Misunderstood Crimes; Your Sexual Brain; Special Editions; by Hal Arkowitz, Scott O. Lilienfeld; 3 Page(s)
Sex crimes evince such strong feelings of revulsion and repugnance that it is perhaps not surprising that people misunderstand their nature. The public, whose opinions are reinforced by portrayals in the media and in popular culture, believes that sex offenders will almost always repeat their predatory acts in the future and that all treatments for perpetrators are ineffective. The truth is not so cut and dried—and gives us cause for hope in certain cases.
Before we discuss these beliefs, a few basics are in order. The two most common types of sex offenses are rape and child molestation, but others exist. In most cases, the victim, usually female, knows the perpetrator, generally male. By some estimates, one third or more of all sex offenders are under the age of 18, with some even as young as five years. Most begin to offend sexually in adolescence. Now what does the research tell us about common beliefs?