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Theory and Sexual Offenses

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021444/00001

Material Information

Title: Theory and Sexual Offenses Testing the Extent to Which Social Learning Theory Can Account for Participation in Illegal Sexual Behavior
Physical Description: 1 online resource (55 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Youstin, Tasha Jean
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: association, definitions, immitation, learning, offenders, offense, reinforcement, sexual, social, theory
Criminology, Law and Society -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Criminology, Law, and Society thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With the growing public concern over sexual offenses and offenders, in-depth research into the causes of these crimes is essential. Despite years of research from various academic areas, there has been little agreement on theories that can explain participation in sexually deviant behavior. The present study tested the ability of a prominent criminological theory, social learning Theory, to explain sexually deviant behavior. This theory suggests that there are four main factors which influence participation in any behavior, illegal or legal. Those factors are definitions favorable to the behavior, association with peers who participate in the behavior, imitation (viewing the behavior), and reinforcement (the positive and negative outcomes of participating in the behavior). A sample of convicted sexual offenders from one county in Florida was obtained through mail surveys. Results indicated partial support for the theory, with definitions favorable to illegal sexual behavior being significant. Research into the factors which influence participation in sexually deviant behavior is critical in developing effective treatment programs for sex offenders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Tasha Jean Youstin.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Akers, Ronald L.
Local: Co-adviser: Brank, Eve M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021444:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021444/00001

Material Information

Title: Theory and Sexual Offenses Testing the Extent to Which Social Learning Theory Can Account for Participation in Illegal Sexual Behavior
Physical Description: 1 online resource (55 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Youstin, Tasha Jean
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: association, definitions, immitation, learning, offenders, offense, reinforcement, sexual, social, theory
Criminology, Law and Society -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Criminology, Law, and Society thesis, M.A.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: With the growing public concern over sexual offenses and offenders, in-depth research into the causes of these crimes is essential. Despite years of research from various academic areas, there has been little agreement on theories that can explain participation in sexually deviant behavior. The present study tested the ability of a prominent criminological theory, social learning Theory, to explain sexually deviant behavior. This theory suggests that there are four main factors which influence participation in any behavior, illegal or legal. Those factors are definitions favorable to the behavior, association with peers who participate in the behavior, imitation (viewing the behavior), and reinforcement (the positive and negative outcomes of participating in the behavior). A sample of convicted sexual offenders from one county in Florida was obtained through mail surveys. Results indicated partial support for the theory, with definitions favorable to illegal sexual behavior being significant. Research into the factors which influence participation in sexually deviant behavior is critical in developing effective treatment programs for sex offenders.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Tasha Jean Youstin.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Akers, Ronald L.
Local: Co-adviser: Brank, Eve M.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021444:00001


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THEORY AND SEXUAL OFFENSES: TESTING THE EXTENT TO WHICH SOCIAL
LEARNING THEORY CAN ACCOUNT FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLEGAL SEXUAL
BEHAVIOR




















By

TASHA JEAN YOUSTIN


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007




































O 2007 Tasha Jean Youstin























To the people in my life who have always believed in me

To my family, whose abundant love and support has been unconditional

To Matt, who continually inspires me to be the best that I can be- thank you for your help,
patience, reassurance, and love

To my parents, Ray and Heidie Youstin, whose selflessness and strength has made me the person
I am today. Thank you for showing me that with hard work and determination, anything is
possible. I love you









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I thank Dr. Eve Brank and Dr. Alex Piquero, members of my supervisory committee, for

the time and effort they dedicated to this proj ect. I would like to give special thanks to my chair,

Dr. Ronald Akers, for helping me translate my ideas onto paper for the survey instrument, and

for his patience and optimism in developing the proj ect I had envisioned. I could not have asked

for a more helpful or supportive committee.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES .........__.. ..... .__. ...............6....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........7


CHAPTER


1 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............8...............


Introduction: Sexual Offenses and Offenders............... ...............8
History .............. .......... ................9
Contemporary Sex Offender Laws ..........._..._ ...............13....._.._ .....
Sex Offenders in Florida ....._._ ................. ............_........1
Theories Dealing with Sexual Offenses .............. ...............16....
Psychological Assessments .............. ...............18....
Criminological Theories ................. ...............20.................


2 DATA AND METHODOLOGY .............. ...............27....


Procedure .............. ...............27....

Hypotheses............... ...............3
Dependent Variable ................. ...............3.. 1..............
Independent Variables .................. ...............32..
Demographic and Control Variables .............. ...............34....
Data Analy sis............... ...............34

3 RE SULT S .............. ...............3 5....


Participant Demographics ................. ........ ..... .. ........... .............3
Distribution for Independent and Dependent Variables .............. ...............35....
Hypothesis 1 .............. ...............37....
Hypothesis 2 .............. ...............39....

4 CONCLUSIONS .............. ...............41....


Discussion ................. ...............41.................
Limitations ................. ...............42.................
Future Research .............. ...............43....


APPENDIX Sexual Offender Survey Questionnaire .............. ...............46....


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............52................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............55....










LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Descriptive statistics for select variables ...._. ......_._._ ......._. ...........3

3-2 Non-parametric 2-independent samples t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 1&2...............38

3-3 Non-parametric 2-independent samples t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 3&4...............40









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

THEORY AND SEXUAL OFFENSES: TESTING THE EXTENT TO WHICH SOCIAL
LEARNING THEORY CAN ACCOUNT FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLEGAL SEXUAL
BEHAVIOR


By

Tasha Jean Youstin

August 2007

Chair: Ronald L. Akers
Cochair: Eve M. Brank
Major: Criminology, Law, and Society

With the growing public concern over sexual offenses and offenders, in-depth research into

the causes of these crimes is essential. Despite years of research from various academic areas,

there has been little theoretical consensus to explain participation in sexually deviant behavior.

The present study tests the ability of one prominent criminological theory, Social Learning

Theory, to explain sexually deviant behavior. A sample of convicted sexual offenders from one

county in Florida was obtained through mail surveys. Results indicate that offenders with higher

self-reported levels of participation in sexually deviant behavior scored higher and in the

expected direction when compared with offenders with lower reported participation. The

analyses show partial support for this theory, and illustrate the need for more research into the

relationship between sexually deviant behavior and social learning mechanisms. Limitations and

directions for future research are discussed.









CHAPTER 1
LITERATURE REVIEW

Introduction: Sexual Offenses and Offenders

In his 1994 book on sexual abuse, Adam Sampson begins by stating that three questions

must be answered in order to form a theoretical background for the phenomenon of sexual

offending. Those questions are: "What do we mean by sexual offending? What causes

individuals to commit sexual offenses? And are such offenders amenable to treatment?"

(Sampson, 1994: p. 1). While over a decade has passed since that statement was made, little

cohesive work has been done to form a theoretical background for sexual offending. There is

clearly no global definition of a sexual offense, and even in the United States, there is no national

definition for the behavior. Individual jurisdictions decide which acts are deemed as sexual

offenses, and which offenders are given a label of "sex offender." Though some offenses are

common throughout all jurisdictions in the US, variations in terminology make it difficult to

form a national definition. For the purposes of this study, sexual offenses will refer to sexual

behaviors made illegal through law and regularly prosecuted against, such as pedophilia, viewing

child pornography, and rape. While some jurisdictions may still have laws against adultery,

sodomy (such as oral or anal sex), premarital sex, and homosexuality, few cases arise every year

that involve prosecutions for these behaviors, despite their prevalence. Because laws against

these acts are not regularly enforced, these acts will be excluded when referring to sexual

offenses. For theories as to why individuals commit these offenses, there are psychodynamic

theories, biological theories, feminist theories, attachment theories, behavioral theories, and the

list goes on and on. Terry (2006: p. 50) states, "despite years of research, theories on sexual

offending are still inconclusive... it is now clear that no single explanation accurately

encompasses the myriad factors associated with the onset of deviant behavior." That opinion









will be tested through future research. Regarding the effect of treatment on sex offenders, there

has been no conclusive answer to that question as well. While a recent, comprehensive meta-

analysis of treatment programs found that cognitive-behavioral treatment programs could reduce

sexual recidivism by up to 40%, previous reviews of programs have provided a wide variety of

findings (Hanson et al., 2002).

The lack of agreement from researchers, mixed with the public view of sexual offenders as

monsters (Samson, 1994), has combined to create an atmosphere of hatred and fear. These

feelings, guided by sensationalized media coverage of rare, horrible acts of violence against

children, have helped to impose increasingly punitive legislation and policies on sex offenders.

But while the fate of sex offenders continues to be a hot topic with politicians and news media,

there is still a gross lack of understanding as to the factors that drive this crime. The purpose of

the study at hand will be to determine the extent to which Social Learning Theory can account

for an individual's participation in sexual deviance. Hopefully, this research can answer at least

one of the critical questions necessary to creating a theoretical framework for understanding

sexual offenses.

History

Activities viewed in this age as sexually deviant are not all new. In fact, there are

accounts of sexually deviant acts in our earliest recorded history, from ancient Egyptian papyri to

the Bible. Von Krafft-Ebing (1922), an influential psychologist in the early 20th century,

believed that psychopathia sexualis (sexually deviant behavior) was a direct result of the over-

stimulated sensuality of advanced culture. While his work on sexual deviance was

groundbreaking, the idea of limiting sexual deviance to advanced culture was not accepted by all

scholars. Dr. Iwan Bloch, another scholar of the time, countered von Krafft-Ebing by

commenting, "the nature of the sex impulse and of its anomalies is simply independent of all









culture, and exhibits the same characteristics among primitive and civilized peoples" (Bloch,

1933: p. 9). While it is difficult to account for sexually deviant behavior because of its

subj ective nature, it is clear that there have always been sexual taboos throughout history, and

despite its constant nature, sexually deviant behavior is still a shocking occurrence to people

today.

A closer look into history reveals that sexually acceptable behavior has varied to incredible

degrees. Pedophilia, polygamy and lewdness (such as public sex) are all acts which, at one time

or another, were viewed as completely acceptable. Around 3200 BC, the Mesopotamians

(accepted as a civilized culture) culminated their religious ceremonies with the Akita festival.

During this festival, the high priest and priestess would celebrate the religious experience with

sexual intercourse in front the congregation (Holmes, 1983). Jewish families illustrated in the

Old Testament were structured around polygamy, a practiced that was not only accepted, but also

morally legitimate. Pedophilia was a common practice among the ancient Greeks, who viewed

the highest form of love as that between an adult male and a prepubescent boy (Holmes and

Holmes, 2002). Yet, while homosexuality was institutionalized in Greek society, relationships

between adult males and male adolescents who had reached puberty were taboo.

Just as acceptable sexual practices have varied throughout history, punishments for

participation in sexually deviant acts have also varied. In some cultures, illegal sexual acts were

viewed as egregious actions against society, calling for the death of the offender, as seen in

ancient texts such as the old testament book of Deuteronomy. At one point in ancient Greek

culture, the punishment for rape under Solon's law was only a monetary fine (Cole, 1984). The

punishments have seemed to reflect the general attitudes at the time towards sex within different

cultures, and as views towards sexuality became increasingly strict or conservative, the gravity









of sex crimes increased. In the United States, definitions and punishments for sexual crimes

have also changed with the shifting views on sexuality.

The U.S. has always maintained laws identifying sex crimes. The first official laws against

sexual acts, seen in the colonial law codes, were justified as moral laws because the acts were

considered grave sins (Jenkins, 1998). Morality laws, which found acts such as homosexuality,

adultery, and oral sex to be illegal, regardless of consent, were enforced in some jurisdictions

until 1961. It is difficult to identify the rate of occurrence for serious sexual crimes in America

before the middle of the twentieth century for a few reasons. First, it is hard to distinguish

between lesser or severe sex crimes in official records because most acts, including

homosexuality, were simply identified as "crimes not to be named among Christians" (Jenkins,

1998: p. 22). In addition, age of consent for sexual activity has changed multiple times, with

different states maintaining different ages of consent. At one point, the age of consent was 21 in

Tennessee and 7 in Delaware. Another problem was the effect of a woman's sexual history in

determining the charge against her offender. In states such as North Carolina and West Virginia,

the charge of rape could only be used if the victim was a virgin prior to the incident. Also, due

to the social implications of being a victim of a sexual offense, it is believed that a maj ority of

sexual crimes were unreported (Jenkins, 1998).

Over the past century, concepts of sexuality and perceptions of dealing with sexually

deviant behavior have gone through three identifiable periods in the United States (Terry, 2006).

The first, ranging from 1885 to 1935, saw what is considered the first wave of panic, as the

public first took notice in mass to sexual deviants. This period was precipitated by the work of

psychologists such as Freud and Krafft-Ebbing before the start of the 20th century, whose

research on sexual deviant behavior opened the doors for the world to discuss and focus on these










offenders. Also adding to the concern over sexuality was the Women's Christian Temperance

Movement, who called for the age of consent to be raised to 18 years old, due to a growing

number of women in the work place who could be taken advantage of and "sexually corr-upted."

A string of cases given high media coverage between 1910 and 1915 led to the first panic over

sexual killers and perverts. During this time, chemical castration was a common "treatment" for

sexual offenders, and indeterminate sentences were frequently used. By the mid 1920s the panic

against "stranger danger" cooled and the focus was put on child molestation and incest due to

rising venereal diseases among children.

The second period extended from 1936 to 1976 and saw the emergence of what is termed

the "sexual psychopath." The horrific story of Albert Fish, a renowned child killer, permeated

through the minds of the public in the mid 1930s. The renewed concern over sexual deviants

led to a crackdown against sexual offenses, which saw increasing arrests for sexual offenses.

While the increase in arrests seemed to suggest that sexual offenses were on the rise, the maj ority

of the arrests were for homosexual activity, or minor sexual offenses such as frotteurism

(rubbing ones genitals against another person, usual in public places). The focus at the time was

on rare habitual sexual offenders, and led to the creation of the term "sexual psychopath" by

researchers. Because criminal sanctions did not seem to be enough to deal with the problem of

these offenders, sexual psychopath legislation was passed to allow sexual offenders to be

committed to mental hospitals for indefinite amounts of time (Terry, 2006). This legislation had

many flaws, including the fact that there was no uniform definition of sexual psychopath, and as


SAlbert Fish, known as the Grey Man, was responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of numerous children
in and around New York during the first part of the 20 h century. Despite the unalarming looks of this frail old man,
Fish committed some of the most gruesome acts imaginable, making a habit of sexually assaulting his victims,
before murdering and dismembering them, and then participating in cannibalism.










such, varied from state to state. The panic over sexual offenses dissipated by the 1960s and

1970s as the "liberal era" brought about a social and sexual revolution. Sexual psychopath laws

fell into disuse, and the public began to question what was sexually deviant.

Despite a short period free from panic over sexually deviant behavior, the third period,

which ranged from 1977 to present day, saw the emergence of the sexually violent predator

(Terry, 2006). Highly publicized child murders led to legislation which focused on harsher

penalties for sexual offenders, and systems which try to alert the public to the presence of these

offenders. This legislation also awakened the sexual psychopath legislation, which had been

dormant for some time. Amendments were made to the previous sexual psychopath legislation

to allow civil commitment to be used to supplement incarceration instead of replace it. These

amendments made it so offenders deemed as sexually violent predators could be committed

indefinitely, immediately following a j ail sentence, without the possibility of being released into

the public again. The next section discusses the current state of sex offender laws in more detail.

Contemporary Sex Offender Laws

In the 1990s, America saw an increased fear and awareness of sex offenders, as illustrated

in various acts passed by legislation that targeted perpetrators of sex crimes. The first act in a

wave of legislation was the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent

Offender Registration Act, 1994. This act was named in honor of Jacob Wetterling, an 11l-year-

old boy who was abducted in 1989 by a masked man while Jacob was riding his bike home from

the convenience store in Minnesota with his brother and a friend. He was never found. It was

later discovered that local halfway houses in Minnesota housed sex offenders after their release

from prison, and it is believed that one such resident was responsible for the abduction (Bureau

of Justice Assistance, 2007). The Wetterling Act required that 10% of a states funding from the

Edward Bryne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance grant program be used to









create and maintain state-wide systems for registering and tracking convicted sex offenders

(Sample and Bray, 2003). This was the first national requirement for state sex offender

databases. The act also encouraged states to collect DNA samples from sex offenders for storage

in databases. Although this act was originally created to focus on sex offenses against children,

all 50 states have expanded their registries to include offenders of violent or nonviolent sex

crimes against any person, regardless of age (Scholle, 2000).

The attention of millions of Americans was held in 1993 and 1994 by the media coverage

of two young girls, Polly Klass and Megan Kanka. Polly Klass, in 1993, was abducted from her

California home, sexually assaulted, and murdered. A year later, Megan Kanka was also taken

from her New Jersey home, sexually assaulted, and murdered. Both girls were victimized by

previously convicted sex offenders who were released from prison. These crimes led to the

creation of Megan' s Laws in 1996, an amendment to the Wetterling act, which requires sex

offender registry information be made available to the public (Sample and Bray, 2003). Another

act passed in 1996 was the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act. This

act mandated the creation of a national database of all sex offender registries (Scholle, 2000).

The Wetterling Act was again modified with the passage of the PROTECT amendment. 2 This

amendment made it mandatory for states to create and maintain internet websites containing sex

offender registration information (Levenson and Cotter, 2005).

Florida has had a variety of changes to sexual offender policies over the past decade. In

1997, Florida legislation enacted chapter 97-184 of Florida laws, allowing for the sentencing of

sexual batterers to chemical castration. Sexual offenders who are sentenced to weekly inj sections

of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) can, however, choose physical castration instead, if they


2 Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act, 2003.









so wish (Spalding, 1998). Florida's Jimmy Ryce Act became effective in 1999. This act was

created after Jimmy Ryce, a 9-year-old boy from South Florida, was kidnapped at gunpoint,

sexually assaulted, murdered, and dismembered. The act created a civil commitment process of

sexually violent predators, like the Baker Act procedures to involuntarily commit and treat

mentally ill persons (OPPAGA, 2000). The Act also allows for the posting of photographs of

missing children who are thought to be kidnap victims in public places, such as rest stops, visitor

information centers, toll booth plaza facilities, and toll plaza ticket windows on state run

highways, as well as inserts in direct mail outs sent by state agencies (JRC, 2006).

The most recent amendment to Florida' s Sexual Offender and Predator Registration Laws

was the Jessica Lunsford Act in 2005 which required sex offenders and predators to report in

person twice a year to the sheriff s office. Florida created the Florida Shared School Results

System (FSSR) through this legislation, enabling schools to share criminal history information.

The act also raised the penalties for violations of certain laws, and required offenders labeled

sexual predators to wait a minimum of 30 years before petitioning for the removal of the

designation (Jessica Lunsford Act, 2005). However, if the offender was designated a sexual

offender and has been released from supervision for 20 years without rearrest, or if the offender

was under 18 at the time of arrest and the victim was 12 or older, and the offender has been

released from supervision for 10 years without rearrest, the offender can petition for the removal

of the designation sexual offender and be removed from the sexual offender/predator database

(Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2006).

