Faces Of Evil And Innonence
When one thinks of a young child one thinks of joy, innocence, and being carefree. Too often than not though that innocence is taken from a young child through sexual abuse. Studies have shown over and over again that a child who has been sexually abused carries those scars with them into adulthood, many times affecting adult relationships. When a person thinks of a child molester they see in their minds the dirty old man image. This is not the case in most abuse cases. Usually the child knows the person that is going to harm them. The offender is usually someone that the child and his or her parents trust. The key to abusing a child is to gain their trust so they won’t tell. The offender uses manipulation, and even coercion to get what they what. They will shower the child, and sometimes the parents, with gifts. When trying to protect our children we must be aware of the signs that point to molestation. We must throw away our pre-conceived ideas of what a child molester is and look at the facts. We must educate our children and ourselves so we may begin to put an end to this vicious crime.
What is a pedophile? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-111-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) lists the essential features of pedophilia as “ recurrent, intense, sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies, of at least six months duration, involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child” (p.284). The prepubescent child is normally thirteen years old or younger. (Murray, 2000)
One must be careful in using this definition however. The studies that have been done have been with small sample groups and a lot is not known about what makes pedophiles do the things they do. Most psychological research on the personalities of pedophiles consists of only clinical descriptions and case presentations. Bell and Hall represented the clinical approaches to the study of the personalities of pedophiles. They analyzed the dreams of a pedophiles and made suggestions about their characteristics. “ The inference from their case report was that pedophiles have a basic character disorder shown by schizoid and passive traits as well as a severe dread of adult sexuality.”(Bell & Hall 1971).
Cohen, Seghorn, and Calmas (1969) described three types of child molesters derived from their clinical studies. One type had a history of relatively normal functioning and the incident of molestation appears to reflect a reaction to a severe threat to their sense of sexual adequacy. Another type had a history of poor social-sexual functioning and is regarded as primitive and immature in terms of social-sexual skills. The last type they found in their study had offenses involving cruel and vicious assaults on children and the act of molestation is regarded as more aggressive then sexual. (Mc Creary, 1975)
Harding wrote an article on pedophilia stating that pedophilia is a subcategory of a larger group of sexual disorders commonly classified as paraphilias. “These are defined as recurrent, intense, aphrodisiac fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors, over a period of at least six months, which involve non-human objects, the suffering of oneself or one’s partner, or children or other non-consenting partners. If these recurrent fantasies, urges, and behaviors involve sexual activities with prepubescent children, the main diagnostic criterion for pedophilia is met.
She states that pedophilia encompasses simple voyeurism of nude children, observing children at various stages of undressing or assisting them to undress, sexual fondling, exposing oneself, performing oral sex on children and/or requesting them to return oral sex, or mutual masturbation. In most cases pedophiles do not require sexual penetration. They do not force their attentions on a child. Instead they rely on guile, persuasion, and friendship, often displaying great tenderness and affection toward the child they desire.” (Harding 2004)
“Motives for engaging in sexual activity with children are rather different among pedophiles, but one theme recurs: The pedophile tends to justify his/her conduct. They often indicate to authorities that the child solicited sexual contact or activity, and also claim that the child derives as much sexual pleasure from the activity as the perpetrator. Pedophiles also excuse their behavior as non-harmful, non-violent, non-forced, and even “educational” for the child. They do not see themselves as abusers, molesters, or sexually deviant. This quality of being into denial as to the true harm that they may cause belies the fact that clearly, most pedophiles act for their own gratification and not that of the child. In fact, more often than not, they describe their urges as compulsive, non-controllable and overwhelming.” (Harding 2004)
