Child Sex Offenders: Understanding the Enemy Use when

Child Sex Offenders: Understanding the
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•Significantly older person than his/her victim;
•who engages in any type of sexual activity;
•with individuals legally defined as children.
No Distinction with regards to:
•Male or female
•Acute or chronic offending
•Violent or non-violent
•Prepubescent or pubescent
•Known or unknown to the victim
•Related or unrelated
•Individual with chronic behavior;
•who prefers to have sex with individuals legally considered
•The pedophile is one whose sexual fantasies and erotic
imagery focus on children.
Are all pedophiles child molesters?
No. A person suffering from any paraphilia can legally
engage in the behavior by fantasizing and masturbating.
If he does not act out with a child, then he is not a child
Are all child molesters pedophiles?
No. A pedophile is an individual who prefers to have sex
with children. A person who prefers to have sex with an
adult partner, may for any number of reasons, decide to
have sex with a child.
Dr. A. Nicholas Groth
Fixation (persistent pattern)
Primary, if not exclusive, sexual attraction to
Regression (new activity or change)
Sexual involvement with children is a clear
departure, under stress, from his primary sexual
attraction to age-mates.
Knight, R & Prentky, R
Typology based on:
•Social competence
•sexual preoccupation with children
•non-offense contact with children
•physical injury to child
Problems with using typologies:
•The difficulty of attempting to put complex human behavior into
neat categories.
•Female v. male offenders
•Adolescent sexual offenders
•Source of information is from the offender
•Less than 10% of child sexual abuse comes to the attention of law
enforcement, our knowledge is based on a sub-set.
•Multiple paraphilias are the rule, not the exception (Abel, G).
•Sentencing motivations
•Incest offenders
Dr. Park Elliot Dietz
Situational v Preferential Offenders
SA Kenneth V. Lanning
Situational Child Molesters
•Does not have a true sexual preference for children.
•Engages in sex with children for varied and complex
•Usually has fewer numbers of victims.
•Other vulnerable groups include the elderly and disabled.
•Low self-esteem and poor coping skills.
•children are sexual substitutes.
•Precipitating stress situation.
•Victim criterion: availability
•Method of operation: coercion
•Very common offender
•May or may not collect pornography
•If he does have pornography it will be home-made
Teacher pic
Morally Indiscriminate
•Sexual abuse of children is part of a general pattern of abuse in his life.
•He is a user and abuser of people.
•He lies, cheats, or steals whenever he thinks he can get away with it.
•He molests children for a simple reason, “Why not?”
•Victim criterion: vulnerability and opportunity
•Will use force, lure/manipulation to obtain victims.
•May violently or nonviolently abduct
•Victims may be known or unknown to the offender
•Frequently collects porn, S/M materials, if child usually prepubertal.
Pic of jordon here
Sexually Indiscriminate
•Comparable to the morally indiscriminate offender, except he is
discriminating in his behavior except when it comes to sex.
•“Trysexual”-willing to try anything
•His motive is sexual experimentation
•Has sex with children out of boredom
•Victim criterion: new and different
•May involve children in previous existing sexual activity.
•Victim may be his own.
•Sex groups, spouse-swapping or part of some bizarre ritual.
•Higher socioeconomic background
•Does collect pornography/erotica, CP will be a small part of.
•May include those suffering from psychoses, mental retardation
and senility.
•Social misfit
•Becomes involved sexually with children out of insecurity or
•Finds children non-threatening
•Victim criterion: known or stranger
•Some have difficulty expressing anger which builds and can
explode--possibly against a child.
•May collect pornography, tends to be of adults.
Preferential Child Molesters
•Definite sexual preference for children.
•Sexual fantasies/imagery focus on children.
•Engage in highly predictable sexual behaviors.
•Even if counterproductive
•Potentially, large number of victims.
•Not only have problem as a result of the nature of the sex drive
(attraction to children) but also quantity (need for frequent and
repeated sex with children).
•Victim criterion: age /gender preferences
•Higher socioeconomic groups over-represented
•Prefer boys over girls
North American Man/Boy Love Association
•“seducing”, courting, attention and gifts.
