Anna C. Salter, Ph.D.


Incest offenders: What‟s wrong with them? Profiles of sex offenders Nonoffending spouses Dynamics of incest

Police Report

“I observed defendant driving without headlights on. Defendant‟s vehicle was swaying from westbound curb lane to eastbound # 1. As defendant‟s vehicle passed, I observed defendant with a large dog helping defendant drive (dog had front paws on steering wheel, possibly trying to save its own life.). Upon stopping defendant‟s vehicle, defendant began yelling, „Fuck Skippy [the dog]. You really got me fucked this time.‟ Skippy had no statement.”

Characteristics of Abuse
N = 143

>½ penetrated orally, vaginally or anally
(Greenberg, et al., 2005)


Incest offenders have higher deviant arousal patterns These overcome normal objections to incest

If not higher deviant arousal, they are more psychopathic

Biological Fathers Vs Stepfathers
N = 143
 Age  Education  Sexually

abused  Physically Abused  Placed outside home before 16  Victim age (Greenberg, et al., 2005)

Biological Fathers Vs Stepfathers

    

Penetration Threats/violence/injury Prior sex charges Prior violent charges Prior criminal charges Cognitive distortions Hostility

(Greenberg, et al., 2005)

Biological Fathers Vs Stepfathers
No differences PCL-R identical

(Greenberg, et al., 2005)

No Differences
 Rice

& Harris, 2002  Seto et al., 1999

Biological father/daughter incest not the result of higher deviant arousal or psychopathy

Biological Fathers Vs Stepfathers
Only difference Stepfathers more deviant arousal
(Greenberg, et al., 2005)

Biological Fathers Vs Stepfathers
Deviant Arousal 38.6%

Biological fathers Stepfathers

(However, % ns; just average deviant arousal) (Greenberg, et al., 2005)

Deviant arousal of parental sexual abusers Midway Between arousal of nonsex offenders and arousal of nonparental offenders (Blanchard et al., 2006)

Deviant Arousal Incest vs Out of Home Offenders (Blanchard et al., 2006)

Means & Confidence Intervals
Pedophilia Factor Approximation Score Degree of sexual arousal Nonmolesters -Nonoffenders + offenders against women Paternal molesters – Fathers + stepfathers Nonpaternal molesters – Nonpaternal incest offenders plus unrelated molesters (Blanchard et al., 2006)

Percentage of Sex Offenders with PCL-R Score of 30+ (Porter et al., 2000)


64 60



20 6.3 0 ExtraFamilial Molesters Incest Offenders Mixed Molesters Rapists Mixed MolestersRapists 10.8 6.3


Abel Screen?

Incest Offenders
 Entitled

 Availability/


 Revenge

Against a Spouse on the Child

 Revenge

 Acting

Out Sexually Under Stress

Incest Offenders
Unrelated female children Unrelated male children Rape Other paraphilias Onset of deviant arousal in adolescence 59 (Becker & Coleman, 1988)
% 44 11 18 21

“Just” Incest Offenders?

Abusing outside family at same time

49% 18%

Raping adult women

(Abel, et al., 1988)

Profiles of Sex Offenders?

Angie – age 5 Wet the bed Nightmares Not wanting to go on visits Refused to let grandmother shower her Dad gave “fun showers” on “boobies and vagina” Straddle injury

Brad – age 6
 Public

masturbation  Refusing to stop  Grabbing sister from behind (both nude) & rubbing penis on her  Said touching his sister‟s butt with penis  Dad would think it is funny

Disclosures - Angie
 Father

told her a secret  “It‟s in the play shower”  Dad would get mad & throw toys out  Drew penises extended  Dad doesn‟t want S. [brother] to know  Dad rubbed her vagina “a lot”  She washed him and rubbed his penis

Disclosures - Angie

  

“He rubs me in the shower and I can‟t rub myself” She rubs dad‟s penis and he gets soapy” “It stands up and sits down” “It was red when it was up and red and peach when it sits down.”

Sex Offender Evaluation
“My clinical interviews with Mr. G. also made clear that heis not a pedophile, has not engaged in activities involving pedophilia and is not dangerous to his own or anyone else‟s children.”

