This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Theories Of Criminal Behavior Essay

2499 words - 10 pages

In this essay, two theories specifically focusing on sexual offending against children are compared and critical evaluated. Finkelhor’s (1984) Precondition model integrates four underlying factors that might explain the occurrence of child sexual abuse and categorizes them into four preconditions: motivation to offend, overcoming internal inhibitors, overcoming external inhibitors and overcoming child’s resistance that occur in a temporal sequence where each is necessary for the other to develop. The Precondition model provides a framework for assessment of child molesters but is criticized for a lack of aetiological explanations and for paying to little attention to cognitive factors. Ward’s (2003) Pathways model suggest that clinical phenomena evident among child sex offenders are generated by four distinct and interacting mechanisms: intimacy and social skills deficits, distorted sexual scripts, emotional dysregulation and cognitive distortions where each mechanism generates a specific offence pathway. Both theories have been influential in providing treatment goals and informing clinical assessment of child sexual abusers.

Finkelhor´s precondition model (1984) is widely recognized in the literature as a groundbreaking theory in the fact that it represents the first attempt at incorporating multi-factorial explanations to account for sexual offending against children (Howell, 1994; Marshal, 1996; Ward & Hudson, 1998). Finkelhor (1984) argues that child molestation is a complex phenomena caused by a variety of psychological, sociological and cultural factors. In order to explain differences within perpetrators as well as situational aspects of the offence, Finkelhor (1984) proposes four preconditions that need to bee met in a temporal sequence before sexual abuse can occur: (a) motivation to sexually abuse; (b) overcoming internal inhibitors; (c) overcoming external inhibitors and; (c) overcoming the resistance of the child. The first two preconditions are aetilogical theories that deal with psychological function of offenders whilst the latter two preconditions deal with situational aspects of the offence and are as such more akin to an offence process model (Ward 2002).

In the first precondition, Finkelhor (1984) suggests that motivation to abuse consists of three components: emotional congruence, sexual arousal and blockage. These factors are not in themselves preconditions but they can work together or independently as a motive to sexually abuse a child.
Emotional congruence implies that the offenders emotional and needs correspond to the characteristics of a child. That is, sex with children is emotionally satisfying for the offender. Here, Finkelhor (1984) suggests that men are socialized to behave in a dominant and powerful manner in sexual relationships, and implies that characteristics of children (small, young, week) act as a cue for the availability of them as sexual partners (Ward, Polascheck & Beech, 2006). In support of...

Find Another Essay On Theories of Criminal Behavior

Psychoanalytic and Phenomenological Explanations of Persistent Antisocial Criminal Behavior

2209 words - 9 pages explain such behavior through various theories, the causes of criminal activity remain to be satisfactorily clarified. Essentially, antisocial criminal activity has two aspects to it. Antisocial behavior is that in which one shuns society and others, while criminal activity is the act of performing a deed that violates an established law of the community. Obviously, such actions have serious consequences, which can range from community service

What causes criminal behavior Essay

1197 words - 5 pages Criminologists studied criminal behavior for many years. In fact, criminologists have come up with many different answers and theories as to why individual actually commits crimes. Even though there are many differences each answer and theory helps assists the legal system with deterring such criminal activity. One of the most costly forms of crime; white collar, shows many distinct characteristics that can be placed in a criminal

Understanding Criminals

967 words - 4 pages like these everyday. Early philosophers and scientists looked carefully and dug deep into the Criminal Justice System and the behavior of criminals using theories to explain criminal behavior. With these theories they were able to come up two distinctive schools (Classical and Positive) that explained different views on why people decided to commit crimes. We all use theories in our everyday life. We make assumptions about certain things that in

The Deferential Association Theory of Crime

1746 words - 7 pages criminal behavior must have come into contact with this same behavior, but fails to explain exactly how an individual comes into contact with people exhibiting criminal behavior. The social learning theory has attempted to bring in the social structure theories in an effort to address some of the initial issues with the differential association theory. Although, in my opinion these critiques of the theory are not valid. For a theory to be sufficient

Victimization Theories

1395 words - 6 pages high-risk activities which make them suitable targets for crime. The Deviant place theory discusses the fact that crime flourishes in certain places and the odds of victimization increase when people live in the high-crime areas. A person's lifestyle increases the exposure to criminal victimization as well as their behavior. These theories state that "crime is not a random occurrence but rather a function of the victim's lifestyle. High-risk

What Causes Delinquent Behavior

929 words - 4 pages their theories trying to explained why people engaged in delinquent behavior. Through studying these theories, we are able to analyze and critique the way they viewed criminals and how we can shape our Criminal Justice Systems to become more affective in dealing with criminals and their behavior. Another important note that we all have to understand is that no one theory will be able to take complete control over one or more views, because of this theories should be integrated together to form new and larger approaches to the problem that is before us today.

