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NCJ Number: 202377 Find in a Library
Title: Exploration of Childhood Victimization and Family-of-Origin Characteristics of Sexual Offenders Against Children
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:47  Issue:5  Dated:October 2003  Pages:542-555
Author(s): Tania S. Stirpe; Lana E. Stermac
Editor(s): George B. Palermo M.D.
Date Published: October 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored family-of-origin characteristics and childhood victimization experiences of child sex offenders.
Abstract: In attempting to explain the etiology of sexual offending behavior, researchers and clinicians have regarded the childhood experiences of adult male sexual offenders as significant. The purpose of this study was to examine childhood victimization and family-of-origin characteristics in sexual offenders against children in comparison to violent and nonviolent offenders. The study was comprised of 124 male offenders participating in outpatient assessment or treatment at the forensic division of a local psychiatric hospital. The 124 offenders formulated 3 groups: (1) sexual offenders against children (n=33); (2) violent offenders (n=66); and (3) nonviolent offenders (n=25). Results of the study were divided into three sections focusing on three main categories of a questionnaire: (1) childhood sexual abuse; (2) climate in the home of origin; and (3) characteristics of parents and significant others. Study findings revealed that the majority of sexual offenders against children in this sample reported contact sexual abuse during childhood. Sexual abuse and violence were prominent features in the childhood histories of sexual offenders against children and their families. This lends support to the notion that these experiences cause instability that may contribute to later offending behavior. References
Main Term(s): Sex offenders
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Child victims; Family crisis; Family histories; Home environment
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