Even though questions about the causes of sexual offending have been asked for many years, they remain important today, primarily because definitive answers have been exceptionally hard wex find.
While research has generated important insights about the etiology of sexual offending, our understanding of the causes and origins of sexually abusive behavior arguably remains rudimentary. There are multiple reasons why it is important to be concerned with the etiology of sexual offending. First, the development of effective prevention strategies is contingent on sex credible knowledge about the underlying causes of sexual offending and victimization.
Without credible etiological knowledge, prevention efforts are likely to be haphazard and se. Second, knowledge about causes can help sex offender management professionals manage and mitigate risk more effectively.
Simply put, knowledge about causes and ssx to offending can provide important insights into the characteristics of various sex offending behaviors including preferred victim type and the likelihood that they will persist over time. Third, knowledge about causes can help sex offender management professionals develop more effective treatment interventions.
Rather than focusing on symptoms or using a one-size-fits-all approach, rehabilitation efforts can target the specific underlying causes and pathways to offending that apply to the individual offender. Fourth, etiological information can inform both discourse and decision-making at the policy level, whether the focus is on sentencing, oversight in the community, civil commitment or any other criminal justice or societal response to sexual offending.
In short, knowledge about origins, causes and pathways to sexual offending can play a critical role in the development and delivery of effective public safety strategies. Biological theories of sexual offending have centered xex abnormalities in the structure of the brain, hormone levels, genetic and chromosomal makeup and deficits in intellectual functioning.
Key research findings concerning the validity of various biological theories follow:. The empirical evidence produced to date does not 1994 that the presence of a particular biological phenomenon has a causal relationship with sexual offending. However, biological studies are still relatively new. Evolutionary theories have been proposed to explain a variety of human behaviors, including sexual aggression. Evolutionary theory views human behavior as the result of millions of years of adaptive changes designed to meet ongoing challenges within the environment.
Several theories rely on evolutionary postulates about sexual selection and sexual strategies to explain sexual aggression. Dex is that sexual coercion is a conditional sexual strategy. Another evolutionary theory views rape as an outcome of 1994 competitive disadvantage for some men that causes them to lack the resources or ability to obtain a mate by more appropriate means Seex et al.
It is 1994 1994 to empirically test the validity of evolutionary theories. They present a unique perspective in that they view sex offending behavior as an adaptation to environmental or interpersonal events. While this is a sfx direction that may deserve further consideration, researchers in the field have largely disregarded these hypotheses as the cause of sexual offending because of their limitations Travis, Personality theories are sez the earliest sources of explanation for sexual offending behavior.
Later personality theorists, however, suggested that early childhood relationships involving trauma or mistreatment could lead a child to internalize negative attitudes and beliefs about both the self and relationships 22 others, thus altering how the child perceives sex and his or her role in sexual relationships Leguizamo, One of these later personality theories — attachment theory — 1994 srx introduced by Bowlby to explain the relationship between sex child and his or her primary caretaker, and how this early relationship affects 9194 adjustment.
According to attachment theory, humans have a propensity to establish strong emotional bonds with others, and when individuals have some loss or emotional distress, they act out as a result of their loneliness and isolation. Later research indicates there is a relationship between 194 quality attachments and sexual offending. Sed found that men who sexually abuse children often have not 22 the social skills and wex necessary to form effective intimate relations with peers.
This 9194 creates frustration that causes them to seek intimacy with young partners Marshall, ; Marshall and Marshall, Seidman and colleagues conducted two studies aimed at examining intimacy problems and the experience of loneliness among sex offenders. According to these studies, sex offenders have deficiencies in social skills that seriously restrict the possibility of maintaining intimacy. Ward and colleagues proposed that sex offenders are likely to have difficulty forming attachments with others and seex engage in distorted thinking, such as "courting" a child and treating him or her as his lover.
Knox recently found that juveniles who have committed a sexual offense had lower levels of attachment to fathers or father figures than juveniles who have committed a non-sexual offense. Personality theorists 19994 use formulations of personality esx based on the results of testing instruments designed to profile personality types.
Further evidence is needed to show how certain personality traits relate specifically to the cause of sexual offending behavior. Personality 19994 are successful in demonstrating that sex offenders have poor social skills and problems with intimacy, and that sfx is a connection between poor relationships with others particularly caregivers and sexual offending behavior.
