Type: Journal Article

Smith, Deirdre M.; Dangerous Diagnoses, Risky Assumptions, and the Failed Experiment of 'Sexually Violent Predator' Commitment; Oklahoma Law Review, Jun 11 2014
In the 1997 opinion, Kansas v. Hendricks, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a law that presented a new model of civil commitment. The targets of these new commitment laws were dubbed “Sexually Violent Predators,” and the Court upheld this form of indefinite detention on the assumption that there is a psychiatrically distinct class of individuals who, unlike typical recidivists, have a mental condition that impairs their ability to refrain from violent sexual behavior. And, more specifically, the Court assumed that the justice system could reliably identify the true “predators,” those for whom this unusual and extraordinary deprivation of liberty is appropriate and legitimate, with the aid of testimony from mental health professionals.
This Article evaluates the extent to which those assumptions were correct and concludes that they were seriously flawed and, therefore, the due process rationale used to uphold the SVP laws is invalid. The category of the “Sexually Violent Predator” is a political and moral construct, not a medical classification. The implementation of the laws has resulted in dangerous distortions of both psychiatric expertise and important legal principles, and such distortions reveal an urgent need to re-examine the Supreme Court’s core rationale in upholding the SVP commitment experiment.
Miner, Barbara; We're here. We're sexual. GET USED TO IT; Color Lines,; My-June,
Beginning under former-president Bill Clinton and escalating under President George W. Bush, more than $1.5 billion in federal and state money has been poured into abstinence-only education. [...]
Numerous studies have proven it to be ineffective, even harmful.
O'Hear, Michael M.; Perpetual Panic; Federal Sentencing Reporter; 21(2), pp. 69–77
The account of recent developments that unfolds in these pages may be viewed as yet another chapter in the story of a child sex abuse panic that is now well into its third decade - [Especially in the USA]
Gough, Jamie; Childhood Sexuality & Paedophilia; Gay Left A Gay Socialist Journal, Number 8, Summer 1979; 2 pp
I have argued that it is vital to see this issue in its class context, to see its place in the contradictory structures of society as a whole and its relation to the power of the ruling class. Seen in this way, it is evident that the questions of child sexuality and paedophilia cannot be solved except by a massive social and political struggle. This is in the first place the struggle of young people themselves, whose rebellion has made child sexuality a political issue.
The oppression of children and young people, and in a secondary way that of paedophiles, is a cruel oppression, and the struggle against it cannot be 'managed' or postponed.
Dolezal, Curtis, & Carballo-Dieguez Alex; Childhood sexual experiences and the perception of abuse among Latino men who have sex with men; The Journal of Sex Research; 39(3, 2002), 
This paper is based on interviews with men who have had childhood sexual experiences with an older partner (CSEOP). At the time of the interview, some of these men felt that their experiences were childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and some did not. 
There is a substantial amount of sexual activity at a young age with older partners that is not perceived to be abusive by the men who experienced it. For this sample of men, a perception of abuse is associated with coercion and the age of the child. 
Revell, Arlynn, Vansteenwegen Alfons, Nicholas Lionel, & Dumont Kitty; Unwanted early sexual experiences (UESE) and relationship adjustment among students in committed relationships; Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality; 11, , Oct 23 2008
This study examined the association between unwanted early sexual experiences (UESE also referred to as “child sexual abuse” (CSA)) and relationship adjustment among first year students (South Africans = 1,081 and Belgians = 2,608) and the association of the severity of the experience with relationship adjustment. Of South African women 31.3% (231) and 14.2% (226) of Belgian women reported UESE. Of South African men 56.4% (189) and 12.3% (125) of Belgian men reported UESE. Of these respondents 39.6% (1464) were in a committed relationship and of these respondents 20.1 % (n = 295) reported UESE.
No statistically significant differences were found between those students with less severe experiences vs. more severe experiences with regard to the relationship adjustment.
Maniglio, Roberto; The role of child sexual abuse in the etiology of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury; Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica; 2011(124), 30 - 41
Objective: To address the best available scienti?c evidence on the role of child sexual abuse in the etiology of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury. Seven databases were searched.

