Juveniles As Sexual Offenders: Reasons And Causes Research Proposal Samples
Juveniles as Sexual Predators
There has been in recent years a steady rise in the interest among the public of sexual assaults committed by youths on other youths. This fact, however, should not come as a complete surprise; it has been noted that juveniles and youths comprise one-fourth of defendants accused of committing sexual assaults and are known to mastermind at least one in three attacks on other youths. Though sexual attackers against youths and minors are described as “pedophiles,” it must be noted that those who are commonly arrested are youths that do not fit the traditional picture of a sexual offender. What is more noteworthy is that though many offenders are in their teenage years, it has been noted that an estimated 16 percent of the suspects that are apprehended by the police are younger than 12 years of age (Finkelhor, Omrod, Chaffin, 2009, pp. 1, 4).
The prevalence of youths as sexual offenders should not and must not be taken lightly. Youth and adolescent sexual offenders commit 25 percent of all sexual assaults in the United States. With these factors, laws on community registration have steadily risen across the United States. Withal, this practice weakens a central pillar of the juvenile justice mechanism. Though the public fears all juvenile sex offenders would develop into adult offenders, studies show that even with these factors that 9 out of 10 will not become adult offenders (Jones, 2007, p. 1).
There have a number of factors that have been given in an attempt to explain why children and youths commit sexual crimes. One of the more well-known reasons is the possibility that the offender suffered from an abusive environment as a child. In addition, a number of youth offenders that have either witnessed or been subjected to sexual abuse also had a higher possibility of becoming sexual offenders as well. Another contributing factor is whether the child has a history of substance abuse and exposure to erotica as children.
However, both factors have not been proven to be definitive elements in the development of deviant sexual offending behavior. However, there is the study of Ford and Linney (1995) that notes that youth sexual offenders were exposed to smut materials, and “hard core,” pornography early in their lives. There is also the possibility that sexual hostility may arise in the developmental process of the youth; however, there is no definitive finding that youths that are sexually violent will go on to become adult sex criminals. Lastly, other factors that may contribute to youths becoming sexual offenders include high levels of academic impairment, behavioral issues, and evident difficulties in the youth in the areas of self-control and judgment (Center for Sex Offender Management, 2012, p. 1).
Aside from the abovementioned reasons, it is also expressed that youth sexual deviants possess one form of mental illnesses; however, there is no consistent form or type of mental issue that is present in all or even a majority of the youths that have committed sexual assaults. However, one of the more notable distinctions of adolescent sexual offenders is an obsession with solitude. These are often extremely adept with concealing their behaviors. This is one of the reasons that sexual offenders are able to cover up their crimes for extended periods of time (CRC, 2011, p. 1).
Youths that have transgressed against society, inclusive of sexual offenders, should and must be held legally accountable. However, these youths should be given appropriate interventions based on the level of development of the youth. Simply put, the punishment should be commensurate to the capacity of the youth to acknowledge the crime, and if possible, factor in the possibility for reform in the child (Juvenile Law Center, 2013, p. 1).
Center for Sex Offender Management (2012) “Understanding juvenile sexual offending behavior: emerging research, treatment approaches and management practices.” Retrieved 22 January 2015 from <http://www.csom.org/pubs/juvbrf10.html
CRC Health Group (2011). “Sexual delinquency” Retrieved 22 January 2015 from <http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/sexual-delinquency/
Finkelhor, D., Omrod, R., Chaffin, M (2009) “Juveniles who commit sex offenses against minors.” Retrieved 22 January 2015 from <https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/227763.pdf
Jones, M (2007, July 22). How can you distinguish a budding pedophile from a kid with real boundary problems? The New York Times Cover Story
Juvenile Law Center (2013) “Juvenile sex offender registration” Retrieved 22 January 2015 frim <http://www.jlc.org/current-initiatives/promoting-fairness-courts/juvenile-sex-offender-registration
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