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Therapists’ perceptions of the childhood experiences of male sex offenders Pedersen, Kurt A. 1995

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THERAPISTS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES OF MALE SEX OFFENDERS by KURT A. PEDERSEN B.S.W., The University of British Columbia, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Social Work) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1995 © Kurt Pedersen, 1995 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Cojumbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of .^T^XH?/f . Svsa/ ^CJrC^ The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date f9s>JoA&L, /2,j> DE-6 (2/88) Abstract There are indications that sex offending behaviors begin to develop i n childhood, and are influenced by the experiences sex offenders have as children. Traumatic sexual abuse i s one type of experience known to contribute to sex offending behavior, but non-traumatic experiences may also influence t h i s behavior. This study was conducted to determine what childhood experiences therapists perceived as impacting the development of sex offending behavior i n males. This q u a l i t a t i v e study employed purposeful sampling techniques. A sampling frame of 18 therapists i n private practice, who were known to work with male sex offenders, were sent a l e t t e r describing the study and asking for t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Of these 5 male therapists responded and were interviewed. A semi-structured interview guide was employed; a l l interviews were recorded and transcribed. Each of the therapists taking part i n t h i s study had at least 2 years experience working with sex offenders, and 3 of them had 7 or more years experience. Each of the therapists interviewed had attained at least a Masters degree and two had Ph.D.'s in psychology. The c l i e n t s seen by.these therapists because of t h e i r sex offending behavior ranged i n age from 4 to 80 years. Four of the f i v e therapists also provided services to male survivors of sexual abuse. Ill Qualitative methods of content analysis were employed. Three categories and one over-riding theme .described the data. The three categories support an eco l o g i c a l approach. Therapists i d e n t i f i e d factors at an i n d i v i d u a l , family environmental, and c u l t u r a l l e v e l of experience which they perceive as influencing the development of sex offending behavior. Therapists described t h i s development as an evolutionary process and believed that childhood experiences influence that process. An ecological model describing t h i s process i s presented. A number of lim i t a t i o n s are discussed which preclude the p o s s i b i l i t y of forming firm conclusions. However, t h i s data corroborates other studies which suggest that childhood experiences influence the development of sex .offending behavior, and that t h i s behavior begins to manifest i t s e l f i n childhood. Implications a r i s i n g from t h i s study support the notion that further research i s needed i n t h i s area. This study also argues that i d e n t i f y i n g childhood experiences which influence the development of male sex offending behaviors can lead to more e f f e c t i v e and pro-active interventions. Changing sex offending patterns of behavior i n male children may be a much easier task than tr e a t i n g those behaviors when they have become entrenched i n adults. iv Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents i v L i s t of Tables v i Acknowledgements v i i Chapter 1: Introduction 1 The Question 1 Purpose 4 Underlying Assumptions 4 Defi n i t i o n s 7 Overview 11 Chapter 2: Literature Review 14 Introduction 14 Developmental Theories 15 Freud's Psycho-sexual Theory 16 Erikson's Psycho-social Theory 25 Object Relations Theory 3 0 Cognitive Developmental Theory 32 Individual Perspectives 35 Trauma Model 3 6 Learning Model 4 5 Family Systems Theory 50 Feminist Theory 64 Ecological Models 75 Finkelhor's Model 76 F a l l e r ' s Model 81 Wolf's Model 92 Summary 95 Chapter 3: Methodology 103 Introduction 103 Design 106 Sample 107 Measure 114 V a l i d i t y 116 Content V a l i d i t y 117 R e l i a b i l i t y 119 Analysis 120 Summary 122 Chapter 4: Results 124 Introduction 124 Individual Factors 127 Family Environmental Factors 145 Cultural Factors 162 Evolutionary Theme 183 Summary 195 Chapter 5: Discussion 204 Introduction 204 Discussion 205 Limitations 223 Implications for Social Work 227 References 234 Appendix A 244 Appendix B 24 5 Appendix C 246 vi L i s t of Tables page Table 1: Descriptive Information of Subjects and Their Practice 113 Table 2: Male Therapists' Perceptions of the Individual Factors Influencing Male Sex Offenders 128 Table 3: Male Therapists' Perceptions of the Family Environment and the Childhood Experiences of Male Sex Offenders 146 Table 4: Cultural Factors Perceived by Male Therapists as Impacting the Childhood Experience of Male Sex Offenders 163 Vll ACKNOWLEDGMENTS In the course of any project c e r t a i n people step forward to make a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution. I would l i k e to acknowledge the people and t h e i r contributions to t h i s study. I would f i r s t and foremost mention that without the love, support, patience, and encouragement of my wife Deborah t h i s study might not have been completed. Her e d i t o r i a l support was c r u c i a l to the readability, of t h i s work. I would also mention the encouragement offered by my two children Kirsten and Chloe and the acceptance they showed when, Dad had to work l a t e again tonight. I hope that t h i s work contributes to making t h e i r world a safer, place to be. I would mention, as well, the f i v e therapists who accepted my i n v i t a t i o n to be interviewed. The contribution of t h e i r time and knowledge made t h i s study possible. I would also l i k e to thank Linda and Bob Hamm who welcomed me to t h e i r home and gave me the use of t h e i r computer. Their generosity, encouragement, and technical support went f a r beyond our o r i g i n a l expectations. F i n a l l y I would l i k e to acknowledge the thoughtful comments of my advisers, Mary Russell, Betty Carter and Elaine Stolar. I would e s p e c i a l l y . l i k e to thank Elaine f or her encouragement and with knowing exactly what to say to keep me going. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Question: What Childhood Experiences are Perceived by Therapists as Having an Impact on the i r Male Cli e n t s Becoming Sex Offenders? This chapter begins with a discussion of the question under study i n t h i s thesis, and the purpose for asking i t . Assumptions are inherent to a l l questions. The assumptions underlying the question posed here w i l l be delineated. A section defining terms germane to t h i s study i s also included i n t h i s chapter. An overview of the subsequent chapters w i l l be presented. This study i s concerned with o u t l i n i n g , from an ecolo g i c a l perspective, those childhood experiences which therapists perceive as a f f e c t i n g the development of sexual aggression i n males. The therapists interviewed worked with adult, adolescent and c h i l d offenders offending against adults, adolescents and children. Given the overwhelming evidence i n d i c a t i n g that i n excess of 90% of sex crimes are perpetrated by men, male gender terms are used when 2 r e f e r r i n g to sex offenders, (Finkelhor and Browne 198 6 and Badgley 1984) . Consequently, t h i s study w i l l concern i t s e l f with male sex offenders and t h e i r development and not with female offenders and t h e i r development. This study i s gender s p e c i f i c and i s concerned with whether common themes can be i d e n t i f i e d which characterize the childhood experiences of male sex offenders and i f so how might they contribute to the development of sexual aggression l a t e r i n l i f e . By way of i l l u s t r a t i o n , one theory of sex offending behavior postulates that today's offenders were yesterday's victims. The evidence suggests that some male victims do go on to become offenders and, i n some cases, there are s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s between the offenses committed and the abuse suffered. Some form of re-enactment seems to be a hallmark, most notably with the fixated pedophile whose abuse of children mirrors his own vi c t i m i z a t i o n (Groth, Hobson and Gary, 1982). Some offenders seem not to have been sexually abused, while many men abused as children do not go on to abuse others (Breer, 1987). This i l l u s t r a t e s the complexity of sexual aggression and suggests that a v a r i e t y of experiences play a part i n the development of t h i s behavior. 3 This study argues that asking offenders i f they were sexually abused as children i s asking too narrow a guestion. Instead, we must broaden the questions we ask to determine what childhood experiences sex offenders have i n common. Keeping i n mind that t h i s study represents a beginning search for new questions upon which to base new hypotheses rather than a test of new hypotheses, i t i s appropriate to question therapists who treat sex offenders rather than the offenders themselves. The respondents who took part i n t h i s study were selected i n the b e l i e f that t h e i r experiences i n working with a wide range of sex offenders would enable them to see the broader perspective. One of the strengths of s o c i a l work i s i t s willingness to view a problem i n a broader context than the i n d i v i d u a l . E c o l o g i c a l perspectives, which attempt to blend i n d i v i d u a l , f a m i l i a l , and c u l t u r a l components can strengthen our understanding of sex offenders and lead to a wider array of solutions. Sex offenders have largely been studied as in d i v i d u a l s . Great e f f o r t s have been made to match p a r t i c u l a r types of crimes to p a r t i c u l a r types of individuals. The crime i s seen within the context of the in d i v i d u a l , but the 4 i n d i v i d u a l i s not seen within the context of his l i f e experiences. This study takes a developmental and eco l o g i c a l approach, viewing the perpetrator and his crime i n the context of his experiences, including childhood experiences. If common themes do exist and can be i d e n t i f i e d , then i t seems l i k e l y that more proactive programs can be developed to prevent the b e l i e f s , attitudes and behaviors linked to sex offending behavior from developing. Purpose: The purpose of t h i s study i s to explore with therapists the extent to which they perceive childhood experiences as impacting the process of becoming a sex offender. Identifying which experiences they perceive as most important could lead to the formulation of questions deserving further study. Underlying Assumptions; In considering the research question, what childhood experiences are perceived by therapists as having an impact on t h e i r c l i e n t s becoming sex offenders, a number of assumptions need to be delineated. A central assumption i s 5 that sex offenders have childhood experiences d i f f e r e n t from non-sex offenders and those experiences have a bearing on the development of healthy sexual relationships. Healthy sexuality refers to the a b i l i t y to enter an intimate, physical and non-coercive relationship based on r e c i p r o c i t y . This study also assumes that sexuality i s a developmental process beginning i n childhood. Sexuality can be conceptualized as patterns of behavior which become better organized and more sophisticated over time. These behaviors encompass both the physical aspects of sex and the emotional connectedness necessary to form intimate r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Healthy sexuality i s seen as a developmental process which depends not only on physical maturity, but on emotional, and psychological wellness. F i n a l l y t h i s study assumes that sex offending behavior i s learned, and that t h i s learning begins i n childhood and i s guided by the experiences children have. These assumptions suggest that to construct theories about sex offending behavior taking place now, we must investigate the offender's past to understand what experiences set the person on t h i s p a r t i c u l a r developmental path. Together these assumptions suggest that personality formation i s a product of experience. This notion, however, 6 f a i l s to account for individual differences, and more s p e c i f i c a l l y how experience becomes interpreted and translated into behavior. The assumption that patterns of behavior, i n r e f l e c t i n g past experiences, are tempered by the way those experiences are interpreted, adds the necessary sophi s t i c a t i o n to the process. This process i s referred to as the dynamic construction of meaning. In considering sources of childhood experience and the dynamic construction of meaning, i t i s apparent the family context i n which the c h i l d i s raised plays an important r o l e . Families are seen as the primary sources of early influence and the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of children begins here. As the c h i l d grows the peer group becomes more i n f l u e n t i a l , but the family i s c l e a r l y important i n forming the foundation upon which the developmental process begins. Dynamic interactions which take place within families are s i g n i f i c a n t contributors to how children interpret t h e i r experiences. As children develop, they become exposed to experiences that r e f l e c t the c u l t u r a l mores of society and these play a part i n how meaning i s derived. So, while recognizing that committing of a sex offense i s ultimately an i n d i v i d u a l action, and that the perpetrator i s wholly 7 responsible for his behavior, the perpetrator's behavior i s viewed within the context of his l i f e , including childhood experiences. In summary, sexuality, as a developmental process, i s organized and expressed i n patterns of behavior which r e f l e c t both the experiences and the meanings ascribed to those experiences. It i s reasonable to assume that male sex offenders have experiences and/or interpretations d i f f e r e n t from non-offenders. D e f i n i t i o n s ; The terms and d e f i n i t i o n s as used i n t h i s paper are presented below. Some of the d e f i n i t i o n s are quite common while others are id i o s y n c r a t i c . Therapists: individuals working i n a private therapy practice who have at least two years experience working with sex offenders and who are educated to at least a Masters degree l e v e l . Perceptions: thoughts and b e l i e f s about sex offenders derived from a va r i e t y of sources including: knowledge gained through the experience of working with sex offenders; knowledge gained through academic education about sex 8 offenders; knowledge gained through professional development about sex offenders. Childhood: from b i r t h to and including age 18. Experience: events or circumstances, either one time or ongoing, to which a c h i l d i s exposed, p a r t i c i p a t e d i n , or observed. Sex offenders: males, regardless of age, who engage i n sexual behavior described i n the Criminal Code of Canada. Sexual abuse: the use of psychological and or physical power by someone to gain sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n at another's expense. Sexual abuse as defined above and as used i n t h i s paper encompasses a l l sex offenses covered by the Criminal Code of Canada. This d e f i n i t i o n recognizes that sexual abuse can occur at the hands of adults or children where charges are not l a i d . For example, where the perpetrator i s under 12 years of age and/or when the v i c t i m i s too young to make an accurate statement. Sexually Intrusive Behavior: refers to sexual behavior engaged i n by children containing elements of coercion and which i s developmentally inappropriate. The age d i f f e r e n t i a l between perpetrator and victim i s often not s i g n i f i c a n t . 9 Sexual offenses: those acts delineated i n the Criminal Code of Canada (Rodriques, 1990), under the following sections: Section 151: Sexual interference refers to the sexual touching of a person under the age of fourteen. Section 152: Invitation to sexual touching. This section makes i t i l l e g a l to encourage a person under fourteen to touch someone else for a sexual purpose. Section 153: Sexual exploitation. This section combines sections 151 and 152 but extends the age from under 14 up to 18 providing the perpetrator i s a person who i s i n a p o s i t i o n of trust and authority over the young person or i s a person upon whom the young person i s dependent. Section 155: Incest refers to sexual intercourse between blood r e l a t i o n s including: parent / c h i l d , s i b l i n g , grandparent / grandchild, and half brother / half s i s t e r . By r e f e r r i n g to blood relationships t h i s section seems to leave out other relationships that r e f l e c t the evolving family. For example sexual intercourse between a step father and his step c h i l d . Section 173: Exposure refers to the commission of an indecent act with the intent to i n s u l t or offend another 10 person, or who for a sexual purpose exposes his genitals to a person under the age of 14. Assault refers to the application of i n t e n t i o n a l force eit h e r d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y including threats, showing a weapon, and without the consent of the victim. Section 271: Sexual Assault involves the same c r i t e r i a as for assault and involves a sexual part of the body. Section 272: Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a t h i r d party or causing bodily harm. This section d i f f e r s from the previous section by boosting the possible sentence from 10 to 14 years as a way of taking into account the degree and type of coercion used by the perpetrator. Section 273 : Aggravated sexual assault i s considered more serious s t i l l and may be punished by l i f e i n prison. In the commission of the sexual assault the perpetrator has, i n the case of aggravated sexual assault maimed, wounded, di s f i g u r e d or endangered the l i f e of the victim. The Criminal Code of Canada was chosen as a source for d e f i n i t i o n s because the vast majority of sex offenders seen by therapists are adjudicated. The above sections of the Criminal Code es t a b l i s h the parameters of deviant sexual behavior displayed by the c l i e n t s of the respondents 11 interviewed for t h i s thesis. Using Criminal Code d e f i n i t i o n s maintains congruency of terms between respondent and researcher. Overview: The l i t e r a t u r e reviewed i n chapter two i s organized chronologically and makes the d i s t i n c t i o n between pre and post seventies research. The l i t e r a t u r e generated p r i o r to the 1970's was informed lar g e l y by Freud's psycho-analytic theory. During the seventies t h i s theory became r i c h e r for the c r i t i q u e offered by others, e s p e c i a l l y feminist researchers. Feminist researchers focused attention on the c u l t u r a l influences on s o c i a l i z a t i o n and the power i n e q u a l i t i e s which exist for women and children within the s o c i a l context of families and society. The perspectives developed by Freud and Erikson are highlighted, but other developmental psychologists are presented as well. The second section presents the l i t e r a t u r e from the 1970's onward. Beginning i n the late 1960's and early 1970's new paradigms for understanding sex offenders were developed, including a feminist analysis which brought the issue of sex abuse to the public's c o l l e c t i v e consciousness. This successfully c r i t i q u e d the psychoanalytic perspective 12 which had held sway u n t i l then. Feminist analysis opened the debate on sexual abuse which encouraged the development of other perspectives, including a learning perspective and a family systems perspective. Feminists were also instrumental i n adding to our knowledge about the e f f e c t s of trauma, (Herman, 1992; Terr, 1990) and, i n so doing, strengthened and humanized the psychoanalytic perspective. The l i t e r a t u r e presented i n t h i s section i s organized by the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective from which i t derives. Some researchers argue that the complexity of the task of understanding sex crimes demands ecological models capable of integrating the strengths of the d i f f e r i n g models so f a r delineated. Three of these models w i l l also be discussed. Chapter three describes the methodology used i n t h i s study and i t s rationale. This q u a l i t a t i v e study i s exploratory i n nature. In focusing on the childhood experiences of sex offenders i t i s hoped that t h i s work w i l l generate new questions and new ways of thinking about sex offenders and how they come to be. Chapter four presents the study r e s u l t s . Therapists working with male sex offenders perceive childhood experiences as formative. The data generated f e l l into 13 three main areas: the respondents i d e n t i f i e d contributing factors at i n d i v i d u a l , family and c u l t u r a l l e v e l s . The r e s u l t s from t h i s study support the work by Finklehor, (1984) ; F a l l e r , (1988) ; and Wolf, (1985) who argue that single factor models lack the sophistication necessary to explain sex offending behavior. There i s also some question, unresolved i n t h i s study, about whether an ec o l o g i c a l perspective guides the delivery of treatment or whether treatment of sex offenders i s s t i l l guided by single factor theories. It appears that ecological models which examine the sex offender's in d i v i d u a l pathology, while not lo s i n g sight of the environmental influences at both the family and c u l t u r a l l e v e l , w i l l ultimately provide us with better understanding of sex offenders. 14 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction: T h i s c h a p t e r , i n examining t h e l i t e r a t u r e p e r t i n e n t t o " T h e r a p i s t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f the c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s o f sex o f f e n d e r s " , i s o r g a n i z e d t o examine the l i t e r a t u r e from a pre and p o s t 1970's p e r s p e c t i v e . T h i s d i v i s i o n i s u s e f u l because, d u r i n g t h e 1970's, the t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e on t h i s i s s u e was broadened by f e m i n i s t t h e o r i s t s . They s h i f t e d t h e f o c u s from a p s y c h o a n a l y t i c p e r s p e c t i v e which saw sex o f f e n s e s as p r i m a r i l y an i n t r a p e r s o n a l problem, t o a t t e n d t o c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s which c o n t r i b u t e t o sex o f f e n s e s . Others were i n f l u e n c i n g and b r o a d e n i n g t h e u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f c h i l d development. E r i k s o n (1950) a l t h o u g h p r e 1970's, emphasized the importance o f environment, and p r e s e n t e d c h i l d r e n as s o c i a l b e i n g s . The p s y c h o l o g y o f s e l f and o b j e c t r e l a t i o n s , as p r e s e n t e d by Kohut (1977) c h a l l e n g e d Freud's (1947) b e l i e f i n sex and a g g r e s s i o n as p r i m a r y d r i v e s , and argued the importance o f empathic p a r e n t i n g and s e l f - e s t e e m . C o g n i t i v e p s y c h o l o g i s t s d e s c r i b e d 15 c h i l d r e n i n t e g r a t i n g information and attempting to make sense of that information. The l i t e r a t u r e i s ordered c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y , with short d i s c u s s i o n s of the t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks upon which i t i s based. Understanding the frameworks which guided the research examined i n t h i s chapter w i l l help d e l i n e a t e the l i n k s between experiences i n childhood and p s y c h o l o g i c a l w e l l - b e i n g l a t e r i n l i f e . How researchers perceive a problem, and the questions. they develop to explore that problem, are d i r e c t e d and l i m i t e d by the t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e they hold. The trend, as t h i s chapter w i l l demonstrate, i s toward the development of e c o l o g i c a l t h e o r i e s which encompass a number of p e r s p e c t i v e s . The t h e o r i e s examined p o s i t i n f l u e n c e at e i t h e r an i n d i v i d u a l , f a m i l i a l , c u l t u r a l , and e c o l o g i c a l ' l e v e l . Developmental Theories: From a developmental pe r s p e c t i v e , t h i s study i s concerned with i d e n t i f y i n g e x p e r i e n t i a l childhood themes that may prove to have explanatory power i n understanding why some men commit sex offenses. The t h e o r e t i c a l frameworks developed by Freud and Erikson w i l l be presented 16 i n some d e t a i l , while- other developmental frameworks w i l l be presented i n somewhat less d e t a i l . Freud's Psycho-sexual Theory: Freud's Psycho-sexual Theory, (1947) described childhood development as an orderly progression through increasingly more sophisticated stages. His theory argues ce r t a i n i n s t i n c t s are inborn; the most powerful of which i s the sex i n s t i n c t . Freud's theory was developed at a time when the physical sciences were exploring the transfer of energy through hydraulics. He incorporated these ideas by suggesting that l i b i d i n a l energy was concentrated at d i f f e r e n t points i n the body, depending on the maturity of the c h i l d . The oral stage, from b i r t h to one year, saw the l i b i d o concentrated i n the oral area, and thus we see children at t h i s age exploring the world and receiving pleasure by sucking, chewing and s p i t t i n g . From age one to three, l i b i d o s h i f t s to the anal region and children learn control over t h e i r sphincter muscles. From ages three to six, children derive pleasure from t h e i r genital region as they learn that touching t h e i r 17 genitals feels good. This stage, which Freud termed the p h a l l i c stage, i s important because gender s t a b i l i t y occurs during t h i s time. The task i s for boys to s h i f t t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n from mother to father and for g i r l s to cement t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n to mother. During the next six years, which Freud termed the latency stage, children use t h e i r same sex parent as a role model. Males during t h i s stage would be p a r t i c u l a r l y vulnerable to the modelling behavior of t h e i r fathers. The l a s t stage i n Freud's developmental theory i s the ge n i t a l stage. This stage begins around age 12 and coincides with the onset of puberty. During t h i s period the sexual reproductive system i s maturing and l i b i d i n a l energy i s invested i n forming friendships, preparing for a career, and finding a mate. Another component of Freud's developmental work was his description of personality formation. Freud, (1964) postulated that personality i s made up of three components. At b i r t h , personality i s a l l i d . Id, according to Freud, i s that part of our personality concerned with the g r a t i f i c a t i o n of pleasure. . As a newborn's needs are met, energy can s h i f t and the ego develops. 18 Ego i s that part of the personality which i s governed by the r e a l i t y p r i n c i p a l and must both control and s a t i s f y the demands of the i d . Where i d can be conceptualized as the drive to act impulsively, ego i s the f i r s t l i n e of impulse control. The ego controls impulse i n part by c a l l i n g on the super-ego for moral guidance. At around age three the super-ego begins to emerge according to the child's cognitive a b i l i t y to i n t e r n a l i z e the moral codes taught by parents. In discussing Freud's formulation of personality, Shaffer (1985) describes the mature and healthy personality as, a dynamic set of checks and balances: the i d communicates basic needs, the ego restrains the impulsive i d long enough to f i n d r e a l i s t i c ways of meeting these needs and the superego decides whether the ego's problem solving strategies are morally acceptable (pg. 46). Many of Freud's female patients, reported memories of sexual abuse. Freud (1896) presented a paper to his peers i n which he argued that pre-mature sexualization of female children was traumatic and resulted i n hysteria l a t e r i n l i f e . His views were r i d i c u l e d and he was ostracized. In 19 1905 Freud r e c a n t e d the s e d u c t i o n t h e o r y and advanced th e t h e o r y t h a t t h e memories of s e x u a l abuse r e p o r t e d by h i s female c l i e n t s were i n f a c t u n f u l f i l l e d f a n t a s i e s , Masson (1984). The b e l i e f t h a t c h i l d r e n a c t t o seduce a d u l t s t o f u l f i l l t h i s f a n t a s y has l o n g been used t o r a t i o n a l i z e t h e s e x u a l abuse of c h i l d r e n . I n h i s r e v i e w o f the l i t e r a t u r e on sex o f f e n d e r s , Karpman (1954) c r e d i t s Freud's P s y c h o - s e x u a l Developmental Theory f o r p r o v i d i n g r e s e a r c h e r s w i t h an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f p e r s o n a l i t y f o r m a t i o n . He argues t h a t w i t h o u t a t h e o r y t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e f o r m a t i o n o f p e r s o n a l i t y t h e r e was no way o f d e v e l o p i n g the. q u e s t i o n s t h a t can l e a d t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f p e r s o n a l i t y f o r m a t i o n gone awry, nor can t h e r e be e f f e c t i v e t r e a t m e n t f o r sex o f f e n d e r s . Sex o f f e n d e r s were seen as h a v i n g p e r s o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which l e a d them t o behave i n ways c o n s i d e r e d a b e r r a n t . Very, few r e s e a r c h e r s d u r i n g the p e r i o d from 1910 t o 1970 b e l i e v e d sex o f f e n d e r s met the l e g a l d e f i n i t i o n o f i n s a n i t y , but r a t h e r d e s c r i b e d them as h a v i n g m a l a d j u s t e d p e r s o n a l i t i e s . H a r t w e l l (1950) found t h a t t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h o s e who commit sex o f f e n s e s were not l e g a l l y i n s a n e , but n e i t h e r were t h e y normal. The most common l a b e l s a s c r i b e d 20 t o sex o f f e n d e r s were p s y c h o p a t h i c and n e u r o t i c . A t h i r d l a b e l , abnormal s e x u a l i m p u l s e s , i s common t o b o t h (Bromberg, 1940; Abrahamsen, 1950; and A p f e l b e r g , Sugar and P f e f f e r , 1944) . The p s y c h o p a t h i c sex o f f e n d e r was g e n e r a l l y seen as r e j e c t i n g community s t a n d a r d s o f r i g h t and wrong, and i m p u l s i v e l y a c t i n g t o meet h i s own needs w i t h o u t r e g a r d f o r t h e p a i n and s u f f e r i n g i n f l i c t e d on h i s v i c t i m s . Karpman (1944) b e l i e v e s t h e p s y c h o p a t h i c sex o f f e n d e r i s u n t r e a t a b l e and has an i n b o r n n a t u r e t o t a k e from h i s environment a l l t h a t he can w i t h o u t r e g a r d f o r t h e consequences t o e i t h e r h i m s e l f or t o h i s v i c t i m . Abrahamsen (1950) argues i n t h e same v e i n , but s u g g e s t s the p sychopath i s e g o c e n t r i c ; he shows no emotion, i s a b l e t o i n g r a t i a t e h i m s e l f w i t h o t h e r s but i s u n a b le t o form an e m o t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h a n o t h e r p e r s o n . The n e u r o t i c sex o f f e n d e r i s d e s c r i b e d , from th e p s y c h o - a n a l y t i c p e r s p e c t i v e , as d e v e l o p m e n t a l l y a r r e s t e d (Karpman, 1954). S p e c i f i c a l l y , n e u r o s i s i s seen as t h e u n d e r l y i n g c o n d i t i o n t o . a l l t h e p a r a p h i l l i a s and i s t h e r e s u l t o f not s u c c e s s f u l l y r e s o l v i n g the o e d i p a l c r i s i s by i d e n t i f y i n g w i t h t h e same sex p a r e n t . Thus the n e u r o t i c sex 21 o f f e n d e r i s seen as u s i n g the p a r a p h i l l i a t o l e s s e n t h e a n x i e t y caused by t h e t h r e a t o f c a s t r a t i o n by t h e f a t h e r o r s e p a r a t i o n from the mother (Kaplan and Sadock, 1991). T h i s e x p l a n a t i o n o f p a r a p h i l l i a i s most c o n t e n t i o u s because t h e r a t i o n a l e s t o e x p l a i n a r r e s t e d development blamed t h e mother and/or t h e v i c t i m . P e d o p h i l e s were seen as f a i l i n g t o master t h e o r a l s t a g e , most o f t e n because of u n s a t i s f i e d e x p e r i e n c e s i n weaning. C a s s i t y (1927) and Bromberg (1948) h e l d t h a t p e d o p h i l e s were weaned t o o a b r u p t l y . C o n v e r s e l y , Hadley (1926) argued t h a t p e d o p h i l e s were weaned over t o o p r o l o n g e d a t i m e . T h i s i s a c l a s s i c example o f how mothers were blamed f o r e i t h e r d o i n g too l i t t l e o r t o o much and demonstrates the no win s i t u a t i o n i n which t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e p l a c e d them. Mothers were o f t e n d e s c r i b e d i n h a r s h m o r a l i s t i c terms. Waggoner and Boyd (1941) d e s c r i b e d mothers as s e l f i s h , n e g l e c t f u l and s e x u a l l y promiscuous. No mention was made o f f a t h e r s . Doshay (1943), a n o t h e r i n f l u e n t i a l . r e s e a r c h e r , used terms such as f e e b l e minded, v u l g a r , immoral and poor homemakers t o d e s c r i b e mothers. R e i c h (1938) d e s c r i b e d t h e mothers he i n t e r v i e w e d as s y p h i l i t i c , m e l a n c h o l i c , s u i c i d a l 22 and as a c c e p t i n g t h e v i o l e n c e p e r p e t r a t e d a g a i n s t them by t h e i r husbands. The p s y c h o - a n a l y t i c p e r s p e c t i v e p o s i t e d t o o g r e a t an i n f l u e n c e w i t h mothers and t o o l i t t l e w i t h f a t h e r s . The r o l e o f mothers was t o r a i s e c h i l d r e n , the r o l e o f f a t h e r s was t o f i n a n c i a l l y s u p p o r t t h e i r f a m i l i e s and t o be t h e p r i m a r y d e c i s i o n makers. C l e a r l y t h e r e e x i s t e d a power d i f f e r e n t i a l between men and women which was i g n o r e d by t h e p s y c h o - a n a l y t i c p e r s p e c t i v e . The j o b o f r a i s i n g c h i l d r e n b e l o n g e d t o t h e mother and i f c h i l d r e n d e v e l o p e d problems t h e mothers were c l e a r l y t o blame.' D u r i n g t h e 1930's and 40' s l i t t l e e f f o r t was made t o d i s t i n g u i s h between the o f f e n d e r and the v i c t i m . C o n s e q u e n t l y , even v e r y young c h i l d r e n might be charge d w i t h an o f f e n s e w i t h o u t r e g a r d t o t h e i r r o l e . Karpman (1954) u n d e r s c o r e s t h e importance t h a t e a r l y g e n i t a l e x p e r i e n c e w i t h a d u l t s has on e s t a b l i s h i n g a p a t t e r n o f sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r which becomes more e s t a b l i s h e d o ver t i m e . Waggoner and Boyd (1941) d e s c r i b e the case o f an e l e v e n y e a r o l d boy whose mother f i l e d a c o m p l a i n t t h a t he was becoming m o r a l l y depraved. He i s d e s c r i b e d as a male p r o s t i t u t e whose f i r s t s e x u a l e x p e r i e n c e was a t n i n e y e a r s o f age when he was 23 sodomized by t h r e e o l d e r men. Doshay (1943) c i t e s s e v e r a l examples o f young boys charged w i t h sex o f f e n s e s i n which t h e y were the v i c t i m r a t h e r than the a g g r e s s o r . The f i r s t i s o f a t w e l v e y e ar o l d boy charged w i t h c o m m i t t i n g p e r v e r s i o n s w i t h two o l d e r s i b l i n g s . These o l d e r boys had a l s o f o r c e d i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h t h e i r s i s t e r s . A second case d e s c r i b e s a t e n y e ar o l d boy who was charged when sodomized by a number of a d o l e s c e n t s . The l i t e r a t u r e o f t h i s p e r i o d i s a l s o r e p l e t e w i t h o t h e r examples where the v i c t i m i s blamed. Bender and B l a u (1937) argue th e f a c t t h a t many c h i l d r e n do not r e p o r t s e x u a l abuse, even a f t e r r e p e a t e d a t t a c k s , demonstrates t h a t the a c t s a r e f u n d a m e n t a l l y s a t i s f y i n g t o them. They a l s o m a i n t a i n t h a t c h i l d r e n may not r e s i s t , and may even be a c t i v e i n i n i t i a t i n g t h e o f f e n s e . Bowman (1938) argues t h a t because c h i l d r e n a r e not a s e x u a l i t f o l l o w s t h a t t h e y are not n e c e s s a r i l y u n w i l l i n g v i c t i m s . He t h e n c o n c l u d e s t h a t , i n some c a s e s , c h i l d r e n a r e t h e a g g r e s s o r s , even a g a i n s t a d u l t s . B e s i d e s i n a d e q u a t e m o t h e r i n g , th e l i t e r a t u r e r e v i e w u n d e r t a k e n by Karpman (1954) i d e n t i f i e s a number o f o t h e r c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s common t o sex o f f e n d e r s . These i n c l u d e n e g l e c t , g e n e r a l d e l i n q u e n c y , absent f a t h e r s and e a r l y o n set 24 of sexual experience, usually with adults. The l a t t e r i s , of course, a euphemism for sexual abuse and i t s traumatic impact. Children brought to court for disturbed sexual behavior were characterized as coming from homes that were phy s i c a l l y , emotionally, and sexually abusive. The basic human needs of love, security, and acceptance were not met. These children had not integrated appropriate moral standards, nor did they have parents who modeled appropriate behavior. Their behavior was described as disorganized and impulsive. Freud postulated that trauma may i n t e r f e r e with orderly development, thus, experiences i n childhood could res u l t i n a personality disorder. - It was not u n t i l much l a t e r that the traumatic impact of c h i l d abuse was understood. The psychoanalytic perspective argues that the mastery of experience involves bringing to the conscious mind those experiences buried i n the .unconscious. This perspective, rather than suggest we are slaves to experience, argues i n favor of a complex interplay between experience and cognition. Freud also emphasized the importance of childhood experiences i n forming healthy p e r s o n a l i t i e s . He argues that the a b i l i t y to i n t e r n a l i z e society's moral code, 25 and to govern one's impulses i s dependent on having one's childhood needs met. Erikson's Psycho-social Theory: Erikson's (1950) psychosocial theory of development builds on Freud's work by emphasizing the s o c i a l interactions of children and the c u l t u r a l influences which impact t h e i r development. Erikson's theory described development from infancy into adulthood. His theory, l i k e Freud's, i s a stage theory with the assumption that each stage builds on the former. These stages are task oriented and involve the resolution of a c r i s i s to a greater or lesser degree. A b r i e f description of Erikson's developmental model (1950) shows the importance he placed on childhood experience i n developing healthy relationships. A hallmark of Erikson's theory i s the dynamic inte r a c t i o n between the c h i l d and his environment and between the opposing goals which characterize each stage. This examination w i l l look at the f i r s t six stages which span the time between b i r t h and young adulthood. 