Sexual Offending


Sexual Offences in the UK

  • Sexual Offences Act 2003

  • **** and Consent

  • Penetration without consent of the vagina, mouth or anus by the penis

  • Consent is when the individual agrees by their own choice to the sexual activity being carried out and has the freedom and capacity to make that decision

  • Additional offences may be assault by penetration or sexual assault

  • Age of consent is 16

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Sexual Offences in the UK

  • Penetration, sexual contact and inciting children to engage in sexual activity under the age of 13 is illegal, and when the perpetrator is 18 or older and the victim is under 16 is also illegal

  • Additional offences may be sexual contact with someone age 16 or 17 may be illegal when there is an abuse of trust

  • Child sexual offences within the family

  • Grooming

  • Offences against an individual with a mental  disorder that prevents them from being able to make the decision

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Sexual Offences Outside the UK

  • Europe

  • Laws vary dependant on country

  • Age of consent varies from 14 in Portugal, Italy and Germany, and 18 in Malta, Turkey and Vatican City

  • United States of America

  • Age of consent varies from 16 to 18 dependant on the state

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Statistics of **** and Child Molestation

  • 1 in every 5 women may experience **** or attempted **** during their lifetime according to Macdonald 2000

  • For women aged 15-44 **** and domestic violence are higher risk factors for death and disability than cancer, war and motor vehicle accidents

  • In the USA annual rates of **** have reduced by 80% since 1973 in comparison to a 57% reduction rate for murder according to Pinker 2011

  • 1 in 4 university students have been ****d according to Pinker 2011

  • It is estimated that in the UK annually there are 430,000 to 517,000 sexual offences, with 60,000 to 95,000 of these being ****

  • A  meta-analysis of global rates of child sexual abuse with victims under the age of 18 shows 4 to 19% for boys and 11 to 22% for girls according to Stolenborgh et al 2014

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Common Beliefs about Child Molestation

  • Wortley 2009 examined misconceptions about child sexual abuse and deducted that…

  • “Stranger Danger” misconceptions

  • 56.5% of these perpetrators lived with the victim, 36.9% knew the child and 6.5% were strangers

  • 69% of the offences happened at the child’s home

  • “********** Rings” misconceptions

  • Prior to arrest 8% had talked to other offenders

  • 4% were members of a ********** group

  • “Most child sexual offenders are gay” misconceptions

  • When they were asked their sexual orientation 76% said female only, 8% said male only and 13% said both genders

  • While the victims were 72% female and 28% gay

  • Offenders with male victims have more victims on average

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Child Molester or **********?

  • Paedophilia is a sexual preference for children, of either genders, usually of prepubertal age or early pubertal age according to WHO 1997

  • 40-50% of contact offenders are paedophilic according to Seto 2008

  • When measuring sexual interest, it was traditionally measured through arousal levels, but less direct methods are being developed, by looking at reaction times to stimuli to discover whether they are distracted by the stimuli that they find sexually appealing (O Ciardha and Gormley 2012)

  • Child molestation includes anyone who commits a contact sexual offence against a child, whether they have paedophilic intent or not

  • Divided into incest / interfamilial which shows less evidence of paedophilia with lower re offence rates

  • Divided into unrelated / extra familial which shows greater sexual interest in male children with greater risk of reoffending

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Female Child Molesters and Paedophiles

  • Female offenders are believed to be responsible for 4 to 5 % of all sexual offence, with only 1% being in the prison population

  • Many will be a co-offender to a male

  • Social and cultural views of women see female abuse as less harmful

  • Female abuse is less likely to be reported

  • Victims are less likely to report

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Child ***********

  • Internet has made it easy to access child ***********

  • Child *********** offenders show a greater paedophilic arousal than contact offenders according to Seto et al 2006

  • Every 1 in 8 will have an officially recorded contact offence according to Seto et al 2011

  • 50% will self-report a contact offence

  • Reoffending rates are lower

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**** Stereotypes

  • Commonly rapists are stereotyped as strangers

  • However **** is often carried out within marriages, by acquaintances, on dates, by multiple perpetrators (fraternities, gangs, war ****) and within prisons

  • In the US Justice Department it is estimated than yearly there are 216,000 victims of sexual assault in prisons

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Ward and Beech Integrated Theory of Sexual Offendi

  • Neuropsychological functioning

  • Clinical symptoms / State factors

  • Sexual offending

  • Maintenance / escalation

  • Ecological Niche          Social Learning

  • Brain Development          Biological Functioning

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Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending - Biology

  • Biology

  • Genetics

  • Evolution

  • Recent research directs us to there being pre-natal influences on sexual offending, particularly paedophilia

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Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending - Ecological

  • Ecological

  • Social context of offender

  • Socio-cultural environment

  • Personal circumstances

  • Physical violence

  • According to Glasser et al 2001 35% of male abusers had been victims in the past and 11% of male non-abusers had been victims

  • Cultural norms facilitate sexual violence, **** myth acceptance

  • Group processes, multiple perpetrator ****, **** in war

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Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending - Neuropsych

  • Neuropsychological functioning

  • Motivation / emotion

  • Perception / memory

  • Action selection and control

  • Traits

  • Still requires further investigation

  • However it is seen as trait factors that were sexually offending is a predisposition to the individual

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Integrated Theory of Sexual Offending – Clinical S

  • State / risk factors that you may see clinically

  • Symptoms that you can observe in an offender

  • Emotional problems when regulating behaviour / inability to self-regulate

  • Social difficulties, need for intimacy and/or control

  • Deviant arousal

  • Offence – supportive cognitions

  • O Ciardha and Ward 2013

  • Beliefs that effect how an offender sees the world

  • Beliefs about themselves, the victims and the world

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Recidivism vs Desistence

  • Within 31,216 offenders looked at over an overage of 5 to 6 years, Hanson and Morton Bourgon discovered that sexual recidivism rates were at 13.7%, violent nonsexual recidivism rates were at 14% and any other recidivism was at 36.9%

  • Reoffenders within sexual violence crimes are low and recidivism is more likely to occur within non sexual related crimes

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Recidivism vs Desistence

  • Desistance is slowing down, or completely cutting out offending behaviour

  • Natural desistance suggests that crime is a young man’s game

  • Cognitive transformation suggests that recreating an offenders identity through gradual or sudden change encourages desistance

  • Informal social control is where the offender begins to enter a stage of stability, looking towards a future including marriage and employment

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Treatment of Sexual Offenders

  • Risk Needs Responsivity (Andrews and Bonta)

  • Good lives ward and colleagues provide group treatments, broadly cognitive behavioural approaches to treatment

  • Focuses on the needs of the group not the individual

  • Works with a positive psychology ethos

  • Studies by Marshall et al 2013 show that treatment can reduces recidivism rates by approx. 27% to 43%

  • Treatment mainly works when targeting criminogenic needs, by being responsive, using procedures shown to be effective towards specific targets and when it is based around the strengths of the individual being treated

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