Sex offenders vary significantly in age, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. A distinct and uniform set of physical, mental, psychological, emotional, and personality characteristics that define all sex offenders has not been validated by research, but some service providers do classify offenders by the patterns of their offenses.
According to various sources
- Most sex offenders are not mentally ill; they assault others for various, complicated reasons and often hide behind a carefully crafted public face.20
- Adult victims of sexual assault are usually assaulted by current or former husbands, cohabitating partners, or dates.21
- Sex offenders are most likely to be white and in their early 30s.22
- Men who reported that they drank heavily have been found to be more likely than other men to report having committed sexual assaults.23
- Alcohol use by perpetrators increases the chances that their victims will suffer physical injuries beyond the trauma of sexual assault. Thirty-nine percent of victims who perceived their offenders to have been drinking were injured, whereas 25 percent who did not perceive the offender to have been drinking were injured.24
- On a given day, approximately 234,000 offenders convicted of rape or sexual assault are under the care, custody, or control of corrections agencies; nearly 60 percent of these sex offenders are under conditional supervision in the community.25
- An estimated 24 percent of those serving time for rape and 19 percent of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of their latest offense.26
Sex Offenses and Offenders: An Analysis of Data on Rape and Sexual Assault Reviews the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault, the response of the justice system, and the characteristics of those who prey on victims.
In This Toolkit: Sex Offender Management Professionals Discusses guidelines, risk assessment, and the use of polygraphs.
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