This week I attended a free Continuing Education Program at MSPP called “Controversies in the Assessment and Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders,” led by Dr. Frank Dicataldo. Although I am not in the Forensic Counseling Program, I thought that the topic sounded interesting, and because the CE courses are free for MSPP students, it was no money out of my pocket! Some of the key points that I took away from the program were:
-“Juvenile Sex Offenders are not delinquent specialists, but they are delinquent generalists.” Juvenile Sex Offenders generally have a history of committing non-sexual offenses—as many as 50% to high 90%
-“Sex abuse does not seem to be a strong indicator for sex offending—it is neither a necessary or sufficient condition to be a sex offender.” The majority of Juvenile Sex Offenders do not report a history of sexual abuse (there is a range from 8-80% with most less than 50%). Interestingly, sexual abuse is prevalent in the history of juvenile delinquents.
- “Most Juvenile Sex Offenders do not exhibit fixed deviant sexual arousal.” Some believe in sexual fluidity, which suggests that sexual deviance will resolve with maturation.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of the beneficial and unique aspects of being a student at MSPP is that you can attend multiple CE programs for free! I try to take advantage of this as much as possible because I can learn about topics that are not necessarily covered in my classes, I can network with professionals who attend the programs, and I can add the programs to my resume, which may make me a stronger candidate when applying for jobs this spring!