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Sexuality, Antisocial Behavior, Aggressiveness, and Victimization in Juvenile Sexual Offenders: A Literature Review

Author(s): Wiebke Driemeyer | Dahlnym Yoon | Peer Briken

Journal: Sexual Offender Treatment
ISSN 1862-2941

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 01;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: juvenile sexual offenders | risk assessment

The present review focuses on six factors that have been addressed in the literature about juvenile sexual offenders: general delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, aggressiveness and psychopathology, sexuality, sexual deviance, and victimization experiences. Empirical findings are characterized by great heterogeneity. Due to a lack of standardized assessment and because of different study groups they rarely facilitate direct comparisons. In an endeavor to clarify this vast heterogeneity, the purpose of this overview is to enlighten actual findings about these factors and on the role that has been assigned to them in the literature. Special attention is paid to comparison studies. A detailed description of the studies in tables2 allows for an overview of the results and an evaluation with respect to sample size, instruments, and type of study groups. The overview does not claim completeness; it is a narrative, none-systematic review3. In summary the review showed that in most cases, juvenile sexual offending cannot be understood as an expression of more general juvenile delinquency and - in contrast to other groups of juvenile delinquents - the sexual offenders report less non-sexual delinquent behavior. Alcohol and drug abuse have been reported less often as well, but they might play a more important role as situational factors. Externalizing problems apears more often in juvenile sexual offenders with peer/adult victims who are also non-sexually delinquent. Regarding sexuality, some studies indicate that juvenile sexual offenders are impaired in their sexual development, but they were rarely described as sexually isolated. Sexual deviance has been considered a risk factor for juvenile sexual offending, but the assessment of sexual deviance in juveniles has proven difficult. The prevalence of victimization experiences varies substantially and possible connections to sexual offending have proven complex. The interpretation of the results of most studies is compromised by a lack of data about non-delinquent juveniles. The review closes with explanations why some of the illustrated results vary substantially.
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