The Rational Choice Theory versus The Trait Theory on the Issue of the Reduction or Control of Crime

819 words - 3 pages Theoretical schools have long been used in the study of criminal behavior and as guidelines for determining ways to effectively reduce crimes. Two popular theories used in today's society are the Rational Choice Theory and the Trait Theory. Some argue that the Choice Theory is a more effective way of reducing and controlling crime while others argue in favor of the Trait Theory. After researching both theories, I have come to the conclusion that

Societal Level Explanations of Crime

587 words - 2 pages The idea of a crime is highly relative or dependent. Scientific methods are used by criminologists to study the nature, extent, cause and control of criminal behavior. The concept of the study of crime emerged in the 19th century nevertheless the concepts of crimes have altered with times due to the emergence of modern laws. The two theories in question in this paper are structural consensus theories of crime and structural conflict theories of

Discussion of Ciminological Theories: Trait Theory & Developmental Theory

2242 words - 9 pages answer of that. As is typical with most sciences, however, there is no one, conclusive answer to all or any of these questions. The field of criminology is loaded with a variety of theories, each with a probability of being true, but none is believed to be the standalone explanation of the total science of the study of criminal behavior. When delving into the various theories under the umbrella of criminology, one must research and gain

Insight Into Criminal Behavior

2063 words - 8 pages as a whole. Psychoanalytic theories deal with conflicts inside the person that produces criminal behavior. This orientation addresses the moral sense that leads individual's choices. Another major psychoanalytical theory of criminal behavior attributes criminal and asocial tendencies with failure to develop psychologically in early childhood. Causation of crime and delinquency can be understood through two major schools of criminological theory

Crime and Violence: Influence of Socioeconomic Status

644 words - 3 pages labels. They even started arguments by making remarks to bygoers on the street, only reiterating the labels society had given them. There are many theories about why crime exist in society. One of the most prominent theories, is the conflict theory. Conflict theorist, believe that crime is caused by a person’s socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status determine the visibility of a person’s criminal behavior. In the case of the Saints and the Roughnecks, though the Saints were more reckless and dangerous. The Roughnecks were perceived by society as criminals because of their ability to been seen.

Similar Essays

Exploring Theories Of Criminal Behavior Essay

639 words - 3 pages I believe that Reiss’s and Nye’s Theories of Internal and External controls are one of the better theories of why there is crime in America. Albert J Reiss provided one of the earliest applications of this concept to criminology by attributing the cause of delinquency is the failure of “personal” and “social” controls. Personal controls are internalized, whereas social controls operate through the external application of legal and informal

Theory Of Criminal Behavior Essay

949 words - 4 pages theory related to the explanation of criminal behaviors must logically and clearly give details on the factors which relate to crime. 3.0 Relevance of studies related to the theory of criminal behavior There is a lot of importance linked to the study of theories relating to criminal behavior in relation to criminology, which is the body of knowledge that classifies crime as a social phenomenon. Thus the studies carried out in relation to the

Strain Theories Of Criminal Behaviour Essay

1997 words - 8 pages Strain theories of criminal behaviour have been amongst the most important and influential in the field of criminology. Taking a societal approach, strain theories have sought to explain deficiencies in social structure that lead individuals to commit crime (Williams and McShane 2010). Strain theories operate under the premise that there is a societal consensus of values, beliefs, and goals with legitimate methods for achieving success. When

Factors Affecting The Complexity Of Criminal Behavior

1615 words - 6 pages defining and contributing to people engaging in criminal behaviours. There are a range of theories that attempt to describe human behavior reflecting the complexities of human behaviour. Given the range of theories of behaviour, there is not any one theory that can fully explain criminal behaviour given the complexity of the behaviour. There are also a multiple of factors impacting on people’s behaviour including criminal behaviour. These include