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If sexting "usually results in a mandatory sex-offender classification," then 20% of teens and 33% of young adults are sex-offenders.

"In a 2008 survey of 1,280 teenagers and young adults of both sexes on sponsored by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 20% of teens (13-20) and 33% of young adults (20-26) had sent nude or semi-nude photographs of themselves electronically. Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages."

More DetailsEdit

Although I don't necessarily question the findings of the DoJ study, I have one problem - the study says there's like 234,000 sex crimes a day. That translates to roughly 84,000,000 a year - so evenly distributed, about one in three people are sex criminals (every year). Unevenly distributed (say as many as 5 are for a person per year) then that makes the rate about 17 million people per year which translates to roughly one in 17.5 people committing 5+ sex crimes a year. To me at least this sounds ridiculous. Another thing:

That site shows distinctly different figures from more recent studies. Some important, like 93% of molestation is done by trusted members of families. Second, at least two state studies show relocation is ineffective in preventing recidivism. Also sex offender registries don't openly distinguish statutory and non-statutory rape. I'd also like to note that the recidivism rate for sex offenders is 5.3%, yet the DoJ says they recidivism rate for any offense is 43% - I'm wondering how much of it is persecution, like if any study showed the majority of the charges were things like tresspassing, menacing, etc, any offense which can be thrown at someone and they'll be shoved back in prison/jail, even if there's no evidence.

Also, anyone care to mention the 14 year old sex offender? I think there should be at least some youth section, talking about the controversy with charging minors with sexual crimes, especially if there's no "victim" (as in they cases in which they publish media of themselves)

Finally, the wiki is literally a copy-paste of the DoJ page. At minimum, the info should be condensed like "Recidivism" - Sex offenders re-offend an estimated x%<citation> times within 3 years and x% within a lifetime for sex crimes. Other criminal offense recidivism rates are typically x% within a lifetime. At least TRY to reduce all that space and prevent copy/paste. I will admit people (especially fanatics) will link a bajillion references putting sex offenders at like a 150% recidivism rate after 1 minute of freedom. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Just a note--would someone care to add information on the tier systems, for examples, from a CNN post today, an article mentions that an offender was a convicted tier three offender (link: ), a definition of a tier system would be great--I can't seem to find it anywhere.

POV? Almost all of this article seems to be arguing against the severity of the offense (or the punishment). Surely it is supposed to be descriptive, not judgmental? Whole rafts of text purport to show how sex offenders (by most definitions) do not pose a danger to society and are disproportionately punished. That may or may not be true, but it is, IMO totally skewed.ExpatSalopian (talk) 00:41, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Double standardEdit

Why is the only mention of the word female a broken link at the bottom of the page? I think this article supports an incomplete perception that sex offenders, sexual predators, are only male. Slordax (talk) 19:25, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

Contested moveEdit

I'm trying to understand why people are constantly moving this page to "Child sex offender" when the page is supposed to talk about more than child sex offenders. Please stop? Pretty please?--Rookiee 18:40, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Maybe it is "supposed" to talk about other offenders, but at the moment it only talks about child sex offenders. If you want to keep the title, please bring in additional material. -Willmcw 20:20, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
The "Sex Offenders' Register" in the UK has expanded in scope but seems to be commonly understood as covering only "child sex offences". 00:01, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Human Rights WatchEdit

It looks like someone just copied another web page into this article. 19:45, 23 October 2007 (UTC) (DavidJCobb)


I'm sure I read about a "caution" or something similar resulting in registration. Can't remember if UK or US. Rich Farmbrough. 21:17, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Possibley Pete Townshend? Rich Farmbrough. 21:19, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

9.1 million sex offenders in LA?Edit

How could this be possible when only 3.5 million people live in Los Angeles? -Unsigned

Some redactingEdit

Made some edits, reasons being:

  • "The word (sex offender) is also widely used in public discourse to describe persons accused of participating in sexually offensive behavior, irrespective of whether or not they were actually charged and convicted.

