- The Oxford Handbooks in Criminology and Criminal Justice
- The Oxford Handbook of Sex Offences and Sex Offenders
- List of Contributors
- What is sex crime?
- Exploring the methods behind sexual violence estimates: The Composition and Findings from National and International Surveys
- The explanation of sexual offending
- Sexual offenders and human rights: Protecting Victims
- Rape and domestic sexual assault
- Sexual homicide and violent offenders
- Child sexual abuse
- Alcohol and drugs in relation to sexual offending
- Commercial sexual exploitation of children
- Victim–offender overlap among sex offenders
- Female sex offenders
- The juvenile sex offender: Criminal Careers and Recidivism Risk
- A developmental life-course perspective of juvenile and adult sexual offending
- Victimization and revictimization
- The role of policy in preventing sexual violence
- The policing of sexual activity
- Sentencing high-risk sex offenders: Policy and Legislation
- The aftermath of sex offender registration and other controls
- Risk assessment of sex offenders
- Treatment of sex offenders: Concepts and Empirical Evaluations
- Informal social control of sex offenders: The Family and Other Forms of Support
- Restorative justice and sex offending
- Public perceptions of sex crimes and sex offenders
- The media response to sex crimes
- The paedophile in popular culture: Fictional Representations of Sex Crime
- Social media, cyberspace, and sex crime: Deviant and Democratizing Spaces
- The criminalization of sexuality
- Prostitution and sex work
- Sex trafficking and control
Abstract and Keywords
This essay focuses on four core issues and their normative implications associated with the “theory problem” as it relates to sexual offending. First, a critical task is to build multi-level and interfield theories that are directly responsive to the complex nature of human functioning and psychological architecture. Second, an important cognitive task is to take seriously the level of human agency and mental state psychological explanations of action. This requires accepting the significance of values and personal meanings, and appreciating that social and cultural practices causally influence a person’s sense of self and purpose in life. Third, we need to shift our attention from construct validity procedures and look to understand underlying causal processes. A preoccupation with measurement may trap us into surface-level explanations. Finally, some degree of integration should be attempted between research and conceptual work on dynamic risk factors and that on aetiological theories.
Tony Ward is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Victoria University of Wellington.
Anthony Beech is a Professor of Criminological Psychology at the University of Birmingham.
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