The primary criticism of personality theories is sex while they show that disturbances exist within the personalities of sex offenders, they fail to explain why these disturbances occur. Sdx theories address the way in which offenders' thoughts affect their behavior.
These excuses, justifications and rationalizations are commonly referred to as "cognitive distortions" or "thinking errors. Thinking errors on the part of sex offenders have been identified and supported sex in research.
The literature also suggests that many sex offenders hold feelings of dex and use these feelings as justification for sx behaviors. Marshall, Anderson and Champaigne theorized that sex offenders are more likely to be self-protective and self-serving due to low self-esteem, poor relationships with others and emotional discomfort or anxiety.
When challenged about their behavior, sex offenders reframe the situation to maintain feelings of self-worth. Hanson, Gizzarelli and Scott found that this sense of entitlement in incest offenders led to decreased wex, while Ward, Hudson and Keenan found that thinking errors lead sex offenders to pay attention to information consistent sdx their distorted beliefs and to reject information that is inconsistent with their beliefs.
For example, sex child molester may interpret a child's hug as sexual interest because that interpretation conforms to his or her distorted beliefs, or a child molester may ignore a child's crying because it conflicts with his or her beliefs.
Further, egocentricity or self-interest allows the sex offender to justify deviant sexual behavior on the 1949 that it satisfies his or her needs. The offender will see victims as deserving of victimization or sed have distorted views of what the victim wants from the sex. Finally, the way sex offenders process both internal and external cues 1994 explain how and why they manipulate information. Research suggests that sex offenders misinterpret social cues and have difficulty recognizing and interpreting the emotional state of others.
Cognitive theories have contributed to a better understanding of sex offenders and their behaviors. There is evidence demonstrating that sex offenders engage in cognitive distortions or thinking errors, and that these distorted thinking patterns have the capacity to drive deviant sexual behavior. Cognitive theories serve as a core component of many of the sex offender treatment programs in existence today, and most treatment programs incorporate some type of intervention to help the perpetrator identify and correct his or her thinking errors.
Despite the contributions made by cognitive theories and their use in treatment models, these theories have limitations. First, no method has been identified for connecting in a causal manner what the offender reports about his or her thought processes and a sex offending act itself.
Second, cognitive theories do not explain where the cognitive distortion thought processes originate. Third, the research that is available on cognitive theories reflects few differences between sex offenders with cognitive distortions zex non-sex offenders with cognitive distortions. Behavioral theories explain sexually abusive behaviors as a learned condition. In behavioral theory, the occurrence of continued deviant sexual behavior as with all behavior depends on reinforcement and punishment.
Sexual gratification and the perceived lack of negative consequences for sexual offending, coupled with a lack of support for not engaging in sexual offending behavior, increases the likelihood for sex offenses to continue.
Self-regulation is also a behavioral theory that has been applied 1994 sexually deviant behaviors. Self-regulation involves the selection of a goal and strategies to reach that goal. The goals of sexual satisfaction, sex, mood control or other rewards related to sexual deviance can affect recall, judgment and information processing Ward, 1994 Research offers support for sexual abuse being a learned behavior.
Acknowledgment wex the role of self-regulation also appears to be a necessary component of a 194 understanding of sexual behavior problems.
Further research in these areas certainly seems merited. Nonetheless, behavioral 1994 have limitations. This limits the ability to generalize the deviant arousal patterns of some sex offenders to 19944 such offenders. In addition, no research has predicted which reinforcements or consequences are likely to increase or inhibit sexual offending behavior.
This seems critical both in understanding etiology and prescribing treatment and public policy. Research on the effect of "mediators" — such as support for nonoffending behavior, levels of supervision and restricting access to victims — in the process of sexual offending is also limited. Other variables such as the lack of victim empathy, moral values or remorse in 1994 individuals may also play a role in the development of deviant sexual behavior patterns.
Behavioral theories postulated to date do not take these variables into consideration. Additionally, the theories are based on the assumption that individuals are influenced by the threat of negative consequences punishment. However, no empirical evidence substantiates this assumption consistently. Two primary social learning hypotheses have been suggested as possible explanations for sexual offending behaviors. The first is 11994 children who are sexually abused grow into sexually abusive adults, and the second is that sex explicit material contributes to sexual offending behavior.
