Vol. XXIX, No. 3
by Heather Moulden, Forum Editor
Welcome to the summer 2017 issue of the
Forum. Here is your perfect summer reading for by the beach or at the cottage. As
usual you will find columns from our students, committee updates, and the FAQ piece
addressing the question, “Is pornography use safe for those convicted of a
sexual offence?” Of course, this is all in addition to our featured articles on
relevant research applications and practical clinical tools for those working
with both adults and youth.
This issue features a follow-up to an article
on prosocial reasoning you read in our Spring issue. In the previous piece
Norbert Ralph made the argument that prosocial reasoning is an important
consideration when working with adolescents who have sexually offended. In this
article he delves into treatment to enhance prosocial reasoning as a
stand-alone intervention or as a positive byproduct of other tried and true
In our next feature, Chantal Hermann considers
how evaluation of sexual aggression has long been discussed as an important
component of the decision to commit sexual violence. Despite various
conceptualizations, the cognitive processes underlying sexual offending
continue to present new questions. The author reviews her work on explicit and
implicit evaluations of sexual aggression as a potential predictor of future
sexual offending behaviour with some interesting results and more new
Finally, we know that effective risk
management is dependent upon sound risk assessment and comprehensive risk
formulation. In his article, Sébastien Prat discusses his research in France
that aimed to explore the trajectories of individuals convicted for child
pornography offences. Specifically, he considers various typologies proposed,
and his own interest in predicting outcomes for this group, given the
challenges with anticipating specific risk outcomes, such as escalation in
offending from hands-off or online offences to hands-on offences. In this
article he makes the case for risk assessment within clinical risk formulation
so as to improve the management of this group.
From his award winning research, Franklyn
Graham, shares with us his doctoral thesis work on hypersexuality and
psychopathy. His work points to some interesting neurobiological deficits that
show promise as markers in the assessment and potential points of intervention
for those at highest risk.
Our ATSA committees are busy as ever and
included some updates for members in this issue. The Membership committee would
like to remind you to nominate eligible colleagues for the ATSA Fellow
designation. You will find the criteria and nomination process in this issue
for the September 1, 2017 deadline. Also, the International committee
provides an update on changes to the committee and its membership.
I hope you enjoy this issue of the Forum. As
always, I look forward to reading your articles and I am happy to work with you
on developing ideas for a Forum piece.
Enjoy your summer.
Heather M. Moulden
ATSA Forum Editor
by Michael Miner, ATSA President 2016-2017
Well, summer has come to the Upper Midwest, with
temperatures here in Minneapolis forecast to approach 90 degrees
Fahrenheit. There is something ironic
about that, given decisions made here in the United States over the last couple
of days. The last few months have been a
busy time for ATSA and the Board. We had
our Spring Board meeting in early May in Kansas City, the site of October’s
Annual Meeting. I hope that all of you
are able to attend. Along with a great
program taking shape, Kansas City is home to amazing barbeque and is known for
its music scene.
One of the major accomplishments since my last column is the
release of the Practice Guidelines for Assessment,
Treatment, and Intervention with Adolescents Who Have Engaged in Sexually
Abusive Behavior. They are currently
available on the ATSA webpage and are a must read for anyone who works with
adolescents. I discussed some of the changes and
controversies in these guidelines in my last column, where I also acknowledged
members of the committee who drafted these guidelines. It is exciting to finally have them
available. Promulgation of new
guidelines and adoption of innovations and changes are complex processes that
impact multiple systems, especially in our field with the inter-related and
interactive involvement of courts, criminal justice agencies, corrections, and
mental health professionals. We have
learned a lot about adolescent males who have engaged in sexually abusive
behavior over the last 10 to 15 years.
We know less about females and special populations. These guidelines are meant to provide
treatment professionals with processes and procedures which are empirically
informed and/or validated. As our field
advances, changes in such processes and procedures are inevitable, and we are
challenged to change our practices to accommodate these changes.
Our collaboration with GIFR on the ATSA Master Classes
continues, with a large array of classes currently available. This collaboration is allowing us to meet our
obligation to members by providing education and training besides our annual
meeting. It also provides ATSA with
another funding stream, helping us to become less reliant on income from the
annual meeting and membership dues.
Concerns have been expressed regarding the impact of these classes on
Chapter meetings, as well as on our Annual Meeting. This is something the Board has been aware of
and concerned about from the start of this collaboration, and we will monitor it
moving forward. However, it is important
that ATSA keep up with the evolving education and training environment, and
have an on-line training presence.
The other major decision made by the Board in May was to
accept the recommendation of our journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Michael Seto, and
change the name of our journal from Sexual
Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment to Sexual Abuse. Dropping the
tag line brings the journal title more in line with its broader mission, to
expand content to include public policy, prevention, and victim advocacy. This expanded content is obvious from reading
the journal and is a tribute to Michael Seto and to the leadership of the
previous Editor-in-Chief, James Cantor, as well as the Associate Editors and the
Editorial Board. You probably won’t see
much evidence of the name change for a while.
I informed you in an earlier column of a grant that ATSA received from the United State Department of Justice, SMART Office. You’ll recall that ATSA received funding to implement treatment guidelines and to evaluate the impact of such guidelines. Unfortunately, we have decided to decline the funds from the SMART Office. This decision was due to an impasse between ATSA and the Justice Department regarding limitations on consultant daily fees.
Finally, for those members in the United States. I was made aware this morning, that the US
House of Representatives passed a bill that would change the Federal laws
regarding production of child pornography to include behaviors that would
capture children who engage in sexting behavior and would impose a minimum
required sentence of 15 years in prison for such behavior. Called the “Protecting Against Child
Exploitation Act of 2017”, this bill is another overreach by the United States
and fails to consider what is normal adolescent behavior and how a reasonable
adult should respond to the risky, and sometimes harmful, behavior of
children. I would encourage all of my US
colleagues to contact their Senators and implore them to oppose the “Protecting
against Child Exploitation Act of 2017” because it protects no one and abuses
the very children it claims to want to protect.
Thanks to you all for being members of ATSA. I hope you have a great summer, and I look
forward to seeing many of you in Kansas City this fall.
Is pornography use safe for those convicted of a sexual offence?
Drew A. Kingston, Ph.D., C.Psych
Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and University of Ottawa
There continues to be ongoing debate about
the effects of pornography on sexual aggression and evidence for or against such
a link is important for the assessment and treatment of individuals who have
committed a sexual offense.
Although methodological approaches to studying pornography’s putative effects
differ, a number of studies and meta-analytic reviews conducted with community
participants and sexual offenders have shown a small yet consistent
relationship between pornography consumption, particularly violent pornography,
and inappropriate attitudes (Allen, Emmers, Gebhardt, & Giery, 1995) and
aggressive behavior (Kingston, Fedoroff, Firestone, Curry, & Bradford, 2008).
Such effects have been demonstrated both experimentally and in more
Despite the observed association between
pornography consumption and negative attitudes/beliefs and aggressive behavior,
there are clearly many individuals who view pornography and do not exhibit
particularly problematic beliefs or commit acts of violence. In fact, some
research has shown positive outcomes after viewing pornography, such as an
increased satisfaction with sexual interactions in addition to other
self-perceived positive effects (see Hald & Malamuth, 2008).
As such, it has been suggested that the
negative effects of pornography consumption are critically dependent upon a complex
interaction with particular individual and cultural differences. These
potentially relevant factors include cultural, home, and peer environments, as
well as stable personality characteristics (e.g., impersonal sexual
orientation, psychopathy) and transient
emotional states (e.g., feelings of rejection). In
other words, pornography use is more likely to exert a negative impact among
those who already exhibit a constellation of problematic characteristics. In an
earlier study, my colleagues and I
(Kingston et al., 2008) tested this hypothesis and showed
that frequent pornography use contributed to the prediction of violent
(including sexual) recidivism in a
mixed sample of participants who were convicted of sexual aggression; however, this relationship was particularly evident among
individuals who were deemed to be
a higher risk to re-offend, whereas there was little
association between pornography and recidivism among lower risk individuals. Although
beyond the scope of this FAQ, my
colleagues and I (see Kingston, Malamuth, Fedoroff, & Marshall, 2009)
presented a number of plausible theoretical explanations for these effects
which were essentially formulated around information-processing models and the
specific activation of cognitive constructs resulting from exposure to
The notion that
pornography can have a negative effect at least for some individuals has
important implications. For example, valid assessment of pornography use is
important as is the conceptualization of whether or not pornography use is a
relevant criminogenic need for that individual. Another important issue
pertains to the availability of sexually explicit
material to individuals while incarcerated.
Some have suggested that allowing individuals to obtain pornography while
incarcerated contradicts core issues addressed in treatment and therefore
should be completely banned within correctional settings. Contrary to this
position, however, is that a total restriction on pornography within correctional settings
facilitates an artificial and unrealistic environment. Indeed, most of our clients are released at
some point and it follows that restricting access to legal pornography may be counterintuitive,
such that individuals might experience an increased desire to obtain the
previously restricted material. A more
appropriate solution would perhaps
be to allow similar opportunities in the institution as
exist in society and to embed educational information and relevant therapeutic
interventions pertaining to pornography’s effects in a treatment program. The
impact of such material, especially for individuals with a predisposition for subsequent
sexual aggression, can then be fully
addressed in a therapeutic environment.
Allen, M., Emmers, T., Gebhardt,
L., & Giery, M. A. (1995). Exposure
to pornography and acceptance of rape myths. Journal of Communications, 45, 5-26.
Hald, G. M., & Malamuth, N. M. (2008). Self-perceived effects of
pornography consumption. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 37, 614-625
Kingston, D. A., Fedoroff, P., Firestone, P., Curry, S., &
Bradford, J. M. (2008). Pornography use
and sexual aggression: The impact of frequency and type of pornography use on
recidivism among sexual offenders. Aggressive
Behavior, 34, 341-351.
