Juvenile Sex Offenders

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Vaughnette Williams 4/20/11 Crime & Delinquency
Dr. Shirley I. Williams
Term Paper

Juvenile Sexual Offender

As we all know, throughout the years, we’ve heard of many sad stories of juvenile sex offenders ad offenses. So what is a juvenile sex offender? “A juvenile sex offender is defined as a youth, from puberty to the legal age of majority, who commits any sexual act with a person of any age, against the victims will, without consent, or in an aggressive, exploitive or threatening manner.” The sex offenses usually start from about age 14 or 15. Smallenger states that “15% of adult sex offenders started at an adolescent. Also 1/3% of the cases involved the use of boys.” In juvenile sex offenses, they are usually charged for forcible rape. Forcible rape is the carnal knowledge of a person forcibly or against that person’s will, or when a victim is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent. Most juvenile sex offenders go for children younger than they are, in which they can have control over. This will cause the victim to be afraid and they will obey the offender.

In some sex offense cases, the cause of the crime is often unknown. Some of the causes are usually in some cases children live in homes that are investigates for abuse and neglect. Research shows that “sexual abuse of children is a widespread phenomenon. It is estimated that there are somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 cases of child abuse each year in the U.S. The estimated number of sex abuse survivors in the U.S. is over 60 million (NRCCSA, 1994)” There are still other causes that are still being investigated or researched. “the theory most widely accepted today is known as the “learning theory” which holds that sexually abusive behavior in children is linked to many factors, including exposure to sexuality and or violence, early childhood experiences, exposure to child pornography and advertising substance abuse heightened arousal to children, and exposure to aggressive role models/ family violence (Ryan & Lane, 1997). Studies have also sown that children who sexually abuse others move through a predictable progression. Throughout this cycle, an event causes emotional response in the youth. The individual then tries to gain control of such response, fails to do so, then feels angry, which leads to thoughts of retaliation and fantasies of overpowering another, this leads to an assault (Grayson, 1992). These offenses often go from “hands off” to an assault including penetration. Sex offenders have many different traits. The traits can vary from one individual to another. None out of ten juvenile sex offenders are male, and often commit their first sexual offense between age 14 and 15.

Children who sexually abuse others, there is a possibility that they have been also physically, sexually, or in any other way abused. “Studies have shown that between 40% and 80% of sexually abusive youths have themselves bee sexually abused, and that 20% to 50% have been physically abused (CSOM, 1999). As stated by therapist Robert Longo “As I think back to the thousands of sex offenders I have interviewed and the hundreds I have treated, I cannot think many cases in which a patient didn’t have some history of abuse, neglect, family dysfunction, or some form of maltreatment within his or her history” (Longo,2001). Other common traits among juvenile sex offenders include difficulties with impulsive control and judgement, high rates of leaning disabilities and academic dysfunction (30% to 60%) and mental illness: up to 80% have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. It is said that there are two types of juvenile sexual offenders. These two groups are categorized as being, those who sexually abuse children, and those who victimize peers, and adults. “More than third of sex crimes against juveniles are committed by juveniles, according to research commission by the Justice...
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