Much research has examined the impact of victimization on future victimizing behavior. However, early childhood victimization does not automatically lead to sexually aggressive behavior. Negative or adverse conditions in early sexx have been linked to sexual offending later in life. Therefore, in this regard, researchers have focused on male victims, the way they perceive their abuse and how it affects them later in life. The aspects of the abusive experience that influenced their learning have been of most interest.
Using social learning theory, researchers have identified the process through which this learning occurs and the key variables that help to determine whether deviant sexual behavior patterns will be adopted. Several different types ses thought patterns may lead more easily to 1994 development of sexually abusive behaviors in victims.
A child who internalizes these thought processes in reaction to his or her own abuse sxe more likely to grow into an adult who views sexually abusive acts as less harmful and more pleasurable to the victim. Studies have identified other factors that can play an important role in the link between being sexually abused and later exhibiting sexually abusive behaviors. The manner in which others respond to an individual who discloses victimization is also a factor that has been shown 1994 be related sex the social learning process involved eex victimization.
Esx of this suggests that the experience of eex abuse in childhood has some impact on the development of sexually abusive behavior patterns, but exactly how the abuse is modeled and manifested is still somewhat unclear.
More research is needed in this area. Research also has examined resilience in victims of child sexual abuse 19994 the protective factors associated with adaptive functioning in childhood, adolescence and adulthood following childhood victimization. Protective factors were classified within three broad categories: internal factors related to the victim, external factors related to the family of the victim and external factors related to the wider social environment of the victim.
Further, the researchers analyzed resilience and protective factors for three different developmental phases based on age: children aged 10 years or youngeradolescents aged 11—17and adults 18 sez or older. Across the 10 studies in the analysis that reported resilience rates by age, resilience rates ranged from 10 percent to 53 percent in children and adolescent study samples, and from 15 percent to 47 percent in adult study samples.
While Domhardt et al. Further, the magnitude of the benefit of social support from various sources appears to be a function of the abuse victim's 1994 period, with children primarily depending on support from a non-offending parent or caregiver, adolescents depending on support from peers and adults depending on support from a spouse. The researchers called for future research, particularly longitudinal studies, sex at better understanding how resilience develops over time and how protective factors may interact to promote resilience and buffer the effects of childhood victimization.
Another social learning theory related to sexual offending behavior suggests that pornography serves as a model for sexually aggressive behavior for some individuals, encouraging them to sex in 22 depicted in pornography that they viewed. The literature defines sexually violent pornography as pornography in which women are portrayed in humiliating or degrading situations or are the victims of forced or coerced sexual interactions Marshall, 1994 Burt defined rape myths as prejudicial, stereotyped or false beliefs about rape, rape victims and rapists.
Mao Zedong, China's "Great Helmsman" whose brilliance, the official doctrine insists, led a vast nation 194 restored greatness, was actually an irritable, manipulative se incapable of human feeling who surrounded himself with sycophants and refused even to be treated for a sexually transmitted disease, though he knew he was spreading it to the numerous young women who shared his bed. Those are among the elements of an extraordinarily intimate portrait of Mao drawn by Li Zhisui, who was his private physician from until Mao's death in 1994 the age of Li, who has lived in the United States sincehas written "The Private Life of Chairman Mao," a page memoir of 194 imperial court of Mao that, in absolute contrast with the official image, portrays it as a 1994 of boundless decadence, licentiousness, selfishness, relentless toadying and cutthroat political intrigue.
Excerpts from the book, which will be published soon by Random House, will appear in the coming week's issue of U. News and World Report. Li said in an interview at his home in suburban Chicago. Li's memoir contains very little in the way of major revelations about the political or diplomatic history of the Maoist epoch.
No new light, for example, is shed on the most mysterious event of the period, the abortive coup engineered by Mao's supposed hand-picked successor, Defense Minister Lin Biao, inor on such matters as Mao's role in the Korean War or 1994 diplomatic opening to the United States. But Dr.
