Sexual offending in adolescent males: effects of parental attachment, social experiences, and sexuality
Michael H. Miner
The integrated model of sexual abuse hypothesizes that failure to develop secure attachment leads to a lack of intimacy which leads to loneliness and isolation. Sex offenders attempt to alleviate this through sexual contact. This paper will discuss research designed to explore this hypothesis within adolescent males. Four groups have been studied, those with sexual crimes against children, those with sexual crimes against peers or adults, those with non-sexual criminal behavior, and those with no delinquent history, but in treatment for substance use or other mental health disorders. Results using structural equation modeling will be presented that show three pathways by which insecure attachment, adolescent social isolation, masculine adequacy, and sexual behavior control influence the perpetration of child sexual abuse by adolescent males. Further, this paper will present pathways to sexual crimes against peers and adults perpetrated by adolescent males. The implications of these models for treatment and prevention will be discussed.
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.