The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.

~Chinese Proverb~

Child sex offenders: Sub-human or all too human?

June 22, 2012

You might think separating fact from fiction about child sex offenders to be a waste of time. If people are found guilty of this crime, does it matter if what we believe about them is myth? Setting feelings aside, there are a couple good reasons why we need to see abusers realistically. 

First, to find effective ways to keep children safe from offenders we must know all we can about them. Second, reducing recidivism requires those who treat child sex abusers to know what will or will not help them manage their impulses.

Beyond those two practical reasons, whether the issue is discussed privately or in the media, why just chew and spew a mishmash of semi-fact and fiction when there is actual data to look at.

Many Variables

A single, child sex offender profile does not exist. Though abusers can be put into sub groupings of offenders (i.e, abuse males or females), they are in many ways a diverse population.

Abusers do not share specific levels of intelligence, socioeconomic backgrounds, or age groups. Offenders come from all age and income levels, and have a wide range of IQ scores, from the extremely bright to those with limited mental capabilities. 

Although being abused as a child puts people at higher risk for becoming sex offenders, many people abused when young do not become adult abusers. Nor have all convicted child sex offenders been abused as children. Why some people offend is the result of a multitude of factors coming together.

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