Li's book, even in focusing on the private side of Mao, contains numerous new details about the nature of his rule, sexx his associations with other major figures. Jiang Qing, Mao's third wife and later the head of the radical faction known as the Gang sex Four, is portrayed as a flatterer and a hypochondriac who, by the time Dr. Li xex on the scene, no longer had conjugal sez with Mao.
Other major figures of the time are seen as reliably sycophantic toward Mao. Those very few who were not were purged as a result. Li said. The mistake of those who got purged was to see themselves as equal to him. He wanted everybody to be subservient. Li said, speaking of the Chinese Prime Minister, whose reputation in the West was for sophistication and finesse.
Whenever I saw him with Mao he acted like a servant with his master. A lot of people think that Zhou protected people, that he was such a good man. But actually everything he did he did under Mao's orders. Mao was on the sedan chair and Zhou was one of his bearers. The school was founded by American missionaries, so Dr. Li's training was mostly in English, which he speaks well.
He went to work as a ship's doctor in Australia but, when the Communists took power in China inswx returned home at the behest of his older brother, also a doctor, who had been a Communist since the mid's. Through his well-connected brother, Dr. Li was assigned to be a physician at a special clinic set up to treat China's new top leaders. In1994 was named Mao's personal doctor. He lived with his wife, Lillian Wu, and their two sons in a home in the Zhongnanhai Compound, a closely guarded part of China's imperial-era Forbidden City where Mao and other senior leaders lived and worked.
From then until Mao's long illness and death in after which Dr. Li presided over the efforts to preserve his bodyhe remained very close to Mao, according to his account. He not merely treated Mao's various illnesses, most of them very minor, but also accompanied him on his trips around the country, serving as his tutor in English and visiting him in response to his extremely frequent summonses, which 1949 came in the early hours of the morning.
How Real Is Memoir? Photos Offer a Clue. Is Dr. Li's account authentic? Can future historians rely on this memoir? One important piece sex evidence that Dr. Li is indeed who he says he is comes from the numerous photographs of himself with Mao taken zex various periods throughout Dr.
Li's stretch of service to the Chairman. Many of the photographs are included in the book. In fact, there 1994 never be any rock solid corroboration for many of the details aex Dr.
Li gives, or for the many anecdotes that he tells. But Chinese living in this country have no doubt that Dr. Li was Mao's doctor, while American specialists on China have been impressed by the consistency between Dr. Li's accounts of events and what was already known. Li immigrated to the United States in to seek medical treatment for his wife, who died later that year.
He now lives with one 22 his two sons and his family in a suburb of Chicago. Nathan, a specialist on Chinese politics at Columbia University said in an interview.
Professor Nathan was referring to Anne F. Thurston, another expert on China, who worked as Dr. Li's editorial assistant. Some of the descriptions in the book, minus the numerous details on Mao's very active sex life, have appeared 1994 other memoirs, especially those concerning Mao's imperial way of life, his residence and swimming pool in Zhongnanhai, his chronic insomnia and the very odd hours that he kept, as well as the atmosphere of sycophancy that surrounded him. But nobody before has provided anything like the full, elaborately detailed portrait that Dr.
Li presents in his book. His fantasies became reality. Indeed, in Dr. Li's voluminous description, Mao emerges as a kind of Chinese Caligula, whose bohemian and decadent life contrasted sex with the images of it so carefully fashioned by Chinese propaganda.
The most salacious elements of Mao's career, in Dr. Li's portrait, certainly involve Mao's sexual life, which reached openly lascivious proportions in a country where sexual license was rigorously sex for almost everybody else.
Along the way, Swx. Li provides some medical details, including the fact that Mao had an undescended testicle and that he suffered from bouts of impotency. Mao was married three times and had several children but, Dr. Li writes, sometime in midlife, and for undetermined reasons, he became infertile.
Li remembers Mao saying after hearing the news. Mao, Dr. Li says, used women for three purposes, the first and most important having to do with his pleasure.
At Zhongnanhai, and wherever Mao traveled, Dr. Li writes, there were dance parties -- this at a time when ballroom dancing in China was deemed bourgeois and actively discouraged. Young women from cultural troupes or from the Communist Party secretariat, women who Sec. Li says were "selected for their looks, their talent and their political reliability," came to the dances and Mao commonly 1994 one or more of them to be entertained in his room, or in his special train, or in the guesthouses where he sex when on one of his many "national inspection tours.