Sex Offenders in Florida

In the state of Florida, there are two designations for offenders of sexual crimes: sex

offenders and sexual predators. Sexual offenders, as classified, present a lesser threat of harm to

the community than that of sexual predators. To be classified as a sex offender, one only needs









to commit a single violation of a sexual law. Some examples of these violations are the

commission of (or attempted) solicitation or conspiracy to commit kidnapping, false

imprisonment, attempting to lure a child, sexual battery, procuring a minor for prostitution, lewd

or lascivious offenses committed against or in the presence of persons under 16, the elderly or

disabled, sexual performance by a child, selling or buying of minors for portrayal in a visual

depiction engaging is sexually explicit conduct, and various computer crimes including

pornography. (Fla Statute 775.21, Florida Sexual Predator Act)

An offender can be labeled by the court as a sexual predator if they are found guilty of a

single violation (termed "one is enough") of a capital, life, first degree felony violation, or any

attempt of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses committed

against or in the presence of persons under the age of 16, or selling or buying of minors for

portrayal in a visual depiction engaging is sexually explicit conduct. Sexual offenders can also

be classified as sexual predators by the courts (termed "second strike") if they are convicted of

any felony violation or attempt of kidnapping, false imprisonment, attempting to lure a child,

sexual battery, procuring a minor for prostitution, lewd or lascivious offenses, sexual

performance by a child, or selling or buying of minors for portrayal in a visual depiction

engaging is sexually explicit conduct and have a previous conviction for any of the offenses

listed for classification of a sex offender, or unlawful sexual activity with certain minors. (Fla

Statute 775.21, Florida Sexual Predator Act)

Theories Dealing with Sexual Offenses

Many theories have been used to explain involvement in illegal sexual behavior.

Biological, psychological, and sociological theories have provided many viable reasons as to

why individuals commit sexual offenses. This myriad of theories has made difficult to create a

consensus for treatment, and has made it seem as though there is no one theory that can










completely account for participation in deviant sexual behavior. While it is not unlikely that

there are a multitude of factors that contribute to one's participation in illegal sexual behavior, it

is also possible that more involved studies in the future may provide insight into sexual

offending not currently available. Until recently, many of the theories used to explain deviant

sexual behavior have lacked empirical support, and empirical studies in this area are still in their

infancy (Terry, 2006). This is not unexpected, as it is generally accepted that sexual offenders

are a difficult population to sample. But, it is clear that the studies to date have not been

adequate enough to provide a sound theoretical background to make any assumptions about

sexual offenders.

Despite this lack of empirical support, there are some common theories used to describe

participation in sexual deviant behavior. Psychodynamic theories describe sexual deviance as a

problem associated with developmental problems when dealing with the human psyche (id, ego,

and superego). Sexual deviance occurs when the id is overactive. It is difficult to test this theory

however, as the id is more of an ideal than something that is tangible, or for that matter, testable.

Biological theories suggest that there are physiological reasons for the participation in deviant

sexual behavior, such as increased hormone levels or chromosomal makeup. Feminist theories

attribute rape as a tool of gaining power over women. While some rapists have shown that they

hate or devalue women, these theories do not adequately account for participation in other

sexually deviant behavior that does not have a male female dynamic. Attachment theories

suggest that sexually deviant behavior due to the loneliness or isolation felt by loss or emotional

distress that can occur in infancy, adolescence, or adulthood. According to this theory,

individuals with poor self-esteem and low self-confidence are the most likely to participate in

sexually deviant behavior. Cognitive behavior theories were developing beginning in the 1970s









and built upon prior behavior theories by taking into account the offender' s thoughts as well as

their actions. These theories attribute participation in sexually deviant behavior to classical

conditioning, arguing that sexually deviant behavior is learning like any other behavior.

Psychosocial theories combine psychological factors and sociological factors to explain sexually

deviant behavior. Inappropriate socialization is the catalyst for this behavior according to these

theories. Finally, integrated theories try to combine aspects of the individual theories mentioned

above to fill in the gaps left by the individual theories alone. Integrated theories posit that a

variety of preconditions lead to participation in sexually deviant behavior. These theories focus

on the process by which one is motivated to offend and overcomes internal and external

inhibitions to participate in the behavior (Terry, 2006).

Psychological Assessments

Most illegal sexual behaviors are found in the current version of the Diagnostic and

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), listed under paraphilias. The criteria for a

paraphilia diagnosis are "recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or

behaviors generally involving non-human obj ects, the suffering or humiliation of oneself or

one's partner, or children or other non-consenting persons that occur over a period of at least 6

months" (American Psychiatric Association, 2000: p. 566). The disorders recognized in the

DSM-IV-TR are exhibitionism (exposure of genitals), fetishism (use of non-living obj ects),

frotteurism (touching and rubbing against a non-consenting person), pedophilia (focus on

prepubescent children), sexual masochism (receiving humiliation or suffering), sexual sadism

(inflicting humiliation or suffering on others), transvestic fetishism (cross-dressing), and

voyeurism (observing sexual activity). Not all of these disorders are illegal, and not all require

actual participation in the activity to be diagnosed. Some only require that impairment in social,

occupational, or other important areas of functioning occur from the behavior, sexual urges, or









fantasies. While useful in choosing a course of treatment for those diagnosed with a paraphilia,

the DSM-IV-TR is not predictive in any way.

Another assessment for sexual offenders is typologies developed from studies on the

motivations behind sexual offenses. In some ways, these typologies are diagnostic, and are

useful for deciding the best course of action with a given offender, but they have limited

predictive power for the general public. There are typologies for rapists, such as sexually

motivated and non-sexually motivated. Sexually motivated offenders can be exclusively sexual

(they are motivated completely by sexual needs), or sadist (sexual gratification is achieve

through the victim's pain and suffering). Non-sexually motivated offenders can be classified as

power/control (offender desires power or dominance), opportunistic (adventure seeker who

commits offense during another offense), or mass rape (seen in war situations where the offender

has a need for power while using rape as a weapon) (Terry, 2006).

Child molesters can be categorized into two groups, situational and preferential, with

numerous subgroups. Preferential offenders prefer children as the focus of their sexual activity,

whereas situational offenders offend against children because of a lack of other options (Holmes

and Holmes, 2002). Within situational offenders, there are regressed offenders (poor coping

skills, victims are easily accessible), morally indiscriminate (offenders use children, or anyone

available, for their sexual needs), sexually indiscriminate (abuse children out of boredom,

sexually experimental), and inadequate (relationships with children are the only sexual outlet

available due to social awkwardness caused by low self-esteem and insecurities). Preferential

offenders can be categorized into seductive offenders (court children and try to have real

relationships with them), Eixated offenders (poor psychosexual development leads to a desire for









children that is compulsive) and sadistic offenders (aggressive, excited by violence, target

strangers and are very dangerous) (Holmes and Holmes, 2002).

Other typologies for child molesters separate offenders into fixated and regressed

offenders. Fixated offenders are more likely to reoffend, as they have a compulsive attraction to

children. These offenders target extrafamilial female or males, with premeditated offenses which

emerge in adolescence. Regressed offenders begin offending in adulthood, with offending

brought on by stressors. These offenders target intrafamilial or acquaintances who they have

easy access to, and the offending is a departure from the offenders normal attraction to adults.

These offenders are at lower risk for reoffending and can feel remorse for their actions (Terry,

2006).

Criminological Theories

To date, there has been little research done in the field of Criminology to theoretically

explain the occurrence of sexually deviant behavior. Two theories that have been explored thus

far with samples of sex offenders are Gottfredson and Hirschi's A General Theory of Crime

dealing with self control, and Cohen and Felson's Routine Activities Theory. Sasse (2005)

focused on the motivation aspect of Routine Activities Theory. Suggesting that different

motivations will lead to different types of offending, the study looked at differences in drug,

alcohol, and physical abuse among a sample of sex offenders undergoing treatment. The

findings suggested that abuse (prior physical or sexual) and drug use were predictive of in home

sexual offenses, while alcohol use was predictive of community offending. In a test of

Gottfredson and Hirschi's General Theory of Crime using sex offenders, Cleary (2004) found

that sex offenders in treatment reported lower levels of self-control than non-sex offenders and

sex offenders not in treatment, as well as higher levels of criminal behavior and deviant behavior

as children. In addition, it was found that sex offenders did not specialize in their offending










patterns, supporting the idea in General Theory of Crime that most offenders are generalists.

Cleary also examine sexual offenses in the context of Routine Activities Theory, in an effort to

tie in the idea by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1993) that low self-control works in connection with

opportunity and other factors to facilitate crime. Interviews with offenders gave support to a

routine activities approach as participating sex offenders revealed themselves to be motivated

offenders who selected suitable victims lacking capable guardianship. While these studies are

useful in moving towards a theoretical framework for sex offenders that incorporates current

criminological theories, it is obvious that more theories should be tested before any

generalizations can be made.

Social learning theory: In 1966, Burgess and Akers reformulated Sutherland's

Differential Association Theory in order to incorporate behaviorism into the learning model

(Akers, 1985).3 This new theory integrated differential association with differential

reinforcement. Known at the time as differential reinforcement-association, the theory is now

referred to as Social Learning Theory and includes seven statements regarding deviant behavior.

* Deviant Behavior is learned according to the principles of operant conditioning.

* Deviant behavior is learned both in nonsocial situations that are reinforcing or
discriminating and through that social interaction in which the behavior of other persons is
reinforcing or discriminating for such behavior.

* The principal part of the learning of deviant behavior occurs in those groups which
comprise or control the individual's maj or source of reinforcements.

* The learning of deviant behavior, including specific techniques, attitudes, and avoidance
procedures, is a function of the effective and available reinforcers and the existing
reinforcement contingencies.



3 Behaviorism is an area in psychology that deals with learning and habit formation as opposed to instinct. Some
key researchers in this area include Ivan Pavlov, B. F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura.










* The Specific class of behavior learned and its frequency of occurrence are a function of the
effective and available reinforcers, and the deviant or nondeviant direction of the norms,
rules, and definitions which in the past have accompanied the reinforcement.

* The probability that a person will commit deviant behavior is increased in the presence of
normative statements, definitions, and verbalizations which, in the process of differential
reinforcement of such behavior over conforming behavior, have acquired discriminative
value .

* The strength of deviant behavior is a direct function of the amount, frequency, and
probability of its reinforcement. The modalities of association with deviant patterns are
important insofar as they affect the source, amount, and scheduling of reinforcement.

The basis for Social Learning Theory is the belief that all behavior, deviant or conforming,

can be explained by general behavioral principles (Akers, 1985). The focus of the theory is on

operant behavior, which can be influenced by stimulus events which follow the behavior. In

early experiments with behavior modification, Ivan Pavlov looked at the influence of stimulus by

showing that the introduction of conditioned stimuli could evoke an intended response.4

Decades later, B. F. Skinner (1953) showed that one could increase or decrease the frequency of

a certain behavior through positive or negative reinforcement. This work with punishments and

rewards laid the foundation for contemporary behaviorism, and is the origin for the

reinforcement variable; one of four main concepts in Social Leamning Theory. The remaining

concepts are differential association, imitation and definitions.

Social Leamning Theory posits that the learning mechanism of social behavior is operant

conditioning, and behavior is shaped by direct conditioning and the imitation and modeling of

others' behavior (Akers, 1985; Akers, Krohn, Lanza-Kaduce, and Radosevich, 1979). Behavior

is then strengthened by positive reinforcement, or weakened by negative reinforcement.

Through interactions with significant groups, individuals leamn to define behavior as good or bad.

If an individual has an excess of definitions favorable or neutralizing to a behavior, they are


4 Pavlov was able to condition a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell through the use of conditioned stimuli.









more likely to engage in that behavior. While there can be nonsocial reinforcers to behavior,

Social Learning Theory holds that the most behavior effects come from "interaction in or under

the influence of those groups which control individuals' maj or sources of reinforcement and

punishment and expose them to behavioral models and normative definitions" (Akers et al.,

1979). This differential association concept holds that close peer groups and one's family are the

most influential social groups for an individual.

Many tests have looked at the ability of Social Learning Theory to account for various

types of deviance. The theory has been used to explain drug use cessation or continuation

(Lanza-Kaduce et al., 1984), alcohol use among the elderly (Akers et al., 1989), binge drinking

(Durkin, Wolfe and Clark, 2005), and smoking behavior ( Krohn et al., 1985), to name a few.

While Social Learning Theory is used to explain general deviance, its ability to explain illegal

sexual behavior has received little attention. Akers (1985) contends that sexual socialization of

children can lead to sexual deviance in two ways: either the parents or other individuals who

socialize children into sex role behavior provide direct reinforcement for deviant sexual

behavior, or the heterosexual socialization occurs in a way that leaves the child ill prepared for

normal sexual behavior. The way in which Social Learning Theory accounts for deviant sexual

behavior is not clearly defined, but Akers suggests that individuals must redefine their behavior

as justified and worth the risk they are taking if they initially feel they are doing something

wrong. He continues to say that justifications are abundant in the general culture, but that

learning these justifications "may involve" associations with others who are supportive or

approving (Akers, 1985: pp. 187-190). Akers explains deviant sexual behavior such as

homosexuality and prostitution, but does not give detail on illegal sexual behavior such as rape,









child molestation, or viewing child pornography. The current study will make an attempt to fill

this gap in the Social Learning literature.

While to date there has not been a test of Social Leamning Theory on a general population

of sex offenders, various studies have shown support for each of the main concepts of the theory.

Hanson, Gizzarelli and Scott (1994) performed a study on incest offenders aimed at identifying

specific attitudes of these offenders that may be related to their offense. The study found that

incest offenders, when compared with male batterers and a control group of non-offenders, were

the most likely to perceive children as sexually attractive and sexually motivated. The incest

offenders were also more likely to minimize the harm caused by the sexual abuse of children and

agreed with attitudes supportive of male sexual entitlement. Another study, sampling male

undergraduate students, found that self-reported likelihood of sexual aggression was related to

conservative and rape supportive attitudes, as determined by the acceptance of interpersonal

violence against women scale, and use of pornographic materials (Demare, Briere and Lips,

1988). Both of these studies support the definitions concept of Social Learning Theory.

Support for the imitation concept of this theory can be found in the previous literature as

well. The Demare et al. study (1988) revealed that the use of sexually violent pornography was

uniquely associated with the likelihood of using sexual force and likelihood of committing rape.

In this study, the viewing of non-violent pornography and violent (but not sexually violent)

pornography were unrelated to self-reported likelihood of rape. A study by Marshall (1988)

found that rapists and child molesters reported higher usage of sexually explicit stimuli (hard

core pornography) than incest or non-offenders. Also, the study showed that 53% of the sampled

child molesters, as well as 33% of the sampled rapists reported the deliberate usage of sexually

explicit stimuli in their preparation for an offense. Aside from the direct imitation that can occur









from viewing specific behaviors, research has shown that individuals can become desensitized to

certain behaviors through observation. This desensitization can change definitions held by

individuals in reference to the behavior. A classic study by Linz, Donnerstein and Penrod (1984)

showed that participants with prolonged exposure to violent films perceived the films as less

violent, had fewer negative reactions to films, and considered the films less degrading to women

after the exposure. Two studies by Malamuth and Check (1980, 1985) showed that subjects

exposed to positive rape portrayals felt less negatively towards subsequent rape portrayals and

believed a higher percentage of women would derive pleasure from being sexually assaulted.

While these studies show that pornography have can have a significant effect on individual

viewers, with some studies suggesting that certain types of pornography can contribute to illegal

sexual behavior (Demare et al., 1988; Marshall, 1988), aggregate levels studies have shown

mixed results. Analyses using state level data have found a positive relationship between

pornography consumption and rape rates (Baron and Straus, 1987; Scott and Schwalm, 1988).

Gentry (1991) performed an analysis using standard metropolitan statistical areas instead of

states as the units of analyses and found no significant relationship between circulation of

pornography in an area and rape rates.

The remaining two variables in Social Learning Theory, differential association and

differential reinforcement, have also been supported through empirical research on sexual

behavior. Benda and DiBlasio (1991), in their study of adolescent sexual exploration, found that

perceived balance of rewards versus costs of sex accounted for 14% of the variance in adolescent

sexual behavior. In line with differential association, peer pressure was also found to be a

significant predictor. The same study found that the most influential factor affecting adolescent

sexual behavior was differential peer association. Finally, a study on peer groups of sexual









offenders found that sexual offenders reported more association and identification with other

sexual offenders than the non-offender community control group (Hanson and Scott, 1996). The

study also found these associations to be offense specific, with child molesters associating with

other child molesters and rapists knowing other rapists.

After a review of research on sexual offenses, there is evidence to suggest that Social

Learning Theory will be predictive of sexual offenses, as there have been studies to support each

of the main concepts of this theory with regards to sexually deviant behavior. A study by

Boeringer, Shehan and Akers (1991) tested social learning theory in the context of coercive

sexual behavior among male university students, with fraternity membership as a main variable.

This study, which looked at very specific sexually deviant behavior, found partial support for the

theory. Initial one way analysis of variance showed that fraternity members differed

significantly from non members in self perceived likelihood of sexually coercive behavior. The

significance of fraternity membership disappeared, however, once the four social learning

variables were controlled for. Overall, two of the four concepts were significantly different in

the fraternity group (versus the non-fraternity group). Fraternity members had higher levels of

differential association and differential reinforcement. The impact of this study will be

reinforced by the current study, which will test social learning theory against general illegal

sexual behavior; child molestation, viewing child pornography, and rape.









CHAPTER 2
DATA AND IVETHODOLOGY

Procedure

For the purposes of this study and subsequent studies, a questionnaire was created to test

social learning theory in the context of illegal sexual behavior. This questionnaire included 118

questions regarding topics such as participation in illegal sexual behavior, the four mechanisms

associated with Social Learning Theory (differential association, differential reinforcement,

imitation, and definitions), demographic information, and questions about sex offender

experiences aimed at exploration. Some questions measuring imitation were influenced by

questions used in the previously mentioned study by Boeringer, Shehan and Akers (1991). In

addition, some questions used to measure definitions favorable to rape were taken from a scale

used by Burt (1980) in a study which measured cultural myths and support for rape. After

receiving Institutional Review Board approval, the survey was administered in May of 2007.

Participants did not receive any compensation for their involvement.

In order to test this theory, an offender sample was needed to answer specific questions

relating to social learning variables, as well as individual involvement in illegal sexual behavior.

Due to the personal and potentially incriminating nature of these questions, the data were

collected through anonymous mail surveys. It is acknowledged that this procedure produces

lower response rates than other possible surveying methods, but the chosen procedure was the

most appropriate for this study as the anonymity offered was expected to encourage participation

above other potential methods. While the extent to which the general public engages in illegal

sexual behavior is unknown, the survey was administered to known sexual offenders (Group 1)

to ensure a large enough sample of individuals shown to participate in this deviant behavior. To

provide variation in responses and to allow for a more accurate test of Social Learning Theory, a









control population of felony convicted non-sexual offenders (Group 2) in Alachua County was

also sampled.

The sampling frame for Group 1 was a listing of convicted sex offenders, who were not

incarcerated, in Alachua County, Florida, as listed on the Florida Department of Law

Enforcement website. Other studies using samples of convicted sexual offenders have taken

samples of inmates or offenders while participating in treatment programs (Cleary, 2004;

Levenson and Cotter, 2005). The concern with using treatment programs as a sampling frame is

the potential selection effect for those in treatment programs who are there by choice, as well as

the effect of Eiling out a survey during a group treatment session. Cleary (2004) found

significant reporting differences between sex offenders in treatment programs and sex offenders

not participating in treatment programs. As all convicted sex offenders in Florida are ordered to

participate in some type of treatment, the results should not be compromised by these potential

selection effects when using a sample of all registered sex offenders in a county. It should be

noted, however, that in any voluntary survey, there is the potential for selection effects as

motivated participants are more likely to respond. Despite this potential effect, a mail survey is

still the most appropriate method of sampling for the reasons already listed. The sampling frame

for Group 2 will be a listing of all felony convicted non-sexual offenders from January of 2002

through January of 2007 in Alachua County, attained from the Clerk of Courts in Alachua

County.

An important factor to consider when sampling sex offenders is response rate.