26 Trust vs. Mistrust, Erikson's f i r s t stage, begins at b i r t h and i s resolved by about age two. Children raised i n a caring environment where t h e i r needs are consistently met not only ' develop a sense of trust i n others but i n themselves as well. They learn to influence t h e i r environment to have t h e i r needs met. Autonomy versus shame and doubt, Erikson's second stage, corresponds with Freud's anal stage. During t h i s period children learn to hold on and to l e t go. It i s a time when they begin to develop control not only over themselves but over aspects of t h e i r environment. The c h i l d at t h i s stage i s consumed by the need to have choices and to exhibit' his increasing a b i l i t y to control both himself and the world around him. At thi s time a parent's job i s to help the c h i l d establish healthy boundaries. According to Erikson, u n r e a l i s t i c expectations of children at t h i s stage can res u l t i n the c h i l d developing a sense of shame or doubt which hinders the development of impulse control. Erikson's t h i r d stage, i n i t i a t i v e versus g u i l t , corresponds to Freud's p h a l l i c stage and i s characterized by the c h i l d ' s increased energy to explore and engage the world around him. The c h i l d whose i n i t i a t i v e i s thwarted runs the 27 r i s k of developing a sense of g u i l t about goals contemplated and actions i n i t i a t e d . Children begin the process of i n t e r n a l i z i n g the mores of th e i r culture and to d i f f e r e n t i a t e between what i s acceptable and what i s not. The fourth stage of Erikson's model, industry versus i n f e r i o r i t y , corresponds to Freud's latency stage. At t h i s point the c h i l d enters the world of schooling and i s taught to use adult tools. Children ready for the challenges of th i s stage are able to move forward and learn from those around them, and to gain mastery over an expanded world. Some children, rather than developing a sense of industry, develop a one of inadequacy, a b e l i e f that t h e i r e f f o r t s are never quite good enough. Identity versus role confusion, Erikson's f i f t h stage takes place at puberty and marks the end of childhood. At th i s stage a l l the crise s of past stages are reworked again; not within the context of family but within the larger and more varied context of peers. This re-questioning i s the basis of i d e n t i t y formation and often necessitates a degree of r e b e l l i o n directed at those responsible for t h e i r development to thi s point. It i s a time when past experiences, learned s k i l l s and a b i l i t i e s are re-cast to 28 wrestle with the questions "Who am I?" and "Where do I f i t in?" Role confusion can occur on several l e v e l s , including sexual i d e n t i t y . The person who has successfully resolved the c r i s i s of i d e n t i t y formation i s now ready to r i s k those gains by fusing t h e i r i d e n t i t y with another. During Erikson's s i x t h stage, intimacy versus i s o l a t i o n , those sure of t h e i r own sense of s e l f are able to make a commitment and enter into an intimate' relationship. Those lacking the a b i l i t y to sustain t h e i r i d e n t i t y while giving f r e e l y of themselves are l i k e l y to seek refuge i n i s o l a t i o n . Erikson, l i k e Freud, developed his model within the t h e o r e t i c a l framework of psychoanalysis. This framework and the stage model delineated by Erikson assume children are active participants within t h e i r environment. Their experiences influence the degree to which c r i s i s are successfully resolved. Whereas Freud emphasized the force of innate drives which propel children through stages of development, Erikson emphasized s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n s . Erikson's theory s h i f t e d the focus from the intra-psychic to the inter-psychic. Children's experiences were cast within a broader environmental context. 29 Erikson's psycho-social theory of development has been c r i t i c i z e d to the extent that i t purports to describe the development of male and female children rather than male children. G i l l i g a n (1982) argues that male and female development i s quite d i f f e r e n t and that Erikson's model does not accurately depict female development. She makes the point that aside from the f i r s t stage, Trust vs. Mistrust, and his i s sixth stage, Intimacy vs. Isolation his other stages speak to a development characterized by increasing individuation. She argues that female children develop s e l f i n r e l a t i o n s h i p and i s characterized by cooperation rather than competition. This thesis i s concerned with the development of sex offending behavior i n males and consequently with t h e i r development. G i l l i g a n ' s work in delineating a d i f f e r e n t developmental scheme or female development i s i n t e r e s t i n g considering what male developmental experience lacks. Does the fact that boys are encouraged to develop s e l f i n competition with others while g i r l s are encouraged to develop s e l f i n cooperation influence the much greater tendency i n males to commit sex offenses? 30 Object Relations Theory: The importance of childhood experience i s also theorized i n other psycho-analytic perspectives. Kohut (1977), believes that the f a i l u r e of the c h i l d to i n t r o j e c t a loving parent s e l f object results i n lessened a b i l i t y to develop a healthy sense of s e l f . The underdeveloped s e l f i n attempting to hold together, seeks opportunities to f e e l loved and accepted. E s s e n t i a l l y , he suggests that lack of empathetic parenting i n early childhood can re s u l t i n a lessened a b i l i t y to negotiate successfully i n the adult world, and to form meaningful and mutually f u l f i l l i n g r elationships with peers. Unlike Freud, who saw aggression and sex as primary drives which the ego and super-ego regulated, Kohut (1977) saw sex and aggression as secondary phenomenon when the needs of the s e l f were not met. In his work with sex offenders Anechiarico (1990) argues that t h i s perspective better r e f l e c t s the motivations of sex offenders than Freud's psycho-sexual theory. He d i r e c t s the intervention to repairing the self-esteem of offenders. Chodorow (1978) distinguishes male and female experience from the object relations perspective. She theorizes that female children experience themselves as l i k e 31 t h e i r mothers and t h a t i d e n t i t y f o r m a t i o n and attachment become f u s e d . Male c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e t h e i r i d e n t i t y as o p p o s i t e from t h e i r mothers and t h e r e f o r e t h e m a s c u l i n e i d e n t i t y becomes f u s e d w i t h s e p a r a t i o n . T h i s l e a d s f e males t o seek attachments and males t o seek s e p a r a t e n e s s and a c c o u n t s , i n Chodorow's o p i n i o n , f o r t h e tendency i n males t o f e a r i n t i m a c y . C o n s e q u e n t l y males are more l i k e l y t h a n f emales t o have d i f f i c u l t y i n s u s t a i n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Robb-Avery and Ryan (1988) e x p l o r i n g the l i n k between p a r e n t a l n u r t u r a n c e , s e l f - e s t e e m , and p o p u l a r i t y w i t h p e e r s , examined n i n e t y - t w o randomly s e l e c t e d boys and g i r l s between the ages o f n i n e and t w e l v e . C h i l d r e n w i t h h i g h e r s c o r e s on p a r e n t a l n u r t u r a n c e , as det e r m i n e d by BORS, p e r c e i v e d t h e m s e l v e s as more s o c i a l l y and c o g n i t i v e l y competent t h a n c h i l d r e n w i t h low s c o r e s . High s c o r e r s a l s o r e p o r t e d more s e l f w o r t h and more p o p u l a r i t y w i t h p e e r s . Low s o c i a l s k i l l s have been i d e n t i f i e d i n a number o f s t u d i e s o f sex o f f e n d e r s . O v e r h o l s e r and Beck (1986) compared m o l e s t e r s and r a p i s t s w i t h a c o n t r o l group. They r e p o r t e d t h a t h e t e r o - s o c i a l s k i l l s were d e f i c i e n t i n b o t h o f f e n d e r groups as compared t o c o n t r o l s . I n r o l e p l a y s w i t h a female c o n f e d e r a t e t h a t demanded an a s s e r t i v e r e s p o n s e , 32 r a p i s t s e v i d e n c e d g r e a t e r a n x i e t y w h i l e m o l e s t e r s d i s p l a y e d f e a r s o f n e g a t i v e e v a l u a t i o n s and s t e r e o t y p e d views o f sex r o l e s . O v e r h o l s e r and Beck (1986) quoted one m o l e s t e r as s a y i n g : W i t h an a d u l t female f a l l i n g i n l o v e was t h r e a t e n i n g . I c o u l d be judged by someone who knew enough t o judge and I d i d n ' t want them t o see I was w e i r d , i n s e c u r e , f e a r f u l , a l o s e r . Young g i r l s don't know any b e t t e r , (p.686) B e t h e a - J a c k s o n and Brisset-Chapman (1989), i n r e p o r t i n g on t h e i r work w i t h a d o l e s c e n t s e x - o f f e n d e r s , note s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , low s e l f esteem, e m o t i o n a l l y absent f a t h e r s and f e l t l a c k o f p e r s o n a l power and c o n t r o l as common c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n t h e i r c l i e n t s . Cognitive Developmental Theory: A major assumption of c o g n i t i v e d e v e l o p m e n t a l p s y c h o l o g y i s t h a t c h i l d r e n a c t i v e l y i n t e r a c t w i t h t h e i r e nvironment i n an e f f o r t t o o r g a n i z e and make sense o f t h e i r w o r l d ( P i a g e t , 1952). From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , c h i l d r e n ' s t h i n k i n g d e v e l o p s from t h e i r e f f o r t s t o i n t e g r a t e e x p e r i e n c e ( A u l t , 1983). A C h i l d ' s a b i l i t y t o make sense of t h e i r word w i l l depend on t h e i r c o g n i t i v e a b i l i t y and s t a g e of 33 development. Children judge the world and t h e i r place i n i t by the experiences they have. This perspective also d i f f e r e n t i a t e s child/adult from c h i l d / c h i l d experience, the l a t t e r being more l i k e l y to be r e c i p r o c a l i n nature. Dean and Malik (1986), i n a study of maltreated children argue that parental maltreatment w i l l a l t e r a chil d ' s perception of relationships with both peers and parents. In projective tests, maltreated children, unlike controls, f a i l e d to include descriptions of cooperation, compromise, sympathizing, understanding or exchanges between parent and c h i l d that would r e f l e c t a sense of equality. Although ,this study examined children who were ph y s i c a l l y and sexually abused or neglected, no s i g n i f i c a n t differences were noted between types of mal-treatment. Developmental delays were also noted i n the maltreated children regarding interpersonal connectedness with peers. Gomes-Schwartz (1985), in a study of eighteen adolescent offenders referred for treatment, noted that a majority were cognitively delayed, as measured i n IQ and motor v i s u a l i z a t i o n tests. As well, most were at least one year behind i n school. As a group they tested high i n a n t i -34 s o c i a l or s o c i a l delinquency. Ego-development, as measured on the Loevinger Ego-development Scale which measures the degree to which children have moved toward impulse control, showed that . only three of the f i f t e e n boys tested had attained age appropriate scores. It was argued that these offenders had f a i l e d to in t e r n a l i z e controls necessary to delay , g r a t i f i c a t i o n . This study highlights the interconnectedness between cognitive and personality development. Children's attempts to make sense of abusive parenting sty l e , and the ensuing cognitive d i s t o r t i o n s which r e s u l t are described i n Amsterdam (1979). These authors interviewed 113 adolescents recruited from the C a l i f o r n i a Youth Authority. They report that most of these children resort to the defense mechanisms of r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n and denial. They described t h e i r own punishment • by parents as a sign of caring; they described try i n g to obey t h e i r parents by becoming good children, and made excuses for th e i r parents while blaming themselves for t h e i r abuse. Males i n t h i s study tended to act out by becoming aggressive toward others, while g i r l s tended to withdraw. 35 Parental reaction to a child's sexual experience has also been noted as influencing the child's development. Parents who react harshly and p u n i t i v e l y to normal sex play may add an emotional component making i t d i f f i c u l t for the c h i l d to organize the experience i n a healthy way. Sarrel and Sarrel (1984) recount a number of case h i s t o r i e s of sexually dysfunctional c l i e n t s whose problems have t h e i r beginning i n t h i s type of fa u l t y perception i n childhood. In the following section, t h e o r e t i c a l perspectives w i l l be discussed which attempt to explain the sex offender. The research findings which follow contain elements which l i n k them to the' proposition that childhood experiences have a bearing on adult functioning. Individual Perspectives: A psychoanalytic perspective, with i t s emphasis on the i n d i v i d u a l , argues that differences exist between those who commit sex crimes and those who do not. Further, t h i s perspective suggests that those who rape same age peers d i f f e r from those who molest children. This perspective i s concerned with constructing typologies and explanations which account for the array of differences which have been noted. This perspective offers an explanatory model based 36 sex offenders have experienced a has gone unresolved. idea that those who commit sexual abused as children i s an example of the kind of explanations that t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l perspective gives r i s e to. Research from th i s perspective, i n concentrating on the differences between offenders and non-offenders, suggests that offenders have had d i f f e r i n g experiences. This section w i l l examine two models which support the notion that individual experiences have an impact on the development of an offending pattern of behavior. The two models examined are the trauma model and the learning model. T r a u m a M o d e l : Freud originated the notion that childhood trauma can i n t e r f e r e with the development of a healthy personality. However, feminists l i k e Herman (1992), Terr (1990) and G i l (1991) were instrumental i n broadening the trauma model to include the sexual abuse of children, and i n developing the notion that children abused sexually or p h y s i c a l l y are l i k e l y to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The trauma model has been forwarded as an explanatory model to on the notion that childhood trauma which The once common offenses were sexually 37 describe some sex offenders, by drawing attention to the intergenerational link.. between v i c t i m i z a t i o n as a c h i l d and. becoming the offender l a t e r in l i f e . In his work with adolescent sex offenders, Breer (1987) suggests that i n abusing others the offender i s re-enacting his own abuse, but as the aggressor rather than the victim. By c o n t r o l l i n g and re-shaping the experience, the offender/victim attempts to master the o r i g i n a l traumatic experience; the abused, becomes the abuser. This model i s consistent with findings that many offenders were once victims (Mayer, 1988; Becker, Cunningham-Rathner, and Kaplan, 1986; Cavanagh-Johnson, 1988; Ryan, Lane, Davis and Isaac, 1987). This hypothesis i s also congruent with the finding that, for many children, sexual abuse results i n premature sexualization (Finklehor, 1986); hence, the sexual component to the re-enactment. Because of the premature sexualization, sexually abused children are l i k e l y to act out t h e i r abuse i n sexually inappropriate ways. Kolko and Moser (1988) compared ph y s i c a l l y and sexually abused children with non-abused children i n a hospital setting, and found that sexually abused children evidenced greater sexual acting out behavior 38 than children i n the other two groups. The sexual acting out behavior common to sexually abused children was interpreted by early researchers, working from a psycho-an a l y t i c framework, as seductiveness, and hence the labels examined e a r l i e r . Even today t h i s sexualized traumatic reaction has been mislabeled as the c h i l d being purposively seductive rather than as a component of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Bass and Davis (1988) suggest that to be sexually abused as a c h i l d i s to have one's natural sexual capacity stolen. Sexual abuse comes i n response to the abuser's timetable and addresses t h e i r needs rather than respecting the needs and developmental preparedness of the c h i l d . These authors suggest that when sexual abuse i s linked with a f f e c t i o n , l a t e r i n l i f e the abused person may use sex to meet non-sexual needs, l i k e the need for closeness and nurturing. One of the ways sexual abuse i n t e r f e r e s with development, according to these authors, i s that the c h i l d ' s expression of sexuality i s maladaptive and those patterns may p e r s i s t into adulthood. Langevin, Wright and Handy (1989) compared 201 sex offenders who reported having experienced childhood sexual 39 abuse with 261 sex offenders who reported not being sexually abused. Those offenders who had been sexually abused as children showed greater sexualized childhood as evidenced by the numbers and variety of sexual contacts with adults, peers and s i b l i n g s of both genders. As a group they had committed rape more often, showed more emotional disturbance and had more disturbed father/son relationships. As well they reported more parent/child aggression and. more parental alcohol abuse. It may not only be the abuse that results i n trauma. The meaning derived by the c h i l d from the experience can also contribute to the trauma. Elwell and Ephross (1987) studied twenty children who had been sexually abused and noted conditions which contributed to the child ' s sense of trauma. Children who received environmental cues during the abuse and / or when the abuse was disclosed which supported the notion the abuse was serious and constituted a c r i s i s , had a heightened sense of trauma. Post abuse cues that contributed to a negative d e f i n i t i o n and increased trauma were the number of people seen by the c h i l d and whether the c h i l d needed to t e s t i f y against the perpetrator. 40 Haugaard and T i l l y (1988) i n a retrospective study, explored the l i n k between sexual experience and negative a f f e c t at the time of the experience and ' i n the present. Their findings point out the importance of the sense of control we experience and how c u l t u r a l norms might influence the derived meaning of an experience. In t h e i r study questionnaires were sent to 1784 male and female college students asking about th e i r own childhood sexual experiences. Of the 1089 responses, 42% reported having had a sexual encounter with another c h i l d before age 13. Respondents were asked to r e c a l l how they f e l t about the encounter at the time of occurrence and presently. Negative a f f e c t , both i n the present and i n the past, correlated with whether or not the experience was homosexual i n nature and with the l e v e l of coercion the respondents f e l t , but not with the act per se. Acts reported ranged from kissing and hugging to genital intercourse. An important implication from t h i s study i s that r e l a t i v e l y benign experiences, i . e . kissing and hugging, may have negative effects depending on the circumstances which accompany behavior and which impact the meaning ascribed to the behavior. Experiences which 41 might not meet the c r i t e r i o n of sexual abuse may i n t e r f e r e with healthy psychological development. The Trauma Model has some shortcomings. It f a i l s to explain why males, who account for the vast majority of offenders, are the least l i k e l y to be the victims of sexual abuse (Badgley, 1984; Russell, 1983; Herman, 1990). The inference i s that many offenders were never sexually abused. A second but related weakness of the Trauma Model i s that i t f a i l s to explain what Finkelhor (1986) terms the male monopoly. Why do females, who account for the vast majority of victims, rarely become abusers? Researchers, i n addressing the f i r s t point, have suggested that ' more boys are sexually abused than are reported i n the l i t e r a t u r e . Monaco and Gaier (1987) speculate that the d i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n of 'boys and g i r l s may i n h i b i t boys from d i s c l o s i n g past sexual abuse. Since boys are s o c i a l i z e d to handle and take control of t h e i r environment, being a victim i s dissonant with t h e i r assumed s e l f reliance. They speculate that because most sex offenders are male, boys victimized by men may fear being labeled as homosexual i f they report. They also point out that males are more l i k e l y to be sexually abused i n groups 42 which might l e a d them t o c o n c e p t u a l i z e t h e abuse as a game or as somehow more a c c e p t a b l e . I n a d d r e s s i n g the p e r c e p t i o n o f a male- monopoly, r e s e a r c h i n d i c a t e s t h a t men and women e x p e r i e n c e s e x u a l abuse d i f f e r e n t l y . I n o r d e r t o master t h e trauma o f b e i n g s e x u a l l y abused, men have a tendency t o e x t e r n a l i z e t h e i r p a i n and s t r i k e out a g a i n s t o t h e r s . C o n v e r s e l y , women t e n d t o i n t e r n a l i z e t h e e x p e r i e n c e and a c t i n ways t h a t put the m s e l v e s a t r i s k . In t e s t i n g t h i s n o t i o n , Marten (1985) l o o k e d a t gender d i f f e r e n c e s i n twenty i n c e s t v i c t i m s , t e n male and t e n female v i c t i m s i n f i v e d i f f e r e n t age g r o u p i n g s . She c o n c l u d e d t h a t females t e n d t o e x p e r i e n c e i n c e s t as a v i o l a t i o n o f s e l f and o f t h e i r r e l a t i o n a l network. Males e x p e r i e n c e i n c e s t as a v i o l a t i o n o f s e l f and t h e i r s t a b l e power s t r u c t u r e , thus t h e i r e m o t i o n a l damage i s t o t h e i r sense o f p o t e n c y and r e i n f o r c e s t h e i r f e a r o f i n t i m a c y . F r i e d r i c h and Luecke (1988), i n a s t u d y o f 85 c h i l d r e n , 24 male and 61 female, from t h r e e t o t w e l v e y e a r s o f age, a l s o found t h a t boys tended t o e x t e r n a l i z e w h i l e g i r l s i n t e r n a l i z e d . M u l t i p l e r e g r e s s i o n a n a l y s i s showed t h a t e x t e r n a l i z i n g b e h a v i o r was r e l a t e d t o d u r a t i o n o f abuse, c l o s e n e s s o f r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the p e r p e t r a t o r and i n v e r s e l y 43 to the time elapsed since disclosure. I n t e r n a l i z a t i o n was related to the severity of abuse, closeness of the perpetrator and frequency of abuse. Besides the tendency of boys to act out t h e i r abuse aggressively (externalize) , i t seems t h e i r behavior becomes more pronounced over time. It would'appear that rather than master the abuse experience t h e i r behavior becomes more entrenched through repeated re-enactment. In play therapy with traumatized children G i l (1991) argues that post traumatic play, i n the short term, can empower the c h i l d to rework the experience; but i f allowed to continue without a l t e r a t i o n i t may become entrenched. Rather than a sense of mastery re-enactment of the abuse experience may heighten trauma. Bruckner and Johnson (1987) report that i n a treatment group for male survivors of sexual abuse, a l l the members, admitted to being p h y s i c a l l y and sexually aggressive with t h e i r partners. The men in the group seemed to subscribe to the t r a d i t i o n a l expectation that they should have protected themselves and questioned t h e i r masculinity and independence because they had f a i l e d to do so. Their subsequent aggressive acting out was interpreted as an attempt to 44 regain t h e i r l o s t power r e f l e c t i n g the c y c l i c a l nature of re-enactment; these men seemed not to have gained mastery over t h e i r abuse experience, but rather, developed an entrenched pattern of behavior. The trauma model also f a i l s to explain why males who are victims of sexual abuse do not become perpetrators. Timely intervention plays a part i n ameliorating the harmful e f f e c t s of sexual abuse, but i t cannot be the whole explanation. Prior to the 1970's sexual abuse was not acknowledged as a wide spread problem i n need of a systemic attempt to i d e n t i f y and off e r treatment to victims. Male survivors of sexual abuse, who do not offend, are only l a t e l y seeking treatment. L i t t l e i s known about factors that ameliorate the effects of childhood abuse for male survivors. This underscores the importance of developing explanatory models sophisticated enough to account for the complex array of factors which can d i s t i n g u i s h between the development of an offending and non offending behavior. In summary, the Trauma Model as an explanation for sexual offending suggests that the offender's pattern of behavior has i t s roots i n childhood trauma. In an e f f o r t to regain t h e i r l o s t power boys aggress against others; t h i s 45 aggression may have a sexual component. Post traumatic play i f l e f t unchecked, may heighten the trauma and become entrenched. From a developmental perspective, t h i s pattern of behavior would also become more sophisticated. The process of enactment and entrenchment w i l l be developed further i n the next section. Learning Model: A second t h e o r e t i c a l perspective which, l i k e the psychoanalytic perspective, focuses attention on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s experience i s the learning model. This perspective argues sexual behavior i s learned, practiced and perfected over time. Bandura (1965) showed that children learn a pattern of behavior, without the benefit of reinforcement, by observing a s o c i a l model. Having observed a s o c i a l model, children acquire a symbolic representation i n the form of images and verbal labels which are c a l l e d upon to guide t h e i r attempts to imitate the modeled behavior. Bandura (1977), i n a series of experiments, found rewards sharply increase the l i k e l i h o o d that the behavior w i l l be modeled, but that behavior w i l l be modeled even in the face of punishment. Many of the treatment regimes established for sex offenders 46 make use of the learning.perspective. The aim i s to l i n k the reward (orgasm) to a non^deviant mental representation (fantasy) and away from the deviant sexual fantasy often reported by sex offenders (Schwartz and C e l l i n i , 1988). Laws and Marshall (1990) describe a conditioning theory of the etiology and maintenance of deviant sexual behavior which draws on Bandura's early work. According to these authors deviant sexual behavior i s learned i n much the same way as nondeviant behavior, and that sexual behavior as a type of s o c i a l behavior i s modeled i n a variety of ways within the s o c i a l environment. Rather than look ,at the traumatic impact of sexual abuse as a cause for . the intergenerational r e p e t i t i o n of sex offending behavior, these authors suggest that, by being abused, • the vic t i m learns a set of behaviors which act as guides i n the development of t h e i r own sexuality. Laws and Marshall, argue that witnessing another's abuse, viewing pornographic material and the more subtle misogynist messages which exist at a c u l t u r a l l e v e l may sta r t a process of development, but that once started the c h i l d can s e l f monitor and refine his behavior. Post Traumatic Play ( G i l l , 1991; Terr, 1990) i f l e f t unchecked 47 becomes entrenched through r e p e t i t i o n . Laws and Marshall stress that the etiology of sex offending behavior are also to be found i n experiences that do not induce trauma but which provide, the c h i l d with behavioral guidelines. The importance of the early childhood experiences of sex offenders are not necessarily l i m i t e d to those experiences of an overt sexual nature. Marshall and Barbaree (1990) contend that the early developmental experiences of sex offenders f a i l to prepare them for the changes that occur i n puberty. These experiences make i t more l i k e l y that, as adolescents, sex and aggression become fused. They c i t e that exposure to a violent parenting s t y l e can lead to a lack of confidence, and to feelings of resentment and h o s t i l i t y . These feelings, i n turn hinder the adolescent i n his a b i l i t y to form mutually s a t i s f y i n g and respectful relationships. These authors believe the d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered by children from abusive homes are exacerbated by the lack of modeling of what constitutes a loving relationship as they observe t h e i r fathers aggress against t h e i r mothers. Evidence that sex offenders learn from and model behaviors they witness can be found i n a number of studies. 48 These studies also underscore the point that many sex offenders have not been sexually abused. In- a study of 25 s i b l i n g incest families, Smith and Isra e l (1987) reported that although 52% of the perpetrators had been sexually abused, other dynamics were i d e n t i f i e d as being important. In 76% of the families at least one parent was having an extra-marital a f f a i r . Of the children, 46% had witnessed sexually provocative behavior on the part of t h e i r parents including sex talked about openly and i n obscene ways, exposure to pornography and other sexually, e x p l i c i t material. Some parents made l i t t l e • e f f o r t to discourage t h e i r children from observing marital and extra-marital sexual a c t i v i t y . F i n a l l y , 72% of the parents had been sexually abused as children. Becker, Kaplan, Kavoussi and Cunningham-Rathner (1986), in a study of twenty-two adolescent incest perpetrators, found only 23% reported they had been sexually abused. Based on his c l i n i c a l work with adolescent sex offenders, Breer (1987) reports that 60% of the young men he works with i n therapy report being the victims of sexual abuse. Whether looking at adult perpetrators or c h i l d perpetrators, other studies tend . to report v i c t i m i z a t i o n rates . within t h i s 49 range. A study of 154 cases of c h i l d sexual abuse by F a l l e r (1989) reported that 1/3 of the offenders and 1/2 of the non-offending mothers had been exposed to sexual abuse as children. Cavanagh-Johnson (1988) reported on 47 boys between the ages of 4-13 who were i n treatment because they had committed a sexual assault on a younger c h i l d . Forty-nine percent of these boys were found to have been sexually abused. Prior sexual abuse i s found to a varying degree i n the backgrounds of both c h i l d and adult sex offenders, but i s not a necessary or s u f f i c i e n t explanation for sexually abusive behavior. While the Trauma Model f a i l s to explain why so many perpetrators seem never to have been sexually abused, when combined with a s o c i a l observational model we can begin to see the p o s s i b i l i t y for other developmental pathways, including the witnessing of abuse, the experiencing of emotional neglect and physical abuse. The misogynist cues may be quite subtle, as i n the case of some t e l e v i s i o n advertising, but the message may be quite powerful. The learning model suggests that children are a c t i v e l y observing and ascribing meaning to what happens around them, and are l i k e l y to repeat what i s modeled i n that 50 environment. Children need not be sexually abused to become sex offenders. The work by Marshall and Barbaree (1990); and Laws and Marshall (1990) suggests attention should be paid to the attitudes as well as the behaviors modeled to children. Family Systems Theory: Those researchers and p r a c t i t i o n e r s who advance a family systems perspective note the dysfunctional nature of roles, boundaries and subsystems i n families where sex crimes are perpetrated, usually•by a parent on a c h i l d but also one s i b l i n g . against another. A family systems perspective, with i t s attention on process, and which concentrates on patterns and t h e i r maintenance, chooses not to see these patterns as l i n e a r cause and e f f e c t . This perspective does not generate explanatory hypotheses about what causes the dysfunctional patterns associated with sexual abuse to arise i n the f i r s t place. The family systems perspective does note, however, the multigenerational aspect of sexual abuse. Implied i n t h i s approach i s the assumption that families where sexual abuse takes place d i f f e r from families where sexual abuse does not take place. From a systems perspective, therapists argue 51 that families share a number of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . As a system a family can be described as a network of i n t e r a c t i v e processes. These interactions take place both between ind i v i d u a l s within the family and between the family and systems outside the family. Relative to t h i s perspective, sexual abuse i s often described as a symptom of a dysfunctional pattern (Will, 1983). The concepts most often c i t e d as important i n the development and maintenance of sexual abuse are roles, boundaries and sub-systems (Bentovim, 1988). Roles are conceptualized as the behavioral patterns that define what family members do to promote family s t a b i l i t y , and to achieve i n d i v i d u a l and system goals.. Boundaries describe the rules which govern the in t e r n a l and external interactions of families. Sub-systems describe the a l l i a n c e s which form within the family system, some of which are role mandated. The primary subsystems common to families are the marital, parental, and s i b l i n g subsystems (Becvar and Becvar, 1988). While not r u l i n g out the occurrence of a one time only event, a systems perspective emphasizes process and the dynamic qu a l i t y of development. Because of t h i s dynamic 52 in t e r a c t i o n between roles, boundaries and subsystems they are r a r e l y treated as discreet units independent one from the other. Not surprisingly, researchers using t h i s framework have focused primarily on gathering information on incest; Most of the work reviewed i n t h i s section has that bias. Most writers have noted that the incest victim, by the very nature of the sexual assault, has been cast into an inappropriate role. Prior to the sexual abuse victims of incest are often cast by the offender into roles inappropriate for t h e i r age. Kosof (1985) notes that the offender sets the target c h i l d up by paying special attention to her, and developing a special relationship that over time becomes more and more sexualized.. She notes that as the offender's relationship, to the victim becomes more central, the non-offending parent's position i n the family becomes more peripheral. The offender grooms the c h i l d to take on a role c l e a r l y inappropriate to t h e i r developmental stage. Hunter (1990) likens the relationship between the parent offender and the c h i l d victim to a marriage,, and notes the permutations on the other' sub-systems. He argues 53 t h a t t h e c h i l d l o s e s h i s o r her p o s i t i o n i n t h e s i b l i n g sub-system, because the c h i l d i s o f t e n t r e a t e d d i f f e r e n t l y by t h e o f f e n d i n g p a r e n t . In t r e a t i n g the c h i l d more as a peer t h a n as a c h i l d t h e o f f e n d i n g p a r e n t b l u r s t h e p a r e n t / c h i l d b o u n d a r i e s . F i g u r a t i v e l y , the c h i l d l o s e s her f a t h e r who becomes her l o v e r , as w e l l as her mother who becomes her r i v a l . F r e i d r i c h (1990) notes t h a t l o s s and d e s e r t i o n themes f i g u r e p r o m i n e n t l y i n t h e l i v e s o f b o t h o f f e n d i n g and non-o f f e n d i n g p a r e n t s where i n c e s t has been the p r e s e n t i n g problem. The l o n g term e f f e c t s , he argues, i s t o impede t h e i r a b i l i t y t o form and m a i n t a i n s e c u r e a ttachments b o t h w i t h i n t h e m a r i t a l sub-system and between the p a r e n t a l and s i b l i n g subsystems. Bank and Kahn (1982) note t h a t t h e m o t i v a t i o n f o r some s i b l i n g i n c e s t i s n u r t u r e - o r i e n t e d and may c o n t a i n elements of m utual con s e n t , p l e a s u r e , . l o y a l t y , l o v e and compassion. These a u t h o r s argue t h a t c h i l d r e n most l i k e l y t o be i n v o l v e d i n t h i s t y p e of i n c e s t are n e g l e c t e d or abandoned c h i l d r e n from d y s f u n c t i o n a l f a m i l i e s . Cavanagh-Johnson (1993), i n her work w i t h s e x u a l l y i n t r u s i v e c h i l d r e n has n o t e d t h a t some c h i l d r e n no l o n g e r l o o k t o a d u l t s f o r e m o t i o n a l 54 nurturance and instead turn to b i o l o g i c a l , step or foster s i b l i n g s for t h e i r emotional bonding. These children use sex to establish and maintain emotional connections, and have confused sex with caring and closeness. Smith and Israel (1987) studied twenty-five families where s i b l i n g incest had been substantiated. They i d e n t i f i e d the following dynamics as common to a l l the families studied: 1. Distant inaccessible parents, including parents who were p h y s i c a l l y distant (most often because of career choice) and parents who were psychologically . inaccessible to t h e i r children. Parental leadership or role modeling was described as i l l - d e f i n e d or non-existent. 