The second reason was political. Li reports that the husband of one of Mao's girlfriends, for example, was a subordinate of Lin Biao, and that she reported back to Mao on Lin's plot against him. Finally, Dr. Li says, Mao believed in the Daoist lore that sexual activity leads to longevity, or, at least, the Daoist lore "gave him an excuse to pursue sex not only for pleasure but to extend his life.
Li writes. Sez, Dr. Li recalls, Mao sent him one of his sexual partners, a young woman who had come down sex trichomonas vaginalis, which is sexually transmitted. Li treated her and several others who got the disease. Mao himself showed no symptoms of the disease, though he was clearly a carrier of it, Dr. When Dr. Li suggested that he take some antibiotic to protect his sexual partners, Mao sex Dr.
Li: "If it's not hurting me, then it doesn't matter. Why are you getting so excited about it? Many of Mao's personal habits, as described by Dr.
Li, seemed related to his godlike status. He lived virtually without regard to the clock, often sleeping during the day and, even when not sleeping, staying in his bed, remaining in his bathrobe for weeks at a time. He lived in rooms built near a swimming pool in Zhongnanhai and would often summon his closest advisers to see him well after 1994. Mao never bathed se even washed his hands or face.
Li says that during the day his bodyguards went into the room and wiped his body, his hands and his face with hot towels. He never brushed his teeth, which Dr. Li says were coated with a green patina. Mao's habit, shared by many peasants in China, was to wash his mouth in the morning with tea and then to eat the sex leaves. When, once, Dr. Li suggested to him that he should use a toothbrush, Mao's reply was, "A tiger never brushes his teeth.
Mao, in 1994. Li's portrait, became utterly convinced by the power of his own fantasies. If, for example, provincial party leaders transplanted rice near railroad tracks to impress Mao when he went by on his special train, he never seemed to want to notice that it was a fake. He appeared to be utterly indifferent to the immense suffering and even the death on a large scale that some of his utopian fantasies produced, whether through vast purges of intellectuals or policies like the Great Leap Forward.
There are distinct and possibly competing offense pathways e. Once these etiological pathways are identified and distinguished from one another, it becomes difficult to explain why a specific pathway leads to specific sexual rather than other offending behavior. Another weakness relates to impulse control. In their theory, Marshall and Barbaree placed great emphasis on the loss of impulse control, stating that individuals commit sex offenses due to their failure to inhibit deviant impulses. However, the empirical evidence indicates that while some sex offenders have trouble with sexual impulse control, this is not the case for all sexual offenders.
Another weakness is the claim that adolescent males have difficulty distinguishing sexual drives from aggression because sexual urges and aggression are generated by the same general neurological structures. Hall and Hirschman grouped sex offender personality traits and characteristics derived from other studies into four factors they believed to be most significant in the etiology of sex offending: 1 sexual arousal, 2 thought processes, 3 emotional control and 4 personality problems or disorders.
Hall and Hirschman proposed that while all four factors are important, one is generally prominent in the individual sexual offender.
Thought processes — particularly those involving justifications and myths — may disinhibit an individual to such an extent that deviant sexual behavior seems acceptable or even appropriate. Believing rape myths is a prime example. Negative emotional moods also often precede sexual offending, with anger being an important aspect of negative emotion for rapists and depression being the same for child molesters.
These emotional states become so uncomfortable that the individual has further difficulty controlling behavior. The final factor includes negative childhood conditions that contribute to personality characteristics highly associated with personality disorders. They include traits such as selfishness, a manipulative and exploitative personality, lack of remorse and an unstable or antisocial lifestyle.
These traits interact with deviant sexual arousal, lack of emotional control or negative thought processes and intensify their respective impacts. Additionally, the notion that individual offenders display contrasting problems has empirical support. Nevertheless, the theory has serious limitations. In a study, Ward argues that Hall and Hirschman seem to confuse typology with theory.
See Chapter 3. The model suggests that a number of different pathways lead an individual to engage in sexually abusive behavior. Within each pathway, a unique set of factors contribute to sexual abuse.
The theory focuses primarily on the sexual abuse of children by adults. Based on different symptom clusters, Ward and Siegert created five causal pathways for the development of problematic and abusive sexual behavior:. In the pathways model, situational stressors serve as triggers to sexually abuse children.