Kingston, D. A., Malamuth, N. M., & Federoff, J. P., &
Marshall, W. L. (2009). The importance
of individual differences in pornography use: Theoretical perspectives and
implications for treating sexual offenders. The
Journal of Sex Research, 46, 1-17.
Prosocial Treatment Methods for Juveniles Who Sexually Offended
San Leandro, CA
treatment of juveniles who have sexually offended (JwSO) is challenging in
several respects. While the harm done to the victims and prevention of future
harm is always a concern, other issues need to be addressed. This includes a
possible personal history of child abuse of the JwSO, other trauma history, family
dysfunctions, substance abuse, school and peer problems, and comorbid
psychiatric conditions. A recent ATSA Forum article (Ralph, 2017) recommends
evaluating and considering another area of functioning for JwSO as well, prosocial or moral
reasoning. That article suggested prosocial reasoning as a developmentally
related criminogenic risk factor for these youth. This hypothesis relates to
Bonner's (2012) finding that early adolescence is a high risk, transitory
developmental period for committing illegal sexual behaviors, and there is no
evidence that most JwSO have a lifelong, incurable sexual disorder or
paraphilia. For example, a 14-year-old male may have adult sexual abilities and
drive, but still have immature social judgment. Those 14-year-olds who may have
deficits, relative to the average 14-year-old, regarding prosocial reasoning,
may be at greater risk for general and sexual delinquency. Notably Bonner
provides evidence that 14-year-olds have the highest incidence regarding sexual
crimes of any age group, presumably related to this mismatch of abilities and
A relevant consideration is whether
deficits in prosocial reasoning are treatable. Are there interventions that
enhance prosocial reasoning, and have beneficial effects for youth on probation
such as reducing recidivism or other positive outcomes? The current article
will address this issue. There is a significant treatment literature regarding
effective methods to promote prosocial reasoning in youth on probation,
including Reasoning and Rehabilitation (R&R) and its adaptation for
adolescents (R&R2;Ross & Hilborn, 2003), Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT;Little
& Robinson, 1988), and Aggression Replacement Training (ART;Goldstein,
Glick, & Gibbs, 1998). Also research by the author regarding prosocial
treatments with JwSO is presented.
& Rehabilitation (R&R) Program
The Reasoning & Rehabilitation
(R&R) program is a cognitive-behavioral group based intervention developed in Canada, and is supported by
positive outcome studies (Antonowicz, 2005). A youth version for those under
the supervision of social services or juvenile justice agencies was developed,
the R&R2 Short Version for Youth (Ross & Hilborn, 2003). It is listed
by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (2016) as a beneficial
practice for juveniles. The treatment model for the R&R2 uses a handbook,
takes 12 sessions, and requires 18 contact hours. The authors of the R&R2
has established that adolescence is a period during which youths are
experiencing extraordinarily rapid brain development. Based on the
neurocriminology model, the youth are engaged in prosocial simulation training
and prosocial role-taking throughout the program in order to stimulate their
development of prosocial neuronal connections - the foundation of a prosocial
(Ross & Hilborn, 2003, para. 7)
Field testing was conducted in
Estonia, and an evaluation study was subsequently done in Scotland which found
that youth who completed the R&R2 program had reduced antisocial attitudes
and risk of offending, and improved problem-solving ability and behavior (Curran,
2006). Further research is needed to show the generalizability and robustness
of these findings, and no research has yet been done using with model with JwSO.
Reconation Therapy (MRT)
MRT is another group-based
intervention, which uses a workbook as part of treatment (Little &
Robinson, 1988). Training at accredited sites is required for use of the
workbook. For youth the treatment program can be completed in approximately 26
sessions. Ferguson and Wormith (2013) reviewed 33 studies of MRT and reduction
in recidivism was used as an outcome measure. They calculated an overall effect
size for MRT of d= .32, but the juvenile effect size was d=.14. Two articles
(Burnette, et al., 2003; Burnette, et al., 2004) showed positive changes with youth
on probation using MRT, including increases in the level of moral reasoning. It
is also listed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
as an evidence-based practice, and is included under juvenile interventions by
the Washington State Institute for Public Policy in their meta-analytic review
as a beneficial practice (2016). Although no studies with either MRT program
have been used with JwSO,both MRT and R&R2 reduce recidivism with the
general probation population, of which JwSO are a subset. Therefore, it is
reasonable to hypothesize that these programs would also be effective with
Replacement Training (ART)
Another approach which addresses
moral or prosocial reasoning skills is ART (Goldstein, Glick, & Gibbs,
1998). It was developed primarily for juveniles on probation, using developmental
psychology theories and research regarding child cognitive development, social
learning, moral reasoning, and anger and emotional control. A central feature
of this model is the promotion of moral or prosocial reasoning. The
effectiveness of ART in reducing recidivism with youth on probation is also
documented in a number of studies (e.g. Goldstein, Nensén, Daleflod, &
Kalt, 2005). Amendola and Oliver (2010) in summarizing the literature note that
ART is a "Model Program" for the United States Office of Juvenile
Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the United Kingdom Home Office.
The effectiveness of ART appears to
be established for the general probation population. A question is whether ART
is also effective and promotes positive outcomes for the subset of youth on
probation with sexual offenses. The effectiveness of ART with JwSO was
addressed in three related studies completed by the author. The same
residential setting for JwSO was used in these studies. The first study was
conducted in 2009 using a matched time series design with randomization (N=19).
Outcomes were assessed using a psychological symptom inventory. Beneficial
outcomes were found for reduced levels
of psychological distress. This was the first randomized design done with any
population with ART or with JwSO. However, it's important to note that
long-term indicators such as recidivism or sexual acting out were not used as
A subsequent study in 2012, attempted
to replicate these findings, but did not include a control group (Ralph,
2015a). However, additional psychological assessment techniques were used. The
findings supported the hypothesis that ART contributed to therapeutic changes
on psychological outcomes for youth in residential JwSO treatment. On the Child
Behavior Checklist (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) completed by caregivers,
five scales showed improvement from pre- to post- treatment which were Social
Problems, Attention Problems, Rule Breaking Behavior, Externalized Total, and
Total. On the Symptom Checklist 90-R (Derogatis & Savitz, 2000) completed
by the youth, the Anxiety scale showed significant changes. On the Youth
Outcome Questionnaire (Burlingame, Wells, Cox, & Lambert, 2004) completed
by caregivers, Critical Items also showed positive changes. Two measures of
prosocial reasoning, the Washington University Sentence Completion Test (Hy
& Loevinger, 1996), and the Prosocial Reasoning Outcomes (Ralph, 2016a)
also showed positive changes. This 2012 study was the first to show changes in
prosocial reasoning with ART. It is important to note that this study did not
include a control group and had methodological limitations, including ruling
out maturation, testing, or a placebo effect as rival hypotheses to explain changes
In both the 2009 and 2012 studies
open-ended focus groups were conducted with ART participants where they
reported positive outcomes consistent with the quantitative findings. Youth
generally identified the following ART
strategies as helpful in being able to inhibit impulsive or counterproductive
responses to adverse situations, and to formulate more positive and prosocial
action alternatives. Youth described that they could "check themselves
before they wrecked themselves." Importantly they also described a
"virtuous cycle" in contrast to their usual impulsive behavior. When
youth began using prosocial coping strategies they began using them more
because of the reinforcement from the positive results of these approaches.
A subsequent longitudinal study
(Ralph, 2015b) was carried out which followed all youth admitted to the same
residential program from 2006 to 2012 (n =129 male youth ages 12 – 17). Sexual
acting out was one of several outcomes studied, and 126 cases had complete data
regarding this variable. This variable was defined as any episode of significant
sexual acting out, some of which may have been considered a violation of the
law. A total of 20.6% of youth had at least one such episode. Also a total of
20.9% youth completed the ART program during that time period. The rate of
sexual acting out for those who participated in ART was 7.4%, compared to 24.2% for those who did not. A one-tailed
Fisher's Exact Test was used to compare the groups, which were significantly
Although this series of research
studies has various methodological issues, together they show promise that ART
was related to general psychological outcomes and associated with reduction in
sexual acting out. Further larger scale studies are needed to confirm these
The author has developed a
treatment workbook for promoting prosocial reasoning, titled Being a Pro (Ralph, 2016b). It was
influenced by research regarding measures of prosocial reasoning (Ralph, 2017),
and also research on ART noted above. The structure of the Being a Pro workbook was informed by current research regarding
best practices for youth on probation, notably the studies reported above with
JwSO youth with ART. These are summarized in a prior article (Ralph, 2012).
Approaches which emphasize counseling and skill building are manualized, have
fidelity checks, training and supervision of practitioners, are more effective
for youth on probation. These factors are
also emphasized by Lipsey (2009) in his review article of effective
interventions for youth on probation. Goense, Assink, Stams, Boendermaker, and
Hoeve (2016) conducted a meta-analysis of 17 studies of interventions for
juveniles with antisocial behavior. They found a medium treatment effect when
integrity was high (d = 0.633, p < 0.001), but no significant effect when
integrity was low (d = 0.143, ns). Both fidelity and outcomes measures were
incorporated into the Being a Pro model. An outcome study was conducted for
Being a Pro with 39 male adolescents (average age 15.7 years) on probation, in
either outpatient or residential treatment for sexual offending (Ralph, In
press). Results were consistent with the hypothesis of positive changes in
prosocial behavior and reasoning as a result of the prosocial intervention, theBeing a Pro workbook. However, the
design of a simple pre-post test did not rule out all rival hypotheses, and
further research is necessary to validate the effectiveness of this approach.
There is reasonable evidence from
research on ART and MRT that approaches which promote prosocial reasoning in
youth on probation generally are effective in reducing recidivism. MRT as noted
above was also associated with improved psychological functioning in youth on
probation. Also the ART studies with JwSO reported above indicate it is
associated with positive psychological outcomes for these youth. The studies
and methods reviewed had limitations, and additional research is warranted.