There is evidence that child sexual abuse is a statistically signi?cant, although general and non-speci?c, risk factor for suicide and non-suicidal self-injury.
Child sexual abuse may not have a psrimary role in the etiology of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury.
The role of child sexual abuse in the etiology of suicide and non-suicidal self-injury is complex.
Additional biological and psychological risk factors may, in some cases, be directly responsible for, or, in other cases, contribute to the risk of suicidal en on-suicidal self-injurious behavior by mediating the relationship between child sexual abuse and self-injurious behavior.
The presence of confounding variables and the poor quality of the studies do not allow for causal inferences to be made.
Maniglio, Roberto; The impact of child sexual abuse on health; Clinical Psychology Review; 2009(29), 647 - 657
This paper addresses the best available scientific evidence on the topic, by providing a systernatic review of the several reviews that have investigated the literature on the effects of child sexual abuse.
There is evidence that survivors of childhood sexual abuse are signi?cantly at risk of a wide range of medical, psychological, behavioral, and sexual disorders. Relationships are small to medium in magnitudes and moderated by sample source and size. Child sexual abuse should be considered as a general, nonspecific risk factor for psychopathology.
Maniglio, Roberto; Child Sexual Abuse in the Etiology of Depression; Depression and Anxiety; 27(2010), 631 - 642
This article addresses the best available scienti?c evidence on the topic, by providing a systematic review of the several reviews that have investigated the literature on the issue.
Seven databases were searched, supplemented with hand search of reference lists from retrieved papers.
Four reviews, including about 60,000 subjects from 160 studies and having no limitations that could invalidate their results, were analyzed.
There is evidence that child sexual abuse is a signi?cant, although general and nonspeci?c, risk factor for depression.
Additional variables may either act independently to promote depression in people with a history of sexual abuse or interact with such traumatic experience to increase the likelihood of depression in child abuse survivors.
For all victims of abuse, programs should focus not only on treating symptoms, but also on reducing additional risk factors. Depressed adults who seek psychiatric treatment should be enquired about early abuse within admission procedures.
Stanley, Jessica L., Bartholomew Kim, & Oram Doug; Gay and Bisexual Men's Age-Discrepant Childhood Sexual Experiences; The Journal of Sex Research; 41(4), 381-389
This study examined childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in gay and bisexual men. We compared

  • the conventional definition of CSA based on age difference with



  • a modified definition of CSA based on perception [CSE - Child Sexual Experience]


to evaluate which definition best accounted for problems in adjustment.

The sample consisted of 192 gay and bisexual men recruited from a randomly selected community sample. Men's descriptions of their CSA experiences [id est: CSE] were coded from taped interviews.

Fifty men (26%) reported sexual experiences before age 17 with someone at least 5 years older, constituting CSA according to the age-based definition.

  • Of these men, 24 (49%) perceived their sexual experiences as negative, coercive, and/or abusive and thus were categorized as perception-based CSA. Participants with perception-based CSA experiences reported higher levels of maladjustment than non-CSA participants.



  • Participants with age-based CSA experiences who perceived their sexual experience as non-negative, noncoercive, and nonabusive [51%?] were similar to non-CSA participants in their levels of adjustment.



These findings suggest that a perception-based CSA definition [CSE] more accurately represents harmful CSA experiences in gay and bisexual men than the conventional age-based definition [CSA].