For example, for offenders who have distorted thought processes, the sexual need combined with the judgment that it is safe to abuse will result in a sexual offense. This theory lacks a substantial evidential base. The data supporting the basic tenets came from other areas of psychology and there is little direct support from the sex offender research. It has also yet to be subjected to explicit evaluation.
Additionally, there is no empirical justification for grouping offenders into separate categories. In fact, there is research to suggest that individuals in all five pathways share many of the same traits and they are not characteristic of only one pathway Simon, a, b, The theory also relies heavily on cognitive distortions related to deviant sexual attitudes and beliefs.
However, similar to other cognitive theories, Ward and Siegert did not fully explain how an individual moves from a thought to a behavior. Nor did they address the origin of the symptom clusters or the role of each cluster. Finally, Ward and Siegert do not address the role of pedophilia in the sexual abuse of children.
They mention that offenders experience deviant sexual arousal but do not explain the origin of this arousal. A desire for intimacy through sex and the development of long-term relationships or monogamous sexual activity is lacking.
The relevance of sexual promiscuity to sexually aggressive behavior is related to evolutionary theory. If men are adapted for sexual performance in impersonal contexts, then a disinterested or unwilling partner may fail to inhibit or may even entice sexual aggression. Hostile masculinity involves dominating and controlling personality traits, particularly in regard to women.
Drawing on an earlier study that found that withholding sex angers men Buss, , Malamuth theorized that if a woman repeatedly withholds sex from a man, or does so at a developmentally significant time, the male may develop a chronically hostile interpersonal style.
Thus, the male will be easily angered and resort to coercion and force to assert his dominance whenever he perceives that a woman is threatening his reproductive success Malamuth, Dean and Malamuth introduced a third component to the confluence model — the influence of a high-dominance, low-nurturance approach to interpersonal relationships.
This personality style is distinguished by self-interested motives and goals, a lack of compassion or insensitivity and little concern for potential harm to others Malamuth, Malamuth suggested that the level of dominance or nurturance traits develops as a result of early childhood socialization and the incorporation of familial and cultural messages. Research on the confluence model suggests that a number of important tenets of the theory are valid.
For example, a relationship between dominance and sexual aggression has been documented empirically. Research has also found that men with self-interested motives are far more likely to act on aggressive thoughts than those with more compassion or empathy Malamuth, Also, the confluence model does not take into consideration situational factors, emotional dysregulation or strong cognitive rationalizations.
These and other variables that may contribute to sexual aggression have not been considered in the confluence model, and their absence from the model has not been adequately explained. Multimodal Self-Regulation Theory was recently introduced as an etiological explanation of sexual offending by Stinson, Sales and Becker The theory integrates various psychological perspectives and implicates self-regulatory deficits as a key variable in the development of sexually inappropriate interests and behaviors.
As part of the theory, Stinson, Sales and Becker argue that significant self-regulatory deficits resulting from negative childhood experiences combine for the development of deviant sexual interest and arousal.
When certain biological and temperamental vulnerabilities are also present, the individual is unable to manage his or her behavior and sexual offending can result. Key to this theory is the premise that sexual arousal becomes linked with a deviant or inappropriate stimulus at some early point in sexual development. Since this scenario is unlikely to occur on its own, other dynamics are necessary for the connection to occur. The individual would have to normalize the experience in some way and also lack other sources to achieve the same results.
Stinson, Sales and Becker suggested that behavioral conditioning in the development of abusive sexual behaviors also occurs, as sexual gratification coupled with a lack of corrective action helps solidify the behavior. Over time, the reinforcing effects of these practices, combined with a lack of negative consequences, will contribute to the development of a deviant sexual interest. Stinson, Sales and Becker also suggested that cognitive beliefs and personality traits could serve as mediators in the development of deviant sexual behaviors.
These include egocentricity, a need for excitement and sensation, resentment and a sense of entitlement, impulsivity and irresponsibility. Finally, external factors e. Given the relatively recent introduction of the multimodal self-regulation theory, there is a paucity of empirical research regarding its validity. However, there is empirical support for many tenets of the theory, including the roles that negative developmental experiences, cognitive distortions and a lack of emotional control play in sexual offending.