Hmmm. Well, I would certainly think that it wouldn't be used that way in public discourse by any entity that could be sued. That is, I would be very surprised if a newspaper or TV station etc. were to say "Sex offender Joe Smith spoke today at the Lions Club..." or whatever if Smith had never been charged with a crime (or even if he had been charged but never convicted). And I live in the USA where libel/slander laws are looser than the the UK. So um this just doesn't seem to fly. Of course, alleged this-or-that is applied people who are, well, alleged to have done this-or-that (by the authorities or by authoritative sources, of course). But that applies to all human activities ("Alleged uber-bitch Josephine Smith..."). So I can't see singling it out for sex offenders is particular.

Now, if the editor is saying that ordinary people in private conversation use "sex offender" to mean "person that my cousin says is a sex offender", two questions arise: 1) verifiability of that, and 2) so what. People refer to other people in private conversation as jerks, cheaters, crooks, tightwads, and on and on based on little evidence, I guess. So why are we specifically talking about that here in regard to sex offenders? So I'm removing that passage, subject to debate of course.

  • "The tolerance for deviant sexual behavior and sex crimes in western society has declined drastically over the last 20 years"

Er, is this true? What is meant here by "deviant sexual behavior"? If (say) homosexuality, I'd definitely have to see some good cites on that... I think the common feeling (not always right, I know) is that gays are if anything more tolerated than in 1985. If it's criminal-type "deviant" behavior (don't like that word "deviant" - can we find another?)... Which sex crimes were drastically more tolerated in 1985 than now? I can't think of any. Was (say) rape really really significantly more tolerated in the West in 1985 than now? Child sex abuse? What, exactly? Anyway I'm removing that passage, subject to debate and some good citations, of course.

  • "As a result, unlike other crimes, the term "sex offender" often stigmatizes ex-convicts for the rest of their lives.

So um "murderer" does not stigmatize someone for the rest of their lives? "Embezzler"? "Bank robber"? Hmmmm I'm not sure I agree with that. I think what the editor is trying to talk about is the Sex Offender Registries. If so, he should say so.

  • A significant portion of the public believes that those who have committed sex crimes are "incurable"...

Lose the scare quotes. Other than that, the rest of the article is OK for now I guess, although it's not very good or balanced, but enh for now whatever.

Actually I don't see why this article exists. In the article Sex crime you have "Sex crimes are forms of human sexual behavior that are crimes. Someone who commits one is said to be a sex offender" which pretty much covers it. A reasonable exposition on the sex offender registries, the indefinite incarceration of "sexually dangerous persons", etc. might be a reason for the article, but as it stands the article is pretty lame.Herostratus 06:48, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Proposed mergeEdit

I'm OK with merging the two articles. Herostratus 05:46, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

I would be in favor of keeping Sex offender registration separate. It definitely can support a separate article by itself. –SESmith 09:54, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Do not merge Merging articles makes sense when one or both or the related articles are relatively short. But as I have noticed, when an article gets long, it tends to be split, with conspicuous links between them. Both these articles are quite long, and therefore belong separate. Shaliya waya 13:07, 19 October 2007 (UTC)


This section, while informative, seems really out of place and would be better suited in the article on Iowa. -Unsigned

Adding the word plysmograph to WikipediaEdit

I was doing a research paper on On-Line Sex Offenders, and while talking to an investigator here in Denver, CO he mentioned that many states are now using an additional test called a plysmograph. The only source of information I am able to find is that it was orginated in 2002 and known as the "Pervo Parks Penile Plysmograph". I think there should be further investigation into this word and added to the sex offender page because it is a requirement in many states now as part of probabtion. -Adam Aberle of Denver, CO, —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 00:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC).