“The pedophilic disposition usually manifests in adolescence. By definition, it requires a minimum of five years’ age difference between the perpetrator and the child in order to be classified as pedophilia. This disorder is more common in those who have been sexually abused themselves in their own childhood. In this subcategory of persons, the perpetrators choose victims in accordance with their ages at the time of their abuse.” (Harding 2004)
“There are two major professional tools employed to assess and diagnose pedophilia. The first is through phallometric testing (also referred to as penile plethysmoraphic assessment, or PPG), which measures changes in penile blood volume occurring simultaneously with the presentation of varying erotic stimuli. There has been some criticism of the reliability of this test because physiological changes are easier to measure than interpret. Second, arousal may be a function of general arousability rather than of specific stimuli. To address this, researchers have developed a second diagnostic tool as a central arousability system intended to work adjunctly with PPG. The contingent negative variation (CNV) system measures brain waves as putative indices of sexual desire under conditions of sexual stimulation relevant to pedophilic arousal.”(Harding 2004)
One of the most popular concepts used to describe adults who have sex with children is that they are either fixated or regressed. The fixated offender’s primary sexual orientation is towards children. The regressed offender’s sexual involvement with children is a clear departure, under stress, from a primary sexual orientation towards age mates. (Conte, 1985)
“The fixated type has the following characteristics: primary sexual orientation is towards children, pedophilic interests developed during adolescent, no precipitating stress, premeditated or preplanned offenses, persistent interest and compulsive behavior, offender identifies closely with the victim and equalizes his behavior to the level of the child and / or may adopt a pseudoparental role to the victim, male victims are the primary target, little or no sexual contact with people of the same age, offender is usually single or in a marriage of convenience, usually no history of alcohol or drug abuse, and characterological immature with poor sexual peer relationships.” (Conte, 1985)
“The regressed type has the following characteristics: their primary sexual orientation is to people their own age; their pedophile interests emerge in adulthood, precipitating stress is usually evident, involvements may be more episodic and may wax and wane with stress, initial offense may be impulsive and not premeditated, offender replaces conflictual adult relationship with involvement with a child; victim is a pseudoadult substitute and in incest situations the offender abandons his parental role, female victims are the primary target, sexual contact with a child coexists with sexual contact with age mates, offender is usually married or common law, offense is often alcohol related, and the offender has a more traditional lifestyle but underdeveloped peer relationships.” (Conte, 1985)
“There are a number of problems with this typology. It was apparently developed out of clinical experience with incarcerated offenders who were likely to vary from offenders seen in many community settings in a number of ways. The typology used in community settings to describe any adult who has had sex with a child and has never been subjected to any kind of research validation. Most importantly, the typology suggests characteristics of each type of offender many of which do not to accurately describe a distant type of sexual offender. For example, some individuals abusing female children begin such behavior in their own adolescence. The typology suggests an onset in adulthood. The typology suggests that fixated offenders primarily target males and regressed offenders target females. It appears that many offenders are involved in sexual contacts with a number of partners, both male and female.” (Conte, 1985)
“The typology assumes that sexual contact with children is largely a function of the failure of normal developmental processes whereby an adult sees himself primarily as a child and, therefore, seeks sexual contact with children or a maladaptive response to stress. In fact, no such connection has been demonstrated. For example, the onset of sexual contact with children in many cases cannot be tied to any stresses in the adult’s life. As many professionals talk about the typology, they indicated the belief that fixated offenders are untreatable and regressed offenders are treatable. This is an observation that follows more from the studies of incarcerated offenders who have been described within the fixated and regressed typology. (Quinsey, 1977). At the present time there are no descriptions of community-based offenders neither supporting the utility of the fixed and regressed typology nor suggesting that community treatment of one group is more effective than treatment of the other.”(Conte, 1985).
