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Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment

Sarah McMahon, Leila Wood, Julia Cusano, Lisa M Macri
Campus sexual assault (CSA) has received unprecedented attention over recent years, resulting in an abundance of federal guidance and mandates. In response, efforts to address and prevent CSA at Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) across the country have grown quickly, including the development and implementation of programs and policies. Because the changes on campuses have occurred at such a rapid pace, a number of gaps exist within the field of CSA research. To ensure that changes on IHE are evidence-based, there is a need to review the existing research available and the inquiry still needed, based on key areas outlined in federal guidance, the expressed needs of campus community members, survivors, and students who commit sexual offenses on college campuses...
January 1, 2018: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Andrew Day, Stuart Ross, Sharon Casey, James Vess, Diana Johns, Gaynor Hobbs
Current evidence about the impact of specialized sex offender treatment on reoffending remains inconsistent, drawing attention to the need to focus more on those program characteristics that potentially moderate outcome. This review considers current professional perspectives and evidence on two defining aspects of treatment: its intensity and timing. It is concluded that insufficient evidence currently exists to articulate best practice in this area and there is a pressing need to collect empirical evidence about the effectiveness of different intensity treatments offered at different stages of sentence...
December 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Michael C Seto, Jeffrey C Sandler, Naomi J Freeman
This study examined the predictive and concurrent validity of the Screening Scale for Pedophilic Interests (SSPI) and its recent revision (SSPI-2), using a large sample of 2,416 sex offenders deemed not to be in need of civil management in New York State. Both SSPI and SSPI-2 scores were significantly and positively related to sexual rearrest, but the SSPI-2 provided greater discrimination in rearrest within 5 years across possible scores. Neither measure significantly added to the prediction of sexual rearrest provided by the Static-99R...
October 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Ella Cockbain, Matthew Ashby, Helen Brayley
Child sexual exploitation is increasingly recognized nationally and internationally as a pressing child protection, crime prevention, and public health issue. In the United Kingdom, for example, a recent series of high-profile cases has fueled pressure on policy makers and practitioners to improve responses. Yet, prevailing discourse, research, and interventions around child sexual exploitation have focused overwhelmingly on female victims. This study was designed to help redress fundamental knowledge gaps around boys affected by sexual exploitation...
October 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Rachael Watson, Stuart Thomas, Michael Daffern
The therapeutic relationship is a critical component of psychological treatment. Strain can occur in the relationship, particularly when working with offenders, and more specifically, those offenders with interpersonal difficulties; strain can lead to a rupture, which may affect treatment participation and performance. This study examined ruptures in the therapeutic relationship in sexual offenders participating in offense-focused group treatment. Fifty-four sex offenders rated the therapeutic alliance at the commencement and completion of treatment; at the completion of treatment, they also reported on the occurrence of ruptures and whether they believed these ruptures were repaired...
October 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Bryce Westlake, Martin Bouchard, Richard Frank
The distribution of child sexual exploitation (CE) material has been aided by the growth of the Internet. The graphic nature and prevalence of the material has made researching and combating difficult. Although used to study online CE distribution, automated data collection tools (e.g., webcrawlers) have yet to be shown effective at targeting only relevant data. Using CE-related image and keyword criteria, we compare networks starting from CE websites to those from similar non-CE sexuality websites and dissimilar sports websites...
October 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Michael C Seto, Skye Stephens, Martin L Lalumière, James M Cantor
The Screening Scale for Pedophilic Interests (SSPI) is a structured rating scale of four child victim characteristics: number, age, gender, and relationship of victims. Sexual offenders against children who score higher on the SSPI are more likely to be identified as having pedophilic sexual arousal and are more likely to sexually reoffend. Recent research suggests that child pornography offending is a valid and perhaps independent indicator of pedophilia. In this study, we examined whether child pornography offending would add to the criterion-related validity of the SSPI...
October 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
John C Navarro, Richard Tewksbury
Athletes are cited as common perpetrators of sexual victimization and are at greater risk of becoming offenders compared with nonathletes. Demographic, lifestyle, and social characteristics of 624 nonathletes and 101 athletes from 21 U.S. Division I postsecondary educational institutions were assessed, with the updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance scale gauging endorsement of rape myths. Results indicate that athletes and nonathletes were similar in the degree of rape myth acceptance, with athletes reporting stronger agreement with rape myths than nonathletes did...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Alessandro Tadei, Johan Pensar, Jukka Corander, Katarina Finnilä, Pekka Santtila, Jan Antfolk
In assessments of child sexual abuse (CSA) allegations, informative background information is often overlooked or not used properly. We therefore created and tested an instrument that uses accessible background information to calculate the probability of a child being a CSA victim that can be used as a starting point in the following investigation. Studying 903 demographic and socioeconomic variables from over 11,000 Finnish children, we identified 42 features related to CSA. Using Bayesian logic to calculate the probability of abuse, our instrument-the Finnish Investigative Instrument of Child Sexual Abuse (FICSA)-has two separate profiles for boys and girls...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Giulia Lowe, Gwenda Willis, Kerry Gibson
Most community members are not accepting of individuals convicted for sexual offenses living in their communities, let alone having regular contact with them. However, a select number of community members choose to give their time to assist these individuals reintegrate from prison into the community. Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) was developed as a way to address the issues that many individuals convicted of sex offenses face, that is, little to no prosocial support in the community. In-depth, semistructured interviews were conducted with 18 CoSA volunteers in New Zealand to gain a more thorough understanding of volunteers' motivation to be involved with CoSA...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Rebecca Williams, Steven M Gillespie, Ian A Elliott, Hilary J Eldridge
