nextgenforensic

Stigma and non-offending pedophiles

Ian McPhail

People who have pedophilic interests and do not act on these interests present a complex challenge to clinicians.  There is growing evidence that a pedophilic orientation is associated with pre-natal factors, suggesting this orientation may start with events present prior to birth.  On this blog, we were fortunate enough to have the co-founders of Virtuous Pedophiles write a post about the existence of non-offending pedophiles and some of the painful challenges these individuals face due to having a sexual orientation they did not choose.  As part of the shame and fear of disclosing pedophilic interests, some non-offending pedophiles do not make these disclosures, even to mental health professionals.  A consequence of not feeling safe to disclose a pedophilic orientation, these people are left to cope with and manage their sexual attractions on their own.  As a budding mental health professional, I find this state of affairs unacceptable.  There are a number of reasons why I am unsatisfied with this status quo, but one I find pressing and that research is beginning to examine with non-offending pedophiles is stigma.

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The motivation-facilitation model and its application to offences relating to child sexual exploitation material

Danielle Kettleborough

I recently attended the National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers (NOTA) conference, where I presented an overview of the research I am carrying out as part of my PhD. This post will give a brief summary of the key points taken from the presentation.

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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.

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“The children in the images were not harmed”: Permission-giving thoughts relating to child sexual exploitation material offending

Danielle Kettleborough

Following on from the recent blog post detailing the development of the Children, Internet, and Sex Cognitions (CISC) scale, this post will further explore the findings from this research, focusing on the permission-giving thoughts endorsed by individuals with an offence related to child sexual exploitation material (CSEM).

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Emotional congruence with children: Recent developments in an old concept

Ian McPhail

In the past number of years, a few colleagues and I have embarked on a line of research examining emotional congruence with children in sexual offenders against children.  The set of psychological processes typically included within this concept highlight the perceived intimate nature of relationships males who commit sexual offences against children have with children and their understanding of these relationships.  Basically, emotional congruence with children suggests the notion that some men feel more comfortable around children than adults, think of children as their friends, are emotionally attracted to children, and may even yearn for the trappings of childhood.

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The sense or folly of doing ‘quali’

Ian A. Elliott

We researchers, we’re a manipulative bunch. We like nothing better than taking observable phenomena, controlling them, and bending them to the will of empirical scientific inquisition. However, due to the dynamic nature of our field, it is far from a rarity to encounter both new forms of criminal behavior and new manifestations of well-established criminal behavior.

As important as quantitative research is in our field, there is ample room for other ways in which to explore these complex phenomena and the range of experiences involved in, and resulting from, sexual violence. There is an abundance of qualitative work in forensic psychology seeking to provide a foundational understanding of various phenomena on which we can build measurable theoretical, assessment, and treatment practices.

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What’s the point when research on sexual offending has no links to practice?

Ross Bartels

The measure of greatness in a scientific idea is the extent to which it stimulates thought and opens up new lines of research” – Paul Dirac (physicist)

A good deal of research is being conducted by both academics and clinicians to help us understand, assess, and treat sexual offenders. As such, it is understandable to see ‘nextgen’ researchers (myself included) wanting to provide a valuable contribution to the field. However, finding a ‘great scientific idea’ can to be a challenging endeavour. There are a great many factors inherent to the understanding of human behaviour, and offending behaviour is no exception. Luckily, as researchers in forensic psychology, we have a vast body of psychological literature (whether it be a principle, theory, method, or findings from a study) to draw upon when formulating a specific research question. I find this process exciting, as you never know when you might find a ‘hidden gem’ that will reveal new ways of understanding, assessing, and treating sexual offenders.

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The effects of researching the incomprehensible

Caoilte Ó Ciardha

We were five or six research students heading to an amusement park in Georgia after attending the annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. After alighting from a rollercoaster we stopped to grab some food; corndogs I seem to recall. As we did, a troop of 10-12 year-old majorettes were gathering to perform their routine of choreographed dance and baton twirling. Proud parents and other onlookers formed a semicircle clapping, hooting, and taking photos. But we research students hung back, a sense of unease creeping over our group. For us, that sheen of innocence had been wiped the scene, replaced with an unsettling patina of over-sexualisation and risk.

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