•Over a period of time
•Gradually lowering their sexual inhibitions.
•Victims willing to trade sex for attention
•Involved simultaneously with multiple victims
•Children may be members of same church, scout groups or
•Identifies with children
•Knows how to talk and more importantly listen to children
•Is always recruiting, maintaining and dumping victims.
•Preference for children but no interpersonal skills
•Minimum amount of verbal communication
•Victims are usually strangers and/or very young children
•More likely to hang around school yards etc..
•May expose himself or engage in obscene phone calls
•Sexual preference for children.
•Needs to inflict psychological or physical pain/suffering to a child to
gain sexual arousal/gratification
•Uses lures and/or force to secure victims
•More apt than any others to abduct and murder.
•Very rare, estimated as less than 1% of child offenders.
Identifying Pedophiles
•Preferential sex offenders are the primary sexual
exploiters (v. hands on offending) of children.
•Sexual Exploitation: Child porn, prostitution, sex rings
Prefernetial v. Situational offenders
•281.7 acts with 150.2 victims (outside the home)
•81.3 acts with 1.8 partners (within the family)
•23.3% offended both in and out of the family
Dr. Gene Abel (n=561 sex offenders)
Four Major Characteristics of the Preferential
Child Molester
1) Long-term and persistent pattern of behavior,
2) children as preferred sexual objects,
3) well-developed techniques in obtaining victims and
4) sexual fantasies focusing on children.
Caution: The indicators alone mean little. Weight is assigned once they
accumulate to form a pattern of behavior.
1. Long-Term and Persistent Pattern of Behavior
•Sexual abuse history (age, relationship, acts performed)
•Limited social contact as teenagers (onset of pedophilia)
•Premature separation from military
•Frequent and unexpected moves
•Prior arrests
•Multiple victims
•Planned, repeated or high-risk attempts.
2. Children as Preferred Sexual Objects
•Over 25, single, never been married
•Live alone or with parents
•Limited dating relationships
•If married, has “special” relationship with spouse
•Excessive interest in children
•Associates and circle of friends are young
•Limited/guarded peer relationships (under employed)
•Age and gender preference
•Refers to children as “pure”, “clean”, “innocent” or as objects
3. Well-Developed Techniques in Obtaining Victims
•Skilled at identifying vulnerable victims
•Identifies with children (listens to children)
•Access to children
•Activities with children, often excluding adults
•Seduces with attention, affection, and gifts
•Skilled at manipulating children
•Has hobbies and interests appealing to children
•Shows sexually explicit material to children
4. Sexual Fantasies Focusing on Children
•Youth-Oriented decorations in house or room
•Photographing children (clothed)
•Collecting child pornography/erotica
Three Most Important indicators for Investigators:
•Access to children
•Multiple victims
•Child pornography/erotica
The LAPD Sexually Exploited Child (SEC) Unit examined the
relationship between extrafamilial (outside the family) child sexual abuse
and pornography in their cases over a ten year period from 1980-1989.
Pornography was directly involved in 62% of the cases and actually
recovered in 55% of the total cases.
(Abel, G.)
_____, named all-around
student of his graduating
class, has blended a mix
of academics, extracurricular activities, and
service to the community
during his high school
years. He is pictured here
with Scout, one of the
dogs he looks after at the
Monadnock Region
Humane Society.
The majority of sex offenders
know that their deviant
behavior was contrary to the
morals and ethics of our society,
yet they gave themselves
permission to engage in such
deviant behavior.
These “permission-giving
statements” are cognitive
distortions used by sex
offenders to justify their
(Becker, J. & Kaplan, M, 1988)
There are some offenders
who report that viewing
pornography at times
stimulates their sexual
fantasies, arouses their urge
to assault someone, and
activates their offense
behavior, much as another
person might find that the
sight or smell of food
cooking has focused his
attention on food, stimulated
his appetite, and activated his
inclination to eat.