Sex Offender Evaluation
“Moreover, and importantly, I do not believe, based upon my professional opinion and experience that Mr. G is a pedophile. While it is unfortunate that he did not boundary behavior in showering with his son, this was not sexualized by Mr. G., was not done for the purpose of sexual gratification, not did it provoke sexual gratification. “

 Disclosure

by 6-year-old

 Mom

severe health problems with date rape drug

 Overdosed

Clinical Interview

“Sincere” “Forthright” “Quite concerned and frustrated about his legal situation and the limitations on his contact with his three children”

“No evidence of pedophilia” No known history “Did not demonstrate or report past or current attitudes that would condone or be supportive of sexual offending”

“No evidence . . . That he has sexual preoccupations” Admitted to obsession with sex clubs Therapist: “no more than $10,000” Spent as much as $200,000 on them

“Lowest category of risk” “Does not show evidence of deviate sexual behavior”

Strip clubs

“Unsatisfactory sexual relations with his estranged wife” “An indicator of a dysfunctional marital sexual relationship”

“this evaluation . . Did not reveal any marked concerns regarding the question of inappropriate or paraphilic sexual behaviors with or interests in prepubescent children, including his youngest daughter”

What is Important Information?
 Child‟s

disclosure?  How he scores on personality tests?  Dad‟s criminal record?  How “nice” dad is?  How he presents clinically?  Self-report?  Strip clubs?  Drugging mom?

ATSA Standards of Practice
“Evaluators do not offer conclusions regarding whether an individual has or has not committed a specific act of sexual abuse.” (Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers 2005).

ATSA Standards of Practice

“Members refuse referrals for evaluations to determine if someone has or has not committed a specific sexual act.

(Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers 2005, p.4)

ATSA Standards
“Members are aware of the limitations of client self-report and use collateral information in conducting evaluations so that conclusions and recommendations are not based solely on client self-report (i.e., interviews and/or computerized paper-and-pencil tests).” (ATSA Standards of Practice)

“There has been no documentation of a typical „offender personality‟ . . . Rather, these men were characterized by their diversity: An offender could as well have been a professor as a pauper. . .Moreover, an offender . . . Might as well have had an extensive history of arrests or none at all.” (Maletsky,1991, pp. 16-17)


“In retrospect, these patients did not seem to share any definable demographic or personality traits to render them distinctive.” (Maletsky,1991, pp. 16-17)

“Psychological tests and instruments are useful aids to diagnosis and treatment, but they cannot be used to determine whether an act occurred. . . When working with individuals who deny deviant behavior, however, all available psychological tests are subject to “faking” and concealment. There is no psychological litmus test to detect sexual deviancy.” (Nicholas & Molinder, 1984, pp 133-134)

“Evidence suggests that very few child molesters suffer from either any form of psychopathology or disturbances in personality functioning.” (Marshal and Laws, 1997)

Nonoffending Spouses

Attitudes Towards Mothers
“Unconscious homosexual strivings in the mother.” (Lustig, Dresser, Spellman & Murray, 1966, p 34)

“The mother . . . Keeps herself tired and worn out.” (Justice & Justice, 1979, p. 98)

“collusive, oblivious, helpless, or denying. . . Have unmet childhood needs, are hostile and frigid, and are passive and subservient. . . Playing a martyr role” (Vander Mey & Neff, 1986, p. 71)

Attitudes of Child Protection Workers
N = 200

Fathers also physically abusive


Mothers gave unconscious consent
Mothers equally responsible


(Bines and Meyer, 1993)

Non-offending Spouses



Did Not Know

Did Not Know


Did Not Stop

Sided w/ Perp

Sided w/Child

Impact of Maternal Support

Primary predictor of child‟s psychological functioning

Behavior at Disclosure
Majority of mothers supportive of child
(DeJong, 1988; Pellegrin, 1990; Salt, 1990; Sirles, 1989)

Support for Child
Rates between 56% & 92%
(Plummer & Eastin, 2010)

Belief by Age

Preschoolers Adolescents

95% 56% (Gomez-Schwartz, 1990)

How Close is the Offender?
Relationship Extended family member Biological fathers Believes Child 92% 86%

Boyfriend or stepfather 56% (Sirles & Franke, 1989)

What Effects Mom’s Behavior at Disclosure
 Childhood

history of abuse?

 Current

psychological functioning?

 Both?

What Correlates with Mom’s Behavior at Disclosure

 Current

psychological functioning

(Leifer et al., 1993)

Impact of Maternal History of Child Sexual Abuse
Believing the Child No difference in mothers with sexual abuse history and those without (Deblinger et al., 1994)

Impact of Maternal History of Child Sexual Abuse
Maternal distress greater

(Deblinger et al., 1994; Timmons-Mitchell et al., 1996)

Trauma to Mothers and Nonoffending Family Members
 Loss

of imaginary child  Loss of imaginary family  Failure as a mother Failure to protect Failure to be trusted Failure as a spouse

Gender Bias
System Responses to Mothers

Mothers 21 – 55
N = 59 Suspicions confirmed by at least 1 professional: CPS, physician, police, judge, etc. (Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

Mothers’ Response
Whatever initial reaction: belief, rage, doubt, defensiveness All wanted a fair and impartial treatment of the allegations

(Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

Mothers’ Reaction
“Stunned by the attitudes they encountered” Expected they would be treated with “concern and sensitivity” Especially middle class, well educated women No problems with police in past (Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

Response of 4 Year Old Molested by Foster Child
Said to mom: “I didn‟t tell them anything – I don‟t know them.”

