nextgenforensic

Long-term reconviction rates for individuals convicted of indecent image offences appear to be low

Ian A. Elliott

Although they’re a relatively small proportion of individuals convicted of sexual offences there is increasing concern about the behaviours and management of individuals with offenses relating to indecent images of children (IIOC) online. The consensus in the literature appears to be that, contrary to popular notions, sex offenders don’t reoffend at high rates and that the rate for IIOC offenders is lower than those who commit contact sexual offences. This post summarises the findings of our new study into (relatively) long-term reconviction rates for IIOC users.

Read more…

Examining preferential pedophilic interest as a risk factor for sexual recidivism

By Ian McPhail (@IanVMcPhail on twitter)

In my last two posts on nextgenforensic, I reviewed what we know about the latent structure of pedophilic interests and then examined the implications of this research by looking to see if non-preferential pedophilic interest was a predictor of sexual recidivism (tldr: it was not).

Read more…

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…

Examining the latent structure of pedophilic interest

By Ian McPhail (@IanVMcPhail on twitter)

In the last five years, there has been a series of attempts by forensic and sex scientists to examine and elucidate the latent structure of sexual interests in prepubescent children, or, pedophilic interest. In this blog post, I will discuss what latent structure is and what the recent science has been finding. In two upcoming blog posts, I will examine the ramifications of this recent latent structure research.

Read more…

Tips for peer reviewing scientific articles

Caoilte Ó Ciardha & Kelly M. Babchishin

Over the last year or so, we’ve started new roles as associate editors at the Journal of Sexual Aggression (CÓC) and Sexual Abuse (KB). Transitioning from simply presenting opinions for consideration to making the decisions on people’s work has been daunting but eye-opening. For example, you would not believe the amount of people who turn down reviewing. We get it, reviewing is a hassle, and when that one-week1 reminder arrives telling you the review is due you will invariably curse your past self who naively assumed you would have somehow cleared the steaming pile of work off your desk to make room for it.

Read more…

Do you speak the common (risk) language? A guide to risk for sexual offending

Andrew E. Brankley

7,099—that is the number of different languages spoken on Earth. How many do you speak? Most people only speak one and, if you are reading this blog, it is probably English. Learning English is highly valued because it is spoken in so many different countries; it is a common language. A common language is especially valuable in coordinating professionals and the public to prevent sexual abuse.

Read more…

The truth about stories: How men desist from sexual offending

Ian McPhail

“The truth about stories is that’s all we are.” This is how Thomas King, America-Canadian First Nations author, begins his 2003 Massey Lectures.  That phrase has resonated with me since I read it over ten years ago; in fact, it’s never strayed too far from my mind.  There is a power in stories: we are drawn to tell stories and construct fictions about ourselves and our world.  In this post, my interest is in exploring some of the stories told by men who desist from sexual offending.

Read more…

10 books flourishing forensic psychologists should consider investing in

Ian A. Elliott

Books are expensive. However, it’s tough to navigate a career in forensic psychology without any hard-copy reference materials and relying on journal articles alone. I recently noticed that my rare expenditure on books (I am neither senior enough nor expert enough to be inundated with freebies!) has shifted away from ‘topic’ books and further towards ‘methods’ books. Given that many students have only a limited budget to allocate to books, here are a few recommendations from my own experience on where you might want to invest as your career progresses.

Read more…

The link between pedophilia and height

Ian McPhail

If I were to ask the question, “what are some markers of early development experiences that might be linked to the development of pedophilic interests?”  I doubt most people would suggest “physical height”.  But to the contrary, pedophilic sex offenders are, on average, 1.7cm shorter than other groups of people (for example, other sex offender groups, non-offenders).  A more recent study by Fazio and colleagues found pedophilic offenders to be 3.09cm shorter than non-pedophilic offenders.

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…