Be bold, add it to the Wiktionary —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dfpc (talkcontribs) 17:31, 26 April 2007 (UTC).
It's called a penile plethysmograph, not a "plysmograph." Daivox 19:31, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I first ran into this term in the early 1990s while doing research for a paper, so it's been around since well before 2002.  Etamni | ✉  06:39, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

Recividism ratesEdit

Recidivism rates vary widely depending on the study that is being looked at. Rates from 3% (Bureau of Justice Statistics) to 95.9% (Langevin) can be found. The focus of recidivism studies may vary widely. Each study may be looking at a mix of particular types of sex offenders such as rapists, pedophiles, voyeurs and/or individuals caught via online stings. The study group can be offenders who were only given probation, or individuals who were released from a mental institution. The general trend of these studies is that the longer sex offenders are studied, then the higher the recidivism rate. Richardpowers1 18:43, 19 May 2007 (UTC)richardpowers1

Of course, if you take one group of people and study them for one year, five years, ten years, or even thirty years, there is always a better chance of more recidivism. If the studied group remains the same throughout any given time frame, you will have a certain number of people at whatever arbitrary point in time is chosen that have recidivated. Now, how can recidivism stats go down in such a case? Those who have recidivated can't be counted twice, and those who haven't are the only ones remaining that can change the count; the count can only move up if the initial group is unmodified over time. Your comment is a convenient twisting of what is otherwise quite obvious, and you haven't provided sources to back anything you just said up, and I would caution all readers here to be very wary of the presentation chosen by those who comment. What exactly WAS the point of your comment, again? Judging by your choice of wording and your decision to withhold any credible sources, I must say that I have a "perception of deception." An item of interest, since you mention "Langevin," would be the summary of a bigger article on the subject here: Daivox 22:39, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
The general trend of these studies is that the longer sex offenders are studied.... This is expected. For a given set of subjects and a given set of criteria, would be impossible otherwise. If 5% of them re-offend in the first 5 years after release, then the 10-year recidivism rate will include these 5% plus everyone who re-offended in years 6-10. The "interesting" number that you rarely see is how long before the person becomes very unlikely to re-offend. That is, if he's been clean for X years, we can safely assume he's no more likely to re-offend for the rest of his life than a person of similar age/gender/what-not that never offended in the first place. Once a person falls into the "no more than average" risk, it's a waste of resources to keep him on the sex-offender registry. Dfpc 23:53, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Judderwocky (talk) 14:14, 1 June 2013 (UTC)I don't really feel like enough studies are presented in this section. More studies would give the reader a better feel for the range of data on this topic. This section seems clipped. There are plenty of studies out there showing a range. With so many I have to wonder why one with such low numbers was chosen.

Many of the studies on sex offender recidivism suffer from application of a "reverse scientific method" where the study parameters are carefully built to artificially report much higher recidivism rates. If a study is methodologically faulty, it should not be here. Many of the studies cited which have low recidivism rates are also the most straightforward and simple to verify, because the methodology is often "take list of released convicts, see if they were convicted of another sex offense within X years of release, count up the results and calculate a recidivism percentage." Contrast this with studies such as that by Langevin et al, showing "an 88.3% recidivism rate" only by cherry-picking the study subjects and artificially inflating figures to maximize the number. Daivox (talk) 06:55, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

The state of State of Ohio,Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, in April 2001, published a study "Ten-Year Recidivism Follow-Up Of 879 Sex Offenders Released in 1989" which as of 2014-01-04 is still available to view at the link "". In this study, after ten years the recidivism rate for new sex crimes found was 8.0%. More importantly is that the time to recidivism for "new sex crimes, technical sex offenses and technical sex lapses" is shown and it clearly shows that the recidivism rate for new sex crimes rapidly decreases over time from release, so that after 3 to 6 years of not committing a new sex crime, the recidivism greatly decreases. Directly from this data the accumulated recidivism rate for "new sex crimes, technical sex offenses and technical sex lapses" is:

  • From release thru 10 years 11.0%.
  • From 1 year after release thru 10 years is 8.2%.
  • From 2 year after release thru 10 years is 5.1%.
  • From 3 year after release thru 10 years is 3.6%.
  • From 4 year after release thru 10 years is 3.0%.
  • From 5 year after release thru 10 years is 2.4%.
  • From 6 year after release thru 10 years is 1.8%.
  • From 7 year after release thru 10 years is 1.0%.
  • From 8 year after release thru 10 years is 0.3%.
  • From 9 year after release thru 10 years is 0.1%.

