Full course description
This course deals with the psychology of sex offenders. The offensive behaviour of sex offenders causes major harm to their victims. Their harmful behaviour also results in considerable distress in society. Although the occurrence of sexually offensive behaviour in the community is low, the severity of the sequel of sex offending behaviour justifies the development of a specialised course in which the psychological and biological mechanisms and disorders underlying this delinquent behaviour are studied. Moreover, the field of forensic psychiatry has a growing need for psychologists who are knowledgeable and trained in the field of assessment and treatment of sex offenders. Main topics in this course include: concept clarification (e.g. sex offending vs. paraphilia vs. paraphilic disorder), attempting to define what constitutes abnormal sexual behaviour, theoretical models of the aetiology of sexual offending, assessment of psychological characteristics (specific for online vs. offline) sex offenders, risk assessment, treatment options and the role of gender and the internet.
By the end of the course students will be able to:
- understand and explain the phenomenology of sexual offenses and sex offenders;
- know, understand, explain and apply the theoretical models of sexual offending;
- know and interpret the diagnostic instruments that (attempt to) measure paraphilic sexual arousal;
- know, understand and compare treatment options and their effectiveness;
- apply knowledge regarding gender influences and the role of the internet.