nextgenforensic

Examining pedophilic interest as a risk factor for sexual re-offending

By Ian McPhail (@IanVMcPhail on twitter)

One of the central preoccupations of forensic psychology is identifying what psychological and social characteristics may contribute to re-offending.  This concept is straightforward and important.  When someone commits an offence, is caught and convicted, and becomes involved in the criminal justice system, we want to understand what separates those who return to criminal behaviour and those who do not.  When we understand this, people working with individuals who have committed sexual offences can help them limit the influence of these problems in their lives and increase the chance that they will desist from crime.

Read more…

Disclosing a sexual interest in children to others: The experience of a non-offending pedophile

Ian McPhail

While writing a review paper on non-offending pedophiles, some of the research I reviewed discussed a difficult aspect of having a sexual interest in children: the choice of whether to disclose a sexual interest in children to others or remain hidden.  During interviews with researchers, pedophilic men described that making this choice was a struggle for them, that the decision to disclose or not was fraught with anxiety about the potential interpersonal and other consequences.  Part of the struggle for these men was the fear that in disclosing their interests, others would end the relationship or at the very least, it would impact the relationship in a negative way.  Indeed, if we were to imagine that a friend of ours, or a partner, or a family member disclosed to us they experienced a sexual and emotional attraction to children, I think the majority of us would struggle with this disclosure, even if the struggle was simply knowing how to support the person while maintaining our relationship with them.

Read more…

10 online talks about sexual violence: Causes, cures, and questions

Caoilte Ó Ciardha

If you take an interest in any subject, you’ll invariably have a wealth of video resources immediately available online covering everything from piloting giant robots to cat massage. Videos focusing on scientific research can often get across complex concepts in a more intuitive or engaging way than written material. TED Talks, for example, provide engaging slick presentations on a huge variety of topics including science, business, and global issues. Academic journals are increasingly making content available as video abstracts allowing for an alternative method of circulating the key findings from research. Unfortunately, high quality, rigorously researched video resources on the topic of sexual violence can be hard to find. I’ve tried to do some of the legwork for readers of NextGenForensic and find thought-provoking or informative videos on important topics.

Read more…

There is evidence to support the use of Western developed violent risk assessment in China: Responding to Zhou et al. (2015)

Seung Chan Lee and Karl Hanson

The recent article published by Zhou and his colleagues (2015) concluded that there was little evidence to support the use in China of violent risk assessment instruments developed in Western countries. They made two claims: 1) the predictive validity estimates (AUCs) were noticeably lower in China than in Western countries, and 2) the values of predictive validity found in Chinese studies were poor. We believe that the evidence presented in the article does not support either of their claims. This post outlines our rationale for this belief.

Read more…

Going from good to great

David Prescott

This blog results from a year or so of conversations with a very patient Kelly Babchishin. Since the emergence of the NextGenForensic blog, I have come to think of myself increasingly as the older generation. This is not just bemused self-deprecation; the existence of a next generation raises questions for the rest of us. How do we make the most of career transitions? How do we succeed and fail the most effectively that we can? And for some of us, how do we become elders in the field without simply becoming cranky oldsters? As an emerging professional, I sometimes experienced cruel undermining by those who should have mentored me. Michael Seto’s message to newer forensic psychologists on this blog last year was an outstanding start to many of these conversations.

Read more…

What’s wrong with “child pornography”? The impact of terminology

Danielle Kettleborough

As researchers, we make choices daily about what terminology to use in our reports.  We take our writing seriously and try to write as intelligibly as possible, but we often don’t think twice about the specific terms we use. We may not consciously choose a particular term, it’s just something we have become familiar with and use it so often that we don’t always consider its impact.

Read more…

Virtuous pedophiles exist

Kelly Babchisin

It is a commonly held belief that individuals with a sexual interest in children (that is, pedophiles) are at an extremely high risk of committing (or to have already committed) a sexual offence against a child. When people hear ‘pedophiles’, most immediately think ‘child molester’, ‘predator’, or ‘sex offender’. Most overlook an important distinction: pedophiles are those who hold a sexual interest in children whereas sex offenders against children are those who have committed a sexual offence against a child. These terms are not synonymous. Indeed, a large body of research has found that not all pedophiles are sex offenders, and not all sex offenders are pedophiles (Seto, 2008). Some pedophiles only have a sexual interest in children (exclusive pedophiles), whereas other pedophiles have a sexual interest in both children and adults (nonexclusive pedophiles).

Read more…

A concluding comment to Ian McPhail regarding integrative pluralism

Tony Ward

It is hard to know how to reply to Ian McPhail’s latest riposte to my commentary on theory construction.  To set the scene. First, I have a degree in philosophy and yes have read Feyerabend, Popper, Hanson, Lakatos etc. and the rest of the crew! My Masters thesis was on the metaphysics and epistemology of psychology so this material is familiar to me. I keep up with much of the relevant literature and am currently writing on some aspects on method in psychology. I prefer not to defer to the authority of the greats in argument; it is logically irrelevant, and incorrect.

Read more…

More on pluralism, bloat, and usefulness: A response to Tony Ward’s post

Ian V. McPhail

To start my reply to Prof. Ward’s response, it is probably best to outline where he and I agree on some of the topics covered on the blog and in his recently published work. First, we both agree that there is a need for more and better conceptual work in forensic psychology. Ward and Beech, as well as Mann and colleagues, make the point that the time has come for more in-depth theoretical work to deepen our understanding of the psychological constructs that cause sexual violence. Mann et al. are right to suggest that the field is probably at a point when empirical research has identified a good swath of psychological constructs that are ripe for theoretical development. And Prof. Ward is right to point out that more conceptual work needs to be done, that the current state of affairs can be aptly described as impoverished, and that conceptual work is necessary for progress.

Read more…