By ROBERT WEISS LCSW, CSAT-S
In two previous posts I’ve written about clinician prejudice toward sex offenders and ways to effectively treat sex offenders. It was satisfying to see these blogs being well received, and it is my sincere hope that this effort has helped in some small way to pull back the covers on a topic that is often avoided, overlooked, and/or flat out ignored by the therapeutic community. This third and final (at least for a while) blog on sexual offending is intended to briefly address a few remaining offender-related topics.
Myth vs. Reality
Most members of the general public, in part driven by our (eager to get ratings at any cost) media, tend to view all sex offenders through the same basic lens, universally labeling them as disconnected, violent, odd, sociopathic men who force themselves on unsuspecting women and children. Basically, our overall cultural belief sends a consistent message that “sex offender” = “violent rapist” or “snatch-and-grab child predator.” And while a minority of sex offenders do fit into these categories (and get the most press), the majority do not fit this media-driven stereotype. Other offenders—most, in fact—are men, women, teenagers, and sometimes even younger children who are, for the most part, excepting their sexual disorder, relatively functional human beings.
Below is a brief attempt to address some common myths about sexual offending.