Recommendations for sex offender treatment
A combination approch49
Langevin suggests that sex offender treatment use multiple methods since offenders tend to have many problems. David Crawford of Broadmoor Hospital in England concurs, writing that although no approach has proven to be effective at altering sexual arousal, a combination of methods appears promising. However, there are some problems with such an approach:
- Both Crawford and Langevin write that conclusive evidence of its effectiveness is not yet in. No controlled studies have been conducted.
- Langevin writes it is not based on any understanding of pedophilia, and is essentially a shot-gun approach which may be time consuming and expensive.
- Crawford writes that its effectiveness is similar to that with homosexuals.
- Crawford and Hall note that almost every program lumps all sex offenders together. A blanket use of the same methods on all offenders is ineffective because offenders differ according to their reasons for offending. Therefore, improved assessment is necessary.
Castration, sex-drive reducing drugs, and aversion therapy50
Hall writes that since child molesters tend to be motivated by physiological factors (deviant attraction), castration or sex-drive reducing medications and aversion therapy seems most appropriate for them. He notes that although behavioral techniques are not effective at permanently reducing deviant arousal,
- they may reduce cognitive distortions, and
- they are the easiest to implement -- most of them have been successfully carried out by psychologists, graduate students, and masters-level therapists.
- Crawford argues for greater use of self-help and community-based programs since they are less expensive and the majority of offenders are not violent.51
- Langevin argues for a supportive therapeutic approach. The therapist should
- express basic acceptance of the patient in order to enhance his self-esteem, and make clear he is aware of how important the patientís sexual preference is for him
- stress the social and legal consequences of his acting on his erotic preference
- suggest the use of masturbation to reduce sex drive
- help the patient take control over his environment to eliminate opportunities to act sexually.52