Graphs of strictly only data from this Ohio State report are combined into a presenting "non-cumulative recidivism, cumulative recidivism and declining recidivism" as shown from the time to recidivism data from the study. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:46, 5 January 2014 (UTC)


I watched this set of edits go by an an antivandalism editor, and while I am hesitant to revert good-faith editing, I have huge problems with the changes that were made to the Georgia section today: (1) it doesn't fit stylistically, (2) it's not at all NPOV, it even makes Wikipedia appear to take a stance on pending litigation, and (3) it's a very disproportionately large part of the article now. Rather than just revert it, I'm going to bend over backwards in an attempt to salvage it, and edit it into more suitable form. Poindexter Propellerhead 21:10, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

03/10/2009 - The user Bionga has screwed up the GEORGIA section by copying it, and modifying it with the ILLINOIS label, and thus causing issues with the GEORGIA section. Can someone consider undoing their changes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Illinois has the laws mentioned in the 'Georgia/Illinois section'. Illinois law clearly states that no sex offender may live within less than 3 miles and 6 city blocks of any school, church, park, playground, day care center, and any place where minors are known to congregate, and that no sexual predator may live within less than 6 miles and 2 city blocks of the aforementioned places, nor may any sex offender live within less than 1,000 feet of a residence that contains individuals under 18 years of age, and nor may any sexual predator live within less than 5 miles of a residence that contains minors. In addition, Illinois law really does require castration of all sex offenders and sexual predators. Boinga (talk) 07:30, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Gack! This is one of the ugliest pages I've ever seen. I removed most of the state-by-state legalistic info (which doesn't belong in an encyclopedia), and summed it up briefly in the first paragraph. However, there is a lot more that needs to be done. Especially, many sections are headed with "Source:" followed by a link to a website, which is not in keeping with our WP:MOS. I'll be continuing cleanup efforts, and help would be appreciated. To whoever's work I just deleted....sorry, but it really didn't belong here. It's often best to discuss things like that on the takpage first, to avoid having large amounts of your work deleted. Doc Tropics 20:11, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
I have no issue with anything you're doing. An editor had changed some of the content significantly just before you deleted things last night and I saw that too much of what the editor added (which was at the least, quite wrong) still remained and couldn't easily be extracted from the current version, so I decided it was best to go back to a version prior to that edit and go from there. I am sorry that it undid some of your changes, but I didn't see a way not to do that. Cheers and good luck. Wildhartlivie (talk) 01:58, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks W. Sometimes things just get messy and the only fix is a restart. It needed a lot more work anyway, so no great loss. thanks for such a clear edit summary tho, that really helped. Happy editing! Doc Tropics 02:05, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
I have no objections. I watch this article as a function of WP:CRIME. Some of the articles are a mess and need a hatchet and forty whacks. Wildhartlivie (talk) 03:41, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

"sex offender"?Edit

The term “sex offender” is erroneous. It is a western/christian cultural phenomenon spawned by sexual oppression which includes homosexuals. In states where “sodomy” is officially illegal, homosexuals convicted or pleading guilty to such a “crime” are, by definition, “sex offenders”. How many people are on this so called “sex offenders registry” who’s only crime is being gay? What a horror. Western culture makes me sick. -amunptah777 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Amunptah777 (talkcontribs) 14:38, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

Criticism section needs a rewriteEdit

The "criticism" section of this article is, basically, crap. There is no significant discussion of criticisms regarding the term "sex offender" or what it means, and I'm not entirely sure that "Criticisms" is an appropriate section to have in the first place. If it can't gather more than a single poorly-written semi-paragraph of content, we should remove it and put its content in other parts of the article. Daivox (talk) 00:48, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Concur. I've reviewed and deleted the section. It was off-topic, not about sex offenders, only about a mismanaged database; and, the source was of dubious reliability.--Jack-A-Roe (talk) 00:50, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Therapies section is poorly writtenEdit

