Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Sex offenders -- Oregon, Sex crimes -- Oregon



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 97 leaves)


This project was conceived at the Psychiatric Security Unit of Oregon State Hospital in 1968-69. The purpose of the study-was to develop a fund of knowledge concerning the Oregon "sexually dangerous" and to emphasize those elements of the subject which require more sophisticated research. It was undertaken with the hope that the information provided would prove of value to the professional and layman in their understanding of sexual offenses against children. The study plan, designed around an investigation of sexual offender characteristics, was submitted to the administrator of Oregon State Hospital, and permission was granted to examine clinical histories of the 81 sexual offenders who had been committed under Oregon Sexual Psychopath Statutes from September 1963, to May 1969. The study design was exploratory and descriptive. Exploratory elements were reflected in the effort to increase the student's familiarity with the subject of child molestation. Description was directed toward a presentation of data in succinct form which would be suitable to later refinement. A schedule of items was developed which included three main areas of inquiry: characteristics of (1) the offender, (2) the victim, (3) the offense. Appropriate sub-items rounded out the instrument. No explicit hypotheses were posed; however, two underlying guiding hypotheses were implicit: (1) Oregon offenders would be similar to other sexual offenders; (2) the traditional view of sexual offenders is unsupported by scientific investigation. Data was compiled over a three - month period and statistics were recorded in tabular form. A breakdown of offender types was employed for clarity. Findings related to the offender indicated a bi-modal distribution of age with the greatest number in the 20 - 29 age class interval and a rather high percentage over 50. All were white males and as many were married as were single. Their educational level was slightly lower than the general population and most did manual work. Social and employment adjustment was manifestly poor. Their psychiatric condition at the time of the current commitment included disorders of the personality for the most part. Many of the offenders had been, discharged at the time of the study; however, there were a substantial number of long-term cases continuing. Victims were predominantly in the 8 ~ 11 age class interval which is comparable with similar studies., The Oregon group .involved higher number of multiple victims than is usually found However, offender-victim relationship was comparable to most offender samples. The concept that a stranger plays a minor role in sexual offenses was not clearly supported by the study. Offenders were not particularly recidivistic prior to the current offense, and none have repeated f0llowing discharge. Contrary to the notion of violent threatening behavior on the part of the offender, findings indicated a very low frequency/with most acts consisting of immature sexual gratification. Victim behavior was not often resistive, mostly consensual, and occasionally inviting. Offenses occurred most frequently in a residence. Duration of the offense was more often single occurrence except in the incest group. Intoxication was present in a minority of offenses but played a major role in certain types of offense. Implications for further research suggest the need for additional empirical studies which will explore the interrelated factors among characteristic items and experimental studies designed to assess the effectiveness of treatment methods.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

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