The Criminal Activity of Sexual Offenders in Adulthood: Revisiting the Specialization Debate

The Criminal Activity of Sexual Offenders in Adulthood: Revisiting the Specialization Debate Two major hypotheses have been put forward to describe the criminal activity of sexual offenders in adulthood. The first hypothesis states that sexual offenders are specialists who tend to repeat sexual crimes. The second hypothesis describes sexual offenders as generalists who do not restrict themselves to one particular type of crime. The current state of knowledge provides empirical support for both the specialization and the generality hypothesis. The presence of both generality and specialization in the offending behavior of sexual offenders is not as contradictory as it may first appear. However, methodological problems limit the possibility of drawing firm conclusions. Indeed, the specialization hypothesis is based on just one parameter of criminal activity, that is, recidivism, which only takes into account two consecutive crimes. The generality hypothesis is focused mainly on two criminal activity parameters, participation and variety, which do not take into account the dynamic nature of criminal activity over time. Developmental criminology provides a new paradigm to explore the issue of generality and specialization in the offending behavior of sexual offenders. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

The Criminal Activity of Sexual Offenders in Adulthood: Revisiting the Specialization Debate

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Psychiatry; Clinical Psychology; Criminology and Criminal Justice, general
ISSN
1079-0632
eISSN
1573-286X
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11194-005-5057-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Two major hypotheses have been put forward to describe the criminal activity of sexual offenders in adulthood. The first hypothesis states that sexual offenders are specialists who tend to repeat sexual crimes. The second hypothesis describes sexual offenders as generalists who do not restrict themselves to one particular type of crime. The current state of knowledge provides empirical support for both the specialization and the generality hypothesis. The presence of both generality and specialization in the offending behavior of sexual offenders is not as contradictory as it may first appear. However, methodological problems limit the possibility of drawing firm conclusions. Indeed, the specialization hypothesis is based on just one parameter of criminal activity, that is, recidivism, which only takes into account two consecutive crimes. The generality hypothesis is focused mainly on two criminal activity parameters, participation and variety, which do not take into account the dynamic nature of criminal activity over time. Developmental criminology provides a new paradigm to explore the issue of generality and specialization in the offending behavior of sexual offenders.

Journal

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and TreatmentSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2005

References

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