Prosocial treatment methods and their theory are consistent with
neurodevelopmental research regarding adolescence being a "critical
period" in the development of prosocial behaviors. It is a period when
these skills are developing, and also youth with deficits are at greater risk
for delinquent outcomes. This seems consistent with the hypothesis that
adolescence may be a critical period of brain plasticity to promote prosocial
reasoning. In summary, the above research suggests that treatment of JwSO might
include interventions to promote prosocial reasoning.
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The Relationship between Implicit and Explicit Evaluations of Sexual Aggression and Sexually Aggressive Behavior
Chantal A. Hermann, Ph.D.
Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services
Evaluations are an individual’s
evaluative thoughts about something such as a person, object, or behavior
(e.g., Albarracín, Zanna, Johnson, & Kumkale, 2005; Ajzen,
2001; Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2007). Social psychology theory and research
support the idea that evaluations, in part, predict behavior (e.g., Ajzen 1991,
2001; Glasman & Albarracín, 2006; Kraus, 1995). Empirical
evidence suggests this is true whether the evaluations are immediate (implicit
evaluations) or deliberative (explicit evaluations), and that both the
immediate and deliberative evaluations are important (e.g., Greenwald &
Farnham, 2000; Nosek & Smyth, 2007). From this research, Kevin Nunes, our
colleagues, and I hypothesized that how someone evaluates sexual aggression
would predict, in part whether or not they would engage in sexually aggressive behavior.
this research question, we conducted several cross-sectional studies examining
the relationship between implicit and explicit evaluations of rape and sexually
aggressive behavior. As I noted above, we hypothesized that evaluations would
be associated with sexually aggressive behavior, but this had not previously been
explored in research. Some of our studies have found more positive implicit
evaluations of rape are associated with self-reported sexually aggressive
behavior and self-reported likelihood to rape (Nunes, Hermann, & Ratcliffe,
2013), and all have found more positive explicit evaluations of rape are
associated with self-reported sexually aggressive behavior and self-reported
likelihood to rape (Hermann, Nunes, & Maimone, 2016; Nunes, Hermann, White,
Pettersen, & Bumby, 2016; Nunes et al., 2013). For example, in our first study
exploring this research question, Nunes et al. (2013) found implicit and explicit evaluations were independently
associated with past sexually aggressive behavior and self-reported likelihood
to rape in a sample of students.
We also wanted to explore
this research question using a sample of men recruited from the community. Sexual
aggression encompasses behaviors that differ on dimensions of tactic (verbal
coercion to physical aggression) and activity
(unwanted kissing or touching to penetrative acts). We know that many sexual
assaults go undetected, and even if they are detected, may not result in
official charges or convictions. This means that individuals with convictions
for sexual aggression may not be fully representative of men who engage in
sexually aggressive behavior against adults. In our past research we have used
student samples, but these samples tend to be fairly homogeneous in their
demographic characteristics, so they also may not be fully representative of
men who engage in sexually aggressive behavior against adults. Community
samples can offer diversity and complement samples of students and men with
convictions for sexual aggression against adults.
Nunes, and Maimone (2016) we explored whether implicit and explicit evaluations
of sexual aggression were associated with sexually aggressive behavior in
samples of students and community men. In both samples we found explicit
evaluations of sexual aggression were moderately to strongly associated with
sexually aggressive behavior, but this same pattern of results was not found
for implicit evaluations of sexual aggression. These results suggested more
research was needed to explore the role implicit and explicit evaluations play
in sexual aggression.
interest is whether evaluations of sexual aggression predict future sexually
aggressive behavior. If evaluations are a causal factor for this type of
behavior, then we would expect that they would predict whether or not people
engage in future sexually aggressive behavior. To the best of our knowledge, we
are the first to explore this research question. In Hermann and Nunes (2016),
we found implicit and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression independently
predicted whether community men engaged in future sexually aggressive behavior.
These results are noteworthy as they provide new evidence about the direction
of potential influence between evaluations and sexually aggressive behavior.
Furthermore, our results are consistent with the idea—but of course do not
demonstrate—that implicit and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression play a
causal role in sexually aggressive behavior.
In addition to bettering our understanding of the role
evaluations may play in sexual aggression, we also learned that the pattern of
relationships between evaluations and sexual aggression was consistent for
samples of students and community men. A
common critique of research on sexual aggression conducted with student samples
is that the results may not generalize to other samples of men (i.e., community
or incarcerated samples). The results reported above suggest that this may not
be the case for research exploring the relationship between evaluations of
sexual aggression and sexually aggressive behavior. Next we would like to try
to replicate these findings with incarcerated samples of men with convictions
for sexual aggression against adults to determine if research conducted with
students and community men could also generalize to this population.
of these studies are just the first step in understanding the relationship between
evaluations and sexual offending. These studies need to be replicated and
expanded on in research using different samples (students, community men, men
in the criminal justice system), validated measures of evaluations, and
different research designs (e.g., experimental, longitudinal, etc.). If future research finds evaluations predict sexually aggressive behavior
against adults, that evaluations of sexual aggression can change, and that
change is associated with changes in sexually aggressive behavior, then
evaluations of sexual aggression would be an important target in risk
assessment and treatment.
I would like to thank ATSA for the
Pre-Doctoral Research Grant that funded my doctoral dissertation research. To
date, this research is reported in Hermann, Nunes, and Maimone (2016) and
Hermann and Nunes (2016). This research was also facilitated by funding from
the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The views expressed are those of the
authors and not necessarily those of the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety
and Correctional Services.
Albarracín, D., Zanna, M.
P., Johnson, B. T., & Kumkale, G. T. (2005). Attitudes: Introduction and
scope. In D. Albarracín, M. P. Zanna, & B. T. Johnson (Eds.), The Handbook of Attitudes(pp. 3-19). New York, NY:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The Theory of Planned
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(2001). Nature and
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Gawronski, B., & Bodenhausen, G. V.
(2007). Unraveling the processes underlying evaluation: Attitudes from the
perspective of the APE model. Social Cognition, 25, 687-717. doi: 10.1521/soco.2007.25.5.687
Glasman, L. R., & Albarracín, D.
(2006). Forming attitudes that predict future behavior: A meta analysis of the
attitude-behavior relation. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 778-822. doi:
Greenwald, A. G., & Farnham, S. D.
(2000). Using the Implicit Association Test to measure self- esteem and self-concept.Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 79, 1022-1038.
Hermann, C. A. & Nunes, K. L. (2016). Implicit
and explicit evaluations of sexual aggression predict subsequent sexually
aggressive behavior in a sample of community men. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/1079063216682952
C. A., Nunes, K. L., & Maimone, S. (2016). Examining implicit and explicit
evaluations of sexual aggression and sexually aggressive behavior in men
recruited online. Sexual Abuse: A Journal
of Research and Treatment. Advance online
publication. doi: 10.1177/1079063216681560
Kraus, S. J. (1995).
Attitudes and the prediction of behavior: A meta-analysis of the empirical literature.Personality and
Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 58-75. doi: 10.1177/0146167295211007
Nosek, B. A., & Smyth, F. L.
(2007). A multitrait-multimethod validation of the Implicit Association Test:
Implicit and explicit attitudes are related but distinct constructs. Experimental Psychology, 54, 14-29. doi 10.1027/1618-3126.96.36.199
Nunes, K. L., Hermann, C. A., &
Ratcliffe, K. (2013). Implicit and explicit attitudes towards rape are
associated with sexual aggression. Journal of Interpersonal violence, 28, 2657- 2675. doi: 10.1177/0886260513487995
K. L., Hermann, C. A., White, K., Pettersen, C., & Bumby, K. (2016).
Attitude may be everything, but is everything an attitude? Cognitive
distortions may not be evaluations towards rape. Sexual
Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment. Advance
online publication. doi: 10.1177/1079063215625489
use evaluationthroughout to refer to attitude as defined in the social psychological literature, in which the
essential feature of attitudes is evaluation; this is intended to distinguish it from the use of attitude in the
correctional/forensic/criminological literature, which usually seems to reflect a much
broader lay definition (Nunes et al., 2013; Nunes, Hermann et
Child pornography offenders: Profiles of a complex group
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Canada
Forensic Psychiatry Program, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Canada
It is known
that child pornography has existed since ancient times. However, the first
child pornographic images as we now know them can be traced to 1862 (Tyler,
1985). As the reach of this particular
type of offence has expanded globally, it highlights the challenges of tackling
this problem as it requires an international collaboration of many national
task forces (Krone, 2005). Easier said than done as the laws are quite different
for each country and for a long time, child pornography has been described in
many criminal codes under the section of obscene messages. Lately, according to
the evolution of criminality, and specifically, criminality involving the new
means of telecommunication, specific laws have been introduced. The legal
evolution has not been linear if we compare one country to another. For
example, specific laws pertaining to child pornography offenses were issued in
1977 in the US, in 1980 in Denmark, in 1984 in the Netherlands and only in 1994
in France (Tyler, 1985; Frederick, 1996; Prat et al., 2012).
profiles of the offender are quite varied, describing different psychopathology
and motivations for the offense (Burke et al., 2002). Many offender and offence
characteristics have been described to explain this phenomenon. Child
pornography is mainly known as pictures or videotape, but the narrative aspect,
referring to specific literature, has to be considered as child pornography also
and can be used to stimulate deviant fantasies. Artistic aspects have been
emphasized as a tolerance of this kind of production in some countries (Krone,
2004; Kleinhans, 2004), and the border has sometimes blurred between real
artistic depictions and indecent pornography. To give an example, in 1973 Tony
Duvert received a literature prize in France for a book entitled “Paysage de
Fantaisie” (Fantasies’ landscape), that clearly described pedophilic fantasies. This
publication was released during a time of cultural sexual liberation, which may
explain how the obscene aspect was ignored while people focused on the “innovative
and liberal style”. It is also interesting to note that David Hamilton, a famous
photographer, is also known for his movie “Age of the innocence”, which depicted
pubescent girls. To my knowledge, there are no indecent or obscene images in
the movie, but the poses of the protagonists could be considered sexually suggestive.