Studies have shown that recidivism among child molesters is high. “A study in Canada of 136 extra familial child molesters who had received phallometric assessment in a maximum-security psychiatric institution from 1972 to 1983 found that of the fifty who had participated in behavioral treatment to alter inappropriate sexual age preferences thirty –one percent had been convicted of a new sex crime, forty-three percent had committed a violent or sexual offense, and fifty-eight percent had been arrested for some type of new offense and returned to the institution. The subjects who had been convicted of new sex crimes had previously committed more sex offenses, had been admitted to correctional institutions more frequently, were more likely to have been diagnosed with a personality disorder, were more likely to have never been married, and had shown more inappropriate sexual preferences in initial phallometric assessment than those who had not. Behavioral treatment did not affect recidivism.”(Harris, Rice, Quinsey, 1991)
In today’s society the pedophiles of the world have a new way of reaching our children, the Internet. “A 2000 study by the Crimes Against Research Center of more than 1,500 young people aged between ten and seventeen found that approximately one in five of the youngsters had received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet the previous year. More alarming yet, the study concluded that one in thirty-three young people received” aggressive” sexual solicitations, such as a solicitor who asked them to meet somewhere or called them on the telephone. Internet sex crimes do have high arrest rates. In a 2003 study by the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center found that law enforcement at all levels made an estimated 2,577 arrests for Internet sex crimes against minors the previous year.”(Jacinto, 2004)
In another study the researchers examined the long-term rates of 197 child molesters released from prison between 1958 and 1974. “Overall, forty-two percent of the total sample was reconvicted for sexual crimes, violent crimes, or both, with ten percent of the total sample reconvicted ten to thirty-one years after being released. Incest offenders were reconvicted at a slower rate than were offenders who only selected boys, with offenders against girls showing a rate intermediate between those two groups. Other factors associated with increased recidivism were (1) never being married and (2) previous sexual offenses. None of the mental health and personality tests used in this study (e.g., the Eysenck Personality Inventory and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) was significantly associated with recidivism.” (Gauthier, Hansen, Steffy. 1993)
A national case of sexual assault rocked the nation in 1994 when seven-year-old Megan Kanka was abducted by her neighbor and raped and murdered. She was walking home from school when her neighbor, Jesse Timmendeques, told her that he had a new puppy and if she would like to see it. That was the last her family ever saw her. He confessed within twenty-four hours after her disappearance to murdering her. According to the statement he gave police when she entered his home he grabbed her and then proceeded to rape and strangle her with a belt. After further investigation the police learned that he and the other two men who were renting the house all had prior convictions including sexual predation. At his trial Timmendequas was found guilty of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Megan Kanka and sentenced to death. He has not been executed as of this date.
Megan fit the profile of a typical victim of sexual assault. She was a young female that was outgoing and trusting to those around her. She had a loving family and lived in a quiet, unsuspecting neighborhood, therefore she was unaware that there were people in this world capable of doing things like this to her.
The offender, Timmendequas, also fit the profile of a sexual predator. He was a white male between the ages of twenty and forty. He was allegedly exposed to violence by his father and was ordered to seek mental help. He was a loner who did not get along with others and rarely found himself in social situations other than prison. He was also a repeat offender.
The media in this case proved to be beneficial to making changes in the laws. Until this case hit the media it was against the law to inform people if a convicted sexual predator was in their neighborhood. Laws were enacted to allow this to be legal. In 1996 “Megan’s Law” was signed by then President Clinton. The law was created to keep track of convicted sex offenders and allow the public to know when there was one in their neighborhood. It set up a ranking system for offenders, for those who only attempted sex crimes and those who had served time for multiple counts of sex crimes. This law has created much controversy and is being questioned as to whether or not Megan’s law is constitutional. This law would make it very difficult for any convicted sex offenders to be rehabilitated and reintroduced into society. Some neighborhoods have staged protests and even used violent methods to deter sex offenders from living in their neighborhoods. The very nature of this law seems to be the negation of the entire purpose of the penal system and the rehabilitation of criminals by having them treated like criminals after they have served their time. It is also interesting to point out that in order for people to be informed of an offender moving close to them the offender must be a convicted repeat- offender, Jesse Timmendequas was not a convicted repeat-offender. This law would not have saved Megan’ life had it been in effect before her murder.
“The FBI’s Crimes Against Children Unit coordinates the development and implementation of the National Sex Offenders Registry (NSOR).
The Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 (Lychner Act), requires the Attorney General to establish a national database at the FBI to track the whereabouts and movements of certain convicted sex offenders under Title 42 of the United States Code Section 14072. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) enables the NSOR to retain the offender’s current registered address and dates of registration, conviction, and residence. The Lychner Act imposed two major obligations on the FBI which became effective October3,1997: 1) to establish a national database at the FBI to track the whereabouts and movements of each person who has been convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor, or has been convicted of a sexually violent offense, or is a sexually violent predator. 2) to register and verify the addresses of sex offenders who reside in states that do not have a “minimally sufficient” sex offender registry (SOR) program.
In those states lacking a minimally sufficient SOR program, the FBI would be required to register a sex offender’s current address, fingerprints, and current photograph. For most offenders, address verification is on a yearly basis, but for those who have been designated as a sexually violent predator, address verification is required every 90 days.
The Lychner Act states that sex offenders are considered to be a sexually violent predator when they have two or more convictions for an offense requiring them to register, and/or have been convicted under Title 18, United States Code, Section 2241(a)(c) – Aggravated Sexual Abuse, shall register annually or every 90 days for life. All other individuals required to register as a sex offender shall do so annually for at least 10 years after release from prison.
According to the Lychner Act, the FBI may release relevant information to federal, state, and local criminal justice agencies for law enforcement purposes only. Public notification will only be made if it is necessary to protect the public. However, the Lychner Act specifically states that in no case shall the FBI release the identity of any victim of an offense that required registration of a sex offender.
The Lychner Act also created a new federal statute making it a criminal offense for a registered sex offender to move to another state and knowingly fail to notify the FBI and authorities in the new state of residence. Notification to the FBI and state authorities must be made within ten days upon moving to a new state and/or establishing residence following release from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation. Upon release, each sex offender is notified of their lawful duty to register with the FBI and appropriate local authorities. The FBI is also notified of the sex offender’s release.
The first offense for failure to notify is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine not more than $100,000. A second offense is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexual Violent Offender Registration Program, enacted in 1994, provides a financial incentive for states to establish registration programs for persons who have been convicted of certain sex crimes. Currently, all fifty states have implemented some form of a SOR system.”(http://www.fbi.gov/}
In the year 2000 there was a study done on treatment and sentencing laws for sex offenders. In this study they made a clear distinction between a sexual abuser of children and a pedophile. “They state that persons convicted of sex offenses and or found to have committed sexual abuse involving children are not, categorically, considered pedophiles, nor is a clinical finding of pedophilia disorder a prerequisite to such a conviction of sexual abuse. They state that these distinctions are significant because recent criminal sentencing laws that mandate treatment for those who commit sex offenses involving children as victims do not necessarily harmonize with what is considered effective treatment for pedophilia disorders. Sex offending involving children includes criminal conduct that is proscribed and punishable by incarcerations and varies from state to state. On the other hand, sexual abuse requires some sexual activity- not necessarily involving criminal conduct- plus an abusive condition. Pedophilia, however, is generally recognized as a mental disorder indicating significant impairment and need for treatment. (Klugman, Stone, Winslade 2000)
“When looking at sentencing laws for a sex offender this researcher argues that one needs to look at the difference between a pedophile and a hebophile. A pedophile has the following characteristics: victim age preference is pre-pubertal and anorgasmic. The age bracket choice depends on the level of inadequacy. A general rule is that the more inadequate the offender the younger the victim will be. The offender is usually fixated. The offender’s need is to please the child sexually for acceptance. He often uses “sex education” as a ploy. The sexual behavior is usually one-sided with the offender “pleasing” the victim. The offender shows gross immaturity and inadequacy. The offender’s employment goals are usually below potential. Treatment time is usually a long-term battle for the smallest, visible or observable changes. The prognosis is extremely poor. This group of offenders comprises the most failures of all sex offender groups in treatment.” (Klugman, Stone, Winslade.2000)
“The hebophiles have the following characteristics: The victim age preference is post-pubertal and orgasmic. The age bracket choice usually reflects that age at which he was happiest sexually. The offender is usually regressed. This group includes incestuous fathers. Offender’s need to have a sex partner and considers his behavior as “having an affair”. The sexual behavior is usually two sided with reciprocation a need of the offender. The offender is usually more mature with a good adult façade. His employment goals are age and potential orientated. The offender gets along well with others on most levels except sexually. Treatment time usually reflects rapid growth with changes appearing sooner and are more easily observed and proven. The prognosis is good. There are more strengths to work with and the success rate is relatively high for this group of offenders.”(Klugman, Stone, Winslade.2000)
There are a number of treatments available to treat sexual deviances such as pedophilia. These treatments include surgical castration; psychotherapy, including cognitive and behavioral; and pharmacological agents, such as hormones and anti-androgens.