There are numerous errors in the 'Therapies' section of this article, and once again I do not have the time to fix it. If you have the time and inclination, please take a look at this section and demangle its contents as you deem appropriate; it has plenty of grammatical and punctuation errors, and that's just half the problem. Daivox (talk) 14:53, 21 July 2008 (UTC)


Why does this only feature infomation about the USA? This article is far too biased. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Be bold, introduce information about other nations' laws then, if you have found some information about them. Many contributers are US citizens therefore have more knowledge of the laws where they live. Also, I cleaned up. ESL? Tyciol (talk) 05:10, 11 February 2009 (UTC)


This entire section is a confused collections of links and semi-random facts from the U.S. DOJ website. Personally, I really don't think that it adds enough useful content to the article to justify the space and verbage involved. I'd like to axe most of it and copy a couple of lines of useful content into the section above. Keeping the entire section would require a total rewrite and I find that very daunting. Are there any strong arguments for keeping the entire mess, or can I start whacking? Doc Tropics 02:37, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Unify the USDOJ information into one section. I've put the NC material back because information gleaned from the NC registry regarding recidivist-status offenders illustrates recidivism rates that are far lower than other studies which are more well-known. It is not state-specific legislation information, it is either an anomaly in recidivism rates or a very big problem with how accurate North Carolina's public registry information is. Please don't strip it out again without some specific discussion about why it should be removed; I feel that your reason as stated in the edit misses the point of the information's inclusion. Granted, though, it could use some rewording and needs to be more concise; I'm pretty horrible at being brief, so by all means, tear into it to shorten it and make it less confusing! Daivox (talk) 20:35, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
This article is about a global issue and giving article space to a single (questionable) study from one U.S. state is going to be undue weight no matter how it is phrased. I understand that you feel the information belongs here, but imagine if we tried to include detailed information about every study ever published, or specific information from every legal jurisdiction in the world. Why is this information so special that it should be given space when we don't do the same for every other municipality in the world? Frankly, without strong references explicity backing up your opinions, both the reasons that you presented are nothing more than speculation (OR). In short, the study doesn't belong at all, and the USDOJ info needs to be reduced to a few (properly wikified) sentences, not several indepenent sections, which is what I had tried to do. Doc Tropics 15:52, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Judderwocky (talk) 14:16, 1 June 2013 (UTC)I agree with Doc. The entire presentation of recidivism looks like it was either written with a particular bias or laziness.


Anonymous said... I Work in the financial department of the California government in the Sacramento office. The laws do not work and not only do we know it but several of our so-called bosses are proud of it. The money spent does not even go where it is intended. In CA it costs the taxpayers OVER $1800 per unit PER MONTH for the electronic tracking units that we use. These units are LEASED at this price and they are no more complex than a cell phone transmitter with a GPS tracking chip. A similar program is happening in Texas. And the units are bad. They are badly designed as the signals drift from area to area causing several of our parolees to be violated for technical violations that they are not even responsible for. The units are so badly designed that they are even using NiCad batteries which are prone to fail with extended use. We have recently contracted a "psycho-therapy" company, "CPC Inc." claiming OVER 30 years experience in treating sex offenders and other such "criminals" in our state and others and, going over the financial records, discovered that they did not even exist thirty days ago. I went to one of their offices and was shocked to find a literally "fly by night" operation in which the signs on the door were handwritten on binder paper, perhaps two tables and laptop computers on the floor. When I reported this to my superiors I was outright threatened that if I should continue with this investigation or pursue ANY oversight that I would be attending those courses myself before long. I am afraid for my freedom and the safety of my family and children. I am under contract to the state and cannot even break said contract for fear of this. Almost the entirety of our golden state is now run by the equivalent of organized crime. This is the reason that unconstitutional, unjust and outright illegal laws Have been allowed, and forced, to pass. We are in the grip of the criminals that we have elected and I am guilty of this as any of you. My contract will be up soon and not only do I have no intention of renewing, I and my family are leaving the country. Should I make it that far. This is no longer the country that I was raised to believe in nor a place that I want my children to grow up in. Should I be able to before I leave I plan to release ALL of the financial records to the net and I encourage all within the state governments and especially any in the financial departments who feel as I do to do the same. As even with legal action they will not release them or if they do, it is published in such ways that make the records impossible to read as well as how much they receive in kickbacks. Even though they are blatant in such things. May God forgive us for what we have done. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:46, 28 July 2010 (UTC)