2. Parental stimulation of sexual climate i n the home: 48% of the perpetrators had observed sexual a c t i v i t y between t h e i r parents or between a parent and another person. 52% of the perpetrators had been sexually abused by another family member or a t h i r d party. 32% of the fathers had i n i t i a l l y abused t h e i r daughters, who were subsequently abused by t h e i r brothers. 40% of mothers engaged i n behaviors which blurred generational l i n e s . They were openly f l i r t a t i o u s with t h e i r 55 sons, and overly involved with t h e i r physical development and sexual maturation. They en l i s t e d t h e i r children as confidants regarding t h e i r own sexual exploits and'exhibited a prurient interest i n t h e i r children's sexual r e l a t i o n s with peers. Conversely, 32% of the mothers discouraged sexual i n q u i r i e s or sexual expressions of a l l kinds. 3. Family Secrets: 72% of mothers and fathers i n the study were sexual abuse survivors. 76% of the parents were involved i n extra-marital a f f a i r s . The authors hypothesized that as the children saw t h e i r parents moving away from each other they drew closer i n an e f f o r t to hold a d i s i n t e g r a t i n g family together. The boundaries i n these families were described as loose and inconsequential. Daie, Witztum, and E l e f f , (1989) presents four case studies of s i b l i n g incest. They contend that incest i s best understood as a prolonged process within the context of disturbed family relations, which included the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : 1. The father was absent or abusive. 2. When boys were the perpetrators, mothers were dominant and used the son as a substitute for the absent father. Sons were exposed to double binds; for example, sex was seen by 56 mothers as d i r t y or taboo on the one hand while on the other mothers engaged i n seductive behavior or tolerated s i m i l a r behavior i n t h e i r children. 3. A lack of open communication between family members and or between family members and others outside the family. 4. Identity d i f f u s i o n . 4. Blurred intergenerational boundaries. Authier (1983) suggests a number of tasks i n working with families where sexual abuse has occurred, which r e f l e c t the family systems•perspective. These include individuation, d e f i n i t i o n of generational boundaries, softening boundaries between the family and community. She believes that family rules regarding affection, touching and sexuality need to be examined and redefined, as do role, expectations. She also recommends strengthening the mother/daughter dyad before involving the father i n family therapy. Some issues she believes need to be addressed at t h i s point are: daughters anger at mother for not protecting her, the competitive mother daughter relationship, mother daughter role reversal, and the mutual feelings of betrayal and g u i l t . Sefarbi (1990) studied ten adolescent sex offenders and t h e i r families, 5 who admitted t h e i r crime and 5 who denied 57 sexually abusing another. She found that admitters were i n disorganized families while deniers were i n enmeshed fami l i e s . Parental nurturance was p o s i t i v e l y correlated with self-esteem. The self-esteem ratings for those who denied committing sexual abuse were s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than for those who admitted. Admitters were characterized as disconnected, - pseudomature and inappropriately autonomous. Abandonment by fathers was a recurrent theme i n th i s group. Deniers came from homes where the mother was overwhelmed and often drew physical and emotional support from her children. Boundaries were described as di f f u s e and roles within the family were not adequately d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . Kaplan, Becker and Cunningham-Rathner (1988) interviewed 27 parents of adolescent sex offenders and found that 'parents under-reported physical and sexual abuse of t h e i r sons, had a high incidence of being abused themselves, and evidenced a high l e v e l o f . d e n i a l regarding t h e i r sons sexual assaults. Stevenson, C a s t i l l o and Sefarbi (1990) have focused on denial as a treatment dynamic. They argue that helping families to confront t h e i r son's sex offending while remaining, supportive of t h e i r son's treatment ultimately 58 benefits the family and the offender. They involve the family as a change agent i n the treatment process. Pierce (1987), i n a review of the l i t e r a t u r e on father son incest, concludes that fathers who commit incest often grew up i n homes, where parent/child boundaries, p a r t i c u l a r l y within the context of sexuality, were loose. She concluded that these fathers were unable to set l i m i t s for themselves or t h e i r children, and as a r e s u l t the children were often confused about family roles. Cole and Woolger (1989) studied the c h i l d rearing attitudes of incest and non-incest sexual abuse survivors. When compared to non-incest survivors, incest survivors saw t h e i r fathers as more negatively c o n t r o l l i n g , less accepting and as s t r i c t e r d i s c i p l i n a r i a n s . Their mothers were seen as less involved and more negatively c o n t r o l l i n g . Incest victims scored higher on the c h i l d indulgence-autonomy scale and lower on the c h i l d acceptance scale than non-incest victims. It was f e l t that, lacking p o s i t i v e parental role models, these mothers lacked appropriate strategies for being responsive to t h e i r own children's' needs. Pierce and Pierce (1987), i n a retrospective study using c h i l d welfare records of adolescent sex offenders, 59 found that 63% had been physically abused and 43% had been sexually abused by a family member. Five percent had been sexually abused by someone outside the family and, a further 11% had been exposed to inappropriate sexual behavior. Seventy percent of the offenders had been neglected. Overall only 8% of the adolescents i n th i s study had not been abused in some way, with the majority of abuse taking place within the context of t h e i r family of o r i g i n . Hoagwood (1990) conducted a study comparing parents' perceptions of family functioning where a c h i l d had been sexually abused by a t h i r d party with families where no sexual abuse had taken place. She found that mothers' perceptions were congruent with those of t h e i r children but that fathers were not. S p e c i f i c a l l y , mothers of abused children reported problems i n the areas of problem solving, communication, and general functioning, whereas fathers did not report problems i n these areas. By comparison, parents of non abused children shared similar perceptions of how t h e i r family was structured and how i t functioned. It would appear that i n families where children were sexually abused fathers perceptions of how well the family was functioning did not coincide with the mothers and children perceptions. 60 Whether t h i s incongruency existed p r i o r to the abuse and was a contributing factor or whether i t developed aft e r the abuse as a form of denial that the family was experiencing a problem was not made clear. The implication i s strong, however, that in families where children are sexually abused fathers are more l i k e l y than mothers to be out of touch with the extent of the problem the family i s facing. In a companion study Hoagwood and Stewart (1989), using the McMaster Family Assessment Device, compared 30 sexually abused children with 46 children who had not been sexually abused. Three areas found to discriminate the two groups were problem solving,' roles and general functioning. Alexander (1985) constructed a model which describes the dynamics of incestuous families. She suggests that i s o l a t i o n , poor c o n f l i c t resolution s k i l l s and poor communications avenues are important factors i n the development and maintenance of incest. According to her model members of incestuous families are i s o l a t e d from each other, and as a system from the larger community. This i s o l a t i o n , besides serving to keep the abuse a secret, also i n h i b i t s family members from experiencing more appropriate s o c i a l i z a t i o n processes. 61 Noting that incestuous families are often described as enmeshed or conversely disorganized, Alexander (1985) suggests that the paradoxical needs common to families -individuation and integration - have gone awry. If integration has come to dominate, then the family i s seen as enmeshed. Conversely, i f individuation i s too strong the family i s described as disorganized. Both of these descriptions are seen as representing opposing ends of the same continuum. She argues as well, that an a b i l i t y to communicate and resolve c o n f l i c t s e f f e c t i v e l y promotes growth by allowing the family and i t s i n d i v i d u a l s to i d e n t i f y and meet mutually b e n e f i c i a l goals. This implies a degree of reciprocal respect and cooperation which i s lacking i n incestuous families where a father t y p i c a l l y exploits a c h i l d for his sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n . An incestuous father would use whatever power he has to keep the system i s o l a t e d and the other family members powerless. His goal of gaining sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n from his children i s inimicable to the needs of his children to develop t h e i r own sense of s e l f . From the family systems perspective, roles, boundaries and sub-systems are seen as functioning i n maladaptive ways 62 that allow incestuous patterns to develop and be maintained. T r a d i t i o n a l l y t h i s perspective has emphasized process and has not concerned i t s e l f with i s o l a t i n g causal e f f e c t s . This has resulted i n c r i t i c i s m , e s p e c i a l l y from feminists, who argue that by not establishing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the sexual abuse, family systems therapists and researchers were parceling out r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the abuse to other members of the family, most notably the victims and the non-offending parent, Carter and Papp, (1986). Furniss (1984), while recognizing that the father i s s o l e l y responsible for the sexual act, encourages both parents to reach agreement on the degree of t h e i r involvement as equals. Lutz and Medway (1984) stress the r e c i p r o c i t y dynamic i n family systems. They argue the importance of establishing relationships of understanding between the victim and the victimizer. The v i c t i m i z e r has the opportunity to become more trustworthy while the v i c t i m has the opportunity of repaying the v i c t i m i z e r for whatever l o y a l t y obligations she has to him. If the non-offending parent i s asked to share r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the abuse, i t should come as no surprise that mothers are often included i n the apology session. 63 Trepper (1986) describes as c r u c i a l to the success of -the apology session that the apology be genuine and that the children get the clear message that the sexual abuse i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of both parents. By ignoring the d i f f e r e n t i a l effects of power i n the family, the systems approach seems to suggest that a l l members share at least some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the dysfunction. This aspect of the systems perspective shares with the psychoanalytic perspective a bias which encourages the c h i l d and mother to share r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the abuse with the father. The v a l i d i t y of t h i s c r i t i c i s m i s acknowledged, by some family therapists working with sex offenders. F r i e d r i c h (1990) in a discussion of the c l i e n t centered versus the family systems approach notes, that i n the past family therapists have f a i l e d to take into account the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s which exist i n families between men and women and between adults and children. Other family therapists argue that' u n t i l the offender has reached the point where he can accept complete r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the abuse i t i s irresponsible of the 64 therapist to put the victim i n proximity with the offender (Jenkins, 1990). Family systems theory does not concern i t s e l f with the factors which cause sexual abuse, but rather with the family dynamics which maintain the abuse. In t h i s regard family systems theory suggests that roles, boundaries, and subsystems become dysfunctional. It i s not hard to argue that, a father who molests his daughter has . v i o l a t e d a serious boundary by removing her from the s i b l i n g subsystem where she deserves to be, and placing her i n the inappropriate role of sexual partner. It i s hard to argue, given what i s known about coercive manipulation practiced by sex offenders, that non-offending members of the family share r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for maintaining those dysfunctional roles, boundaries, and subsystems. Feminist Theory: This perspective focuses on the s t r u c t u r a l i n e q u i t i e s that exist at a c u l t u r a l l e v e l which lead males to assume a right to dominate females. It points out that boys and g i r l s , while being s o c i a l i z e d t o . f u l f i l l roles dictated by a male culture, are also s o c i a l i z e d to expect d i f f e r e n t treatment from each other. Boys are expected and learn to 65 dominate and. i n i t i a t e w h i l e g i r l s a r e e x p e c t e d and. l e a r n t o n u r t u r e and be c o m p l i a n t (Szirom, 1988). F e m i n i s t s were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n e x p o s i n g the e x t e n t t o which women and c h i l d r e n a r e s e x u a l l y abused, ( B u t l e r 1983; B u t l e r , 1985). T h e i r a n a l y s i s o f t h i s p roblem i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t emphasizes the s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e c u l t u r e p l a y s i n s e x u a l a s s a u l t s . Three themes r e l e v a n t t o sex o f f e n d e r s d e v e l o p e d i n f e m i n i s t l i t e r a t u r e which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s s e c t i o n a r e t h e s t r u c t u r a l gender i n e q u i t y i n h e r e n t i n a p a t r i a r c h a l s o c i e t y , s o c i a l i z a t i o n and t h e s e x u a l o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n o f women and c h i l d r e n . F e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s s u g g e s t s t h a t gender i n e q u i t y i s a s t r u c t u r a l problem t h a t a r i s e s from a p a t r i a r c h a l system which o v e r v a l u e s men and u n d e r v a l u e s women. These s t r u c t u r a l i n e q u i t i e s , c e n t e r e d as th e y a r e on gender, have meant t h a t men have dominated women e c o n o m i c a l l y , p h y s i c a l l y and s e x u a l l y . F e m i n i s t p h i l o s o p h e r s l i k e Dworkin (1978) argue t h a t gender i n e q u a l i t y i s so p e r v a s i v e and so i n g r a i n e d t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s misogyny on a s o c i e t a l s c a l e r e g a r d l e s s o f t h e a t t i t u d e s t h a t i n d i v i d u a l men, or f o r t h a t m a t t e r women, p r o f e s s t o h o l d . 66 Feminist theories of sexual assault, focusing primarily at the c u l t u r a l l e v e l , emphasize the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s which exist between men and women (Brownmiller, 1975). Sexual abuse, from th i s perspective, i s seen as an inevitable, a l b e i t extreme expression of a pa t r i a r c h a l society which i s structured i n such a way that women and children are dominated by men (Ward, 1984). Feminist theory with i t s focus on gender differences emphasizes the s i m i l a r i t i e s between male experiences and how they d i f f e r from those of women. Herman (1981) suggests that the unanswered question posed by feminists i s not why some men engage i n sexual assault but why most men do not. Butler (1985) also addresses the issue of power and the importance i t has for men within a pa t r i a r c h a l society. However, the picture she paints of the men who commit incest suggests that i t i s t h e i r lack of power i n the outside world, coupled with a lack of warmth and nurturing, that predisposes them to abuse t h e i r children. Dominelli (1989) maintains that the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s e x i s t i n g between men and women and between adults and children within families are inevitable given the p a t e r n a l i s t i c and h i e r a r c h i c a l nature of western society. 67 She argues that given t h i s imbalance of power incest i s a betrayal of trust because the more powerful male members of the family- abuse rather than protect the less powerful women and children. Dominelli goes on to describe incest as a sexualized power relationship which enhances male power through his sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n at the expense of the c h i l d ' s concept of s e l f . The essential dynamic of incest then i s the imposition of men's power, which i s i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d i n the patriarchal system, over women and children. As well, Dominelli points out that privacy t r a d i t i o n a l l y afforded to family makes i t very d i f f i c u l t for women and children to seek help, or for the helping professions to intervene unless an a r t i f i c i a l l y high standard of proof i s met. The concept of "a man' s' home i s his c a s t l e " adds to the father's power and enables him to keep the family i s o l a t e d so the abuse can continue. A second theme developed from t h i s perspective to explain sexual abuse i s the d i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n experience (Szirom, 1988) . Beginning at b i r t h and continuing throughout one's l i f e , s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s seen as the vehicle by which pa t r i a r c h a l s o c i a l mores,, including sex role stereotypes and rape myths, are perpetuated. Analysis 68 centers on the d i f f e r e n t i a l effects of s o c i a l i z a t i o n and the outcomes of that process. Accordingly, male children are s o c i a l i z e d to assume power and control over others, and to take the i n i t i a t i v e i n meeting t h e i r economic, s o c i a l and sexual needs, (Crites and Fitzgerald 1978). In contrast, female children are conditioned to take a more passive, less assertive role. Female children are generally s o c i a l i z e d to nurture and otherwise meet the needs of men, (Pandy and G r i f f i t t 1975). The work by Finkelhor and Browne, (1986) also support the argument that d i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n contribute to the development of sex offending behavior. They i d e n t i f y several effects of s o c i a l i z a t i o n which they argue have a bearing on why men have a propensity to sexual assault and women do not. They suggest that women learn e a r l i e r and more completely to distinguish between sexual and non-sexual forms of aff e c t i o n . Heterosexual success i s a more important component i n men's gender i d e n t i t y than i n women's. Men are s o c i a l i z e d to focus t h e i r sexual int e r e s t s around sexual acts separate from the context of a rela t i o n s h i p . F i n a l l y , men are s o c i a l i z e d to see t h e i r appropriate sexual partner as someone smaller and younger than themselves, while the opposite i s true for women. 69 B l o c k (1983), i n e x p l o r i n g the i s s u e o f s o c i a l i z a t i o n , has d e s c r i b e d s e v e r a l ways i n which, p a r e n t a l e x p e c t a t i o n s d i f f e r f o r male and female c h i l d r e n . She n o t e s t h a t compared t o female c h i l d r e n , male c h i l d r e n a r e under more p r e s s u r e t o a c h i e v e and compete, show more c o n t r o l o v e r a f f e c t , show more independence and p e r s o n a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . F i n a l l y , boys e x p e r i e n c e more a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m ' and l e s s a c c e p t a n c e of b e h a v i o r s which d e v i a t e from th e gender s t e r e o t y p e . Expanding on t h e theme of d i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n , B o l t o n , M o r r i s and MacEachron (1989) argue t h a t normal s e x u a l development p l a c e s male c h i l d r e n a t r i s k i n ways which do not meet the l e g a l and c l i n i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s o f abuse. They d e s c r i b e ' a continuum of f a m i l y environments from i d e a l non-abusive t o o v e r t l y s e x u a l l y a b u s i v e . ' They t h e o r i z e t h a t male c h i l d r e n e x p e r i e n c e abuse o f s e x u a l i t y w h i ch, because i t does not meet the l e g a l o r c l i n i c a l c r i t e r i a o f s e x u a l abuse, goes u n r e p o r t e d but n e v e r t h e l e s s may a d v e r s e l y a f f e c t a c h i l d ' s s e x u a l development, l e a d i n g some c h i l d r e n t o behave i n s e x u a l l y d e v i a n t ways. I f t h e problem i s male dominance and i t s l o c i i s i n t h e v e r y f a b r i c o f s o c i e t y , then i t f o l l o w s t h a t t h e s o l u t i o n l i e s i n a massive r e o r d e r i n g o f s o c i e t y . Ward, (1984) 70 suggests the dismantling of the pat r i a r c h a l nuclear family and the reformulation of the family as a long term goal. Sparks and Bat-Ami (1991), i n a paper on the subject of rape prevention, argue that s o c i a l norms which anticipate sexual assault lend sexual assault a degree of legitimacy by assigning r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the victim. They argue that s o c i a l norms which lessen a woman's right to control her own body must be replaced by norms congruent with the p r i n c i p l e of Nrespect for person'. Others suggest we must challenge, with the view of changing, ingrained attitudes which support rape myths and which have been found to be held by a s i g n i f i c a n t number of men (Malamuth, 1981) . Check and Malamuth, (1983) studies on the relationship between sex role stereotypes and reactions to depiction's of stranger and acquaintance rape also support the feminist perspective. Results show that holding stereotypical sex role' attitudes which r e s t r i c t women r e l a t i v e to men play an important mediating role in, sexual violence. Respondents whose attitudes were congruent with, sex role stereotypes reported s i g n i f i c a n t l y more arousal to depiction's of acquaintance rape, reported a greater l i k e l i h o o d of committing rape themselves and were more l i k e l y than respondents whose 71 attitudes were rated incongruent with t r a d i t i o n a l sex roles to accept a number of rape myths. F i n a l l y , subjects who endorsed t r a d i t i o n a l sex role stereotypes were less l i k e l y to perceive acquaintance rape as "real rape", attributed greater r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the victim and perceived the victi m as reacting more favorably than subjects who were rated low on the sex role attitude scales. The f i n a l theme discussed i s the sexual o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of women and children. Women and children have h i s t o r i c a l l y been considered man's chattel; as the property of men, women and children's human rights are extended to them by x t h e i r ' man. When considered as property, rather than as human beings with the same rights as men, women and children are dehumanized. In the case of sex offenders, women and children are seen as objects to be used for man's sexual pleasure, (Rush 1980). Dworkin (1978) outlines two models which describe how women are s o c i a l l y controlled and sexually used. The f i r s t metaphor, which she c a l l s the brothel model sees women functioning for the sexual pleasure of men. Women i n th i s model exist as a c o l l e c t i o n of body parts for men to use for t h e i r pleasure. The second metaphor Dworkin terms the 72 farming model. Functionally women are reproductive units and are valued for the ' f r u i t ' they bear rather than for the person they are. A central point i n Dworkin's analysis i s that women are used by men, and that t h e i r value i n a pa t r i a r c h a l society centers on the sexual pleasure men derive from them and or th e i r reproductive capacity. In short, women exist as sexual objects which are controlled and used.by men. In an a r t i c l e on incest, Sommers-Flanagan and Walters (1987) argue that the r e l a t i v e importance placed on individualism and control, coupled with the power d i f f e r e n t i a l which exists between men and women and adults and children, has lead the former to o b j e c t i f y the l a t t e r . They point out the tendency of men to see women, and sometimes children, as sexual objects under t h e i r power and control. This dehumanizes the victim of incest and makes i t easier for the assault to take place. In the perpetrator's mind no harm of any consequence i s taking place. To bolster t h i s argument these authors draw attention to the lack of empathy which offenders display, and suggest that men generally are not s o c i a l i z e d to show an empathic concern for others. In the case of sex offenders they argue that the 73 offenders' lack of empathy allows them to meet t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l needs at the expense of the safety and welfare of t h e i r children. Armstrong (1987) describes another way i n which children become sexual objects. Having been abused, and having that knowledge become public, children are l i k e l y to become sexual targets and be further abused by other males, both i n s i d e and outside the family. In drawing our attention to the c u l t u r a l l e v e l of analysis, the feminist perspective i s supported by cross c u l t u r a l studies. Sanday (1981) has i s o l a t e d several c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of male dominated society which correlate to high rape prevalence, including s o c i e t i e s where only a male deity i s worshipped, where warfare i s g l o r i f i e d , where women hold l i t t l e p o l i t i c a l power and where the care of children i s devalued r e l a t i v e to working out of the home. The feminist perspective suggests that men who sexually offend and those who do not exist at d i f f e r e n t places on the same continuum. Rather than differences t h i s perspective emphasizes the s i m i l a r i t i e s between men. Gender differences res u l t from s t r u c t u r a l inequities inherent i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l system. S o c i a l i z a t i o n i s the process by which 74 gender and role expectations are transferred, and work to maintain the status quo. This section has outlined three themes. F i r s t , the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s between men and women which allow men to exploit women and children in a variety of ways, including sexually. Second, the role s o c i a l i z a t i o n plays 'in a f f e c t i n g attitudes and b e l i e f s which i n turn mediates behavioral responses. Men whose b e l i e f systems include the'notion that men should exercise power over women and children are more l i k e l y to endorse rape myths, violence toward women and adversarial sex b e l i e f s than those who have more e g a l i t a r i a n b e l i e f s . The t h i r d theme presented from the feminist perspective was the sexual o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of women and children. This. process dehumanizes the victim while desensitizing the perpetrator. This makes i t possible for the perpetrator to act i n callous disregard for the rights and feelings of women and children. To the extent t h a t . t h i s perspective bears on the topic of the childhood experiences of sex offenders, we can surmise that boys, generally, are s o c i a l i z e d to experience the world d i f f e r e n t l y than g i r l s . From a very early age boys are expected to compete for and take what they want 75 from t h e w o r l d around them. They are e x p e c t e d t o c o n t r o l t h e i r f e e l i n g s and to, suppress t r a i t s commonly thought o f as f e m i n i n e . Boys are s o c i a l i z e d t o i n i t i a t e and dominate i n t e r p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , perhaps the most p o w e r f u l l e s s o n t h a t boys l e a r n i s t o d e v e l o p and e x e r c i s e power i n o r d e r t o c o n t r o l t h e i r environment, i n c l u d i n g t h e p e o p l e i n i t . In c h o o s i n g not t o d i s t i n g u i s h between t h o s e who commit sex cri m e s from t h o s e who do n o t , f e m i n i s t t h e o r y l e a v e s unanswered the q u e s t i o n posed by t h e f e m i n i s t t h e o r e t i c i a n , Herman (1990): Why not a l l men? E c o l o g i c a l M o d e l s : As r e s e a r c h d e v e l o p e d , i t became apparent t h a t more s o p h i s t i c a t e d models were needed. T h i s s e c t i o n w i l l examine t h r e e models f o r m u l a t e d t o e x p l a i n the development o f sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r ( F i n k l e h o r , 1984; F a l l e r , 1988; and Wolf 1985). Each o f t h e s e models s u g g e s t s t h a t e a r l y c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s have a b e a r i n g on t h e development o f sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r . These models were chosen as examples o f e c o l o g i c a l models because -they attempt t o u n d e r s t a n d t h e o f f e n d e r w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f h i s l i f e e x p e r i e n c e by a t t e n d i n g t o h i s p e r s o n a l p s y c h o l o g y , h i s c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s o f f a m i l y and the c u l t u r a l e x p e r i e n c e s which 76 contribute to his behavior. Ecological theories attempt to blend single factor theories into m u l t i - f a c t o r i a l ones. Finkelhor's Model: Finkelhor (1984) argued that any single factor model w i l l be inadequate to the task of explaining why adults sexually abuse children. In order to address the inherent weakness of single factor models, Finklehor conceptualized a four factor model which he believed would allow for a more accurate discrimination between those who engage i n abusive behavior and those who do not. Finklehor, i n reviewing the l i t e r a t u r e , i d e n t i f i e d four preconditions which must be met i n order for c h i l d sexual abuse to take place. He noted that each precondition addresses sexual abuse behavior at the psychological l e v e l of the i n d i v i d u a l and at the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l l e v e l . Finkelhor's f i r s t precondition relates to'factors which motivate the offender to sexually abuse a c h i l d . According to Finklehor, three types of motivation e x i s t . The f i r s t , emotional congruence, suggests that the c h i l d meets an emotional need for the molester, and that the emotional meaning the c h i l d represents cannot be met by an adult. A second source of motivation i s sexual arousal. What about 77 the c h i l d does the molester f i n d sexually arousing? The f i n a l source of motivation addresses the notion that many offenders seem blocked from having t h e i r needs met i n sexually appropriate ways. The formation of intimate relationships with age appropriate others depends on a number of s o c i a l and psychological a b i l i t i e s . These sources of motivation are not, according to Finklehor, each discrete units but are conceptualized as complementary processes. Individual factors i d e n t i f i e d by Finklehor which influence the motivation, to.sexually abuse a c h i l d include: emotional developmental delays, the need to f e e l powerful and i n control, re-enactment of childhood trauma, n a r c i s s i s t i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with s e l f as a c h i l d , childhood sexual experiences which were traumatic or conditioning, witnessing sexual' abuse, oedipal c o n f l i c t , castration anxiety, fear of adult females, and poor s o c i a l s k i l l s . S o c i a l - c u l t u r a l factors associated with motivation include: s o c i a l i z a t i o n of males to i n i t i a t e and dominate sexual relationships, c h i l d pornography, e r o t i c portrayal of children by the media, the tendency by men to sexualize t h e i r emotional needs, and repressive norms about masturbation and extra-marital sex. 78 The second precondition i d e n t i f i e d by Finklehor refers to factors which d i s i n h i b i t the offender. Finklehor argues that the high incidence of sexual abuse indicates that the moral injunction not to have sex with a c h i l d i s overcome. The incest taboo i s one example of a moral injunction which Finklehor argues, i n h i b i t s men from engaging i n sexual acts with t h e i r children. Among the in d i v i d u a l factors i d e n t i f i e d by Finklehor which d i s i n h i b i t offenders are: substance abuse, psychosis, impulse disorders, s e n i l i t y , and experiences i n family of o r i g i n which undermine the notion that children are not appropriate sex partners. This might involve boys witnessing the sexual abuse of th e i r s i b l i n g s by t h e i r fathers, or being molested themselves. Socio-cultural factors include: s o c i a l t o l e r a t i o n of sexual i n t e r e s t i n children, weak criminal sanctions against offenders, p a t r i a r c h a l prerogatives for fathers, s o c i a l t o l e r a t i o n for int o x i c a t i o n as an excuse for engaging i n sexually abusive a c t i v i t i e s , c h i l d pornography, and men's i n a b i l i t y to i d e n t i f y with the needs of children. Finklehor's t h i r d precondition refers to factors which neutralize external i n h i b i t o r s . External i n h i b i t o r s are 79 circumstances i n the offender's environment which act to protect children by preventing an offender, who i s both uninhibited and motivated, from sexually abusing children. Individual factors which weaken the external i n h i b i t o r s which protect children include: disruptions i n the mother c h i l d dyad including absence, i l l n e s s , and lack of emotional closeness, family violence such that the mother i s abused and/or dominated to such . an extent by her spouse that her capacity to protect the c h i l d i s impaired, s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n of the family, lack of supervision of the c h i l d , and unusual sleeping or rooming situations which put the offender i n close proximity to the c h i l d . Socio-cultural factors include: lack of s o c i a l supports for women, bar r i e r s to women's equality, erosion of s o c i a l networks, and an ideology that subordinates the rights of children to the rights of parents. The f i n a l precondition refers to factors which contribute to the child's resistance being overcome. These factors suggest that some children are more vulnerable to sexual abuse than others. These factors include: children who are emotionally insecure or deprived, children who lack knowledge about sexual abuse, situations of unusual t r u s t 80 between the offender and c h i l d , and the coercive s k i l l of the offender. Socio-cultural factors include the lack of sex education for children, and the s o c i a l powerlessness of children. Finklehor acknowledges that the t h i r d • and fourth preconditions are l i k e l y to be c r i t i c i z e d because they appear to s h i f t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y from the offender and blame mothers and children. He argues that the t h i r d precondition speaks to the issue of. opportunity. An uninhibited and motivated offender s t i l l needs to fin d the opportunity to offend. The fourth precondition underscores the point offenders themselves make i n describing t h e i r a b i l i t y to pick children whose v u l n e r a b i l i t y make them safer targets (Banning, 1992) . Finkelhor argues that single factor theories lack the soph i s t i c a t i o n necessary to explain the complexity of sex offending behavior. He also believes that both i n d i v i d u a l and a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l factors contribute to sex offending behavior. His framework suggests that the i n t e r a c t i o n between i n d i v i d u a l and soc i o - c u l t u r a l factors complement and influence one another. This suggests that interventions 81 which t a r g e t f a c t o r s . at b o t h l e v e l s a r e needed t o e f f e c t i v e l y c o u n t e r any one p r e c o n d i t i o n . F i n k e l h o r ' s model assumes t h a t e f f e c t i v e l y b l o c k i n g one p r e c o n d i t i o n w i l l p r e v e n t c h i l d sex abuse. T h i s would s h i f t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r k e e p i n g c h i l d r e n s a f e away from sex o f f e n d e r s t o mothers and c h i l d r e n . P r e v e n t i o n programs aimed.at c h i l d r e n , a l t h o u g h i m p o r t a n t , are c l e a r l y not t h e most i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f p r e v e n t i n g the s e x u a l e x p l o i t a t i o n o f c h i l d r e n . To assume t h a t a l l f o u r p r e c o n d i t i o n s must be met f o r abuse t o o c c u r f o s t e r s v i c t i m and mother b l a m i n g . F a l l e r ' s (1988) model a d d r e s s e s t h i s weakness. F a l l e r ' s Model: F a l l e r ' s (1988) e c o l o g i c a l model f o c u s e s on t h e dynamics of s e x u a l abuse. F a l l e r s u g g e s t s f o r s e x u a l abuse t o t a k e p l a c e two p r e r e q u i s i t e s must be met. The two p r e r e q u i s i t e s are a s e x u a l a t t r a c t i o n t o c h i l d r e n and a w i l l i n g n e s s t o a c t on t h o s e s e x u a l f e e l i n g s . Her model i d e n t i f i e s c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r s l o c a t e d a t t h e c u l t u r a l , e n v i r o n m e n t a l , i n d i v i d u a l , and f a m i l y l e v e l s . She argues t h a t dynamic i n t e r a c t i o n s t a k e p l a c e between the two p r e r e q u i s i t e s . She a l s o p o i n t s out t h a t each . o f t h e 82 prerequisites interact with each of the contributing factors which, i n turn, interact with one another. Fa'ller argues that the essential dynamics involve the r e l a t i v e interplay between sexual a t t r a c t i o n and the willingness to act upon that a t t r a c t i o n . She describes a t t r a c t i o n as a learned response, having i t s roots i n childhood. Two aspects F a l l e r considers important to an understanding of sexual a t t r a c t i o n are i n t e n s i t y and frequency. She points out that both vary according to the offender. The i n t e n s i t y and frequency of the sexual a t t r a c t i o n are conceptualized as independent continuums which interact with one another. F a l l e r believes that sexual a t t r a c t i o n by i t s e l f w i l l not lead to sexual abuse. For sexual abuse to occur, there must also be a willingness to engage i n t h i s a c t i v i t y . F a l l e r describes willingness as a measure of super-ego development. F a l l e r distinguishes between those offenders who show very l i t t l e super-ego development, and those whose super-ego development i s sound except i n the area of sexual abuse. She also notes that poor impulse control can lead to a willingness to act on one's sexual feelings regardless of super-ego strength. 