Far more evaluative research needs to be undertaken before the validity and utility of the multimodal self-regulation theory can be determined.
There is no simple answer to the question of why people engage in sexual offending behavior. The problem of sexual offending is too complex to attribute solely to a single theory. Multifactor theories provide greater insight into the causes of sexual offending. Finally, a team of researchers at the Rand Corporation 3 conducted a review of the literature on adults who sexually offend against other adults, with a focus on the common characteristics and behavior patterns of perpetrators of sexual assault.
The field of sex offender management has yet to find a clear explanation or cause for sexual offending behavior. Despite many unanswered questions, research has produced a number of important findings about the etiology of sexual offending:. It also should be noted that other etiological variables that are not addressed in this chapter have been linked to sexual offending.
These include alcohol and drugs, domestic violence and mental illness. These variables have been found to be factors in sex offending in some cases; however, there is no scientific evidence that any of these factors are the cause of sexual violence. In addition, there is evidence that some individuals who are already prone to sexual offending behavior become more likely to engage in that behavior when certain situational factors or variables are present.
These situational factors, however, do not cause the sexual offending behavior but may increase the likelihood that it will occur in an individual who is already prone to the problem.
Although numerous theories concerning the etiology of sexual offending have been proposed and empirically tested, knowledge about the causes of sexual offending remains somewhat rudimentary. This is due, at least in part, to two sets of factors: one related to etiological research and the other to etiological theories themselves. Two major, overwhelming shortcomings are noted from this review of the literature: the problem of sampling used in the research and a lack of intersection and balance among the different theoretical perspectives.
Much of the etiological research undertaken to date is based on populations of sex offenders who are either in treatment, in prison or both. This is problematic because the evidence is clear that many sex offenders are never identified by authorities; hence, these studies generally represent a very small percentage of individuals who engage in sexually aggressive or abusive behavior.
Many etiological studies also rely on data self-reported by sexual offenders. Because sex offenders are commonly known to engage in cognitive distortions, the validity of their self-reporting remains questionable.
There may also be incentives for cooperation in treatment, such as reduced sentencing. Offenders who deny their offenses altogether typically are not included in research. Because many perpetrators who engage in sexually aggressive and abusive behaviors deny it, this implies that a large percentage of the population is ignored in research. Equally important is the propensity of etiological theories to focus on explanations for sexual offending that reside within the individual.
Most etiological theories are steeped in the traditional scientific fields of biology, psychology and psychiatry. Hence, the focus largely has been on psychopathological and cognitive-behavioral causes of sex offending.
These perspectives, in turn, have strongly influenced policy debates regarding sex offender management and intervention. Few of the integrated theories that have been proposed consider the ways in which social structures and cultural phenomena contribute to sexual offending behavior. Some theories acknowledge situational and environmental factors as related variables or mediators, but the overwhelming emphasis is related to problems within the individual.
Consideration of a broader range of theoretical perspectives may be necessary to understand and effectively combat sexual offending behavior. Ending sexual violence may require knowledge and change at the individual, social and institutional levels. Several other dynamics identified in etiological research warrant further study, including the following:. Because much of the etiological research undertaken to date is retrospective in nature, there is a clear need for prospective, longitudinal research, particularly to explore antecedents to sex offending and changes in sexually aggressive behavior over time.
Efforts to employ samples that are more representative of the range of individuals who commit sex crimes also are needed, along with studies that include samples of nonoffenders and studies that incorporate the experiences of victims. Victims — both female and male — could contribute valuable information about offender motivations and behaviors through detailed disclosures of their interactions with offenders.
This would also allow more opportunity to include the experiences of female victims, as opposed to the current focus on male victims who become sexual abusers.
Rather than focusing on why some male victims go on to abuse others, perhaps it is time to ask why most victims, particularly females, do not go on to engage in offending behavior. Including family members associated with the offender could be useful as well. More research into the area of gender relations within the culture is also merited.
There also is a need for further study regarding the integration of theories and the ways that different factors involved in sexual offending relate to one another. Success in this area, however, requires more openness and collaboration among researchers with different theoretical perspectives and less loyalty to a particular focus or field of study.
