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Adolescent Sex Offenses

Interest in the area of sexual abuse and assault has significantly increased over the past two decades. Issues of victimology are now serious clinical and research topics, and one of the results has been the expanding focus on the sex offender. Most of the research on sex offenses has focused on the adult offender, and consequently, juvenile sex offenses have largely remained unexamined. Historically, the public has been caught up in the thinking that sexual delinquency is "Just experimentation," or, "Boys will be boys." As a result, recognition of the need for service and research in juvenile sexual offenses has been much slower to gain the recognition and attention the field requires. However, because youths at risk for sexually assaultive behavior frequently continue such antisocial behavior into adulthood, the necessity for early, effective clinical intervention and research cannot be overstated.

An accurate number of adolescent sex offenses is not available, although various sources show that adolescent males account for a range of 21 to 30 percent of rape, according to a 1979 National Crime Survey and the Uniform Crime Report of 1980 (National Center for the Prevention and Control of Rape, 1985, p. 164). The research monograph from the NCPCR (1985) points out that juvenile sexual offending behavior often reflects the early stages of an ongoing pattern of sexual offense into adulthood (p. 164). In addition, evidence of escalation from nonviolent sex crime during adolescence to serious sexual offenses also exists (Longo & McFadin, 1981, cited in NCPCR, 1985, p. 164).

Statistics cited in the NCPCR report (1985) demonstrate the importance of services for, and further research on, juvenile sex offenders. Retrospective, self-report studies of convicted adult sex offenders (Groth et al., 1981) indicate that nearly 50 percent committed their first offense during adolescence (cited in NCPCR, 1985, p. 164). In their m...

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Adolescent Sex Offenses. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:14, April 22, 2019, from