This study investigated the individual and social characteristics, moral disengagement strategies and cognitive distortions toward children among 120 sex offenders in Italian jails. A semistructured interview was administered to collect data about family, social and medical histories, utilizing the Moral Disengagement Scale and the Hanson Sex Attitude Questionnaire. Results showed that sex offenders with sexual abuse trauma in their past had higher scores of moral disengagement and cognitive distortion toward children than sex offenders without sexual abuse trauma. In particular, the highest levels of moral disengagement, cognitive distortions related to children as sexual objects and sexual entitlement were shown by sex offenders who had been physically and sexually abused in their past. Moreover, moral disengagement predicted cognitive distortions related to children being sexy and sexual entitlement. Studying self-regulatory mechanisms and cognitive distortions is important to expand the literature about sexual behaviors committed by offenders and implement the promotion of effective and targeted treatment strategies.

The role of moral disengagement and cognitive distortions toward children among sex offenders

D'Urso, Giulio;Petruccelli, Irene;Costantino, Valentina;Pace, Ugo
2019

Abstract

This study investigated the individual and social characteristics, moral disengagement strategies and cognitive distortions toward children among 120 sex offenders in Italian jails. A semistructured interview was administered to collect data about family, social and medical histories, utilizing the Moral Disengagement Scale and the Hanson Sex Attitude Questionnaire. Results showed that sex offenders with sexual abuse trauma in their past had higher scores of moral disengagement and cognitive distortion toward children than sex offenders without sexual abuse trauma. In particular, the highest levels of moral disengagement, cognitive distortions related to children as sexual objects and sexual entitlement were shown by sex offenders who had been physically and sexually abused in their past. Moreover, moral disengagement predicted cognitive distortions related to children being sexy and sexual entitlement. Studying self-regulatory mechanisms and cognitive distortions is important to expand the literature about sexual behaviors committed by offenders and implement the promotion of effective and targeted treatment strategies.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/138882
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 3
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact