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Analyzing different types of sexual offenders

4-20-2015 National:

It’s known among researchers, sex offender treatment, or any sort of treatment or intervention for criminal behaviour, is most effective when it targets criminogenic needs — problems related to crime.

Chantal Hermann said if Internet offenders — specifically child pornography offenders — are different from other child sexual offenders, then their unique needs have to be taken into consideration to be targeted in treatment.

Hermann, a doctoral student in psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, spoke about child pornography offenders, during a Cyber-Crime Speaker Series event at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland on Saturday.

Before presenting to the dozen people who attended, Hermann said her talk would centre on whether or not child pornography offenders are a different type of sex offender relative to the more typical sexual offender, those whose crimes involve some form of contacts.

Research she’s been involved with has looked at comparing three groups of offenders: the viewers, the ones that just look at child pornography; the contact sexual offenders; and dual offenders, ones who look, but are also contact offenders.

What’s been found is that the viewers rate higher in pedophilia — a sexual interest in pre-pubescent children — than the contact sex offenders.

“So you can have pedophilia and not commit and you also commit sex offences against a child and not have pedophilia,” she said.

Dual offenders, however, were found to rate higher in pedophilia than the lookers.

In terms of antisociality, both contact and dual offenders rated higher than viewers, she said. The findings suggest the two groups are different.

“It means that we need to think about what it means for re-offending rates.”

There are a lot of tools for predicting the risk for re-offending, but she questioned if they are equally as valid for the viewers.

The bigger question, she said is “How are we going to manage and treat these guys?”

Can the same management and treatment strategies as there are now be used or do they have to be adapted? If the groups are different, she said, it suggests they should be adapted.

“I study it because if we don’t understand behaviour, so if we don’t understand why people engage in this behaviour, then we can’t prevent it.” ..Source.. by Diane Crocker

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