Studies have highlighted differences in the victim choice, offender, and offense characteristics of female and male sexual offenders. However, little is known about how solo and co-offending females differ from solo male sexual offenders. We compared the characteristics of 20 solo and 20 co-offending females (co-offended with a male and/or female accomplice), and 40 male sexual offenders against children. We found that solo female offenders showed the most evidence of personal problems, including depression and sexual dissatisfaction...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Kevin L Nunes, Chloe I Pedneault, W Eric Filleter, Sacha Maimone, Carolyn Blank, Maya Atlas
Identifying causes of sexual offending is the foundation of effective and efficient assessment, intervention, and policy aimed at reducing sexual offending. However, studies vary in methodological rigor and the inferences they support, and there are differences of opinion about the conclusions that can be drawn from ambiguous evidence. To explore how researchers in this area interpret the available empirical evidence, we asked authors of articles published in relevant specialized journals to identify (a) an important factor that may lead to sexual offending, (b) a study providing evidence of a relationship between that factor and sexual offending, and (c) the inferences supported by that study...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Benoit Leclerc, Jean Proulx
The empirical evidence indicating that sexual offenders against children manipulate their victims to participate in sexual activities dominates the literature on sex offenders and their modus operandi. However, recent evidence suggests that a high proportion of these offenders do not try to persuade their victims for sexual contact in the first place by using coercion or manipulation but simply assault them when an opportunity arises. Using self-reported data from a sample of incarcerated adult sexual offenders against children, we investigate whether sexual offenses against children committed by the use of nonpersuasion are characterized by little planning and by offense features that are indicative of opportunistic offending...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Danielle Arlanda Harris, Amelie Pedneault, Gwenda Willis
The good lives model proposes at least 10 primary human goods that are thought to be common to all individuals which, when secured, contribute to enhanced well-being and life satisfaction. Prosocial attainment of primary human goods is thought to promote desistance from crime. However, individuals convicted of sexual offenses face significant obstacles upon their reentry into the community that likely undermine their ability to obtain such goods. The current study explored the pursuit and attainment of primary human goods in a U...
September 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Juliane A Kloess, Sarah Seymour-Smith, Catherine E Hamilton-Giachritsis, Matthew L Long, David Shipley, Anthony R Beech
Transcripts of chat logs of naturally occurring, sexually exploitative interactions between offenders and victims that took place via Internet communication platforms were analyzed. The aim of the study was to examine the modus operandi of offenders in such interactions, with particular focus on the specific strategies they use to engage victims, including discursive tactics. We also aimed to ascertain offenders' underlying motivation and function of engagement in online interactions with children. Five cases, comprising 29 transcripts, were analyzed using qualitative thematic analysis with a discursive focus...
September 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Marcus T Boccaccini, Caroline S Chevalier, Daniel C Murrie, Jorge G Varela
We surveyed evaluators who conduct sexually violent predator evaluations ( N = 95) regarding the frequency with which they use the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), their rationale for use, and scoring practices. Findings suggest that evaluators use the PCL-R in sexually violent predator cases because of its perceived versatility, providing information about both mental disorder and risk. Several findings suggested gaps between research and routine practice. For example, relatively few evaluators reported providing the factor and facet scores that may be the strongest predictors of future offending, and many assessed the combination of PCL-R scores and sexual deviance using deviance measures (e...
September 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Mechtild Höing, Stefan Bogaerts, Bas Vogelvang
In Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA), volunteers support a medium- to high-risk sex offender in his process toward desistance by developing a long-term empathic relationship. More knowledge is needed about the impact of this work on volunteers themselves. In a sample of 40 Dutch CoSA volunteers-at the time constituting 37% of the national population of 108 then active CoSA volunteers-we measured outcome in terms of volunteer satisfaction, determination to continue, compassion satisfaction, burnout and secondary stress, vicarious growth, civic capacities, and professional skills...
September 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Anja Schulz, Emilia Bergen, Petya Schuhmann, Jürgen Hoyer
This study examined the association of social anxiety, loneliness, and problematic Internet use (PIU) with the online solicitation of minors. Within a convenience sample of adult Internet users from Germany, Finland, and Sweden ( N = 2,828), we compared the responses of participants who had not interacted sexually with strangers online ( n = 2,049) with participants who sexually interacted with unknown adults online ( n = 642), and both groups with adults who sexually solicited unknown minors online ( n = 137)...
September 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Juliane A Kloess, Jessica Woodhams, Helen Whittle, Tim Grant, Catherine E Hamilton-Giachritsis
The aim of the present study was to (a) assess the reliability with which indecent images of children (IIOC) are classified as being of an indecent versus nonindecent nature, and (b) examine in detail the decision-making process engaged in by law enforcement personnel who undertake the difficult task of identifying and classifying IIOC as per the current legislative offense categories. One experienced researcher and four employees from a police force in the United Kingdom coded an extensive amount of IIOC ( n = 1,212-2,233) to determine if they (a) were deemed to be of an indecent nature, and (b) depicted a child...
August 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
Heng Choon Oliver Chan, Kathleen M Heide, Eric Beauregard
Most studies have focused on male sexual homicide offenders (SHOs) without testing whether sex differences exist. Accordingly, little is known about the distinctions between male and female SHOs, particularly with respect to their use of weapons in killing their victims. This study used a sample of 3,160 single-victim sexual homicide cases (3,009 male and 151 female offenders) from the U.S. Supplementary Homicide Reports database to explore sex differences in the types of murder weapons used by offenders in killing victims over the 37-year period 1976 to 2012...
August 1, 2017: Sexual Abuse: a Journal of Research and Treatment
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