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Treatment of adolescent males who have sexually offended: exploring the need for offense specific interventions

Michael H. Miner


This workshop will focus on what recent research on the adolescent males who have committed sexual offenses tells use about the methods, targets, and goals for treatment.  Treatment of adolescents has been guided by three assumptions from a 1993 task force.  Those assumptions are that 1) adolescents who commit sexual crimes are a unique population of delinquents, 2) that they require specialized, long-term interventions, and 3) that sex offender treatment is not psychotherapy, and may involve procedures contrary to the training of mental health professionals.  We will explore the research that addresses each of these three assumptions, none of which have proven to be true.  We will then discuss the implications of the findings on the characteristics of youth who have committed sexual crimes, the rates at which they reoffend, the types of crimes they commit when they reoffend, and what we’ve learned about effective treatment.  These findings will be discussed within the context of participant’s experiences and the implications for ecologically targeted interventions and sex offender specific treatment. 


Dr. Miner is Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health and Research Director for the Program in Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota Medical School.  His career has involved the application of psychological methods and statistics in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, cardiovascular disease, sexual abuse violence, and HIV infection.  He began his research in sexual aggression as the experimental psychologist for the Sex Offender Treatment and Evaluation Project at the California Department of Mental Health and has continued exploring causes of sexual perpetration in adolescent males since joining the faculty of the Program in Human Sexuality.  Dr. Miner is Past President of Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers and a founding Vice President of the International Association for the Treatment of Sex Offenders.