Surgical castration involves the removal of a man’s testes- which produce the male hormones: testicular androgens testosterone and suprarenal sexual hormones – which in turn lower the level of testosterone in the body and diminishes sexual drives. However, surgical castration does not completely eliminate sexual functioning, and taking testosterone can reverse the effects of the surgery upon libido. A small study found that forty percent of castrates continued to have sexual intercourse within three to seven years after the procedure was performed. Another study found that fifty percent of castrates had full erections while watching a sex movie within three to five years after procedure. Even though this is the case in many studies have shown that recidivism rates for castrates are 2.9 percent while non-castrates the rate was closer to 58 percent. . (Klugman, Stone, Winslade.2000)
Psychotherapy includes group and individual psychotherapy, family therapy, conjoint therapy, marital counseling, and cognitive therapy. Behavioral treatment includes covert sensitization, hypnosis, and marital therapy, through which factors that are associated with the sex offender’s deviancy are examined and the sex offender’s cognitive distortions are broken down with the intention of enabling the offender to recognize the wrongfulness of his behavior, conform his behavior accordingly, and to reinforce behavior changes. One treatment has emerged as superior to any other psychotherapy treatment. It is called “relapse prevention”. It is a self-control program designed to teach individuals who are trying to change their behavior how to anticipate and cope with the problems of relapse. It focuses on enabling the person to prevent relapse and maintain a newly adopted and acceptable behavior pattern. Research has shown that offenders that have gone through the “relapse prevention” have had much more success than with other psychotherapy methods.
Pharmacologic agents are used to diminish the offender’s sex drive. They are used most of the time in conjunction with other treatment such as psychotherapy. More research is needed to prove if the agents are really making a difference when being used by them.
Most of the studies look at a male as the perpetrator. There are females that sexually abuse children. What are the circumstances under which women sexually abuse children? What are the characteristics of such women? Are the etiological factors similar to those in male perpetrated sexual abuse?
There are beginning to be studies which address these questions. Many of these are based on small samples and case studies. Although any generalizations from such reports must be made cautiously, this information provides a necessary starting point in understanding female sexual abuse perpetrators.
“Mathews, Matthews, and Speltz (1987) and Patton (1987), report on a study of 16 female sexual offenders who were in the Genesis II treatment project in Minnesota. All but one of the women studied were themselves victims of childhood sexual abuse and many were also victims of physical abuse. There were strong and consistent patterns of childhood social isolation, alienation, and lack of development of interpersonal skills and competence among perpetrators. Three categories of female sex offenders were described: Teacher/Lover, Predisposed (intergenerational), and Male-Coerced.
The Teacher/Lover is generally involved with prepubescent and adolescent males with whom she relates as a peer. Her motive is, ostensibly, to teach her young victims about sexuality.
The Predisposed offender is usually a victim of severe sexual abuse that was initiated at a very young age and persisted over a long period of time. She initiated the sexual abuse herself and the victims are her own children. Her motives are nonthreatening emotional intimacy.
The Male-Coerced offender acts initially in conjunction with a male who has previously abused children. She exhibits a pattern of extreme dependency and nonassertive behavior, and she may eventually initiate sexual abuse herself. Her victims are children both within and outside of the family.
