Forensic Psychology

Specific Forms of Crimes

Were most child molesters molested as children themselves?

Adults who sexually molest children have a disproportionately high rate of sexual abuse in their own childhoods. Child molesters are more likely to have a childhood history of sexual abuse than are nonsexual offenders and even sex offenders against older victims. According to a 1995 by Christopher Bagley and colleagues of a community-based, nonforensic sample, men who reported multiple events of sexual contact in their own childhood were almost forty times more likely to report having sexual contact with children than men who reported no sexual abuse in childhood (7.7 percent vs. 0.2 percent).


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