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Journal Article


Mitchell RC, Galupo MP. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(14): 2159-2179.


Towson University, MD, USA


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






To date, sexual abuse prevention efforts have largely focused on tertiary prevention strategies designed to prevent recidivism among forensic samples of men with a history of sex offending behavior. The present study used mixed methodology to investigate the role of several forensic and related factors on the decision not to commit a sex offense among two groups of community men who self-reported a sexual attraction to children: those who reported a history of acting on their attractions (Acted, n = 29) and those who reported never acting on their attractions (Not Acted, n = 71). Participants from both groups described in their own words the factors that contributed to their decision not to act on their attractions. They also responded to quantitative and qualitative questions regarding the influence and role of the following factors on their decision not to act: (a) the possibility of jail or punishment, (b) mental health treatment, and (c) not wanting to hurt the child.

RESULTS were compared across groups, and across prompted and unprompted responses. Analyses highlighted harm to the child as a particularly salient factor in the decision not to act among men in the community at risk for sexually offending. The present study suggests that investigating potential protective factors may be an important direction for future research among samples of community men at risk for both first-time and repeat offenses against children.

Language: en


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