Although his work has not been considered child pornography, it is interesting
to note that people charged and convicted for possession of child pornography, have
also possessed material related to David Hamilton’s “artistic production”.
of the child pornography offense
pornography as a concept is further complicated by the fact that some
non-pornographic material can be used in pedophilic fantasy (Krone, 2004;
Kleinhans, 2004). Casual images from clothing catalogues, newspaper images, or
cartoons are often found in collections. It has been debated in many countries whether
those kinds of images can be considered illegal, since they do not result from
a sexual offense. Many countries consider those productions illegal, but some
countries, such as France, allow a defense if the consumer can prove that the subject,
although appearing as a minor in the image, is in reality older than 18 (Prat
et al., 2012). From a clinical perspective, this consideration does not make
any sense, because, the consumer is still interested in viewing minors in
erotic or pornographic images. Based on those different considerations, scales
have been developed to classify the images, or any kind of production, that can
be related to child pornography. One example is the Combating
Paedophile Information Networks scale (COPINE
scale), developed at the University College of Cork in Ireland, which includes 10
levels from indicative to sadistic and bestiality. It is interesting to note
that from step 6 “explicit erotic posing”, most countries agree that the images
are considered illegal, but there is some variation between countries for lower
levels. From the COPINE scale, the Court of Appeal, in the case Regina v. Oliver (2002), issued the Sentencing
Advisory Panel scale (SAP scale), describing 5 steps from “nudity or erotic
posing with no sexual activity” to “sadism and bestiality”; the purpose of designing the scale was to help the judges/jury to provide appropriate
sentencing based on the gravity of the offenses depicted in the images. This
SAP scale, issued from a trial, can be considered as a practical legal tool for
use with those convicted, as opposed to the COPINE scale which was mainly
designed for clinicians and researchers (Taylor & Quayle, 2003; Krone, 2004;
Quayle et al., 2006). Indeed the SAP scale focuses on illegal material, as
opposed to the COPINE scale which describes all possibilities as to how a minor
can be depicted.
The use of
child pornography goes beyond functioning as a tool to fulfill sexual fantasy. In
addition, it is used as currency for exchanging material between collectors and
within specific websites. The collection of child pornography is well described
as a risk factor. Such materials are also used to normalize the activity in the
process of grooming potential victims. Furthermore, consumption of any
depiction of child sexual abuse supports rationalization of abusive behavior, and
reinforces cognitive distortions related to sexual activity with minors. Finally,
financial interest is also a motivation to deal in child pornography, because a
significant market exists. However, generally, people interested in the money
are not really motivated by pedophilic interest, and this speaks to the complex
and varied motives for the production and distribution of child sexual abuse
material (Tate, 1990; Marshall, 2000; Taylor et al., 2001; Quayle et al., 2001;
Frei, 2005; Beech et al., 2008).
the features of the material itself, the characteristics of the collection have
been highlighted as relevant to conceptualizing risk and risk management. We
describe notably 1/ the importance of the collection for the collector; 2/ the
constancy of the collection; 3/ the organization of the collection; 4/ the attempts
to conceal the collection, and 5/ the degree to which the collection is shared with
others, or part of a virtual community, such that the collector considers his material
to be relevant or desirable to someone else (Taylor et al., 2001).
mentioned above, the profiles of child pornography consumers are quite varied.
Three different studies highlighted three different typologies to explain the
motivations. Burgess and Hartmann (2005) defined three categories: 1/ “Traders”, people who send and collect child
pornography on the Internet; 2/ “Travelers”, people who try to make
contact with children using coercion or manipulation and; 3/ “Traffickers”, people who are actively involved
in child trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Elliot and Beech
(2009) described 4 groups, 1/ the “periodically prurient”, those who
access images out of curiosity, who can have addictive behaviors, but who have
no particular sexual interest in children; 2/ “fantasy only”, people who
have sexual fantasies about children, who fuel this interest by sharing images
and have no known history of physical aggression; 3/ “direct victimization”,
people with a particular interest in contact with children, either real or
virtual, and use images or stories to groom victims; and 4/ “commercial
exploitation”, people trading images for money.
the profiles to guide the clinician about risk
the complexity of the offense and the specificities of the profiles, those assessing
the risk of recidivism first need to ask what kind of risk is being assessed
(Wakeling et al., 2011). There is specific sexual recidivism, violent
recidivism and general recidivism. When we think about child pornography and
sexual offenses in general, we are primarily interested in sexual recidivism.
Regarding child pornography offenses, we also need to think about what kind of
risk we are looking for. Generally, child pornography is described as carrying a
low risk of recidivism, from 1.5 to 6 % (Babchishin et al., 2011; Babchishin et
al., 2015; Faust et al., 2014). However, we have little information about the
type of recidivism and the offender profiles. Because child pornography
involves a wide range of profiles, we must be able to define precisely the type
of recidivism according to the profile.
a virtual and hands-off offense
significant hurdle in defining recidivism for this group is that we do not know
what to expect after a child pornography downloading offense (Neutze et al.,
2014). Generally, we are interested in assessing the risk for the subject to
offend again in the same manner, but there are questions about how to classify
potential offenses from virtual to real and from hands-off to hands-on offenses.
On this “double scale”, we can define four stages, 1/ child pornography would
be the most virtual and most hands-off offense against children; then 2/ sexual
online grooming and the obscene phone calls or image sharing, are still a hands-off
offense, but less virtual; 3/ exhibition becomes a real offense, because of the
face-to-face relationship, but is still a hands-off offense, because there is
no physical contact between the offender and the victim; and 4/ sexual
molestation and rape are clearly hands-on offenses, regardless of differences in
terms of coercion, violence and gravity. The idea of exploring the risk
assessment in terms of child pornography consumption is to know if we want to
predict the same behavior, or a potential escalation. The tool to assess the
risk of re-offense must be designed regarding those aspects of
virtuality/reality and hands-on/hands-off. The Child Pornography Offender Risk
Tool (CPORT) was recently developed and shows promising data, as it will help
focus on the relevant information for assessing
risk (Seto & Eke, 2015), but still does not signal the manner of re-offence.
However, by using it in combination with typologies and motivation conceptualizations,
we can enrich our risk evaluations and thus risk management.
An international perspective:
Research on French child pornography offenders
Based on a
sample of adult French males convicted of child pornography downloading, this
author performed two studies: 1/ a comparison between non pedophilic and
pedophilic child pornography consumers; and 2/ using only the pedophilic child
pornography consumers, a comparison between those whose offending was limited
to downloaded child pornography, and those who already had another closer
contact with a child (from online grooming to rape).
pornography consumption and any related offenses are complex offenses, it
appeared important to be able to discriminate between looking for the images on
the Internet and engaging in any other type of sexual behaviour with children. Four
variable domains were identified in each study: 1/ the social and emotional functioning
of the offender, including educational background, employment, relationship status
and sexuality; 2/ childhood history of the offender in terms of violence, parental
relationships; 3/ the perception of the offense with specific attention to
indications of remorse, rationalization; and 4/ psychological functioning
inferred from introspection capacity, and cooperation during the assessment.
3.1.1. Pedophilic vs non-pedophilic child
In terms of
the social and emotional variables, we found that non-pedophiles had better
academic achievement, more stable employment, and felt better integrated in
society. This group was typically heterosexual, and denied complaints of
loneliness or sexual dissatisfaction. In terms of childhood history, the only
significant result was the absence of a father or father substitute. We did not
find any group differences in terms of violence experienced in childhood, or
In terms of
the perception of the offense, the non-pedophilic group endorsed positive
attitudes towards minors, and described regret and culpability, contrary to the
pedophilic group, which presented with more minimization or rationalization.
The non-pedophilic group expressed a morbid curiosity towards the images,
explaining the need to also access images of car accidents or war. The non-pedophilic
group was more inclined to talk about their sexuality. They cooperated more and
exhibited capability for introspection compared to the pedophilic group.
3.1.2. Hands-off vs hands-on child
study comparing hands-off and hands-on child pornography offenders, it was
interesting that the groups did not differ greatly. This can be explained by
the fact that both groups were composed of pedophilic subjects, who likely present
with the same characteristics. In terms of emotional and relational aspects, no
statistical differences were found. However, the offender’s attitude towards
the offense was significantly different, such that the hands-off group presented
with a more positive attitude, characterized by remorse or acknowledging the status as victim for the depicted child.
In the same
way, the hands-off group expressed more sense of virtuality, with the idea that
they were alone behind their computer, with no contact, and at no risk of being
caught for their fantasies. The hands-on group had more difficulty in talking
about their sexuality. They showed no introspection, nor did they cooperate
during the interview.
3.1.3. Criminal history of the hands-on
child pornography consumers
As part of
the second study, the criminal history of the hands-on child pornography
consumers was explored further. The first idea was to test some kind of
“escalation process” in the sexual behavior, from consuming child pornography
to assaulting a minor. It was interesting to find that most of the subjects had
been convicted many years before for a hands-on/“close physical proximity”
offense, such as sexual assault or exhibition. However, after the 2000’s and the Internet’s explosion, most of the
convictions were related to child pornography downloading, with no convictions
for another sexual assault or exhibition; some were convicted however for communicating
with minors on the Internet. It is
important to be cautious with these results, because they were based solely on convictions.
