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Module E – Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers Primarily for Seminary Formation Faculty and Administrators and Dioceses E-1.

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Presentation on theme: "Module E – Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers Primarily for Seminary Formation Faculty and Administrators and Dioceses E-1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Module E – Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers Primarily for Seminary Formation Faculty and Administrators and Dioceses E-1

2 Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers in General and Clergy Sexual Abusers in Particular E-2

3 Main Sources of Data Reports presented to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops by the John Jay College Research Team, The City University of New York* The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, , March, 2011 The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States, , February 2004 E-3 * The two reports are based on data supplied by 97 percent of U.S. archdioceses and dioceses on all clergy accused of sexual abuse of minors

4 The distinction between fixated and regressed sexual offending exists on a continuum and is not simply a dichotomous distinction E-4 Two issues that differentiate the types: The degree to which deviant sexual behavior is entrenched The basis of the psychological needs that lead to abuse

5 Fixated Offenders, 1: Definition From adolescence onward, fixated offenders have persistent, continual, and compulsive attraction exclusively to children They are usually diagnosed with pedophilia, (recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies of at least six months in duration involving prepubescent children), or show characteristics of ephebophilia, which is attraction to adolescents E-5

6 Fixated Offenders, 2: Characteristics Fixated offenders are not fully psychosexually developed and show emotional characteristics of a child They do not develop past the point where they find children attractive and desirable They are often unable to attain any degree of psychosexual maturity, and during adulthood, have virtually no age-appropriate sexual relationship E-6

7 Fixated Offenders, 3: Behaviors Fixated offenders develop relationships with vulnerable children (in an emotional or situational sense) They typically recruit, groom, and maintain children for a continuing sexual relationship They delude themselves into believing they have established a caring, supportive role with the child and that the child is able to derive pleasure and educational experience from the interaction Offenses are premeditated and do not stem from stressors E-7

8 Fixated Offenders, 4: Primary Victim Preference Fixated offenders are more likely to choose victims who are extra familial They generally choose prepubescent females and pubescent or adolescent males They typically recruit vulnerable children E-8 Typically, fixated offenders account for 5 to 10% of child sexual abuse

9 Fixated Offenders, 5: Dangers Fixated offenders are able to persist in offending for a long period They have more offenses because they employ effective grooming techniques that keep victims from reporting They have the highest rate of recidivism and are likely to commit the most offenses They should be considered the highest risk to the community E-9

10 Regressed Offenders, 1: Definition Regressed offenders often begin offending in adulthood Their offenses are triggered by stressors in the environment, which undermine self-esteem and confidence, and from disordered childhood relationships They are not necessarily motivated by sexual needs alone E-10 Some 90 to 95% of child sexual abusers do not have a diagnosis of pedophilia and fit within a regressed typology

11 Regressed Offenders, 2: Stressors Stressors can be situational, such as unemployment, marital problems and substance abuse They can be related to negative affective states such as loneliness, isolation, or anxiety Stressors can lead to poor self-confidence and low self-esteem, thereby undermining the abusers’ confidence in themselves as men E-11

12 Regressed Offenders, 3: Behaviors In sex-pressure offenses, regressed offenders either entice or entrap the victim In the pursuit of sexual gratification, they would prefer the victims cooperate, but should they resist the offender usually will not follow through with the sexually abusive behavior E-12

13 Regressed Offenders, 4: Behaviors (cont.) In sex-forced offenses, regressed offenders use either intimidation or physical aggression They may be drawn to a particular victim primarily because the victim is easily overpowered and may present less resistance than an adult They are using the victim purely as a means of sexual release They are known as “sadistic” offenders because they must inflict pain to achieve sexual gratification – this is the rarest type of offender E-13

14 RegressedOffenders have poor coping skills, target victims who are easily accessible, abuse children as a substitute for adult relationships Morally IndiscriminateOffenders do not prefer children over adults and tend to use children (or anyone accessible) for their own interest (sexual and otherwise) Sexually IndiscriminateOffenders are mainly interested in sexual experimentation, and abuse children out of boredom InadequateOffenders are social misfits who are insecure, have low self-esteem, and see relationships with children as their only sexual outlet E-14 Type of Offender Situational offenders Characteristics of Offenders (FBI)

15 FBI Typologies: Preferential Offenders, 2 Seductive Offenders “court” children and give them much affection, love, gifts, and enticements in order to carry on a “relationship” Fixated Offenders have poor psychosexual development, desire affection from children, and are compulsively attracted to children Sadistic Offenders are aggressive, sexually excited by violence, target stranger victims, and are extremely dangerous E-15 Type of Offender Preferential offenders Characteristics of Offenders (FBI)

16 One review of literature maintained that clergy offenders displayed shyness, loneliness, and passivity MMPI scores illustrated the presence of depression, authority concerns, and addiction problems Rorschach results indicated greater affect constriction than normal Offending clergy exhibited the presence of over- controlled hostility more than non-offending clergy E-16 Some researchers have concluded that clergy offenders are unique compared to offenders within the general population

17 Personality Characteristics of Clergy Offenders, 2 One of the specific clergy studies found that offenders came from backgrounds Characterized by rigidity and dysfunction with themes of abuse Had little insight into these areas Had insufficient training in the issue of transference/counter transference Had virtually no training or education concerning sexual abuse, domestic violence, addictive disease, or healthy professional boundaries, and Failed to appreciate how their history of trauma affected their professional life E-17

18 Summary of Typologies of Child Sexual Abusers The Fixated Typology Regressed Typology FBI Typologies of Situational Offenders FBI Typologies of Preferential Offenders Personality Characteristics of Clergy Offenders E-18

19 Discussion Questions What are the major differences between fixated and regressed sexual offenders? What differentiates situational from preferential offenders? How do clergy sex offenders differ from the general population of sex offenders? What risk factors particular to clergy might be observed in potential clergy sex offenders? What are the essential ingredients of educational programs that can help prevent sexual abuse? Link to USCCB – action/child-and-youth-protection/charter.cfmhttp://www.usccb.org/issues-and- action/child-and-youth-protection/charter.cfm E-19

20 Prepared by: Sister Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas Technical Associate: Catherine Slight Consultants: Dr. Karen Terry and Margaret Smith, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, authors of major studies on sexual abuse for the USCCB; Dr. Mary Gautier, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate E-20


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