Myths Regarding Juvenile Sex Offenders, Crimes, and Victims
Although many assume that sex offenders are usually adults, a substantial proportion of sex crimes are committed by juveniles. A prevalent myth regarding juvenile sex offenders is that they continue to offend as adults. The research shows that very few juveniles who sexually offend go on to commit sex crimes as adults. Many of the questions surrounding juvenile sex offenders concern how to respond to them. Should they be treated, given their low recidivism rates? There is no consensus regarding whether juveniles should be required to register, and if so for how long and for what offenses?
Myths Regarding Female Sex Offenders, Crimes, and Victims
Over the past decade, many female sex offenders have been portrayed in the media. It has become common to hear about a teacher who has molested a pre-teen or teenage boy. This leaves the impression that female sex offenders are young women, usually pretty, who "fall in love" with a young, male student. It is often couched in terms of a consenting victim. By law, children cannot consent to sexual relationships with adults. Such relationships are abusive. Also, the existing research on female sex offenders has identified many who are not teacher-lovers. Thus, there is a broad range of sex crimes committed by female sex offenders. It has also been documented that female sex offenders do in fact inflict harm on their victims. Many questions still exist regarding female sex offenders. It is not known, for example, whether they exhibit pedophilia. No assessment tool has been designed specifically for women. Does the same type of treatment relied upon for male sex offenders work for female sex offenders? It is not clear whether female sex offenders recidivate at the same rate as male sex offenders.