By Frank C. DiCataldo

Over the last 20 years, trouble approximately adolescent intercourse offenders has grown at an stunning speed, garnering heated insurance within the media and delivering fodder for tv indicates like legislations & Order. american citizens' response to such tales has brought on the unquestioned software to teenagers of harsh felony and scientific intervention suggestions designed for severe grownup offenders, with little realization being paid to the mental adulthood of the criminal. Many techniques getting used at the present time to house juvenile intercourse offenders—and even to outline what standards to take advantage of in defining "juvenile intercourse offender"—do no longer have empirical help and, Frank C. DiCataldo cautions, might be doing extra damage to kids and society than good.The Perversion of teenage evaluations the present procedure and its equipment for treating and categorizing juveniles, and demands a tremendous reevaluation of ways those instances can be controlled sooner or later. via an research of the background of the matter and an empirical overview of the literature, together with particular circumstances and their results, DiCataldo demonstrates that present practices are established extra on our collective fears and ethical passions than on any supportive technology or sound coverage.

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Extra info for The Perversion of Youth: Controversies in the Assessment and Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders (Psychology and Crime Series)

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In another study of 231 adult sexual offenders from a maximum security prison, the researchers found that a significant proportion, about a third, exhibited a pattern of escalation of seriousness over time, beginning in adolescence with compulsive masturbation and exhibitionism and escalating to more serious sexual assaults in adulthood (Longo and Groth 1983). They concluded that a number of the subjects in their sample began to exhibit problematic sexual behavior at an early age and because they were unrecognized and untreated were at risk to progress to more serious sexual assaults.

The study uncovered an interesting finding when the researchers conducted separate analyses for the sex offenders with child victims and sex offenders with peer/adult victims. When juvenile sex offenders who had committed their offense against children were compared to nonsex offenders, they had significantly fewer conduct problems. Juvenile sex offenders who had committed their sexual offense against a peer or an adult had similar patterns of conduct problems to nonsex offenders. Overall, the results of this meta-analysis provide the best empirical evidence to date against the notion that juvenile sex offenders represent a highly specialized offender group who can be clearly distinguished from nonsex offenders.

The argument against the designation of juvenile sexual offenders as a distinct group of juvenile offenders specializing in sexual offending is further supported by the often replicated finding that juvenile sexual offenders in the aggregate have a low sexual recidivism rate but a much higher recidivism rate for nonsexual offenses, comparable to nonsexual offender’s general recidivism rate (Caldwell 2002, 2007; Righthand and Welch 2001; Worling and Curwen 2000; Worling and Långström 2006). A significantly higher rearrest rate for nonsexual offenses among adult sexual offenders has also been reported (Hanson and Bussière 1998; Hanson and 34 The Return of the Blob Morton-Bourgenon 2004, 2005).

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