Could ’empathy games’ play a role in treatment?

Ian A. Elliott

I occasionally take an interest in the ongoing “GamerGate” controversy, which is odd since the only game console I own is my mid-90s Game Boy loaded with Tetris. This post isn’t about GamerGate, but if you have an interest here’s a linkAlthough this post is not about GamerGate, it’s always good to read widely (it’s Habit #3 of Michael Seto’s advice to new researchers on this blog!). I would, however, encourage you to read this post by Liana Kerzner, which inspired this one, because it’s a wonderfully-written and objective examination of the issue of misogyny as it relates to video games. It also got me thinking about how we address empathy deficits in sex offender treatment – but we’ll get to that.

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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.

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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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