Twisted minds, or plain ill minds?
What goes on in the minds of the sexual offenders?
While the whole country was out on the roads protesting against Nirbhaya’s brutal rape, more victims were being raped in broad daylight. Were the rapists not scared that the angry crowd was not going to let them off easily, or did they simply not care!!??
Every day, rapes and murders, child abuse, unbelievable sexual crimes hog the headlines.
Who are behind these? Perverted minds? Ill minds? Or cruel minds?
Let’s take a look at some of the commonly researched traits of sexual offenders, although there is no such thing as a ‘typical’ sex offender. But the most common traits point out to the fact that the offender is calculative, deceptive, egotistic, chauvinistic, and secretive with feelings of entitlement. Sex offenders come from all socioeconomic backgrounds, ages and communities. The bitter truth is that a majority of offenses are committed by someone the victim knows. This however does not mean that every person with such a trait is likely to be a sexual offender.
Common traits of sexual offenders
- Although most sexual offenders know that sexual assault like rape and child abuse are illegal and harmful, they still commit it. They do so because of what is called as ‘cognitive distortions’, where they tell themselves that this behavior is not really harmful. They may claim that the victim enjoyed and wanted it or initiated the sexual contact, or look at women as mere sex objects who deserve this kind of treatment.
- In most cases, the potential victim is identified well in advance by the offender and is selected on the basis of vulnerability and accessibility, where the offender sees the maximum opportunity of not getting caught.
- Sexual gratification is not always the prime motivator for rape; power, control and anger are.
- Offenders lack empathy and take pleasure in controlling their victims.
- Research shows there is a lack of healthy coping skills in the offenders. Many have trouble managing their emotions. Some are highly impulsive and do not think about the consequences before they act. Others plan in advance.
- Sex offenders often display uncommon sexual behavior, which begins in mid to late adolescence. Many offenders have themselves been victims of sexual abuse.
- Most sex offenders are male, but females are in it too.
- Most rape offenders are married or in consenting relationships. Many sexual assaults of adult women are considered ‘confidence rapes’, in that the offender knows the victim and has used that familiarity to gain access to her.
- 90% percent of child victims know their offender, with about half of the offenders being a family member.
Because sexual predators are getting smarter by the day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify and single them out in society.