Essay on Sexual Offending

Published: 2021-07-02
587 words
3 pages
5 min to read
Wesleyan University
Type of paper: 
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Theories of sex offending do not apply to both male and female offenders on an equal basis. The existence if gender-specific theories of sex offending justify this observation. For instance, feminist theories of sex offending hold on the premise that male, by and large, engages in more criminal offense compared to their female counterparts. Feminist theories of sexual offending primarily concentrate on rape and particularly center on the motivation of male offenders to commit acts of sexual violence against females. From this theoretical viewpoint, rape is perceived to be a cultural as opposed to an individual probe Such theoretical perspectives do not equally apply to both genders because they are best situated to explain deviant behavior among men. On the other hand, most theories of sex offending are neutral as they are premised on the idea that the causes of deviant behavior at the individual level are more similar than different. The existence of opposing theoretical perspectives justifies this the assertion that theories of sex offending are not equally applicable to make and female offenders.

Theories of sex offending are similar in the sense that they both seek to explain the causes of the sexual urges that make people make sex-related offenses. Another major similarity among these theories is that all are multi-determined. This implies that a variety of different theoretical explanations, whether biological, cognitive, behavioral, routine, or psychological) seek to explain sexual offenses.

One way in which theories of sex offending are different is that while some take into account a single factor, others, particularly the more contemporary theories, are based on the interaction of multiple factors of causes of deviant behavior. Attachment theory and integrated theory are examples of single-factor and multiple-factor, respectively. Moreover, different theories focus on different aspects or factors or causes of sexual deviance. For instance, whereas biological theories focus on organic explanations for sex offenses like hormone levels and genetic makeup, cognitive-behavioral theories focus on the way sex offenders diminish their feelings of guilt and shame by rationalizing them through excuses and justifications.

Particularly from Freuds psychoanalytical best explain Wuornos behavior. From this framework, she might have been expressing unresolved traumatic problems she experienced when she was not only a child but in her earlier career in commercial sex as well. Such childhood traumatic experiences could have led Wuorno to internalize negative attitudes and beliefs about herself and her relationships with others, which in turn, could have altered how she perceived sex and her role in the sexual affair. Also, cognitive-behavioral theories best explain her behavior. In light of this perspective, Wuorno would have diminished her feeling of guilt when either prostituting or shooting the men by making excuses and justification to rationalize her deviant acts. This distorted thinking could have made her absolve herself of the responsibility, shame, or guilt for her acts. For example, she might have claimed the right to the behavior and blame them the victims of her acts.

Also, social learning theory offers greater insights about Wournos behavior. This theory assumes that individuals who encounter abuse (sexual) during their childhood develop into abuse (sexually), adults. In this regard, Wournos distorted childhood might best explain her behavior in adulthood. Lastly, the feminist theory that theory holds that male power promotes the acceptance and perpetuation of sexual abuse, is also relevant to this case. From a feminist lens, Wourno could have been simply responding her male partners who not only assaulted her sexually and physically but also forced her into prostitution to which she did not consent.


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