83 Those with l i t t l e super-ego are l i k e l y to engage i n sexual abuse even when they are only mildly attracted. When these perpetrators are caught, remorse i s directed to s e l f rather than to others. They rarely consider the harm they have caused others. These offenders are also l i k e l y to be involved i n a wide range of criminal a c t i v i t i e s which are motivated by s e l f i n t e r e s t . Those offenders with well developed super-egos, but with a b l i n d spot i n the area of sexual abuse present as law abiding and s o c i a l l y appropriate in a l l other aspects of t h e i r l i v e s . A subgroup of offenders i n t h i s group are characterized as having low impulse control coupled with a well developed super-ego. These offenders have intense and pervasive attractions to children. This person, according to F a l l e r , battles his sexual a t t r a c t i o n to children; he knows his feelings are wrong, but he in e v i t a b l y gives i n and commits sexual abuse. F a l l e r notes that these men f e e l remorse afte r the attack and are more l i k e l y to apologize and make a confession when caught. F a l l e r ' s model also i d e n t i f i e s contributing factors. These factors relate to experiences and are grouped i n four categories. The categories F a l l e r uses r e f l e c t an attempt 84 to understand the offender and his crime within the larger context of his l i f e experiences. F a l l e r argues that contributing factors only increase the l i k e l i h o o d of sexual abuse occurring, but are neither necessary nor s u f f i c i e n t cause for sexual abuse. The four categories i n F a l l e r ' s model are c u l t u r a l , environmental, i n d i v i d u a l , and family. At the c u l t u r a l l e v e l , F a l l e r emphasizes factors that s o c i a l i z e boys to i n t e r n a l i z e the attitudes and b e l i e f s that perpetuate the notion that to be masculine one must be i n charge, have control over, and dominate the women and children within one's sphere of influence. Boys are s o c i a l i z e d to aggressively, pursue or, at least, i n i t i a t e sexual encounters. G i r l s are s o c i a l i z e d to a passive and even a resistant role. Drawing from her c l i n i c a l work with offenders, F a l l e r reports that a large proportion of male offenders believe that i t i s a man's prerogative to dominate and control family members, and to have t h e i r needs met regardless of the harm th i s may cause.. • F a l l e r also supports the points made by Rush (1980) and Herman (1981) that, u n t i l recently, professional writing tended to normalize men's sexual a t t r a c t i o n to children and placed the onus on children to be less enticing, and on 85 mothers to be more protective. Although F a l l e r (1988) believes these, attitudes are changing, she states, " It i s s t i l l easy to f i n d a judge who thinks incarceration i s too high a price for a man to pay for a l i t t l e sexual acting-out with a c h i l d . . . " p . 9 2 . ' In her view, c u l t u r a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s that minimize the harm caused by sexual abuse, or s h i f t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the abuse away from the offender, normalize the sexual a t t r a c t i o n some men have for children. These c u l t u r a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s , coupled with the effects of gender s p e c i f i c s o c i a l i z a t i o n , contribute to the sexual abuse of children by leading some men to believe that sex with children i s normal, and that resistance on the part of women and children i s a l l a part of the game. This increases the l i k e l i h o o d that they w i l l act on t h e i r sexual feelings, and discount the re s u l t i n g harm t h e i r behavior causes. Environmental factors which F a l l e r i d e n t i f i e s as contributing to sexual abuse are grouped i n the following two categories: economic factors and s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n . F a l l e r points out that studies c i t e d that show a c o r r e l a t i o n between socio-economic status and sexual abuse are fraught with problems of sampling bias. These studies are usually 86 done on people successfully prosecuted, or people reported by s o c i a l welfare agencies. Samples from either group are l i k e l y to over represent the economically disadvantaged. Other factors associated with low socio-economic status are also discounted. For example, over crowding may put pot e n t i a l offenders i n close contact with children, but t h i s same over crowding w i l l put protective mothers i n close proximity as well. • Drawing on her c l i n i c a l experience, F a l l e r notes that over crowded l i v i n g arrangements, while present i n her sample, were far out numbered by situations where a child ' s privacy was violated by fathers entering the chi l d ' s room or by i n s i s t i n g the c h i l d sleep with him. The economic factors that 'Faller i d e n t i f i e s as contributing to c h i l d sexual abuse were loss of employment or chronic unemployment. She notes'that approximately one t h i r d of the offenders i n her study were unemployed at the time the sexual abuse took place. She believes that loss of employment has a negative ef f e c t on self-esteem, and that t h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y true for men who have been s o c i a l i z e d to believe that to be masculine one must work and support one's family. As noted e a r l i e r , (Malamuth, 1981; Check and Malmuth, 1983; F a l l e r , 1988) many men subscribe to attitudes 87 which exaggerate masculine t r a i t s as being the i d e a l . F a l l e r also points out that fathers out of work are l i k e l y to be at home looking after t h e i r children. Unsupervised proximity to a c h i l d provides the potential offender with ample opportunity to offend. Social i s o l a t i o n , ' according to F a l l e r , includes geographical i s o l a t i o n , such as being far removed from neighbors, and psychological i s o l a t i o n , such as being far removed from friends arid r e l a t i v e s . Social i s o l a t i o n may be imposed by the offender to keep the secret; i t may be imposed by the community which shuns the family. Social i s o l a t i o n may contribute to sexual abuse by l i m i t i n g the number of appropriate sex partners, or by i s o l a t i n g the family from normative pressures .from society which support the incest taboo. Social i s o l a t i o n may precede the sexual abuse and, thus, be a contributing factor, or i t might come aft e r the sexual abuse and, thus, prolong the abuse. Individual factors c i t e d by F a l l e r as important include having had a harsh or deprived childhood, traumatic sexual experience i n childhood and a history of substance abuse. F a l l e r reported that, of the offenders i n her study, an overwhelming number described childhood's characterized as 88 harsh and deprived. These experiences included v i o l e n t discord between parents, parental separation, and divorce. The offenders reported having had multiple caretakers, including foster care. Alcoholism was also- a prevalent experience i n families of o r i g i n . Many reported being p h y s i c a l l y abused, unjustly punished or scapegoated. The majority of these offenders i d e n t i f i e d t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p with t h e i r mothers as most problematical. They f e l t rejected by mothers who, they believe, f a i l e d to protect them from abusive fathers, stepfathers or boyfriends. F a l l e r noted that these men lack the s k i l l s to form intimate relationships and have d i f f i c u l t y showing a f f e c t i o n i n non-sexual ways. These d e f i c i t s , coupled with t h e i r anger at t h e i r mothers, are displaced toward t h e i r spouse and then on to t h e i r children. The second factor i n the childhood h i s t o r i e s of offenders was a traumatic sexual experience. F a l l e r notes that these sexual experiences were not always viewed as traumatic. This was espe c i a l l y true for pedophiles, and for incestuous fathers acting i n either a custodial or a non-custodial role. She also notes that, i n many cases, the 89 offender was not sexually abused d i r e c t l y but was a witness to abuse. The t h i r d factor i d e n t i f i e d with the offenders i n the sample i s substance abuse. F a l l e r believes that the use of drugs and alcohol by offenders i s functional i n two ways. The f i r s t i s as a d i s i n h i b i t o r ; the offender can engage i n behaviors while intoxicated that he would not engage i n sober. This also provides the offender with the b u i l t i n excuse of: "I would never have done that i f I had known what I was doing". Secondly, intoxication functions as a way for offenders to s e l f medicate, and to blunt the feelings of shame and g u i l t some offenders experience af t e r an assault. It i s the factors at the family l e v e l which F a l l e r finds most problematic. She argues that many of the family factors c i t e d i n the l i t e r a t u r e s h i f t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y away from the abuser and onto the victim or the non-offending parent. Her experience does not support many of the suppositions found i n the family systems l i t e r a t u r e . She disagrees with the notion that incest i s a way for indiv i d u a l s to ward off family d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . F a l l e r dismisses the notion that family- factors focusing on the non-offending parent or the v i c t i m can lead 90 to an understanding of sexual abuse. Her sample of incestuous families included mothers who could be described as "inadequate" but, more often, mothers were well-functioning. She found some children who had taken . on aspects of t h e i r mother's parental role, but far more who had not. In addition, more than half the victims i n her study were f i v e years old or- younger when the abuse began and, therefore,' not r e a l i s t i c candidates for role reversal. In the few cases where mothers knew that the sexual abuse was taking place p r i o r to i t being reported, F a l l e r reports that most of these women were t e r r i f i e d of t h e i r husbands. Sexual dysfunction was found in about 50% of the cases but was most often the husbands refusing to have sex with t h e i r spouses rather than wives withholding sex. F a l l e r also dismisses the notion that the victim accepts the sexual role with the abuser. She did note that children were prematurely sexualized as a result of the abuse and appeared seductive. Only a very few children reported having any p o s i t i v e feelings about the abuse and F a l l e r states that those children were extremely deprived and neglected. F a l l e r ' s model argues for a reformulation of the family dynamics theory which she believes blames the mothers and 91 children. Her model acknowledges that c u l t u r a l , environmental, i n d i v i d u a l and family factors contribute to, but do not cause, sexual abuse. According to F a l l e r , sexual abuse can only happen when there i s an adult with sexual feelings toward children and the willingness to act upon them. F a l l e r ' s model incorporates many of the findings by feminist researchers e s p e c i a l l y within the context of family dynamics and at the c u l t u r a l l e v e l she notes that misogynist b e l i e f s contribute to the development of offending behaviors. As well she incorporates aspects of psychoanalytic l i t e r a t u r e i n her- discussion of personality development and impulse control. F a l l e r (1988) and Finklehor (1984) argue that single factor theories are not sophisticated enough to explain the complexities of sexual abuse. To begin to understand the sex offender m u l t i - f a c t o r i a l models must be developed. This s h i f t i n emphasis away from concentrating on the sex crime toward i d e n t i f y i n g and understanding the motivation to commit the crime suggests the need to look more c l o s e l y at the childhood experiences of sex offenders. 92 Wolf's Model: In a t h i r d e c o l o g i c a l model, Wolf (1985) s u g g e s t s t h a t p o t e n t i a t o r s i n the c h i l d h o o d h i s t o r i e s o f sex o f f e n d e r s , when c o u p l e d w i t h c e r t a i n p e r s o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , i n t e r a c t t o form an a d d i c t i o n c y c l e . Here, t h e o f f e n d e r uses s e x u a l f a n t a s y t o p r a c t i c e the d e v i a n c e and t o d e s e n s i t i z e h i m s e l f t o what he i s d o i n g , i n f a c t o r i n f a n t a s y . R a t i o n a l i z a t i o n s and j u s t i f i c a t i o n s which t h e o f f e n d e r uses t o l e s s e n h i s g u i l t o r embarrassment become i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e f a n t a s y . Drawing from h i s c l i n i c a l p r a c t i c e , Wolf (1985) r e p o r t s t h e f o l l o w i n g c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s as b e i n g most commonly d e s c r i b e d : 47% o f the o f f e n d e r s r e p o r t a sense o f i s o l a t i o n from t h e o t h e r members of t h e i r f a m i l y o f o r i g i n , 37% r e p o r t w i t n e s s i n g f a m i l y v i o l e n c e , 30% r e p o r t b e i n g p h y s i c a l l y abused, 27% r e p o r t b e i n g s e x u a l l y abused, 23% r e p o r t b e i n g e m o t i o n a l l y abused, and 17% r e p o r t w i t n e s s i n g s e x u a l abuse. The p e r s o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s most commonly a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e o f f e n d e r s seen i n h i s p r a c t i c e i n c l u d e n a r c i s s i s m , poor s e l f - i m a g e , d e f e n s i v e n e s s , r u m i n a t i v e n e s s , s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , and a s e x u a l p r e -o c c u p a t i o n . 93 According to Wolf, these offenders experienced various forms of family violence which predisposed them to be attracted to deviant sexual practices. This, coupled with personality c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which make i t d i f f i c u l t to form intimate and mutually respective relationships where t h e i r emotional needs could be met, increases the l i k e l i h o o d of the development of a sex offending pattern of behavior. Wolf believes the sexual pre-occupation which sex offenders evidence i s esp e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . The deviant fantasy as i t i s rehearsed i n masturbation establishes cues i n terms of sexual objects, for example, children, and i n terms of places, for example, parks. As mentioned e a r l i e r , also incorporated into the fantasy are the s e l f serving rationales for being wherever and doing whatever. For example, an offender who knows he should avoid parks where children are playing w i l l f i n d himself i n a park, not to meet children, but only to take a short cut to the store. Rather than i n i t i a t i n g contact himself, his fantasy w i l l have the c h i l d i n i t i a t i n g contact, perhaps, by i n v i t i n g him to play. During t h i s fantasy development process deviant sexual arousal becomes heightened as the i n h i b i t i o n s against 94 committing an assault weaken. According to Wolf, the r e s u l t i s a c l a s s i c addiction cycle. The addiction cycle Wolf describes i s set i n motion by the offenders' poor s e l f image. Poor self-esteem leads to an expectation of rej e c t i o n . Expecting to be rejected, the offender instead withdraws and, otherwise, engages i n non-assertive behavior. To counter his feelings of low s e l f worth the offender then turns to compensatory fantasies, sexual escapism, and grooming the target. The offender's a t t r a c t i o n to the target increases and he spends more time with her. It i s at t h i s point i n the cycle the abuse takes place. The offender may f e e l some transito r y g u i l t but, i f so, pushes i t away. Here, the cycle i s complete. The offender i s again facing feelings of poor s e l f worth which has been reinforced by his abusive behavior. Wolf's model draws heavily on the learning models discussed e a r l i e r while paying attention to the childhood experiences a f f e c t i n g personality development. As an ecological model Wolf's model i s weakened by his inattention to the ef f e c t s of culture which both F a l l e r ' s and Finklehor's models include. Wolf does attend to the individual and family l e v e l s and refers to his model as an ecological model. 95 Summary: This chapter presented a number of t h e o r e t i c a l perspectives beginning with Freud and Erikson's developmental models. Freud's work formed the basis upon which the early research on sex offenders was conducted. The bias against the victim, prevalent at t h i s time i s cle a r i n these early studies. This bias was due i n large part to the fact that Freud's seduction theory had been dismissed by his peers and eventually abandoned by Freud himself. Children making accusations of sexual abuse against t h e i r fathers were thought to be remembering long ago fantasies rather than re a l events. Some of the factors i d e n t i f i e d from the l i t e r a t u r e of that time does suggest that experiences i n childhood are important to the development of sex offending behavior. Contributing factors i d e n t i f i e d were neglect, early and inappropriate sexual experiences, emotional and physical abuse, lack of po s i t i v e parenting, lack of po s i t i v e male role modeling, and alcohol abuse. Freud outlined a developmental theory which predicts a healthy outcome provided the child's needs are met. When those needs are not met, or when development i s jeopardized 96 through traumatic experiences, Freud's model suggests a more problematic outcome. Erikson's (1950) psycho-social developmental theory emphasized the in t e r a c t i o n between the c h i l d and his s o c i a l environment and the relationship between meeting the c h i l d ' s needs and the development of s o c i a l competence. Studies were presented that show that sex offenders lack s o c i a l s k i l l s and have poor s e l f esteem. Erikson's theory predicts that male children who successfully resolve the c r i s i s represented at each developmental stage w i l l develop the a b i l i t y to form mutually respectful relationships. Other psychological viewpoints (Ault, 1983) were examined to understand how early childhood experiences a f f e c t adult functioning. The a b i l i t y to enter and p a r t i c i p a t e i n a mutually respectful r e l a t i o n s h i p i s at odds with relationships characterized by sexual abuse where a sex offender s a t i s f i e s t h e i r needs at the expense of others (Faller, 1988). In this regard, Kohut (1977) predicts that t h i s a b i l i t y i s enhanced when a c h i l d experiences love and acceptance from parents and i s able to i n t r o j e c t t h i s notion of s e l f worth. Chodorow (1978) suggests that boys because t h e i r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n becomes 97 fused with separation have a more d i f f i c u l t time with intimacy than g i r l s whose i d e n t i f i c a t i o n becomes fused with attachment. One model with roots i n the psychoanalytic l i t e r a t u r e i s the trauma model. This model offers a useful t h e o r e t i c a l perspective from which to view the development of sexual offending behaviors for those offenders who were victimized. It has not been used to explore the effects of more benign sexual experiences i n childhood, nor has i t been used as a framework to look at non-sexual experiences that may play a role i n the development of sex offending behavior. Learning theory, (Marshall and Barbaree, 1990) provides an al t e r n a t i v e perspective from which to understand the development of sex offending behavior. This perspective suggests that behavior i s learned and that observation.alone can r e s u l t i n children attempting a new behavior (Bandura, 1965; Bandura, 1977). Overt or covert rewards w i l l encourage the behavior. Learning models have been used to inform addiction research, which has, i n turn, been used to explain the d i f f i c u l t y some offenders have i n giving up sexually abusive behaviors (Laws and Marshall, 1990). This 98 perspective suggests that c u l t u r a l mores and myths are also learned from those with whom we share our environment. Family systems, a t h i r d perspective, argues that sex offending i s symptomatic of problems within the dynamics of the family and i s maintained, i f not consciously then unconsciously, by a l l members of the family (Bentovim, 1988) . Structural aspects of the family which are seen, from t h i s perspective, as needing attention include roles, subsystems and boundaries (Alexander, 1985). Family systems offers observations on what i s happening i n the moment, but has l i t t l e to say about how the behavior began. Like the psychoanalytic perspective, which assumes everyone i s an equal and ignores the power d i f f e r e n t i a l s which exi s t between abuser and victim, the family systems perspective argues that everyone has a part to play i n maintaining the abusive pattern. Feminists brought the issue of sex offending to public attention and, i n so doing, advocated for the rights of women and children to l i v e free of abuse. Sex offending behavior i s seen from t h i s perspective as an example of the disregard a male dominated society has for women and children (Rush, 1980; Dworkin, 1978). The roots of t h i s 99 disregard are - i n a c u l t u r a l and h i e r a r c h i c a l model which s o c i a l i z e s people to believe that males are more valued than females, and that adults are more valued than' children. Where other perspectives ignored the issue of power and control, the feminist perspective argues that these are fundamental to gaining an understanding of sex offenders. Feminists also point to the sexual o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of women and children as another contributing factor which leads men to commit sex crimes against women and children. This chapter examined three ecological models, which, by t h e i r very nature, attempt to blend our•knowledge about the i n d i v i d u a l offender with the c u l t u r a l and environmental factors known to influence the development of sex offending, behavior (Finklehor, 1984; F a l l e r , 1988; and Wolf, 1985). Finklehor and F a l l e r highlight i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and construct models with an ind i v i d u a l perspective at the center. F a l l e r , for example, argues that the offender's superego i s immature. Her model outlines two prerequisites which must be s a t i s f i e d . The offender must be sexually attracted to children and must be w i l l i n g to act on that sexual a t t r a c t i o n . She also i d e n t i f i e s a number of. contributing factors variously located at, the c u l t u r a l , 100 environmental, i n d i v i d u a l and family l e v e l . . A hallmark of her model i s the dynamic interaction which takes place between the prerequisites and the contributing factors. Finklehor i d e n t i f i e s four preconditions which must be met before sexual abuse can occur. The f i r s t speaks to the issue of motivation and has s i m i l a r i t i e s to F a l l e r ' s concept of sexual a t t r a c t i o n . His second speaks to d i s i n h i b i t i o n . Like F a l l e r he sees the need to overcome the moral injunctions which prohibit adults from having sex with children. His t h i r d precondition, speaks to opportunity, and, here, Finklehor begins to s h i f t the focus from the offender to the mother. Like the Family Systems perspective, Finklehor argues that circumstances arise which prevent mothers from protecting t h e i r children. Finklehor's fourth precondition speaks to issues of v u l n e r a b i l i t y i n the c h i l d herself which i n v i t e the abuse. These l a s t two issues are covered by F a l l e r as well, but unlike Finklehor, who considers them preconditions, which must be s a t i s f i e d for sexual abuse to occur, she i d e n t i f i e s them as factors which contribute to the l i k e l i h o o d of sexual abuse occurring. F a l l e r emphasizes that these factors do not constitute a necessary or s u f f i c i e n t cause for sexual abuse. Sexual 101 abuse w i l l only take place, according to her, i f an adult i s sexually attracted to children and i s w i l l i n g to act on that a t t r a c t i o n . If those prerequisites are met, F a l l e r believes, the offender w i l l f i n d both the c h i l d and the opportunity despite whatever protective and preventive measures are i n place to protect children. The f i n a l ecological model presented was developed by Wolf (1985). He believes childhood experiences play a role i n creating the potential for abuse l a t e r i n l i f e . This concept i s similar to F a l l e r ' s contributing factors. Children who witness physical or sexual abuse, or who were themselves abused emotionally, p h y s i c a l l y or sexually, who witness family violence and who grow up with a sense of i s o l a t i o n from family and community are at r i s k of becoming offenders. F a l l e r and Wolf agree that children who experience harsh and abusive childhood's are at r i s k . Wolf.'s model describes childhood experiences i n t e r a c t i n g with•psychological c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s commonly associated with sex offenders. This interaction can have the e f f e c t of i s o l a t i n g the offender i n a cycle characterized by poor self-esteem, withdrawal, compensatory fantasy, and f i n a l l y 102 offending which confirms, i n the offender's mind, his lack of s e l f worth. Over the course of time the research on sex offenders became more sophisticated. An aspect of t h i s s o p h i s t i c a t i o n argues that the offender must be understood within the context of family and society. Childhood experiences which impair the development of prosocial behavior and s e l f esteem, and which increase the l i k e l i h o o d of these crimes being committed are an in t e g r a l part of t h i s context. 103 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction: This chapter describes the methodology used to explore the question posed by t h i s study. The methodological i s s u e s discussed i n t h i s chapter are: design, sample, measure, v a l i d i t y , content v a l i d i t y , r e l i a b i l i t y and a n a l y s i s . The chapter concludes with a short summary. A q u a l i t a t i v e design was determined to be the best choice given the nature of the question, the s t a t e of knowledge on the question posed i n t h i s t h e s i s and the •resources a v a i l a b l e to the i n v e s t i g a t o r . An e x p l o r a t i o n of these issues w i l l c l a r i f y the r a t i o n a l e f o r choosing a q u a l i t a t i v e over a q u a n t i t a t i v e design. Data f o r t h i s study came from i n t e r v i e w s conducted w i t h f i v e male respondents. The s e c t i o n on sampling presents the r a t i o n a l e and c r i t e r i a which guided the s e l e c t i o n of these respondents. The major strength of a q u a l i t a t i v e design i s that i t d i r e c t s the i n v e s t i g a t o r to p u r p o s i v e l y seek respondents r i c h i n the type of knowledge needed to answer 104 the question posed by the study. The c r i t e r i a established ensures that respondents w i l l have the type of information needed. Each of the f i v e respondents interviewed exceeded the established c r i t e r i a and proved to be valuable sources of information. The measure used in t h i s study was a standardized open-ended questionnaire developed by the author. The process and rationale behind the eleven questions asked and the content areas covered by i t are outlined. In addition to the eleven questions, which were posed i n the same order to each of the respondents, a number of probes were employed to ensure that each respondent had ample opportunity to f u l l y share t h e i r perceptions on the question under study. V a l i d i t y as i t relates to q u a l i t a t i v e design, refers to the notion that the researcher i s the instrument and i s engaged with the respondent i n a very personal way. Every e f f o r t was made to ensure that the participants were f u l l y engaged i n the process. To e l i c i t the maximum amount of relevant information, the researcher must stay focused on the interview while establishing a l e v e l of rapport with the respondent. V a l i d i t y at t h i s l e v e l can be a r e l a t i v e l y subjective experience as the respondent and interviewer j o i n 105 i n an exploration of "the question. E f f o r t s to increase v a l i d i t y w i l l be described. Content v a l i d i t y refers to the degree to which the questions asked r e f l e c t the purpose of the study. The steps taken to develop meaningful questions are described. Another aspect a f f e c t i n g content v a l i d i t y are the steps taken to gather and protect the data. These steps are outlined i n t h i s section. R e l i a b i l i t y refers to the degree to which the results can be r e p l i c a t e d by other researchers and the degree to which the results can be generalized to the larger population from which the sample was drawn. The f l e x i b i l i t y inherent i n q u a l i t a t i v e designs tends to boost v a l i d i t y while lowering r e l i a b i l i t y . Steps to maximize r e l i a b i l i t y were taken and are discussed. Analysis involves i d e n t i f y i n g , coding and categorizing the patterns which arise from the data. The process of how the data c o l l e c t e d was analyzed i s described. The four stage method of data analysis developed by Glaser and Straus (1967) and elucidated by Paton (1990) provided the guidelines for analysis of data gathered i n t h i s study. 106 Design: Since no systemic study of t h e r a p i s t s perceptions of childhood experiences and t h e i r p o ssible' l i n k to the subsequent development of a s e x u a l l y abusive p a t t e r n of behavior was found i n the l i t e r a t u r e , t h i s study represents an i n i t i a l e x p l o r a t i o n of the i s s u e . E x p l o r a t o r y s t u d i e s do not lend themselves to hypothesis t e s t i n g . The st r e n g t h of an e x p l o r a t o r y study l i e s i n i t s a b i l i t y to generate questions and to describe the character of a phenomenon. In t e r v i e w i n g t h e r a p i s t s about t h e i r perceptions of the childhood experiences of t h e i r sex offending c l i e n t s i s a conservat i v e and appropriate f i r s t step. The core element of the question i s : What childhood experiences, i f any, i n f l u e n c e the development of sex offending behavior? The d e c i s i o n to pose t h i s question to t h e r a p i s t s of sex offenders rather than • d i r e c t l y to offenders was made f o r reasons of methodology and l o g i s t i c s . M e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y , i t appeared t h a t , although the l i t e r a t u r e suggests that sex offenders have childhood experiences which may impact t h e i r s o c i a l f u n c t i o n i n g and may i n f l u e n c e them to commit sex crimes, many of the studie s which attend to childhood experiences are decades o l d and come from a 107 p e r s p e c t i v e which has been c r i t i q u e d f o r a number r e a s o n s . I t seemed pr u d e n t , t h e r e f o r e , t o e x p l o r e w i t h t h e r a p i s t s t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s o f the q u e s t i o n . An i n - d e p t h e x p l o r a t i o n o f p e r c e p t i o n s would b e s t be a c c o m p l i s h e d u s i n g q u a l i t a t i v e methodology. T h i s methodology d i r e c t s the r e s e a r c h e r t o choose i n f o r m a t i o n r i c h r e spondents such as t h e s e t h e r a p i s t s and encourages t h e e x p l o r a t i o n n e c e s s a r y . A second reason f o r c h o o s i n g t o i n t e r v i e w t h e r a p i s t s r a t h e r t h a n o f f e n d e r s , was t h e l o g i s t i c s i n v o l v e d i n g a i n i n g a c c e s s t o o f f e n d e r s . I t was much e a s i e r t o a c c e s s t h e r a p i s t s than i t was t o acce s s o f f e n d e r s . I t was thought t h e r a p i s t s would draw on t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s w i t h many o f f e n d e r s when d i s c u s s i n g t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e i r c l i e n t s and i n t h i s way be a d i f f e r e n t s o u r c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n on t h i s t o p i c . The purpose o f t h e s e i n t e r v i e w s was t o i d e n t i f y e x p e r i e n t i a l c h i l d h o o d themes t h a t would be u s e f u l i n f u r t h e r i n g s o c i a l work knowledge o f sex o f f e n d e r s . I n t e r v i e w i n g . t h e r a p i s t s i s an a p p r o p r i a t e f i r s t s t e p . Sample: T h e r a p i s t s e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h male sex o f f e n d e r s r e p r e s e n t a r i c h s o u r c e of i n f o r m a t i o n . Most o f t h e 108 research and writing on t h i s subject originates from therapists. Research on. therapist attitudes (Owens and Dewey, 1987) however, showed that health professionals were i n c l i n e d to give low estimates of frequency and to take a more punitive attitude toward the abuser. Therapists who work with offenders were not i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s study and so i t i s impossible to say whether they would have s i m i l a r attitudes. Owens and Dewey noted that as a group, respondents saw sexual abuse as creating serious problems for the victim, e s p e c i a l l y i n t h e i r sexual and marital r e l a t i o n s h i p s . A t t i a s and Goodwin (1985) surveyed physicians, psychologists and family counselors and reported they had a great deal of p r a c t i c a l experience, knowledge, and management s k i l l s i n treating sexual abuse victims. This study did not d i f f e r e n t i a t e between therapists who work with offenders from those who work with victims. Many therapists are active i n presenting t h e i r findings, but i t would appear that no surveys based on t h e i r perceptions about the childhood experiences of sex offenders have been done. To ensure ' that informants i n t h i s study were knowledgeable the following c r i t e r i a were established: 109 - that the respondents work i n a private practice, - that the respondents have worked for, at least, 1 year with sex offenders, - that the respondents be educated to at least a Masters l e v e l . Subjects i n private practice would be more l i k e l y to have developed an e c l e c t i c approach to t h e i r work, be less l i k e l y to have absorbed a p a r t i c u l a r t h e o r e t i c a l orientation developed at an i n s t i t u t i o n a l l e v e l , be more l i k e l y to have explored t h e i r c l i e n t ' s childhood and would, therefore, represent a r i c h source of information about the phenomenon of inte r e s t to t h i s study. F i n a l l y i t was thought that private p r a c t i t i o n e r s would be more l i k e l y to work with a d i f f e r e n t types of offenders and with offenders of d i f f e r e n t ages. F i n a l l y , private p r a c t i t i o n e r s were, more l i k e l y than those employed by a government i n s t i t u t i o n t reating sex offenders, to be treating survivors of sexual abuse. As a resul t of t h i s broader experience i n the area of sexual abuse generally i t was thought that private therapists might o f f e r perceptions about the d i f f e r e n t i a l experiences of survivors who offend and those who do not become offenders. Given the p o s s i b i l i t y that public and private therapists 110 might have d i f f e r e n t perceptions on the question under study, and, given the small sample size of t h i s study, I chose to l i m i t t h i s study to private p r a c t i t i o n e r s rather than r i s k confounding the data by inadvertently including two groups. The second c r i t e r i a , a minimum of one year working with sex offenders, would ensure that the therapist's perceptions would have an experiential foundation. Because of the second hand nature of the information, one must assume that the data gathered w i l l r e f l e c t an integration of knowledge gained through experience, observation, reading and r e f l e c t i o n on the part of the therapist. An accurate measure of the therapist's perception i s not necessarily i n d i c a t i v e of what his c l i e n t s might have experienced. To increase the l i k e l i h o o d that the therapist w i l l r e l a t e something of the experiences of his c l i e n t s ' childhood, i t i s desirable that his practice should be of long enough duration so that he has had the opportunity to gain knowledge of these experiences. Although i t was unlike l y that therapists would have a private practice and not have at least a Masters degree i n a relevant f i e l d i t was not impossible either. The t h i r d 111 c r i t e r i a l i m i t e d respondents who were not educated to at least t h i s l e v e l . The rationale for t h i s c r i t e r i a was fostered by .the b e l i e f that people educated to a Masters l e v e l would have developed a t h e o r e t i c a l framework that would encourage them to integrate knowledge and experience and to, therefore, have a more informed perception of the question posed by th i s study. A second, less c r i t i c a l reason for interviewing people who had completed a post graduate degree i s the b e l i e f that they would empathize with the importance of doing research at a Masters l e v e l . Sharing a common experience enhances, the p o s s i b i l i t y for establishing rapport. The above c r i t e r i a increases the l i k e l i h o o d that well informed subjects w i l l be chosen. A sampling frame of eighteen therapists was constructed by s o l i c i t i n g t h e i r names through a variety of sources: colleagues, professional associations, and the Red Book (a resource guide of s o c i a l service agencies and private p r a c t i t i o n e r s published for the Lower Mainland region of B r i t i s h Columbia). Patton (1990) explains that, among the strengths of q u a l i t a t i v e research, i s the power which i t derives from purposeful sampling. This technique increases the l i k e l i h o o d that the respondents chosen w i l l represent a 112 r i c h source of information. It i s th i s richness which allows q u a l i t a t i v e studies to breath l i f e into d escriptive information. A l l eighteen therapists were sent a l e t t e r i d e n t i f y i n g the researcher and the nature of his a f f i l i a t i o n with UBC, and a description of the study, including i t s purpose- and the time commitment asked of them, (Appendix A) . Of the eighteen l e t t e r s sent, six re p l i e s were received. One therapist was interested but too busy to take part at the time; subsequent e f f o r t s to establish a time to meet with t h i s therapist were not successful. Of the f i v e remaining therapists, a l l were interviewed at the time and location of t h e i r choice. Prior to the interview, they were given a consent form to read and sign, (Appendix B). Table 1, presents the descriptive data c o l l e c t e d from the f i v e therapists taking part i n t h i s study. Each respondent was assigned a f i c t i t i o u s name to ensure c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y while maintaining r e a d a b i l i t y . These names w i l l remain consistent throughout t h i s study. 