Sex Offenders

764 Words 4 Pages
In my opinion, sex offenses do receive special attention in the criminal justice system. I believe this because of laws that have been implemented in recent years that focus specifically on sex offenders, the way the public and larger community perceive them as a unique group, and the growing apprehension of the group due to the severe impact sex crimes have.

The first reason I believe that sex offenses receive special attention is because of the strict laws and policies that have demonstrable consequences to those that commit them. An example is the introduction of the SVP legislation, "an SVP is defined as any person who has been convicted of or charged with a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality
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This was first looked at by researchers beginning in the 1880s, which was referred to as the first wave of panic. Many researchers such as Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Sigmund Freud, claimed that sexual acts were all rooted and based on psychology (Terry, 2013, pp. 28-29). In addition, a study conducted by Hammer and Glueck, found that "all offenders exhibited five key characteristics: a reaction to massive Oedipal entanglements; castration fear or feelings and fear of approaching mature females psychosexually; interpersonal inhibitions of schizoid to schizophrenic proportions..." (Terry, 2013 p. 36). This shows how unique sexual offenders are as a group and how sex offenses do receive special attention because of the limited information we have on them due to low reporting and low conviction/arrest rates, thus explaining why we treat them differently than other criminals. "Only 344 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 2 out of 3 go unreported" (RAINN, 2006). …show more content…
Societal reactions and perceptions of sexually deviant behavior have changed and evolved throughout the 20th century. "At three distinct points in the 20th century, there were public outcries to control sexual "fiends," "psychopaths, and "predators" (Terry, 2013, p. 27). Ensuing from the influence of research, shifting ideologies, and society 's view of sexual conduct, was the development of the cycle of moral panic and numerous time periods of it, experienced as waves. After initial research from various researchers stating that sexually deviant acts were due to psychological problems, there was a rise in arrests for sexual offenders in the late 1930s. With the awareness of sex crimes being paramount, new legislation was passed, that police in large cities began to actively seek incidents of minor sexual offenses like homosexuality. In the 1980 's, the courts had an influx of lawsuits from adults claiming that they had been sexually abused as minors. However, the claims have been usually fake because therapists planted ideas through various memory-retrieval techniques. This shows how the growing apprehension and moral panic of sex offenders led to sex offenses gaining special attention throughout history and within the

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