Sexual Offenders

Cynthia Calkins & Anniken Lucia Willumsen Laake

In: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Psychology and Gender

Sexual Offenders

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  • A sex offender is an individual who has committed a sexual offense. States have different classifications of what constitutes a sexual offense, and thus, what defines a sex offender varies across states. Taken together, sexual offenses reflect a broad specter of crimes, including acts such as public urination, online offending, and rape. As a result, sex offenders are a largely heterogeneous offender group. In the United States, the number of registered sex offenders (i.e., convicted sex offenders who are registered in a publicly accessible sex offender registry) surpassed 800,000 in 2015. This entry examines the prevalence of sexual offenses, the profile of sexual offenders, myths about sexual offenders and survivors of sexual offenses, and legislative restrictions that seek to control sexual offenders’ movements.

    Prevalence of Sexual ...

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