In conclusion,
... the standard convention of defining age-based childhood sexual abuse as uniformly negative, harmful, and coercive may not accurately represent gay and bisexual men's sexual experiences.
Combining perception-based CSA experience [id est: CSE] with noncoercive, nonnegative, nonabusive experiences, as the age-based definition does, presents a misleading picture of childhood sexual abuse.
An age-based CSA definition inflates prevalence rates of childhood sexual abuse and inaccurately suggests that the maladjustment associated with perception-based CSA [id est CSE] experiences applies to all childhood age-discrepant sexual encounters.
In contrast, these results suggest that gay men with histories of nonnegative, noncoercive childhood sexual experiences [CSE] with older people are as well adjusted as those without histories of age-discrepant childhood sexual experiences.
However, both definitions of CSA [age-based CSA vs experience based CSE] account for only a very small proportion of the variance in adult adjustment problems.
Contrary to popular belief, negative outcomes do not inevitably follow from gay and bisexual men's childhood age-discrepant sexual encounters.
Chen, Laura P., Murad Hassan M., Paras Molly L., Colbenson Kristina M., Sattler Amelia L., & Goranson Erin N.; Sexual abuse and lifetime diagnosis of psychiatric disorders; Mayo Clinic Proceedings ; 2011(July 31, 2011 ), 
There was no statistically significant association between sexual abuse and a diagnosis of schizophrenia or somatoform disorders. 
No longitudinal studies that assessed bipolar disorder or 
obsessive-compulsive disorder were found. 
Associations between sexual abuse and depression, eating disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder were strengthened by a history of rape.
Conclusion: A history of sexual abuse is associated with an increased risk of a lifetime diagnosis of multiple psychiatric disorders.
Endrass, J., Urbaniok F., Hammermeister LC, Benz C., Elbert T., & Laubacher A.; The consumption of Internet child pornography and violent and sex offending; BMC Psychiatry, Jul 14 2009; July 14, 2009,
There is an ongoing debate on whether consumers of child pornography pose a risk for hands-on sex offenses. Up until now, there have been very few studies which have analyzed the association between the consumption of child pornography and the subsequent perpetration of hands-on sex offenses.
The aim of this study was to examine the recidivism rates for hands-on and hands-off sex offenses in a sample of child pornography users using a 6 year follow-up design.
Conclusion:
Consuming child pornography alone is not a risk factor for committing hands-on sex offenses – at least not for those subjects who had never committed a hands-on sex offense. The majority of the investigated consumers had no previous convictions for hands-on sex offenses. For those offenders, the prognosis for hands-on sex offenses, as well as for recidivism with child pornography, is favorable.
Hamilton, Melissa; Public Safety, Individual Liberty, and Suspect Science; Temple Law Review
In recent decades, federal, state, and local governments have become increasingly restrictive on the freedom and privacy of those labeled sexually violent predators (“SVP”s) in hopes of preventing further sexual violence. The most commonly used tools to manage SVPs are involuntary commitments for mental treatment, sex offender registration, and residency restrictions (hereinafter “SVP laws”).
This article critically analyzes whether future dangerousness assessments using actuarial tools are responsive to legal standards contained in SVP laws and whether courts, when confronted with such assessments, are adequately engaging in the gatekeeper role to accept only good science considering the evidentiary benchmarks of Daubert and Frye.
Specifically, this article concludes that because of uncritical reliance upon actuarial assessments of future dangerousness, legal professionals have largely failed to grasp the significant empirical limitations of these tests.
Hamilton, Melissa; The Efficacy Of Severe Child Pornography Sentencing; Temple Law Review
Empirical Validity Or Political Rhetoric?

[USA's] Congress’s appetite for expanding the scope of child pornography laws and increasing the length of prison sentences for child pornography offenders endures, despite other officials involved in federal sentencing questioning the necessity and proportionality of severe sentences.
Emotions run high concerning issues involving the sexual exploitation of children. Moral panic has led Congress to pursue an ever-expanding federal regime of broadening the scope of child pornography laws and substantially increasing the length of sentences.
Based on an assessment of the empirical evidence, the Congressional stance is best characterized as political rhetoric. Overall, empirical research fails to establish a correlation, much less a causative link, between viewing child pornography and contact offenses against children.
Sullivan, Randall; The Seduction of Peter Jay Rudge; Rolling Stone MAGAZINE, Jan 01 1993
A quite long but carefully reported true story of the close relationship between a women, Diana Walders, 40 year, and a boy, Peter Jay Rudge, 13 years.

The development and the form of the relationship is carefully told. Reading it, one might think of 'grooming' by the woman. She more or less seduced Peter Jay from the living sphere of his parents to the living sphere of Diana. The lady and the boy planned to 'disappear' together, to run away both from both their homes and families. This actually happened.

Forty days later, the pair was found by police. The boy was taken home, the lady was arrested.

The reporter guides the reader along the notes of two therapists of Peter Jay.
In the first therapy, Peter denied any sexual aspect in the relationship with Diana.

However, during the second therapy, Peter Jay told the therapist and his father and a priest about the quite frequent sexual contacts the pair has had.
During the trial, both therapist testified, as well as Peter Jay did, testifying also about his sexual adventures with Diana. Diana strongly denied such contacts.

