Impact On Victims And Offenders Of Legislating Sexual Behavior Essay

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #95227738 Related Topics: Sexual Assault, Sex Offenders, Recidivism, Criminal Behavior
Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Richards Marcum a minimum 5 sources

From ancient times, criminal laws have been created to control and ensure safety of society. Time to time changes in law as well as crime varies with the intentions to control criminal conduct and mitigate the troubles experienced by victimized people. Sexual exploitation is one such classification of wrongdoing that has been stamped by intense changes in public perception and enactment of laws. These progressions have influenced not just the way in which guilty parties are taken care of by the criminal equity framework as well as the reaction to survivors of sexual exploitation also (Richards & Marcum, 2015).

How legislation has led to an increase in number to sexual offenders?

Offenders of sexual crimes are wholly abhorred, loathed, and seen as risks to the society at large who need to be bolted up and held under reconnaissance. Following the huge publicity of cries that are violent in nature, all states enacted legislations and notices that engender public to adhere to civilized behavior. . Despite the fact that these laws were passed with an intent to lessen recidivism and advance safety in the public, the ensuing disparagement of sex wrongdoers is prone to result in disturbance of their relationships, employment opportunities, trouble in acquiring homes, and diminished psychological well-being, all variables that could in turn aggravate recidivism. Such laws are passed easily since it is politically correct to take a softer stance on such offenders. Laws of this nature incorporate federal registries that exist in each of the 50 states, involuntary social behavior laws in 16 states, and new laws in a few states limiting where released sexual crime convicts can live (Wakefield, 2006).

Anyway, individual rights are not as important in this context as the safety of the society. The assumption in Notification laws is that strangers, perpetrate sexual crimes, which is a misplaced notion, more than 75% are found to be the work of relatives and by individuals known to the victimized person. Relatives will be very much aware of the historical backdrop of the offender (Wakefield, 2006).

In spite of the fact that enrollment and warning laws may not lessen recidivism, several commentators apprehend the possibility that such measures, on the contrary could be causative of aggravating reoffending. Enlistment may bring about the sex wrongdoer being characterized as degenerate and shunned by the society in ways that is difficult to overcome. By preventing them an assortment of claiming employment, social and communal belongingness, the criminal mark may keep these people from starting afresh and making new acquaintances, with the result that it might be greatly troublesome for them to get rid of their criminal tendencies. Consistently disgraced and humiliated, such offenders may find it difficult to restrain outrage and further aberrance. They may in the end feel their inherent character is that of a sex wrongdoer. The individual who is thus branded and not permitted to return to society (on the grounds that he is stigmatized) is more prone to participate in further deviations than the individual who is reintegrated into customary society. At the point when society's response to freaks is to stigmatize, defer, and avoid, such persons are left with restrictions for gaining back self-respect and alliance in the normative societal construct. They then refer to sub-cultural gatherings of similarly branded outcasts. Hence, the endless loop of offenders and offences fails to escape the predicament they find themselves in (Wakefield, 2006).

How legislation equally impacts victims?

Adolescents are more prone than grown-ups to be casualties of violence, yet juvenile victimization is a great deal less reported than victimization of adults. Many studies have highlighted that a dominant part of violations against adolescents, including assault and forcible sexual assaults, go unreported. For both adolescents and adults, a mixture of variables impact choices to report victimization to police or law enforcement authorities, including seriousness of the assault, injury, proximity to guilty party, and presumed negative responses from societal elements. Amongst most prevalent reasons that result in non-reporting of rape include embarrassment, disgrace, shame, want for security, trepidation...


A few studies expound why victimized people avoid reporting rape to police than violent attack. Reasons include embarrassment, depicting the wrongdoing as a private matter, risk of retaliation, efforts to reassure safe passage to the guilty party, expected police predisposition, and convictions that police officers either would not accept their version or couldn't do anything to offer assistance. Adolescent victims may be particularly hesitant to report rape because of the dread of being rebuffed, preference for individual independence, and apprehension of being distanced from, or separating, their family (Hlavka & uggen, 2008).