113 T a b l e 1 Descriptive Information of Respondents and Their Practice Respondents Item A l Bob C a r l Doug Ed Years e x p e r i e n c e w o r k i n g w i t h S.O. No. o f S.O. seen i n t h e l a s t y e a r Age range o f S.O. seen i n p r a c t i c e Average number o f i n d i v i d u a l s e s s i o n Average number o f group s e s s i o n s E d u c a t i o n : Ph. D. 10 4-80 8-10 40 20 22-72 4-1! MA Ph. D. 12 3-6 **24+ 12-15 12-24 12 MSW 100 15-65 14-84 5-20 10-30 M.Ed. * T h i s t h e r a p i s t does p r e - s e n t e n c e assessments which e x p l a i n s t h e d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e number o f o f f e n d e r s seen. ** T h i s t h e r a p i s t r e p o r t s s e e i n g o f f e n d e r s once p e r week f o r a minimum s i x months and f o r as l o n g as two y e a r s . 114 T a b l e 1 i n d i c a t e s t h a t a l l r e s p o n d e n t s exceeded t h e c r i t e r i a s e t f o r e x p e r i e n c e l e v e l . The range i n y e a r s o f e x p e r i e n c e w o r k i n g w i t h sex o f f e n d e r s was from 2 t o 8 y e a r s ; t h e group mean i s 5.4 y e a r s . Another measure o f e x p e r i e n c e i s t h e number o f sex o f f e n d e r s seen i n t h e p a s t y e a r . The range was 10 t o 100, i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e t h e r a p i s t s chosen f o r t h i s s t u d y had the e x p e r i e n c e upon which t o base t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s . A l l the t h e r a p i s t s conducted i n d i v i d u a l s e s s i o n s ; t h r e e o f t h e f i v e a l s o engaged sex o f f e n d e r s i n group work. A l l the respondents had a c h i e v e d M a s t e r s degrees and two had a t t a i n e d D o c t o r a t e s i n p s y c h o l o g y . "The t h e r a p i s t s t a k i n g p a r t i n t h i s s t u d y were w e l l e d u c a t e d , e x p e r i e n c e d w i t h sex o f f e n d e r s , were r e g u l a r l y s e e i n g sex o f f e n d e r s i n t h e i r p r a c t i c e s and over a l o n g enough p e r i o d of t ime t o have an i n f o r m e d o p i n i o n about c l i e n t e x p e r i e n c e s as c h i l d r e n and how thos e e x p e r i e n c e s might i n f l u e n c e t h e i r sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r . These respond e n t s r e p r e s e n t a r i c h s o u r c e o f i n f o r m a t i o n on the t o p i c a d d r e s s e d i n t h i s s t u d y . Measure: A semi- s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w format, commonly employed i n q u a l i t a t i v e s t u d i e s o f t h i s t y p e was implemented h e r e . An i n t e r v i e w g u i d e c o n s i s t i n g of e l e v e n q u e s t i o n s a l o n g w i t h 115 a number of probes was developed, (Appendix C). The questions were asked of each respondent i n a s p e c i f i c order. According to t h e i r answers, respondents were asked appropriate probes to ensure each question was fully-explored. The items chosen for th i s interview guide were arranged so that the informants were taken from the general to the s p e c i f i c and then returned to the general. For example, the f i r s t question asked therapists to describe' t h e i r own theory of how sex offending behavior begins and the l a s t question' i n v i t e s the informant to add anything of importance that occurred to him during the interview. The various content areas explored included: - the therapist's own theory of sex offending, - the degree to which therapists probed into the childhood experiences of t h e i r c l i e n t s , - the degree to which c l i e n t s disclosed a history of sex abuse, - therapists' perceptions of the impact of early sexual experiences that, although not abusive, may inform the question under study, - non-sexual factors therapists believe important. 116 V a l i d i t y : V a l i d i t y r e f e r s t o the degree t o which th e q u e s t i o n s posed and t h e probes employed e x p l o r e d t h e i s s u e s t h i s s t u d y was meant t o a d d r e s s . The purpose of t h i s s t u d y was t o e x p l o r e t h e p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e r a p i s t s about th e c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s o f t h e i r sex o f f e n d i n g c l i e n t s . A l t h o u g h p r i m a r i l y i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e s e x u a l development of c l i e n t s , t h e s t u d y a l s o e l i c i t e d p e r c e p t i o n s about f a c t o r s c o n s i d e r e d i m p o r t a n t by the t h e r a p i s t s i n t e r v i e w e d . T h i s would i n d i c a t e t h e t h e r a p i s t s f e l t c o m f o r t a b l e i n t h e i n t e r v i e w , were s i n c e r e l y engaged i n e x p l o r i n g t h e i s s u e and were a n s w e r i n g t h e q u e s t i o n s as f u l l y as p o s s i b l e . They were w i l l i n g t o share w i t h the i n t e r v i e w e r t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e i r c l i e n t s b r o a d e r c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s . As mentioned above, v a l i d i t y g e n e r a l l y r e f e r s t o t h e p r o b a b i l i t y t h a t the measurement t o o l , i n t h i s case a s e mi-s t r u c t u r e d i n t e r v i e w c o n s i s t i n g o f e l e v e n q u e s t i o n s , measures what i t p u r p o r t s t o . In q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h , t h e q u e s t i o n o f v a l i d i t y i s a l s o dependent on t h e m e t h o d o l o g i c a l s k i l l , s e n s i t i v i t y and i n t e g r i t y o f the r e s e a r c h e r ( P a t t o n , 1990). As w e l l , v a l i d i t y can be compromised by t h e r e s e a r c h e r ' s a b i l i t y t o s t a y f o c u s e d and a t t e n t i v e (Guba and 117 L i n c o l n , 1981). The i n t e r a c t i v e n a t u r e o f a q u a l i t a t i v e i n t e r v i e w p r o v i d e s the v i g i l a n t r e s e a r c h e r t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o make ongoing v a l i d i t y checks by making c l a r i f y i n g s t a t e m e n t s and by i n i t i a t i n g probes t o ensure t h e q u e s t i o n i s u n d e r s t o o d and t h e respondent has t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o g i v e as much i n f o r m a t i o n as p o s s i b l e . Content V a l i d i t y : I n d e v e l o p i n g t h e i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s , a d v i c e was sought from a v a r i e t y of s o u r c e s , i n c l u d i n g a c h i l d p s y c h o l o g i s t w i t h The G r e a t e r Vancouver M e n t a l H e a l t h S o c i e t y who i s d e v e l o p i n g programs and c o n d u c t i n g r e s e a r c h on s e x u a l l y i n t r u s i v e c h i l d r e n , an e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r o f a r e s i d e n t i a l program f o r a d o l e s c e n t male sex o f f e n d e r s and a t r e a t m e n t c o u n s e l l o r a t S p e c i a l S e r v i c e s t o t h e C o u r t . The q u e s t i o n s were p r e - t e s t e d and d i s c u s s e d w i t h two i n d i v i d u a l s knowledgeable i n t h i s a r e a . Q u e s t i o n s were d e v e l o p e d t o a c c e s s t h e depth and b r e a d t h o f t h e responde n t s p e r c e p t u a l knowledge about t h e i r c l i e n t s c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s . Each i n t e r v i e w was r e c o r d e d on a u d i o tape and each ta p e was t r a n s c r i b e d by the a u t h o r . T h i s p r o v i d e s a h a r d copy o f the i n t e r v i e w and has the advantage o f e n s u r i n g o n l y what 118 was said during the interviews i s used as data. This method further reduces the threat to v a l i d i t y from researcher bias. The concept, i n q u a l i t a t i v e research, of researcher as t o o l , implies that interaction effects between respondent and researcher are important factors i n enhancing or diminishing the v a l i d i t y of a study. The most c a r e f u l l y constructed instrument would have l i t t l e v a l i d i t y i f the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the respondent and researcher was not based on mutual trust and respect. In an e f f o r t to e s t a b l i s h rapport with the respondents, each was encouraged to choose a time and location for the interview which best suited them. Respondents were thanked i n advance for t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n and assured t h e i r contribution would be valuable. The consent form was c a r e f u l l y explained and a copy l e f t with them for t h e i r f i l e s . Respondents were asked to begin by completing a short demographic survey as a way of easing them into the task of sharing information p r i o r to the main interview. In a further e f f o r t to e s t a b l i s h an a i r of trust and c o l l e g i a l i t y between researcher and respondent, each respondent was given a copy of the interview guide to follow. Respondents' copy of the interview did not contain 119 t h e probes which, i f i n c l u d e d , may have a f f e c t e d t h e answers t h e y gave. Each i n t e r v i e w c o n s i s t e d o f e l e v e n q u e s t i o n s which were always p r e s e n t e d i n the same o r d e r . Probes were used t o ensure t h a t each answer was d e v e l o p e d as f u l l y as p o s s i b l e . The q u e s t i o n s f o c u s e d on t h e s e x u a l e x p e r i e n c e s o f c h i l d r e n w i t h t h e view t h a t sex o f f e n d e r s may have a d i f f e r e n t s e x u a l d e v e l o p m e n t a l h i s t o r y than n o n - o f f e n d e r s . A l t h o u g h f o c u s e d i n t h i s way, t h o s e i n t e r v i e w e d f e l t c o m f o r t a b l e i n b r i n g i n g up o t h e r f a c t o r s t h e y f e l t were i m p o r t a n t t o t h e development o f s e x u a l l y a b u s i v e p a t t e r n s o f b e h a v i o r . G i v e n t h e q u e s t i o n of v a l i d i t y from t h e p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between r e s e a r c h e r and respondent i s e s p e c i a l l y i m p o r t a n t i n a q u a l i t a t i v e e x p l o r a t o r y s t u d y , each respondent d i d h i s b e s t t o p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n . r i c h i n d e t a i l . R e l i a b i l i t y : The q u e s t i o n o f r e l i a b i l i t y i s most p r o b l e m a t i c i n a q u a l i t a t i v e s t u d y p r e c i s e l y because of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p w hich d e v e l o p s between th e r e s e a r c h e r and t h e respondent o v e r t h e c o u r s e o f t h e i n t e r v i e w . - Each p e r s o n comes t o t h i s t a s k w i t h unique c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which i n e v i t a b l y have an e f f e c t on t h e c o u r s e o f t h e i n t e r v i e w . R e s u l t s t h a t can be 120 r e p l i c a t e d a r e thought t o have g r e a t e r v a l u e . I n an e f f o r t t o enhance t h e r e l i a b i l i t y o f t h i s s t u d y , t h e methodology has been d e s c r i b e d c a r e f u l l y . S u f f i c i e n t . s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n has been p r o v i d e d so the s t u d y may be r e p l i c a t e d . However, l i t t l e can be done t o r e p l i c a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e r e s e a r c h e r and re s p o n d e n t . The p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s each b r i n g s t o t h e i n t e r v i e w c o u p l e d w i t h s i t u a t i o n a l v a r i a b l e s , l i k e t i me o f day, s e t t i n g , a l e r t n e s s , and d i s t r a c t i o n s , c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e uniq u e n e s s o f an i n t e r v i e w and i n f l u e n c e i t s r e p l i c a b i l i t y . Analysis P a t t o n (1990) d e s c r i b e s c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s i n q u a l i t a t i v e r e s e a r c h as a p r o c e s s of i d e n t i f y i n g , c o d i n g and c a t e g o r i z i n g t h e p r i m a r y p a t t e r n s which a r i s e from t h e d a t a . He argues t h a t t h i s i s an i n d u c t i v e p r o c e s s -in t h e sense t h a t t h e p a t t e r n s , themes and c a t e g o r i e s come d i r e c t l y from t h e d a t a . A n o t h e r p o i n t P a t t o n makes concerns t h e b o u n d a r i e s t h a t d e f i n e c a t e g o r i e s o r emerging themes. They must be f l e x i b l e enough t o c o n t a i n and make sense o f t h e d a t a t h e y each d e s c r i b e , w h i l e b e i n g d i s t i n c t enough t o e x c l u d e d a t a which does not b e l o n g . Data t h a t o v e r l a p t h e s e 121 b o u n d a r i e s i n d i c a t e a problem w i t h the way c a t e g o r i e s have been d e f i n e d . G l a s e r and S t r a u s (1967), i n d e s c r i b i n g t h e need t o ground t h e o r y i n d a t a , have d e v e l o p e d a f o u r s t a g e method o f a n a l y s i s t h e y .term the c o n s t a n t c o m p a r a t i v e method. L i k e P a t t o n , t h e y s t r e s s the importance o f h a v i n g c a t e g o r i e s e v o l v e from t h e d a t a . The s t a g e s of a n a l y s i s e s s e n t i a l l y d e s c r i b e t h e i r view o f t h e o r y b u i l d i n g and i n c l u d e : 1. I n c i d e n t s a p p l i c a b l e t o each , c a t e g o r y a r e c o n s t a n t l y compared w i t h one a n o t h e r , a l l o w i n g t h e c a t e g o r i e s t o r e a c h a p o i n t where t h e y d e f i n e t h e m s e l v e s . 2. C l e a r b o u n d a r i e s are e s t a b l i s h e d when i n t e g r a t i n g c a t e g o r i e s t o ensure t h e y remain r o o t e d t o t h e t h e o r y from which t h e y d e r i v e . In t h i s way, c a t e g o r i e s form a b r i d g e between d a t a and t h e o r y . 3. D e l i m i t i n g t h e t h e o r y r e f e r s t o t h e n a t u r a l e x p a n s i o n o r a d a p t a t i o n which t a k e s p l a c e as new i n f o r m a t i o n i s i n t e g r a t e d i n t o e x i s t i n g t h e o r y . 4. W r i t i n g the t h e o r y i s a f u r t h e r i n t e g r a t i v e s t e p w hich e v o l v e s around the i n t e r p r e t i v e t a s k o f a n a l y s i s . At t h i s s t a g e , t h e r e s e a r c h e r d e s c r i b e s how t h e i n f o r m a t i o n 122 g l e a n e d from t h e s t u d y f u r t h e r i n f o r m s t h e t h e o r y under c o n s t r u c t i o n . The s t u d y under d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s t h e s i s drew upon th e a n a l y t i c t e c h n i q u e s d i s c u s s e d i n the p r e c e d i n g p a r a g r a p h s . Each s e s s i o n was tape r e c o r d e d . Each tape was t r a n s c r i b e d and s e v e r a l c o p i e s made of each. A h i g h l i g h t pen was used t o i s o l a t e f a c t o r s p e r t i n e n t t o the s t u d y . D u r i n g t h e p r o c e s s o f i s o l a t i n g f a c t o r s , the c a t e g o r i e s t h e y d e s c r i b e d became a p p a r e n t . These c a t e g o r i e s b o t h e v o l v e d from t h e d a t a and reached back and i n f o r m e d the t h e o r e t i c a l framework out of which t h i s s t u d y grew. As w e l l as b e i n g d i s t i n c t from one an o t h e r , the t h r e e i d e n t i f i e d c a t e g o r i e s were l i n k e d by an o v e r r i d i n g theme which emerged from t h e i n t e r v i e w s . Summary: T h i s c h a p t e r has d i s c u s s e d the m e t h o d o l o g i c a l framework employed i n t h i s s t u d y . P u r p o s e f u l s a m p l i n g was chosen as a t e c h n i q u e f o r i n c r e a s i n g the l i k e l i h o o d t h a t r e s p o n d e n t s i n c l u d e d i n the s t u d y w i l l p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n r i c h i n d e t a i l . The demographic i n f o r m a t i o n g a t h e r e d from each respondent l e n t credence t o t h i s method of s a m p l i n g e s p e c i a l l y as a way o f a m e l i o r a t i n g the n e g a t i v e e f f e c t s o f 123 a small sample size, as was the case i n t h i s study. The c r e d i b i l i t y of any research hinges i n large part on how well the researcher addressed the questions of r e l i a b i l i t y and val i d i t y . . The e f f o r t s to strengthen v a l i d i t y . - and r e l i a b i l i t y were detailed. The l a s t section of t h i s chapter described the way i n which content from the interviews w i l l be analyzed. 124 CHAPTER 4 R E S U L T S Introduction From the c o n t e n t a n a l y s i s a number o f f a c t o r s were i d e n t i f i e d . As t h e s e f a c t o r s emerged t h e y began t o d e f i n e l e v e l s o f e x p e r i e n c e . These e v o l v e d , i n t o t h e t h r e e major c a t e g o r i e s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s c h a p t e r . Each c a t e g o r y and t h e d a t a s u p p o r t i n g i t w i l l be p r e s e n t e d i n a s e p a r a t e s e c t i o n . The f i r s t s e c t i o n w i l l d e s c r i b e i n d i v i d u a l f a c t o r s ; t h e second, f a m i l y e n v i r o n m e n t a l f a c t o r s ; t h e t h i r d c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s . A f i n a l s e c t i o n w i l l d e s c r i b e t h e r e s p o n d e n t s ' p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s o f becoming an o f f e n d e r . The c h a p t e r w i l l c o n c l u d e w i t h a s h o r t summary. At t h e i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l , f a c t o r s a re i d e n t i f i e d by t h e re s p o n d e n t s which, w h i l e not e x p l a i n i n g sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r , a r e thought t o i n t e r f e r e w i t h t h e a b i l i t y t o form and m a i n t a i n m u t u a l l y s u p p o r t i v e and r e s p e c t f u l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . O f f e n d e r s a re p e r c e i v e d as e m o t i o n a l l y needy but l a c k i n g the n e c e s s a r y s k i l l s t o meet t h e i r needs a p p r o p r i a t e l y . 125 This f i r s t section w i l l describe the i n d i v i d u a l factors respondents f e l t describe sex offenders. This category includes f a u l t y attachment, unmet emotional needs, low self-esteem, s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , f e l t lack of belonging, f e l t sense of inadequacy, immature emotional development, poor s o c i a l s k i l l s , and lack of inte r n a l controls. This data i s graphically displayed, along with the degree of respondent support, i n Table 2 on page 128. At the family environmental l e v e l sex offenders were described as coming from homes characterized by abuse and neglect. Besides not meeting children's' needs, respondents f e l t that offenders have taken t h e i r cues for how to behave in the world from models in th e i r families-of o r i g i n . The factors which were included i n the family l e v e l of experience include sexual abuse, violence and neglect, poor personal boundaries, inadvertent sexualizing experiences, parents unable to handle the child's expression of sexuality, premature sexualization, and lack of caring role model. This data i s displayed i n Table 3. At the c u l t u r a l l e v e l offenders were described as integrating many of the myths perpetuated by a sexist society. Many of these myths are promoted through the p r i n t 126 and v i s u a l media which further s o c i a l i z e young people by providing models which guide t h e i r behavior. Factors included i n t h i s category are male s o c i a l i z a t i o n to use power and control to meet emotional needs, to be attracted to less powerful females, and to i n i t i a t e sexual contact. Sexual exploitation by the media, pornography, sexual abuse as a c u l t u r a l phenomenon, and lack of sex education are also contributing factors. These are displayed i n table 4 . By themselves these categories of experience can only p a r t l y explain sex offending behavior. Imagining the interactions between factors within each category, and between categories, the dynamic complexity of the problem begins to emerge. Frameworks which take an eco l o g i c a l approach, that i s considering sex offenders within the context of his l i f e experience, are supported. Over the course of the interviews with the therapists, one over-riding theme emerged. • Each respondent described sexual offending behavior as an evolutionary process beginning i n childhood. Each respondent had perceptions about how t h i s process began and how i t continued into adulthood. Their perceptions on t h i s process, each containing unique elements, were i n large part, driven by 127 t h e i r experience with sex offenders. Those perceptions which describe the evolutionary process of becoming a sex offender, and how childhood experiences play a part i n t h i s development, w i l l be presented i n the f i n a l section. For the purposes of c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , each respondent was assigned a f i c t i t i o u s name. These names are used throughout t h i s study, both i n the tables and i n the data presentation. Individual Factors The respondents taking part i n th i s study i d e n t i f i e d a number of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s they perceived as both common to sex offenders and as contributing to t h e i r offending pattern of behavior. Table 2 l i s t s the coding properties of these categories and the degree of agreement shown by each of the respondents. Table 2 Male Therapists' Perceptions of the Individual Factors Influencing Male Sex Offenders 128 Individual Factor Respondents Al B i l l Carl Doug Ed fa u l t y attachments X X X X unmet emotional needs X X X X low s e l f esteem X X X X s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n X X X f e l t lack of belonging X X X f e l t sense of inadequacy X X X immature emotional dev. X X X X poor s o c i a l s k i l l s X X X X lack of in t e r n a l controls X X X X X 129 Carl, with an MSW degree, mentioned i n d i v i d u a l factors much less frequently than did respondents with degrees i n psychology. Although i t may be tempting to explain t h i s i n terms of t h e i r comparative educational backgrounds, comparisons based on such a small sample size would be suspect. A more l i k e l y explanation i s that t h i s respondent works exclusively with children who are, for the most part, acting out against peers. His c l i e n t s may be perceived as being less s o c i a l l y isolated, less inadequate, less immature and having similar s o c i a l s k i l l s and s e l f esteem as other children seen i n his c l i n i c a l practice. F i n a l l y , a perspective which emphasizes sex offending as an ongoing developmental process would suggest that, i n the case of children, personality i s s t i l l i n the process of forming and the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which are more noticeable i n adults would be less obvious i n children. Because i t i s so pronounced t h i s anomaly i n v i t e s speculation; however, the small sample size precludes conclusive statements. This section examines the various i n d i v i d u a l factors i d e n t i f i e d . These factors, although l i s t e d i n the table as separate items, are best understood as i n t e r a c t i v e . 130 The perception by four of the respondents that sex offenders experienced faulty' attachments with primary care givers may be the foundation upon which the other i n d i v i d u a l factors developed. Faulty attachment may impact on the individu a l s self-esteem, his sense of belonging, and his sense of adequacy. Al described fau l t y attachment to a primary caregiver as a childhood experience common to many of the offenders he works with, and as an impediment to the formation of appropriate relationships. He said, "I think many of these people st a r t out with attachment breaks and poor bonding. Because of that they have a d i f f i c u l t time forming relationships with people t h e i r own age, as adults". He went on to elaborate a process he has noted i n offenders: They tend to have fantasy attachments, they engage i n a sort of s e l f parenting process. Rather than getting nurturing from parents or important family members, not always of course but thi s i s often a factor, i t ' s a kind of n a r c i s s i s t i c type of development where they didn't get t h e i r needs met as kids so they are getting t h e i r needs met through fantasy, or imaginary aspects of relationships with kids. There i s a kind of role 131 reversal where kids are providing them with the nurturing and warmth. A l perceives a process leading from attachment breaks and unmet emotional needs to the development of a fantasy where t h e i r emotional needs are met by the children they molest. His description i s a good example of the i n t e r a c t i v e q u a l i t y which takes, place between factors within a category. Unmet needs at an i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l motivate a fantasy where needs are met by children who love the offender. The motivation to f e e l close, accepted, and loved was not met by caretakers i n childhood. Si m i l a r l y , Ed, describes an i n t e r a c t i o n between attachment and s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n . He describes attachment i n terms of motivation, and as an emotional need. He perceives the offender as i s o l a t e d but needing to f e e l close, He said: If you look at a person who doesn't know how, i s n ' t comfortable with sexuality, and they need to f e e l attached, bonded to somebody, so they take a kid who i s not going to be threatening, they - can be. i n control, and have sex with t h i s kid out of t h e i r need to kind of bond with someone in a non-threatening way -they choose a defenseless person without much power and 132 then they can work on that. The function for them i s that they are looking for someone they can f e e l close to, and they can't f e e l close to a peer because i t i s too threatening, so they choose a powerless person and use them as a target. Like A l , Ed i d e n t i f i e s immature emotional development as a consequence of faulty attachment. Implicit i n both descriptions i s low self-esteem, s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n , and a f e l t lack of belonging. B i l l was even more emphatic: "Faulty attachment i s a-problem with every one of them." This respondent goes on to describe that by f a u l t y attachment he means: the f a i l u r e to take inside themselves the images and feelings of strong caretakers that they can carry around inside them as an ongoing resource. I can't think of any guy (offender that he worked with) that had a secure attachment. B i l l describes the consequences of faulty attachment from the same perspective developed by Kohut (1977). He goes on to describe how he perceives faulty attachment impacting self-esteem i n the fixated pedophile: 133 Self-esteem i n the most fixated men almost becomes a t e r t i a r y issue, they can't afford to think about t h e i r s e l f - esteem, they're too developmentally hungry. Self-esteem, which i s an ego t r a i t or qu a l i t y belonging to the adult s e l f , almost doesn't exist i n these men. Although he perceives self-esteem as an important issue, he does not think that offending i s motivated e n t i r e l y by a lack of self-esteem. He believes: That (self-esteem) i s a part of i t but I think that tends to get.over emphasized - that they are doing i t for ego g r a t i f i c a t i o n and to be b u i l t up. I think much more deep i s the need for sheer partnership, for a peer. They return to whatever age they l e f t o f f i n childhood. It's just going back to where they l e f t o f f and s t a r t i n g from there, but they don't have any equipment for growing past i t either. This respondent sees fau l t y attachment a f f e c t i n g self-esteem and emotional maturity. Like the preceding respondents he sees offenders motivated by unmet needs and s p e c i f i c a l l y the need for emotional closeness. Doug described two perceptions he has on the issue of attachment. The f i r s t describes a traumatic bonding where 134 the c h i l d lacking a healthy environment with loving caretakers w i l l bond to what i s available. It i s his contention that boys raised i n homes dominated by h o s t i l e , aggressive fathers w i l l bond with t h e i r father and subsequently take on those attributes. The child' s need for acceptance meshes with the trauma of family violence. He says: With a r e a l h o s t i l e , aggressive father who i n s i s t s that you are going to be a man - you know, I'm not going to have any woose l i v i n g i n thi s house, you know, stand up and take care of yourself, fight for yourself, defend yourself, and the c h i l d r e a l l y wanting to i d e n t i f y and to belong and to be accepted and wanting to f i t i n might want to align himself with a father l i k e that. Doug also believes that object relations can be applied at a c u l t u r a l l e v e l . Lacking a healthy attachment that allows for the development of intimate and healthy relationships, many sex offenders i n t r o j e c t unhealthy sexual objects. He believes t h i s may account for the sexual o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of women and children. It i s his view that i n o b j e c t i f y i n g sexuality the sense of inter-personal r e l a t i o n s h i p and mutuality i s removed from i t . He notes: 135 In a way we ob j e c t i f y our own sexuality. We t a l k about o b j e c t i f y i n g women as sex objects, you know as sex toys or whatever. But men are o b j e c t i f y i n g t h e i r own sexuality, they become an. object, they become a penis not an interpersonal relationship. The women's movement has made a l o t of noise about being o b j e c t i f i e d ; but the other side of that i s that men are o b j e c t i f i e d too - we do i t to ourselves. We've separated our sexuality from our personhood. Sex has become the object, whether i t i s women as sex objects or penis as sex object. Sex becomes the object to play with whether our own or somebody else's, and not an interpersonal process, not a joining together, not a communication, and not a mutuality. Within the context of attachment the respondents spoke about a process. Faulty attachment was variously described as impeding the formation of healthy relationships with peers, as a resource and model to draw upon for how to be in a relationship, as motivated by the need to f e e l close to someone non-threatening, and s i m i l a r l y as a need to i d e n t i f y with fathers. From an object relations perspective, one respondent suggested that sexual behavior i s o b j e c t i f i e d by 136 men, and that by doing so men avoid the emotional commitment that a reci p r o c a l and mutually respectful r e l a t i o n s h i p demands. Attachment was also perceived as impacting ones self-esteem, f e l t lack of belonging, as contributing to immature emotional development and to s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n . This i n t e r a c t i o n a l quality between factors i s imbedded in descriptions throughout t h i s report. B i l l , for example, perceived sex offenders as having a f e l t sense of inadequacy which he believes comes from a lack of normal childhood sexual experiences. He distinguishes between ra p i s t s and pedophiles as follows: What I see i s a l o t of inadequacy. I would say that maybe sexual education may be normal, i n terms of learning the d e t a i l s , but the playing doctor, the natural, or common, or s t a t i s t i c a l l y average sexual experiences tend not to have happened. They (sex offenders) tend to be iso l a t e d people as kids with few resources, non-supportive home resources so that i n the case of pedophiles they tend to be rather frightened and in h i b i t e d people. There i s a kind of closi n g o f f of t h e i r adult development i n the sexual area. In the case of rapists, I see no development 137 of tenderness. There i s an angry, hungry, psychopathic mentality which can't tolerate an ambiguous and tender relationship. Because appropriate and healthy information about sexuality and relationships i s not forthcoming at home, B i l l believes offenders learn on the street. He f e l t , "There i s l i k e l y going to be large gaps and misinformation and teaching them certai n attitudes that w i l l r e a l l y stunt t h e i r growth and t h e i r outlook." On thi s same theme of adequacy he went on to add, "And an absence of any teaching or di r e c t i o n , you know, teaching values, and a f a i l u r e to f i l l some basic emotional requirements having to do with f e e l i n g strong and adequate." Here he connects unmet emotional needs to inadequacy. A l l f i v e respondents spoke to a lack of i n t e r n a l controls as an important factor seen i n t h e i r c l i e n t s . A l l i s t e d premature sexualization as a cause and noted the compulsive qu a l i t y of the sex play he has seen i n some of the children he has worked with: I think where you have to look i s at kids' sex play. Say i f the play i s between two f i v e year olds who are doing a sexual exploration that's fine. Where the confusion takes place i s with kids who are b a s i c a l l y the same age but th e i r play has a much more persistent and compulsive aspect to i t . B i l l l i n k s lack of internal control and immaturity with alcoholism and poverty. He said: You know the extraordinary, impulsive violence that goes on i n sexual offending; t h i s i s a highly immature person who i s out of control, and he i s the product of many things, but most often I see alcoholism and poverty. Carl also spoke to the issue of impulse control. He noted that many of the children he works with have not in t e r n a l i z e d a sense of control and come from very deprived back grounds where t h e i r needs have not been met. Unlike B i l l he does not see thi s so much as an issue of socio-economic status. He commented that: That whole area of impulse control comes from childhood experiences; to control your impulses as a two year old or a one year old there i s a developmental stage there where you learn boundaries from your parents... A l o t of kids we are finding don't have that experience, they have no impulse control generally. They haven't 139 learned about boundaries. A l o t of the kids I work with come from very deprived back grounds where they are very needy... But here we are s i t t i n g i n a nice suburban community and i f I were to say which families the offenders come from, you would be surprised because you meet some r e a l l y nice suburban families, middle class families, and everything seems perfect but t h e i r c h i l d has offended. Doug l i s t e d a number of factors which he perceived as contributing to the development of an offending pattern of behavior, including, "lack of appropriate (sexual) information, low self-esteem for a number of reasons, and they may not have anything to do with sexuality per-say, a lack of a sense of personal power, and r e l i g i o u s attitudes that f a i l to prepare people for sexual experiences." Ed thought that fundamentalist r e l i g i o n s held out some hope to offenders, and offered the opinion that sex offenders might be drawn to those r e l i g i o n s rather than those r e l i g i o n s creating offenders. He thought the offender was looking for an external control to replace his lack of i n t e r n a l control and said: 140 There has been a l l t h i s s t u f f about fundamentalist people tending to offend a l o t , and I see what that i s looking for strong external controls that can stop them from acting out. I think a l o t of that i s - look for something strong out there - keep me i n l i n e -don't l e t me get myself i n trouble. I don't think i t i s ever a r t i c u l a t e d in those words but I think that i s what they are looking for. It i s knowing that they are vulnerable, that they need some kind of external controls but not knowing how to get them, so they seek' a very strong and r i g i d system to put themselves i n and hope that w i l l stop them. Here we see two viewpoints on a perceived i n t e r a c t i o n between a c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n , fundamentalist r e l i g i o n , and i n d i v i d u a l factors. One view perceives r e l i g i o n as discouraging open discussion about sexuality, which contributes to s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n and lack of preparedness. The other view perceives the offender attracted by the r i g i d i t y and control which he lacks himself. There was a degree of consensus that psychological d e f i c i t s commonly- noted in sex offenders developed over time, and with these handicaps the sex offender was seen as' 141 lacking the s o c i a l s k i l l s necessary to negotiate the ups and downs of an intimate relationship. A l , for example, believes that the offender employs a number of strategies which lower the child' s sense of s e l f worth and result i n the c h i l d developing a dependency on the offender. This respondent begins with the assumption that the vast majority of offenders were previously victimized. In his practice he has noted that offenders abused as boys by adult males often end up questioning t h e i r sexual i d e n t i t y . This confusion interferes with t h e i r a b i l i t y to rela t e i n a non-controlling way with same age peers. He said: What I have come across i n my practice, i n the past, i s that sex offenders, i f they have an ongoing relat i o n s h i p with the children they are offending, have a number of mechanisms and strategies they use to prevent the development of self.worth i n t h e i r victims. They tend to create a kind of dependency which makes i t easier to continue abusing t h e i r victims... It i s ce r t a i n l y an attempt to control, and control i s c e r t a i n l y as much a factor i n sexual abuse as the sexual sensations they get from offending. I have 142 frequently come across offenders who, i n childhood, were molested by men or teenagers who question t h e i r i d e n t i t y , but on the basis that there must be something female about me, or I must be gay or t h i s older man wouldn't f i n d me sexually a t t r a c t i v e . Their sexual i d e n t i t y becomes defined by the a c t i v i t y . This respondent believes•that sexual abuse often r e s u l t s i n a sexual i d e n t i t y c r i s i s for the victim who i s also su f f e r i n g from lowered s e l f worth. This combination can resul t i n the person struggling with his sexual orientation which may i n t e r f e r e with his a b i l i t y to form mutually respectful and non-controlling relationships with age appropriate people. When speaking to the issue of s o c i a l s k i l l s B i l l returned to the theme of inadequacy, and, i n p a r t i c u l a r , the s o c i a l s k i l l s needed to establish and maintain adult rela t i o n s h i p s . He said: ...inadequacy i n the opposite sex generally. I think people under-estimate how hard i t i s to be heterosexual, to be i n the heterosexual rat race. It takes an extraordinary sophistication of strengths, talents and s k i l l s to ask someone for a date. 143 Although B i l l refers to heterosexual s k i l l s and the hetero-sexual rat race i t must be emphasized that the issue i s not about whether ones orientation i s to opposite or same sex partners but rather whether ones orientation includes children as sexual partners. Ed also i d e n t i f i e d s o c i a l s k i l l s as an important issue for offenders to address. He described a group process he uses to i d e n t i f y s o c i a l and l i f e s k i l l s that need to be addressed: I think there are a whole l o t of s o c i a l s k i l l s d e f i c i t s , and I r e a l l y focus on the s o c i a l s k i l l s / l i f e s k i l l s kind of stu f f i n terms of sex offending. What I tend to do when working with group of sex offenders i s I ' l l have each person i n the group discuss t h e i r l i f e and the i r offense and as they do that I w i l l l i s t the issues that come up l i k e cold distant father, drinking problem, being sexually abused, unhappy marriage, anger; whatever kinds of things i n just a few words so that we end up with 20, 50, 60 kinds of things which have come up from them ta l k i n g about t h e i r l i f e and t h e i r offending. 