Interpreting Child Sexual Abuse: The Impact of Victim Response

Inge Hempel, Nicole Buck, Hjalmar Marle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


There is little empirical knowledge about whether the interpretation process of child sex offenders is offense-supportive in nature and contributes to the offending process. Vignettes were developed to compare child sex offenders' and nonoffenders' interpretations of child molestation incidents after ambiguous and nonambiguous victim responses. Results showed that child sex offenders' (N = 60) interpretations did not differ from nonoffenders' (N = 40) interpretations. Overall, the more ambiguous the child responses, the more child complicity and child benefit was seen. Our results indicate that offense-supportive interpretations are not unique to child sex offenders. The mechanisms that are responsible for whether or not to commit a sexual offense should be unraveled and treated, to prevent deviant processes to be activated.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)977-990
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Research programs

  • EMC OR-01-58-01

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