Tewksbury (2005) published his findings with only a 15.4% response rate. Of over 700 mail

surveys, he was able to use only 121 in the Einal analysis. Tewksbury's study stratified

Kentucky's sex offender registry into metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas, giving two strata









of almost equal size. After stratifying, the researcher chose a systematic random sample of

offenders from each stratum. Minor differences were found between participants from each

stratum when asked about experiences as a convicted sex offender. Using this design would have

little benefit for the current study looking at Social Learning Theory, though, because it is not

suspected that sex offenders in one county are inherently different than sex offenders in another

county. As such, in an effort to try to increase response rate, this study sampled only sexual

offenders in Alachua County. This county was selected because it was anticipated that Alachua

County residents would have a better understanding of scholastic research done by the

University of Florida, as they live in close proximity to the campus.

In Alachua County, 250 registered sexual offenders/predators were mailed anonymous

surveys. Of the mailed surveys, 12 were returned as undeliverable, yielding a final sample of

238. The response rate for this group was 8.4%, or 20 surveys. This number is a bit alarming,

and is recognized as a limitation of this study, but due to the paucity of research in this area, even

a limited sample reveals information about sexual offenders. Also, as mentioned earlier, it is

accepted that is difficult to collect data on this population due to low response rate. The number

of offenders who actually received the survey could be less than realized, as at any time

offenders could have been rearrested for new offenses or probation violations. Also, the low

number of returned surveys may be due to the implementation of sex offender residency

restrictions, as studies have shown that law enforcement department are losing track of where

sex offenders are living because limited housing is contributing to sex offenders moving

underground (Perlman, 2006).

A random sample of 250 felony convicted non-sexual offenders living in Gainesville was

obtained from a listing of all felony-convicted offenders in Gainesville who were convicted since









2002. While the control group includes higher rates of minorities and younger participants, these

differences were not expected to affect results, as the mechanisms associated with Social

Learning Theory should affect individuals the same, regardless of age or race. Unfortunately,

only 1 survey was returned by mail, and as such, the control group of felony convicted non-

sexual offender was left out of the final analysis.

Hypotheses

There were originally two hypotheses for this study. The first was that the reported level

of participation in illegal sexual behavior by Group 1 (convicted sexual offenders) would be

greater in frequency and severity than Group 2 (felony convicted non-sexual offenders). In

addition, it was hypothesized that Group 1 would score on measures of social learning variables

in the expected direction, and would score higher on those measures than Group 2, for illegal

sexual behavior. Because of the lack of response from the control group, new hypotheses

centered on the sexual offender group were developed in accordance with Social Learning

Theory. The new hypotheses split the sexual offender group in two subgroups based on self-

reported levels of sexual deviance. Some offenders reported never participating in sexual

activities that would result in arrest if discovered. Those respondents were placed in Group 1,

labeled lower reported involvement. The remaining participants were placed in Group 2, labeled

higher reported involvement. It was hypothesized that participants in Group 2 would score

higher on social learning variables, and in the expected direction compared with Group 1. The

overall sample was also split into two subgroups based on the participants' involvement in

specific illegal sexual behavior. Those who reported having sexual relationships with minors

were placed into Group 4 (child molesters), while those who did not report having sexual

relationships with minors were placed into Group 3 (non-child molesters). With this division, it









was hypothesized that those in Group 4 would have more approving definitions of child

molestation than those in Group 3.

Dependent Variable

The dependent variable for this analysis was participation in illegal sexual activity. This

was measured in two ways. First, the participants were asked how many times as an adult they

had willingly been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered. The

participants were instructed that this measure did not include consensual adult homosexual

activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults. The response

choices were categories of 0, 1-5, 6-15, 16-30, 31-50, and 50+ times. The dependent variable

was also measured with regards to more specific activity. Participants were asked: As an adult,

how many times have you been involved in sexual behavior with a person 12 years old or

younger; As an adult, how many times have you been involved in sexual behavior with a person

between 13-15 years old; and As an adult, how many time have you been sexually intimate with

an adult who did not consent, with the same category choices ranging from 0 to 50+ times. The

participants were also asked how many times in an average month they view media or online

material sexually depicting children 12 and under or teenagers 13-15 years old. The response

options also ranged from 0 to 50+ times a month. These questions were also used to measure the

dependent variable, since viewing child pornography is illegal, as well as to measure the

imitation concept of Social Learning Theory. From the responses to these questions, the

participants were divided into two groups. First, the participants were divided into an offender

and non-offender group based on answers to the question As an adult (18+), how many times

have you been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT

include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between

consenting adults). Those who responded 0 were placed into the non-offender group (Group 1).









All other participants were placed into the offender group (Group 2). For the analysis, a second

division was made among the participants. Based on responses to the questions on more specific

offending, participants were divided into two groups. Group 3 was participants who had not had

sexual relationships with minors (under 16), and Group 4 included the participants who did

report having physical sexual relationships with minors. The analysis is discussed using both

group divisions.

Independent Variables

The independent variables of interest included measures of Social Learning Theory.

Differential association was measured using questions which asked the respondent how often

their friends or acquaintances, close friends, or family members had engaged in sexual behavior

that would result in arrest if discovered. The response categories were arranged into a 5-point

scale listing none, less than half, half, more than half or All. According to the theory, individuals

with higher levels of sexual deviance should report more friends who participate in the same

behavior. While the differential association concept includes measures of frequency, intensity,

priority, and duration for the effect of relationships on an individual, it was anticipated that

traditional measures such as these would not give an accurate depiction of the overall effect of a

relationship on the participant, due to the solitary behavioral patterns of sexual offenders.

Because of this, the only way in which the survey tried to elicit responses regarding more

important peer associations was through the use of questions which asked the respondent to

report the behavior of the participant' s "closest friends". The exclusion of the frequency,

intensity, priority and duration of associations from this study does not indicate that sex

offenders do not maintain relationships that vary in importance and influence. Rather, it must be

acknowledged that those who participate in sexually deviant behavior may have important

relationships that cannot be measured in this way. It is possible that sex offenders have what was









termed by Warr (2002) as "virtual peer groups," where the relationship is cultivated online and

does not need to include in person interaction.

Imitation was measured by asking the participant how many times in a month they viewed

media or online material sexually depicting children 12 and under, teenagers 13-15 years old, or

depicting sexually aggressive acts towards men or women. Also, participants were asked about

their parents' involvement in deviant sexual behavior. As children learn behavior from their

parents, it is possible that knowing of a parent' s deviant sexual behavior can influence a child's

behavior as outlined through Social Learning Theory's imitation component.

The reinforcement concept was measured for overall reinforcement and differential

reinforcement. To measure overall reinforcement, participants were asked to weigh the positive

and negative aspects of participating in a specific illegal sexual behavior. They were then asked,

in the context of their life before their conviction, to rate their participation in that behavior on a

scale of 1 to 5 ranging from "mainly positive" to "mainly negative." Participants were asked to

rate how their friends would react if they knew about the participant' s involvement in the

specified illegal sexual behavior. The choices for this question range from 1- Strongly Approve

to 5- Strongly Disapprove. This set of questions measured differential reinforcement.

Finally, definitions were measured through responses to three scales. A rape myth scale,

incorporating questions from a scale created by Burt (1980) was used to measure definitions

favorable or neutralizing to rape. To measure definitions favorable or neutralizing to child

molestation or viewing child pornography, scale were created for this study. According to Social

Learning Theory, participant who report higher levels of illegal sexual behavior should score

higher on the scales measuring favorable or neutralizing attitudes towards the behavior.










Demographic and Control Variables

Other variables measured in this study included general demographic information such as

race, age, employment, and income, as well as overall illegal behavior (sexual and non sexual)

and age of onset of illegal behavior. Participants were asked about their own sexual

victimization as minors, as research has shown that sexual offenders are more likely to have been

sexually victimized as children (Terry, 2006). Participants were also asked to complete a self-

control scale which was created for and utilized in a study by Higgins and Tewksbury (2006).

Data Analysis

Upon receipt of complete surveys, responses were entered into SPSS for analysis. Because

of the small sample size of this study, many tests that were intended to be utilized for this study

could not be used. Instead, the analysis was limited to non-parametric tests and descriptive

statistics such as frequencies. The Mann-Whitney U, or the equivalent of a two independent

samples t-test was used for the analysis. The Mann-Whitney U is designed to Eind significant

differences in reporting for each of the selected variables between the two identified groups.

This analysis was used when splitting the groups into Group 1 and Group 2, based on reported

participation in sexual activities that could result in arrest if discovered, as well as splitting the

groups into those having sexual relationships with minors (Group 4), and those who did not have

sexual relationships with minors (Group 3). Frequencies were used to discuss the overall trends

in the data, not just differences between the groups.









CHAPTER 3
RESULTS

Participant Demographics

Of the 20 participants in the final analysis and removing any responses that were system

missing, 100% of the sample reported being male. Most of the sample (40%) fell in the age

range of 56 to 64 years old, followed by 25% between 35 and 49 years old, 20% over age 65, and

15% between 25 and 34 years old. The sample was 85% white, and 100% not Hispanic. Over

half of the sample (53%) had continued their education past high school, although the highest

level of school completed ranged from third grade to graduate school. Of the sample, 65%

reported current income levels under $30,000 a year, with 55% of the sample reporting regular

full time work for their current work situation. Half of the sample (50%) reported currently

owning their own home, and 30% of the sample reported renting the same place for at least two

years. A majority of the sample (70%) reported only being arrested once, although 1 respondent

reported being arrested over 10 times. The average age of first arrest for a sexual offense was

25+ years old, and this was also the most common age of first general arrest (whether for sexual

or nonsexual activity).

Distribution for Independent and Dependent Variables

For the overall sample, the descriptive statistics show that most respondents reported

participating in illegal sexual behavior (60%), and 45% of the respondents reported having

sexual relationships with minors under 16 years old. For the two primary control variables (self-

control and participant sexual victimization as a child), the analysis did not reveal the expected



SAn age range had to be taken instead of an actual age in accordance with suggestions made by the University of
Florida's Institutional Review Board. It was believed that due to the plethora of information made available to the
public regarding each sex offender, it would be possible to accurately determine which offenders participated in the
sample, violating the guarantee of anonymity, if too many specific demographic variables were required. As such,
some questions were made less specific.









outcome. In line with research mentioned previously, it was expected that sexual offenders

would score low on self-control scales, and have a history of prior sexual victimization as

minors. Using a seven-question scale, with a total score of 7 referring to low self control, and a

score of 28 referring to high self control, the mean score for this sample was 22.94. For prior

sexual victimization as a minor, the mean score was .35 (with 0 = no prior victimization).

3-1. Descriptive statistics for select variables
Dependent Variables Min. Max. Mean S.D.
Q20.2: Been involved in sexual behavior that
O 5 .85 1.53
would result in arrest if discovered
Q20.2: Dummy- illegal sexual behavior (n/y) 0 1 .60 .50
Q20.3: Been involved in sexual behavior with a
0 5 .58 1.22
minor 12 years old or younger
Q20.4: Been involved in sexual behavior with a
0 5 .40 .60
minor aged 13-15
Q20.3,4: Dummy- sexual relationship with minor
0 1 .45 .51
(n/y)
Independent and Control Variables Min. Max. Mean S.D.
Q1: Sex (0=male) 0 1 0.00 0.00
Q3: Dummy- Race (0=nonwhite) 0 1 .85 .37
Q14: Self Control Total 7 28 22.94 3.80
Q17-19: Dummy- Differential Association
(friend/family participate in sexual acts that would 0 1 .35 .49
result in arrest if discovered) (n/y)
Q21: Dummy- Imitation (n/y) 0 1 .10 .31
Q22: Overall Reinforcement Total 3 15 4.55 2.96
Q23: Differential Reinforcement Total 3 15 3.50 1.40
Q24A: Child Pornography Definitions Total 6 30 12.16 4.41
Q24B: Child Molestation Definitions Total 8 40 13.94 5.54
Q24C: Rape Definitions Total 7 35 10.89 2.88
Q24D: Definitions Total 21 105 36.75 10.81
Q25: Participant sexually victimized as a minor
0 1 .35 .49
(n/y) (n=0)

The descriptive statistics for the social learning variables did not show much support for

the theory. Scores for all four social learning variables were low, with the mean for imitation at

.100 and the mean for differential association at .35 (both on a scale from 0 to 1). Overall

reinforcement and differential reinforcement were on a scale of 3 to 15, with overall









reinforcement maintaining a mean of 4.50, and differential reinforcement scoring a mean of 3.55.

The mean for the sum of the definitions was 36.75, with a score of 21 being equivalent to

definitions unfavorable to sexual offenses, and a score of 105 being equivalent to definitions

favorable to sexual offenses. While these mechanisms were scaled together, due to the small

sample size for the study, the reliability of these scales is unknown. See Table 3-1 for more

descriptive statistics.

Hypothesis 1

To test hypothesis 1, which stated that Group 2 (higher reported involvement) would

score higher and in the intended direction than Group 1 (lower reported involvement), the

samples was divided into two subgroups. The division was made based upon the respondents

self reported levels of participation in illegal sexual behavior. Group 1 had 8 participants.

Group 2 had 12 participants. These groups did not vary significantly on any of the demographic

variables, as shown through the Mann-Whitney U test used to perform this part of the analysis.

From Table 3-2, it is seen that of the variables tested (there were over 70 in the actual

analysis), only 10 were significantly different between the two groups. Definitions favorable to

illegal sexual behavior was the only social learning factor that was significantly different

between the two groups, with a significance level of .011. Another variable with significant

differences between the two groups is sexual victimization of the participant as a minor. Though

not apparent when looking at the descriptive statistics for the entire sample, the analysis shows

that members of Group 2 (higher reported involvement) were more likely to be sexually

victimized as minors, compared with Group 1 (lower reported involvement). This finding is

consistent with prior research (Cleary, 2004), and could be interpreted as an "imitation" effect,

even though the original imitation variable was not significant at .236. While it is difficult to find

significant differences in small samples such as this, it should be noted that the relationships










































Mean Rank
Mean Rank Group 2
Group 1 Higher
Lower Reported Reported
Specific Variables ofSignificance Involvement Involvement Sig.
Family members involved in 05
8.50 11.83.05
sexually deviant behavior
Family members been involved in
sexual behavior that would result in 8.50 11.83 .075*
arrest if discovered
Child Pomnography Definition li 8.00 12.17 .080*
Child Pomnography Definition 61 8.06 12.13 .099*
Child Molestation Definition li 7.50 12.50 .022**
Child Molestation Definition 21 5.88 13.58 .003**
Child Molestation Definition 41 7.75 12.33 .062*
* = p I .10; ** = p I .05, 'Actual questions can be found in appendix


between the groups and their scores on the various factors are in the expected direction,

consistent with Social Learning Theory. It is shown that Group 2 scores higher more often on

the various social learning mechanisms than Group 1. Group 1 also scored higher on the control

variable for self-control than Group 2. These findings give partial support for hypothesis 1.

3-2. Non-parametric 2-independent samples t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 1&2
Mean Rank
Mean Rank Group 2
Group 1 Higher
Lower Reported Reported
Variables Involvement Involvement Sig.
Age 10.31 10.63 .904
Last grade completed 9.69 10.23 .834
Self control total 9.57 07.67 .421
Differential association (n/y) 9.50 11.17 .456
Imitation (n/y) 9.50 11.17 .236
Overall reinforcement total 10.00 10.83 .703
Differential reinforcement total 10.13 10.75 .710
Definitions total 4.58 10.85 .011**
Rape definitions total 9.21 10.46 .638
Child pornography definitions total 7.63 11.73 .115
Child molestation definitions total 5.86 11.82 .020**


Respondent sexual victimization as
a mmnor


.093*


8.25


12.00









Hypothesis 2

Testing hypothesis 2 involved separating the sample into two new groups based on the

participants' responses to questions about their involvement in specific forms of illegal sexual

behavior. Two questions asked respondents whether they had participated in sexual relationships

with minors. The first question asked specifically about relationships with children 12 years old

and younger, and the second question asked about relationships with minors between 13 and 15

years old. If participants indicated that they had participated in relationships with either children

12 and under, or minors aged 13-15 years old, they were place in Group 4 (child molesters). All

other participants were placed in Group 3 (non-child molesters). It was hypothesized that

members of Group 4 would score higher on definitions favorable to child molestation than

members of Group 3. The non-parametric test Mann-Whitney U was used once again for the

analysis. Although Group 4 did have a higher mean rank than Group 3 for definitions favorable

to child molestation, the difference was not significant (.228). The mean ranking for each of the

total definition variables (child molestation definitions total, child pornography definitions total,

and rape definitions total) was consistently higher for Group 4 than Group 3, but all of the

differences were insignificant. Table 3-3 shows the mean rank and significance levels for

selected variables.

Like the results from the analysis for hypothesis 1, Group 4 scored consistently higher on

the individual child molestation definitions, though the differences overall were not significant.

Group 4 scored significantly higher on child molestation definition 1, which asked if the

participant agreed or disagreed with the statement that children have a sexual identity and

deserve to explore it with anyone they want, as well as child molestation definition 2, which

asked if the participant agreed or disagreed with the statement that some children may seek out

and be willing participants in sexual activities with adults. Child molestation definition 3 was










the only child molestation definition in which Group 3 scored higher than Group 4. This

difference was minor though, with the mean rank for Group 4 measuring 10.00, and the mean

rank for Group 3 measuring 10.91. While not significantly different, the differences between the

two groups for the child molestation definitions are in the expected direction, again showing

partial support for the hypothesis. Also, as with hypothesis 1, a significant difference was found

between the two groups with regards to the participant' s self reported sexual victimization as a

child.

Table 3-3. Non-parametric 2-independent samples t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 3&4
Mean Rank
Non-Child Mean Rank Child
Molester Molester
Variables Group 3 Group 4 Sig.
Child molestation definitions total 8.15 11.19 .228
Child pornography definitions total 9.50 10.69 .648
Rape definitions total 8.45 11.72 .201
Definitions total 7.17 10.21 .203
Child molestation definition 31 10.91 10.00 .582
Child molestation definition 41 9.59 11.61 .404
Child molestation definition 51 9.00 11.38 .202
Child molestation definition 61 8.95 12.39 .143
Child molestation definition 71 8.80 11.33 .274
Child molestation definition 81 9.32 11.94 .157
Mean Rank
Non-Child Mean Rank Child
Molester Molester
Significant Variables Group 3 Group 4 Sig.
Respondent sexual victimization as a .0*
7.91 13.67 .0*
mmnor
Respondent required to participate in
11.73 9.00 .098*
treatment
Self control 3: I lose my temper easily 11.77 7.56 .071*
Differential Association 51 12.45 8.11 .048**
Differential Association 61 11.73 9.00 .099*
Child pornography definition 31 13.23 7.17 .015**
Child pornography definition 51 7.73 13.13 .026**
Child molestation definition li 8.50 12.94 .039**
Child molestation definition 21 8.27 13.22 .052*
* = p I .10: ** = p I .05, 'Actual questions can be found in appendix









CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSIONS

Discussion

The obj ective of this study was to determine the extent to which Social Learning Theory

can account for participation in illegal sexual behavior. The steps taken in this study were

important for the field of Criminology, as well as research into sexual offenses because until

now, there had not been any work looking directly at the connection between Social Learning

Theory and sexual offenses. This study had two hypotheses: That those in the higher reported

participation group (Group 2) would score higher and in the expected direction on social learning

variables than those in the lower reported participation group (Group 1), and that self reported

child molesters would score higher on definitions favorable to child molestation than non-child

molesters. Of the four social learning mechanisms, the definitions measure was the only variable

that was shown to be significant. This finding supported findings by previous studies that

individuals with definitions favorable or neutralizing to a specific behavior are more likely to

participate in that behavior (Hanson, Gizzarelli and Scott, 1994). While the other social learning

mechanisms did not show significant differences between the group with higher reported

participation and the group with lower reported participation, the trends were in the expected

direction, with Group 2 (higher reported participation) scoring consistently higher that Group 1

(lower reported involvement). It is possible that questions regarding virtual peer groups (Warr,

2002) would help add to the significance of the differential association measure, as well as the

imitation measure.

