Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Resources: Studies And Articles


"Frightening And High": The Supreme Court's Crucial Mistake About Sex Crime Statistics: This academic 14-page essay was written to discuss many of the facts and assumptions made in the Smith v. Doe case that went before the Supreme Court of the United States in 2003, attempting to challenge the constitutionality of Alaska’s sex offender registration act. It discusses why the court erred in its decision, and why the “facts” that were used in the decision were inadequate to establish the decision that was rendered.

After Jacob, work harder to prevent child sexual abuse: Instead of just reacting to perpetrators, create programs so they don't offend in the first place: This was an op-ed written by Dr. Elizabeth Letourneau, who is the head of the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It is a fantastic showcasing of what primary prevention is, how we can do better, and what we should do to prevent sexual abuse. 

An Evaluation of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions in Michigan and Missouri (U.S.D.O.J.): This report was published in 2013 under a grant by the United States Department of Justice, and discusses the effectiveness of restrictions that regulate where sex offenders can be and live. Among their findings is that, “residency restrictions had little effect on recidivism,” and, “that restrictions may further complicate reentry.” It is a fairly long read at 80 pages, but would be extremely useful for legislators, advocates, and researchers.

ATSA: FAQ On Sexual Abuse: This is a resource compiled by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers that covers eight topics within sexual abuse prevention: Definition, profile of an abuser, who the victims are, what motivates abuse, sexual offender recidivism, sex offense treatment, the efficacy (effectiveness) of treatment, and sex offender management/supervision.

Burn Your Sex Offender Map (Free Range Kids): This is a blog post from Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids about the efficacy of sex offender laws, public notifications, and just who qualifies for the label of “sex offender” and how that label has become as useless as the laws that aim to protect.

Characteristics of Crimes Against Juveniles: This study overviews crimes against juveniles broadly, and discusses risk factors and realities of those who commit crimes against juveniles and the victims themselves. One of the statistics cited is that 90% of crimes are perpetrated by those known to the child.

Child Abuse Prevention: Huffington Post: This is an article that featured in the Huffington Post, written by Paul Heroux, a representative in the state of Massachusetts, about how child sexual abuse and sexual assault can be prevented. His statements may challenge your ideas of prevention.

Child Pornography Offenses Are A Valid Diagnostic Indicator Of Pedophilia: This study examined the presence of pedophilia in a range of specific offenses. Among its many findings is that 35% of sexual abusers met the diagnostic criteria for pedophilia.

Do Pedophiles Deserve Sympathy?: This is an article written by Dr. James Cantor, a well-known researcher in the field of sexual disorders, discussing how pedophilia is separate from child molestation, and makes some suggestions about how helping pedophiles rather than ostracizing them could help prevent child sexual abuse.

Do Sex Offender Registration And Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?: This is a study done on sex offender registration and notification and the effects that these laws have on recidivism (reoffending). They conclude that registration can result in slightly less recidivism depending on the size of the registry, and that community notification may deter first-time offending, but can result in slightly more recidivism due to the interference to an offender’s life.

Does A Watched Pot Boil? A Time-Series Analysis Of New York State's Sex Offender Registration And Notification Law: This study was published in volume 14(4) of Psychology, Public Policy, And Law in 2008. It looked at 21 years’ worth of arrest data in New York, both before and after New York State’s Sex Offender Registration Act. It found that 95% of all sexual offense arrests were from first-time sex offenders.

Facing Disturbing Truths About Pedophilia Could Help Us Keep Kids Safer (Pacific Standard): This is an article that was featured in the Pacific Standard about addressing some of the facts around pedophilia, and accepting these facts, can aid the prevention of child sexual abuse. His writing style is down-to-earth and makes points that are well worth thinking about, even if they are challenging.

Facts About Sex Offenders (SOSEN): This is a brochure that was put together by the Sex Offender Solutions & Education Network to address many facts about sex offenders. It is a great overview for the average person that is unfamiliar with sex offenders and the risk they pose to children.