However, because there was such a large majority of subjects presenting in this
way, (although controversial) what, if anything, might this mean about
pornography as a protective factor for pedophiles?
the research reviewed here did not specifically identify risk factors or link
the variables to recidivism, it focused on specific patterns and behaviors, and
in this way may provide guidance about what to explore during an interview, to
be able to conceptualize and differentiate profiles, and then consider the
potential acting out or re-offence most likely. Furthermore,
the indirect elements
presented above can be used to formulate the level of intensity of an
individual’s interest and behavioural patterns in accessing child pornography
materials. In this way, the present research can be incorporated into assessments
designed to gather information both for the purpose of formal risk assessment,
such as with the use of the CPORT, but also for the purpose of
conceptualization and risk management formulation.
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offenders are different: A meta-analysis of the characteristics of online and
offline sex offenders against children. Archives
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Processes Accounting for the Covariation Between Hypersexual and Psychopathic Traits
Last year I was awarded an ATSA Pre-Doctoral Research Grant
to help fund my dissertation, a project that would not have been possible
without the generosity of the ATSA organization. I am excited to have the
opportunity to share an overview of what my research project entails.
My research interests center on the intersection between
psychopathy and hypersexuality, two predictors of both the development of
sexually aggressive behavior and later sexual recidivism (Knight &
Sims-Knight, 2003, 2004; Hanson & Morton-Bourgon, 2005). Although Cleckley
(1951) described the psychopath as disinhibited sexually and prone to seeking
sexual gratification indiscriminately, he
did not hypothesize that those high on psychopathic traits were oversexualized.
In contrast, more recent empirical findings have suggested that psychopathic
traits are correlated with a range of sexual behaviors that can broadly be
defined as hypersexual (e.g., sexual drive, sexual compulsivity, sexual
preoccupation, precocious sexuality, socio-sexuality; Graham, 2014; Harris et al., 2007; Kastner & Sellbom,
2012). In one study that examined the etiological
pathways of sexual aggression, the correlation between psychopathic and
hypersexual latent traits was so high that modification indices
suggested combing the two constructs into a single latent trait (Knight, 2013; Knight
& Sims-Knight, 2013).
Such consistent and high covariation
between two hypothetical constructs suggests the possibility that common
underlying processes may account for their co-occurrence. Unfortunately, few
attempts have been made to explore such potential common etiological mechanisms.
Identification of common mechanisms would be important for focusing the search
for etiological models of sexual aggression and could generate more specific
targets for treatment and assessment. The aim of this project is to identify
and test potential common mechanisms.
Previous research has found that the
covariation between hypersexual
and psychopathic traits is largely due to manipulative and impulsive psychopathic
traits (Harris et al., 2007; Knight &
Sims-Knight, 2003). Unpublished data from our laboratory has found that only
the Interpersonal and Lifestyle facets of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised
(PCL-R; Hare, 2003) were correlated with measures of hypersexuality as assessed
by the Multidimensional Inventory of Development, Sex, and Aggression (MIDSA;
see MIDSA, 2011) in a sample of 529 male
sexual offenders. In a previous study using the three MIDSA scales that assess
hypersexuality and MIDSA analog scales of
the Interpersonal and Lifestyle facets of the PCL-R, we found that 47% of the
variance in hypersexuality could be accounted for by the two psychopathy facets
In the PCL-R the Interpersonal and Lifestyle facets load on
two correlated, but distinct overarching factors. Interpersonal
manipulativeness is a component of the Affective-Interpersonal Factor 1, associated
with low anxiety/fear and the affective and interpersonal traits that are considered
to be the “primary” features of psychopathy. In contrast, Lifestyle impulsivity
is a part of a second overarching PCL-R factor, Lifestyle-Antisocial, which has
been associated with negative emotionality and more generalized externalizing psychopathology
(Hare, 2003; Verona, Edelyn, Patrick, & Joiner, 2001). These two factors
show opposing correlates and are hypothesized to arise from different
etiological pathways (Fowles & Dindo, 2006). Moreover, Newman and his colleagues have hypothesized
distinct cognitive processing deficits that characterize those high on primary
psychopathic traits versus externalizing traits (Baskin-Sommers & Newman,
2013; Newman & Baskin-Sommers, 2012). They have found evidence that the low
anxiety, primary psychopathic traits are associated with an attentional
bottleneck arising in early selective attention. This bottleneck is
hypothesized to inhibit the processing of information peripheral to goal-directed behavior, resulting in a failure
to modulate behavior in the face of new information (Newman &
Baskin-Sommers, 2012). In contrast, disinhibited and externalizing traits have
been shown to arise from deficits in executive functioning and a
hyper-awareness of emotionally-valent stimuli, resulting in difficulties
maintaining top-down cognitive control.
Although hypersexuality has
traditionally been conceptualized as a univocal construct, more recent data
have suggested that it, like psychopathy, might have important critical
subcomponents. The issue of what phenotypic traits and developmental antecedes
are core components of hypersexuality and hypersexual related constructs (e.g.,
sexual addiction, sexual impulsivity, sexual compulsivity) has sparked
considerable controversy. One common conceptualization of hypersexuality has
focused on the use of sexual behavior as a way of regulating negative affect
(Kingston & Firestone, 2008). Self-report data have corroborated that this conceptualization
covaries with alexithymia, neuroticism, anxiety, anger, and vulnerability to
stress (Reid, Carpenter, Spackman, & Willes, 2008). The importance of
negative affectivity in this conceptualization suggests that hypersexual traits
and their covariation with psychopathy may be best understood as resulting from
a common deficit in executive functioning.
Hypersexuality appears, however, to be a multifaceted phenomenon. Carvalho,
Štulhofer, Vieira, and Jurin
(2015) calculated a cluster analysis on a large sample of community members (n = 4,597) and found two clusters of hypersexual
traits. The first cluster comprised 3% of the sample and was defined by items
capturing sexual dyscontrol, such as failures to control sexual behavior and
behavioral consequences. The second cluster included 22.4% of the sample and
was defined by items measuring increased sexual drive and behavior. Assignment
to the sexual dyscontrol cluster was associated with greater depression scores
compared to members of the sexual drive/behavior cluster, suggesting greater
negative affectivity. The two clusters suggest the presence of two
distinguishable forms of hypersexuality--one associated with high sexual drive
and engagement in sexual behavior and a second form more associated with
disordered sexuality that includes a lack of control over sexual behavior and
negative sexual consequences.
The differentiation between sexual
dyscontrol, which encompasses the conceptualization of hypersexuality as the overuse
of sexual behavior to cope with negative emotion, from high sexual drive and
activity provides the possibility that the impulsive and manipulative
psychopathic traits and their associated attentional deficits may be more
strongly related to specific forms of hypersexuality. It is reasonable to speculate
that both the impulsive, externalizing traits of psychopathy and sexual
dyscontrol may share similar deficits in executive functioning and a hyper-reactivity
to emotion stimuli.
In contrast, manipulative
psychopathic traits can be hypothesized to align more with the high sexual
drive/behavioral components of hypersexuality, suggesting a common early
attentional bottleneck resulting in an over-focus on reward and an inability to
alter one’s focus on a goal, once such goal-directed behavior has been enacted.
Both the high-drive conceptualization of hypersexuality and manipulative
psychopathic traits also share potential neurological correlates. There is
evidence that this high drive component may be related to a hyper-reactive
dopaminergic response to potential reward.
The motivational aspect of sexual behavior, including the orienting to
sexual stimuli and urges to express sexual behaviors are associated with activation
of the mesolimbic dopaminergic pathway and is instrumental in the assignment of incentive
salience to stimuli (Berridge & Robinson, 1998; Redoute et al., 2000; Stoléru,
Fonteille, Cornélis, Joyal, & Moulier, 2002). Buckholtz
et al. (2010) reported that the Impulsive-Antisocial (AI)
factor of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI), also called the
Self-Centered Impulsive factor, is associated with deficits in the mesolimbic
DA system, with the presentation of rewarding stimuli resulting in increased DA
release within the NAcc and Ventral Striatum. Meta-analysis of the PPI suggests that although
the AI factor is closely aligned with externalizing traits and the second-factor psychopathic traits, it is also strongly
related to total psychopathy scores and moderately correlated with the first-factor psychopathic traits (Miller & Lynam,
2012). Similarly, measures of the Behavioral Activation System are correlated
with both psychopathy factors of self-report measures (Ross et al., 2007). This
hyper-responsivity to reward can explain an exaggerated approach motivation and
perceptual narrowing on rewarding stimuli that could account for the
covariation between psychopathy in general and the sexual drive component of
hypersexuality (e.g., excessive responsivity to sexual stimuli).
Taken together, these data suggest
the possibility that there are two potentially interacting pathways that can
account for the covariation among constructs. The first can be described as an
attentional bottleneck that results in a common failure to attend to peripheral
information and leads to an over-focus on rewarding stimuli and covaries with both the low anxiety, primary traits of
psychopathy and the sexual drive components of hypersexuality. The second pathway
involves a common failure in executive functioning and negative emotionality,
that may account for the externalizing psychopathic traits and the sexual
dyscontrol components of hypersexuality, resulting in an inability to maintain
top-down cognitive control when faced with emotionally relevant (e.g. sexual) stimuli.
