Half-Year Review

So, how’s the year going?

Pretty well, on the whole. At the beginning of the year I made some plans, so now that we’re halfway through I thought I’d take a look at how they’re moving along. Continue reading

Fear And Trembling by Søren Kierkegaard

Fear And Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard is my favourite book. I re-read it every so often, because one can never have too much Kierkegaard.

Here are some of my favourite quotes from one of the times I read it. I’m sure there will be more to revisit at a later date.

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Confuse A Christian: Get A Cross Tattoo

Tattoos, I have found, tend to have quite a polarising effect. I have several of them (23 at last count), mostly in places that are openly visible (hands, arms, fingers, neck).

People either love them or hate them: rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t have an opinion on whether I’m “ruining my body” or “making meaningful art”.

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“I want her to want me!” : A new sexuality study

It is a refrain often heard in my group of girlfriends when we meet up. “He just wouldn’t take no for an answer!”; “He was convinced I was attracted to him even though I wasn’t flirting at all!”

We are definitely not alone in these complaints. And now someone has studied this phenomenon, producing a paper which has perhaps my favourite opening sentence of all time: “Heterosexual men consistently overperceive women’s sexual interest.”

So, what did they find out?

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Examining Subtypes of Sex Offenders

A very interesting study has recently been published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, discussing the various subtypes of sexual offenders and their corresponding personalities.

A distinction was made between four groups: paedophilic offenders, non-paedophilic offenders, rapists and a control group of non-sexual offenders.

What is a non-paedophilic offender?

It might sound like an oxymoron, considering that we’re discussing people who commit sexual crimes against children, but a distinction is made in the literature between those who claim to be attracted to children (paedophilic offenders) and those who claim to be attracted predominantly to adults, but who have committed sexual crimes against children. This latter subset are defined as ‘non-paedophilic’, due to the root words from which the term ‘paedophile’ is taken meaning ‘love of children’.

The study

The study aimed to look at different personality types of offenders, with a view to enabling social services and the justice system to provide useful intervention for the people who commit these crimes.

164 male convicted offenders were assessed, of whom 50 were rapists, 20 were paedophilic child molesters, 43 were non-paedophilic child molesters, and 51 were non-sexual offenders.

Four questionnaires were given to each participant: the Adult Attachment Scale, which measures a person’s levels of security, anxiety and avoidance; the Interpersonal Behaviour Survey, which distinguishes between assertive and aggressive behaviours and provides a scale for each; the Brief Symptom Inventory, which provides a brief assessment for psychological problems; and the Socially Desirable Response Set Measure, which evaluates a person’s tendency to give what they perceive to be socially desirable responses, rather than an accurate response.

The results

The results showed distinct differences between each group of offenders.

Paedophilic offenders were more likely to present anxiety in adult relationships than non-paedophilic offenders.

Non-paedophilic offenders were less aggressive compared to rapists and non-sexual offenders, and were less assertive than rapists.

Rapists were the group that scored the highest on aggression.

Further research is required – the group of paedophilic offenders in particular was quite small in comparison to the other groups studied – but the study seems to indicate that different types of offenders have different personality profiles, and therefore any interventions ought to be conducted in different ways depending on the type of offense committed.

The full study can be found in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine via ScienceDirect.