The Role of Cognitive Distortions in Maintaining the Pattern of Sexual Violence

199

Abstract

Distorted judgments supporting commitment of criminal sexual acts are widely used in persons with abnormal sexual behavior and considered by foreign researchers as one of the dynamic risk factors of relapse of sexual crimes against minors. The submitted article is an analytical review of the main foreign research papers on the problem of cognitive distortions in sexual offenders. Various attempts to conceptualize and categorize cognitive distortions are presented with their theoretical and empirical verification, structural characteristics and some features of the development of such distorted judgements. The self-report questionnaires are mainly used in foreign studies of cognitive distortions, also samples of sexual offenders are studied include both persons with sexual disorders and situational offenders. The article shows the necessity of distinguishing between prior and posterior cognitive distortions, as well as self-justification inherent in human nature and distorted judgements that contribute to the commission of criminal acts. It has been suggested that the assessment of cognitive distortions should be carried out not only by unified questionnaires, but using a phenomenological analysis of situational behavior and a retrospective analysis of criminal’s beliefs before the latter committed the incriminated act.

General Information

Keywords: cognitive distortion, prejudice, self-justification, subjective experience, adaptation, abnormal sexual behavior

Journal rubric: Medical Psychology

Article type: review article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/jmfp.2023120110

Received: 22.07.2022

Accepted:

For citation: Demidova L.Y. The Role of Cognitive Distortions in Maintaining the Pattern of Sexual Violence [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2023. Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 89–99. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2023120110. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