Overall, the analysis showed partial support for hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2. While

there were few significant differences between the groups, the general trends in the data were in

the expected directions as predicted in Social Learning Theory. Due to the small sample size










associated with the analysis, generalizations from this study to the overall population are strongly

cautioned against. That aside, the Eindings of this study show that further exploration into the

relationship between social learning mechanisms and participation in illegal sexual behavior is

essential for future research on sexual offenses and offenders.

Limitations

There are several limitations to this study which need to be addressed. First, the sample

size created many limitations for analysis and generalization. Not only was the response rate less

than expected for the sex offender group, but there was an unusable response from the control

group of felony-convicted non-sexual offenders. The Einal sample was too small for a more

sophisticated analysis because the basic assumptions made by more complex tests originally

intended for the analysis could not be met. In addition, while non-parametric tests are designed

for small sample sizes which do not meet the basic assumptions of other tests, it proved difficult

to Eind significant differences between groups without a large sample. The difficulty in finding

significant differences between the two groups may also be due to the limited variation found

when using only a sample of convicted sexual offenders, who for the purposes of this study may

be more alike than different.

A more serious limitation is found in questioning the truthfulness of the answers provided

by the participants. While the sexual offender sample was taken from a listing of convicted

sexual offenders, almost half of the sample reported never participating in sexual behavior that

could result in arrest if discovered. While it is not uncommon for offenders to maintain their

innocence, it is difficult to accept these responses as being accurate. Still, the data were analyzed

as they were received because it was believed that the underreporting seen in the data occurred at

equal intervals for all participants. If the minimization of participation in illegal sexual behavior

is found among all participants, the results should not be compromised. Though this explanation










is only a theory, the results showed support for this idea, as the trends among the divided groups

were in the expected directions, according to Social Learning Theory.

Although variation was found in responses for the definitions component of Social

Learning Theory, the means showed very limited agreement for definitions favorable to sexual

offending. This may be do to treatment effects, as most of the sample was required to participate

in counseling after their conviction. It is also possible that what offenders know is a wrong

behavior may not be felt as a wrong behavior to them. For example, an alcoholic may know that

drinking is wrong, and may report that on a survey, but at the same time they may feel as though

drinking is the right thing to do because they desire it. In any event, this limitation may be

avoided in the future by convincing participants of the confidentiality associated with surveys of

this nature.

Another limitation to the study is the selection of sexual offenders from the same general

area as participants. Although there is no research to suggest that sexual offenders from one area

of the United States are inherently different from sexual offenders from another area, a larger

sample using participant from around the country would be ideal to control for any possible

variation due to location. The decision to use sexual offenders from Alachua County, Florida

was justified given the monetary restraints, timeline, and exploratory nature of the study. But,

the uniform location of the offenders may have contributed to the results in way not realized.

Future Research

Future research with sexual offenders should continue to explore the ways in which

Criminological theories can account for participation in illegal sexual behavior. These theories

may be able to offer predictive power that has been missing in current theories on sexual

offenders. A larger version of this study, administered to sexual offenders from around the

nation, as well as a non-offender population, would be ideal for further testing the relationship









between sexual offenses and Social Learning Theory. It will be important to find ways to

increase participation from both the offender and the control populations. One way to do this

may be to offer monetary incentives for participation in the study. While this study could not

make that offer to participants because of the anonymity promised by the researchers, perhaps

future research could focus on confidentiality instead of anonymity. For this study, the

appropriate method for data collection based on time and money available was a mail survey. It

may be a better choice for future research to include in person interviews with offenders. This

may encourage more honest responses, and may allow researchers to ask questions pertinent to

the research not currently used on the questionnaires. These interviews may allow better ways of

capturing definitions favorable to sexual deviance. Although general definitions were chosen for

this study, it is possible that offenders maintain unique definitions favorable or neutralizing to

illegal sexual behavior that are related to their specific offenses. For example, one behavior

neutralizing definition not used in this study is being drunk or under the influence of another

drug while committing the offense. In depth, personal interviews would allow researchers to

look into the specific circumstances of each participant' s offense.

Another potential direction for research in this area may be to focus on qualitative data. As

it has been shown that sexual offenders are a group of offenders that are difficult to collect data

on, qualitative studies using smaller samples may provide meaningful analyses that can add to

the current body of literature that has many deficits.

The biggest hurdle to climb for researchers in this area will be convincing sex offenders

that they should participate in studies. As the political focus on sexual offenders has be

concerned with increasing punishments, and stigmas, for sexual offenders, this population has

not shown themselves to be eager to participate in research. Without a willing body of










participants to take part in studies, it will be difficult to fill in any of the current gaps in sex

offender research.

Ultimately, it is clear that researchers need to find better ways to examine this isolated

population of offenders, and explore sexual deviant behavior in the context of criminological

theories. Increasing sample sizes for studies will allow more indepth analyses utilizing complex

tests that can create models to accurately test Social Learning Theory, as well as other theories,

with this population. It is important for Criminologists to focus on this population and behavior

from a research standpoint, so educated suggestions can be made for punishment and/or

treatment.









APPENDIX
SEXUAL OFFENDER SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE

(Demographic Variables).
1. What is your sex? Male Female
2. How old are you? 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65+
3. What is your race? White Black Asian Other
4. Do you consider yourself Hispanic? Yes No
5. What is the highest grade level of school that you have completed?

6. What is your current annual income level?
None ($0) $45,001-60,000
$1-15,000 $60,001-75,000
$15,001-30,000 $75,001-$90,000
$30,001-45,000 $90,001 and over
7. Which of the following best describes your work situation now?
Regular full time work Regular part time work
Occasional or temporary work Unemployed
Retired Other
8. Which of the following best describes your housing situation now?
Own home Rented same place for 2+ years
Live with family (no rent payment) Rented same place for under 2 years
Live with friend (no rent) Other
9. How old were you when you were first arrested (sexual or non sexual offense)?
Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old
10-14 years old 21-25 years old
15-17 years old 25+ years old
10. How many times have you been arrested? (includes both sexual and non sexual
offenses)
Once
2-5 times
6-10 times
10+ times
11. Which of the following best describes your work situation before your conviction for a
sexual offense?
Regular full time work Regular part time work
Occasional or temporary work Unemployed
Retired Other
12. Which of the following best describes your housing situation before your conviction for
a sexual offense?
Owned home Rented same place for 2+ years
Lived with family (no rent payment) Rented same place for under 2 years
Lived with friend (no rent) Other
13. Which of the following best describes your annual income level before your conviction
for a sexual offense?
None ($0) $45,001-60,000
$1-15,000 $60,001-75,000










$15,001-30,000 $75,001-$90,000
$30,001-45,000 $90,001 and over

(Selfcontrol scale) Next, please mark the appropriate space for whether you 1- strongly
agree, 2- agree, 3- disagree, or 4- strongly disagree with the following statements.

14. I am usually pretty cautious. (reverse- recorded for analysis)
15. Whatever I do, I try hard. (reverse- recorded for analysis)
16. I lose my temper easily.
17. I don't devote much thought and effort to preparing for the future.
18. Sometimes I take a risk just for the fun of it.
19. I try to get things I want, even when I know it's causing problems for other people.
20. Most things people call delinquent don't really hurt anyone.

21. Before your conviction, about how many people did you personally know who were
arrested for a sex offense? (please give number)

22. Where did you meet most of your current friends? (Circle one)
School At another club or organization
Through family members At Church
Online Other (please describe)

(Differential Association 1) To the best of your knowledge, how many of your friends or
acquaintances have... (0- none, 1- less than half, 2- half, 3- more than half, 4- all)

23. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society?
24. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT
include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex
between consenting adults)
25. Been arrested for their sexual activity?
26. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they
could have been arrested?

(Differential Association 2) Of the friends or acquaintances with whom you have the most
interaction, whether in person or by email/internet or by phone or otherwise, about how
many have...(0- none, 1- less than half, 2- half, 3- more than half, 4- all)

27. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society?
28. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT
include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex
between consenting adults)
29. Been arrested for their sexual activity?
30. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they
could have been arrested?










(Differential Association 3) To the best of your knowledge, how many of your family
members have... (0- none, 1- less than half, 2- half, 3- more than half, 4- all)

31. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society?
32. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT
include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex
between consenting adults)
33. Been arrested for their sexual activity?
34. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they
could have been arrested?

(Dependent Variables) As an adult (18+), how many times have you ... (0: 0, 1: 1-5, 2: 6-15,
3: 16-30, 4:31-50, 5: 50+)

35. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society?
36. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT
include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex
between consenting adults)
37. Been involved in sexual behavior (can include non physical activity) with a persons) 12
years old or younger?
38. Been involved in sexual behavior (can include non physical activity) with a persons)
between 13-15 years old?
39. Been sexually intimate with an adult (male or female) who did not consent?
40. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they
could have been arrested?


(Imitation) Next, please list the number of times in an average MONTH you view these
kinds of materials. (0: 0, 1: 1-5, 2: 6-15, 3: 16-30, 4:31-50, 5: 50+)

41. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, etc.) sexually depicting children age 12 and
under (either through poses or actual sexual acts)
42. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, etc.) displaying teenagers (13-15) sexually
43. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, etc.) displaying sexually aggressive acts
towards men or women (bondage, forceful sexual encounters, violence, etc.)
44. Internet chat rooms or live online videos displaying or describing children (12 and
under) sexually
45. Internet chat rooms or live online videos displaying teenagers (13-15) sexually
46. Internet chat rooms or live online videos displaying or describing sexually aggressive
acts towards men or women (bondage, forceful sexual encounters, violence, etc.)

(Overall Reinforcement) As an adult, considering both the positive (i.e. sexual or physical
satisfaction) and the negative (i.e. disapproval of others, arrest, etc.) factors, how would
you have viewed the following acts BEFORE your conviction?( 1- Mainly negative, 2-
Negative, 3- About as positive as negative, 4- Somewhat positive, 5- Positive)










47. Being sexually intimate with someone under 12 years old.
48. Being sexually intimate with someone between 13-15 years old.
49. Being sexually intimate with an adult (male or female) who did not want to.
50. Viewing sexually explicit material involving minors (including magazine, photos,
videos, books, etc.).
51. Viewing material involving sexually aggressive acts towards adult men or women.

(Differential Reinforcement) Thinking about your closest friends, or those you interact with
most, how approving do you think they would be of you in the following situations?( 1-
Mainly negative, 2- Negative, 3- About as positive as negative, 4- Somewhat positive, 5-
Positive)

52. If you were to be sexually intimate with someone under 12 years old.
53. If you were to be sexually intimate with someone 13-15 years old.
54. If you were to have sex with an adult (male or female) who did not want to.
55. If you were to view sexually explicit material of minors.
56. If you were to view material involving sexually aggressive acts towards adult men or
women

(Definitions) Please mark the appropriate space for whether you strongly agree, agree,
neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree or with the following statements.
(1- Strongly disagree, 2- Disagree, 3- Neither agree nor disagree, 4- Agree, 5- Strongly agree)

(Child Pornography)
57. cp defl: The human body is beautiful and sexually attractive, so there is nothing
wrong with admiring someone sexually, even if they aren't an adult.
58. cp def2: Looking at material involving naked children is okay because no one gets
hurt.
59. cp def3: It is not natural for adults to find sexual fiction involving children erotic.
(reverse- recorded for analysis)
60. cp def4: Only people who produce child porn, not the viewers, should be subject to
legal action.
61. cp def5: Consumption of child pornography may prevent people from more serious
types of offending.
62. cp def6: Child pornography should not be illegal because it is not the role of the
government to police people's private thoughts and fantasies.


(Child Molestation)
63. cm defl: Children have sexual identity, and deserve to explore it with anyone they
want.
64. cm def2: Some children may seek out and be willing participants in sexual activity
with adults.
65. cm def3: Sexual relationships with children are immoral, even though it has been done
throughout history in many cultures. (reverse- recorded for analysis)









66. cm def4: Even though a minor under 16 says they aren't ready for sex, they might be
mistaken because they don't understand their body's reactions.
67. cm def5: Incest can often be a positive family building situation.
68. cm def6: Age is completely arbitraryand two people who consent to sex should be
allowed to pursue a relationship regardless of age.
69. cm def7: In the future society will realize that relationships btw children and adults
are not as dangerous as they are currently portrayed.
70. cm def8: It is all right for adults to have intimate sexual contact with a child if it is not
forced and the child is willing.

(Rape)
71. rape defl: Most women have no desire to be forced into sexual activities. (reverse-
recoded for analysis)
72. rape def2: A woman who is stuck up and thinks she is too good to talk to guys on the
street deserves to be taught a lesson.
73. rape def3: If a woman gets drunk at a party and sleeps with someone there that she
just met, she should be consider fair game for other men, whether she consents or not.
74. rape def4: If someone doesn't want to get raped, they shouldn't make themselves such
an easy target.
75. rape def5: Many women have a desire to be forced into sexual activity, and may set up
a situation to be attacked.
76. rape def6: If a girl engages in necking or petting and lets things get out of hand, it's
her fault if her partner forces her to have sex.
77. rape def7: Anyone can resist being raped if they really want to.


78. As a minor (under 18), were you ever involved in sexual behavior when you did not
want to participate?
YES NO
79. If yes, how often did this occur?
Once Sometimes Often Very often
80. Have you been required to participate in any treatment programs for your sex offense?
YES NO
81. Have you voluntarily participated in any treatment programs for your sex offense?
YES NO
82. Please circle any of these with whom you have had sexual contact for which you could
have been arrested or would likely be arrested if discovered. (circle all)
Males aged 0-12 Females aged 0-12
Males aged 13-15 Females aged 13-15
Males aged 16-17 Females aged 16-17
Adult Males Adult Females
Male family members Female family members
83. How old were you at your first such encounter? (may not have resulted in arrest)
Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old
10-14 years old 21-25 years old
15-17 years old 25+ years old










84. How long has it been since your last such encounter?
1 day week
1 week- 1 month
1 month 6 months
6 months 1 year
over 1 year
85. What was the age of your first ARREST for a sexual offense?
Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old
10-14 years old 21-25 years old
15-17 years old 25+ years old










LIST OF REFERENCES


Akers, R.L. (1985). Deviant Behavior: A Social LearningApproach (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA:
Wadsworth.

Akers, R.L., Krohn, M.D., Lanza-Kaduce, L., and Radosevich, M.J. (1979). Social learning and
deviant behavior: A specific test of a general theory. American Sociological Review, 44,
635-655.

Akers, R., La Greca, A., Cochran, J., and Sellers, C. (1989). Social learning theory and alcohol
behavior among the elderly. Sociological Quarterly, 30, 625- 638.

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Ma'~nual of2~ental
Disorders. Fourth Edition. Washington D.C: American Psychiatric Association.

Benda, B.B., and DiBlasio, F.A. (1991). Comparison of four theories of adolescent sexual
exploration. Deviant Behavior, 12, 235-257.

Boeringer, S.B., Shehan, C.L., and Akers, R.L. (1991). Social contexts and social learning in
sexual coercion and aggression: Assessing the contribution of fraternity membership.
Family Relations, 40, 58-64.

Bureau of Justice Assistance. (2007). Retrieved July 12, 2007 from
http://www.ojp.usdoj .gov/BJA/what/2a2jwactbackground.html.

Burt, M.R. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal ofPersonality and Social
Psychology, 38, 217-230.

Cleary, Shawna. (2004). Sex Offenders and Self-Control. New York: LFB Scholarly
Publishing.

Cole, S.G. (1984). Greek sanctions against sexual assault. Cla;ssicalPhilology, 79, 97-113.

Demare, D., Lips, H.M., and Briere, J. (1988). Violent pornography and self-reported likelihood
of sexual aggression. Journal ofResearch in Personality, 22, 140-153.

Durkin, K.F., Wolfe, T.W., and Clark, G.A. (2005). College students and binge drinking: An
evaluation of social learning theory. Sociological Spectrum, 25, 255-272.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (2006). Retrieved October 24, 2006 from
http://offender.fdle. state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do .

Florida Statute 775.21 (2005)

Gentry, C.S. (1991). Pornography and rape: An empirical analysis. Deviant Behavior, 12, 277-
288.

Hanson, R.K., and Scott, H. (1996). Social networks of sexual offenders. Psychology Crime and
Law, 2, 249-258.










Hanson, R. K., Gizzarelli, R., and Scott, H. (1994). Attitudes of incest offenders: Sexual
entitlement and acceptance of sex with children. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 21, 187-
202.

Hanson, R. K., Gordon, A., Harris, A. J. R., Marques, J. K., Murphy, W., Quinsey, V. L., et al.
(2002). First report of the collaborative outcome data proj ect on the effectiveness of
psychological treatment for sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal ofResearch and
Treatment, 14, 169-194.

Higgins, G. E. and Tewksbury, R. (2006). Sex and self control theory: The measures and causal
model may be different. Youth and Society, 37, 479-503.

Holmes, R.M. (1983). The Sex Offender and the Criminal Justice System. Springfield: C.C.
Thomas

Holmes, R. M., and Holmes, S. T. (2002). Sex Crimes: Patterns and Behavior. Newbury Park,
CA: Sage.

Jenkins, P. (1998). Moral Panic:~~~~PPPPP~~~~PPPP Changing Concepts of the Child Molester in M~odern America.
New Haven: Yale University Press.

Jessica Lunsford Act. Amendments to F.S. 775.21 and F.S. 943.0435 (2005).

Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abductions (JRC). (2006). Retrieved October 12,
2006 from www.jimmyryce.org .

Krafft-Ebbing, R, von (1922). Psychopathia Sexualis: A M~edicoforensic Study. trans. F. J.
Rebman. Brooklyn, NY: Physicians & Surgeons Book Co.

Krohn, M. D., Skinner, W. F., Massey, J. L., and Akers, R. L. (1985). Social learning theory and
adolescent cigarette smoking: A longitudinal study. Social Problems, 1985, 32, 455-473.

Lanza-Kaduce, L., Akers, R., Krohn, M., and Radosevich, M. (1984). Cessation of alcohol and
drug use among adolescents: A social learning model. Deviant Behavior, 5, 79-96.

Levenson, J. S., and Cotter, L. P. (2005). The impact of sex offender residence restrictions:
1,000 feet from danger or one step from absurd? International Journal of Offender
Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49, 168-178.

Linz, D., Donnerstein, E., and Penrod, S. (1984). The effects of multiple exposures to filmed
violence against women. Journal of Communication, 34, 130-147.

Malamuth, N. M., and Briere, J. (1986). Sexual violence in the media: Indirect effects on
aggression against women. Journal of SociallIssues, 42, 75-92.

Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1985). The effects of aggressive pornography on beliefs
in rape myths: Individual differences. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 299-320.










Malamuth, N. M., Haber, S., and Feshbach, S. (1980). Testing hypotheses regarding rape:
Exposure to sexual violence, sex differences, and the "normality" of rapists. Journal of
Research in Personality. 14, 121-137.

Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, an office of the Florida
Legislature. (2000). The Sexually Violent Predator Progrant 's Assessment Process
Continues to Evolve. OPPAGA Program Review. 99-36.