First, Save The Children: Punitive laws intended to protect children from sexual assault too often make them less safe: This is an article in The Economist that discusses the prevention of child sexual abuse from the perspective of prevention over punishment. While it is somewhat lacking in references, it does present a unique perspective in prevention.

Help Wanted: Luke Malone Interview Of A Pedophile: This is a half-hour long interview with a pedophile about his journey through trying to find help with his sexual attractions. A written form of this interview can be found here.

Housing Sex Offenders: What Aids The Prevention Of Further Sexual Crimes? (CSOM): This is just one page of a plethora of information that was put together by the Center for Sex Offender Management, which is a project of the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice. This particular page discusses housing options and what works best for sex offenders. It indirectly addresses laws that ban sex offenders from certain places, among other topics.

How Safe Are Trick-Or-Treaters? An Analysis Of Child Sex Crime Rates On Halloween (ATSA): This article was published in volume 21 (3) of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, and analyzed data from 67,307 sex offenses from 67,045 victims and found no significance between Halloween and the rest of the year in regards to sexual offenses.

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Sex Offender FAQ: This is a resource put together by the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center to cover general information about sexual offenders. Many great questions about sex offenders and sex offender laws are covered here, and while they are somewhat specific to Minnesota, their information does apply to many other states as well. Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped at 11 years old in 1989, and his family’s efforts have formed the basis for sex offender registration. His family are outspokenly against what sex offender laws have currently become.

Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors (U.S. Department of Justice): This is a study published in the December, 2009 issue of the Juvenile Justice Bulletin, a publication of the United States Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. Many issues are discussed about juvenile sex offending, but the larger takeaway for most people will be that a quarter of all sex offenders are juveniles (25.8%) and that 35.6% of sex offenses against juvenile victims are committed by juveniles.

Megan's Law: Assessing The Practical And Monetary Efficacy (U.S.D.O.J.): This article was a study funded by the United States Department of Justice, and found that Megan’s Law (notifying the public about particular sexual offenders) had extremely limited effects in New Jersey. The first two pages beginning at “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY” are a great place to start.

National Reform Sex Offender Laws: This is a United States organization dedicated to injecting facts into the discussions about sex offender laws. They wish to reform sexual offender laws so that they are more effective in keeping things safe. Their vision is, “Effective, fact-based sexual offense laws and policies which promote public safety, safeguard civil liberties, honor human dignity, and offer holistic prevention, healing, and restoration.”

New evidence says US sex-offender policies are actually causing more crime: From Quartz, this article details studies about sex offender residency restrictions and registration requirements- and how they make the public less safe. While those in the know may not find the evidence to be "new", they may be to anyone not up to speed on what the US is doing to protect children.

No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws In The US: This is a study from Human Rights Watch detailing some of the laws against sex offenders in the United States, their efficacy, and contains many criticisms of sex offender laws. Their conclusions, among many others, are that "sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restriction laws are ill-considered, poorly crafted, and may cause more harm than good," and, "The evidence is overwhelming, as detailed in this report, that these laws cause great harm to the people subject to them." It is a lengthy read.

Non-offending Paedophilia (Flint: Beyond Choice & Reason): This article discusses non-offending pedophilia, or people with pedophilia who decide that they never wish to act upon their sexual attractions to children. It involves many challenging concepts about pedophilia that the average person may not be informed about.

Non-Offending Pedophiles (James Cantor/Ian McPhail): This is an academic article written by James Cantor (Ph.D.), who researches sexual disorders and abnormalities, and Ian McPhail (M.A.), who heads Nextgenforensic, a blog discussing research around sex offense theory and practice. The article discusses the reality that there are pedophiles whose sexual interest in children remains purely an interest, and they do not act upon their interest to sexually abuse children or view sexual abuse imagery of children. Many areas are covered.

