Criminal Profiling

May 14, 2004

Term Paper

The sexual abuse of children is widely considered to be a monstrous act. Most adults find the practice of child sexual abuse extremely difficult to understand, and so they tend to view those who prey on children as being simply perverted or mentally ill. It also has been found that child sexual abuse is more common than was once thought. Pedophiles will go to great lengths to gain access to children. Pedophiles have volunteered at church youth groups, worked as camp counselors, coached youth athletic teams and more. Though the number of pedophiles is unknown, from the amount of pedophile-oriented pornographic material on the internet it can only be assumed that there are more pedophiles than current estimates suggest. An individual does not necessarily have to molest children to be diagnosed a pedophile.

Sadly, there are adults who regard children as sex objects. These adults find that there is nothing wrong with sexually assaulting children. These adults are known as child molestors and or pedophiles. "The American Psychiatric Association defines Pedophilia:
A pedophile is a person who over at least a 6 month period has recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (age 13 years or younger). The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The person is at least age 16 years and at least 5 years older than the child or children. Not to include an individual in late adolescence involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12 or 13 year old (straight or gay). Individuals with pedophilia generally report an attraction to children of a particular age

range. Some individuals prefer males, others prefer females, and some are aroused by

both males and females. Pedophila involving female victims is reported more than pedophilia involving male victims."[1]

There are many different types of pedophiles, not all are the same. "Pedophile offenders generally are under adequate individuals with low self esteem, inhibited, introverted, no real sense of self or identity. They are often from lower class broken home and middle class, stable home. They have a strong denial of facts and responsibility and rationalization of facts. Their family lives with alcoholism seventy-five percent of the time. Sexual history may include homosexuality, but fear of femininity; sexual history may include homosexuality, other deviant acts molests occur while mother in hospital or unable to provide sex or father home for long periods of time (stress) molests occur in response to fantasy-driven cycle; e.g., babysitters, pornography (compulsion) makes victim feel powerful and like an adult (replacement for mother) makes victim feel like a child has no conception of age-appropriate stages or behaviors (mixes up years);has very clear and concrete ideas about what is appropriate for each age group."[2] Paul Gebhard and his colleagues defined a sex offender as "a person who has been legally convicted as the result of an overt act, committed by him for his own immediate sexual gratification, which is contrary to the prevailing mores of the society in which he lives and/ or is legally punishable."[3]

Profiling pedophiles is very difficult, researchers have divided types of pedophiles into groups or subtypes. "Researchers, Paul Gebhard called them "patterned" as opposed to "incidental" offenders, Nicholas Groth divided offenders into "regressed" and fixated" whereas Richard Lanyon used the terms "preference" versus "situational". Hilary Eldridge described them as "contiuous" versus "discontinuous." [4] Lanyon\'s view on the situational pedophile is that they typically have fewer victims than the preferential child molester. They don\'t have a true sexual interest in children, but when stress is an issue they will then experiment with children. This type also would abuse any vulnerable person, elderly, physically or mentally handicapped. Groth\'s view on the regressed pedophile is that they turn to children as objects for sexual indulgence on a temporary basis as a result of some situational event in his life that challenges his self-image and results in poor self-esteem. They are generally involved with adults in normal relationships. Fixated pedophiles desire affection from children, usually male. Their interest in children is persistent and compulsive. It is very important to remember that the various types of child molestors differ in