Sample, L.L. and Bray, T.M. (2003). Are sex offenders dangerous? Criminology andPublic
Policy, 3(1), 59-82.

Sampson, A. (1994) Acts of Abuse: Sex Offenders and the Criminal Justice System. London:
Routl edge.

Scholle, A. (2000). Sex offender registration. FBILaw/ Enforcement Bulletin, 69(7), 17-24.

Spalding, Larry H. (1998). Florida's 1997 Chemical Castration Law: A Return to the Dark
Ages. Florida State University Law Review. 25, 117.

Terry, K. (2006) Sexual Offenses and Offenders: Theory, Practice, and Policy. Toronto:
Thomson Wadsworth.

Tewksbury, Richard. (2005). Collateral consequences of sex offender registration. Journal of
Contensporary Criminal Justice. 21(1): 67-81.

Warr, M. (2002). Companions in Crime: The Social Aspects of Criminal Conduct. Cambrid ge:
Cambridge University Press.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Tasha J. Youstin graduated with honors from Florida Atlantic University with her Bachelor

of Arts degree in criminology and criminal justice in 2004. She entered the criminology, law and

society master' s program at the University of Florida in August of 2005. Upon completion of

her M.A., Tasha made the transition to New York City in order to pursue her Ph.D. at John Jay

College of Criminal Justice.

In her spare time, Tasha enjoys singing and has played the guitar for the past 13 years. She

also enj oys SCUBA diving, playing with her dog (a puggle named Odin), and is an avid Gator

sports fan.





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THEORY AND SEXUAL OFFENSES: TES TING THE EXTENT TO WHICH SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY CAN ACCOUNT FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLEGAL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR By TASHA JEAN YOUSTIN A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007 1

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2007 Tasha Jean Youstin 2

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To the people in my life who have always believed in me To my family, whose abundant love and support has been unconditional To Matt, who continually inspires me to be th e best that I can bethank you for your help, patience, reassurance, and love To my parents, Ray and Heidie Youstin, whose se lflessness and strength has made me the person I am today. Thank you for showing me that w ith hard work and determination, anything is possible. I love you 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank Dr. Eve Brank and Dr. Alex Piquero, members of my supervisory committee, for the time and effort they dedicated to this project. I would like to give spec ial thanks to my chair, Dr. Ronald Akers, for helping me translate my ideas onto paper for the survey instrument, and for his patience and optimism in de veloping the project I had envisi oned. I could not have asked for a more helpful or supportive committee. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........6 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................7 CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW.........................................................................................................8 Introduction: Sexual Offenses and Offenders..........................................................................8 History......................................................................................................................................9 Contemporary Sex Offender Laws.........................................................................................13 Sex Offenders in Florida.........................................................................................................15 Theories Dealing with Sexual Offenses.................................................................................16 Psychological Assessments.............................................................................................18 Criminological Theories..................................................................................................20 2 DATA AND METHODOLOGY...........................................................................................27 Procedure................................................................................................................................27 Hypotheses..............................................................................................................................30 Dependent Variable............................................................................................................. ...31 Independent Variables............................................................................................................32 Demographic and Control Variables......................................................................................34 Data Analysis..........................................................................................................................34 3 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........35 Participant Demographics....................................................................................................... 35 Distribution for Independent and Dependent Variables.........................................................35 Hypothesis 1................................................................................................................... ........37 Hypothesis 2................................................................................................................... ........39 4 CONCLUSIONS.................................................................................................................. ..41 Discussion...............................................................................................................................41 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........42 Future Research......................................................................................................................43 APPENDIX Sexual Offender Survey Questionnaire...........................................................46 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................52 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................55 5

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Descriptive statistics for select variables...........................................................................36 3-2 Non-parametric 2-independent sample s t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 1&2...............38 3-3 Non-parametric 2-independent sample s t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 3&4...............40 6

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THEORY AND SEXUAL OFFENSES: TES TING THE EXTENT TO WHICH SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY CAN ACCOUNT FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLEGAL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR By Tasha Jean Youstin August 2007 Chair: Ronald L. Akers Cochair: Eve M. Brank Major: Criminology, Law, and Society With the growing public concern over sexual offe nses and offenders, in-depth research into the causes of these crimes is essential. Despit e years of research from various academic areas, there has been little theoretical consensus to expl ain participation in sexually deviant behavior. The present study tests the abil ity of one prominent criminol ogical theory, Social Learning Theory, to explain sexually deviant behavior. A sample of convicted sexual offenders from one county in Florida was obtained through mail surveys. Results indi cate that offenders with higher self-reported levels of partic ipation in sexually deviant beha vior scored higher and in the expected direction when compared with offe nders with lower reported participation. The analyses show partial support for this theory, and illustrate the need for more research into the relationship between sexually devi ant behavior and social learning mechanisms. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed. 7

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CHAPTER 1 LITERATURE REVIEW Introduction: Sexual Offenses and Offenders In his 1994 book on sexual abuse, Adam Sampson begins by stating that three questions must be answered in order to form a th eoretical background for the phenomenon of sexual offending. Those questions are: What do we mean by sexual offending? What causes individuals to commit sexual offenses? And ar e such offenders amenable to treatment? (Sampson, 1994: p. 1). While over a decade has passed since that statement was made, little cohesive work has been done to form a theoretical background for sexual offending. There is clearly no global definition of a sexual offense, and even in the United States, there is no national definition for the behavior. Indi vidual jurisdictions decide which acts are deemed as sexual offenses, and which offenders are given a label of sex offender. Though some offenses are common throughout all jurisdictions in the US, va riations in terminology make it difficult to form a national definition. For the purposes of this study, sexual offenses will refer to sexual behaviors made illegal through law and regularly prosecuted against, such as pedophilia, viewing child pornography, and rape. While some jurisdic tions may still have la ws against adultery, sodomy (such as oral or anal sex), premarital se x, and homosexuality, few cases arise every year that involve prosecutions for thes e behaviors, despite their prev alence. Because laws against these acts are not regularly enforced, these ac ts will be excluded when referring to sexual offenses. For theories as to why individuals commit these offenses, there are psychodynamic theories, biological theories, feminist theories, at tachment theories, behavioral theories, and the list goes on and on. Terry (2006: p. 50) states, despite years of research, theories on sexual offending are still inconclusive it is now clear that no single explanation accurately encompasses the myriad factors associated with the onset of deviant be havior. That opinion 8

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will be tested through future research. Regarding the effect of treatment on sex offenders, there has been no conclusive answer to that question as well. While a recent, comprehensive metaanalysis of treatment programs found that cogn itive-behavioral treatme nt programs could reduce sexual recidivism by up to 40%, previous reviews of programs have provided a wide variety of findings (Hanson et al. 2002). The lack of agreement from researchers, mixe d with the public view of sexual offenders as monsters (Samson, 1994), has combined to create an atmosphere of hatred and fear. These feelings, guided by sensationalized media coverage of rare, horrible acts of violence against children, have helped to impose increasingly punitive legislation and policies on sex offenders. But while the fate of sex offenders continues to be a hot topic with politicians and news media, there is still a gross lack of understanding as to th e factors that drive this crime. The purpose of the study at hand will be to dete rmine the extent to which Social Learning Theory can account for an individuals participation in sexual deviance. Hopefully, this research can answer at least one of the critical questions necessary to creating a theoretical framework for understanding sexual offenses. History Activities viewed in this age as sexually deviant are not all new. In fact, there are accounts of sexually deviant acts in our earliest recorded history, from ancient Egyptian papyri to the Bible. Von Krafft-Ebing (1922), an in fluential psychologist in the early 20th century, believed that psychopathia sexualis (sexually deviant behavior) wa s a direct result of the overstimulated sensuality of advanced culture. While his work on sexual deviance was groundbreaking, the idea of limiting sexual deviance to advanced culture was not accepted by all scholars. Dr. Iwan Bloch, another scholar of the time, countered von Krafft-Ebing by commenting, the nature of the sex impulse and of its anomalies is simply independent of all 9

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culture, and exhibits the same characteristics among primitive and civilized peoples (Bloch, 1933: p. 9). While it is difficu lt to account for sexually deviant behavior because of its subjective nature, it is clear th at there have always been se xual taboos throughout history, and despite its constant nature, se xually deviant behavior is sti ll a shocking occurrence to people today. A closer look into history reveals that sexually acceptable behavior has varied to incredible degrees. Pedophilia, polygamy and lewdness (such as public sex) are all acts which, at one time or another, were viewed as completely acceptable. Around 3200 BC, the Mesopotamians (accepted as a civilized culture) cu lminated their religi ous ceremonies with the Akita festival. During this festival, the high priest and prieste ss would celebrate the re ligious experience with sexual intercourse in front the congregation (Holmes, 1983). Jewi sh families illustrated in the Old Testament were structured around polygamy, a practiced that was not only accepted, but also morally legitimate. Pedophilia was a common pr actice among the ancient Greeks, who viewed the highest form of love as that between an adult male and a prepubescent boy (Holmes and Holmes, 2002). Yet, while homosexuality was in stitutionalized in Greek society, relationships between adult males and male adolescents who had reached puberty were taboo. Just as acceptable sexual practices have varied throughout history, punishments for participation in sexually deviant act s have also varied. In some cu ltures, illegal sexual acts were viewed as egregious actions against society, calli ng for the death of the offender, as seen in ancient texts such as the old testament book of Deuteronomy. At one point in ancient Greek culture, the punishment for rape under Solons law was only a mone tary fine (Cole, 1984). The punishments have seemed to reflect the general at titudes at the time towards sex within different cultures, and as views towards sexuality became increasingly strict or conservative, the gravity 10

PAGE 11

of sex crimes increased. In the United Stat es, definitions and punishments for sexual crimes have also changed with th e shifting views on sexuality. The U.S. has always maintained laws identifying sex crimes. The first official laws against sexual acts, seen in the colonial law codes, were justified as moral laws because the acts were considered grave sins (Jenkins, 1998). Morality laws, which found acts such as homosexuality, adultery, and oral sex to be illegal, regardless of consent, we re enforced in some jurisdictions until 1961. It is difficult to identify the rate of occurrence for serious sexual crimes in America before the middle of the twentieth century for a few reasons. First, it is hard to distinguish between lesser or severe sex crimes in official records because most acts, including homosexuality, were simply iden tified as crimes not to be named among Christians (Jenkins, 1998: p. 22). In addition, age of consent for se xual activity has changed multiple times, with different states maintaining differe nt ages of consent. At one poi nt, the age of consent was 21 in Tennessee and 7 in Delaware. Another problem wa s the effect of a womans sexual history in determining the charge against her offender. In states such as North Carolina and West Virginia, the charge of rape could only be used if the victim was a virgin prior to the incident. Also, due to the social implications of bei ng a victim of a sexual offense, it is believed that a majority of sexual crimes were unreported (Jenkins, 1998). Over the past century, concepts of sexuality and perceptions of dealing with sexually deviant behavior have gone thr ough three identifiable periods in the United States (Terry, 2006). The first, ranging from 1885 to 1935, saw what is c onsidered the first wave of panic, as the public first took notice in mass to sexual deviants This period was precipitated by the work of psychologists such as Freud and Krafft-Ebbing before the start of the 20th century, whose research on sexual deviant behavi or opened the doors for the world to discuss and focus on these 11

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offenders. Also adding to the concern over se xuality was the Womens Christian Temperance Movement, who called for the age of consent to be raised to 18 years old, due to a growing number of women in the work pl ace who could be taken advantage of and sexually corrupted. A string of cases given high media coverage between 1910 and 1915 led to the first panic over sexual killers and perverts. During this time, chemical castration was a common treatment for sexual offenders, and indeterminate sentences were frequently used. By the mid 1920s the panic against stranger danger cooled and the focus was put on child molestation and incest due to rising venereal diseases among children. The second period extended from 1936 to 1976 and saw the emergence of what is termed the sexual psychopath. The horrific story of Albert Fish, a renowned child killer, permeated through the minds of the public in the mid 1930s. 1 The renewed concern over sexual deviants led to a crackdown against sexual offenses, whic h saw increasing arrests for sexual offenses. While the increase in arrests seemed to suggest that sexual offenses were on the rise, the majority of the arrests were for homosexual activity, or minor sexual offenses such as frotteurism (rubbing ones genitals against another person, usual in public places). The focus at the time was on rare habitual sexual offenders, and led to the creation of the term sexual psychopath by researchers. Because criminal sanctions did not seem to be enough to deal with the problem of these offenders, sexual psychopath legislation was passed to allow sexual offenders to be committed to mental hospitals for indefinite am ounts of time (Terry, 2006). This legislation had many flaws, including the fact that there was no uniform defi nition of sexual psychopath, and as 1 Albert Fish, known as the Grey Man, was responsible for the abduction, torture and murder of numerous children in and around New York during the first part of the 20th century. Despite the unalarming looks of this frail old man, Fish committed some of the most gruesome acts imaginable, making a habit of sexually assaulting his victims, before murdering and dismembering them, and then participating in cannibalism. 12

PAGE 13

such, varied from state to st ate. The panic over sexual offe nses dissipated by the 1960s and 1970s as the liberal era brought about a social and sexual revol ution. Sexual psychopath laws fell into disuse, and the public began to question what was sexually deviant. Despite a short period free from panic over se xually deviant behavi or, the third period, which ranged from 1977 to present day, saw the emergence of the sexually violent predator (Terry, 2006). Highly publicized child murders led to legislation which focused on harsher penalties for sexual offenders, and systems which tr y to alert the public to the presence of these offenders. This legislation also awakened th e sexual psychopath legislation, which had been dormant for some time. Amendments were made to the previous sexual psychopath legislation to allow civil commitment to be used to suppl ement incarceration instead of replace it. These amendments made it so offenders deemed as sexually violent predators could be committed indefinitely, immediately following a jail sentence, without the possi bility of being released into the public again. The next section discusses the curre nt state of sex offender laws in more detail. Contemporary Sex Offender Laws In the 1990s, America saw an increased fear and awareness of sex offenders, as illustrated in various acts passed by legislati on that targeted perpetrators of sex crimes. The first act in a wave of legislation was the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, 1994. This act was na med in honor of Jacob Wetterling, an 11-yearold boy who was abducted in 1989 by a masked man while Jacob was riding his bike home from the convenience store in Minnesota with his brother and a friend. He was never found. It was later discovered that local halfway houses in Mi nnesota housed sex offenders after their release from prison, and it is believed that one such re sident was responsible for the abduction (Bureau of Justice Assistance, 2007). The Wetterling Act required that 10% of a states funding from the Edward Bryne Memorial State and Local Law Enfo rcement Assistance grant program be used to 13

PAGE 14

create and maintain state-wide systems for re gistering and tracking c onvicted sex offenders (Sample and Bray, 2003). This was the first national requirement fo r state sex offender databases. The act also encour aged states to collect DNA sample s from sex offenders for storage in databases. Although this act was originally created to focus on sex offenses against children, all 50 states have expanded thei r registries to include offende rs of violent or nonviolent sex crimes against any person, regard less of age (Scholle, 2000). The attention of millions of Americans wa s held in 1993 and 1994 by the media coverage of two young girls, Polly Klass and Megan Kanka. Polly Klass, in 1993, was abducted from her California home, sexually assaulted, and murdered. A year later, Megan Kanka was also taken from her New Jersey home, sexually assaulted, and murdered. Both girls were victimized by previously convicted sex offende rs who were released from prison. These crimes led to the creation of Megans Laws in 1996, an amendmen t to the Wetterling act which requires sex offender registry information be made availabl e to the public (Sample and Bray, 2003). Another act passed in 1996 was the Pam Lychner Sexual Of fender Tracking and Identification Act. This act mandated the creation of a national database of all sex offender registries (Scholle, 2000). The Wetterling Act was again modified with the passage of the PROTECT amendment. 2 This amendment made it mandatory for states to create and maintain internet websites containing sex offender registration information (Levenson and Cotter, 2005). Florida has had a variety of changes to sexua l offender policies over the past decade. In 1997, Florida legislation enacted ch apter 97-184 of Florida laws, a llowing for the sentencing of sexual batterers to chemical cast ration. Sexual offenders who are se ntenced to weekly injections of medroxyprogesterone acetate (M PA) can, however, choose physical castration instead, if they 2 Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act, 2003. 14

PAGE 15

so wish (Spalding, 1998). Floridas Jimmy Ry ce Act became effective in 1999. This act was created after Jimmy Ryce, a 9-year-old boy fr om South Florida, was kidnapped at gunpoint, sexually assaulted, murdered, and dismembered. Th e act created a civil commitment process of sexually violent predators, like the Baker Act procedures to involuntarily commit and treat mentally ill persons (OPPAGA, 2000). The Act also allows for the posting of photographs of missing children who are thought to be kidnap victims in public places, such as rest stops, visitor information centers, toll booth pl aza facilities, and toll plaza ticket windows on state run highways, as well as inserts in direct mail outs sent by state agencies (JRC, 2006). The most recent amendment to Floridas Se xual Offender and Predator Registration Laws was the Jessica Lunsford Act in 2005 which requi red sex offenders and predators to report in person twice a year to the sheriffs office. Fl orida created the Florida Shared School Results System (FSSR) through this legislation, enabling schools to share criminal history information. The act also raised the penaltie s for violations of certain laws, and required offenders labeled sexual predators to wait a minimum of 30 year s before petitioning for the removal of the designation (Jessica Lunsford Act, 2005). Howe ver, if the offender was designated a sexual offender and has been released from supervision for 20 years without rearrest, or if the offender was under 18 at the time of arrest and the vic tim was 12 or older, and the offender has been released from supervision for 10 years without r earrest, the offender can petition for the removal of the designation sexual offender and be remove d from the sexual offender/predator database (Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 2006). Sex Offenders in Florida In the state of Florida, there are two designations for offenders of sexual crimes: sex offenders and sexual predators. Sexual offenders, as classified, present a le sser threat of harm to the community than that of sexual predators. To be classified as a sex offender, one only needs 15

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to commit a single violation of a sexual law. Some examples of thes e violations are the commission of (or attempted) solicitation or conspiracy to commit kidnapping, false imprisonment, attempting to lure a child, sexual battery, procuring a minor for prostitution, lewd or lascivious offenses committed against or in the presence of persons under 16, the elderly or disabled, sexual performance by a child, selling or buying of minor s for portrayal in a visual depiction engaging is sexually explicit condu ct, and various computer crimes including pornography. (Fla Statute 775.21, Fl orida Sexual Predator Act) An offender can be labeled by the court as a se xual predator if they are found guilty of a single violation (termed one is enough) of a cap ital, life, first degree felony violation, or any attempt of kidnapping, false imprisonment, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offenses committed against or in the presence of persons under the age of 16, or selling or buying of minors for portrayal in a visual depiction engaging is sexually explicit conduct. Sexual offenders can also be classified as sexual predator s by the courts (termed second stri ke) if they are convicted of any felony violation or attempt of kidnapping, false imprisonment, attempting to lure a child, sexual battery, procuring a minor for prostitu tion, lewd or lascivious offenses, sexual performance by a child, or selling or buying of minors for portrayal in a visual depiction engaging is sexually explicit conduct and have a previous conviction for any of the offenses listed for classification of a sex offender, or unl awful sexual activity with certain minors. (Fla Statute 775.21, Florida Se xual Predator Act ) Theories Dealing with Sexual Offenses Many theories have been used to explain involvement in illegal sexual behavior. Biological, psychological, and so ciological theories have provid ed many viable reasons as to why individuals commit sexual offenses. This myri ad of theories has made difficult to create a consensus for treatment, and has made it seem as though there is no one theory that can 16