144 Ed's work es p e c i a l l y i n group with offenders focuses on i d e n t i f y i n g s o c i a l and l i f e s k i l l d e f i c i t s that he believes contribute to the offenders pattern of behavior. By addressing these d e f i c i t s he believes that offenders are more l i k e l y to engage i n appropriate peer rela t i o n s h i p s . In t h i s section i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were i d e n t i f i e d and discussed by the respondents. Each respondent was guided by his own t h e o r e t i c a l perspective and perception of sex offenders; t h i s resulted i n a wide vari e t y of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s being i d e n t i f i e d . It i s also i n t e r e s t i n g to note that where there was agreement about which factors were important, the respondents often offered unique interpretations of how those factors originated or how they contribute to the development of an offending pattern of behavior. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were perceived by the respondents as emanating from the childhood experiences that t h e i r c l i e n t s had. These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s were not presented as discreet units but were seen as important factors i n understanding the d e f i c i t s that offenders face as children. 145 F a m i l y E n v i r o n m e n t a l F a c t o r s The respondents described the family environment of sex offenders' and t h e i r childhood experiences i n f a i r l y depressing terms. On the whole these experiences could be characterized as abusive, neglectful, confusing and c e r t a i n l y not conducive to the development of healthy indivi d u a l s capable of negotiating t h e i r needs i n respectful and appropriate ways. The degree of therapist agreement and t h e i r perceptions are found i n Table 3 on the following page. 146 Table 3 Male Therapists' Perceptions of the Family Environment and the Childhood Experiences of Male Sex Offenders. Family Environmental Experiences. Al B i l l Carl Doug Ed sexual abuse X X X X X violence/neglect X X X X poor personal boundaries X X X X X inadvertent sexualizing experiences X X X parents unable to handle ch i l d ' s expression of sexuality X X X X lack of caring role model X X X X X 147 More agreement was expressed by the respondents about the childhood experiences offenders were l i k e l y to have had i n t h e i r families of o r i g i n . A l l f i v e i d e n t i f i e d c h i l d sexual abuse i n the backgrounds of t h e i r c l i e n t s . They thought that as young children sex offenders were exposed to poor role models who f a i l e d to i n s t i l l p o s i t i v e boundaries, and thus were confused about right and wrong. Family violence was a factor mentioned by four respondents. Parents i n a b i l i t y to react appropriately to t h e i r children's expressions of sexuality was also i d e n t i f i e d as an important factor i n emotionally overloading the c h i l d . Most respondents expressed the opinion that t h i s dynamic most often occurs i n cases where the parents have unresolved trauma from t h e i r own abuse. Al reported that he had kept records of boys referred to him because they had been sexually abused. He perceives a strong l i n k between pr i o r sexual abuse and subsequent offending, and said: I found that even after the disclosure of being sexually abused that about 30% of them had turned to molesting other children or acting out sexually i n some way i n r e l a t i o n to other children. 148 He believed t h i s indicated how powerful the o r i g i n a l abuse experience was i n shaping t h e i r l i v e s , and the d i f f i c u l t y of resolving those experiences. When discussing why offenders commit sex crimes, B i l l reported, "The f i r s t thing I would think of i s sexual abuse i n childhood, and I see that i n maybe 40% of the people I work with. I have read 50% but my own personal' experience would be somewhere there (around 40%)." From a learning perspective, Carl, described the l i n k between sexual v i c t i m i z a t i o n and offending i n t h i s way: There are a l o t of children who have learned a l o t of adult sexual behavior through t h e i r own abuse. They take that learning and use i t on children t h e i r own age and so, for example, you f i n d four year old kids doing oral sex with each other and, of course, that i s not the sort of thing four year olds normally do. Doug also sees previous sexual abuse i n the backgrounds of the offenders he has worked with. This respondent also works with male survivors of sexual abuse and makes the point that because many of them have not offended we r e a l l y do not have a l l the answers about how sex offenders get started. He notes: One thing I know about sex offending, and am quite convinced about, i s we don't r e a l l y know what i s going on because the sex offenders we know about are the ones that get into the j u d i c i a l system. We don't know about a l l the ones who don't get into the system. Is there a difference? So I think that I probably would go along with the commonly held b e l i e f that most offenders were sexually abused as kids. That doesn't explain i t (offending) because the majority of survivors don't go on to offend, and what i s that a l l about? I think there i s s t i l l a l o t to be learned. In o f f e r i n g a rough estimate th i s respondent thought that about 75% of the offenders he worked with had disclosed a pr i o r history of being sexually abused. This comparatively high estimate r e f l e c t s the d e f i n i t i o n used at his counselling agency. He argues: A l o t of people don't recognize a l o t of behaviors as sexually abusive. With the d e f i n i t i o n we use here we talk about sexuality abuse which not only includes t r a d i t i o n a l sexual abuse but a l o t of other things that undermine the persons sense of t h e i r sexual s e l f . Sexual comments or parents not being careful about 150 t h e i r love making so that t h e i r children are l i k e l y to witness i t , fathers showing t h e i r sons pornography when they are too young or leaving i t around where they can get at i t . A l l these things are sexually abusive but most people don't see them as such, and so when you ask, "Have you ever been sexually abused, they think rape, and say, 'No'. Doug states that about half of the offenders report i n the beginning phase, with the rest coming during the middle phase and early closing stage of the work. Ed thought that many of the offenders he works with have been sexually abused as children, but pointed out that disclosure of p r i o r sexual abuse d i f f e r s according to whether the offender i s i n group or i n d i v i d u a l session. He says: I think that beginning, i f you are t a l k i n g the f i r s t three to f i v e sessions i n i n d i v i d u a l work, I think most (offenders who have been sexually abused as children), 80% to 90% probably. In group work I think i t i s a b i t more d i f f i c u l t for people to t a l k about being victims. I think they (disclosures) are more l i k e l y to occur in the middle and end phases of work. 151 That i s only because I think i t i s easier, well, males fi n d i t hard to talk about being victims of sexual abuse anyway, and on a one to one they f i n d i t a b i t easier to ta l k about i t . Ed went on to describe a disclosure i n group where an offender t o l d a story of being picked up and driven to the woods where he was beaten up and sexually assaulted. At the next session his story changed; he was picked up and driven to the woods but not beaten up. He t o l d the group that although he did not r e a l l y understand what was happening he kind of l i k e d i t . Ed perceives that disclosures i n group are more l i k e l y to be distorted, as the men attempt to present themselves as i n control of the s i t u a t i o n or, conversely, completely overpowered. Sex offenders were described as coming from homes characterized by neglect and violence, which they either witnessed or were victims of. When asked what other factors might play a role i n the development of a sex offending pattern of behavior aside from sexual abuse, A l stated, "a childhood background of emotional deprivation or emotional abuse or physical abuse". 152 B i l l , when asked to describe any parenting patterns he thought were s i g n i f i c a n t , distinguished between the parenting rapists received from what he perceived pedophiles receiving. Describing the parenting rapists received, he r e p l i e d , "You know, neglectful and abusive, and I would say almost h o s t i l e to the c h i l d , the kid i s just a nuisance". He described pedophiles as: Tremendously shy; some of them have had a very hard m i l i t a r i s t i c father who kind of beat the i n i t i a t i v e out of them. The kind of i n i t i a t i v e that you need to make a healthy heterosexual overture to an appropriate partner. That i n i t i a t i v e has been so beaten out of them by very obsessional and regimental type fathers that t h i s i s t h e i r regressive i n f a n t i l e substitute, to offend against children. It should be noted that the issue i s not whether a heterosexual orientation i s healthy and by implication that a homosexual orientation i s not. The more important point B i l l makes i s that a p a r t i c u l a r parenting s t y l e by fathers may i n t e r f e r e with t h e i r sons a b i l i t y to show i n i t i a t i v e i n developing mutually respectful relations with peers. 153 Carl also saw family violence as a common experience with the children he works with. He said, "Many of the kids I work with have parents where the father i s battering (mother) and they (the children) are taking positions where they are aggressive, sometimes sexually". Doug related a story t o l d by one of his c l i e n t s that i l l u s t r a t e s the l i n k between family violence and sex offending: Someone described to me his father coming home drunk -coming home drunk and raping his mother, and i t was horri b l e , the impact on thi s kid. At that point, he had not been sexually abused, but that event had as heavy an impact as his own abuse. He was gang raped by his brother's friends l a t e r on, but seeing his father come home and sexually and phy s i c a l l y abuse his mother was very disturbing. Now he i s not an offender in one sense, but he i s gay and has acted out i n a number of ways, and i t ' s mutually abusive a number of the situations he has been i n . .He has had. sexual experiences with younger men who were probably old enough so that i t was legal but too young to r e a l l y understand what was going on. Him being an older 154 person was able to give them some attention, and a l l the s t u f f that offenders do. A l l of the respondents described experiences that inadvertently sexualized the c h i l d . This premature sexualization was often described as impacting negatively on the development of healthy boundaries. These incidents may be quite subtle or very obvious as the examples below w i l l demonstrate. Al talked about what can happen i n a group of children when a playmate introduces t h e i r abuse experience into the group. We had been discussing the boundary between normal sexual c u r i o s i t y and sexual abuse among children. He said: So t h i s i s where the whole thing gets pretty murky. Are they exhibiting normal c u r i o s i t y or are they showing signs of secondary abuse? And then you have the s i t u a t i o n where sexual behavior i n a group of kids tends to expand and the parents get t h i s h o r r i b l e f e e l i n g that the world i s going crazy and that they (the children) are a l l going to develop into sex maniacs. In t h i s example the children were prematurely sexualized when one c h i l d introduced some behavior into the group that 155 was not age appropriate. As the behavior grew i t came to the attention and concern of these children's'. parents who sought help to curb the behavior. B i l l perceives sex offenders as largely inadequate. He perceives them as coming from homes that are non-supportive, where parents are too embarrassed to teach healthy attitudes about sex. He likens offenders' lack of knowledge about sexuality to, "a big blank canvass i n that area, for many of them growing up, which doesn't help at a l l - the whole subject (of sexuality) i s mystified." For t h i s respondent i t i s n ' t so much a case of what happened to d i s t o r t healthy boundaries as i t i s a case of those boundaries not having been established i n the f i r s t place. Later i n the interview he volunteered the opinion that since education on healthy sexuality i s often not taught at home i t behooves society to provide i t i n the schools. Carl, because he has more contact with the families of the children he works with, also had more to say on t h i s issue. He notes that for the children he sees sexual abuse has a very negative impact on boundaries, "... they (sexually i n t r u s i v e children) are acting out s i m i l a r kinds 156 of things. "They need to have those boundaries back, to learn what i s OK and not OK." In discussing the l i n e between what i s or i s n ' t OK he says, "Their boundaries are so screwed up that what i s OK f a l l s into both areas." Another way i n which t h i s respondent sees children becoming prematurely sexualized i s through exposure to X-rated magazines and videos; "It happens a l o t - the X-rated video that the parents never thought the kid would find, and the kid w i l l see i t and t r y to copy i t . " Carl i d e n t i f i e d another aspect of premature sexualization, "I have seen families that are very sexualized, where there are poor boundaries, where sexual behavior i s quite common and the children have that character about them." Carl also i d e n t i f i e d intergenerational abuse and unresolved trauma i n one or both parents as impeding the growth of healthy boundaries. He said: You see families where there i s intergenerational abuse and the whole area of sexuality i s so loaded i n the family, they (the parents) can't deal with t h e i r kids normal experiences of sexuality, and i t becomes an area where there i s a l o t of trauma around. 157 Carl perceives the development of healthy boundaries around the area of sexuality as very important. In the examples above he describes a number of family environmental situations i n which those boundaries do not develop i n a healthy way. E a r l i e r i n t h i s section, Doug described types of experiences which he feels can prematurely sexualize a c h i l d . Below he describes how a lack of information coupled with a developmentally inappropriate experience can lead to the formation of a misconception that can d e r a i l a c h i l d ' s healthy sexual development. His perception on t h i s process i s influenced by a s o c i a l learning perspective. He stated: Powerful images stay i n a kid's mind, and when he wakes to his own sexuality that image i s drawn upon to guide our sexuality. Children who witness anothers abuse are emotionally abused and they are sexually abused. If you see a pornographic image you attach to that image and that image stays i n your mind - that image becomes your role model. Doug i s beginning to describe the interplay between family environment and unhealthy attitudes and notes that those 158 attitudes are often modeled covertly, so that what i s missing i s : ...the accurate' information and healthy attitudes from adults i n the child's l i f e . We model ourselves from our parents, or our parent figure, and i f parents.are doing t h i s leering, skulking kind of sexuality l i k e some kind of trashy magazine brand of sexuality, or i f i t i s l i k e sex i s wrong and s i n f u l and don't t a l k about i t , don't say those words. At either extreme, kids are not getting healthy attitudes about sex. They are not given the opportunity to look within themselves and see what kinds of responses and feelings they have, and to be open and have a dialogue about that. You know l i k e , "something happened today and thi s i s how I f e l t , I found i t kind of confusing," and then to be able to s i t down and explore that with a loving parent - these kids don't have that. They grow up not knowing what's right, what's wrong, what's kinky, what's sin, and what's virtue . They don't know a l l that s t u f f . •Ed, on t h i s topic, pointed out that healthy boundaries around sexuality are missing for the offenders he works with. Like some of the other respondents he perceives that 159 the f a i l u r e to develop healthy boundaries can often r e s u l t when the parent f a i l s to encourage healthy communication about sexuality. He says,: If one i s embarrassed, g u i l t y , and i n h i b i t e d about having sexual feelings and acting out sexually, then that can r e a l l y stop ones growth and exploration and development and understanding of those sexual f e e l i n g s . Where as, i f sex and g u i l t end up becoming associated with one another a l o t , then that doesn't make for a whole l o t of healthy exploration of these sexual feelings. The g u i l t comes from early experiences as kids and could be anywhere from the way they are talked to or treated at home, or at school about any kind of sexual s t u f f . If i t s , "we don't t a l k about that or don't touch yourself there, don't say those words," and probably even a l o t of non-verbal s t u f f around sex can teach people that i t i s bad to have sexual feelings. You shouldn't think that way, you shouldn't f e e l that way, you can't t a l k about i t . Ed views g u i l t and shame as the stumbling blocks to developing healthy attitudes and boundaries around ones sexuality. He also believes these feelings playing a part 160 i n intergenerational abuse, and why sexuality becomes so loaded for parents who were abused as children. In summary, a l l fiv e therapists raised the issue of lack of a caring role model. A l , as mentioned e a r l i e r , believes sex offenders engage in a sort of self-parenting where they construct a nurturing fantasy that serves as a rationale for t h e i r offending, and from which they draw the sense of acceptance they did not receive from parents. B i l l characterizes rapists as not having anyone "giving a damn" and "being l e f t on t h e i r own to discover whatever they might." He describes pedophiles as coming from homes dominated by fathers who s t i f l e d t h e i r ' son's e f f o r t to develop i n i t i a t i v e and a p o s i t i v e sense of t h e i r masculinity. Carl emphasized the importance of healthy boundaries which help children d i f f e r e n t i a t e between right and wrong. He believes that children begin to learn those boundaries at a very early age from the parental models they have available. Based on his experience with sexually i n t r u s i v e children and t h e i r families, Carl describes a number of ways in which the boundaries around sexuality are not functioning e f f e c t i v e l y . 161 Doug believes that sexual abuse i s too narrow a focus and argues that we should become cognizant of the more subtle ways healthy sexuality can be undermined. He believes that exposure to sexual violence i n the home i s as traumatic as being abused d i r e c t l y . In t h i s sense he ascribes to a learning model similar to the one described i n Chapter 2. In t h i s regard, he stressed the notion that attitudes too are learned and modeled at home. Ed developed the theme of s o c i a l feedback arid communication, which he perceives as large l y lacking i n the sex offenders he works with. He feels that s i g n i f i c a n t others i n the child's.background are large l y responsible for creating communication breakdowns through the transmission of g u i l t and shame. He emphasized that projecting negative attitudes about ones sexuality can be done quite subtlety. Overall the respondents saw th e i r c l i e n t s growing up i n families unable to provide the warmth and caring atmosphere l i k e l y to produce assertive and s e l f - r e l i a n t children. Instead sex offenders grow up in families characterized by sexual abuse, family violence, and neglect. The models they have to draw upon for what i t i s to be a man are often domineering and abusive. Consequently the messages they 162 receive about what i s right and what i s wrong are often at odds with s o c i a l mores and consequently confusing. C u l t u r a l Factors This section explores the thoughts expressed by the respondents that supported c u l t u r a l explanations of sex offending behavior. As Table 4, found on page 163, indicates a l l f i v e respondents mentioned that offenders did not receive age appropriate sex education, and that males are s o c i a l i z e d to use power and control to meet t h e i r needs. Four of the f i v e respondents mentioned that sexual abuse i s a c u l t u r a l phenomenon. Beyond those three areas, psychologists with Ph.D.'s did not speak to the ways culture influences sex offenders. . 163 Table 4 C u l t u r a l Factors Perceived by Male Therapists as Impacting the Childhood Experience of Male Sex Offenders. Cu l t u r a l Factors males s o c i a l i z e d to: Respondents Al B i l l Carl Doug Ed use power and control to meet t h e i r needs X X X X X be attracted to less powerful females i n i t i a t e sexual contact sexual exploitation by the media. pornography Sexual abuse as a c u l t u r a l phenomenon age appropriate sex education lacking X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X 164 Again we see a possible educational bias developing, with psychologists with Ph.D.'s mentioning s o c i a l i z a t i o n and c u l t u r a l influences less frequently than those respondents with Master's degrees. Another possible explanation i s that these respondents work almost e n t i r e l y with sex offenders entering prison or newly released from prison, while the other respondents work with non-incarcerated sex offenders. A l , when tal k i n g about blocks to disclosure, expressed the opinion that males experience sexual abuse as a loss of power and control. He stated: I think there i s a factor that has to do with control and power. It may be easier for the sex offender to admit what he has done to children than to admit that someone has had control over him. In t h e i r minds i t may be more s o c i a l l y acceptable to be the perpetrator than to be the victim. A l perceives that the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of males to power and control was influenced by age and status. He said, "I f i n d i t (attitudes about power and control) to be true with older men when they become more entrenched i n s o c i e t a l value patterns." In r e l a t i o n to status he stated, "The character I had the most d i f f i c u l t time getting at his own 165 v i c t i m i z a t i o n was a successful business executive. He didn't want to see himself as a victim." B i l l also saw power as a primary factor behind sex offenses, saying: Sexual offending i s not r e a l l y about sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n ; i f you are tal k i n g about rape you are most often seeing power and anger motives, and i f you are t a l k i n g about pedophillia you are looking to what often amounts to the man regressing to seeking partners his own age. B i l l perceives the rapist through aggression, and the pedophile through cunning, as using power and control to meet needs they cannot meet i n appropriate ways. These needs are e s s e n t i a l l y to do with self-esteem and the need to f e e l accepted. Carl also i d e n t i f i e s power and control as an issue for sexually in t r u s i v e children. He stated: For a l o t of the kids there i s a power connection, and i n t h i s counselling program I see a l o t more of the boys that are st a r t i n g to offend than the counselors working with the g i r l s . I think there are some s o c i a l things for. boys i n terms of fee l i n g the vic t i m when they were younger, then when they deal with that they express a l o t more anger and the way they deal with that (anger), i s rather than be on the vi c t i m side they come i n on the offender side, and sort of enjoy that p o s i t i o n of having power over other people. There i s a s o c i a l thing too; we l i v e i n a society that endorses power over others. Carl a r t i c u l a t e s the connection between anger and power, and points out that children learn about the uses of power from t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l abuse experience and from the s o c i a l i z i n g messages that endorse power in society. Doug, l i k e some of the others, saw the s o c i a l i z i n g message about power and control as blocking disclosure, and to the extent that those myths are i n t e r n a l i z e d impeding therapy. He said: The whole masculinity issue - "real men don't get sexually abused,"- so goes the myth. Homophobia - a l o t of survivors believe that i f they admit to being sexually abused they are admitting to being homosexual because they have been abused by a male, and they somehow f e e l responsible; i t (the abuse) somehow says something about them. 167 Doug perceives that the loss of control, experienced as a r e s u l t of sexual abuse, may create the kind of sexual i d e n t i t y c r i s i s described by Al i n a previous section. Doug also perceives that homophobia, exi s t i n g at a c u l t u r a l l e v e l , i n t e n s i f i e s the need i n male survivors to be even more macho. Ed expressed the view that males have a d i f f i c u l t time admitting that they were the victim and tend to d i s t o r t past abuse experiences. He stated, "Males have a d i f f i c u l t time t a l k i n g about being sexually abused and d i s t o r t the experience to put themselves i n control." S i m i l a r l y , he thinks the need for power and control, lacking i n offenders, i s an important motivating factor, and says: I r e a l l y believe that sex offending i s not about sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n . There are d i f f e r e n t reasons why people offend, but a l o t of i t i s about that whole thing of having power and control. Three of the respondents perceive that men are s o c i a l i z e d to be attracted to less powerful females, and to view themselves as more powerful than females. One of the ways men are s o c i a l i z e d i n the use of power i s to i n i t i a t e sexual contact. In exploring t h i s issue, two of the 168 respondents brought up situations where boys have been sexually abused by g i r l s and discussed that dynamic as well. Al mentioned e a r l i e r that, "... one factor i s the c u l t u r a l expectation that adult males are permitted or even expected to act out sexually against less powerful females." In questioning whether some offenders come to redefine childhood experiences from benign to abusive A l r e p l i e d : Certainly that i s a f a i r l y common phenomenon. It i s much more common where the offender i s female; then they, the men, put a twist on that and more commonly • i t ' s defined as opportunity. You see, i t i s hard. If you are a boy victimized by a male you may not want to admit that another male has had power over you. Once you get through the power issue, boys w i l l admit having been abused by males, p a r t i c u l a r l y when they get i n touch with t h e i r anger about the abuse; but they are very reluctant to, i n many cases, admit that a g i r l has molested them. This respondent believes that sexual abuse by females st r i k e s at the victims sense of power i n a d i f f e r e n t way than when men are the offenders, so that " . . . i n t h e i r 169 fantasy surrounding the molestation they're the one i n power. It might be a teenage baby-sitter and the boy might be eight years old but he w i l l s t i l l define himself as the one i n control". He went on to say that, "the f e a r f u l parts of that, the abusive parts of that, they often bury quite successfully. It i s very hard to get them to admit that they f e l t cornered or frightened or compromised i n any way". Carl described his perception of t h i s phenomenon i n th i s way: I have worked with some of those boys, and they come i n with a s o c i e t a l image of the experience, you know, "Wasn't I lucky." But when you get to know them and they l e t i t down a b i t , i t i s l i k e , "Oh my God what was that a l l about, I didn't have any control. I didn't want t h i s to happen." So th e i r own experience, I think, was abuse. The above two descriptions i l l u s t r a t e the strength of s o c i a l i z a t i o n as i t relates to male and female sexual ro l e s . Boys are s o c i a l i z e d from a very early age to take charge and be i n control of females. When those roles are reversed, i t would seem that boys re-frame t h e i r experience to conform 170 with the c u l t u r a l expectations that they are powerful, i n control, and the ones to i n i t i a t e sexual contacts. Carl also expressed the opinion that the attitudes that are modeled, es p e c i a l l y by fathers but also by the media influence sexual aggression i n children. He noted: I think a l o t of the s o c i a l attitudes r e a l l y encourage males to be more aggressive, and i n terms of sexuality to be the person taking the aggressive p o s i t i o n . The modeling of how a male acts - he takes power, takes advantage of people, overpowers people, and takes what he wants. ... and look at the media, pornography, our art and culture i n general terms of how they portray men i n t h e i r relationships with women. Doug also perceived c u l t u r a l attitudes that influence sex offending behavior. He thought i t important to consider the developmental stage of the c h i l d because that w i l l a f f e c t his a b i l i t y to bring a healthy perspective to the messages he receives. When asked what he thought contributed to the development of sex offending behavior r e p l i e d : Unhealthy attitudes coming from our culture. 171 Well, TV i s responsible for a l o t of i t (sexual offending - media, information - using sex to s e l l everything, including prime time t e l e v i s i o n programs. As well, t h i s respondent i d e n t i f i e d dogmatic religions, which foster b e l i e f s that discourage open discussions of sexuality.. These c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , by f a i l i n g to discuss healthy sexuality create the impression that expressions of sexuality are wrong. He states: Religions don't always help either. A l o t of r e l i g i o n s are very dogmatic and narrow minded about sexuality. I mean, i f you're Catholic and masturbate y o u ' l l go to h e l l for sure. They don't ta l k about healthy attitudes; they just t a l k about sex being s i n f u l , and promote r e l i g i o u s attitudes that won't explore the question of sexuality at a l l . These same three respondents f e l t that pornography was an influencing factor. They see pornography as a part of our culture, and say th e i r c l i e n t s report having been exposed to i t . They ascribe to the b e l i e f that exposure to pornography i n childhood i s espe c i a l l y problematic. A l , when asked to describe the early childhood sexual development of the offenders he has worked with,, said: 172 "There seem to be three factors: early childhood sexual abuse, sexual involvement with peers, and exposure to pornography". Carl has been quoted e a r l i e r i n t h i s section, and i n the previous section on how pornography effects children. His argument, from a s o c i a l learning perspective, suggests that children who view pornographic material are l i k e l y to introduce that image into play with other children. This perception i s shared by Doug. Doug spoke f o r c e f u l l y to the issue of pornography, which he considered an extremely i n f l u e n t i a l factor. He pointed out that often children are exposed to pornography by, "Fathers showing t h e i r sons pornography when they are too young, or l e a v i n g ' i t around where they can get at i t " . When children are exposed to pornographic material, Doug believes, i t creates a mental image, that the c h i l d w i l l develop and then use to guide his own behavior. He begins by describing the process, and then provides a case example to i l l u s t r a t e the damage that early exposure to pornography can res u l t i n . He says: If you show a f i v e year old a book on bondage, he w i l l assume that i s what adult sexuality i s a l l about. That 173 image w i l l be r e a l l y powerful and stay i n his mind. He w i l l s t a r t playing that out i n his own sexual fantasy's as he wakes up to his own sexuality. And then he w i l l t r y to i n i t i a t e that kind of behavior because he assumes that i s what sexuality i s a l l about. By way of i l l u s t r a t i o n he provided the following case example: I was t a l k i n g to someone who was about seven years old when he came across some Penthouse magazines belonging to his father. He remembered reading the l e t t e r s , and i n p a r t i c u l a r one l e t t e r in which the person was describing how incest i s a big thing i n his family, and how he and his wife and his kids were a l l doing i t to each other; and they do t h i s , and they do that, and i t was written l i k e t h i s was some great and e x c i t i n g thing. He was getting a l l charged up and having b i o l o g i c a l responses to the whole thing, and because i t was written i n a magazine he assumed that was what families do. So he t o l d me that he had t r i e d doing i t to his s i s t e r , and did get involved i n some sexual i s t u f f with her for quite a long time - u n t i l high school age. He t r i e d coming on to his mother. He 174 didn't t e l l me what he had done, but she simply wasn't responsive. But you see that was not another person doing something to him - that was exposure to sexual material before he was old enough to know there was such a thing as incest, and that i t was not s o c i a l l y acceptable - although i n our culture the taboo seems more directed to talking about i t rather than doing i t . Doug a r t i c u l a t e s a process by which exposure to pornography may af f e c t a young child's sexual development. But, l i k e a l l the other factors i d e n t i f i e d , t h i s does not operate i n i s o l a t i o n . A l l f i v e respondents saw a lack of information as a key factor i n promoting and maintaining unhealthy sexual attitudes. As with most factors, there i s some overlap between what children see modeled i n t h e i r family environment and what they learn from the broader culture. This seems reasonable given that, as children, the parents of offenders were also inoculated with c u l t u r a l b e l i e f s . They may then pass along b e l i e f s that are not always h e l p f u l . A l , throughout the interview, spoke to the learning that offenders experience through t h e i r own v i c t i m i z a t i o n . 