Both paths can lead to an equifinal outcome of general hyper-responsivity to
reward in both psychopathic and hypersexual individuals, resulting in an increased
motivational salience and approach response towards potentially rewarding
The present study is employing three
behavioral tasks to measure both the two interacting pathways and the equifinal
reward-focused outcome to explore the potential mechanisms accounting for the
covariation between hypersexuality and psychopathy. I am using two tasks
derived from the work of Sadeh and Verona (2008) and Lavie et al., (2004) to
assess the relation between attentional deficits and the constructs of
interest. The first task is a 2 x 3 flanker task that manipulates the
congruence of distractors (congruent, incongruent) and the perceptual load of
the task (low, medium, and high) to determine the impact of perceptual load on
early attentional bottlenecks. Both psychopathic and hypersexual traits will be
included as covariates in the model. It is expected that both high sexual drive
and the manipulative traits of psychopathy will be associated with the presence
of an earlier attentional bottleneck, as measured by faster responding to
incongruent distractors at lower perceptual loads. The interference effect for
each construct can then be used to determine whether an early attentional
bottleneck mediates the relation between hypersexual and psychopathic traits.
second task uses a 2 x 2 flanker task in which cognitive load (low, high) and
flanker congruence (congruent,
incongruent) are manipulated to determine the impact of cognitive load on
attentional control, as measured by the reaction time to incongruent versus
congruent distractors. As in the first task, both psychopathic and hypersexual
traits will be entered into the model as covariates predicting cognitive
performance. It is expected that both sexual dyscontrol and the
Impulsive/Antisocial externalizing traits of psychopathy will be more associated
with greater interference effects from distractors under high load.
Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara et al., 1994) will be used as a measure of reward
responsivity. The IGT is often used as a measure of real world decision making,
requiring participants to attempt to win as much fake money as possible by drawing
from a series of decks of cards. Participants choose from among four decks. The
first two decks are considered “disadvantageous” and are characterized by
immediate high rewards and even higher later punishments. The second two decks
are “advantageous” and include smaller immediate rewards, but also smaller
punishments. To perform well on the task participants must learn which decks
are more advantageous and focus on long-term gains over immediate rewards. It is
hypothesized that poorer performance on this task will by correlated with both
sets of psychopathic and hypersexual traits that are suggestive of increased
sensitivity to reward.
supporting these hypotheses would provide information helpful to the
understanding, assessment, and treatment of sexually aggressive behavior.
Evidence of a covariation of high sex drive, early bottleneck cognitive
deficit, and over-focus on rewarding stimuli would suggest that clients who
exhibit manipulative, risk-taking psychopathic and sexual traits are
experiencing an over-recruitment of dopaminergic activation in response to
motivationally salient cues, implying high reward salience. At a fundamental level this would indicate a strong motivational
draw toward rewards that are sexual in nature. Within the clinical realm this would imply the need for assessments
that can assess reward motivation and reward responsivity. Therapeutic
interventions for such offenders should, in
turn, be tailored to the treatment of a high behavioral pursuit of
reward. Evidence of an early attentional deficit in such offenders would
increase our understanding of the arousal aspects of hypersexuality and would
implicate neural areas tied to perceptual capacity (e.g., the septohippocampal
system). This would encourage the development of assessment strategies that
measure deficits in early selective attention. It would suggest the creation of treatment
modalities that enhance cognitive skills that foster attention to peripheral
information (e.g., Baskin-Sommers & Newman, 2013).
of a covariation of high sexual dysfunction, an executive function deficit,
over-distraction for rewarding stimuli, and externalizing symptoms would
suggest that the offender suffers from problems of emotional and behavior
control that would potentially be more responsive to interventions that
specifically target this problem. Moreover, identification of a late
attentional deficit in such offenders would imply impairments in executive functioning
and working memory. Assessments that can determine the level of impairment in
these systems would provide important information and direct the course of
intervention toward treatment techniques that enhance concentration and working
memory, enhance cognitive and inhibitory control, and improve emotional and
grateful to ATSA for helping to fund this project and look forward to sharing
the results with the ATSA community.
Baskin-Sommers, A. R., & Newman, J. P.
(2013). Differentiating the cognition-emotion interactions that characterize
psychopathy versus externalizing. Handbook
of Cognition and Emotion, 501-520.
Bechara, A., Damasio, A. R., Damasio, H., &
Anderson, S. W. (1994). Insensitivity to future consequences following damage
to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50, 7-15.
Berridge, K. C., & Robinson, T. E. (1998).
What is the role of dopamine in reward: hedonic impact, reward learning, or
incentive salience? Brain Research
Reviews, 28, 309-369.
Carvalho, J., Štulhofer, A., Vieira, A. L.,
& Jurin, T. (2015). Hypersexuality and high sexual desire: Exploring the
structure of problematic sexuality. The
Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12,
H. (1951). The mask of sanity; an attempt to reinterpret the so-called
J. W., Treadway, M. T., Cowan, R. L., Woodward, N. D., Benning, S. D., Li, R.,
... & Smith, C. E. (2010). Mesolimbic dopamine reward system hypersensitivity
in individuals with psychopathic traits. Nature
C., & Dindo, L. (2006). A dual-deficit model of psychopathy. Handbook of Psychopathy, 14-34.
Graham, F. J.
(2014, March). Gender Differences in the Association Between
Callousness/Manipulativeness and Sexualization. In R. A. Knight (Chair). Exploring developmental antecedents,
manifestations, and covariations of psychopathy and sexual sadism. Symposium
presented at the meeting of Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA.
K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. E. (2005). The characteristics of persistent
sexual offenders: a meta-analysis of recidivism studies. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 73, 1154-1163.
R. D. (2003). Hare Psychopathy Checklist--Revised (PCL-R): 2nd
Edition, Technical Manual. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems, Inc.
T., Rice, M. E., Hilton, N. Z., Lalumiere, M. L., & Quinsey, V. L. (2007).
Coercive and precocious sexuality as a fundamental aspect of psychopathy. Journal of Personality Disorders, 21, 1-27.
M., & Sellbom, M. (2012). Hypersexuality in college students: The role of
psychopathy. Personality and
Individual Differences, 53,
D. A., & Firestone, P. (2008). Problematic hypersexuality: A review of
conceptualization and diagnosis. Sexual
Addiction & Compulsivity, 15,
Knight, R. A. (2013, September). New developments in the structural models of paraphilic coercion and
rape. Paper presented at the 27th Annual Conference of the Society for
Research in Psychopathology, Oakland, CA.
Knight, R. A., &
Sims-Knight, J. E. (2003). Developmental antecedents of sexual coercion against
women: Testing of alternative hypotheses with structural equation modeling. In
R. A. Prentky, E. Janus, & M. Seto (Eds.), Sexual coercion: Understanding and
management (pp. 72-85). New
York: New York Academy of Sciences.
Knight, R. A., &
Sims-Knight, J. E. (2004). Testing an etiological model for male juvenile
sexual offending against females. Journal
of Child Sexual Abuse, 13, 33-55.
Knight, R. A., & Sims-Knight, J. E. (2013, November). Tracking the antecedents and predictors of
rape: Abuse, hypersexuality, callousness, antisociality, and PCD. Symposium
presented at the 32rd Annual Conference of the Association for the Treatment of
Sexual Abusers, Chicago, IL.
Lavie, N., Hirst, A., De Fockert, J. W., & Viding, E.
(2004). Load theory of selective attention and cognitive control. Journal of Experimental Psychology:
General, 133, 339-354.
Miller, J. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2012). An examination of
the Psychopathic Personality Inventory's nomological network: a meta-analytic
review. Personality Disorders:
Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3,
Multidimensional Inventory of Development, Sex, and
Aggression (MIDSA). (2011). MIDSA
clinical manual, 3rd ed. Bend, OR: Augur Enterprises. Available at www.midsa.us.
Newman, J. P., & Baskin-Sommers, A. R. (2012). Early
selective attention abnormalities in psychopathy. Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention,
Redouté, J., Stoléru, S., Grégoire, M. C., Costes, N.,
Cinotti, L., Lavenne, F., ... & Pujol, J. F. (2000). Brain processing of
visual sexual stimuli in human males. Human
Brain Mapping, 11,
Reid, R. C., Carpenter, B. N., Spackman, M., & Willes, D.
L. (2008). Alexithymia, emotional instability, and vulnerability to stress
proneness in patients seeking help for hypersexual behavior. Journal of Sex & Marital
Therapy, 34, 133-149.
Ross, S. R., Moltó, J., Poy, R., Segarra, P., Pastor, M. C.,
& Montañés, S. (2007). Gray’s model and psychopathy: BIS but not BAS
differentiates primary from secondary psychopathy in noninstitutionalized young
adults. Personality and
Individual Differences, 43,
Sadeh, N., & Verona, E. (2008). Psychopathic personality
traits associated with abnormal selective attention and impaired cognitive
control. Neuropsychology, 22, 669.
Stoléru, S., Fonteille, V., Cornélis, C., Joyal, C., &
Moulier, V. (2012). Functional neuroimaging studies of sexual arousal and
orgasm in healthy men and women: a review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral
Sutherland, E. H. (1950). The diffusion of sexual psychopath
laws. American Journal of
Patrick, C. J., & Joiner, T. E. (2001). Psychopathy, antisocial
personality, and suicide risk. Journal
of Abnormal Psychology, 110,
Treatment of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: An Integrated Approach
Review Submitted by David S. Prescott, LICSW
Treatment of High-Risk Sexual Offenders: An Integrated Approach
Jeffrey Abracen and Jan Looman
Wiley-Blackwell, 264 Pages
The amusing twist in this book comes at the outset. The
authors make it clear, right up front, they would have preferred that someone
else write this book. After all, there is very little available to
professionals who work with this select group of clients. On the one hand, it
calls to mind a quote attributed to Jerry Garcia: “Somebody had to do something, and it’s incredibly lame that it had to
be us.” On the other hand, it is difficult to imagine a pair of authors
better suited for this project.
David S. Prescott, LICSW
Forum Book Review Editor
Abracen and Looman are true scientist-practitioners involved
in the treatment of some of Canada’s most high-risk clients for many years. Employed
by the Correctional Service of Canada the authors have collaborated for many
years, not only developing and implementing programming, but studying it as
well. ATSA members are likely familiar with their work in some capacity,
whether it’s their published research, Forum
articles, or contributions to ATSA’s listserv (Jan Looman once produced new
data analyses in response to a Listserv discussion, quipping that he did it
because he was “bored at lunch”. It is this kind of interchange that makes ATSA
the helpful resource that it is).
