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The Sex Crime: Deterioration more Apparent than Real?

Abstract

Public concern about an escalation of sex crime is unsupported by a critical analysis of official crime statistics in England and Wales. Assumptions about the inveterate recidivism of sex offenders are unconfirmed by follow-up studies. A great variety of behaviours is covered by sex crime, from the grave to the trivial. To the traditional offences of predatory aggressors, violent rapists and a small number of dangerous offenders driven by pathological emotions, are now added date rapes and harassments previously little reported. All sex incidents involving children are widely believed to cause lasting damage, despite evidence to the contrary. Female offenders and boy victims are receiving more attention. Adolescent involvement is insufficiently distinguished from paedophile offences and male homosexuals are suspected of paedophile tendencies. The development of constructive therapeutic approaches is impeded by doubts about efficacy and a punitive ethos.

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West, D. The Sex Crime: Deterioration more Apparent than Real?. European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 8, 399–422 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008713919597

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  • child molesters
  • paedophilia
  • recidivism
  • sexual delinquency
  • statistics