Under Victims: Megan's Law was actually enacted Federally in 1996, not just in Ca. As well the Kanka family were NJ residents at the time the crimes were committed, which seems unclear (though maybe not significant). Also, it says "punishment" when this law was specifically positioned as an "administrative" action NOT punishment. That is how (at least in the US) our government managed to get it ex-post-facto. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:28, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Under Risk assessment: In addition to Static-99, for pre-release assessment of re-offense risk there are numerous other tests, including, but not limited to RRASOR (older than Static-99, but still used) and MinSOST (also Min-SOST/minsost/MINSOST).

Under Recidivism rates: As long as you are including stats from how about including the never talked about but very real statistic found in Page 1:Highlights:paragraph 3 - During the study 517 sex offenders were rearrested for sex crimes and 3,328 non-sex offending felons were arrested for sex crimes, the sex offenders accounted for only 7.4% of the arrests for sex offenses during the study. This might indicate a flaw in the penal system as there seem to be more sex offenders coming out than there are going in.

Maybe a section should be added to discuss controversies and contradictions? IDK (talk) 15:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Victims: Adam WalshEdit

The section is long and without citations, it begins with an editorial comment, and most importantly is about a murdered boy. If there is evidence that the child was molested before being murdered then the section should be fixed up. Otherwise, it should simply be removed.

/mo'n —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:26, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Added comment by anonymous reader, regarding the 'See Also: Victims: Adam Walsh' section:

I agree that the Adam Walsh section (or everything but the link and first sentence or two) should be removed. Grammatically, it does not even make sense in places, and it implies things that are contradicted on the actual Adam Walsh Wikipedia page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:44, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Came to express similar opinion on the Adam Walsh commentary. It's a mess and surprised it still stands after over two years. Tickerhead (talk) 03:44, 8 May 2013 (UTC) Actually, the presence of a victims list is non-encyclopedic selective memorializing and doesn't belong here at all. Tickerhead (talk) 03:53, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Edit request from LODweed, 2 March 2011Edit

{{edit semi-protected}} Under the recidivism section, I think the following should be added:

One study with a follow-up period of 25 years, however, found that when "undetected crimes" were accounted for, the recidivism rate for sex offenders rose to 88.3%.

Ron Langevin et al., Lifetime Sex Offender Recidivism: a 25-Year Follow-Up Study, 46 Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, no. 5 (2004).

LODweed (talk) 19:58, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

This is an interesting fact, but could you clarify how exactly 'undetected crimes' are accounted for? It goes without saying that by virtue of being undetected the crimes are not accounted for. Intelligentsium 01:35, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.—C45207 | Talk 00:39, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
For what it's worth, sexual offense recidivism is a very complicated research field with many contradictory findings. Typically, we don't put much weight on individual, unreplicated findings. Personally, unless one is attempting to collect a comprehensive list of all reported findings, I would not overturn a very solid, very well-replicated finding on the basis of a single report in a relatively low-end journal. As they say, "One swallow doesn't make a summer"...or even more on point, "Remarkable claims require remarkable evidence." IMO.
— James Cantor (talk) 00:49, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Langevin et al. has been analyzed and their 88.3% recidivism rate is a useless figure constructed by manipulating the definition of recidivism and carefully crafting the study's methods and population to maximize the figure. See Daivox (talk) 02:34, 29 December 2014 (UTC)


I added to the external links on the mainpage a link to ATSA, the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. Although I doubt that that is controversial, I feel I should point out that I am a member of that organization, and am the editor of their research journal.— James Cantor (talk) 01:11, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Globalize tagEdit

