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Manual of Articles Sections 15 - 29
Christie, Marshall, and Lanthier (1978) have recently reported a study of 150 incarcerated sex offenders, 27% of which were pedophiles (victims younger than 13 years of age) and 73% heterosexual rapists. This study is unique in that, in addition to the traditional offender's self-report and arrest records, detailed information was obtained from probation officers' presentencing reports, transcripts of courtroom testimony, and reports from medical personnel examining the victims. Table 2 outlines the extent of aggression used by each category of offender.
Contrary to popular opinion, 58% of child molesters used excessive physical force during the crime, compared to 71 % of rapists. Moreover, 42% of the child victims sustained noticeable injury, compared to 39% of the rape victims. Thus, although a smaller percentage of child molesters than rapists use physical aggression while committing the crime, the percentage of victims actually injured is slightly higher for victims of child molestation than victims of rape. This leads Christie et al. (1978) to conclude:
Perhaps the most surprising observation of
the present study concerns the degree of violence employed in the offense. It
is of course not unreasonable to expect rapists to use violence, and other researchers
have confirmed this expectation, but most other studies have reported pedophiles
to be physically harmless individuals. For whatever reason, a substantial number
of the pedophiles in our group used physical force in excess of that necessary
for the commission of the crime, and this appears to be unusual observation sufficient
to warrant further examination (p. 29).
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