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New study challenges stereotypes of adolescent sex offenders
Date:7/19/2010

lings of social isolation among adolescent sex offenders come as a result of social norms and stigma that make it difficult to talk about sexual abuse history or sexual urges or fantasies that are outside of what is considered normal," Seto said. "If adolescents think they cannot talk about what they are thinking or feeling, then they cannot seek help and guidance. Encouraging more open dialogue about sexuality between young people and their parents, teachers and health care workers could be a key element in preventing adolescents from committing sexual offenses."

Although Seto and Lalumiere emphasized that most adolescents who are sexually abused do not become sex offenders, the study reconfirmed that there is some relationship between a history of sexual abuse and sexual offending. The data suggest that sexual abuse is associated with the likelihood that someone will commit a sexual offense for the first time, but they do not predict who is more likely to sexually reoffend once identified. This suggests that child abuse prevention activities, in addition to the important role of protecting children from abuse, can help prevent adolescent sexual offending.


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