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date: 21 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Although not well supported by empirical evidence, there exists a long tradition of beliefs suggesting that sex offenders suffer from mental disorders and are mainly driven by an uncontrollable impulse to sexually offend. Despite accumulating evidence showing the versatility of sex offenders, researchers have yet to examine their decision making similar to what has been done with other types of criminals (e.g., robbers, burglars, shoplifters, and car thieves). This chapter presents a review of the literature on the decision making involved in sexual crimes, specifically focusing on the decision making involved at the different crime stages—that is, before, during, and following the crime. Therefore, the goal is to take the reader through the different decision points an offender has to go through when committing a sexual crime. By doing so, this chapter aims to show that sex offenders are “reasoning” offenders similar to other types of criminals.

Keywords: sex offending, crime stages, rational choice, criminal decision making, sexual crimes

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