Understanding male sexual offending: A comparison of general and specialist theories

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Title Understanding male sexual offending: A comparison of general and specialist theories
Author Harris, Danielle A.; Mazerolle, Paul Joseph; Knight, Raymond A.
Journal Name Criminal Justice and Behavior
Year Published 2009
Place of publication United States
Publisher Sage
Abstract Previous research has explored whether criminological theories can account for the apparently specialized behaviors of sexual offenders. One perspective proposes that criminals are versatile, engaging in an array of antisocial behaviors. The alternative perspective, more common in sexual offendi ng research, is that sexual offenders (especially child molesters) engage in sexual offenses exclusively or predominantly. This study examined 374 male sexual offenders referred for civil commitment. Offenders were compared by crime classification and level of specialization and were assessed on a selection of variables that measured general criminality and sexual deviance. Specialization level was a stronger group discriminator than offender classification. Versatile offenders were significantly more likely than specialist offenders to present with generic antisocial behaviors predicted by traditional criminology. Specialist offenders reported more indicators of sexual deviance than versatile offenders. The theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0093854809342242
Volume 36
Issue Number 10
Page from 1051
Page to 1069
ISSN 0093-8548
Date Accessioned 2010-03-29
Language en_AU
Research Centre Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance
Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Science
Subject Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/30216
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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