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completely account for participation in deviant sexual behavior. While it is not unlikely that there are a multitude of factors that contribute to ones participation in illegal sexual behavior, it is also possible that more involved studies in the future may provide insight into sexual offending not currently available. Until recently, many of the theories used to explain deviant sexual behavior have lacked empiri cal support, and empirical studies in this area are still in their infancy (Terry, 2006). This is not unexpected, as it is generally accepted that sexual offenders are a difficult population to sample. But, it is cl ear that the studies to date have not been adequate enough to provide a sound theoretica l background to make any assumptions about sexual offenders. Despite this lack of empirical support, there are some common theories used to describe participation in sexual deviant behavior. Psychodynamic theories describe sexual deviance as a problem associated with developmental problems when dealing with the human psyche (id, ego, and superego). Sexual deviance occurs when the id is overactive. It is difficult to test this theory however, as the id is more of an ideal than something that is tangible, or for that matter, testable. Biological theories suggest that there are physiological reasons fo r the participation in deviant sexual behavior, such as increased hormone leve ls or chromosomal makeup. Feminist theories attribute rape as a tool of gaining power over wo men. While some rapists have shown that they hate or devalue women, these theories do not adequately account for participation in other sexually deviant behavior that does not have a male female dynamic. Attachment theories suggest that sexually deviant beha vior due to the loneliness or is olation felt by loss or emotional distress that can occur in infancy, adolescence, or adulthood. According to this theory, individuals with poor self-esteem and low self-confidence are the most likely to participate in sexually deviant behavior. Cognitive behavior theories were developing beginning in the 1970s 17

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and built upon prior behavior th eories by taking into account th e offenders thoughts as well as their actions. These theories attribute particip ation in sexually deviant behavior to classical conditioning, arguing that sexually deviant behavior is learning like any other behavior. Psychosocial theories combine ps ychological factors and sociologi cal factors to explain sexually deviant behavior. Inappropriate so cialization is the catalyst for th is behavior according to these theories. Finally, integrated theories try to comb ine aspects of the indivi dual theories mentioned above to fill in the gaps left by the individual th eories alone. Integrated theories posit that a variety of preconditions lead to participation in sexually deviant behavior. These theories focus on the process by which one is motivated to offend and overcomes internal and external inhibitions to participate in the behavior (Terry, 2006). Psychological Assessments Most illegal sexual behaviors are found in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Di sorders (DSM-IV-TR), listed under pa raphilias. The criteria for a paraphilia diagnosis are recurrent, intense sexu ally arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving non-human objects, the suffering or humiliation of oneself or ones partner, or children or other non-consenti ng persons that occur over a period of at least 6 months (American Psychiatric Association, 20 00: p. 566). The disorders recognized in the DSM-IV-TR are exhibitionism (exposure of genitals), fetishism (use of non-living objects), frotteurism (touching and rubbing against a non-consenting person), pedophilia (focus on prepubescent children), sexual masochism (r eceiving humiliation or suffering), sexual sadism (inflicting humiliation or suffering on others), transvestic fetishism (cross-dressing), and voyeurism (observing sexual activity). Not all of th ese disorders are illegal, and not all require actual participation in th e activity to be diagnosed. Some only require that impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning occur from the behavior, sexual urges, or 18

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fantasies. While useful in choosing a course of treatment for those dia gnosed with a paraphilia, the DSM-IV-TR is not predictive in any way. Another assessment for sexual offenders is typologies developed from studies on the motivations behind sexual offenses. In some ways, these typologies are diagnostic, and are useful for deciding the best course of action with a given offender, but they have limited predictive power for the general public. There are typologies for rapist s, such as sexually motivated and non-sexually motivated. Sexually motivated offenders can be exclusively sexual (they are motivated completely by sexual needs), or sadist (sexual gra tification is achieve through the victims pain and suffe ring). Non-sexually motivated offenders can be classified as power/control (offender desires power or domin ance), opportunistic (adventure seeker who commits offense during another offense), or mass ra pe (seen in war situations where the offender has a need for power while using rape as a weapon) (Terry, 2006). Child molesters can be categorized into two groups, situational and preferential, with numerous subgroups. Preferential offenders prefer children as the focus of their sexual activity, whereas situational offenders offend against childr en because of a lack of other options (Holmes and Holmes, 2002). Within situational offenders there are regressed offenders (poor coping skills, victims are easily accessible), morally indi scriminate (offenders use children, or anyone available, for their sexual needs), sexually i ndiscriminate (abuse children out of boredom, sexually experimental), and inadequate (relati onships with children are the only sexual outlet available due to social awkwardness caused by low self-esteem and insecurities). Preferential offenders can be categorized into seductive o ffenders (court children and try to have real relationships with them), fixated offenders (poo r psychosexual development leads to a desire for 19

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children that is compulsive) and sadistic offe nders (aggressive, excited by violence, target strangers and are very danger ous) (Holmes and Holmes, 2002). Other typologies for child molesters sepa rate offenders into fixated and regressed offenders. Fixated offenders are more likely to re offend, as they have a compulsive attraction to children. These offenders target extrafamilial fema le or males, with premeditated offenses which emerge in adolescence. Regressed offenders begin offending in adulthood, with offending brought on by stressors. These offenders target intrafamilial or acquain tances who they have easy access to, and the offending is a departure from the offenders normal attraction to adults. These offenders are at lower risk for reoffending and can feel remorse for their actions (Terry, 2006). Criminological Theories To date, there has been little research done in the field of Criminology to theoretically explain the occurrence of sexually deviant behavior. Two theories that have been explored thus far with samples of sex offenders are Gottfre dson and Hirschis A General Theory of Crime dealing with self control, and Cohen and Felsons Routine Activities Theory. Sasse (2005) focused on the motivation aspect of Routine Ac tivities Theory. Suggesting that different motivations will lead to different types of o ffending, the study looked at differences in drug, alcohol, and physical abuse among a sample of sex offenders undergoing treatment. The findings suggested that abuse (pri or physical or sexual) and drug use were predictive of in home sexual offenses, while alcohol use was predicti ve of community offending. In a test of Gottfredson and Hirschis General Theory of Crime using sex offenders, Cleary (2004) found that sex offenders in treatment reported lower levels of self-cont rol than non-sex offenders and sex offenders not in treatment, as well as higher levels of criminal behavior and deviant behavior as children. In addition, it was found that sex offenders did not specialize in their offending 20

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patterns, supporting the idea in General Theory of Crime that most offenders are generalists. Cleary also examine sexual offenses in the context of Routine Activities Theory, in an effort to tie in the idea by Gottfredson and Hirschi (1993) that low self-control wo rks in connection with opportunity and other factors to f acilitate crime. Interviews w ith offenders gave support to a routine activities approach as pa rticipating sex offenders revealed themselves to be motivated offenders who selected suitable victims lacking capable guardians hip. While these studies are useful in moving towards a theoretical framewor k for sex offenders that incorporates current criminological theories, it is obvious that mo re theories should be tested before any generalizations can be made. Social learning theory : In 1966, Burgess and Akers reformulated Sutherlands Differential Association Theory in order to in corporate behaviorism into the learning model (Akers, 1985). 3 This new theory integrated differential association with differential reinforcement. Known at the time as differentia l reinforcement-association, the theory is now referred to as Social Learning Theory and includ es seven statements regarding deviant behavior. Deviant Behavior is learned according to the principles of operant conditioning. Deviant behavior is learne d both in nonsocial situations that are reinforcing or discriminating and through that social interacti on in which the behavior of other persons is reinforcing or discriminating for such behavior. The principal part of the learning of devi ant behavior occurs in those groups which comprise or control the individuals major source of reinforcements. The learning of deviant behavior, including sp ecific techniques, att itudes, and avoidance procedures, is a function of the effective and available reinforcers and the existing reinforcement contingencies. 3 Behaviorism is an area in psychology that deals with learning and habit formation as opposed to instinct. Some key researchers in this area include Ivan Pavlov, B. F. Skinner, and Albert Bandura. 21

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The Specific class of behavior learned and its frequency of o ccurrence are a function of the effective and available reinfo rcers, and the deviant or nondeviant direction of the norms, rules, and definitions which in the past have accompanied the reinforcement. The probability that a person will commit deviant behavior is increased in the presence of normative statements, definitions, and verbalizat ions which, in the process of differential reinforcement of such behavior over confor ming behavior, have acquired discriminative value. The strength of deviant beha vior is a direct function of the amount, frequency, and probability of its reinforcement. The modalitie s of association with deviant patterns are important insofar as they affect the source, amount, and scheduling of reinforcement. The basis for Social Learning Theory is the be lief that all behavior, deviant or conforming, can be explained by general behavioral principles (Akers, 1985). The focus of the theory is on operant behavior, which can be influenced by stimulus events which follow the behavior. In early experiments with behavior modification, Ivan Pavlov looked at the influence of stimulus by showing that the introduction of conditione d stimuli could evoke an intended response. 4 Decades later, B. F. Skinner ( 1953) showed that one could increas e or decrease the frequency of a certain behavior through positive or negative re inforcement. This work with punishments and rewards laid the foundation for contemporary behaviorism, and is the origin for the reinforcement variable; one of f our main concepts in Social Learning Theory. The remaining concepts are differential associ ation, imitation and definitions. Social Learning Theory posits that the learni ng mechanism of social behavior is operant conditioning, and behavior is shaped by direct conditioning and the imitation and modeling of others behavior (Akers, 1985; Akers, Krohn, La nza-Kaduce, and Radosevich, 1979). Behavior is then strengthened by positive reinforcement, or weakened by negative reinforcement. Through interactions with significant groups, individua ls learn to define behavior as good or bad. If an individual has an excess of definitions favorable or neut ralizing to a behavior, they are 4 Pavlov was able to condition a dog to salivate at the sound of a bell through the use of conditioned stimuli. 22

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more likely to engage in that behavior. While there can be nonsocial re inforcers to behavior, Social Learning Theory holds that the most behavior effects come from interaction in or under the influence of those groups which control individuals major sources of reinforcement and punishment and expose them to behavioral models and normative definitions (Akers et al. 1979). This differential associati on concept holds that close peer groups and ones family are the most influential social groups for an individual. Many tests have looked at the ability of Soci al Learning Theory to account for various types of deviance. The theory has been used to explain drug use ce ssation or continuation (Lanza-Kaduce et al. 1984), alcohol use among the elderly (Akers et al. 1989), binge drinking (Durkin, Wolfe and Clark, 2005), and smoking behavior ( Krohn et al. 1985), to name a few. While Social Learning Theory is used to explain general deviance, its abil ity to explain illegal sexual behavior has received little attention. Ak ers (1985) contends that sexual socialization of children can lead to sexual devi ance in two ways: either the parents or other individuals who socialize children into sex ro le behavior provide direct re inforcement for deviant sexual behavior, or the heterosexual socialization occurs in a way that leaves the child ill prepared for normal sexual behavior. The way in which Social Learning Theory accounts for deviant sexual behavior is not clearly defined, but Akers suggests that individuals must re define their behavior as justified and worth the risk they are taking if they initially feel they are doing something wrong. He continues to say that justifications are abundant in the general culture, but that learning these justifications may involve a ssociations with others who are supportive or approving (Akers, 1985: pp. 187-190). Akers explains deviant sexual behavior such as homosexuality and prostitution, but does not give detail on illegal sexual be havior such as rape, 23

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child molestation, or viewing child pornography. The current study will make an attempt to fill this gap in the Social Learning literature. While to date there has not been a test of Social Learning Theory on a general population of sex offenders, various studies have shown support for each of the main concepts of the theory. Hanson, Gizzarelli and Scott (1994) performed a st udy on incest offenders aimed at identifying specific attitudes of these offenders that may be related to their offense. The study found that incest offenders, when compared with male batt erers and a control group of non-offenders, were the most likely to perceive ch ildren as sexually attractive and sexually motivated. The incest offenders were also more likely to minimize the harm caused by the sexual abuse of children and agreed with attitudes supportiv e of male sexual entitlement. Another study, sampling male undergraduate students, found that self-reported likelihood of sexual aggr ession was related to conservative and rape supportive attitudes, as determined by the acceptance of interpersonal violence against women scale, and use of por nographic materials (Demar, Briere and Lips, 1988). Both of these studies support the defi nitions concept of Social Learning Theory. Support for the imitation concept of this theory can be found in the previous literature as well. The Demar et al. study (1988) revealed that the use of sexually violent pornography was uniquely associated with the likelihood of usi ng sexual force and likelih ood of committing rape. In this study, the viewing of non-violent pornography and violen t (but not sexually violent) pornography were unrelated to self-reported likelihood of rape. A study by Marshall (1988) found that rapists and child mole sters reported higher usage of sexually explicit stimuli (hard core pornography) than incest or non-offenders. Al so, the study showed that 53% of the sampled child molesters, as well as 33% of the sampled rapists reported the delibe rate usage of sexually explicit stimuli in their preparation for an offense. Aside from the direct imitation that can occur 24

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from viewing specific behaviors, research has shown that individua ls can become desensitized to certain behaviors through observation. This desensitization can change definitions held by individuals in reference to th e behavior. A classic study by Li nz, Donnerstein and Penrod (1984) showed that participants with prolonged exposure to violent films perceived the films as less violent, had fewer negative reactions to films, and considered the films less degrading to women after the exposure. Two studies by Malamuth and Check (1980, 1985) showed that subjects exposed to positive rape portrayals felt less nega tively towards subsequent rape portrayals and believed a higher percentage of women would de rive pleasure from being sexually assaulted. While these studies show that pornography have can have a significant effect on individual viewers, with some studies suggesting that cert ain types of pornography can contribute to illegal sexual behavior (Demar et al. 1988; Marshall, 1988), aggregat e levels studies have shown mixed results. Analyses using state level data have found a positive relationship between pornography consumption and rape rates (Baron and Straus, 1987; Scott and Schwalm, 1988). Gentry (1991) performed an analysis using stan dard metropolitan statis tical areas instead of states as the units of analys es and found no significant relatio nship between circulation of pornography in an area and rape rates. The remaining two variables in Social Learning Theory, differential association and differential reinforcement, have also been supported through empiri cal research on sexual behavior. Benda and DiBlasio (1991), in their study of adolescent sexual exploration, found that perceived balance of rewards versus costs of se x accounted for 14% of the variance in adolescent sexual behavior. In line with differential association, peer pressure was also found to be a significant predictor. The same study found that the most influen tial factor affecting adolescent sexual behavior was differential peer associa tion. Finally, a study on peer groups of sexual 25

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26 offenders found that sexual offenders reported more association and identification with other sexual offenders than the non-offender community control group (Hanson and Scott, 1996). The study also found these associations to be offense specific, with ch ild molesters associating with other child molesters and rapi sts knowing other rapists. After a review of research on sexual offenses, there is evidence to suggest that Social Learning Theory will be predictive of sexual offenses, as there have been studies to support each of the main concepts of this theory with re gards to sexually devian t behavior. A study by Boeringer, Shehan and Akers (1991) tested social learning theory in th e context of coercive sexual behavior among male university students, with fraternity membership as a main variable. This study, which looked at very specific sexually deviant behavi or, found partial support for the theory. Initial one way analysis of variance showed that fraternity members differed significantly from non members in self perceived likelihood of sexually coercive behavior. The significance of fraternity memb ership disappeared, however, on ce the four social learning variables were controlled for. Overall, two of the four concepts were significantly different in the fraternity group (versus the non-fraternity group). Fraternity members had higher levels of differential association and differential reinforcement. The im pact of this study will be reinforced by the current study, which will test so cial learning theory against general illegal sexual behavior; child molestation, viewing child pornography, and rape.

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CHAPTER 2 DATA AND METHODOLOGY Procedure For the purposes of this study and subsequent studies, a questionnaire was created to test social learning theory in the context of illegal sexual behavior This questionnaire included 118 questions regarding topics such as participation in illegal sexual behavior, the four mechanisms associated with Social Learning Theory (diffe rential association, diffe rential reinforcement, imitation, and definitions), demographic information, and questions about sex offender experiences aimed at exploration. Some ques tions measuring imitation were influenced by questions used in the previously mentioned st udy by Boeringer, Shehan and Akers (1991). In addition, some questions used to measure definiti ons favorable to rape were taken from a scale used by Burt (1980) in a study which measured cultural myths and support for rape. After receiving Institutional Review Board approval, the survey was administered in May of 2007. Participants did not receive any compensation for their involvement. In order to test this theory, an offender sample was needed to answer specific questions relating to social learning variables, as well as individual involvement in illegal sexual behavior. Due to the personal and potentially incriminatin g nature of these questions, the data were collected through anonymous mail surveys. It is acknowledged that this procedure produces lower response rates than other possible survey ing methods, but the chosen procedure was the most appropriate for this study as the anonymity o ffered was expected to encourage participation above other potential methods. While the extent to which the general public engages in illegal sexual behavior is unknown, the survey was admi nistered to known sexual offenders (Group 1) to ensure a large enough sample of individuals shown to participate in this deviant behavior. To provide variation in responses and to allow for a more accurate test of Social Learning Theory, a 27

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control population of felony convi cted non-sexual offenders (Gr oup 2) in Alachua County was also sampled. The sampling frame for Group 1 was a listing of convicted sex offenders, who were not incarcerated, in Alachua County, Florida, as listed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website. Other st udies using samples of convicted sexual offenders have taken samples of inmates or offenders while partic ipating in treatment programs (Cleary, 2004; Levenson and Cotter, 2005). The concern with us ing treatment programs as a sampling frame is the potential selection effect for those in treatme nt programs who are there by choice, as well as the effect of filing out a survey during a group treatment session. Cleary (2004) found significant reporting differences between sex offe nders in treatment programs and sex offenders not participating in treatment programs. As all convicted sex offenders in Florida are ordered to participate in some type of treatment, the resu lts should not be compromised by these potential selection effects when using a sample of all regi stered sex offenders in a county. It should be noted, however, that in any voluntary survey, th ere is the potential for selection effects as motivated participants are more likely to respond. Despite this potential effect, a mail survey is still the most appropriate method of sampling for the reasons already listed. The sampling frame for Group 2 will be a listing of all felony convict ed non-sexual offenders from January of 2002 through January of 2007 in Alachua County, attain ed from the Clerk of Courts in Alachua County. An important factor to consider when sampling sex offenders is response rate. Tewksbury (2005) published his findings with only a 15.4% response rate. Of over 700 mail surveys, he was able to use only 121 in th e final analysis. Tewk sburys study stratified Kentuckys sex offender registry into metropolitan and non-metropo litan areas, giving two strata 28

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of almost equal size. After st ratifying, the researcher chose a systematic random sample of offenders from each stratum. Minor differen ces were found between participants from each stratum when asked about experiences as a convic ted sex offender. Using this design would have little benefit for the current study looking at So cial Learning Theory, though, because it is not suspected that sex offenders in one county are inherently different than sex offenders in another county. As such, in an effort to try to incr ease response rate, this study sampled only sexual offenders in Alachua County. This county was sele cted because it was anticipated that Alachua County residents would have a better unders tanding of scholastic research done by the University of Florida, as they live in close proximity to the campus. In Alachua County, 250 registered sexual o ffenders/predators were mailed anonymous surveys. Of the mailed surveys, 12 were return ed as undeliverable, yielding a final sample of 238. The response rate for this group was 8.4%, or 20 surveys. This number is a bit alarming, and is recognized as a limitation of this study, but due to the paucity of research in this area, even a limited sample reveals information about sexual o ffenders. Also, as mentioned earlier, it is accepted that is difficult to collect data on this population due to low response rate. The number of offenders who actually received the survey could be less than realized, as at any time offenders could have been rearre sted for new offenses or proba tion violations. Also, the low number of returned surveys may be due to the implementation of sex offender residency restrictions, as studies have s hown that law enforcement depart ment are losing track of where sex offenders are living because limited housi ng is contributing to sex offenders moving underground (Perlman, 2006). A random sample of 250 felony convicted non-se xual offenders living in Gainesville was obtained from a listing of all felony-convicted offe nders in Gainesville who were convicted since 29

