Intimacy deficits, fear of intimacy, and loneliness among sexual offenders

Kurt M. Bumby, David J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intimacy deficits and loneliness recently have been theorized as influential factors in the etiology and maintenance of sexually offending behaviors, although to date there has been a lack of empirical research conducted to address this proposition. The present study examined intimacy deficits, fear of intimacy, and loneliness among intrafamilial child molesters, rapists, nonsexually offending inmates, and a community sample of adult males. The child molesters and rapists reported greater overall intimacy deficits than did the nonsexually offending inmates and community controls, with rapists reporting the greatest intimacy deficits. Fear of intimacy was found to be a particularly salient characteristic of the child molesters. The child molesters and rapists reported experiencing more overall loneliness and emotional loneliness. It is suggested that intimacy deficits, fear of intimacy, and loneliness should be addressed in comprehensive theories of sexual offending and incorporated into assessment and treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-331
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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