At last, relatives may discourage children from reporting their exploitation because of concerns about involving them in the equity framework. Reasons for alarm of reporting are not unwarranted. Sexually assaulted people frequently experience negative reactions in light of their divulgences of rape. In one study, 46% of respondents who recorded alleged rape opined about disappointment of the meeting with the police. Moreover, victimized people frequently report that others' discouragement was rampant, as also dissuading from talking about or reporting to authorities. Victimized people likewise are apprehensive about family and societal elements, including retaliation and disgrace. Such dissuasion is particularly prevalent strikingly in societies and communities with low benchmark levels towards law enforcement agencies, including groups of color. A history of negative prominence, in all manners with legislative and representative actors, hence influences the readiness to report future exploitations (Hlavka & uggen, 2008).

What happens when victim and offender are in close-in-age?

Numerous victimized people in close-in-age relationships may not feel that they have been exploited at all. Truth be told, most believe that the incident wasn't a crime in the first place. In this context, the exploited person might frequently attempt to shield the wrongdoer by refusing to share experiences openly with police with inclination of sparing the guilty party from punishments. When an exploited person declines to help the inquisitions, they will in most probability be not able to "shield" the offender, and could be arraigned themselves. For instance, 16-year-old Amanda was jailed under charges of contempt in light of the fact that she declined to posit against her boyfriend she had had sexual encounters with. Despite the fact that she was discharged from prison and she and her boyfriend got wedded, the boy was still indicted. Some exploited people are apprehensive of the devastating repercussions of punishments borne by the offender on their own selves. Hence may be averse to cooperating with the police. For instance, they may be more averse to coordinate with police due to the consequences of losing financial and emotional support to raise the child. Some propose that in close-in-age circumstances, the victim's collaboration is imperative. The case may fail in the courts in absence of such cooperation (Smith & Kercher, 2011).

Overprotective parents take the route of reporting statutory rape to put an end to their daughter's liaisons that they do not approve of. In ascribing to such extreme measures they may inadvertently put the boy's future in jeopardy. Frank, a secondary school senior, had consensual sex with his sweetheart; a first year recruit at the school he went to, the mother of the girl reported the matter. The intention of reporting was to serve only as a warning to the couple. However, the consequences were devastating for Frank. Frank eventually was branded as a sexual offender and faced a sentence of 2 to 20 years of prison time. When the mother comprehended the seriousness of her report, she asked for dropping of the charges. The police informed her that reversal of such reports is not possible. Presently the couple is wedded formally and has children. Yet, the stigma refuses to leave them alone and they are unable to live normal lives (Smith & Kercher, 2011).

Life long and societal impact of stigmatization and labeling

The discussions in the society or the family are overheard by the victim resulting in firmly entrenching the stigma in the victims psyche. Belittling may thus grow out of the youngster's earlier information or sense that the movement is not considered acceptable and is even forbidden, and it is unquestionably fortified if, after divulgence, individuals express shock and stupor, or accuse the kid for the happening. The victims are also prone to be subjected to impolite gestures by other community members and the suffering refuses to abate, rather grows (e.g., detached ethics or "ruined products") as an aftereffect of the molestation (Finkelhor & Browne, 1985).

The mental effect of these issues has various manifestations. Numerous victimized people experience significant blame and shame as an after effect of their ill-use. The blame and disgrace appear logically associated with the dynamic of the stigma attached, since they are a reaction to being shamed and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Finkelhor, D., & Browne, A. (1985). The traumatic impact of child sexual abuse: A conceptualization. American Journal Of Orthopsychiatry, 55(4), 530-541. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.1985.tb02703.x

Hlavka, H., & Uggen, C. (2008).Does stigmatizing sex offenders drive down reporting rates? Perverse effects and unintended consequences. Northern Kentucky Law Review, 35(4), 347-369. Retrieved from

Prescott, J., & Rockoff, J. (2008). Do Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws Affect Criminal Behavior?. SSRN Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1915394

Richards, T., & Marcum, C. (2015). Sexual victimization. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
Smith, B., & Kercher, G. (2011). Adolescent Sexual Behavior and the Law. Crime Victims' Institute. Retrieved 20 January 2015, from
Wakefield, H. (2006). The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence?. Journal Of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science And The Law,1, 141-149. Retrieved from

Cite this Document:

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