Several researchers have developed unique theories to explain sex crimes and sex offenders. These sex-crime and sex-offender specific theories are often rooted in other theories that have been developed to explain a broader range of aberrant conditions and behaviors. For example, biological theories are relied upon to account for various diseases—here, biological concepts are relied upon to account for sex crimes. Researchers have developed theories to explain deviant sexual arousal, paraphilias, child molestation, rape, and/or accessing child pornography. You will notice some of these theories explain sex crimes broadly, whereas others focus on only one type of sex crime (e.g., rape). In this section, we describe biological, behavioral, and psychological theories that have been proposed to specifically explain sex crimes and/or sex offenders.

Biological Theories

As scientific discoveries are made about various biological processes, it is not surprising that they are being linked to particular behaviors, including sex crimes. An examination of a broad range of studies revealed that 33% to 100% of sex offenders (in various studies) had brain abnormalities. For those who were not sex offenders, such brain abnormalities were present in 0% to 17% of individuals (see Stinson, Sales, & Becker, 2008 for discussion). The following abnormalities have been identified: hormones/neurotransmitters, brain structure, sex chromosomes/genetic traits, and intelligence deficits (i.e., mental retardation) (Stinson et al., 2008).

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