Offenders who molest children come nearly equally from all races, social classes and education levels.7
Incarcerated sex offenders are often products of large families and live in disturbed home environments, as indicated by high rates of family psychiatric history, criminal history and substance abuse.8
Incarcerated sex offenders report having been sexually, physically and mentally abused as children.9
In a random study of state prison inmates: 10
17.5% of sexual offenders reported having been sexually abused;
21.4% reported having been verbally abused;
17.6% reported having been physically abused.
One study revealed that the most common emotional experience of a rapist prior to a sex offense is anger: 88% experienced general anger; 77% experienced anger toward women.11
Although rape may cut across all diagnostic categories of psychiatric disorders, the majority of offenders are not insane.12
Less than 25% of sex offenders seen in outpatient treatment settings have serious diagnosable mental disorders.13
Approximately 30% of rapists would be diagnosed as having anti-social personality disorder.14
OFFENDER’S RELATIONSHIP TO VICTIM
7 Harkisnowo, Harkristuti. 1989. The Child Sex Abusers in the Texas Department of Corrections.
8 Bard, L.A., et al. 1987. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, A Descriptive Study of Rapist and Child Molesters. Developmental Clinical and Criminal Characteristics, Vol. 5, p. 203-220.
9 Seghorn, T.K., R.J. Boucher, and R.A. Prentky, R.A. 1987. Childhood Sexual Abuse in the Lives of Sexually Aggressive Offenders. 26 Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (1987): p. 262-267.
10 Haapasato, J. Self-Reported Childhood Abuse Among Sex and Violent Offenders. 26(4) Archives of Sexual Behavior, p. 421-431.
11 Prentky, Robert. Evaluating Sex Offender Programs. The Advisor (Spring 1991).
12 Groth, A. Nicholas. 1990. Men Who Rape. Plenum Press, p. 6.
13 Abel, G.G., M.S. Mittelman, and J.V. Becker. Sex Offenders: Results Of Assessment and Recommendations for Treatment. In Clinical Criminology: The Assessment and Treatment of Criminal Behavior. M.H Ben-Aron, S.J. Hucker, and C.D. Webster, eds. Toronto: M&M Graphics, pp. 207-220.
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