Parents Protect: A Parent-Oriented FAQ: This is a very expansive list of general questions that most parents ask about child sexual abuse. Many topics are covered, and this is a great place for any parent to start learning about child sexual abuse and how to prevent child sexual abuse.

Podcast On What Pedophilia Is: Sickboy: This is an hour long podcast on pedophilia, done by Sickboy, which is a team of people who do podcasts on chronic illnesses and diseases. Their feature expert is Dr. James Cantor, an expert on sex, sexuality, and sexual disorders.

Predator Panic: A Closer Look (The Committee For Skeptical Inquiry): This is a report that featured in the Skeptical Inquirer in October, 2006 that discusses sex offender laws, their effects, and how panic around “sexual predators” is not making America a safer place to live and raise children.

Predicting Relapse: A Meta-Analysis Of Sexual Offender Recidivism Studies: This study is a somewhat older analysis of 61 studies looking at the recidivism of sex offenders. It published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, volume 66 (2) in 1998, and found that child molesters and rapists recidivate at different rates. They found a sexual recidivism rate (overall) of 13.4%, which was 18.9% for rapists and 12.7% for child molesters; A nonsexual violence recidivism rate (overall) of 12.2%, which was 22.1% for rapists and 9.9% for child molesters; Additionally a general (any crime) recidivism rate (overall) of 36.3%, which was 46.2% for rapists and 36.9% for child molesters.

Punishment That Doesn't Fit The Crime: This is a New York Times piece on juveniles who are placed on the public (yes, you read that right) sex offender registry, and the consequences of these miscarriages of justice.

Sex Offender Laws In The United States: Smart Policy Or Disproportionate Sanctions?: This study published in the 2015 volume 39 (2) of the International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, and discusses the basis of US laws, challenges to those laws, the efficacy (effectiveness) of those laws, and compares the US approach to these laws to that of other countries.

Sex Offender Myths: The Foundation For Sex Offender Laws (Women Against Registry and Once Fallen): This is a comprehensive list of myths and the facts that counter them around sex offenses and sex offenders. It is long and involved, but it covers a very wide range of common misconceptions around sex offending.

Sex Offender Myths: This is a somewhat older (2010) article about the facts and myths around sexual offenders, done by corrections.com, a site dedicated to criminal justice issues.

Sex Offender Registration And Notification: Limited Effects In New Jersey (U.S.D.O.J.): This article ran in the April 2009 issue of the National Institute of Justice, a publication of the United States Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs. It discusses an analysis of the effects of Megan’s Law, or notification in the community of specific sex offenders, and the efficacy of registration and notification. Repeated in their findings are the phrases “no demonstrable effect” and “did not have any effect”. At 3 pages, it is a fairly short read.

Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: This public policy brief from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers in 2008 concludes that restrictions on where sex offenders can be and live do not have any effect on sexual offender recidivism. At 2 pages, it is a fairly short read.

Sex Offender Solutions and Education Network: This is an organization that discusses sex offender laws and restrictions from a more legal and civil-rights oriented position. They cover many recent issues involving sex offender laws as well.

Sex Offenders: Recidivism, Re-Entry Policy And Facts: Huffington Post: This featured in the Huffington Post in 2011, written by Paul Heroux, a representative in the state of Massachusetts, and discusses some of the facts around sex offenders, prevention, and what works best to prevent further sex offenses from sex offenders.

Sexual Assault of Young Children As Reported To Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, And Offender Characteristics (U.S.D.O.J.): This report from the United States Department of Justice’ Bureau of Justice Statistics was published in 2000, and gives a broad overview of sexual assaults against juveniles.

Sexual Offender Laws and Prevention of Sexual Violence or Recidivism: This article published in volume 100 (3) of the American Journal of Public Health in 2010, and discusses the policies aimed at sex offenders and how effective these policies are. They discuss some of the collateral consequences of sex offender policies, effects on recidivism, and conclude that such policies may do more harm than good.