It appears that based on previous discussions on this page, and the content in the article itself, that this article is USA-centric in its coverage. Therefore, I've tagged that article with {{globalize}} so that the article will be put into appropriate categories and will attract the attention of editors who might be able to expand/adjust the article as needed. Cheers. elektrikSHOOS 03:23, 24 April 2011 (UTC) just published an interview comparing U.S. to Canadian approaches to sex offender management/policy (as well as providing other info):
— James Cantor (talk) 18:00, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Is Fanny Hill still obscene?Edit

This sentence in the lead bothers me: "Pandering obscenity offences range from the possession of the book, within the United States, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure by author John Cleland,..." I thought that Memoirs v. Massachusetts had established that the work was not obscene. It sounds as if being found in possession of this work is still grounds for being declared a sex offender. It sounds like a misstatement. --Auric (talk) 15:38, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Misrepresentation of Recidivism Rates in DOJ StudyEdit

The Recidivism section makes a couple important misrepresentations: 1. The wiki states that the DOJ study found that "recidivism" rates among sex offenders was 5.3%. The study clearly states that the 5.3% number was not for "recidivism," but for "rearrests"--the distinction is HUGE. Also, this rate covers only the three years immediately following release. 2. The article then fails to present the vital fact that the DOJ study found that only 1.3% of non-sex offenders were rearrested within the same three years. The study itself states: "... the 5.3% rearrest rate for the 9,691 released sex offenders was 4 times higher [than the non-sex offender rate]." The section introduces bias by deliberately ignoring the comparison data in the same study immediately followed by the data for rearrests for any offense (tending to further lead the reader to a different conclusion than might be reached by the inclusion of the comparison data) and listing only the conviction rate for the sex offender group.

Because the article derives its authority in this section in large part from the DOJ study, it is important that the study not be misrepresented in the article.

Papasavant (talk) 17:31, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Residency RestrictionsEdit

The section on registration includes information about residency restrictions, but, in addition to being biased towards the US (which is noted at the top of the page, so okay I guess), it also presents state and locality specific restrictions as though they applied everywhere. Residency restrictions are HIGHLY variable, and this is incredibly misleading. Residency restrictions are so controversial that I feel they deserve, if not a separate article or separate subject heading, at least a separate component under registration. The specific restrictions that are currently listed should say to which jurisdictions they apply, and the others should note that they are merely examples of common residency stipulations. I can come back and make edits later if no one else does, but I'm not as familiar with wiki guidelines so I'm hesitant to do so. I can provide resources as needed. The misconceptions about residency restrictions are so problematic that the general public is constantly confused. I'd love to see this wiki article be something people could use to get some clarification, instead of becoming even MORE confused. Elimeny (talk) 19:33, 29 February 2012 (UTC)elimeny

Edit request on 6 March 2012Edit

I work for the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) and see that one of the external links to our website is no longer valid. Please replace the External Link: "Facts about Sex Offenders (ATSA)" with "Ten Things You Should Know About Sex Offenders and Treatment" ( (talk) 18:00, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

  Done I have made the requested change. Thanks for letting us know. Keith D (talk) 18:43, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Jammu SiltavuoriEdit

Finnish pedophile who killed 2 little girls and raped them — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 5 June 2012Edit 1st sentence in this section. "A sex offender registry is a system in place in a number of jurisdictions designed to allow authorities to keep track of the residence and activity of sex offenders (including those released from prison))." ← Why two parentheses? This is bothering me. (talk) 02:51, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

  Done Thanks for pointing it out. Rivertorch (talk) 05:21, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Class editsEdit

Hi I'm doing a class project to edit Wikipedia and I was thinking about adding a section that deals with the use of phallometry on sex offenders in applied behavioral analysis. I also wanted to mention the dangers of sex offenders with developmental disabilities. What do you think? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jenniwey (talkcontribs) 18:58, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Re: Residency RestrictionsEdit

This paragraph has some serious flaws:

Megan's Law, in the U.S., is designed to sanction sex offenders and reduce their recidivism rate. The law is enacted and enforced on a state-by-state basis. Most states also restrict where convicted sex offenders can live after their release, prohibiting residency within a designated distance of schools and daycare centers (usually 1,000–2,000 feet (300–610 m)). Guided by the 2007 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, sex offenders must avoid of such areas as schools, bus stops, gyms, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, swimming pools, libraries, nursing homes, and places of worship by 500 to 2,500 feet (150 to 760 m). However, residence stipulations vary from state to state. Some states (such as Arkansas, Illinois, Washington and Idaho) do not require sex offenders to move from their residences if a forbidden facility is built or a law is enacted after the offender takes up residency.


