AuthorSCHUR, PETER BARTON.
KeywordsSex offenders -- Family relationships.
Child molesters -- Family relationships.
Publisher 1986. Subjects Sex offenders -- Family relationships.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIntrafamilial and extrafamilial sex offenders receive differential treatment from criminal justice, mental health, and social service agencies. This differential treatment is based on assumptions that intrafamilial offenders are better candidates for successful treatment and that they are less dangerous than extrafamilial offenders. These assumptions are based upon clinical experience and anecdotal reports, but they lack empirical research evidence. The present study attempts to address the need for objective information regarding sex offenders and their offenses. Specifically, it compares a group of intrafamilial offenders with a group of extrafamilial offenders in terms of variables related to treatment prognosis, dangerousness, and psychological characteristics. The results suggest that there is a sound basis for the decisions being made by criminal justice, mental health, and social service agencies. Intrafamilial sex offenders are predominantly regressed offenders who do not have fixed sexual preferences for children and who are thought to be treatable in community-based treatment programs. In contrast, extrafamilial offenders are predominantly fixated offenders who do have fixed sexual preferences for children and who are thought to be particularly difficult, if not impossible, to treat. In addition, intrafamilial offenders appear less dangerous than extrafamilial offenders in that they used less forceful and violent means of coercion in order to gain compliance of their victims. No significant differences were found between groups regarding their psychological characteristics as measured by the MMPI. While the literature has characterized regressed offenders as men who sexually abuse children in the context of situational stress and family dysfunction, no evidence of this was found in the present study. This finding raises a question regarding the definition, understanding, and validity of the concept of the regressed offender. This may be of some importance to evaluators and treatment teams who believe that the treament of choice for the regressed offender involves family therapy and the alleviation of stress-related factors, while they tend to neglect or minimize the possible contribution of the individual psychopathology of the offender.
Degree ProgramCounseling and Guidance