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Dr Ann Henry Tuesday 12th November 2013

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1 Dr Ann Henry Tuesday 12th November 2013
Forensic & Applied Cognitive Psychology Sexual Offending: Paedophiles & Child Molesters Dr Ann Henry Tuesday 12th November 2013

2 Sexual Offending Media coverage – recent Jimmy Saville case & other cases of paedophilia/ child sexual abuse/ abusers Extreme hostility & negative stigma towards paedophiles Recidivism comparatively low Megan’s law (USA) Megan abducted & murdered in 1994 Sarah’s Law (UK) abducted & murdered in 2000. its-naming-of-sex-offenders html Controversial & inconclusive research on role of pornography & sexual offending Internet paedophiles (discussed fully in week 8 lecture)

3 Media images of Jimmy Saville story

4 Sexual Offending Classifications of child molesters (Groth & Birnbaum, 1978) Fixated Offenders Developmentally fixated on a permanent or temporary basis. Sexual interest in children rather than adults.

5 Sexual Offending Regressed Offenders
Men 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

6 Sexual Offending: Definitions
Paedophilia (Pedophilia in 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 young postpubescent children. Ephebophilia: denotes interest in children in mid-to-late adolescent range. Seto, 2009 (cited in Miller, 2013) argues that Hebephilia & Ephebophilia maybe distinct from Pedophilia. DSM-V – Paedophilia under ‘Paraphilic Disorders’.

7 Sexual Offending: Paedophilic offender typologies
Holmes & Holmes (1996) extended earlier work a) Situational child molester – four sub-types b) Preferential child molester – three subtypes

8 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 unavailable Further divided into four sub-types:

9 a) Situational child molester: Regressed pedophile
Usually molest female children in response to some ego- threatening situation. Can engage in sex with adults – but likely to regard child as ‘pseudoadult’ –

10 a) Situational child molester: Morally indiscriminate pedophile
Has sex with adults, but may forcefully or coercively abuse children as a way of heightening his excitement Enjoys controlling helpless victims Fantasises using bondage-related pornography

11 a) Situational child molester: Sexually indiscriminate pedophile
No particular preference for children, but abuses them – often his own children or stepchildren Part of a more generally sexually omnivorous pattern involving a wide variety of common & unusual sexual practices and partners

12 a) Situational child molester: 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

13 b) Preferential child molester
Prefers children to adults as sexual objects – divided into two sub-types Seductive molester Fixated molester Sadistic pedophile

14 b) Preferential child molester: seductive molester
Courts & grooms his victims with gifts & attention Likely to rationalise that he and child have special relationship based on mutual affection He may concurrently molest several children Least likely of three sub-types to use violence

15 b) Preferential child molester: Fixated molester
Fixated at a primitive stage of psychosexual development Finds children attractive because he is psychologically a child himself – often appearing socially immature and socially inept Not likely to physically harm victims Slowly wins victims over by gradual process of seduction & physical affection Intimacy with the children is as important as actual sex

16 b) Preferential child molester: Sadistic pedophile
This is the most violent type of molester Erotic gratification is based on fusion of sexual arousal & sadistic aggression Premeditated & ritualized- moves from place to place Typically prefers young boys – will stalk them & abduct them Enjoys torturing, sexually assaulting & mutilating the children. Gains max pleasure from fear, pain & horror of victims Child often dies, but sometimes lives with disfigurement or permanent disability Like a serial killer or serial killer with children as victims

17 Sexual Offending How common is Paedophilia?
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 circumference phallometry (aka plethysmography) conflicting findings (Hall et al, 1995) Youthful offenders Graves et al (1996) in USA found that up to half of child sexual abuse carried out by persons under age of 21

18 Sexual Offending: Theories of Paedophilia
Preconditions model Psychotherapeutic/ cognitive model Sexualisation model Pathways model

19 Sexual Offending Preconditions model of child molestation
Araji & 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)

20 Sexual Offending Psychotherapeutic/ cognitive model Suggests 4 steps
1) 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 fantasy 4) Denial – denying the consequences of their actions

21 Sexual Offending Sexualisation model
Howitt (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 adult Controversial theory as women are more likely to be victims of childhood sexual, but less likely to be sexual offenders

22 Sexual Offending Pathways model (Ward & Siegert, 2002)
Multi-factorial model – combining elements of previous models/ theories Distal & Proximal factors Distal factors (predispositions e.g. genetic/ childhood development) Proximal factors (that might trigger predispositions e.g. environment, negative mood state)

23 Pathways Model 4 psychological mechanisms
1) Intimacy & social skills deficits 2) Deviant sexual scripts 3) Emotional dysregulation 4) Cognitive distortions

24 Cognitive Distortions
Children as sexual objects Entitlement- to have their sexual needs met Dangerous world – children seen as reliable & trusting & gives offender comfort against danger Uncontrollable – claims not to be on control of own actions & blames outside factors e.g. drugs/ alcohol Nature of Harm – believes not all sexual activity is harmful & children can benefit from sexual activity with adults

25 Female child sex offenders (FCSOs)
Strickland (2008) true figure of FCSOs is unknown In USA – average age of FCSOs 26-36, but can also be younger & much older women Finkelhor et al (1990) 17% of male victims reported being abused as a child by women & 1% of female victims FCOSs 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-perpetrator Tend to use less physical force than men – rely more on seduction or coercion Less likely to use drugs or alcohol at time of offence

26 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 care Frequently suffered extreme emotional, verbal, physical & sexual abuse within their own families of origin (Gannon & Rose, 2008)

27 Female child sex offenders (FCSOs):Psychological traits & Disorders
Emotional immaturity & dependency Low self-esteem Physical/ psychological abuse as children Domestic violence Social isolation & impaired intimacy Sexual dysfunction Deficient or confused interpersonal boundaries Suppressed needs & repressed anger Substance abuse View themselves as victims & powerless to change their lives

28 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)

29 Female child sex offenders (FCSOs): Typologies
Predisposed (intergenerational) FSO Teacher/ Lover FCSO Male-coerced FCSO Psychologically disturbed FCSO Heterosexual nurturer Non-criminal heterosexual offender Homosexual criminal offender Female Sexual predator Young adult child exploiter Aggressive homosexual offender

30 Female child sex offenders (FCSOs): typologies summarised
1) True Sexual predators of young adolescent boys 2) A romantic relationship with a young teenage boy to compensate for unmet needs for intimacy and approval 3) Career criminals who exploit children & adolescents for profit 4) Mentally disordered offenders 5) Female sex offender under the influence or coercion of a male partner

31 Sexual Offending Internet Paedophile offending
Controversial topic – whether linked to contact paedophilia or not Robbins & 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 rooms Sexual fantasy vs contact sexual acts with children

32 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), 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, Middleton, D. Elliott, I.A., Mandeville-Norden, R. & Beech, A,R, (2006). An investigation into the applicability of the Ward & Siegert pathways model of child sexual abuse with internet offenders, Psychology, Crime & Law, 12 (6) Miller, L. (2013). Sexual offenses against children: patterns & motives. Aggression & Violent Behavior, 18, Murphy, W.D. & McGrath, R. (2008). Best Practices in Sex Offender Treatment, Prison Service Journal, 178, 3-9. Mark E. Olver, Stephen C.P. Wong (2013) Treatment programs for high risk sexual offenders: Program and offender characteristics, attrition, treatment change and recidivism. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18, 579–591 Ward, T. & Brown, M. (2004). The Good Lives Model & conceptual issues in offender rehabilitation. Psychology, Crime & Law, 10 (3),

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