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IPFS News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Why psychological research on child sex offenders is important

• arclein

'I honestly cannot imagine the kind of mentality or the kind of person it would take to molest a child,' said one participant in my research on child sexual abuse awareness and disclosure. 'The fact that people do this over and over again is just nauseating. I would not be able to consider such a person a human being.' This response might sound emotionally loaded, but it reflects common opinion about child sexual offenders, which is rife with stereotypes and misconceptions (eg, that they are obviously and recognisably 'different' from most people) and suggests that their minds are beyond comprehension. Are these individuals truly outside the reach of our understanding? And if not, what explains how they are able to harm unsuspecting children and live with it?