Presentation on theme: "Reasons given by convicted perpetrators of multiple perpetrator rape for their involvement in the offence Teresa da Silva Jessica Woodhams & Leigh Harkins."— Presentation transcript:
Reasons given by convicted perpetrators of multiple perpetrator rape for their involvement in the offence Teresa da Silva Jessica Woodhams & Leigh Harkins
Multiple Perpetrator Rape Horvath and Kelly (2009) defined multiple perpetrator rape (MPR) as any sexual assault which involves two or more perpetrators.
Interviewing multiple perpetrator sexual offenders Previous studies: Only one published study where multiple perpetrator sexual offenders were directly interviewed regarding their offence The group process in gang rape (Blanchard,1959) Interviewed 7 juveniles Two different groups, made up of 3 individuals in one group and 4 in the other Psychological tests including the Rorschach
Interviewing multiple perpetrator sexual offenders Blanchard (1959) Homosexual factors in gang rape (psychodynamic theory) Identification of a leader (degree to which he is able to direct the attention of other members to sexual issues)
RESEARCH QUESTION What reasons do convicted perpetrators of MPR give for their involvement in the offence?
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY A research proposal was submitted to the Portuguese Prison and Parole Services requesting access to sex offenders in youth institutions and prisons. - Conduct Semi-Structured Interviews - Analyse Case Files - Administer Questionnaires
OVERALL SAMPLE Total of 25 interviews with juveniles and adults 14 (audio recorded) 11 (hand written) Offenders age: ranged from 13 to 45 years ( M = 19.28, SD = 8.53) majority (72%, n = 18) were juveniles aged from 13 to 17.
SAMPLE CHARACTERISTICS The interviews conducted were related to 21 different offences. For four of these offences, two different offenders that had participated in the same offence were interviewed. Composition of the groups: Ranged from 2 to 8 ( M = 3.48, SD = 1.71). Victims: Female -16 (76.19%) Male – 5 (23.81%)
SAMPLE CHARACTERISTICS Only one victim in each crime. Victims ages: Ranged from 10 to 23 years In approximately two-thirds (61.90%, n = 13) of the offences the victims were known to at least one of the offenders. Relationship of offenders –All known –Two cases family members (brothers, cousins) –Mix of friends and acquaintances
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEW Background information Information related to what led to the offence Information related to the victim Information related to the assault Information related to the release of the victim Information related to what happened after the assault Information related to leadership
ANALYSIS Thematic Analysis –The guidelines for conducting thematic analysis recommended by Braun and Clarke (2006, 2013) and Guest, MacQueen and Namey (2012) were followed. –An inductive “bottom up” analysis was conducted which was data-driven.
RESULTS Identification of 6 main themes related to reasons given by the participants for being involved in a MPR: (a) Started as something else, (b) Influence of others (direct or indirect), (c) Lack of awareness, (d) Victim blaming, (e) Influence of alcohol and or drugs, (f) Normalized sexual violence.
RESULTS Themes related to group processes and dynamics: –Influence of others (direct or indirect), –Lack of awareness
INFLUENCE OF OTHERS (DIRECT) Direct: The participants had been ordered, told or invited to participate in the MPR by a co-offender: –P15: I ordered him. I said like this: “Do that to him” (pause) and he did it. –P21: So I got there, the other one was doing it, then it is that, get there be faced with that, then they start to influence: “Oh come, come, take, go on, go on” and in that situation, it isn’t, it isn’t, I don’t know, it is things that (pause) the influence is such that you are so into that situation that you go.
INFLUENCE OF OTHERS (INDIRECT) Indirect: Co-offenders had not told them to participate but they chose to do so themselves. In some cases this happened because having seen the others participate the participant either felt aroused or decided that he also wanted to be involved Interviewer: Was there someone who said to do that? P3: No, I think it was because a person seeing someone having relations also becomes motivated.
INFLUENCE OF OTHERS (INDIRECT) Not wanting to look bad in front of the co-offenders and participating to avoid being rejected was also mentioned: –P9: Because I was, I was with (pause) how shall I explain (pause) because I didn’t (pause) want to appear weak, I didn’t want (pause) to, to have hassles. Not to be rejected by them. It was more for that and since I was there in the middle (pause) I also tried to go.
LACK OF AWARENESS Lack of awareness of thoughts and feelings at the time that they participated in the MPR. They had difficulty describing the assault or parts of the assault. They described the MPRs as being confusing or happening very fast: –P13: I don’t know how to explain very well (pause) hmmm (pause) it was all confusing (pause) it was all a bit confusing (pause) hmmm. –P20: I don’t know (pause) pfff (pause) man that (pause) I don’t know really that was kind of (pause) pfff (pause) something very fast really (pause).
LACK OF AWARENESS They were unable to explain why they took part in the assault and were not able to describe what their motivations were at the time. –P22:…even now I ask myself, what came over me I don’t know, I don’t know what came over me, a thing (pause) man a person doesn’t have an explanation to say.
DISCUSSION Group processes in multi-factorial model of multiple perpetrator sexual offending (Harkins & Dixon, 2012) - Social comparison - Social dominance - Conformity - Obedience to authority - Social corroboration - Deindividuation - Group think –O’Sullivan (1991) - Modelling
DISCUSSION The need described by one of the participants not to look bad or weak and not wanting to be rejected, could suggest the presence of group processes such as social comparison and conformity. Participating because of seeing others participate could suggest the presence of modelling. Difficulty in describing their involvement could suggest the presence of group processes such as deindividuation.
CONCLUSION This study provides some empirical evidence for the existance of group processes and dynamics in multiple perpetrator sexual offences.
IMPLICATIONS The results could have practical implications for: –Prevention programmes with young people –Treatment needs
LIMITATIONS All participants convicted and serving sentences.
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