when other kinds of vulnerability or risk factors are present. We all know that many people in the general public have difficulties managing certain emotions at times, and many of us can and do act in impulsive ways occasionally. What happens is that sex offenders may tell themselves and even tell others that the behavior is not harmful or that it is less serious or claim that the victim enjoyed the behavior or initiated the sexual contact, Or they may come up with justifications for engaging in sex offending behaviors, such as believing that women deserve to be treated in these ways. Sex offenders are not all alike. Nonetheless, the research and literature does indicate that some of these factors — specifically emotional and behavioral self-regulation difficulties — may be part of what leads someone down the path to sex offending, and they are also associated with reoffending.
As you saw, although we know that females do commit sex offenses, the vast majority of sex offenders that come to the attention of the authorities are male. Nor can any generalizations be made about where they are most apt to fall along the socioeconomic spectrum or social achievement spectrum. Some have been, and some have not. To date, relatively less research considers the pre-incarceration processing of sex offenders, such as the sentencing decision Shields, It also seems logical that cognitive distortions would be related to continued offending. Remember, though, not all sex offenders actually have evidence of these deviant interests, arousal patterns, or preferences. These issues, as well as judges' comments on current systemic and decision-making difficulties, are discussed in terms of the importance of judicial education programs and future research. However, the judges accurately identified important issues related to victims and some myths about offenders. So, although these kinds of problems or features are seen commonly among groups of sex offenders, it does not mean that they are unique to sex offenders. Results indicated that the judges held a variety of beliefs regarding the etiology and dynamics involved in sexual offending which differ from those of most professionals in the field of sexual offender management. Intuitively, it would seem that these kinds of self-statements that condone or support sex offending behaviors would increase the likelihood that someone would engage in this type of behavior. Maddox Abstract Forty-two Midwestern trial judges responded to a survey designed to assess knowledge about sexual offenders; attitudes toward adjudication, sentencing, treatment, and release; and opinions regarding sexual offender-related legislation. Because these types of interests, urges, arousal, or even preferences can be so strong, it is believed that they are a significant driving force behind the initial onset of sexually abusive behaviors for some sex offenders. Common Characteristics of Sex Offenders Researchers have examined multiple factors, traits, and characteristics of large samples of sex offenders, and they have found several issues that seem to be common, at least to broad groups of these offenders. More apt to be the case is that different subtypes, subgroups, or typologies of sex offenders exist. We all know that many people in the general public have difficulties managing certain emotions at times, and many of us can and do act in impulsive ways occasionally. There does seem to be a relatively high prevalence of sexual or physical abuse among samples of sex offenders. Not surprisingly, researchers have attempted to measure these kinds of cognitive distortions among samples of sex offenders, and have found that they are fairly common — and oftentimes to a much greater extent than they are found in other samples of criminals or the general public. Key Examples of Static Risk Factors For example, among other factors, researchers have found the following static factors tend to predict sexual recidivism: It does appear that, within samples of adult sex offenders, older sex offenders recidivate at lower rates than younger adult offenders. And a few of these issues, such as problems establishing and maintaining intimate relationships, are also associated with an increased risk for sexual recidivism. Problems with intimacy, or conflicts in intimate relationships; Increased hostility; Becoming preoccupied with sexual matters or activities; Lifestyle instability and self-regulation difficulties, such as employment problems, impulsivity, and substance abuse; Attitudes and beliefs that tend to support or justify criminal or antisocial behaviors; and Demonstrating non-compliance with supervision or treatment expectations. Characteristics Associated with Sexual Recidivism So that you have a clear understanding of the kinds of factors that are related to recidivism, I will highlight them based on the kinds of factors that are static or unchangeable, and those which have the potential to change over time. Further, although research has suggested that much of the variation in sentencing outcomes is due to individual-level characteristics of those convicted 2 e. And there may also be people in the general public who have some types of deviant interests or preferences — but they may not ever engage in sex offending behaviors.
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