Were you molested when you were a child? This is the unavoidable question faced by all offenders who are accused or convicted of a sex crime. A retrospective analysis of sexual victimization among offenders showed that from 30% to 60% of them with pedophiles predominant said yes. But what is the true story?The authors Michel St-Yves and Bruno Pellerin go into the various studies and conclude with the following:
Sexual offending is often explained as being the consequence of previous sexual victimization. This perception of “cause and effect” is supported by various writers who believe that the presence of unresolved sexual trauma (deviant sexual experience in early childhood) plays an important role in the development and persistence of deviant sexual behaviour. Some even emphasize that sex crimes are often a reproduction of previously experienced sexual abuse. They call this the “vampire” syndrome. Other researchers question the assumption of a cycle of abuse that is, the theory of the abused abuser. Some even doubt the accuracy of the reported rate of sexual victimization among sex offenders, and talk about “pseudo-victimization” or “overvictimization”. It would appear that some sex offenders falsely claim that they were victimized as a way of explaining or excusing their own sex crimes. We do not know how widespread this practice is, but an American study of sex offenders showed that after they were told that they would be subject to a polygraph test, the percentage of those claiming sexual victimization dropped from 67% to 29%.
The results of these studies therefore lead us to question the importance that is placed on the role of sexual victimization in the development of sex-related criminality. Moreover, as previously mentioned, these studies are usually based only on self-reporting. It is therefore possible that some subjects invent sexual victimization scenarios (Pinocchio syndrome) or that they magnify or transform traumatic events in their lives to excuse or justify their crimes. Regardless of whether the sexual abuse did or did not occur, sexual victimization is not the only factor that may have a negative influence on a person’s emotional, social and sexual development. The vampire syndrome does not explain the high percentage (about 50%) of individuals who reported that they had not been molested in childhood but who still committed sex crimes. Conversely, many people were molested in childhood or adolescence but never became molesters themselves. It is clear that several other factors may influence the display of deviant sexual behaviour hence the need for carrying out further comparative studies.
Sex offenders who are out to molest children are for the most part people that you know. People who are married with children of their own. A trusted person even.
Check out How To Protect Your Children. Just remember, the bad guy doesn't wear black.