Common Myths
Regarding Sex Offenses

Coming next month! Educational and thought-provoking resources that dispel the myths and establish the reality about sex offenders and their sex offenses.

Myth 1: All sex offenders are incurable.

Reality Check: Rehabilitation of sex offenders can be successfully addressed through cognitive behavioral therapy

Myth 2: - All sexual behavior or instances of nudity are traumatic for an underage person

Reality Check: Instances of nudity, acts by consensual teens, or curious play among children should not be traumatizing unless punitive interference takes place. The fastest growing segment of individuals being added to the sex offense registries are young people under the age of 18.

Myth 3: Fantasy crimes (non-contact offenses) are a gateway to contact offenses.

Reality Check: No evidence exists to support the theory that entertaining fantasies of any nature, including viewing pornography, reading suggestive or salacious stories, or artistic expression, leads to a "contact" offenses.

Myth 4: Harsh Punitive measures prove a greater deterrence and improve public safety.

Reality Check: No evidence exists to support the theory that punitive measures (years of incarceration) are rehabilitative, and in most instances, removal from society and the subsequent "cycle of shame" actually contribute to negative psychological outcomes and prolonged addiction.

Myth 5: Interstate commerce is violated in every case of illegal pornography downloading.

Reality Check: In most illegal pornography downloads, there is no commerce, no social interaction, and no financial transaction yet "non-contact" sex offenses are the fastest-growing segment of federal prisoners outside of immigration.

Myth 6: Sex offense laws should mirror drug offense laws

Reality Check: There is no similarity as drug offenses are substantive and quantifiable, and sex offenses are subjective and cognitive.

Myth 7: The quantity of images justifies lengthier prison sentences.

Reality Check: Modern technology has dramatically facilitated accessibility, quantity, and speed of downloads without contributing in any way to greater criminality.  The sentences do not reflect advancements in technology.

Myth 8: The content of images should be a decisive factor in determining sentencing.

Reality Check: Content is subjective and should be addressed through cognitive evaluation and therapy. The content of an image (activity or age) does not reflect past, present, or future criminality and should not drive sentencing.

Myth 9: The offender is defined by his or her offense

Reality Check: The reduction of a person to his or her offense is a dehumanizing and unforgiving process, disregarding all other positive aspects of an individual's worth or their potential for rehabilitation, and all contributing more significantly to the "shame cycle."

Myth 10: Sex offenders have a high rate of re-offending.

Reality Check: Non-contact sex offenders have one of the lowest re-offense rates of all crimes, averaging between 3-4%.