Sexual Offender Laws And The Labeling Theory

1812 words - 7 pages

Many people might think that sex offenders are repugnant to society and that people who commit sex crimes should be removed from our society. The reality is that many people do not know that most people who commit sex offenses are normal people. In most cases, they are hardworking people who got caught doing something our society ‘thinks’ is wrong and get labelled sex offenders. This is where Labeling Theory comes into places, because it focus on social and institutional responses to an individual. The book PERVERTS and PREDATORS: The Making of Sexual Offending Laws talks about the emerging of Perverts and Predators, and which types of people society labels “Pervert and Predators.”
This essay will discuss the many different types of sex offenses that are considering a crime. It will then talk about some of the historical sexual offenders laws that have shaped society as a whole. It will also define the role religion plays on the emergence of new Sex offender’s laws that we have in contemporary societies. And finally talk about the emergence of some currents sex offenses laws we have in our nation.
Before moving far we must understand the meaning of a pervert and a predator. According to the online dictionary the term sexual predator is used to describe a “person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically ‘predatory’ manner.” A pervert is defined as “a person whose sexual behavior is regarded as abnormal and unacceptable.”
“Sex offending is a somewhat unique crime, as it directly deals with one of society’s most taboo topics-sex and sexuality” ( Zilney & Zilney, 2009, p. iii).
Many of us people had participated in some type of sexual activity that it is illegal and it is consider a crime, at some point our life: but the differences between us and sex offenders is that we have not been caught. Things like “Urinating in public, exposing your breast at a party or on the street while intoxicated, dating someone five or six years our junior or senior, staring at someone while they get changed in a change room, having oral sex, receiving sexual aids via mail order,” (Zilney & Zilney, 2009, p. 61) all this are or have been defined as sexually based crimes.
“The United States has experimented with the clinical model, which considers sex offenses a mental health issue requiring medical intervention; the justice model, which regards sex offenders as deviants who should be punished; and the community safety model, which classifies sex offenders as evil predators who should be indefinitely confined” (Zilney & Zilney, 2009, p. 62).
Historical roots of United States sex offender laws are found in the 1900s in the United Kingdoms. Iit included the introduction of dangerous offender legislation that initially applied predominantly to property offenses and allowed for indeterminate imprisonment for repeat offenders (Zilney & Zilney...

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