THE SEX OFFENDER by Bart Delin

THE SEX OFFENDER

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Before there is a sex offense, there is a deeply troubled human being,"" Delin admonishes in the Introduction--as if TV dramas hadn't made the point already--but most can change their behavior, she contends, if they are willing to undergo therapy. Not traditional psychiatry, which has a poor to mediocre record, but the newer kinds of reality therapies which use a self-help model and peer pressure to get quicker results and reduce recidivism. Delin, who began as a court watcher, has interviewed sex offenders, observed treatment centers, and read research papers, but she writes limply, without authority. The facts are here--how offenders, coming from disorganized environments, have low self-esteem and a need to prove their virility--along with some of the perplexities (usually one to a family) and a full range of current therapies: minimum security facilities, aversive conditioning techniques, etc. But when she tries to reach beyond the accumulating data, her grip seems lax. ""The practice cuts across all standards of living,"" she notes. Sexism and violence are at the root of sex offenses; ""it is my contention that, given the right conditions, all men have the potential to become sex offenders."" As a profile of offender personalities and a survey of programs operating throughout the country, this provides adequate once-overs; as a larger statement of causes and implications, it needs firming up.

Pub Date: March 30th, 1979
Publisher: Beacon