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NCJ Number: 171458 Find in a Library
Title: Consequences for the Youth Who Has Been Abusive (From Juvenile Sexual Offending: Causes, Consequences, and Correction, P 168-175, 1997, Gail Ryan and Sandy Lane, eds. -- See NCJ- 171449)
Author(s): G Ryan
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Jossey-Bass Publishers
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
Sale Source: Jossey-Bass Publishers
989 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: So as to understand the motivation and reinforcement of sexually abusive behavior, as well as to facilitate an empathic experience in treatment, it is necessary for the therapist to explore what the sexually abusive youth's experience has been relative to the sexual abuse; it is also important to understand the immediate and long-term impact of the experience.
Abstract: Whether experiential or observational, the origins of deviant sexual fantasy are first in the experience of being sexually abusive. The fantasy that occurs prior to sexually abusive behavior is part of the compensatory thinking that imagines a solution to the unmet needs of the individual. These thoughts are a product of life experience, and it is the youth's perception and accommodation of the past that shapes sexual fantasy and allows or inhibits behavior. The first occurrence of sexually abusive behavior may be accompanied by anxiety or fear, which is overcome by the individual's sense of entitlement. Over time, the youth's narcissistic orientation and the ability to objectify others serves to increase isolation and interpersonal alienation as these perceptions become generalized to all areas of the youth's life. As sexually abusive behaviors recur over time, the offender may experience a chronic sense of confusion as new patterns of arousal become reinforced and the behaviors seem to assume a compulsive quality. Then arousal associated with abusive behavior may become the predominant interest, beginning to outweigh normative interest and arousal, leaving the youth increasingly dissatisfied or bored with previously pleasurable experiences or with those that peers seem to enjoy. Prior to discovery, the fear of disclosure may be overwhelming, and the youth's efforts to protect the secret may be extreme. The preoccupation with the deviance may interfere with other areas of functioning; the victim relationship takes precedence over all other relationships, and the youth's self-image is under constant self-scrutiny. Over time, as the sexually abusive youth assimilates the role of perpetrator into his sense of self, his justification of the behavior becomes routine. Following disclosure or discovery, the young person's initial fear of consequences often proves to have been an underestimation, and the youth may be devastated to learn the extent of his consequences. The disclosure of sexual abuse may be dissonant or congruent within the abuser's family, just as it was for the victim's family. 11 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile Sex Offenders
Index Term(s): Sex offender profiles; Sex offender treatment; Sex offenses
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