20 things I learned from NextGenForensic this year

Ian A. Elliott

As Caoilte noted in our 1st birthday announcement, “the internet loves lists”. So here, in no particular order, are twenty amazing takeaway facts from our first year of posts (and, yes, I am including my own posts in this list; “hashtag arrogant much”, as the kids probably say).

1. Pedophilia is not a choice, and there is a strong biological role in determining pedophilia.

2. Sexual interest, sexual orientation, and sexual arousal are often used interchangeably in the literature, but they are actually different, interacting, concepts.

3. Recent legal scrutiny in the U.S. has indicated that limitations on internet access for registered sex offenders may be overbroad and unconstitutional and/or constitutionally vague.

4. To make the most of the finite amount of time available, learning to say no is a hard, but very important, habit to learn for researchers.

5. Research has shown that an ‘antisocial orientation’ is a major predictor of sexual recidivism in sexual offenders, as well as violent (non-sexual) recidivism and general recidivism.

6. There is evidence suggesting that Child Sex Offender Disclosure Schemes are potentially damaging to ex-offender reintegration and may not have protected victims in some high-profile sexual abuse cases.

7. One group identified as responsible for “outing” sex offender in prison is the correctional officers who supervise them.

8. Myriad competing theories are vital to doing science successfully. Nonetheless, integrating local theories or models should be guided by broader, integrative theoretical frameworks.

9. There’s nothing wrong with a little research that is simply done for the goal of knowledge acquisition and not directly related to clinical practice.

10. Contrary to intuition, participants are willing to report that they have engaged in sexually aggressive behavior in online surveys.

11. Neither the public nor criminal justice professionals alike demonstrate the same level of solidarity for all victims of all sexual abuse.

12. A large-scale, preferably cross-cultural, rigorous experimental evaluation of CoSA is required in order to make an evidence-based case for the program’s much-vaunted benefits

13. It can be challenging to accept the idea that advocating for offenders is not at odds with being an advocate for victims of sexual aggression.

14. There is a dearth of quality studies on which to assess the effectiveness of sex offender interventions.

15. Child sexual exploitation material offenders endorse significantly fewer offence-supportive cognitions compared to child sex offenders.

16. Compared to sexual offenders against unrelated children, incestuous sexual offenders against children have fewer atypical sexual interests as well as antisociality indicators.

17. “Breadth” meta-analyses explore the constructs that either predict re-offending or not, whereas “depth” meta-analyses explore the ‘for whom’, how, and when those associations hold true.

18. After approximately 10 years offence-free in the community, the proportion of high risk sex offenders who reoffend was found to be similar to that of low risk offenders.

19. ‘Baby’, ‘cock’, ‘pussy’, and ‘yea’ were the most frequent words in a small sample of online solicitation texts.

20. Caoilte Ó Ciardha’s copy of Andy Field’s stats book smells like hiking boots and Fernet Branca.


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