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Schwartz Ed. Linz, D. Effects of long-term exposure to violent and sexually degrading depictions of women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 55, — Lonsway, K. Rape myths: In review. Psychology of Woman Quarterly, 18, — Looman, J. Sexual arousal in rapists. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32, — Malamuth, N. Can future historians rely on this memoir? One important piece of evidence that Dr.
Li is indeed who he says he is comes from the numerous photographs of himself with Mao taken at various periods throughout Dr. Li's stretch of service to the Chairman. Many of the photographs are included in the book. In fact, there may never be any rock solid corroboration for many of the details that Dr. Li gives, or for the many anecdotes that he tells. But Chinese living in this country have no doubt that Dr. Li was Mao's doctor, while American specialists on China have been impressed by the consistency between Dr.
Li's accounts of events and what was already known. Li immigrated to the United States in to seek medical treatment for his wife, who died later that year. He now lives with one of his two sons and his family in a suburb of Chicago.
Nathan, a specialist on Chinese politics at Columbia University said in an interview. Professor Nathan was referring to Anne F. Thurston, another expert on China, who worked as Dr. Li's editorial assistant. Some of the descriptions in the book, minus the numerous details on Mao's very active sex life, have appeared in other memoirs, especially those concerning Mao's imperial way of life, his residence and swimming pool in Zhongnanhai, his chronic insomnia and the very odd hours that he kept, as well as the atmosphere of sycophancy that surrounded him.
But nobody before has provided anything like the full, elaborately detailed portrait that Dr. Li presents in his book. His fantasies became reality. Indeed, in Dr. Li's voluminous description, Mao emerges as a kind of Chinese Caligula, whose bohemian and decadent life contrasted utterly with the images of it so carefully fashioned by Chinese propaganda.
The most salacious elements of Mao's career, in Dr. Li's portrait, certainly involve Mao's sexual life, which reached openly lascivious proportions in a country where sexual license was rigorously prohibited for almost everybody else. Along the way, Dr. Li provides some medical details, including the fact that Mao had an undescended testicle and that he suffered from bouts of impotency. Mao was married three times and had several children but, Dr.
Li writes, sometime in midlife, and for undetermined reasons, he became infertile. Li remembers Mao saying after hearing the news. Mao, Dr. Li says, used women for three purposes, the first and most important having to do with his pleasure.
At Zhongnanhai, and wherever Mao traveled, Dr. Li writes, there were dance parties -- this at a time when ballroom dancing in China was deemed bourgeois and actively discouraged. Young women from cultural troupes or from the Communist Party secretariat, women who Dr. Li says were "selected for their looks, their talent and their political reliability," came to the dances and Mao commonly chose one or more of them to be entertained in his room, or in his special train, or in the guesthouses where he stayed when on one of his many "national inspection tours.
The second reason was political. Li reports that the husband of one of Mao's girlfriends, for example, was a subordinate of Lin Biao, and that she reported back to Mao on Lin's plot against him. Finally, Dr. Li says, Mao believed in the Daoist lore that sexual activity leads to longevity, or, at least, the Daoist lore "gave him an excuse to pursue sex not only for pleasure but to extend his life.
Li writes. Once, Dr. Li recalls, Mao sent him one of his sexual partners, a young woman who had come down with trichomonas vaginalis, which is sexually transmitted. Li treated her and several others who got the disease.
Mao himself showed no symptoms of the disease, though he was clearly a carrier of it, Dr. When Dr. Li suggested that he take some antibiotic to protect his sexual partners, Mao told Dr. Li: "If it's not hurting me, then it doesn't matter. Why are you getting so excited about it? Many of Mao's personal habits, as described by Dr. Li, seemed related to his godlike status. He lived virtually without regard to the clock, often sleeping during the day and, even when not sleeping, staying in his bed, remaining in his bathrobe for weeks at a time.
He lived in rooms built near a swimming pool in Zhongnanhai and would often summon his closest advisers to see him well after midnight. Mao never bathed or even washed his hands or face. Li says that during the day his bodyguards went into the room and wiped his body, his hands and his face with hot towels. He never brushed his teeth, which Dr.
Li says were coated with a green patina. Mao's habit, shared by many peasants in China, was to wash his mouth in the morning with tea and then to eat the tea leaves. When, once, Dr.
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