Samuel-L-Chang94 karma2016-04-02 18:08:36 UTC
Psychologist as well here. Ph.D in clinical psychology, and conduct research in aggression and sexual aggression. Your question is very broad and thus difficult to answer. When you ask how do they become "like that" we have to operationalize what "like that" means. Because sexual offenses are heterogenous (pedophilic offenders who are attracted to children, serial rapists of only women, "no touch" offenders," those with specific paraphilias and those who have multiple victim profiles) the answer is difficult. Not all of those phenotypes (i.e. behavioral manifestations) have the same etiology (i.e., origin) and we are just now starting to understand the contribution of genes via environment on criminal behavior.
With regard to pedophilic offenders we know that there are several medico-historical and physiological markers that characterize them. For example, they have higher incidence of perinatal complications (e.g., anoxia), tend to be shorter, and left handed. This does not mean this makes them pedophilic but suggests a role for these factors to influence otherwise "normal" adult attractions. There are some studies suggesting that among persons with pedophilia, there are various neurobiological differences associated with the syndrome including the fact that areas of the brain that "light up" when average adults see attractive adults do not light up for those with pedophilia. However they do "light up" when they look at pictures of children. These are very new data and further replication are needed but again indication of biological influences.
This of course explains attraction but not offending. Not all persons with pedophilia/rape fantasies/etc, offend. Then the question becomes what makes people break social conventions. To answer that we can then turn to data suggesting that inhibitory control mediated by prefrontal cortex functioning plays a role. Not surprisingly this functioning and criminality in general seems to be influenced by genes and environment. The interesting part is that the majority of the variance seems to be accounted for by genes (about 40-60% depending on the study) and the rest by non-shared environmental influences (i.e., outside the home). But again this depends on the study and there is some room for shared (i.e., home influences).
Altogether, the answer is really "we don't really know" but we are getting clues. As the AMA person mentioned above, some of these behaviors can be conceptualized as sexual orientations. It is just that in conjunction with poor socialization and poor inhibitory control they can (but not always) result in sexual offending.
TL'DR: Genes via environment, just because you have an attraction does not mean you will act on it. For example, just because you have rape fantasies does not mean you will act on it. You might find a prosocial outlet for them with willing partners. But, if you have poor socialization, poor inhibitory control you might engage in offending.
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Samuel-L-Chang81 karma2016-04-02 18:32:41 UTC
The data on this are fairly recent in great part because the largest difference between male and females is the proportion of offending. Men do it at much greater rates than women and the incidence of clinical presentations of pedophilia and rape are just enormously asymmetrical.
An interesting aspect is that some studies indicate that the majority of women who engage in sexual offending have a male co-perpetrator. Also, lots of mental disorders are comorbid. There is some recent data trying to identify typologies of female sex offenders, but again the data are newer and these typologies are not as solidified as those proposed for men.
Samuel-L-Chang16 karma2016-04-02 19:26:52 UTC
Oh, sorry. Sure, people like Voyeurs ("peeping Toms") or Exhibitionists and collectors of CP. Some of these also have "hands-on" offenses but certainly not all, and some data would suggest that not even the majority.
Samuel-L-Chang15 karma2020-09-08 16:40:56 UTC
Will the U.S. dollar ever stop being the "world" currency? Seems that our empire is in decline, what would replace it?
Samuel-L-Chang7 karma2020-09-08 16:35:36 UTC
I don't expect you to answer this but I always wondered why the t-shirts got made in two separate countries? Was it because you wanted to explore different supply chains or was it cheaper to make one gender in one vs. the other?
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