Comparing Various Treatment Options for Sexual Offenders and Their Efficacy Rates

Topics: Sex offender, Chemical castration, Sex and the law Pages: 9 (2125 words) Published: September 28, 2014

Comparing Various Treatment Options for Sexual Offenders and Their Efficacy Rates

The assessment and treatment of sexual offending has varied greatly within the last 40 years. The establishment of sexual offender treatment began in the 1970’s where medical officials focused on reducing criminal psychological or pathologies with the use of physical/chemical castration and various pharmaceutical remedies. As treatment ideals evolved, cognitive-behavioral treatment became the new focus by way of having the offender accomplish a list of goals. These specific goals allowed the offender to take criminal responsibility for their actions, allowed them to identify and manage their personal problems/behaviors, taught them how to recognize their deviant behavior while teaching them how to eliminate their Cognitive Distortions (CDs) (Terry, 2013). This paper will explain the various treatment programs available to sexual offenders as well as outlying their respective efficacy rates. Keywords: sexual offenders, treatment, recidivism rates

Comparing Various Treatment Options for Sexual Offenders and Their Rate of Efficacy
In today’s society, those who commit sexual crimes are often looked upon as untreatable. Contrary to this belief, research on sexual abuse and possible treatment methods began during the 1890 - 1920’s. Known as the Progressive Era, medical professionals recognized and began to conduct research on sexual deviant behavior. Extra focus was made toward those who victimized women and children (usually after a high profile sexual murder) and were dubbed as having a unique medical problem. Due to this reasoning, medical professionals (at the time) developed treatment “procedures and remedies” in forms of surgical/chemical castration and other pharmaceutical medications that were made to control the sex offender’s behaviors which were thought to be deeply rooted within their hormones or psychopathology. Then there was a shift of focus that sexual abuse could be the direct result from social problems occurring at the time. In the 1970’s, researchers began to believe that sex offenders could be rehabilitated, as a result, the medical aspect of providing treatment minimized while appropriate therapy methods were developed that focused on the offender effects on their cognitive process of sexual deviant behavior increased. This evolution of treatment methods continued with clinicians, in the 1990’s, pushed for a more structured therapy process that extended past the confines of a prison institution and into the community once released. These various methods of treatment for sexual offenders proves that sexual deviant behavior can be managed affectively with continued therapy and prevent future recidivism. Medical Treatment Methods

One of the oldest forms of treatment for sexual offenders has been castration. Castration lowers sexual deviancy by reducing the sexual drive of offender in order to allow for a means to control their compulsions. Laura Chism made note in her article that this form of treatment is specifically affective for those diagnosed as a paraphiliac, who tend to suffer from impulses to commit sexual deviant behavior to experience a specific sexual fantasy. Paraphiliac offenders struggle these urges that are long, continuous and stressful while resisting those deviant sexual thoughts that end up developing into cravings that are equally powerful (Chism,2013).

Castration can be performed by using two methods: surgical (which is the oldest form) or chemical. Although the use of surgical castration has been around for many centuries as a way of social control, the procedure was first used to curb unacceptable sexual behaviors in Switzerland in 1892. One of the earliest documented cases of surgical castration performed in the United States was by Dr. Harry Sharp who conducted almost 180 castrations of male prisoners within...
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