Of course, Abracen and Looman have not operated in a vacuum.
They have been fortunate enough to practice in Ontario during an era of
explosive growth and expanding knowledge. As this book illustrates, they have
developed many of their best ideas as a result of dialog with others, from Bill
and Liam Marshall and their associates, to the late Marnie Rice, Grant Harris,
and others from around the province. The end result is a document of work by
innovative individuals, made better by the community of professionals around
These last points are not mere flattery. Beyond its elegant
and informative writing style, the book describes many lessons learned and has
numerous tips for clinicians based on the authors’ experience. When combined
with incisive reviews of the literature, the chapters combine to form a whole
that will deepen professionals’ knowledge base, both practically and
empirically. Of course, the authors are not without strong opinions and biases;
these certainly add to the interest of the book and point the way towards
further research possibilities and professional self-development opportunities
for the reader.
As one example of the authors’ leanings, they take the Good
Lives Model (GLM) to task in ways that this admittedly biased writer believes
did not consider the full body of this model’s literature. Indeed, the authors
describe how they started to adopt elements of the GLM and abandoned it in
short order. On the one hand, it seems they did not necessarily give it that
much of a chance. On the other hand, it’s impressive that they tried it at all
when they had already spent years developing their own programming – this
speaks to their efforts at refinement. The literature on what works in
psychotherapy suggests that if you aren’t convinced that a model will work for
you, it’s probably better not to use it. Conversely, and by way of analogy, if
your diet works for you, it’s probably best to maintain your eating habits.
Going beyond the bounds of many other book projects, the
authors dig deep into the interactions between complex post-traumatic stress,
attachment, and sexual offending. This is a welcome addition to the literature,
as very little has been written in this area (Levenson, Willis, & Prescott,
2015; 2016; Reavis, Looman, Franco, & Rojas, 2013). They also provide a
very helpful description of their work with comorbid substance abuse disorders.
The layout of the book is as straightforward as its writing
style. After an introduction, the table of contents include:
- Background and definitions
- A description of the RTCSOTP group
characteristics and program
- Treatment outcomes of high-risk violent and
- Therapist and setting characteristics
- The integrated Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR-I) Model
- Etiological factors: Attachment theory and
complex post-traumatic stress
- Combining attachment theory and complex
post-traumatic stress disorder and theories of sexual offending: The RNR-I
- Good Lives Model and sexual offending
- Therapeutic orientation and relevance to
skills and individual therapy
abuse, drug abuse, and sexual offending
applications of the RNR-I model in the assessment and treatment of sexual
offenders with substance or alcohol abuse disorders
model for community management
The authors may have shied away from the project initially,
but in all it is a concise and helpful history of a solid program for some of
the most challenging clients in the world.
Levenson, J. S., Willis, G. M.,
& Prescott, D. (2015). Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Lives of Female
Sex O enders. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research & Treatment, 27,
Levenson, J. S., Willis, G. M.,
& Prescott, D. (2016). Adverse Childhood Experiences in the Lives of Male
Sex Offenders and Implications for Trauma-Informed Care. Sexual Abuse: A
Journal of Research & Treatment, 28 340-359.
Reavis, J., Looman, J., Franco,
K., & Rojas, B. (2013). Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult
Criminality: How long must we live before we possess our own lives? e
Permanente Journal, 17(2), 44-48.
Changing The Journal Name
Michael Seto, Ph.D.
Editor-in-Chief, Sexual Abuse
have noticed that the journal name has changed to Sexual Abuse, dropping the secondary title. This change was something that I have been thinking about since
taking over as Editor-in-Chief in January 2015, and indeed it was something
that I proposed to the Board of Directors of the Association for the Treatment
of Sexual Abusers early in my tenure. Because I did not sufficiently or
convincingly explain my thinking, the proposal was rejected in a close vote in
May 2015. I’m pleased to announce that
the ATSA Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to support my updated
proposal to change the title, in order to better reflect the evolving mission
of the journal.
particular, the change reflects that the journal’s aims involve high-quality
scientific research and a scope that focuses on, but is broader than,
treatment. The journal is intended to be an outlet for scholarly work on the
characteristics of perpetrators or those at risk of perpetration, and with the
etiology, life course, assessment and prevention of sexual exploitation and
abuse. Treatment providers have been and will remain a core part of the
journal’s intended audience, but we also want to include policy-makers, judges
and lawyers, correctional staff, and other professionals who all have something
to contribute to our understanding and our response to the problems of sexual
exploitation and abuse.
I noted in my inaugural editorial as Editor-in-Chief (Seto, 2015), the journal
has a rich and impressive history supporting scholarship in our field. I
believe Sexual Abuse is widely
recognized and respected in the field, and my goal as Editor-in-Chief is to help
the journal become even stronger and more effective in contributing to
evidence-based theory, policy and practice. I think these goals can be achieved
in part through making it clear we are multi-disciplinary and broadening the
Apply for the ATSA Fellow for 2017
Bradley R Johnson, M.D., ATSA Membership Committee Chair
As Chair of the ATSA
Membership Committee, I am pleased to announce the ATSA Fellow application for 2017.
Like other professional organizations, the ATSA Membership Committee and
Board of Directors began two years ago to offer the ATSA Fellow, a special
honorary designation to recognize ATSA members who have demonstrated allegiance
to their profession and a strong commitment
to the ongoing work of the Association. A Fellow of ATSA goes “above and beyond” in
regard to their dedication and contribution to ATSA. The ATSA Fellow designation is an enhancement
to their professional credentials and is recognized by their colleagues in ATSA
as a member of a select group.
require review and approval by the ATSA Membership Committee and Executive
Board. All newly appointed Fellows will
be publicly recognized in the ATSA Forum and at the ATSA Membership Meeting and
Luncheon on October 27th, which will be held this year at the ATSA
Annual Research and Treatment Conference in Kansas City, MO (October 25-29,
2017). Fellows receive a Fellow certificate that they can display with pride
in their office. Additionally, ATSA
Fellows can use the initials ATSAF after their professional names to signify
that they have reached this honor within the ATSA organization.
Deadlines (application available at www.ATSA.com)
nominations from other ATSA members should be submitted to the ATSA office by
are the requirements to become an ATSA Fellow?
- Not less
than seven consecutive years as a Member or Associate Member of ATSA (Years
spent as Affiliate and Student Members do not count toward the ATSA Fellow.)
letters supporting your submission or nomination must be received from current
members of ATSA describing your dedication and strong commitment to ATSA, and
why you should become a member of this select group. Letters should explain how the applicant
rises to the level of Fellow, distinguishing them from a routine member of
- The ATSA
member should be outstanding in their field and have made significant
contributions to ATSA as demonstrated by completing at least four (4) requirements
from the following list while a member of ATSA:
of an application that is available on line at www.ATSA.com or through the ATSA office at (503) 643-1023.
- Involvement in ATSA by serving on an ATSA
organization committee or board
- Involvement in ATSA by serving in a local
chapter leadership role or committee
- Organization of or major participation in an
organized activity of ATSA or your local chapter
- Give a professional presentation (paper
presentation , poster session, workshop or symposium) at an ATSA Annual
- Give a professional presentation at a local chapter
- Publish a scientific or scholarly article in the
ATSA journal (Sexual Abuse)
- Publish a scientific or scholarly article in the
- Serve as an editor, associate editor or on the
editorial board of the ATSA journal (Sexual Abuse) or have reviewed at least
ten (10) submissions to the journal
- Publish an article on sexual offense assessment,
treatment or prevention in a peer reviewed professional journal other than the
ATSA journal (Sexual Abuse)
- Participate in furthering ATSA’s contribution to
public policy for the prevention of sexual abuse by aiding with the creation of
a legislative or court response or press release
- Participate as a mentor to a less experienced
ATSA member as part of the ATSA Mentoring Program for at least one year
- Other major contribution to ATSA or local
chapter that is approved by the membership committee
Don’t be left out and
submit your application today, or nominate someone who you believe should have
the ATSA Fellow designation. If you have
any questions, contact the ATSA office, or you may contact Brad Johnson at
520-297-9878 or at BJohnsonMD@comcast.net.
We are proud to announce the 2017 nominees
for At-Large Representative and Prevention Representative positions.
You should have received an emailed ballot by May 25, 2017. If you
have not received a ballot, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a ballot resend.
Please note that the deadline to vote is June 30, 2017.
2017 ATSA Executive Board Nominees
At-Large Representative Candidates
Below is the list of candidates for the elected At-Large Representative position on the ATSA Board of Directors.
Prevention Practice Representative Candidate
Below is the list of candidates for the Prevention Representative position on the ATSA Board of Directors.
ATSA International Committee: An introduction
Kieran McCartan, Committee Chair
Welcome to the
first piece by the newly formed international committee!
Sexual harm is a
global issue that impacts individuals, communities and all societies. This
means that we need a global solution that reflects a shared understanding of
sexual harm that can be adapted to different countries and regions globally as
appropriate. Internationally there are many organisations that prevent and
respond to sexual harm, including but not limited to our sibling organisations
NOTA, IATSO & AZASTA. While some may consider ATSA to be an American organisation
it is truly international with approximately 300 members from 19 (non-USA) countries.
The majority of ATSA’s international members are from Canada, UK, Australia,
New Zealand and Europe (i.e., Italy, Sweden, Germany, etc); but we also have
members from Japan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Israel and South Africa
to name a few other countries.
international component of ATSA’s membership is important because
transnationally we face a lot of similar issues relating to sexual harm and use
a lot of the same, or similar, tools and research; therefore it’s important
that we talk, share and reflect on practice, research and policies.
Aims, Objectives & Membership
The newly formed
international committee came into being in January 2017 with the development of
some coherent aims and objectives that were presented to the board. The newly
formed international committee has three roles;
- To support the development of
ATSA internationally and increase recruitment;
- To make sure the voices,
opinions and knowledge of these ATSA members are heard in the organisation more
- To increase the visibility of
ATSA and its mission outside of the USA in existing and new member countries.