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2002. While the control group includes higher rates of minorities and younger participants, these differences were not expected to affect results, as the mechanisms associated with Social Learning Theory should affect individuals the sa me, regardless of age or race. Unfortunately, only 1 survey was returned by mail, and as such, the control group of felony convicted nonsexual offender was left out of the final analysis. Hypotheses There were originally two hypotheses for this study. The first was that the reported level of participation in illegal sexual behavior by Group 1 (convicted sexual offenders) would be greater in frequency and severity than Group 2 (felony convicted non-sexual offenders). In addition, it was hypothesized that Gr oup 1 would score on measures of social learning variables in the expected direction, a nd would score higher on those m easures than Group 2, for illegal sexual behavior. Because of the lack of response from the control group, new hypotheses centered on the sexual offender group were de veloped in accordance with Social Learning Theory. The new hypotheses split the sexual of fender group in two subgroups based on selfreported levels of sexual deviance. Some offe nders reported never pa rticipating in sexual activities that would resu lt in arrest if discovered. Those respondents were placed in Group 1, labeled lower reported involvement The remaining participants were placed in Group 2, labeled higher reported involvement It was hypothesized that partic ipants in Group 2 would score higher on social learning variables, and in the expected directi on compared with Group 1. The overall sample was also split into two subgroups based on the participants involvement in specific illegal sexual behavior. Those who reported having se xual relationships with minors were placed into Group 4 (child molesters), while those who did not report having sexual relationships with minors were pl aced into Group 3 (non-child molest ers). With this division, it 30

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was hypothesized that those in Group 4 would have more approving definitions of child molestation than those in Group 3. Dependent Variable The dependent variable for this analysis was participation in illegal sexual activity. This was measured in two ways. First, the participan ts were asked how many times as an adult they had willingly been involved in sexual behavior th at would result in arrest if discovered. The participants were instructed that this meas ure did not include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital se x, or oral/anal sex between co nsenting adults. The response choices were categories of 0, 1-5, 6-15, 16-30, 3150, and 50+ times. The dependent variable was also measured with regards to more specific activity. Participants were asked: As an adult, how many times have you been involved in se xual behavior with a person 12 years old or younger; As an adult, how many times have you b een involved in sexual behavior with a person between 13-15 years old; and As an adult, how many time have you been sexually intimate with an adult who did not consent, with the same category choices ranging from 0 to 50+ times. The participants were also asked how many times in an average m onth they view media or online material sexually depicting children 12 and unde r or teenagers 13-15 years old. The response options also ranged from 0 to 50+ times a month. These questions were also used to measure the dependent variable, since viewi ng child pornography is illegal, as well as to measure the imitation concept of Social Learning Theory. From the responses to these questions, the participants were divided into tw o groups. First, the participants were divided into an offender and non-offender group based on answers to the que stion As an adult (18+), how many times have you been involved in sexual be havior that would result in ar rest if discovered? (Does NOT include consensual adult homosexual activity, adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults). Those who responded 0 we re placed into the non-offender group (Group 1). 31

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All other participants were pla ced into the offender group (Group 2). For the analysis, a second division was made among the participants. Based on responses to the ques tions on more specific offending, participants were divided into two gr oups. Group 3 was participants who had not had sexual relationships with minor s (under 16), and Group 4 include d the participants who did report having physical sexual relationships with minors. The analysis is discussed using both group divisions. Independent Variables The independent variables of interest included measures of Social Learning Theory. Differential association was measured using que stions which asked the respondent how often their friends or acquaintances, cl ose friends, or family members had engaged in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered. The response categorie s were arranged into a 5-point scale listing none, less than ha lf, half, more than half or All. According to the theory, individuals with higher levels of sexual deviance should re port more friends who participate in the same behavior. While the differential association concept includes m easures of frequency, intensity, priority, and duration for the effect of relations hips on an individual, it was anticipated that traditional measures such as these would not give an accurate depiction of the overall effect of a relationship on the participant, due to the sol itary behavioral pattern s of sexual offenders. Because of this, the only way in which the su rvey tried to elicit responses regarding more important peer associations was through the us e of questions which asked the respondent to report the behavior of the part icipants closest friends. Th e exclusion of the frequency, intensity, priority and duration of associations from this study does not indicate that sex offenders do not maintain relationships that vary in importance and influence. Rather, it must be acknowledged that those who participate in se xually deviant behavior may have important relationships that cannot be measured in this way. It is possible that sex offenders have what was 32

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termed by Warr (2002) as virtual peer groups, where the relationship is cultivated online and does not need to include in person interaction. Imitation was measured by asking the participan t how many times in a month they viewed media or online material sexuall y depicting children 12 and under, teenagers 13-15 years old, or depicting sexually aggressive acts towards men or women. Also, participants were asked about their parents involvement in de viant sexual behavior. As children learn behavior from their parents, it is possible that knowi ng of a parents deviant sexual be havior can influence a childs behavior as outlined through Social L earning Theorys imitation component. The reinforcement concept was measured fo r overall reinforcement and differential reinforcement. To measure overall reinforcement, participants were asked to weigh the positive and negative aspects of participating in a specifi c illegal sexual behavior. They were then asked, in the context of their life before their conviction, to ra te their participation in that behavior on a scale of 1 to 5 ranging from mainly positive to m ainly negative. Participants were asked to rate how their friends would react if they kne w about the participants involvement in the specified illegal sexual behavior The choices for this questi on range from 1Strongly Approve to 5Strongly Disapprove. This set of que stions measured differential reinforcement. Finally, definitions were measur ed through responses to three scales. A rape myth scale, incorporating questions from a scale created by Burt (1980) was used to measure definitions favorable or neutralizing to rape To measure definitions favo rable or neutralizing to child molestation or viewing child pornog raphy, scale were created for this study. According to Social Learning Theory, participant who report higher levels of illega l sexual behavior should score higher on the scales measuring favorable or neutralizing attitudes towards the behavior. 33

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34 Demographic and Control Variables Other variables measured in this study incl uded general demographic information such as race, age, employment, and income, as well as ov erall illegal behavior (sexual and non sexual) and age of onset of illegal behavior. Part icipants were asked about their own sexual victimization as minors, as research has shown th at sexual offenders are more likely to have been sexually victimized as children (Terry, 2006). Participants were also asked to complete a selfcontrol scale which was created for and utili zed in a study by Higgins and Tewksbury (2006). Data Analysis Upon receipt of complete surveys, responses were entered into SPSS for analysis. Because of the small sample size of this study, many tests that were intended to be utilized for this study could not be used. Instead, the analysis was limited to non-parametric tests and descriptive statistics such as frequencies. The Mann-Whitney U, or the equivalent of a two independent samples t-test was used for the analysis. Th e Mann-Whitney U is designed to find significant differences in reporting for each of the selected variables between the two identified groups. This analysis was used when splitting the gr oups into Group 1 and Group 2, based on reported participation in sexual activities that could result in arrest if discovered, as well as splitting the groups into those having sexual re lationships with minor s (Group 4), and those who did not have sexual relationships with minors (G roup 3). Frequencies were used to discuss the overall trends in the data, not just differences between the groups.

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CHAPTER 3 RESULTS Participant Demographics Of the 20 participants in the final analysis and removing any responses that were system missing, 100% of the sample reported being male. Most of the sample (40%) fell in the age range of 56 to 64 years old, followed by 25% be tween 35 and 49 years old, 20% over age 65, and 15% between 25 and 34 years old. 1 The sample was 85% white, and 100% not Hispanic. Over half of the sample (53%) had continued thei r education past high sc hool, although the highest level of school completed ranged from third grade to graduate school. Of the sample, 65% reported current income levels under $30,000 a year with 55% of the sample reporting regular full time work for their current work situation. Half of the sample (50%) reported currently owning their own home, and 30% of the sample re ported renting the same place for at least two years. A majority of the sample (70%) report ed only being arrested once, although 1 respondent reported being arrested over 10 times. The averag e age of first arrest for a sexual offense was 25+ years old, and this was also the most common age of first general arrest (whether for sexual or nonsexual activity). Distribution for Independent and Dependent Variables For the overall sample, the descriptive statis tics show that most respondents reported participating in illegal sexual behavior (60%), and 45% of the respondents reported having sexual relationships with minors under 16 years old. For the two primary control variables (selfcontrol and participant se xual victimization as a child), the an alysis did not reveal the expected 1 An age range had to be taken instead of an actual age in acco rdance with suggestions made by the University of Floridas Institutional Review Board. It was believed that due to the plethora of information made available to the public regarding each sex offender, it w ould be possible to accurately determine which offenders participated in the sample, violating the guarantee of anonymity, if too many specific demographic variables were required. As such, some questions were made less specific. 35

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outcome. In line with research mentioned prev iously, it was expected that sexual offenders would score low on self-control sc ales, and have a history of prior sexual victimization as minors. Using a seven-question scale, with a total score of 7 referring to low self control, and a score of 28 referring to high self control, the mean score for this sample was 22.94. For prior sexual victimization as a minor, the mean scor e was .35 (with 0 = no prior victimization). 3-1. Descriptive statistics for select variables Dependent Variables Min. Max. Mean S.D. Q20.2: Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered 0 5 .85 1.53 Q20.2: Dummyillegal sexual behavior (n/y) 0 1 .60 .50 Q20.3: Been involved in sexual behavior with a minor 12 years old or younger 0 5 .58 1.22 Q20.4: Been involved in sexual behavior with a minor aged 13-15 0 5 .40 .60 Q20.3,4: Dummysexual relationship with minor (n/y) 0 1 .45 .51 Independent and Control Variables Min. Max. Mean S.D. Q1: Sex (0=male) 0 1 0.00 0.00 Q3: DummyRace (0=nonwhite) 0 1 .85 .37 Q14: Self Control Total 7 28 22.94 3.80 Q17-19: DummyDifferential Association (friend/family participate in sexual acts that would result in arrest if discovered) (n/y) 0 1 .35 .49 Q21: DummyImitation (n/y) 0 1 .10 .31 Q22: Overall Reinforcement Total 3 15 4.55 2.96 Q23: Differential Reinforcement Total 3 15 3.50 1.40 Q24A: Child Pornography Definitions Total 6 30 12.16 4.41 Q24B: Child Molestation Definitions Total 8 40 13.94 5.54 Q24C: Rape Definitions Total 7 35 10.89 2.88 Q24D: Definitions Total 21 105 36.75 10.81 Q25: Participant sexually victimized as a minor (n/y) (n=0) 0 1 .35 .49 The descriptive statistics for the social le arning variables did not show much support for the theory. Scores for all four social learning variables were low, with the mean for imitation at .100 and the mean for differential association at .35 (both on a scale from 0 to 1). Overall reinforcement and differential reinforcement were on a scale of 3 to 15, with overall 36

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reinforcement maintaining a mean of 4.50, and diffe rential reinforcement scoring a mean of 3.55. The mean for the sum of the definitions was 36.75, with a scor e of 21 being equivalent to definitions unfavorable to sexual offenses, and a score of 105 being equivalent to definitions favorable to sexual offenses. While these mechan isms were scaled together, due to the small sample size for the study, the reliability of thes e scales is unknown. See Table 3-1 for more descriptive statistics. Hypothesis 1 To test hypothesis 1, which stated that Group 2 (higher reported involvement) would score higher and in the intended direction than Group 1 (low er reported involvement), the samples was divided into two subgroups. Th e division was made based upon the respondents self reported levels of participation in illegal sexual behavior. Group 1 had 8 participants. Group 2 had 12 participants. These groups did no t vary significantly on an y of the demographic variables, as shown through the Mann-Whitney U test used to perform this pa rt of the analysis. From Table 3-2, it is seen that of the variab les tested (there were over 70 in the actual analysis), only 10 were significantly different between the two groups. Definitions favorable to illegal sexual behavior was the on ly social learning factor th at was significa ntly different between the two groups, with a si gnificance level of .011. Another variable with significant differences between the two groups is sexual vict imization of the participant as a minor. Though not apparent when looking at the descriptive sta tistics for the entire sample, the analysis shows that members of Group 2 (higher reported i nvolvement) were more likely to be sexually victimized as minors, compared with Group 1 (l ower reported involvement). This finding is consistent with prior research (Cleary, 2004), and could be interpreted as an imitation effect, even though the original imitation variable was not significant at .236. While it is difficult to find significant differences in small samples such as this, it should be noted that the relationships 37

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between the groups and their scores on the vari ous factors are in the expected direction, consistent with Social Learning Theory. It is shown that Group 2 scores higher more often on the various social learning mechanisms than Group 1. Group 1 also scor ed higher on the control variable for self-control than Group 2. These findings give partial support for hypothesis 1. 3-2. Non-parametric 2-independent samp les t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 1&2 Variables Mean Rank Group 1 Lower Reported Involvement Mean Rank Group 2 Higher Reported Involvement Sig. Age 10.31 10.63 .904 Last grade completed 9.69 10.23 .834 Self control total 9.57 07.67 .421 Differential association (n/y) 9.50 11.17 .456 Imitation (n/y) 9.50 11.17 .236 Overall reinforcement total 10.00 10.83 .703 Differential reinforcement total 10.13 10.75 .710 Definitions total 4.58 10.85 .011** Rape definitions total 9.21 10.46 .638 Child pornography definitions total 7.63 11.73 .115 Child molestation definitions total 5.86 11.82 .020** Respondent sexual victimization as a minor 8.25 12.00 .093* Specific Variables of Significance Mean Rank Group 1 Lower Reported Involvement Mean Rank Group 2 Higher Reported Involvement Sig. Family members involved in sexually deviant behavior 8.50 11.83 .075* Family members been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered 8.50 11.83 .075* Child Pornography Definition 1 8.00 12.17 .080* Child Pornography Definition 6 8.06 12.13 .099* Child Molestation Definition 1 7.50 12.50 .022** Child Molestation Definition 2 5.88 13.58 .003** Child Molestation Definition 4 7.75 12.33 .062* = p .10; ** = p .05, Actual questions can be found in appendix 38

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Hypothesis 2 Testing hypothesis 2 involved separating th e sample into two new groups based on the participants responses to questions about their involvement in specific forms of illegal sexual behavior. Two questions asked respondents whether they had participated in sexual relationships with minors. The first question asked specificall y about relationships with children 12 years old and younger, and the second question asked about relationships with minors between 13 and 15 years old. If participants indicated that they had participated in relationships with either children 12 and under, or minors aged 13-15 years old, they were place in Group 4 (child molesters). All other participants were placed in Group 3 (non-child molesters). It was hypothesized that members of Group 4 would score higher on defin itions favorable to child molestation than members of Group 3. The non-parametric test Mann-Whitney U was used once again for the analysis. Although Group 4 did have a higher mean rank than Group 3 for definitions favorable to child molestation, the difference was not signif icant (.228). The mean ranking for each of the total definition variables (child molestation definitions total, child pornography definitions total, and rape definitions total) was consistently higher for Group 4 than Group 3, but all of the differences were insignificant. Table 3-3 shows the mean rank and significance levels for selected variables. Like the results from the analysis for hypot hesis 1, Group 4 scored consistently higher on the individual child molestation definitions, though the differences overall were not significant. Group 4 scored significantly higher on child molestation definition 1, which asked if the participant agreed or disagreed with the statem ent that children have a sexual identity and deserve to explore it with anyone they want, as well as child molestat ion definition 2, which asked if the participant agreed or disagreed with the statement that some children may seek out and be willing participants in sexual activities with adults. Child molestation definition 3 was 39

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40 the only child molestation defi nition in which Group 3 scored higher than Group 4. This difference was minor though, with the mean rank for Group 4 measuring 10.00, and the mean rank for Group 3 measuring 10.91. While not signifi cantly different, the differences between the two groups for the child molestation definitions are in the expected direction, again showing partial support for the hypothesis. Also, as with hypothesis 1, a significant difference was found between the two groups with regard s to the participants self repor ted sexual victimization as a child. Table 3-3. Non-parametric 2-independent sa mples t-test (Mann-Whitney U) Groups 3&4 Variables Mean Rank Non-Child Molester Group 3 Mean Rank Child Molester Group 4 Sig. Child molestation definitions total 8.15 11.19 .228 Child pornography definitions total 9.50 10.69 .648 Rape definitions total 8.45 11.72 .201 Definitions total 7.17 10.21 .203 Child molestation definition 3 10.91 10.00 .582 Child molestation definition 4 9.59 11.61 .404 Child molestation definition 5 9.00 11.38 .202 Child molestation definition 6 8.95 12.39 .143 Child molestation definition 7 8.80 11.33 .274 Child molestation definition 8 9.32 11.94 .157 Significant Variables Mean Rank Non-Child Molester Group 3 Mean Rank Child Molester Group 4 Sig. Respondent sexual vi ctimization as a minor 7.91 13.67 .009** Respondent required to participate in treatment 11.73 9.00 .098* Self control 3: I lose my temper easily 11.77 7.56 .071* Differential Association 5 12.45 8.11 .048** Differential Association 6 11.73 9.00 .099* Child pornography definition 3 13.23 7.17 .015** Child pornography definition 5 7.73 13.13 .026** Child molestation definition 1 8.50 12.94 .039** Child molestation definition 2 8.27 13.22 .052* = p .10; ** = p .05, Actual questions can be found in appendix

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CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSIONS Discussion The objective of this study was to determine the extent to which Social Learning Theory can account for participation in illegal sexual behavior. The steps taken in this study were important for the field of Criminology, as well as research into sexual offenses because until now, there had not been any work looking direc tly at the connection between Social Learning Theory and sexual offenses. This study had two hypotheses: That those in the higher reported participation group (Group 2) would score higher and in the expect ed direction on social learning variables than those in the lowe r reported participa tion group (Group 1), and that self reported child molesters would score higher on definitions favorable to child molestation than non-child molesters. Of the four social learning mechanisms, the definitions measure was the only variable that was shown to be significant. This finding supported findings by previous studies that individuals with definitions favorable or neutralizing to a specif ic behavior are more likely to participate in that behavior (Han son, Gizzarelli and Sco tt, 1994). While the other social learning mechanisms did not show significant differe nces between the group with higher reported participation and the group with lower reported participation, the trends were in the expected direction, with Group 2 (higher reported participa tion) scoring consistent ly higher that Group 1 (lower reported involvement). It is possible that questions regard ing virtual peer groups (Warr, 2002) would help add to the significance of the di fferential association measure, as well as the imitation measure. Overall, the analysis showed partial s upport for hypothesis 1 and hypothesis 2. While there were few significant differences between the groups, the general trends in the data were in the expected directions as pred icted in Social Learning Theory. Due to the small sample size 41

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associated with the analysis, generalizations fr om this study to the overall population are strongly cautioned against. That aside, the findings of th is study show that furthe r exploration into the relationship between social learning mechanisms a nd participation in ille gal sexual behavior is essential for future research on sexual offenses and offenders. Limitations There are several limitations to this study which need to be addressed. First, the sample size created many limitations for analysis and gene ralization. Not only was the response rate less than expected for the sex offender group, but ther e was an unusable response from the control group of felony-convicted non-sexu al offenders. The final sample was too small for a more sophisticated analysis because the basic assump tions made by more complex tests originally intended for the analysis could not be met. In addition, while non-parame tric tests are designed for small sample sizes which do not meet the basic assumptions of other test s, it proved difficult to find significant differences between groups wit hout a large sample. The difficulty in finding significant differences between the two groups ma y also be due to the limited variation found when using only a sample of convicted sexual of fenders, who for the purposes of this study may be more alike than different. A more serious limitation is found in questioning the truthfulness of the answers provided by the participants. While the sexual offender sample was taken from a listing of convicted sexual offenders, almost half of the sample repor ted never participating in sexual behavior that could result in arrest if discove red. While it is not uncommon for offenders to maintain their innocence, it is difficult to accept th ese responses as being accurate. Still, the data were analyzed as they were received because it was believed th at the underreporting seen in the data occurred at equal intervals for all participants. If the minimi zation of participation in illegal sexual behavior is found among all participants, the results shoul d not be compromised. Though this explanation 42