175 He believes that i n many cases a c h i l d has introduced his own abuse experience into his peer group. It i s important to educate children about acceptable and unacceptable behavior. He described a s i t u a t i o n where he was c a l l e d into a l o c a l school to address inappropriate sexual behavior among a group of children. He said: It i s a si t u a t i o n where an adult can step i n and say, look you guys t h i s i s not a correct way to behave. I ran into a si t u a t i o n l i k e that in a school where I had a special assignment. There was a l o t of sexual acting out within a peer group in the school, traced back to an alleged offender i n one of the families of one of the kids (in the peer group). When the parents and teachers began flagging the children's behavior, that r i p p l e effect r e a l l y died down and i t ' s not a problem t h i s year. A l , working i n concert with parents and teachers was able to re-est a b l i s h healthy sexual boundaries within a peer group that had begun acting out sexually. Part of that process involved education, so that they could once again d i s t i n g u i s h between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. 176 B i l l developed a theme shared by others that sex offenders are i l l prepared to negotiate l i f e ' s ups and downs. When tal k i n g about the things society could do to make a difference he said, "If anything, maybe just more sexual education". Carl expressed a similar perception. He also believes that the experience of being sexually abused results i n confusion between what i s OK and not OK. He said: ...the messages they (children) get about what i s OK and what i s not OK r e a l l y vary from one family to another and from one s o c i a l group to another, and those factors c e r t a i n l y affect the reasons one chooses to do those sorts of things and the development of sexuality. For a l o t of them, they have been victims and they have r e a l l y bad boundaries and so they are acting out simi l a r kinds of things. They need to have those boundaries back and to learn what i s OK and not OK. When i t comes to working with children, Carl recommends: taking the (victim and offender) labels o f f . We need to look at how children develop, what they learn and how they experience things, and how they make decisions about what i s O.K. and not O.K. 177 Doug stressed the lack of preparation; a theme also supported by B i l l ; and l i k e B i l l , he thinks a lack of information can result i n the development of misconceptions which may be problematic. He says: It i s more what they are a l l lacking and what they are a l l lacking healthy attitudes, information and role modeling. Lack of information, when kids don't have the information they need to understand t h e i r own sexual development and th e i r own physiology that adds to i t and they form misconceptions. Lack of preparedness, a lack of th e i r own sexual maturity. I f a male feel s , vGee, I can't ask a woman out, I don't know how to ask a woman out, they're not going to be interested in me', they are b a s i c a l l y a c h i l d i n th e i r own psycho-sexual development. And so what are they going to do? They are going to get into childhood sex play because that i s where they stopped. Doug argues that healthy sexual attitudes are missing, and that for some people t h i s lack of preparation results i n the development of unhealthy b e l i e f s about sexuality. At a c u l t u r a l l e v e l he i d e n t i f i e s churches which encourage the b e l i e f that sexuality i s s i n f u l . 178 Ed talked about his surprise when he started t h i s work at how l i t t l e the offenders knew about sex. He says, "Sex offenders are very uncomfortable talking about sex, even asking some offenders, "How many partners have you had i n your l i f e ? ' i s r e a l l y d i f f i c u l t for'many people to answer". He believes that sex offenders, because they l i v e i n a secret world i s o l a t e d from appropriate feedback, learn very l i t t l e about normal sexuality. To a greater or lesser degree a l l the respondents described sex offending as a c u l t u r a l phenomenon. Over the course of t h i s report we see t h i s view expressed i n a varie t y of ways. .Al, for example, pointed out that the sexual misuse of children i s as old as recorded history. As we'll, i n discussing the l i n e between normal sex play and offending behavior among children, he stated: Well, the l i n e i s hazy.because we know kids are developing younger, and the sexual culture they are exposed to, more sexual a c t i v i t y . But I don't think we should use our haziness as a cop out - i f i t looks l i k e offending, l e t s get at i t . B i l l talked of the i s o l a t i o n and over-riding sense of inadequacy he sees i n offenders. He suggests that part of 179 that i s o l a t i o n i s c l a s s i s t . He believes that many of the men he works with grew up i n families lacking i n resources, and that as a result did not have the resources available to others. He says: I mean who are we - we are middle class professionals. Where do we draw the l i n e , what are we tr y i n g to do cure them of poverty, cure, them of i l l i t e r a c y ? You know I ta l k about a f a i l u r e of imagination, well imagination has a l o t to do with what you're shown, with what you're modeled. Well, you know i f you grow up i n a slum not many things are modeled, not many books are read, and not-many movies are seen. From t h i s perspective B i l l went on to question whether i n of f e r i n g treatment we were f a i l i n g to address the causes and, as a society f a i l i n g , to do enough. "... but to what extent are we pouring resources into a leaky bucket, and OK perhaps i t w i l l always be there but that i s such a huge over-arching umbrella, s o c i a l class and economics." For th i s respondent poverty and lack of opportunity go hand i n hand, and children growing up i n poverty are, i f not more l i k e l y to commit an offense, at least more l i k e l y to be j a i l e d for t h e i r criminal behavior. 180 Carl has outlined a number of ways i n which culture plays a part i n contributing to sex offending. He also suggests that d e f i n i t i o n s of sex offending have changed over the years, and that i s another way i n which culture impacts sexual abuse. He notes: I can look back f i f t e e n years ago when I was i n c h i l d protection, and when we came into contact with adolescent sex offenders we assumed they had poor s o c i a l s k i l l s and couldn't relate with t h e i r peers, but that they had. a normal developing c u r i o s i t y about sex. They acted that out with kids because they couldn't relate with people t h e i r own age. So we had c h i l d care workers help them with t h e i r s o c i a l s k i l l s and never asked them about t h e i r backgrounds. At that point I never considered that boys were sexually abused, so my framework has changed a l o t over the years. I guess I gradually assumed that sexual abuse happened to boys, and then looking at offending recognized that offending s t a r t s at a younger age too. This respondent notes how c u l t u r a l expectations play a role i n defining what sexual abuse i s and who the victims and perpetrators are. 181 Doug has moved beyond the c l a s s i c d e f i n i t i o n of sexual abuse and argues that a broader d e f i n i t i o n , which encompasses not only the overt acts defined by law but the covert acts which advertently or inadvertently undermine a c h i l d ' s sense of his own sexual i d e n t i t y be used. His wider d e f i n i t i o n of sexual abuse would suggest that sexual abuse i s even more firmly rooted i n our culture than thought. He argues, as well, that churches, an important c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n for many people, promote unhealthy rather than healthy sexual attitudes. Like the others, Ed addressed the role culture plays i n defining sexual abuse. He believes that at t h i s point society has made sex offenders more s i n i s t e r than what they are. He states: A l o t of abnormal behavior i s n ' t that much d i f f e r e n t than what goes on already, i t i s just that society has come up with a d e f i n i t i o n of what i s normal and what i s not. I often t a l k to offenders about that I am not here judging whether i t i s right or wrong to have sex with kids; our society has decided that i t i s wrong. To me i t ' s not a moral question, i t i s the law of our society. You (the offender) have to make your own 182 decision about what i s right and wrong and to control your' own behavior. Ed acknowledges that his i s a r a d i c a l p o s i tion. He believes, however, that i t serves a useful purpose. He perceives that the difference between male survivors who go on to offend and those who do not i s the l a t t e r ' s a b i l i t y to t a l k openly about t h e i r sexuality. Offenders, he notes, have a d i f f i c u l t time talking about t h e i r sexuality and that guilt, and shame influence t h e i r silence. By removing the question of morality he believes offenders can move beyond the g u i l t and shame to discuss t h e i r behavior more openly. As pointed out by some of the other respondents, the l i n e between normal and abnormal i s a c u l t u r a l phenomenon and those d e f i n i t i o n s are not s t a t i c . However, addressing the question of sexual abuse from a purely l e g a l i s t i c perspective without addressing the moral issue of right and wrong runs the r i s k of ignoring the tremendous harm t h i s behavior v i s i t s upon i t s victims. It also runs the r i s k of allowing offenders to hide behind the r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n that no wrong i s done i f one escapes detection. This section presented the Respondent's perceptions on c u l t u r a l factors which influence sex offending behavior. 183 There was general agreement that men are encouraged to exert power and c o n t r o l over others to meet t h e i r needs. These needs were v a r i e d , but most respondents discounted t h a t sex of f e n d i n g was motivated. by the need f o r sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n . Offenders were s o c i a l i z e d i n a v a r i e t y of ways and through a v a r i e t y of mediums. The respondents perceived that the d i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n which e x i s t s i n our c u l t u r e gives r i s e to the s t r u c t u r a l i n e q u i t y which promotes b e l i e f s and a t t i t u d e s which c o n t r i b u t e to the development of sex offending behavior. C u l t u r a l a t t i t u d e s such as these run deep and w i l l be d i f f i c u l t to change, rooted as they are i n our r e l i g i o u s , economic, l e g a l and s o c i a l systems. Evolutionary Theme Each of the respondents t a l k e d of becoming a sex offender as opposed to being a sex offender. Childhood experiences were seen as playing-, a major r o l e i n t h i s process. Although u n i v e r s a l agreement was l a c k i n g i n regards to what these experiences were, as described i n the preceding s e c t i o n s , they d i d e n v i s i o n them as e x i s t i n g at an i n d i v i d u a l , f a m i l y and c u l t u r a l l e v e l . 184 •Al, when describing his theory on sex offending, f i r s t put the sexual abuse of children by adults within a h i s t o r i c a l context. At an ind i v i d u a l l e v e l he believes that the majority of offenders were abused themselves. For him the process has both an inter-generational component, and a c u l t u r a l component. He also sees the c l i e n t s s e l f worth as an important aspect, and says: If you look at i t h i s t o r i c a l l y , sexual offending i s as old as mankind, or as far as we know. If you go back to ancient Greece you fin d that boys were considered f a i r game as sexual objects; I don't know i f they thought of that as sexual offending. Sexual a c t i v i t y with boys was looked upon as pleasurable by the adult. We don't know; there are no h i s t o r i c a l records which describe how the boys perceived i t , whether they enjoyed i t or not. We do know that sexual behavior between adults and kids goes back a long way, and we do know that i t i s generational, that i t tends to occur i n families where the adults were sexually abused as children. Al ascribes significance to the fact that throughout history children have been used by adults for t h e i r sexual pleasure, and emphasized the intergenerational q u a l i t y 185 prevalent i n the l i t e r a t u r e . He also emphasized that c u l t u r a l expectations contribute too. He stated: I think one factor i s sexual abuse and I think another factor i s the c u l t u r a l expectation that adult males are permitted, or even expected, to act out sexually against less powerful females. I think there i s a basic core of low self-worth, for many offenders, that i s very important. B i l l emphasizes the sense of i s o l a t i o n that he has noticed i n the offenders he has worked with. He believes, that for sex offenders t h i s sense of being out of step with the world can begin quite early. He notes: So quite early on, before the age of six, there i s an acceptance i n the person that, I'm never going to be O.K., I'm never going to be a normal person, I'm always going to have problems, I'm going to have to make up for what I lack i n ways that are probably not going to be s o c i a l l y conventional. Ed also i d e n t i f i e d s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n and that sense of being d i f f e r e n t and outside the norm. He examined t h i s theme from the perspective of s o c i a l psychology. He believes that a central feature of sex offenders i s the fantasies 186 they create about sex. Because those fantasies are not s o c i a l l y acceptable there i s no one they can check them out with. Their sense of being d i f f e r e n t i s heightened by the fantasies they have around sex with children. This increases the g u i l t and shame they f e e l , which increases t h e i r sense of i s o l a t i o n . The perspective shared by t h i s respondent was informed i n part by his own experience of being a homosexual. He emphasized how being gay gave him some insight into, and empathy for the offender. It was his view that homosexuals and sex offenders share the experience' of being shunned and shamed because t h e i r sexual orientation takes them.outside the norms of society. He describes the re l a t i o n s h i p between fantasies and offender i s o l a t i o n : I wonder about offenders having a much more d i f f i c u l t time t a l k i n g about sex, being comfortable with sex and being comfortable about having sexual feelings. I think that i s because they have feelings that are not s o c i a l l y acceptable. (He likened that to his own experience of growing up gay and having sexual feelings that were also not s o c i a l l y acceptable). How do we know what i s acceptable behavior except for feedback from our environment. Well i f you have feelings inside that 187 you can't express and you can't get the feedback - l i k e smarten up that i s out of l i n e , that i s not appropriate.' Without that, then i t i s pretty easy to convince yourself about whatever you are doing. So when I think of what i s d i f f e r e n t , (between offenders and non-offenders), not being able to t a l k about i t , not being comfortable with sex, comfortable enough to t a l k and to get the feedback. I don't remember tal k i n g to a sex offender who has ever said, "well yea, I t a l k about my a t t r a c t i o n to, or my inter e s t i n , and t h i s i s the kind of feedback I get;" i t ' s usually, No I never talk about i t , I've never even t o l d myself about i t . " Doug emphasized the conscious and . unconscious aspects of the process of developing an offending pattern i n the pedophile. It should be kept in mind that t h i s refers to only a small percentage of sexual- offenders. He believes that c h i l d molesters lack posi t i v e role modeling from fathers, and t h e i r need to be accepted has not been met. They f i n d themselves stuck at a c h i l d l i k e l e v e l of sexual development. Here i s how he described the process: 188 A l o t of pedophiles play into sexuality, much l i k e a kid would. They are very a r t f u l at what they do, but not as premeditated as we might think, given how smooth they are at i t . Somehow t h i s has evolved over the years, and I think they are continuing to play out something they have known since childhood. It's hidden, i t ' s secret, "Mom and dad are going to get mad i f they f i n d out, we can't t e l l them about i t , t h i s i s our l i t t l e secret, our l i t t l e game;" and that i s the way kids are with sexuality. I think they grow into i t , (sex offending) i n a progressive way - they evolve into i t . It begins i n childhood sex play, and continues, and continues, and they never develop an adult sexuality. Then as they become more cog n i t i v e l y developed they come to r e a l i z e that t h i s i s something they enjoy, but i t i s not s o c i a l l y acceptable, but here i s how i t works and here i s how I can keep i t s i l e n t , here i s how I can keep i t hidden. The behavior evolves. The awareness of that behavior comes on and they become more premeditated. They know they are going out looking for someone (to molest) but there i s no school for sex offenders except for the 189 school of l i f e , they don't s i t and read about i t , and think about i t , and decide, "Oh I think I ' l l become a sex offender, how s h a l l I go about i t ? " It i s an evolutionary thing that they become increasingly aware of as they become increasingly better at i t . Carl expressed a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t orientation, possibly because he works exclusively with children and was the only s o c i a l worker interviewed. This respondent, i n response to the question asking him to describe his own theory about how sex offending begins, r e p l i e d that he t r i e s not to have a s p e c i f i c theory. He went on to describe a number of frameworks that f i t for the children and youth he sees i n his practice. Carl's description i s presented l a s t because i t contains elements of those presented e a r l i e r . His emphasis on not being t i e d to a p a r t i c u l a r theory seems to allow him to incorporate a variety of frameworks. He explained his perception: I guess one of the things I try not to do i s have a s p e c i f i c framework -.the f i e l d i s not very well developed at t h i s point and d i f f e r e n t offenders begin offending for. d i f f e r e n t reasons. One of my tenets - I work with children who are victims, so I see 190 offenders - the children and adolescents who are offending have quite often been victimized. I r e a l l y see a l i n k between t h e i r own v i c t i m i z a t i o n and then turning i t around and becoming an offender, but I don't see that as the only reason that people offend. To me i t makes a l o t of sense that i f someone has been abused they learn that pattern. For some kids I see i t as part of t h e i r sexual orientation; they get some sexual feelings during the abuse and then when they get older and interested i n sexuality they act out si m i l a r things. For a l o t of kids there i s a power connection, and i n thi s counselling program I see a l o t more of the boys that are st a r t i n g to offend than the counselors working with the g i r l s . I think there are some s o c i a l things for boys i n terms of fee l i n g the vic t i m when they were younger, then when they deal with that they express a l o t more anger, and the.way that they deal with that i s rather, than be on the vic t i m side they, come on the offender side and sort of enjoy that p o s i t i o n of having power over other people, and so there i s that element i n there too. There i s a s o c i a l thing too. We l i v e i n a society that endorses power 191 over others; that i s ce r t a i n l y part of i t too. However, I work with a f a i r number of kids where i t doesn't f i t i n terms of that pattern, and the reason they are offending may have to do with pure chance, or whatever. It i s harder to understand why they choose a path of offending as part of th e i r sexual development. I think a l o t of the s o c i a l attitudes r e a l l y encourage males to be more aggressive, and i n terms of sexuality to be the person taking the aggressive position. With some kids I see those attitudes modeled in families, the male dominance, and i n terms of family violence i n general, just the modeling of how a male acts - he takes power, takes advantage of people, overpowers people, takes what he wants. If you look at media, pornography, our art and culture i n general i n terms of how they portray men i n t h e i r relationships with women. When I see kids who are ten, eleven, twelve or thirteen and f i f t e e n and the messages they get about what i s O.K. and what i s not, r e a l l y vary from one family to another and from one s o c i a l group to another, and those factors c e r t a i n l y a f f e c t the reasons one chooses to do those sorts of things and the development of sexuality. I 192 guess one of the other things I have found working i n the f i e l d that i s sort of inter e s t i n g on the power side of i t i s the connection between family violence and battering. Many of the kids I work with have parents where the father i s battering, and then they are taking positions where they are aggressive, sometimes sexually, and developing an offender framework. You do see those connections i n the f i e l d for sure. There i s a whole other side of the research which takes a behaviorist perspective. I went to a workshop recently given by a therapist from Seattle who takes a straight behaviorist approach. His point of view, e s p e c i a l l y with adolescent offenders, i s that some of them just seem to have f a l l e n into i t . When you think of how sexuality develops, that i f you happen to get aroused with certain thoughts you develop patterns and that some kids seem to have just f a l l e n into i t (deviant patterns). That kind of f i t s with some of the cases I have had. You do a whole history and there doesn't seem to be anything there to explain why t h i s kid i s offending and that does happen some time. And that i s 193 why i t i s important to look at a whole range of theories rather than re l y on just one. The evolutionary process described to varying degrees by a l l respondents demonstrates that c l e a r l y t h i s process begins i n childhood. This over-riding theme i s supported by the data i n t h i s section, and by the data presented i n the preceding sections. As well, each of the respondents share ce r t a i n perceptions with one another while emphasizing p a r t i c u l a r aspects of the process which they perceive as important. A l one points to the intergenerational aspect of abuse and emphasizes that sexual abuse of children i s a part of our h i s t o r i c a l record. D i f f e r e n t i a l s o c i a l i z a t i o n i s also mentioned as a factor i n the process. Boys are expected to be aggressive while g i r l s are encouraged to be passive. F i n a l l y , he believes that s e l f esteem i s an important issue for offenders. B i l l perceives the process as beginning early, with the c h i l d ' s sense that he just does not f i t i n and w i l l not have his needs met by others. Ed expanded on the theme of i s o l a t i o n . From a s o c i a l psychological perspective, he described the offenders discomfort with sex and e s p e c i a l l y 194 with t a l k i n g about sex as impeding the opportunity for s o c i a l feedback, which would have allowed the offender to s e l f - c o r r e c t his behavior before the pattern developed. This sense of being outside the norm sexually, coupled with an i n a b i l i t y to t a l k openly about t h e i r feelings, was described as maintaining a sense of i s o l a t i o n which contributes to t h e i r offending behavior. Doug described an evolutionary process where the offender's sexual development becomes stuck. An awareness develops i n the offender that his sexual orientation i s outside the norm of society. This knowledge leads him to develop strategies that allow him to continue to meet his own needs. Carl has integrated a number of frameworks into his work. He views p r i o r sexual abuse as providing a model for the development of an offending pattern and spoke to how boys are encouraged to take control and exert power to meet t h e i r needs. He also noted the importance of premature sexualization and pointed out that physiological responses at the time of the abuse may provide an impetus to repeat the behavior, but as the one in control rather than as the one being controlled. F i n a l l y , Carl notes that for many of his c l i e n t s these explanations do not f i t , and wonders 195 whether t h e r e might be an element of chance t o how s e x u a l i t y d e v e l o p s . C a r l d e s c r i p t i o n s u g gests t h a t he i s d e v e l o p i n g an e c o l o g i c a l framework t o h o l d the v a r i e t y o f frameworks he draws upon i n h i s work. Summary T h i s c h a p t e r p r e s e n t e d the d a t a o b t a i n e d t h r o u g h i n t e r v i e w s conducted w i t h the f i v e r e s p o n d e n t s t a k i n g p a r t i n t h i s s t u d y . Each of the f i v e r e s p o n d e n t s had p e r s p e c t i v e s t h a t were unique, . but which a l s o c o n t a i n e d s i m i l a r elements. Each respondent viewed c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e s as i n f l u e n c i n g the development o f sex o f f e n d i n g b e h a v i o r and thus spoke i n terms of a p r o c e s s . Each i d e n t i f i e d f a c t o r s a t an i n d i v i d u a l , f a m i l y e n v i r o n m e n t a l , and c u l t u r a l l e v e l as i m p o r t a n t t o our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f s e x u a l o f f e n d i n g . The p e r s p e c t i v e A l p r e s e n t s r e f l e c t s t h e f a c t t h a t he works w i t h b o t h o f f e n d e r s and v i c t i m s . He emphasized t h e s t r o n g l i n k between b e i n g a v i c t i m and becoming an o f f e n d e r . He a s c r i b e d t o an i n t e r g e n e r a t i o n a l model t h a t h o l d s t h a t s e x u a l l y a b u s i v e b e h a v i o r i s t r a n s m i t t e d t h r o u g h d i r e c t e x p e r i e n c e . L i k e most o t h e r r e s p o n d e n t s , A l i d e n t i f i e d s e l f -esteem as a c e n t r a l i s s u e , but p e r c e i v e d t h a t t h e poor s e l f -196 esteem seen i n offenders i s most often the re s u l t of the coercive manipulations they experienced through t h e i r own abuse. To counteract t h e i r poor self-esteem and f a u l t y attachments A l described a process of fantasy construction which, i n the offender's mind, r a t i o n a l i z e s the offense. . In short, the offender convinces himself, i f only b r i e f l y , that the v i c t i m enjoys the abuse and indeed welcomes the offender's sexual contact. A l believes that the family environment i s often abusive, neglectful, and that as a c h i l d the offender's emotional needs are not met. This lack of being nurtured within the context of family contributes to his v u l n e r a b i l i t y , making him more l i k e l y to become a vi c t i m of sexual abuse. At a c u l t u r a l l e v e l Al emphasized that sexual abuse has been an ongoing theme throughout history. He believes there are many s o c i a l i z i n g messages that promote sexual abuse, including the expectation that men have the right to use power and control to meet t h e i r needs. He also feels that pornography and other misogynist messages promote attitudes which condone sexual abuse. 197 Only one of the respondents, B i l l , works exclusively with offenders. The offenders he works with have been newly released from prison, and attend sessions as a condition of t h e i r parole. Since the offenders he works with have a l l been incarcerated, one might speculate that his c l i e n t s lack the f i n a n c i a l and personal resources capable of keeping them out of j a i l , and that as a consequence they may represent a more marginalized group of offenders than seen by the other therapists taking part i n t h i s study. B i l l ' s perspective suggests that offenders develop a sense of not f i t t i n g i n early i n childhood, which increases over time, and that the s o c i a l s k i l l s needed to meet t h e i r emotional needs within the context of appropriate relationships, never adequately develop. Poor self-esteem, i s o l a t i o n , and inadequacy combine to severely reduce appropriate options for the offenders B i l l works with. B i l l believes that offenders come from marginalized families, and that consequently offenders are often abused, neglected and otherwise l e f t to grow up on the streets. He believes that attachment i s an issue for a l l the offenders he works with. Lacking warm and nurturing caretakers has 198 resulted i n a fa u l t y attachment, which impacts t h e i r s e l f -esteem and feelings of being accepted. Carl was the only s o c i a l worker i n t h i s study. He works exclusively with male children and adolescents, who have not been incarcerated because of t h e i r age. Like A l , he works with both victims and offenders. Carl perceives sexually abusive behavior as learned behavior, but suggests that children can learn through i n d i r e c t experiences. In th i s regard he spoke to the models available to children at home and the s o c i a l i z i n g effects of society. Unlike B i l l , who sees offenders coming from a lower socio-economic class, Carl i s more l i k e l y to see offenders from middle class homes. Despite t h i s he perceives these children as emotionally deprived and as experiencing abuse and neglect issues i n t h e i r family of orig i n s . He noted that many of the parents of the children and youth referred to him were sexually abused as children, and notes that sexuality i s an emotionally loaded issue for these families. As a re s u l t the boundaries are often confused, with children getting far too much or far too l i t t l e information on sexuality. According to Carl inappropriate modeling around sexuality often occurs in these families as well. 199 Carl also sees sexual abuse as a c u l t u r a l problem and that males are s o c i a l i z e d to take what they want from others and to meet t h e i r needs through the inappropriate use of power and control. These s o c i a l i z i n g messages are modeled to young children through t e l e v i s i o n and within f a m i l i e s . Carl notes that accidental exposure to pornography can r e s u l t i n the pre-sexualization of children. Doug works exclusively with adult males. Although he began working with incarcerated sex offenders i n group sessions, he has moved away from that population and now works with non-incarcerated sex offenders. Although he s t i l l works with some offenders, his main focus has s h i f t e d to providing services to male survivors of sexual abuse. Although he supports the victim-offender l i n k , he doesn't think i t has as much explanatory power as i s often ascribed to it.- He notes that most male survivors have not become offenders. Doug ascribes significance to factors i n a l l three categories of experience. He argues that the d e f i n i t i o n of sexual abuse i n use today i s too narrow. He believes that, as children, offenders have often had t h e i r healthy sexual development undermined i n a number of ways, including witnessing sexual violence, exposure to 200 pornography, parents f a i l i n g to be discreet with t h e i r sexual relationship, and the transmission of unhealthy attitudes about sexuality. Like the other respondents interviewed, Doug perceives that sex offenders have a number of i n d i v i d u a l d e f i c i t s . Faulty attachment, low self-esteem, i s o l a t i o n , and a sense of inadequacy combine to impair the offender's emotional development so that t h e i r a b i l i t y to form meaningful and appropriate relationships i s negatively impacted. Doug also supports the view that offenders are raised in family environments characterized by sexual abuse and other factors which undermine t h e i r healthy sexuality. Like Carl, he emphasizes the importance of learning through models, and argues that often what i s modeled at home promotes sexual abuse, including men battering and sexually abusing t h e i r wives and children. Witnessing another's abuse, according to Doug, i s as traumatic as d i r e c t experience and provides a powerful image that may act as a guide for future behavior. At a c u l t u r a l l e v e l , Doug spoke to the notion that males are s o c i a l i z e d to meet t h e i r needs at the expense of others. He also expressed a strong opinion about the role 201 played by the media which uses sex as a marketing t o o l . He believes that children, when exposed to written or v i s u a l pornography, develop those images i n fantasy, and when t h e i r own sexual feelings come to the fore use them as models to guide t h e i r behavior. Ed, who works with male offenders and male survivors, operates from the perspective of s o c i a l psychology. For Ed, the chief difference between survivors of sexual abuse who do not offend and those who do l i e s i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to communicate t h e i r sexual feelings and to receive and act upon appropriate feedback. This respondent also emphasized the advantage his homosexuality bestows upon him i n his work with offenders. He believes the sexual fantasies and feelings both groups experience, because they are outside the boundaries of what society has defined as appropriate, induce feelings of g u i l t and shame and lead them to deny and keep secret t h e i r own sexuality. At the in d i v i d u a l l e v e l Ed perceives offenders as experiencing a l l the factors l i s t e d " i n Table 2 . He believes offenders are motivated by the need to f e e l close and accepted. Their i n a b i l i t y to form and maintain appropriate relationships i s seen as a result of a f e l t sense of 202 inadequacy, poor s o c i a l s k i l l s and t h e i r immature emotional development. In his group work with offenders. Ed focuses on improving s o c i a l s k i l l s and moving the men beyond shame. Within t h e i r family of o r i g i n , Ed believes offenders are often the victims of sexual abuse. They learn inappropriate boundaries from t h e i r experience and from parents who have often been abused themselves. He believes that children are given stigmatizing verbal and non-verbal messages about sexuality which foster shame and g u i l t . At a c u l t u r a l l e v e l Ed supports the notion supported by others that males are s o c i a l i z e d to use power and control over others to meet emotional needs. He also argues that since offenders lack appropriate education on healthy sexuality, providing t h i s information i s a s o c i e t a l issue and must be addressed. He acknowledges that society has the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for establishing the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable sexual behavior, but that doing so marginalizes offenders. He argues t h i s process makes i t less l i k e l y that offenders w i l l t a l k about t h e i r sexuality issues and seek help. The data gathered from a l l f i v e respondents supported, to a greater or lesser degree, the notion that sexual 203 offending behavior springs from a variety of childhood experiences. The childhood experiences, as described by the respondents, which influence the development of an offending pattern of behavior f e l l within an i n d i v i d u a l , family environmental, and c u l t u r a l l e v e l of explanation. This data supports the notion that theories which attempt to explain sex offending behavior w i l l be improved by considering the context from which t h i s behavior evolves. 204 CHAPTER 5 D I S C U S S I O N I n t r o d u c t i o n This chapter discusses the results of the previous chapter and t h e i r relationship to the l i t e r a t u r e presented i n Chapter 2. The respondents i n t h i s study expressed perceptions which were i n agreement with aspects of the l i t e r a t u r e . Their perceptions also support the premise stated e a r l i e r that childhood experiences impact on the development of an offending pattern of behavior. Links between the respondents perceptions and the l i t e r a t u r e w i l l be i d e n t i f i e d . A second section w i l l discuss the l i m i t a t i o n s i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s study. It i s the author's hope that i n pointing out those l i m i t a t i o n s they w i l l be avoided by others. It i s the authors opinion that l i m i t a t i o n s , once i d e n t i f i e d , become strengths. A f i n a l section . of t h i s chapter w i l l discuss the implications for s o c i a l work. It i s hoped that, f i r s t and foremost, t h i s study w i l l stimulate the c u r i o s i t y of s o c i a l workers to design stronger studies, and to explore i n greater depth the childhood experiences that influence 205 sexual development. In an e f f o r t to encourage that c u r i o s i t y , a number of questions a r i s i n g from t h i s study w i l l be posed. Discussion The re s u l t s described i n the previous chapter support the underlying assumptions made i n Chapter 1; s p e c i f i c a l l y the respondents described childhood experiences which they believe influence the development of sex offending behavior. Support for t h i s assumption however i s tempered by the knowledge that non-offenders may also experience many of the same things that offenders do. Those respondents, for example, working with male survivors of sexual abuse pointed out that the majority of male survivors do not become offenders. The assumption that sexuality i s a developmental process beginning i n childhood was also supported as was the assumption that t h i s process was informed by the experiences children have. These experiences were thought, by most of the respondents, to act as mental guides that were used to fashion a behavioral response congruent with the experience. Respondents also thought that these images did not necessarily remain s t a t i c but were being reshaped and informed by further experiences. 