PATTERNED OFFENDERS

Shortly after we began interviewing sex offenders it was evident to us that some of them committed the same offense over and over again in what seemed a compulsive repetitious pattern of behavior. Feeling that these individuals are of particular concern to society, we have in this chapter labeled them “patterned” offenders and compared them to other sex offenders who do not exhibit this repetitious pattern of offense behavior. The latter we labeled “incidental” offenders.

The separation of offenders into the patterned or incidental categories is based either on the record of criminal conviction or on the individual’s admission to a history of offense behavior for which he was not convicted. For example, a man with two convictions for exhibition was categorized as a patterned exhibitionist, and so was the man who had but one conviction but told us he had repeatedly exposed himself to women. The individual labeled incidental was the man with only one offense of a given type and no indication of additional activity of that same type.

Obviously only a few types of sex offenses lent themselves to this patterned as against incidental dichotomy; for example, virtually 100 per cent of our offenders vs. adults would by definition be patterned offenders. In other instances, as in the aggressors vs. children, the sample was already too small for further division. Consequently, we made the patterned vs. incidental analysis on but six groups: the heterosexual offenders vs. children, the incest offenders vs. children, the homosexual offenders vs. children, the aggressors vs. adults, the peepers, and the exhibitionists.

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