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is only a theory, the results showed support for th is idea, as the trends among the divided groups were in the expected directions, acc ording to Social Learning Theory. Although variation was found in responses fo r the definitions component of Social Learning Theory, the means showed very limited agreement for definitions favorable to sexual offending. This may be do to treatment effects, as most of the sample was required to participate in counseling after their convict ion. It is also possible that what offenders know is a wrong behavior may not be felt as a wr ong behavior to them. For exampl e, an alcoholic may know that drinking is wrong, and may report th at on a survey, but at the same time they may feel as though drinking is the right thing to do because they desire it. In any event, this limitation may be avoided in the future by convincing participants of the c onfidentiality associat ed with surveys of this nature. Another limitation to the study is the selection of sexual offe nders from the same general area as participants. Although there is no research to suggest that sexual offenders from one area of the United States are inheren tly different from sexual offenders from another area, a larger sample using participant from around the country would be ideal to control for any possible variation due to location. The decision to us e sexual offenders from Alachua County, Florida was justified given the monetary restraints, timeline, and explorat ory nature of the study. But, the uniform location of the offenders may have c ontributed to the result s in way not realized. Future Research Future research with sexual offenders shoul d continue to explore the ways in which Criminological theories can account for participati on in illegal sexual beha vior. These theories may be able to offer predictive power that has been missing in curre nt theories on sexual offenders. A larger version of this study, admi nistered to sexual offenders from around the nation, as well as a non-offender population, would be ideal for further testing the relationship 43

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between sexual offenses and Social Learning Theory. It will be important to find ways to increase participation from both the offender a nd the control populations. One way to do this may be to offer monetary incentives for participation in the study. While this study could not make that offer to participants because of th e anonymity promised by the researchers, perhaps future research could focus on confidentiality instead of anonymity. For this study, the appropriate method for data collection based on time and money available was a mail survey. It may be a better choice for future research to incl ude in person interviews with offenders. This may encourage more honest responses, and may allo w researchers to ask que stions pertinent to the research not currently used on the questionnaires. These interv iews may allow better ways of capturing definitions favorable to sexual deviance Although general definitions were chosen for this study, it is possible that offenders maintain unique definitions favorab le or neutralizing to illegal sexual behavior that are related to their specific offenses. For example, one behavior neutralizing definition not used in this study is being drunk or under the influence of another drug while committing the offense. In depth, personal interviews would allow researchers to look into the specific circumstances of each participants offense. Another potential direction for res earch in this area may be to focus on qualitative data. As it has been shown that sexual offe nders are a group of offenders th at are difficult to collect data on, qualitative studies using smaller samples may pr ovide meaningful analyses that can add to the current body of literature that has many deficits. The biggest hurdle to climb fo r researchers in this area wi ll be convincing sex offenders that they should participate in studies. As the political focus on sexual offenders has be concerned with increasing punishments, and st igmas, for sexual offenders, this population has not shown themselves to be eager to participate in research. Without a willing body of 44

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45 participants to take part in st udies, it will be difficult to fill in any of the current gaps in sex offender research. Ultimately, it is clear that researchers need to find better ways to examine this isolated population of offenders, and explor e sexual deviant behavior in the context of criminological theories. Increasing sample sizes for studies wi ll allow more indepth analyses utilizing complex tests that can create models to accurately test Social Learning Theory, as well as other theories, with this population. It is important for Criminologists to focus on this population and behavior from a research standpoint, so educated s uggestions can be made for punishment and/or treatment.

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APPENDIX SEXUAL OFFENDER SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE (Demographic Variables). 1. What is your sex? Male Female 2. How old are you? 18-24 25-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 3. What is your race? White Black Asian Other 4. Do you consider yourself Hispanic? Yes No 5. What is the highest grade level of school that you have completed? __________________________ 6. What is your current annual income level? None ($0) $45,001-60,000 $1-15,000 $60,001-75,000 $15,001-30,000 $75,001-$90,000 $30,001-45,000 $90,001 and over 7. Which of the following best describes your work situation now? Regular full time work Regular part time work Occasional or temporary work Unemployed Retired Other __________________ 8. Which of the following best de scribes your housing situation now? Own home Rented same place for 2+ years Live with family (no rent payment) Rented same place for under 2 years Live with friend (no rent) Other _____________________________ 9. How old were you when you were first arrested (sexual or non sexual offense)? Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old 10-14 years old 21-25 years old 15-17 years old 25+ years old 10. How many times have you been arrested? (includes both sexual and non sexual offenses) Once 2-5 times 6-10 times 10+ times 11. Which of the following best describes your work situation before your conviction for a sexual offense? Regular full time work Regular part time work Occasional or temporary work Unemployed Retired Other__________________ 12. Which of the following best describes your housing situation before your conviction for a sexual offense? Owned home Rented same place for 2+ years Lived with family (no rent payment) Rented same place for under 2 years Lived with friend (no rent) Other ________________________ 13. Which of the following best describes your annual income level before your conviction for a sexual offense? None ($0) $45,001-60,000 $1-15,000 $60,001-75,000 46

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$15,001-30,000 $75,001-$90,000 $30,001-45,000 $90,001 and over ( Self control scale ) Next, please mark the appropriate space for whether you 1strongly agree, 2agree, 3disagree, or 4strong ly disagree with the following statements. 14. I am usually pretty cautious. (reverserecoded for analysis) 15. Whatever I do, I try hard. (reverserecoded for analysis) 16. I lose my temper easily. 17. I dont devote much thought and e ffort to preparing for the future. 18. Sometimes I take a risk just for the fun of it. 19. I try to get things I want, even when I know its causing problems for other people. 20. Most things people call deli nquent dont really hurt anyone. 21. Before your conviction, about how many people did you personally know who were arrested for a sex offense? (please give number) ________________________________ 22. Where did you meet most of your current friends? (Circle one) School At another club or organization Through family members At Church Online Other (please describe )_______________ ( Differential Association 1 ) To the best of your knowledge, how many of your friends or acquaintances have (0none, 1less than half, 2half, 3more than half, 4all) 23. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society? 24. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT include consensual adult homosexual activity adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults) 25. Been arrested for their sexual activity? 26. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they could have been arrested? (Differential Association 2) Of the friends or acquaintan ces with whom you have the most interaction whether in person or by email/internet or by phone or otherwise, about how many have(0none, 1less than half, 2ha lf, 3more than half, 4all) 27. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society? 28. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT include consensual adult homosexual activity adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults) 29. Been arrested for their sexual activity? 30. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they could have been arrested? 47

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(Differential Association 3) To the best of your knowledge, how many of your family members have (0none, 1less than half, 2half, 3more than half, 4all) 31. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society? 32. Been involved in sexual behavior that wo uld result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT include consensual adult homosexual activity adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults) 33. Been arrested for their sexual activity? 34. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they could have been arrested? (Dependent Variables) As an adult (18+), how many times have you (0: 0, 1: 1-5, 2: 6-15, 3: 16-30, 4:31-50, 5: 50+) 35. Been involved in sexual behavior that would be unacceptable to most in society? 36. Been involved in sexual behavior that would result in arrest if discovered? (Does NOT include consensual adult homosexual activity adultery, premarital sex, or oral/anal sex between consenting adults) 37. Been involved in sexual behavior (can incl ude non physical activity) with a person(s) 12 years old or younger? 38. Been involved in sexual behavior (can in clude non physical activity) with a person(s) between 13-15 years old? 39. Been sexually intimate with an adul t (male or female) who did not consent? 40. Been arrested for a non-sexual offense, or committed non sexual acts for which they could have been arrested? (Imitation) Next, please list the number of times in an average MONTH you view these kinds of materials. (0: 0, 1: 1-5, 2: 6-15, 3: 16-30, 4:31-50, 5: 50+) 41. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, etc.) sexually depict ing children age 12 and under (either through poses or actual sexual acts) 42. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, et c.) displaying teenagers (13-15) sexually 43. Media (magazines, photos, videos, books, etc.) displaying sexually aggressive acts towards men or women (bondage, forceful sexual encounters, violence, etc.) 44. Internet chat rooms or live online videos displaying or describing children (12 and under) sexually 45. Internet chat rooms or live online vide os displaying teenagers (13-15) sexually 46. Internet chat rooms or live online videos displaying or describing sexually aggressive acts towards men or women (bondage, forceful sexual encounters, violence, etc.) ( Overall Reinforcement) As an adult, considering both the positive (i.e. sexual or physical satisfaction) and the negative (i.e. disapproval of others, arrest, etc.) factors, how would you have viewed the following acts BEFORE your conviction? ( 1Mainly negative, 2Negative, 3About as positive as negative, 4Somewhat positive, 5Positive) 48

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47. Being sexually intimate with someone under 12 years old. 48. Being sexually intimate with someone between 13-15 years old. 49. Being sexually intimate with an adult (male or female) who did not want to. 50. Viewing sexually explicit material invol ving minors (includi ng magazine, photos, videos, books, etc.). 51. Viewing material involving sexually aggr essive acts towards adult men or women. ( Differential Reinforcement) Thinking about your closest friends, or those you interact with most, how approving do you think they woul d be of you in the following situations? ( 1Mainly negative, 2Negative, 3About as pos itive as negative, 4Somewhat positive, 5Positive) 52. If you were to be sexually intimate with someone under 12 years old. 53. If you were to be sexually intimate with someone 13-15 years old. 54. If you were to have sex with an adult (male or female) who did not want to. 55. If you were to view sexually explicit material of minors. 56. If you were to view material involving sexually aggressive acts towards adult men or women (Definitions) Please mark the appropriate space fo r whether you strongly agree, agree, neither agree nor disagree, disagree, or strongly disagree or with the following statements. (1Strongly disagree, 2Disagree, 3Neither agree nor disagr ee, 4Agree, 5Strongly agree) (Child Pornography) 57. cp def1: The human body is beautiful and sexually attractive, so there is nothing wrong with admiring someone sexuall y, even if they aren't an adult. 58. cp def2: Looking at mate rial involving naked children is okay because no one gets hurt. 59. cp def3: It is not natural for adults to find sexual fiction involving children erotic. (reverserecoded for analysis) 60. cp def4: Only people who produce child porn, not the viewers, should be subject to legal action. 61. cp def5: Consumption of child pornogra phy may prevent people from more serious types of offending. 62. cp def6: Child pornography should not be illegal because it is not the role of the government to police people's pr ivate thoughts and fantasies. (Child Molestation) 63. cm def1: Children have se xual identity, and deserve to explore it with anyone they want. 64. cm def2: Some children may seek out and be willing participants in sexual activity with adults. 65. cm def3: Sexual relationsh ips with children are immoral, ev en though it has been done throughout history in many cultures. (reverserecoded for analysis) 49

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66. cm def4: Even though a minor under 16 says they aren't ready for sex, they might be mistaken because they don't understand their body's reactions. 67. cm def5: Incest can often be a positive family building situation. 68. cm def6: Age is complete ly arbitraryand two people who consent to sex should be allowed to pursue a relationship regardless of age. 69. cm def7: In the future society will realiz e that relationships btw children and adults are not as dangerous as they are currently portrayed. 70. cm def8: It is all right for adults to have intimate sexual contact with a child if it is not forced and the child is willing. (Rape) 71. rape def1: Most women have no desire to be forced into sexual activities. (reverserecoded for analysis) 72. rape def2: A woman who is stuck up and thinks she is too good to talk to guys on the street deserves to be taught a lesson. 73. rape def3: If a woman gets drunk at a party and sleeps with someone there that she just met, she should be consider fair game fo r other men, whether she consents or not. 74. rape def4: If someone doesn't want to ge t raped, they shouldn't make themselves such an easy target. 75. rape def5: Many women have a desire to be forced into sexual activity, and may set up a situation to be attacked. 76. rape def6: If a girl engages in necking or petting and lets things get out of hand, it's her fault if her partner forces her to have sex. 77. rape def7: Anyone can resist be ing raped if they really want to. 78. As a minor (under 18), were you ever involv ed in sexual behavior when you did not want to participate? YES NO 79. If yes, how often did this occur? Once Sometimes Often Very often 80. Have you been required to participate in any treatment programs for your sex offense? YES NO 81. Have you voluntarily participated in any treatment programs for your sex offense? YES NO 82. Please circle any of these with whom you have had sexual contact for which you could have been arrested or would likely be arrested if discovered. (circle all) Males aged 0-12 Females aged 0-12 Males aged 13-15 Females aged 13-15 Males aged 16-17 Females aged 16-17 Adult Males Adult Females Male family members Female family members 83. How old were you at your first such enco unter? (may not have resulted in arrest) Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old 10-14 years old 21-25 years old 15-17 years old 25+ years old 50

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51 84. How long has it been sin ce your last such encounter? 1 day 1 week 1 week 1 month 1 month 6 months 6 months 1 year over 1 year 85. What was the age of your firs t ARREST for a sexual offense? Less than 10 years old 18-20 years old 10-14 years old 21-25 years old 15-17 years old 25+ years old

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LIST OF REFERENCES Akers, R.L. (1985). Deviant Behavior: A Soc ial Learning Approach (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. Akers, R.L., Krohn, M.D., Lanza-Kaduce, L., and Radosevich, M.J. (1979). Social learning and deviant behavior: A specific test of a general theory. American Sociological Review 44, 635-655. Akers, R., La Greca, A., Cochran, J., and Sellers, C. (1989). Social learning theory and alcohol behavior among the elderly. Sociological Quarterly 30, 625 638. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition. Washington D.C: American Psychiatric Association. Benda, B.B., and DiBlasio, F.A. (1991). Comparison of four th eories of adolescent sexual exploration. Deviant Behavior, 12, 235-257. Boeringer, S.B., Shehan, C.L., and Akers, R.L. (1991). Social contexts and social learning in sexual coercion and aggression: Assessing the contribution of fraternity membership. Family Relations, 40, 58-64. Bureau of Justice Assistance. ( 2007). Retrieved July 12, 2007 from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/ what/2a2jwactbackground.html Burt, M.R. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217-230. Cleary, Shawna. (2004). Sex Offenders and Self-Control. New York: LFB Scholarly Publishing. Cole, S.G. (1984). Greek sancti ons against sexual assault. Classical Philology 79, 97-113. Demare, D., Lips, H.M., and Briere, J. (1988) Violent pornography a nd self-reported likelihood of sexual aggression. Journal of Research in Personality 22, 140-153. Durkin, K.F., Wolfe, T.W., and Clark, G.A. ( 2005). College students a nd binge drinking: An evaluation of social learning theory. Sociological Spectrum 25, 255-272. Florida Department of Law Enforcement. (2006). Retrieved October 24, 2006 from http://offender.fdle.state.fl.us/offender/homepage.do Florida Statute 775.21 (2005) Gentry, C.S. (1991). Pornography an d rape: An empirical analysis. Deviant Behavior, 12 277288. Hanson, R.K., and Scott, H. (1996). So cial networks of sexual offenders. Psychology Crime and Law, 2, 249-258. 52

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Hanson, R. K., Gizzarelli, R., and Scott, H. (1994). Attitudes of incest offenders: Sexual entitlement and acceptance of sex with children. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 21, 187202. Hanson, R. K., Gordon, A., Harris, A. J. R., Mar ques, J. K., Murphy, W., Quinsey, V. L., et al. (2002). First report of the collaborative outco me data project on the effectiveness of psychological treatment for sex offenders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 14, 169-194. Higgins, G. E. and Tewksbury, R. (2006). Sex and self control theory: The measures and causal model may be different. Youth and Society 37, 479-503. Holmes, R.M. (1983). The Sex Offender and the Cr iminal Justice System Springfield: C.C. Thomas Holmes, R. M., and Holmes, S. T. (2002). Sex Crimes: Patterns and Behavior Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Jenkins, P. (1998). Moral Panic: Changing Concepts of th e Child Molester in Modern America New Haven: Yale University Press. Jessica Lunsford Act. Amendments to F.S. 775.21 and F.S. 943.0435 (2005). Jimmy Ryce Center for Victims of Predatory Abductions (JRC). (2006). Retrieved October 12, 2006 from www.jimmyryce.org Krafft-Ebbing, R, von (1922). Psychopathia Sexualis: A Medicoforensic Study. trans. F. J. Rebman. Brooklyn, NY: Physicians & Surgeons Book Co. Krohn, M. D., Skinner, W. F., Massey, J. L., and Ak ers, R. L. (1985). Social learning theory and adolescent cigarette smok ing: A longitudinal study. Social Problems 1985, 32, 455-473. Lanza-Kaduce, L., Akers, R., Krohn, M., and Ra dosevich, M. (1984). Cessation of alcohol and drug use among adolescents: A social learning model. Deviant Behavior, 5, 79. Levenson, J. S., and Cotter, L. P. (2005). The impact of sex offender residence restrictions: 1,000 feet from danger or one step from absurd? International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 49,168-178. Linz, D., Donnerstein, E., and Penrod, S. (1984). The effects of multiple exposures to filmed violence against women. Journal of Communication, 34, 130-147. Malamuth, N. M., and Briere, J. (1986). Sexual violence in the media: Indirect effects on aggression against women. Journal of Social Issues, 42, 75-92. Malamuth, N. M., and Check, J. V. P. (1985). The effects of aggressive pornography on beliefs in rape myths: Individual differences. Journal of Research in Personality 19, 299-320. 53

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54 Malamuth, N. M., Haber, S., and Feshbach, S. (1980). Testing hypotheses regarding rape: Exposure to sexual violence, sex differences, and the normality of rapists. Journal of Research in Personality. 14, 121-137. Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governme nt Accountability, an office of the Florida Legislature. (2000). The Sexually Violent Predator Programs Assessment Process Continues to Evolve. OPPAGA Program Review. 99-36. Sample, L.L. and Bray, T.M. (2003). Are sex offenders dangerous? Criminology and Public Policy 3(1), 59-82. Sampson, A. (1994) Acts of Abuse: Sex Offenders and the Criminal Justice System London: Routledge. Scholle, A. (2000). Sex offender registration. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin 69(7), 17-24. Spalding, Larry H. (1998). Floridas 1997 Chemical Castration Law: A Return to the Dark Ages Florida State University Law Review. 25, 117. Terry, K. (2006) Sexual Offenses and Offenders : Theory, Practice, and Policy Toronto: Thomson Wadsworth. Tewksbury, Richard. (2005). Collateral cons equences of sex offender registration. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice 21(1): 67-81. Warr, M. (2002). Companions in Crime: The Soci al Aspects of Criminal Conduct Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Tasha J. Youstin graduated with honors from Fl orida Atlantic Universi ty with her Bachelor of Arts degree in criminology and criminal just ice in 2004. She entered the criminology, law and society masters program at the University of Florida in August of 2005. Upon completion of her M.A., Tasha made the transition to New York City in order to pursue her Ph.D. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys singing and has played the guitar for the past 13 years. She also enjoys SCUBA diving, playi ng with her dog (a puggle named Od in), and is an avid Gator sports fan. 55