Legislation for a few rather than the many: Testing assumptions of sex offender legislation among men who sexually assaulted children



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Sexual offender legislation contains assumptions of sexual offending that are largely based on prolific cases of sexual abuse, which typically involved an adult male stranger perpetrator abducting, sexually abusing, and killing a child victim. The current thesis examined assumptions of sexual offending in sexual offense legislation pertaining to sexual offense characteristics, sexual recidivism risk, and sexual recidivism to determine whether or not they were supported in a sample of 2,074 adult male offenders who were incarcerated for a contact sexual offense against a child and were released into the community between 1996 and 2007. The findings of this thesis indicated that the assumptions examined were not supported among the majority of the offenders in the sample. The findings of this thesis suggest that current policies based on these assumptions would better serve the community if they were based on the nature of the majority of cases.



Sexual offense legislation, Child molester, Victim-offender relationship, Offense location, Sexual recidivism risk, Sexual recidivism