“After D. had his interview at CAC, they called me into the room and they interviewed me. The police officer was very upset that Dave knew what a penis was. . . He would continuously ask me the same question over and over again. It was awful. . . .He just really tried to rattle me. I had the very very strong opinion that he did not believe what I was telling him. It was sort of like another traumatic experience on top of finding out about the abuse. What happened there was so different from what I expected.” (Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

Felt Judged and Blamed
Working Mom “CPS said if I‟d been home with my child that this kind of thing wouldn‟t happen.” (Plummer & Eastin, 2007, p. 779)

Response of System to Disagreement with Mother
If mothers believed & case unfounded Or If mother did not believe & case founded Called names Hysterical, crazy, a prostitute, nut case

By CPS, police or a judge

Response of One Policeman
“The police arrived (at the hospital) and right in front of me told the nurse, „this is a psych case.‟”
(Plummer & Eastin, 2007, p. 780)

Losing Custody for Mothering
Told not to discuss the abuse even if the child raised the topic and asked questions Told not to take the child to doctors “repeatedly”

Some lost custody for disobeying.
(Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

2nd Reports
1st report inconclusive Made 2nd report “After that second time, they started treating me completely differently. They started treating me like I was some kind of nut case. They were treating me disrespectfully, very confrontive towards me.”

2nd Reports
Lost custody

Impact on Mother
 Shock

 Fear

 Confusion

 Anger

 Disappointment/betrayal

Financial Stress
 Often

lost breadwinner

 Had

to take off work bills

 Legal

Financial Dependence

“For a while I had a second job . . . I was working 20 hours a day and it finally took its toll on me and I got really sick before Christmas.” (Wright, 1991, p. 138)

“I‟m working a full-time and a part-time job and trying to keep everything up and it‟s not always real easy. . . I could barely go to work, on the verge of tears all the time, just barely holding together. The financial problems have been devastating.” (Patton, 1991, p. 138)

Financial Dependence
“Financially, it has almost destroyed the family. It completely drained all the bank accounts.” (Wright, 1991, p. 137)

Lack of Concrete Response
Mothers told child probably abused but can‟t do anything about it Child too young, etc. Forced to send on visitation

“I only had one experience when I initially took Debbie and they substantiated abuse. She was really young so the prosecutor said to bring her back when she was old enough to formulate her thoughts so he could prosecute.” Short period of supervised visits then unsupervised visits resumed.

Accusations of Coaching False Allegations
“Routine” “The child‟s father „said that I was coaching the child and so the CPS worker asked Chanika and she said I told her to tell. I did tell her to tell the truth, but the CPS worker came to the trial and said she thought I was coaching the child because of that incident. Therefore she had positive findings that I was emotionally abusing the child.‟” (Plummer & Eastin, 2007, p. 782)

Would They Report Again?
“A lot of things that they (system professionals) did really changed my way of thinking. Sometimes I‟m afraid that if I were back in the same situation again, I‟d be afraid to pick up the phone and call anybody. . . . I‟ve been told that I have to face my own responsibility in what happened. I don‟t see where I was responsible for this. They keep telling me, well, I should have been able to see it.” (Plummer & Eastin, 2007, p. 783)

Can’t Win
“If you show anger, you are hysterical. If you show no emotions, it‟s „flat affect‟ and you‟re blamed for not caring.” (Plummer & Eastin, 2007)

Supervised Visitation

   

Admits offense Takes responsibility No PTSD or reduced No or minimal affective flashbacks Child not afraid of offender Child not traumatized by visits

Offender Criteria Reunification

    

Making significant progress in all areas Thinking errors reduced or eliminated No deviant arousal or reduced Not psychopathic/sadistic Admits offense Willing to act in best interests of child Not overly impulsive

Spouse Criteria Reunification

     

No denial Good relationship with child Demonstrates willingness to protect child Aware of thinking errors and intervenes Willing to act in best interest of the child Not totally dependent on offender Able to supervise Aware of warning signs of relapse

Child Criteria Reunification

  

 

No PTSD or improved No or reduced affective flashbacks Attached to offender Wants offender back Good relationship with nonoffending parent Aware of warning signs No self-blame Will tell

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