The role of the
international committee is to stimulate debate, to reflect upon current
practice (positive and challenging) and to consider ways that we can work
together. The international committee aims to meet these roles in the following
- The recruitment of
international members onto all standing committees, including the recruitment
of an additional international (non-Canadian) member. The idea would be that
the international member would be there to give an alternative view, share good
practice and feed material back to the international committee (which they
would be a member of).
- Develop a new international
committee comprised of international members who are the international representatives
of other ATSA committees. The role of this committee would be to develop a
coherent international voice within ATSA, act as a sounding board for
ATSA/International issues and feed into boarder debates.
- The international committee
would have a knowledge exchange session at the ATSA conference to share good
practice and debate international issues. The idea is that we get a range of
international views on contemporary and emerging issues/topics. This may be a
pre-conference workshop, concurrent session, or roundtable debate. This could
be written up for the Forum or broken down into a number of blogs for
dissemination to the wider ATSA membership.
- To encourage international
members to share their affiliation to ATSA in events that they speak at where
- To bring international issues,
development needs, training needs and opportunities to ATSA’s attention when
Once the ATSA
executive board agreed to the International committee’s remit I reached out to
all the international members of ATSA to see who was interested in being
involved. I had lots of positive responses from international members, not all
of whom could be as involved as they wanted to be, and consequentially we formed
the first iteration of the international committee.
Other ATSA roles
Research committee & ATSA
NL ATSA executive board
Professional (clinical) and
ATSA Forum & ATSA executive
Adult Clinical committee
Chi Meng Chu
Professional (Clinical &
Research committee, NL ATSA
Prevention committee &
AZATSA executive board
Margret Ann Laws
Juvenile Clinical committee
Prevention committee, Membership
SAJRT Blog & ATSA executive
ATSA CEO & ATSA executive
Currently we are
navigating how we can chat, debate and work together because up until now it
has been through email and conference call (but conference calls across
numerous time zones can be challenging); this will come through time and
experience. We have plans for updates and outreach on international issues
through the various blogs (SAJRT Blog, NOTA prevention blog), publications
(ATSA Forum, NOTA news) and conferences (ATSA; NOTA; IATSO; AZATSA) that we are
involved in. This year at the ATSA conference in Kansas City we have two events
- 1st Meeting of the international membership.
Date, time and location: TBC (see conference brochure for more
This will be an open meeting for all international members to come
together at conference to chat, network and meet.
- International roundtable: International
Approaches to Understanding and Managing Risk of sexual recidivism
F-32: Friday 27th October, 3.30 – 5pm, ROOM TBC
The roundtable will discuss international similarities and
differences in approaches to managing sexual recidivism risk posed by
individuals convicted of sexual offences. The speakers will focus on what the
risk management of sexual recidivism looks like in their country, focusing on
good practice and challenges followed by a panel debate. The session will allow
us to reflect upon and consider the realities of our current approaches to
managing risk of sexual recidivism across jurisdictions. The roundtable will
include speakers from the UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy,
Sweden, New Zealand and the USA.
We are here to
speak for and represent all international ATSA members, please do reach out to
us by email or in person through conference.
2017 ATSA Conference: Exhibit and Support Opportunities
pleased to announce advertising and other opportunities for supporting ATSA available
for the 36th Annual Research and Treatment Conference, scheduled for October 25
– 28, 2017 at The Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. ATSA is offering
several new and exciting ways in which you can promote your services, agency or
company to the approximately 1,300 – 1,500 professionals who will be attending
In addition to exhibit booths and table-tops, we are
exploring creative space and advertisement options. For those interested in highlighting your
organization or business, this year we will be featuring exhibit spaces using
promotional signage located throughout the hotel, window or floor stickers,
placement in the conference app and in the printed conference program.
Information about various opportunities for supporting the
ATSA conference can be found here: 2017 ATSA Exhibitor Packet. If you are
interested in participating, please read the Terms and Conditions document,
complete the required forms and submit to the ATSA office with the necessary
I hope you will choose to support the ATSA Conference. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (503)
643-1023 if you need additional information or have any questions or
concerns. We look forward to your
participation in the ATSA 36th Annual Research and Treatment Conference.
Win a Free Conference Registration
Visit the ATSA Website to learn more.
New ATSA Conference Event
This year’s ATSA conference in Kansas City, Missouri, will
be offering a new event the day before the conference starts. As part of ATSA’s
commitment to corporate responsibility and as a thank you to our host
community, we are holding a half-day public service event the afternoon of October
24 for a regional nonprofit – Sunflower
House – which assists children who have been physically and sexually abused. We
will be providing a range of services from helping clean and organize the
interior of the building, to doing some exterior landscaping, to stuffing
envelopes, to organizing bags of toys for the children. There’s a project for
everyone’s interest and abilities. We hope you will take advantage of this
opportunity to enjoy a day of exercise and camaraderie as you help make a
positive difference for children. You can visit www.sunflowerhouse.org for more
Keeping up with the news
ATSA now tracks and publishes links to news articles from around
the world on issues related to sexual abuse. These news stories are available
to ATSA members by logging in to the ATSA site and going to the Members’ Page.
Look for the link to “In the News” to see the latest articles. The curated stories
will keep you up to date on trends in public opinion, policies, and issues
related to individuals who have committed sexual offenses. Articles are updated
regularly, so be sure to check in every week or two to see the latest news.
ATSA continues to track legislation in U.S. states related
to such topics as sex offender registry restrictions, criminal penalties and
fees, changes in classifications of crimes, and other laws that impact persons
who have committed sexual offenses. Currently, more than 300 bills are being
monitored. You can find a state-by-state list showing the status of these bills
on the Members’ Page by clicking on the link “Legislation.” If you have
questions about any of the bills, please email email@example.com.
New ATSA Members
The following ATSA members were approved for Membership from March to May 2017.
|Deborah Barron, MA
Moose Lake, MN
|Bonnie Bjorke, Psy.D.
St Peter, MN
|Matt Kenney, LLPC|
|Tara Blumeyer, PsyD
|Kimberly Bomar, MS, BSW
|Andrea Brannen, M.A., LPC
|Ryan Breen, LCPC
|Sonja Krstic, M.A.,
|Sarah C. Brown, M.S.W.
East Saint Louis, IL
|Tonna L. Lawrenson,
|Kristy Burton, LAC
North Little Rock, AR
|Jillene Lemke, BA|
|Kim Bushey, LADC
|Whitney Lewis, LCSW|
|Amy Butler Bleeker, BA
Crystal Bay, MN
|Sara Lynch, LMHC|
|Ann Cacace, M.S.W. Candidate 2018
|Kayla Malloy, LMHC|
|Beverly Cavadini, BN, RN
Calgary, AB, Canada
|John E. Mancini, LPC, CSAT,
West Hartford, CT
|Cecilia Chiles-Parker, LSW
|David Medved, MA|
|William Citino, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.
|Amy Clay, J.D.
St. Louis, MO
|Heidi Menard, MSW,
|Rachel Cook, LMHC
|Carrie A. Mitchell,
|Lisa Mitchell, LCSW-R,
|Janelle Crisp, LPC
|Sarah R. Modec, MSEd|
|Veronica Cruz, MSW, LCSW-C
|Linda Sutton Meade,
|Ian Curtis, LCSW
|Sandra J. Murnane, MS|
|Jennifer Daer Shields, M.S.
|Mary Deitch, JD PsyD
|Sarah DeMarco, Psy.D.
|LeAnn Dickinson, PHD, LPC
Little Rock, AR
|Michele O'melia, LPC|
|Brenda DiMuro, M.S.
|Sheryl Overby, MS|
|Nicole Dolhi, MSW, LSW
|Shawna Pfaff, M.S.|
|Nicole Dorio, DO
|Lisa Dube, MSW
|Molly Fara, LCSW
Crest Hill, IL
|Gina Ranfone, MA|
|Glenn Ferguson, PhD
|Erica Reische, MA|
|Kelsey Fleet, LMLP
|Kelli Reynolds, MS|
|Ann Freeman, LCSW
Colorado Springs, CO
|Larissa Rico, LCSW|
|Kim German, LMSW
|Katherine Gorman, LGPC
|Erin Graffam, M.Ed.
|Ardelia Rodgers, MA,
Little Rock, AR
|Laura Green, MSW/LCSW
|Haley Gummelt, Ph.D.
|Perryn Gutkowski, LCSW-C
|Sarah K. Schnatter, M.A.,
|Melissa Ann Hammer, MSW
Benton Harbor, MI
|Eleanor A. Schupick,
|Ned Hanover, MSW, LCSW
Mount Laurel, NJ
|Stalina Harris, MA
|Zayda Harsha, M.S.W., LGSW
|Nicole Siha, M.A.|
|Megan Smith, LMHC|
|Jeffery Haynes, Ph.D, LMHC
|Amy B. Tahran,
|Michelle Tanur, M.A.|
Island City, NY
|Amy R. Hofmeister, MSEd
|Chad Taylor, MA|
|Cheryl Hopkins, MSW
Little Rock, AR
|Jeri Howell, MA
|Patti D. Thomas,
|Angela Hoyt, MS
|John Vella, LPC|
|Eileen Huggins, BSW
|Amie Hvizdak, Psy.D.
Royal Palm Beach, FL
|Jessica Wilson, LPC|
|Michael Ito, Psy.D.
|Donna Wise, CSOTS|
|Sarah Johnson, MSW
Hopewell Junction, NY
|Tobin Johnson, BA
Coeur d' Alene, ID
|Reginald Rene Wright, MA,
Apple Valley, CA
|Tara Jones, MSW
|Lisa Young, LCSW|
|Heather Kane, MSW (pending)
|Gale Kelley, Ed.D., LMHC