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NCJ Number: 228845 Find in a Library
Title: Understanding Male Sexual Offending: A Comparison of General and Specialist Theories
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:36  Issue:10  Dated:October 2009  Pages:1051-1069
Author(s): Danielle A. Harris; Paul Mazerolle; Raymond A. Knight
Date Published: October 2009
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 2003-WG-BX-1002
Dataset: DATASET 1
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored the value of two different theoretical perspectives in explaining the offending behaviors of a sample of men convicted of sexual offenses and referred for civil commitment.
Abstract: This study explored the relevance of two distinct theoretical perspectives: Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) overtly generalist theory and Laws and Marshall’s (1990) considerably more specifically focused theory of sexual offending. Results illustrate the applicability of a generalist theoretical perspective to an apparently extremely specialized population. Although some meaningful differences were detected between child molesters and rapists, differences between groups on the variables examined were more substantial when versatile and specialist offenders were compared. A distinct group of specialist child molesters emerged. It was argued that the general theory of crime was useful in explaining the versatile offenders who constituted the majority of the sample. It was also proposed that a second, more sexually specific explanation might be necessary to account for the offending behaviors of a much smaller group of specialist child molesters. Theoretical implications of the findings are discussed. Data were collected from 374 men convicted of a sexual offense and evaluated at the Massachusetts Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons (MTC) between 1959 and 1984. Tables and references
Main Term(s): Sex offenders; Theory
Index Term(s): Child molesters; Male offenders; Psychosexual behavior; Rapists
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