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Critically review the research evidence for two psychological explanations of sex offending behaviour that may apply to Mr Z - Essay Example

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Critically review the research evidence for two psychological explanations of sex offending behavior that may apply to Mr. Z: A very interesting case study is presented by Wilcox, Foss, and Donathy (2005) based on the behavioral analysis of a high-profile sex offender who is introduced as Mr…
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Critically review the research evidence for two psychological explanations of sex offending behaviour that may apply to Mr Z
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Download file to see previous pages Z. This objective will be achieved by contemplating at length the research evidence provided for these two psychological theories and analyzing their relevance to the criminal makeup of Mr. Z’s character. The idea promoted by attachment theory is that the kind of interactions or attachments a person has as a child leave a lasting impression on the mind and hold powerful potential to shape his/her behaviors as an adult (Cherry, 2013). When there are not good “cumulative experiences with other people” (McCormack, Hudson, & Ward, 2002), a child is bound to develop a singularly warped sense of attachment or psychological connectedness as in case of Mr. Z. Sex-offenders’ parent-child attachment relationships are mostly found to be affectionless (McKillop et al., 2012, p. 591). When going through Mr. Z’s case study, one feature of his childhood history strikes the most which reveals that his father was a very strict figure who was frequently judgmental, treated his son disparagingly, and excessively rebuked him (Wilcox et al., 2005, p. 309). A very strict father and a detached mother very effectively contributed to a troubled childhood experience for Mr. Z which are the kind of things which can drastically affect self-esteem (Marshall, 1993, p. 109). It might also be the time around which he first began developing issues with reasoning and concentration. This traumatic experience and lack of secure attachments construct a roadmap for social awkwardness and isolation (Grotpeter & Elliott, 2002) which over time inculcated a sense of extreme sexual aggressiveness in Mr. Z as a way of getting even with others (Wilcox et al., 2005, p. 309). In a study done on three groups of 25 child molesters, 25 rapists, and 25 non-sex offenders all imprisoned, it was revealed that rapists were the loneliest of all (Garlick, Marshall, & Thornton, 1996, p. 251). Added to poor parenting was the factor of school bullying to which Mr. Z was exposed on routine basis. This suggests that since a very young age, he had really bad attachment experiences which are responsible for him painfully limited or even nonexistent relationship history because of not being able to relate to anyone. Attachment issues analyzed in sex offenders also identify that mostly male sex offenders vehemently assault women because of their inability to normally relate to others. They have no empathy which motivates them to fantasize about sexually aggressive acts (Keenan & Ward, 2000. p. 49; Marshall, 1993, p. 120) just like Mr. Z had sexual fantasies about animals and women. Not being able to attach to humans filled him with acute isolation and he became a sexual deviant turning to animals for sexual pleasure (Wilcox et al., 2005, p. 308). The second explanation for Mr. Z’s sex offending behavior can be related to the theory of intimacy deficits. Research done on sex offenders has generated much evidence to support the relationship between early interpersonal experiences and intimacy deficits (Ward et al., 1995). It was Marshall who scrutinized a large body of research evidence on intimacy deficits to link them to sexually aggressive attitudes found in criminals (Bumby & Hansen, 1997, p. 316). The connection between intimacy discrepancies and sexual offenders has been explored in several studies (Ward et al., 199 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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