Fast Facts About Males Who Sexually Offend
Fact 1: There is no “typical” sex offender.
There is no typical profile of someone who commits sexual abuse. People who commit sexual abuse cross all socioeconomic, educational, gender, age, and cultural lines. Approximately 95% of people who sexually abuse others are male.
Fact 2: There are many motivations for someone to engage in sexually abusive behavior.
There is no single reason someone sexually abuses others. Motivations can include general criminal and antisocial attitudes, anger management issues, lack of impulse control, intimacy deficits and loneliness, sexual preferences, sexual arousal to violence, hypersexuality, and/or a desire for power and control. Adults who sexually abuse others may or may not do so because they are attracted to the victim.
Fact 3: Most cases of child molestation are committed by individuals who know the child.
Most people who molest children know their victims and abuse from a position of trust or power within families, among circles of friends, or while working with children. This can include family members, trusted family friends, babysitters, coaches, teachers, ministers, and others who work with children. Stranger-on-stranger child molestation is extremely rare.
Fact 4: Males who sexually offend have low recidivism rates.
Contrary to popular belief, very few people who commit a sexual offense reoffend. As a group, sexual offenders have the lowest recidivism rate of all crime types other than murderers. Data show that, on average, 7 percent of individuals adjudicated or convicted of a sexual offense commit another sexual crime.
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The following citations reflect research, publications, and presentations by current ATSA members.
- Of adult male sexual offending: Pullman, Stephens, & Seto (2016
- Protective factors and mental illness in men with a history of sexual offending: Thornton, Kelley, & Nelligan (2016)
- Sexual and other Axis I diagnoses of 60 males arrested for crimes against children involving the internet: Krueger, Kaplan, & First (2014)
- Implications of our developing understanding of risk and protective factors in the treatment of adult male sexual offenders: Thornton (2013)
- The impact of traumatic experiences on subsequent mental health functioning among male sex offenders and male victims of physical and sexual abuse: Hemphill (2009)
- Sexual abuse history among adult sex offenders and non-sex offenders: A meta-analysis: Jespersen, Lalumiere, & Seto (2009)
- Understanding male sexual offending: Harris, Mazerolle, & Knight (2009)
- The role of psychopathy in sexual coercion against women: Knight & Guay (2006)
- Linking serious sexual assaults through behavior: Grubin, Kelly, & Brunsdon (2001)
- Victim-choice polymorphia among serious sex offenders: Guay, Prouix, Cusson, & Ouimet (2001)
- Les agresseurs sexuels de femmes: Scenarios delictuels et troubles de la personnalite: Prouix, St-Yves, Guay, & Ouimet (1999)
- Comparing female and male perpetrators' modus operandi: Victims' reports of sexual abuse: Kaufman, Wallace, Johnson, & Reeder (1995)
- Research on men and rape: Methodological problems and future directions: Burkhart, Bourg, & Berkowitz (1994)
- A descriptive study of rapists and child molesters: Developmental, clinical, and criminal characteristics: Bard, Carter, Cerce, Knight, Rosenberg, & Schneider (1987)
- Find a treatment provider
- Call the Abuse Hotline 24/7 at 800-656-4673
BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND RECOMMENDED READING
Adult males who sexually offend (male sex offenders)