Diana's lawyer found many inconsistencies in Peter Jay's testimony, as well as some impossibilities and improbabilities. "Too many for good evidence", said the jury.
Gardner, Richard A.; The Sex-Abuse Time-Line Diagrams; IPT Journal, Vol 6, 3-5, 1994
When evaluating sexual abuse allegations it is extremely important to differentiate between symptoms that arose prior to disclosure and those that arose afterwards. Symptoms arising after the disclosure and cessation of abuse can be caused by sexual abuse therapy, multiple interrogations, and other aspects of the legal process. Therefore, in a sex-abuse examination it is necessary to inquire as to the timing of the development of any claimed symptoms. Diagrams are presented to facilitate this inquiry.
Money, J., & Weinrich J. D.; Juvenile, Pedophile, Heterophile: Hermeneutics of Science, Medicine and Law in Two Outcome Studies; Medicine and Law; 1983(2), 39 - 54
Two young men, aged eighteen and twenty respectively, had a history of a juvenile and early adolescent relationship with an older male pedophilic lover. The eroto-sexual component of the relationship ended when the younger partner became too sexually mature, at which time each had a pair-bonded love affair with a girl. Subjectively and behaviorally they were neither homosexual nor pedophilic in orientation. They evaluated themselves as having not been traumatized by having had a history of a relationship with a pedophile.
Sandfort, Theodorus, & Finkelhor David; Youths not always victims in man-boy sex, survey reveals; The International Journal of Human Relations. Volume 14 (1) pp. 8-9 October, 1984 ; 14 (1, October 1984), 8 & 9
Part of a report of a forum in which Sandfort and Finkelhor discuss the former's research and its conclusions and views: Are children always traumatized by pedophiles? Sandfort takes a researcher's stand ('no'), Finkelhor a moral stand ('yes').
Rind, Bruce, & Yuill Richard; Hebephilia as Mental Disorder?; Archives of Sexual Behavior; 41(4), 797–829, Jun 28 2012
A Historical, Cross-Cultural, Sociological, Cross-Species, Non-Clinical Empirical, and Evolutionary Review

Blanchard et al. (2009) demonstrated that hebephilia is a genuine sexual preference, but then proposed, without argument or evidence, that it should be designated as a mental disorder in the DSM-5. A series of Letters-to-the-Editor criticized this proposal as a non sequitur. Blanchard (2009), in rebuttal, reaffirmed his position, but without adequately addressing some central criticisms.

In this article, we examine hebephilia-as-disorder in full detail. Unlike Blanchard et al., we discuss definitions of mental disorder, examine extensive evidence from a broad range of sources, and consider alternative (i.e., non-pathological) explanations for hebephilia.

We employed Wakefield's (1992b) harmful dysfunction approach to disorder, which holds that a condition only counts as a disorder when it is a failure of a naturally selected mechanism to function as designed, which is harmful to the individual in the current environment. We also considered a harmful-for-others approach to disorder (Brülde, 2007).

