Thursday, September 27, 2007

Psychology, Crime & Law Abstracts

Latest articles from Psychology, Crime & Law (h/t Psychology and Crime News). More, very interesting articles can be found here.

Alcohol as drug of choice; Is drug-assisted rape a misnomer?
Miranda Horvath; Jennifer Brown
DOI: 10.1080/10683160601061117
Psychology, Crime & Law, Volume 13, Issue 5 October 2007 , pages 417 - 429

Building on previous research which identified alcohol as the drug of choice for facilitating sexual assaults, this paper analysed 93 rape cases reported to the police in which the victim was under the influence of drugs/alcohol when the assault occurred. The aim was to explore what substances victims consumed to become incapacitated and who induced the state of incapacity. The degree of pre-planning suggests that the offender could be described as opportunistic or predatory. Findings demonstrated that the majority of rapes (coming to police notice) in which alcohol or drugs are implicated, are circumstances where the victim has self-intoxicated through alcohol consumption. There were relatively few cases in which drugs had been administered surreptitiously. The analyses successfully identified differences between rapes that occur when the victim is intoxicated or drugged according to how she consumed that alcohol/drug and what kind of alcohol/drugs she had consumed. The concept of negotiative space is offered as a potential theoretical explanation. The findings are discussed in the light of this and recommendations for crime prevention are made.

The measurement and influence of child sexual abuse supportive beliefs
Ruth Mann; Stephen Webster; Helen Wakeling; William
DOI: 10.1080/10683160601061141
Psychology, Crime & Law, Volume 13, Issue 5 October 2007 , pages 443 - 458

The identification of offence-related cognition is a major target of most cognitive-behavioural treatment programmes for sexual offenders, and a number of measures are available for this purpose. This study assessed the psychometric properties of a brief measure of beliefs that support and justify child sexual abuse: the Sex With Children (SWCH) scale. Factor analysis revealed two distinct types of belief: that sex with children is harmless, and that children actively provoke adults into having sex with them. The SWCH was also found to have good internal consistency, test-retest reliability and concurrent validity. Child molesters scored significantly more highly on the SWCH than did rapists or non-offenders, and high-risk child molesters reported more entrenched offence-supportive beliefs than lower risk child molesters. A relationship was also observed between general offence-supportive beliefs as measured by SWCH and offence-specific cognitions ascribing responsibility or enjoyment to the offender's victim. The SWCH subscales appeared to closely match two of the implicit theories hypothesized by Ward and Keenan (1999) to be related to child molestation. Sex offender treatment providers need to be aware of the relationship between underlying implicit theories and offence-specific distorted cognitions about the victim's experience.

The role of cognitive distortions in paedophilic offending: Internet and contact offenders compared
Dennis Howitta; Kerry Sheldon
DOI: 10.1080/10683160601060564
Psychology, Crime & Law, Volume 13, Issue 5 October 2007 , pages 469 - 486

Cognitive distortions are held to contribute to sexual offending against children in a number of theoretical explanations of such crimes. However, not only is there little or no direct evidence in support of the centrality of cognitive distortions in offending but recent research has questioned whether the concept has explanatory power. Cognitive distortions are variously seen as necessary for the offender to offend against children, as post-offending justifications for the offence, or as reflecting distorted patterns in the offender's upbringing. This paper explores the role of cognitive distortions in sex offending by comparing the distortions of contact sex offenders against children with Internet child pornography offenders without contact offences against children. A new cognitive distortions questionnaire was developed which was suitable for administration to Internet offenders who had no contact offences against children as well as being suitable for contact offenders. It was found that some cognitive distortions are frequently agreed with by sex offenders against children whereas others were seldom or never agreed with. Little support was found for earlier typological approaches to the cognitive schema of sex offenders against children. Contrary to the expectation that contact offenders would have more cognitive distortions, it was found that Internet offenders had more cognitive distortions that children are sexual beings. Furthermore, there were no differences in cognitive distortions justifying the offence. However, offenders with a previous history of offending were more likely to admit to cognitive distortions which justify their offending. It is accepted that cognitive distortions are readily recognized in interviews with sex offenders against children. Nevertheless, it is argued that there is a need for new research to stimulate a new understanding of the nature and role of cognitive distortions in sex offending.

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