Faller (1987) reports on a clinical sample of 40 women who were judged by staff to have sexually abused at least 63 children. These women represented 14% of the total of 289 perpetrators of sexual abuse. Many of the women had significant difficulties in psychological and social functioning. About half had mental problems, both retardation and psychotic illness. More than half had chemical dependency problems, and close to three-fourths had maltreated their victims in other ways in addition to the sexual abuse. The women fell into five case types (four were sexually abusive in more than one context).
1. Polyincestuous abuse. Twenty-nine (72.5%) of the women fit into this category. In such cases, there are at least two perpetrators and generally two or more victims. Usually, a male rather than the female offender instigated the abuse. The woman went along with the male and played a secondary role.
2. Single-parent abuse. Six (15%) of the women who sexually abused were single parents. These mothers did not have ongoing relationships with men and the oldest child seemed to serve as a surrogate partner for the mother, often having adult role responsibilities.
3. Psychotic abusers. Only three (7.5%) of the women were classified as psychotic at the time of the sexual abuse. Therefore, this study does not support the clinical assumption that most female perpetrators are highly disturbed and often psychotic at the time of the sexual abuse.
4. Adolescent perpetrators. Three (7.5%) were adolescent girls who had difficulty with peer relationships and lacked alternative sexual outlets.
5. Noncustodial abusers. There was only one woman who was the noncustodial mother of her victims and sexually abused them during visitation. Faller believes that in such cases the noncustodial parent is apt to be devastated at the loss of her spouse and the children become the source of emotional gratification.
Faller concludes that the circumstances that lead women to sexually abuse children can be differentiated from those causing men to do so.
McCarty (1986) describes the characteristics of 26 mother-child incest offenders. These women were identified by the Dallas Incest Treatment Program over a three-year period and constituted 4% of the offender population. The cases had been validated by a protective service investigation. Nine of the mothers were co-offenders with a male partner, while 12 were independent offenders (a male offender was also involved in half of these). All but two of the women described their childhood as difficult and abusive. When the mother was a co-offender, her dependency on her spouse was the major contributing factor. Half of these women were of borderline intelligence.
The independent offenders in particular were characterized as experiencing themselves psychologically as loners and lacking any sense of attachment or belonging. They were likely to have married as teenagers. Half were characterized as seriously emotionally disturbed and almost half had a serious chemical abuse problem. However, all were at least of average intelligence. In three of the cases of mother-son incest, the father was out of the home and the mothers seemed to treat the boys as age mates. However, the women who abused daughters seemed to treat the daughters as extensions of themselves.
Vander Mey (1988) reviews the research on sexually abused boys and reports that there is so little information on sexual abuse of males that findings must be considered tenuous. She tentatively posits that male incest victims are abused more often by males than by females and that both mother and father incest perpetrators tend to have emotional, social, and psychological problems compounded by poor impulse control, low self-esteem, and alcohol abuse.
Finkelhor (Finkelhor, 1984; Araji & Finkelhor, 1986) suggests that there are four components that contribute, in different degrees and forms, to the making of a child molester. These four components present complementary processes, which help explain the diversity of the behavior of sexual abusers. These four factors are sexual arousal, emotional congruence, blockage, and disinhibition:
Sexual arousal: In order for an adult to be aroused by a child, there has to have been cultural or familial conditioning to sexual activity with children or early fantasy reinforced by masturbation.
Emotional congruence: For emotional congruence, there is comfort in relating to a child and satisfaction of emotional need through the abuse. This is apt to be due to arrested development through limited intelligence, immaturity, or low self-esteem.
Blockage: Age appropriate sexual opportunities may be blocked by bad experiences with age appropriate adults, sexual dysfunction, limited social skills, or marital disturbance.
Disinhibition. The abuser may lose control through impulse control deficits, psychosis, alcohol, drugs, stress, or nonexistent family rules.
Finkelhor believes that exam