ARE MALE SEXUAL OFFENDERS NORMAL MEN, OR CAN THEY BE VIEWED AS A DEVIANT SUB-GROUP OF MEN?
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This study investigated whether sexual offenders were measurably different from nonoffenders on a battery of self-report questionnaires. The study was designed to test four aims: 1. To test the validity of the self-report methodology. 2. To test the effectiveness of the treatment given to sex offenders. 3. To test for differences between the offender's before and after their treatment with the nonoffenders. 4. To test the differences of the psychological profiles between the offender samples and the nonoffenders. The four aims were related to divergent positions held in the literature on sexual offenders. One position in the literature views sex offenders as deviant. The second position views sex offenders as normal men. Thornton's (1992) battery of self-report questionnaires was given to three samples. A dependent sample of offenders, (n=31 ), before and after their treatment and an independent sample of nonoffenders, (n=l6). The results were analysed using Kendall's tau-b for aim one. For aims 2 and 3, t-tests were employed. For the profile analysis, aim 4, multivariate and univariate ANOV AS were employed. The balance of the results favoured the deviancy position. Differences were measurable between the three samples. The nonoffenders have significantly different psychological profiles compared to the offender samples. The treatment received by the offender's is shown to be effective for key attitudes and beliefs that should reduce the risk of reoffending. The treatment does have some failings. The failings are in more indirectly related attitudes and may be a result of design weaknesses. The findings show the need to understand nonoffenders more in order to place offenders attitudes in a culturally normative context.
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