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Christian C. Joyal; Deborah N. Black; Benoit Dassylva
Neuropsychology and Neurology of Sexual Deviance: A Review and Pilot Study
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume:19 Issue:2 Dated:June 2007 Pages:155 to 173
This article reviews the data related to the hypothesis that sexual deviance is related to frontal and/or temporal lobe damage and gathers neuropsychological data from subgroups of sexual offenders. Results from the review of neuropsychiatry, neuroimaging, and neuropsychological research indicate that although fronto-temporal lobe dysfunctions may be sporadically reported among sex offenders, the evidence regarding its impact on sexual offending is scarce and there is no evidence to conclude that this type of neurological dysfunction is specific to this type of offender. The preliminary analysis of the neuropsychological data that was gathered from subgroups of sexual offenders indicated: (1) lower-order executive dysfunctions; (2) verbal deficits with intact or good capabilities for higher-order executive functioning; and (3) preferential visuo-spatial processing, suggesting basal fronto-temporal anomalies. Pedophiles emerged as more consistently and severely impaired than offenders who raped adults. The authors point out that the basal fronto-temporal anomaly is not a characteristic of sexual deviance because it was found in association with delinquency and criminality in general. Participants were 20 male patients referred from regional penitentiaries for treatment at a forensic psychiatric hospital. Offenders were evaluated using the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scales-III and a series of classic neuropsychological tasks sensitive to fronto-temporal anomalies or posterior damage. Data were statistically analyzed. Future research on neuropsychology and brain imaging should include different subgroups of offenders in order to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between brain anomalies and sexual deviance. Table, references
W. L. Marshall; L. E. Marshall
Utility of the Random Controlled Trial for Evaluating Sexual Offender Treatment: The Gold Standard or an Inappropriate Strategy?
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume:19 Issue:2 Dated:June 2007 Pages:175 to 191
This article explores the scientific, practical, and ethical issues involved with using the Random Controlled Trial (RCT) in the evaluation of sexual offender treatment. The authors conclude that the use of the RCT model is not ideal for assessing the effectiveness of sexual offender treatment. Moreover, the study most often held up as the model for the evaluation of sexual offender treatment, which was carried out by Marques et al. (2005), was found to have several methodological and analytical problems that reduce its relevance for the evaluation of sexual offender treatment. Two alternative strategies for evaluating sexual offender treatment were reviewed--incidental designs and actuarially-based evaluations--and were considered superior in the evaluation of sexual offender treatment effectiveness. Directors of sexual offender treatment programs are encouraged to adopt the two evaluation strategies here, or even alternative evaluation strategies, in place of the RCT evaluation model. In making this argument, the authors review the RCT design, which uses two key features: (1) the random allocation of treatment volunteers to either a treatment group or a no-treatment group, and (2) strict procedures for ensuring treatment integrity. While the scientific elegance of the RCT design is to be commended, the authors highlight problems with its design (random allocation of treatment groups), practicality, and ethical considerations. As illustration of the RCT model, California’s SOTEP study is critiqued, including its design flaws and treatment problems. Future research is encouraged in the area of evaluation of sexual offender treatment. References
Michael F. Caldwell
Sexual Offense Adjudication and Sexual Recidivism Among Juvenile Offenders
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume:19 Issue:2 Dated:June 2007 Pages:107 to 113
This study compared the recidivism rates of a sample of 249 juvenile sexual offenders with a sample of 1,780 non-sexual offending juveniles. Results indicated no significant difference in prevalence of new sexual offenses between the two groups of juvenile offenders. Specifically, the recidivism rate for new sex offenders among juvenile sex offenders was 6.8 percent compared to 5.7 percent for the nonsexual juvenile offenders. However, juvenile sex offenders were almost 10 times more likely to have been charged with a nonsexual offense than a sexual offense. Moreover, a full 85 percent of the new sexual offenses occurring during the 5-year followup period were committed by the nonsexual offending juveniles. None of the 54 homicides that occurred during the study period were committed by a juvenile sex offender, although 3 of the homicides were sexual in nature. The findings suggest that policies targeting juvenile sex offenders for increased supervision may be misguided since it appears the bulk of community sexual violence involves individuals not previously designated as sexual offenders. Data on 2,029 male juvenile delinquents released from secured institutions between 1998 and 2000 were drawn from open records. Data were collected on recidivism over a 5-year followup period, which were subsequently categorized as sexual or nonsexual recidivism. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Table, figure, references