Examination of historical, cross-cultural, sociological, cross-species, non-clinical empirical, and evolutionary evidence and perspectives indicated that hebephilic interest is an evolved capacity and hebephilic preference an expectable distributional variant, both of which were adaptively neutral or functional, not dysfunctional, in earlier human environments. Hebephilia's conflict with modern society makes it an evolutionary mismatch, not a genuine disorder.
Though it should not be classified as a disorder, it could be entered in the DSM's V-code section, used for non-disordered conditions that create significant problems in present-day society.
Bailey, Michael J.; Michael Jackson’s Dangerous Liaisons - Review; Archives of Sexual Behavior
This is an unusual book, especially for review in an academic journal. Its subject is pop icon Michael Jackson, one of the most famous, talented, and financially successful entertainers of all time — and also one of the strangest. Specifically, the book focuses on Jackson’s interest in children, and whether that interest was sexual in nature. The author, Tom O’Carroll (under the pseudonym ‘‘Carl Toms’’), is himself an unapologetic pedophile, and his pedophilia has influenced both his insight into Jackson and his aspirations for the book. [... ... ...]
This book is fascinating, challenging, and discomfiting. Anyone wanting to understand Michael Jackson will need to read it. [...] It certainly illuminates the most controversial aspect of Jackson’s life, one that was surely important to Jackson. [..]
Dangerous Liaisons is also worth reading for the challenges it raises regarding pedophilic relationships and their consequences. I suspect O’Carroll believes that this is a suitable tribute to Michael Jackson’s unfinished life.
Wakefield, Hollida, & Underwager Ralph; The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence?; Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science and the Law; 1, 141-149
Sex offenders are universally hated and despised and seen as dangerous sexual predators unless locked up and kept under surveillance. Following a number of highly publicized violent crimes, all states passed registration and notification laws and many passed civil commitment laws. Although these laws were passed as a means to decrease recidivism and promote public safety, the resulting stigmatization of sex offenders is likely to result in disruption of their relationships, loss of or difficulties finding jobs, difficulties finding housing, and decreased psychological well-being, all factors that could increase their risk of recidivism.
The civil commitment programs amount to expensive preventive detention and incapacitation rather than treatment; very few have been released. The high costs of the civil commitment programs divert resources from other programs with a better chance of being effective in reducing sexual violence.
Schmidt, Gunter; The Dilemma of the Male Pedophile; Archives of Sexual Behavior; 31(6), 473–477
The public and scientific debate on pedosexuality is heated one.We find urselves involved in a difficult balancing act that demands utmost care if we are to avoid,
on the one hand, playing down the gravity of adult–child sexual acts and, on the other hand, overdramatizing its catastrophic potential. However, the tendency to polarize and overgeneralize is strong. Both, those inclined to deemphasize
the severity of the problem and those bent upon blowing it out of all proportion, distort the reality of children who are drawn into sexual contact with adults, colonizing their experience, their memories, and their own assessments.
It seems to me that one of the prerequisites for a more reasonable discussion is to disentangle the confusion of moral and clinical discourses. This requires that we argue, from a moral standpoint, where morals are at issue and, from a clinical point of view, when it comes to traumatizing effects. Above all, we hould not clothe moral judgments in the garb of clinical “expertocratic” language.
Underwager, Ralph, & Wakefield Hollida; Poor Psychology Produces Poor Law; Law & Human Behavior; 16(2), 
Both psychology and law are concerned with human behavior. Law depends upon what everyone knows and believes about human behavior, upon common knowledge. In contrast, psychology distrusts common knowledge and substitutes knowledge based on empirical data systematically gathered and rationally analyzed. This conflict may cause misunderstanding between law and psychology. However, a common ground of both law and psychology is the goal to reduce error.
The authors especially write about children's testimony in court. The APA's and the Supreme Court's demand that a psychologist before a testimony has to predict possible harm for the child, placed the psychologist for an impossible task and a difficult dilemma.
In APA's amicae Curiae letter about this topic, the authors find no evidence, only weak argumentation by means of weak research.
Underwager, Ralph, & Wakefield Hollida; Therapeutic Influence in DID and Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse; Issues In Child Abuse Accusations; 8(3/4), 160-169
Dissociative identity disorder (DID, formerly multiple personality disorder, or MPD) remains highly controversial. Some researchers and clinicians believe DID represents a distinct psychiatric disorder with a unique and stable set of symptoms and behaviors; these professionals see a significant connection between DID and severe childhood abuse.
Others maintain DID is an iatrogenic disorder that is heavily dependent upon therapeutic, media, and cultural influences.
Despite this debate, there is general agreement that some patients, with the unwitting encouragement of their therapists, can learn to show symptoms of DID. Two case studies are presented that illustrate how therapists can encourage recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse and the development of alter personalities.
McNally, Richard J., & Geraerts Elke; A New Solution to the Recovered Memory Debate; Perspectives on Psychological Science 2009; 4(2), 126-134
The controversy regarding recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has been characterized by two perspectives.
[1] According to one perspective, some people repress their memories of abuse because these experiences have been so emotionally traumatic, and they become capable of recalling the CSA only when it is psychologically safe to do so many years later.
[2] According to the other perspective, many reports of recovered memories of sexual abuse are false memories, often inadvertently fostered by therapists.

In this article, we provide evidence for a third interpretation that applies to a subset of people reporting recollections of CSA; it does not require the concepts of repression, trauma, or false memory. These people did not experience their CSA as traumatic; they either failed to think about their abuse for years or forgot their previous recollections, and they recalled their CSA spontaneously after encountering reminders outside of psychotherapy. Their recovered memories are corroborated at the same rate as those of people who never forgot their abuse. Hence, recalling CSA after many years is not the same thing as having recalled a previously repressed memory of trauma.