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How Pornography May Distort Risk Assessment of Children and Adolescents Who Sexually Harm

  • Russell Pratt (a1) and Cyra Fernandes (a2)
Abstract

Over the past three decades, an accepted “given” of adolescent sexually abusive behaviour assessment and treatment has been that the more serious the sexual acts committed, the more entrenched that adolescent's behaviours are likely to be, with a likely progression from minor assaults through to more serious, intrusive acts. We assume youth engaging in the sexually abusive behaviour may have become both desensitised to the harm they are causing, whilst needing to engage in more severe offences to gain the level of arousal originally achieved through lesser acts. This conceptualisation suggests a somewhat causal relationship between the duration of the sexually abusive behaviour; the severity of the behaviour and the length of treatment required to manage and treat the issue.

Has pornography consumption potentially impacted the assessment and treatment of youth who sexually harm? Does a relationship exist between the severity and the entrenchment of the sexually assaultive acts committed, or has viewing pornography and re-enacting what has been viewed altered this relationship? This article explores a number of these themes and questions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
addresss for correspondence: Dr Russell Pratt, Statewide Principal Practitioner, Office of Professional Practice, Department of Health and Human Services, 24/50 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 0430530125. E-mail: Russell.pratt@dhhs.vic.gov.au
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Children Australia
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