References

  1. Helmond P., Overbeek G., Brugman D., Gibbs J.C. A Meta-Analysis on Cognitive Distortions and externalizing Problem behavior: Associations, Moderators, and Treatment Effectiveness. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 2015. Vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 245—262. DOI:10.1177/0093854814552842
  2. Abel G.G., Becker J.V, Cunningham-Rathner J. Complications, Consent, and Cognitions in Sex Between Children and Adults. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 1984. Vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 89—103. DOI:10.1016/0160-2527(84)90008-6
  3. Petrucchelli I., D’Urso G., Cataldi S., De Risio A., Grilli S., Gonçalves R.A., Sousa M., Lucania L., Bonaiuto M. Adverse Childhood Experiences Related to Cognitive and Emotional States: A study on Sexual Offenders in Italy and Portugal. Revista de Cercetare si Interventie Sociala, 2022. Vol. 76, pp. 93—110. DOI:10.33788/rcis.76.7
  4. Bandura A. Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1977. 247 p.
  5. Baúto R.V., Cardoso J., Leal I. Preliminary Validation of Bumby RAPE and MOLEST scales: Exploratory factorial analysis. Annals of medicine, 2021. Vol. 53, no. suppl. 1, pp. S130. DOI:10.1080/07853890.2021.1896190
  6. Beck A.T. Thinking and Depression II. Theory and Therapy. Archives of General Psychiatry, 1964. Vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 561—571. DOI:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720240015003
  7. Bonta J., Andrews D.A. The Psychology of Criminal Conduct. New York: Routledge, 2017. 470 p.
  8. Ward T., Hudson S.M., Johnston L., Marshall W.L. Cognitive Distortions in Sex Offenders: an Integrative Review. Clinical Psychology Review, 1997. Vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 479—507. DOI:10.1016/s0272-7358(97)81034-3
  9. Szumski F., Bartels R.M., Beech A.R., Fisher D. Distorted Cognition Related to Male Sexual Offending: The Multi-Mechanism Theory of Cognitive Distortions (MMT-CD). Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2018. Vol. 39, pp. 139—151. DOI:10.1016/j.avb.2018.02.001
  10. Gualco B., Scarpa F., Rensi R. Assessment of Recidivism Risk in Sex Offenders: A Pilot Study in Central Italy. Healthcare, 2021. Vol. 9, no. 11, article ID 1590, 12 p. DOI:10.3390/healthcare9111590
  11. Hazama K., Katsuta S. Cognitive Distortions Among Sexual Offenders Against Women in Japan. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2019. Vol. 34, no. 16, pp. 3372—3391. DOI:10.1177/0886260516669544
  12. Grady M.D., Levenson J.S., Glover J., Kavanagh S., Carter K. Hurt People Hurt Other People: the Link Between Past Trauma and Sexual Offending. Sexual Offending: Theory, Research, and Prevention, 2022. Vol. 17, article ID e7361, 28 p. DOI:10.5964/sotrap.7361
  13. Soldino V., Merdian H.L., Bartels R.M., Bradshaw H.K. Implicit Theories of Child Sexual Exploitation Material Offenders: Cross-Cultural Validation of Interview Findings. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 2020. Vol. 64, no. 4, pp. 315—334. DOI:10.1177/0306624X19877599
  14. Blank C., Nunes K.L., Maimone S., Hermann C.A., McPhail I.V. Is Childhood Sexual Victimization Associated with Cognitive Distortions, Self-Esteem, and Emotional Congruence With Children? Journal of Sexual Aggression, 2018. Vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 259—273. DOI:10.1080/13552600.2018.1509574
  15. Kettleborough D.G., Merdian H.L. Gateway to Offending Behaviour: Permission-Giving Thoughts of Online Users of Child Sexual Exploitation Material. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 2017. Vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 19—32. DOI:10.1080/13552600.2016.1231852
  16. Maruna S., Mann R.E. A Fundamental Attribution Error? Rethinking Cognitive Distortions. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 2006. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 155—177. DOI:10.1348/135532506X114608
  17. McLeod D.A., Dodd M. Modernized Female Sex Offender Typologies: Intrapsychic, Behavioral, and Trauma Related Domains. Cogent Social Sciences, 2022. Vol. 8, no. 1, article ID 2085360, 18 p. DOI:10.1080/23311886.2022.2085360
  18. Murphy W.D. Assessment and Modification of Cognitive Distortions in Sex Offenders. In Marshall W.L., Laws D.R., Barbaree H.E. (eds.), Handbook of Sexual Assault: Issues, Theories, and Treatment of the Offender. New York: Plenum Press, 1990, pp. 331—342.
  19. Neidigh L., Krop H. Cognitive Distortions Among Child Sexual Offenders. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 1992. Vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 208—215. DOI:10.1080/01614576.1992.11074054
  20. Paquette S., Longpré N., Cortoni F. A Billion Distorted Thoughts: An Exploratory Study of Criminogenic Cognitions Among Men Who Sexually Exploit Children Over the Internet. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 2020. Vol. 64, no. 10—11, pp. 1114—1133. DOI:10.1177/0306624X19873082
  21. Pollock N.L., Hashmall J.M. The Excuses of Child Molesters. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 1991. Vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 53—59. DOI:10.1002/bsl.2370090107
  22. Segal Z.V., Stermac L.E. The Role of Cognition in Sexual Assault. In Marshall W.L., Laws D.R., Barbaree H.E. (eds.), Handbook of Sexual Assault: Issues, Theories, and Treatment of the Offender. New York: Plenum Press, 1990, pp. 161—174.
  23. Smith M.S. I’m Not a Child Molester, but a Victim Myself: Examining Rationalizations Among Male Sex Offenders Who Report Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology, 2022, article ID 0306624X221102789, 18 p. DOI:10.1177/0306624X221102789
  24. Szumski F., Bartoszak D. Cognitive Distortions and Recidivism in Sexual Offenders Against Children. Problems of Forensic Sciences, 2021. Vol. 128, pp. 191—209. DOI:10.4467/12307483PFS.21.011.15881
  25. Tavris C., Aronson E. Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. Boston: Mariner Books, 2020. 464 p.
  26. Abel G.G., Gore D.K., Holland C.L., Camp N., Becker J.V., Rathner J. The Measurment of the Cognitive Distortions of Child Molesters. Annals of Sex Research, 1989. Vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 135—152. DOI:10.1007/BF00851319
  27. Ward T. Sexual Offenders’ Cognitive Distortions as Implicit Theories. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2000. Vol. 5, no. 5, pp. 491—507. DOI:10.1016/s1359-1789(98)00036-6
  28. Ward T., Casey A. Extending the Mind into the World: A New Theory of Cognitive Distortions in Sex Offenders. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2010. Vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 49—58. DOI:10.1016/j.avb.2009.08.002
  29. Ward T., Gannon T.A., Keown K. Beliefs, Values, and Action: The Judgment Model of Cognitive Distortions in Sexual Offenders. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 2006. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 323—340. DOI:10.1016/j.avb.2005.10.003

Information About the Authors

Liubov Y. Demidova, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory of Forensic Sexology, V.P. Serbsky National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4357-1105, e-mail: lyubov.demidova@gmail.com

Metrics

Views

Total: 577
Previous month: 31
Current month: 17

Downloads

Total: 199
Previous month: 18
Current month: 15