TEDx:Adelaide: How Do We Protect Our Children From The Unspeakable?: This is a 12-minute video from an expert in forensic psychology explaining how child sexual abuse can be prevented, why discussing the issue is emotional, and why discussing it is valuable.

The Accuracy Of Recidivism Risk Assessments For Sexual Offenders: A Meta-Analysis Of 118 Prediction Studies (Public Safety Canada): This is a meta-study with a total sample size of 45,398 sex offenders. Sexual recidivism was found at 11.5%, violent/sexual recidivism was found at 19.5%, and general (any crime) recidivism was found at 33.2%. Results are on page 6.

The List: This is a New Yorker article discussing juvenile sex offender registration and its effects. It also discusses some of the reasons behind current sex offender laws including how they were formed and what their basis was originally. It is rather lengthy, but a great read.

The Prevention Of Childhood Sexual Abuse (Prevention Effectiveness): This is an exhaustive article written by David Finkelhor, a well-known sociologist, about the methods currently being used to prevent child sexual abuse. He discusses tertiary, secondary, and primary methods of preventing child sexual abuse and the efficacy of each of these methods. It is a fairly long read at 19 pages, but discusses many policy recommendations and may be a useful read for legislators, advocates, and researchers.

Report to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission: Sex Offenders: This is an exhaustive study looking at sex offender recidivism, treatment, sentencing, and the effectiveness of SORN policies. The executive summary is an excellent read for anyone unfamiliar with how sex offenders are managed. 

We Need To Support Pedophiles To Prevent Child Sex Offending: This is an article discussing how “child sex offender” and “pedophile” are two separate ideas, and how aiding pedophiles and supporting them can help ensure that child sexual abuse is prevented before it happens.

What Is The Most Common Age Of A Sex Offender? (Surprise!): This article gives a brief overview of examples and studies of why the sex offender registry has serious flaws, and in most cases is completely useless at protecting children. Namely, that most offenders on the registry commit their crimes as children. Written by Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids.

What Kind Of Help Do Pedophiles Need? "Help Wanted: Lessons On Prevention From Non-Offending Young Adult Pedophiles" (ATSA): This is a preliminary report featured in the Spring, 2016 issue of ATSA’s newsletter discussing some of the preliminary results of a study that was done on young adult pedophiles to determine what kind of support pedophiles need in adolescence.

Why Sex Offender Registries Don't Work: Quartz: This is an article discussing the Brock Turner sexual assault case, and provides some of the history behind sex offender registries and challenges the notion that sex offender registries are useful in aiding public safety.

Wiki: Child Sexual Abuse: This is Wikipedia’s main page on child sexual abuse, and contains many facts, links to studies, and general information that people might find useful if they have a limited knowledge of the subject. It is academically oriented and should not be triggering for most people.

Wiki: Ephebophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on ephebophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to older teenagers. It involves the age ranges covered, the word’s etymology, and its characteristics.

Wiki: Hebephilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on hebephilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to children in the midst of puberty. It involves the age ranges covered, academic discussions around diagnosis and criteria, and a thorough explanation of how hebephilia differs from pedophilia.

Wiki: Pedophilia: This is Wikipedia’s main page on pedophilia, the condition of having a sexual attraction to prepubescent children. It involves a detailed explanation for the criteria of pedophilia, what sorts of other issues are seen with pedophilia, treatments available, and how the term “pedophilia” and “pedophile” are misused in popular culture.

Wiki: Sex Offender: This is Wikipedia’s main page on sexual offenders. This is a fantastic resource if you are unfamiliar with the facts about sexual offenders and sex offender laws.


Women Against Registry (WAR): This is an organization dedicated to the cessation of sex offender registries, on the basis that they harm families and the very children that sex offender registries aim to protect. They have many resources, and are dedicated to righting the wrongs that the sex offender registry has imposed, not upon the sex offenders themselves, but the indirect consequences of these laws: The spouses and children of sex offenders. 

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