Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Sex offenders are most frequently classified in terms of whether their victims are adults or children, and in the case of the latter, whether their victims are intrafamilial or extrafamilial. Those who offend against children are among the most despised of all offenders both outside and within prison walls, where they often require protective custody. Offenders who choose extrafamilial child victims arouse the greatest fear and anger among the public. Those with adult victims tend to be less harshly viewed both outside and within prisons, where prisoner sexual assault is not uncommon. Reports of sex offenses by women are rare, and female sex offenders arouse little public concern. In discussing sex offenders, several distinctions are useful. The term “legal sex offender” refers to anyone convicted of a sex-related offense. The term “paraphiliac” refers to anyone considered to have a paraphilia , a category in the psychiatric Diagnostic and Statistical Manual ...