(Groth, A & Oliveri, F, 1989)
Other sexual offenders
describe pornography as
serving to diminish and inhibit
their inclinations to commit an
offense. For these persons,
using pornography may be a
safe outlet through which they
discharge unacceptable and/or
unwanted sexual inclinations,
much as a person who has just
eaten loses his appetite.
(Groth, A & Oliveri, F, 1989)
The majority of sexual offenders with whom we have worked,
however, report that pornography neither elicited nor inhibited
such proclivities. Nor did we find that pornographic material
played a significant role in the lives of most sexual abusers of
children either as something to which they were exposed
during their childhood or as something that played a role in the
activation of their sexual assaults. It may be that
pornography reflects an individual’s erotic interests, but it
does not appear to play a significant role in creating such
(A. Nicholas Groth & Frank J. Oliveri, 1989)
Abel and Becker Cognitive Scale-1984
1. Projection
2. Consent/will
3. Rationalization/Altruism
4. Intellectualization
5. Illegal v. Ethical v. Moral
6. Alternative Theories
1. Projection
The individual projects certain
emotions/behaviors onto another person.
…,many pedophiles
believe that, if the
child shows curiosity
about sexual matters,
he or she is interested
in pursuing sexual
(Matetzky, B, 1991)
When a young child
asks an adult about
sex, it means that she
(he) wants to see the
adult’s sex organs or
have sex with the
When a young child
walks in front of
me with no or only
a few clothes on,
she(he) is trying to
arouse me.
•She wasn’t a virgin anyway.
•She kept after me so I finally gave in.
•She was having sex with her uncle since she was seven.
Obviously, she didn’t object, so she must have loved it.
•I offered her money to have sex and she accepted it. She’s a
slut and everyone knows it.
•It’s that damned pornography.
•Its that damned alcohol.
2. Consent/will
…,if a child does not
immediately and
forcefully resist early
sexual advances, he or
she actually desired
sexual activity.
(Matetzky, B, 1991)
…offenders may also
believe that a child can
offer sexual consent
despite the child’s lack
of experience and an
adult perspective with
which to do so.
(Matetzky, B, 1991)
A child will never have
sex with an adult
unless the child really
wants to.
•I never, never use force!
•I only do what the child is ready for.
•He/she was free to do it with me or not, it was totally
his/her choice.
•I didn’t want to do it, it was all her idea.
•Every child knows what he/she wants and what feels good
to them and they should be empowered to decide who they
have sex with.
3. Rationalization/Altruism
The process of attaching what we believe to
be logical reasons for our behavior.
Living for the good of others.
Having sex with a
child is a good
way for an adult to
teach the child
about sex.
When a young child
has sex with an adult,
it helps the child learn
how to relate to adults
in the future.
•He is uncircumcised and needed me to show him how to
keep himself clean.
•It happened to me so I’m not fully responsible for doing it
to him/her.
•I think the sex we shared made him/her a better and more
adjusted person.
4. Intellectualization
Group Rationalization
If a child has sex with
an adult, the child will
look back at the
experience as an adult
and see it as a positive
•It’s ok to have sex with children in other cultures. It’s
only our uptight, puritanical rules which prevent adults
and children from engaging in a perfectly healthy and
normal activity.
•Almost all ancient cultures involved intergenerational
•Sex before 8 or its to late!
5. Illegal v. Ethical v. Moral
There’s nothing wrong with what I
did. It’s just illegal, that’s all.
But there’s nothing wrong with it.
Sometimes in the
future, our
society will
realize that sex
between a child
and an adult is all
6. Alternative Theories
A man is justified in
having sex with his
children or
stepchildren, if his wife
doesn’t like sex.
It’s better to have sex
with your child (or
someone’s else’s child)
than to have an affair.
•I suspected my daughter was sexually touching her
younger brother. So I had sex with her to teach her a
•We were just bathing together to conserve water.
•It was dark and I thought it was my wife.
•She’s retarded so I didn’t think she’d mind.
•I was just giving her/him a back rub and one thing
led to another.
•She doesn’t look her age, I thought she was at least
DetSgt. James F. McLaughlin
[email protected]
Keene Police
400 Marlboro St.
Keene, NH 03431