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Understanding The Predictive Factors Of Sexual Offenders

2559 words - 10 pages

Within the last few decades, sexual violence has come “to light” as a crime that has destructive implications that drag on for years (Grotpeter, Menard, Gianola, &O’Neal, 2008). With the help of the media, law enforcement and new laws regarding sexual offenders, people are more aware of the crime. The awareness is of the risks that make people more likely to become a victim. However, awareness should also shed light on the predictive factors as to why people commit sexual assaults in the first place. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) reported that there is no single type of person that is more likely to commit a sexual offense. Regardless of sex, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., there is no way to determine if any individual will become a sexual offender based on this information alone (NCJRS, n.d.). So, what makes someone more likely to commit a sexual offense on another human being? This question is quite difficult to really narrow down. However, there are certain factors that need to be explored that can provide a better idea of what really goes through the mind of a sexual offender before the crime even takes place. Once a better understanding of predictive factors of sexual offenders is offered, then preventative measures can begin. In order to fully examine potential factors that can lead to a sexual assault, scientific studies that have been conducted over the subject should be reviewed to understand the question being raised.
The first study that has been assessed was carried out by Chakhssi, Ruiter, and Bernstein. This study was to investigate if early maladaptive cognitive schemas (EMS) played a role in sexual offender’s behaviors. Moreover, which EMS led offenders to commit the sexual assault against children or adults and compare these to non-sexual violent offenders (2013)? In order to assess EMS, 66 inpatients from a psychiatric hospital were studied. Of the 66 individuals, 23 were child sexual offenders, 19 were sexual offenders against adults, and 24 were non-sexual violent offenders. The authors first assessed these individuals using the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ) and the Psychopathy Checklist- Revised (PCL-R). These assessments were used to understand the current maladaptive schema of each individual participating and also to review if psychopathy is in any way involved in the violence of the crimes. The YSQ schema domains are; Disconnection/Rejection, Impaired Autonomy/Performance, Impaired Limits, Other-Directedness, and Overvigilance/Inhibition (Chakhssi, at el 2013). Controlling for age, the other directedness and impaired autonomy/performance were considerably correlated. However, controlling for substance abuse, there were no associations with any of the maladaptive schemas. Therefore, from these statistics, it can be suggested that age may have a relationship with few maladaptive schemas and there is no relationship with substance abuse for individuals that commit sexual offenses on...

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