Defining Our Field II: Cycles, Chains, and Assorted Misnomers

Defining Our Field II: Cycles, Chains, and Assorted Misnomers Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1998 Editorial Defining Our Field II: Cycles, Chains, and Assorted Misnomers A cycle is a repeating series of occurrences, each event of which trig- gers the next and brings the whole back to the initial starting point. There is a force within a cycle which, like gravity, constrains the sequence toward the center. A cycle is self-perpetuating, as once entered, it repeats endlessly because each step promotes the next. It is common for clinicians to refer to deviant cycles when describing a series of behaviors eventuating in sexual abuse, but it appears that they are describing instead a chain of behaviors triggered by an internal or ex- ternal stimulus with a sexual goal that, once realized, terminates the se- quence. If sexual offenders operated in cycles of behavior, they would be perpetually seeking deviant gratification; however, that does not match the reality of most offenders' lives. Most are not constantly searching for vic- tims but are engaged, like the rest of us, in pursuing different priorities at different points in time depending upon internal and external situations, needs and contingencies. An examination of offending behavior also reveals Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

Defining Our Field II: Cycles, Chains, and Assorted Misnomers

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 1998 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Psychiatry; Clinical Psychology; Criminology and Criminal Justice, general
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