TreatmentPrint/save versionPrevious pageNext page

Sex offender treatment

The most common treatment is cognitive-behavioral sex-offender treatment provided by private, hospital, and university clinics that work in concert with the criminal justice system. Since they do not make a distinction between minor-attracted adults and sex offenders, they treat all minor-attracted adults as offenders.

Their goal is to prevent sexual re-offending, rather than to change sexual attraction or to promote the development of mental health. However, most treatment programs attempt to reduce or eliminate sexual attraction to minors based on findings that some (but not all) sex offenders against minors are preferentially attracted to them.4

Since the development of sexual attraction is not understood, sex offender treatment uses approaches that are chosen for their effectiveness at reducing illegal behavior, without necessarily understanding underlying causes.5

Sex offender treatment usually includes a combination of the methods described in the next pages. These descriptions, along with their side effects and results of studies of effectiveness, are taken from the literature on sex offender treatment.6

Print/save version Previous Next
4. Hall, 1996; Maletzky, 1991; Okami & Goldberg, 1992.

5. Hall, 1996.

6. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1999*; Center for Sex Offender Management, 1999*; Crawford, 1981; Hall, 1996; Langevin, 1983; Maletzky, 1991.

*Will open an off-site article in a new window.