206 The re s u l t s show support for the trauma model. The trauma model predicts that a traumatic incident experienced by a c h i l d w i l l be internalized, and that the t e r r o r generated by the event w i l l l i v e on i n recurring flashbacks. In an e f f o r t to cope with the traumatic experience, the c h i l d w i l l a c t i v e l y t r y to make sense of what happened. Like adults, children w i l l mentally replay . the scene, but they are also l i k e l y to introduce the experience i n t h e i r physical play, either with themselves or with peers. Boys may be more l i k e l y than g i r l s to introduce sexual experience into larger play groups. There may be an i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t between boys tendencies to externalize experiences and the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of boys to i n i t i a t e sexual contact. This i n turn may p a r t i a l l y answer why males are more l i k e l y to commit sex crimes than females. In an e f f o r t to regain l o s t power and control children w i l l mentally restructure the event and take on r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for i t . With r e s p o n s i b i l i t y comes g u i l t and shame. At t h i s point the c h i l d has employed two strategies for coping with the f e a r f u l aspects of the event. F i r s t , they have introduced into play the image created by the event and are attempting to habituate to the event. Secondly, they are re-shaping 207 the event, i n an attempt to put themselves back i n charge of t h e i r l i v e s . This re-shaping of the event, coupled with i t s introduction into the peer group through play, suggests that the c h i l d at t h i s point i s beginning, through practice or through re-enactment, to develop an offending pattern of behavior. Another feature of the trauma model supported by the data i s the tendency of offenders to either become stuck at the developmental l e v e l they were at when the trauma occurred, or to regress to that l e v e l i n times of stress. One possible explanation for t h i s observation i s that instead of r e - v i s i t i n g the o r i g i n a l abuse experience, they may be r e - v i s i t i n g a subsequent experience when they were sexually in t r u s i v e with peers and f e e l i n g more i n charge of the experience. Al t e r n a t i v e l y , they may be r e v i s i t i n g a mental representation of the event that grew from the restructuring of the o r i g i n a l event. Another prediction the trauma model makes i s that trauma challenges a l l the basic assumptions that the c h i l d has made about themselves and t h e i r environment. The work by Terr (1990) and Herman (1992) suggests that traumatized children's b e l i e f s about safety and s e l f worth are c a l l e d 208 into question, and that t h e i r psycho-social development i s impaired. This leads to i s o l a t i o n and a growing sense i n the c h i l d that because he was unable to prevent the experience he i s inadequate at protecting himself i n a world that has inexplicably become unsafe, and where he has l i t t l e value. E s p e c i a l l y impaired i s trust i n s e l f and others. Given that t h i s i s the foundation upon which healthy human relationships develop, Herman argues that traumatized children f e e l g u i l t and shame and experience a sense of disconnection from the human community. The terror, helplessness and disconnection common to trauma survivors i s a by-product of the event, and of the c h i l d ' s i n a b i l i t y to make sense of an event which i s i n fact senseless. The trauma model explains quite eloquently one developmental pathway from victimized to v i c t i m i z e r , and the respondent's support for t h i s model was universal. However, the respondents also pointed out that a s i g n i f i c a n t number of abusers do not seem to have been abused. One p o s s i b i l i t y i s that the conceptualization (sexual abuse to sexual offending) may be too narrow. In other words trauma, e s p e c i a l l y trauma to male children, may lead to sexual offending behavior. The rather problematic question t h i s 209 concept raises i s : What i s the connection between trauma i n general and sexual offending? Although i t i s beyond the scope of t h i s study to come up with a solution to t h i s question, i t w i l l be r e - v i s i t e d i n the second section of t h i s chapter. In summary, the trauma model, when thought of i n terms of process, might be described as follows: a traumatic event occurs, the c h i l d i s not able to make sense of the event but experiences i t as l i f e threatening, and t e r r i f y i n g ; i n t r u s i v e flashbacks of the event occur; the c h i l d acts to make sense of the event and to win back his power and control l o s t during the event. Two strategies are employed to cope with the fear and loss of power and control. F i r s t , the re-playing of the event, mentally and behaviorally i n an attempt to habituate themselves to the event. Second the reshaping of memory to regain power and control. This leads to shame and g u i l t for an event which the c h i l d f e e l s at least somewhat responsible for. As well, trauma tends to lower s e l f esteem, impair psycho-social development, and impact trust i n s e l f (inadequacy) and the environment which has proven h o s t i l e and dangerous. A l l of these lead the traumatized c h i l d to disconnect and i s o l a t e themselves from 210 others. The important concepts of t h i s model can be found i n Table 2, with the exception of f a u l t y attachment and unmet emotional needs. Faulty attachment, however, may be a s i m i l a r construct to what Herman (1992) refers to as disconnection. The respondents saw offenders as having low self-esteem, few int e r n a l controls, few s o c i a l s k i l l s , and few coping strategies. As well, they described offenders as is o l a t e d , inadequate, and emotionally impaired. A second model operating at the i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l addressed i n the second chapter, and which was supported by the data offered i n Chapter 4 i s the learning model. Drawing on Bandura's (1977) s o c i a l observational learning model, Laws and Marshall (1990) and Marshal and Barbaree (1990) argue that children can learn sex offending behavior, and that being the victim of sexual abuse i s not a necessary condition for that learning to take place. According to these researchers children learn behaviors from the models i n t h e i r environment. These models might be s i g n i f i c a n t adults, peers, s i b l i n g s , or things they might see i n magazines or on t e l e v i s i o n . A l l that i s necessary i s an image which the c h i l d quite automatically i n t e r n a l i z e s and recreates i n his mind. Another important facet of t h i s 211 model i s the notion that children not only learn behaviors which they then practice, but they learn attitudes which also inform behavior. Exposure to a sexualizing image, coupled with a misogynist attitude, i s enough to s t a r t the cycle. A f i n a l aspect of t h i s theory explains how the offending cycle develops and i s maintained. These authors argue that a dynamic feedback loop i s established where the image i s strengthened by congruent attitudes and b e l i e f s and by the behavior which i n turn informs and strengthens the image. A l l three interact with and change the other. A l l f i v e respondents spoke to d i f f e r e n t aspects of t h i s model, and at the same time mentioned the lack of p o s i t i v e learning taking place i n the childhood backgrounds of the sex offenders they have seen. For example, one respondent c i t e d several case examples to i l l u s t r a t e how the negative e f f e c t s of exposure to physical and sexual violence and to pornography can influence children to t r y out what they see and read. Two of the respondents suggested that adult sexual behavior introduced into peer groups through play, although not necessarily traumatic, i s a powerful influence on children's behavior. This behavior was seen as expanding r a p i d l y as more and more children are introduced to i t . 212 Children engaging i n adult sexual behavior with peers were described as playing but at the same time these respondents were quite concerned about the harm i t was doing to the children's sexual development. The persistence with which children pursued t h i s behavior was also of concern. The respondents also i d e n t i f i e d the lack of p o s i t i v e s o c i a l role models i n these children's homes and suggested that non-traumatic events were also shaping offending behavior. Neglectful and non-caring parental figures, who found i t d i f f i c u l t to model and communicate boundaries around healthy sexuality, often because of t h e i r own abuse, were also seen as influencing sex offending behavior. By denying childr e n the information they need, and by transmitting attitudes that sexuality and sexual feelings are bad and cannot be discussed caretakers foster feelings of g u i l t and shame i n the c h i l d , encourage the c h i l d to keep feelings and behaviors hidden, and r e s t r i c t the opportunity for appropriate s o c i a l feedback which the c h i l d might use to s e l f - c o r r e c t his behavior. Children i n these situations were described as learning about sexuality on the streets and developing misconceptions and problematic attitudes about sexuality. This i n turn contributes to the growing 213 sense i n the c h i l d that they are inadequate to have t h e i r needs met appropriately. Several of the therapists spoke about the fantasies that offenders develop and the purposes those fantasies serve i n motivating the sexual offense and i n r a t i o n a l i z i n g the behavior. The generation of fantasy which guides the behavior f i t s the learning model and i s also an important aspect of the ecological model advanced by Wolf (1985). In summary, there was wide support from the respondents i n t h i s study for the learning model presented i n Chapter 2 . Sex offending behavior was seen as a learning process which also encompassed learning attitudes congruent with the behavior. Role models i n the child's environment were seen as an important factor i n providing behavioral cues and i n transmitting attitudes that promote the development of sex offending behavior. A t h i r d perspective presented i n Chapter 2, the family systems perspective, received li m i t e d support from the data. Although the respondents described factors attributed to the family environment, these factors were not associated with the t h e o r e t i c a l perspective advanced by the family systems perspective. For example, as children sex offenders were 214 described as abused and neglected and as having emotional needs not met by parents, but the respondents did not see children as contributing to the maintenance of t h i s behavior. These respondents also distinguished between non-offending and offending parents and seemed to understand the ef f e c t s of power i n the family. In short, non-offending mothers were not held responsible or described as colluding with abusive fathers. Negative role modeling by father's was most often perceived as problematic, both i n terms of his behavior and his attitudes. The concept from family systems which was perceived by therapists as a contributing factor was that of boundaries; sex offenders were described as having poor boundaries. Respondents working with sexually intrusive children noticed that t h e i r c l i e n t s had not in t e r n a l i z e d healthy boundaries, e s p e c i a l l y around t h e i r expressions of sexuality. They perceived that for a vari e t y of reasons healthy boundaries were not modeled, either through behavior or attitudes, at home. The respondents believed that a number of factors contribute to the lack of boundaries, including behaviors which purposively or inadvertently prematurely sexualize the c h i l d . These experiences ranged from the traumatic to the 215 non-traumatic. Examples of traumatic experiences included being sexually abused or witnessing the sexual abuse of another family member, esp e c i a l l y within a vi o l e n t context. Non-traumatic experiences included parents not being c a r e f u l of t h e i r sexual relationship, children gaining access to X-rated material, or conversely transmitting p u r i t a n i c a l attitudes that suggest to children that sexuality i s s i n f u l and r e s t r i c t i n g communication around t h e i r developing sexuality. To summarize, families were seen as s o c i a l i z i n g agents, and as responsible for transmitting healthy and age-appropriate information and attitudes to t h e i r children. The respondents i n t h i s study perceived that as children, sex offenders do not develop healthy boundaries, e s p e c i a l l y around expressions of sexuality. These respondents saw t h i s process developing from the experiences children have, and from the experiences that are missing. The respondents saw families of sex offenders as f a i l i n g to promote healthy attitudes through open and age appropriate communication, s p e c i f i c a l l y i n the area of sexual development. The family environment category could be conceptualized as a bridging category l i n k i n g the i n d i v i d u a l and the 216 culture. The r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to s o c i a l i z e children to s o c i a l norms that promote healthy relationships to the benefit of society i s , largely, a family r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . This can sometimes be an onerous r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n an age where both parents work and i n lone parent families. The experiences children have within t h e i r families impact d i r e c t l y on the i n d i v i d u a l factors discussed e a r l i e r . The role f a milies play was perceived as c r i t i c a l to the development of a healthy sense of s e l f . Boundaries was the only concept from a family systems perspective that was support by the data c o l l e c t e d i n t h i s study. A fourth perspective presented i n chapter 2 , feminist theory, has long hypothesized that sex crimes are not about sexual g r a t i f i c a t i o n but rather they are about exerting power and control. Respondents i n t h i s study supported t h i s p o s i t i o n and added that other c u l t u r a l attitudes contribute to the development of sex offending behavior. The concept that sexual abuse was a c u l t u r a l phenomenon was supported. Factors i d e n t i f i e d by the respondents which were associated with t h i s category included, the intergenerational aspect of sexual abuse and the h i s t o r i c a l roots of sexual abuse. As well, p u r i t a n i c a l r e l i g i o u s perspectives which f a i l to 217 promote the development of healthy expressions of sexuality were also c i t e d , as was the b e l i e f by a l l respondents that society has not done an adequate job of educating childr e n to express sexuality appropriately. Other concepts developed from a feminist perspective and were seen as contributing to the development of sex offending behavior revolved around how male children are s o c i a l i z e d . Male children, these respondents believed, are s o c i a l i z e d to use power and control to meet t h e i r needs. They perceive sex offenders as having i n t e r n a l i z e d the b e l i e f that the use of power and control to meet t h e i r needs i s legitimate. Another factor related to male s o c i a l i z a t i o n , supported by the data and discussed i n feminist l i t e r a t u r e , revolves around sexual a t t r a c t i o n . Males are s o c i a l i z e d to be attracted to less powerful females. Sex offenders, who often lack a sense of personal power are attracted to children p r e c i s e l y because children are seen as less powerful, and thus less threatening to these men. Males are also s o c i a l i z e d to i n i t i a t e sexual contact. An i n t e r e s t i n g f i n d i n g presented by the two therapists working with children i s the reframing which takes place i n the minds of male children when they are sexually abused by a female. 218 These respondents noted that when t h i s happens male childre n reframe the experience to conform to the c u l t u r a l expectations that males are i n charge of the relationships they have with females. This tendency to reframe the experience to conform to a s o c i e t a l view demonstrates the strength that view i s shared and indicates the d i f f i c u l t y we w i l l face i n changing i t . Feminist theory also argues that sex offending behavior i s influenced by pornography. Respondents agreed with t h i s notion and two respondents i n p a r t i c u l a r perceived that pornography acts to teach children behaviors that are not age appropriate, but which they attempt to emulate. This factor i s an important element i n the learning model discussed e a r l i e r . F i n a l l y , respondents pointed to the ways mass media exploit sexuality and create unhealthy sexual attitudes. Advertisements were seen as using sex to s e l l products. Children are exposed to age-inappropriate material on t e l e v i s i o n and i n magazines, which while not considered pornography are perceived as contributing to the premature sexualization of children, and which o b j e c t i f y sexuality by removing the r e c i p r o c i t y and mutual caring inherent i n expressions of healthy sexual r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 219 One respondent noted that he believes that our c u l t u r a l pre-occupation and emphasize on sex means that children are exposed to much more sexual material now than ever before. As a r e s u l t t h e i r pseudo-sexual maturity i s out-pacing t h e i r cognitive capacity to understand t h e i r sexuality. Children are consequently presenting sexualized behavior, which makes them vulnerable to sexual abuse. A number of factors i d e n t i f i e d i n the feminist l i t e r a t u r e as contributing to sex offending behavior was supported by the re s u l t s of t h i s study. A f i f t h perspective presented i n the l i t e r a t u r e , suggests that understanding sex offending behavior without understanding the environmental context from which offenders come w i l l be i n e f f e c t i v e . Three ecological models were presented i n Chapter 2. The data from t h i s study supports aspects of each one. Finkelhor's (1984) model outlines c u l t u r a l and psychological factors which motivate the offender's a t t r a c t i o n to children, lessen i n t e r n a l i n h i b i t i o n s against having sex with children, lessen external i n h i b i t i o n s that protect children and factors which contribute to the child' s v u l n e r a b i l i t y against attack. Factors which Finkelhor argues contribute to motivation, and 220 which were supported by the data i n t h i s study, include: emotional developmental delays, the need to f e e l powerful and i n control, re-enactment of childhood trauma, n a r c i s s i s t i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with s e l f as a c h i l d , childhood sexual experiences that were either traumatic or conditioning, witnessing sexual abuse and poor s o c i a l s k i l l s . At a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l l e v e l Finklehor suggests that s o c i a l i z a t i o n of males to i n i t i a t e and dominate sexual relationships, the e r o t i c portrayal of children by the media and repressive norms about sexuality a l l contribute to motivation. These factors were a l l supported by the data. Other concepts i d e n t i f i e d i n Finklehor's model and supported by t h i s study's data, include the idea that sexual abuse i s a c u l t u r a l phenomenon, c h i l d pornography, family violence, and s o c i a l i s o l a t i o n . Support was also shown for the concepts which increase the victims v u l n e r a b i l i t y , including emotional insecurity, emotional and physical deprivation, lack of sexual knowledge, and the coercive s k i l l of the offender. F a l l e r ' s (1988) model d i f f e r s from Finkelhor's i n that she conceives that only two preconditions must be met, both e x i s t i n g with the offender. F a l l e r (1988) i d e n t i f i e s factors 221 at a c u l t u r a l , environmental, family, and i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . The data gathered from respondents i n t h i s study support the factors she i d e n t i f i e d at the c u l t u r a l , and i n d i v i d u a l l e v e l . Data coded to the family i n t h i s study was coded to the i n d i v i d u a l by F a l l e r . At a c u l t u r a l l e v e l respondents spoke to the s o c i a l i z i n g e f f e cts that lead males to believe that masculinity i s synonymous with power and control over others. At the ind i v i d u a l l e v e l of experience F a l l e r i d e n t i f i e d a number of factors which are supported i n t h i s study but were not necessarily coded as i n d i v i d u a l experiences. Like the respondents i n t h i s study she believes that childhood experiences impact on the development of sex offending behavior. The respondents she studied described childhood experiences of abuse and neglect. Her finding that offenders' relationships with mothers are more problematic than with fathers was not supported i n t h i s study. Respondents i n t h i s study described mothers as ph y s i c a l l y and sexually abused by t h e i r husbands. The data also corroborates the l i n k that many offenders experienced a traumatic sexual experience, eithe r by being sexually abused or by witnessing the abuse of others. Another point of agreement i s the finding that 222 many offenders do not r e c a l l these types of sexual experiences as traumatic. F a l l e r argues that these factors do not cause offending behavior, but do contribute to the formation of b e l i e f s , attitudes and behaviors which strengthen the p o s s i b i l i t y that sex offending behavior w i l l develop, an idea also supported by t h i s study. The t h i r d ecological model, proposed by Wolf (1985), also supports the notion that childhood experiences contribute to the development of sex offending behavior. These experiences, when coupled with c e r t a i n personality c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , interact to form an addiction cycle. This cycle i s fueled by the offender's lack of self-esteem and by sexual fantasy. The deviant fantasy i s employed to counteracts the feelings of low self-esteem, but i n fact function to lower i n h i b i t i o n s against committing the crime and as a form of rehearsal. Wolf draws heavily on the learning model, which was supported by the respondents i n th i s study. The respondents also spoke to the importance of fantasy and i t s use by offenders for s e l f care. As well, the central role played by self-esteem i n generating the need to be close and accepted by someone non-threatening was also supported by t h i s data. The childhood experiences which 223 Wolf believes increase the potential for sex offending, and supported by the data i n t h i s study, include a sense of i s o l a t i o n , witnessing family violence, physical abuse, and being sexually abused or witnessing sexual abuse. Data from the respondents i n t h i s study support aspects of the three ecol o g i c a l theories presented above. In summary the ecological perspective was supported by the data presented i n the previous chapter. Respondents spoke of sex offending behavior as a process which develops over time, and i s influenced by childhood experiences. In describing t h e i r perceptions of t h i s process they i d e n t i f i e d factors at the i n d i v i d u a l , family environmental, and c u l t u r a l l e v e l s of experience. In doing so they incorporated aspects of the various models presented i n t h i s section. Given the general agreement i n the l i t e r a t u r e and supported by the data i n t h i s study, i t would seem imperative that a more complex model be developed. Limitations This study has a number of l i m i t a t i o n s . The following discussion w i l l i d e n t i f y those l i m i t a t i o n s and suggest possible remedies, i n the hope that others interested i n t h i s topic w i l l benefit from the experience of t h i s author. 224 The f i r s t l i m i t a t i o n can be i d e n t i f i e d within the context of the question: What Childhood Experiences are perceived by Therapists as Having an Impact on t h e i r Male Clie n t s Becoming Sex Offenders? This question i s not s u f f i c i e n t l y s p e c i f i c , consequently the topic could not be explored i n the depth i t deserves. The question could have been focused i n several ways, for example, the following concepts could have been operationalized to be less i n c l u s i v e . Childhood instead of b i r t h to age 18 could have been defined more narrowly, with a cut off at age 12. This age might better r e f l e c t the description of children as opposed to adolescence. A broadly based question was chosen as an appropriate s t a r t i n g point for an exploratory study of therapists perceptions. Having chosen a broad question a second l i m i t a t i o n to t h i s study i s the questions which make up the interview guide. They r e f l e c t e d the assumption that sex offending i s linked to a sexual experience i n childhood. It was discovered that, to a large degree, t h i s was true. Fortuitously for t h i s study, the respondents were eager to point out other experiences that, although not sexual, were 225 considered important. Later I came to question whether I might have discovered more i f I had assumed le s s . A t h i r d l i m i t a t i o n i s sample si z e . Although q u a l i t a t i v e research t y p i c a l l y draws on fewer respondents than does quantitative research, t h i s study would have been improved had the number of respondents been increased. A larger sample size would have allowed for a more varied educational background. Even with the small sample used there were i n t r i g u i n g differences i n emphasis beginning to appear, which may relate to t h e o r e t i c a l perspectives based on educational experiences. A larger sample might have included p s y c h i a t r i s t s , of which there were none .in t h i s study. Despite the small sample size, the choice to include only therapists i n private practice was a good one. Only one of the therapists interviewed worked exclu s i v e l y with offenders, while the remaining four worked with male survivors of sexual abuse. These four were extremely knowledgeable on the topic of sexual abuse generally, and offered opinions on the differences between survivors who offend and those who do not. Therapists working along the entire continuum of sexual abuse presented a broader perspective on the question. 226 A f o r t h l i m i t a t i o n to t h i s study was that no female therapists were included. Although four women were i d e n t i f i e d i n the sampling frame and sent a l e t t e r , none volunteered to be interviewed. Women working with male sex offenders may have voiced a d i f f e r e n t perspective on t h i s subject. As no women were included, t h i s study suffers from a p o t e n t i a l gender bias. A f i n a l l i m i t a t i o n to t h i s study resides i n the choice to study the perceptions of therapists rather than the memories of offenders. Studies of perceptions, even i f accurately tapping the perceptions of therapists, can never say with any degree of certainty that those perceptions represent the offender's r e a l i t y . This study sought therapist's perceptions of t h e i r c l i e n t s ' childhood backgrounds. Thus, the respondents were asked to describe experiences they had not experienced themselves. Another problematic aspect of t h i s approach l i e s i n the nature of perceptions. Therapists' perceptions on t h i s topic represent a synthesis of t h e i r knowledge and experience of sex offenders but necessarily f i l t e r e d through t h e i r b e l i e f s and attitudes. Perceptions, therefore, can never be a s t r i c t recounting of the offender's childhood experiences. 227 This l i m i t a t i o n i s off s e t , however, by the fact that the respondents taking part i n t h i s study had worked with a number of offenders over a number of years so that t h e i r own perceptions on t h i s topic were informed by t h i s d i r e c t contact with sex offenders. A follow-up study with offenders about t h e i r own perceptions of t h e i r childhood experiences might support or c a l l into question how accurate the perceptions offered by the therapists i n t h i s study were. This study was designed to explore an area that had only recently come to the attention of researchers. As an exploratory study the hope was to shed some l i g h t on a topic deserving more attention. Identifying factors which impinge on the healthy development of children i s such a topic. Implications for Social Work At the time t h i s study was conceived society was only just beginning to take note of the number of children acting out sexually. The term coined to describe these childr e n was sexually reactive. The b e l i e f was that these children were reacting to t h e i r sexual abuse experience and that t h e i r behavior was a manifestation of the trauma suffered or that they were exhibiting learned behavior. As more 228 attention became focused on these children i t became cle a r that t h i s i n i t i a l assumption was only p a r t l y true. It was more true of g i r l s but less true of boys. A s i g n i f i c a n t minority of boys had not been sexually abused, and yet here they were exhibiting behaviors that had a l l the hallmarks of sex offending behavior. They were targeting younger children, they were employing coercive measures, and they were engaging i n behaviors that could not be considered normal sex play. Two other aspects of t h i s behavior d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i t from normal sex play. There was a compulsive q u a l i t y to the behavior and i t was persistent. These two q u a l i t i e s made the behavior d i f f i c u l t to extinguish. Perhaps the most disturbing piece of information about these children i s that they employ fantasy to inform t h e i r behavior. These fantasies are not as sophisticated as those used by adult offenders, but then children themselves are not as sophisticated as adults. A new term was coined to distinguish t h i s group of children from the sexually reactive group: They are referred to as sexually i n t r u s i v e children. Although many have learned adult sexual behavior through an abuse experience, others have not. The implication for s o c i a l workers i n t h i s 229 developing understanding i s that as one respondent said when discussing how his perspective has changed said, "...and I guess I've learned that i t (offending) begins at an e a r l i e r age". Offending not only starts at an e a r l i e r age than once was thought but we s t i l l do not f u l l y understand exactly how that process starts for the non-abused group. The implication from th i s work and corroborated by the l i t e r a t u r e , i s that for some, sex offending behavior begins i n childhood, has enormous implications for research i n the f i e l d of sexual abuse. Compared to treating adult offenders who have a l i f e time of offending experience, and whose patterns of behavior are firmly entrenched, turning c h i l d r e n away from t h i s behavior might prove to be a much easier task. This was the opinion expressed by the two therapists who work with children. A related aspect to t h i s approach i s that the number of victimization's prevented over an offender's l i f e t i m e could prove to be enormous. Intervention with sexually intrusive children represents a huge saving i n emotional pain and suffering caused by sexual abuse. Early i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and intervention represents an equally s i g n i f i c a n t monetary savings i n treatment costs associated with victims and offenders, incarceration costs 230 for offenders, l o s t wages and l o s t p o t e n t i a l for both victims and offenders. In an era of ever shrinking s o c i a l service d o l l a r s governments are demanding a bigger bang for the buck. Savings at t h i s l e v e l represent an enormous bang for a r e l a t i v e l y small buck, but as s o c i a l workers we must make our case that intervention at t h i s l e v e l i s needed. Research i n t h i s f i e l d w i l l help e s t a b l i s h the need for intervention at t h i s l e v e l . This research confirms the need, i d e n t i f i e d by others, to turn our attention to the development of e c o l o g i c a l models capable of r e f l e c t i n g the complex dynamics at work. Focusing our attention on children who are acting out sexually w i l l allow us to study these dynamics within the context of family. F a l l e r (1988) i s quite c r i t i c a l of family systems theory and argues for a reformulation of family theory that does not s h i f t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for sex offending from offenders to non-offenders. If that i s to happen, I believe, we must examine sex offending behavior i n children to better understand what i s happening i n the family. As stated e a r l i e r I think adults who take on the job of r a i s i n g children are faced with an onerous task e s p e c i a l l y i n safeguarding children from the harmful 231 c u l t u r a l messages and i n imbuing children with the i n t e r -personal s k i l l s needed to form mutually res p e c t f u l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . Social worker have an obli g a t i o n to i d e n t i f y ways that can help families grow stronger. So c i a l work, more than any other profession, encourages i t s workers to frame problems within t h e i r environmental context. There are two reasons for doing so. The f i r s t , human problems do not arise i n a vacuum nor can they be understood when removed from the environmental context from which they come. The second, which I think of as a s o c i a l work value, suggests that to study a human problem removed from i t s o c i a l and environmental context i s to rob the person of his humanity. To many people sex offenders are not human. An implication from t h i s study, and e s p e c i a l l y the f i n d i n g that sex offending begins e a r l i e r than we once believed, i s that when seen within the context of t h e i r l i f e experiences even sex offenders deserve to have t h e i r humanity respected. A number of questions arise from t h i s research. Given that sex offending behaviors appear i n childhood, and given the s o c i a l and environmental context experienced by sex offenders, are we doing enough to heal these childhood 232 hurts? Are we giving sex offenders the resources they need to meet the challenges inherent i n forming mutually supportive and respectful relationships? Are we addressing the c u l t u r a l stereotypes that lead some men to form b e l i e f s and attitudes that women and children are there for the taking? Do we t r u l y understand the e f f e c t s that pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation by the media have on children? Therapists also spoke of the emotional deprivation and physical abuse experienced by t h e i r c l i e n t s as children. The whole f i e l d of unmet emotional needs i s l a r g e l y over looked i n B r i t i s h Columbia. Social .workers lack a l e g a l mandate to intervene i n families where they can not show that children are at r i s k of sexual, physical or emotional harm. Although new c h i l d protection l e g i s l a t i o n w i l l be enacted shortly that does attempt to define emotional abuse i t w i l l take time before we know how well i t works i n pr a c t i c e . The findings i n t h i s study suggest that more emphasis should be put on looking into the short and long term e f f e c t s of children's emotional needs not being met. In summary, there are a number of implications which t h i s study would endorse. 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A factor model of deviant sexuality, Victimology. 10. 359-374. 246 Appendix C Interview Guide Therapist Perceptions 1. I would l i k e to st a r t by having you describe your theory about how sex offenders get started. 2. During the beginning phase of your work with a c l i e n t what back ground information do you ask for? a) Do you take a sexual history? If yes then b; i f no 3. b) How f a r back into childhood do you probe? 3. In the beginning phase of your work what percentage of your c l i e n t s report being sexually abused? a) What other types of childhood sexual experiences do your c l i e n t s report? 4. In the middle phase of your work what percentage of your c l i e n t s report being sexually abused? a) How would you describe t h i s discrepancy on responses? b) What other types of childhood experiences do your c l i e n t s report during t h i s phase of treatment? 5. In the closing phase of your work what percentage of c l i e n t s reveal, for the f i r s t time, a h i s t o r y of sexual abuse? a) What other types of childhood sexual experiences do your c l i e n t s report? 6. How might a sexual experience i n childhood contribute to the development of sexual offending behavior? a) Under what conditions might t h i s take place? i) parental reactions, i i ) mixed messages i n the home, i i i ) other environmental factors. b) What elements of the experience do you believe are most important? i) c h i l d ' s developmental l e v e l , i i ) coercion or t h e i r f e l t lack of control, i i i ) emotional maturity incongruent with the experience. 247 7. Based on your experience how would you describe the early sexual development of your c l i e n t s ? a) How does that d i f f e r from what you know about normal childhood sexual development? b) In thinking about the sexual experiences your c l i e n t s have reported, have you noted any patterns which they seem to share? i) Type of experience, i i ) Age at onset. i i i ) Exposure to sexualizing experience at home, (excluding abuse). 8. Drawing on your experience i n working with sex offenders could you describe for me the kinds of experiences they have had: a) Before age six. b) Between 7 and 12. c) During adolescence. 9. Over the course of your work with male sex offenders how have your perceptions regarding t h e i r pre-offense sexual behavior changed? 10. If you were to catalogue factors which you think predispose a male to offend sexually, what would that l i s t look l i k e ? 11. Has anything occurred to you over the course of t h i s interview which you think might be important, but I have not asked about. 

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