1. The AWA does NOT mandate residency restrictions (RRs) at all. RRs have nothing to do with AWA and vice versa, not to mention most states' RRs preceded AWA 2. The intent of Megan's Law and its predecessor the Jacob Wetterling Act, was not intended to "sanction" as it is supposedly "regulatory/civil in nature. At least that was the justification SCOTUS used in the 2003 Smith v Doe decision, but to provide a list of potential suspects in the event of a missing person case. And there should be mention made of the studies that find no link between the registry and reduced recidivism in the interest of fairness. 3. The Adam Walsh Act (AWA) was signed into law in 2006, not 2007 4. There are two famous studies, a 2003 Colorado Dept of Public Safety study from 2003 and a Minnesota Dept of Corrections study in 2004, that found no correlation between residences and recidivism. Also, it is worth noting a number of municipalities are scaling back residency laws, as did the state of Iowa in 2009 (see for more on this) — Preceding unsigned comment added by UltimaHolyFlare (talkcontribs) 03:41, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Broken Reference LinksEdit

Both reference link 16 and 17 are broken. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:47, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Discrepancies In This Wiki's Mention Of Ottis Toole & The Ottis Toole WikiEdit

I'd like to point something out in the section of the article listing various sex offenders. They have Ottis Toole listed as a sex offender and claims that he confessed to multiple rapes & murders. But the wikipedia article on Ottis Toole makes absolutely no mention of him confessing to any rapes. And Toole was in fact not a rapist or sex offender but was a serial murderer and arsonist and sexual offenses were not a part of his modus oparandi. The murder of Adam Walsh was just that, a murder, a very heinous one. But it did not involve sexual assault or a sexual motive. There was no indication at all that Adam was sexually assaulted or that his abduction and murder was sexually motivated in any way. So I have to question why the Adam Walsh act targets sex offenders instead of murderers, arsonists, and other violent criminals. Even the wikipedia page on Adam Walsh only mentions murder and says nothing about sexual assault or sexual motive. Not that wikipedia is the authority on the matter but other complete and authoritative articles on the matter make no mention of sexual assault or motive either. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 28 July 2013 (UTC)

Massive POV and neutrality problemsEdit

The article is currently a disastrous example of POV-pushing and WP:Activism by people who seem to be trying to minimize the severity of sexual offenses and criticize the "excessively harsh" treatment of sex offenders. Examples:

  • The definitional sentence includes the activist minimization "a person who has some instances mere public urination."
  • The "Overview" starts with a mention that "many jurisdictions are reforming their laws to prevent the over-prosecution of sex offenders" re: child porn.
  • There's an entire, fairly large section (admittedly well-sourced) on "sex offender panic" and how sex offenders are not as bad as you think they are (low recidivism, sexual offense laws a product of "intelligent dishonesty and populism thriving on moral panic", whatever that means)
  • WP:WEASEL words are liberally distributed: "some critics," "some have argued," "many academics," "considered cruel by many."

There are other issues (persistent copyediting problems, a "See also" full of editorial memorializations of victims and lists of trivial offenders), but the above are the major POV points. I'm tagging the page as "disputed neutrality," because User:ExpatSalopian's comment above drew no effective response. FourViolas (talk) 04:52, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

The only person I see editing the article in the way you have a problem with is ViperFace (talk · contribs). Before ViperFace's edits, the article had come to a very sporadically edited state. Flyer22 (talk) 04:58, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
And as his contributions show, he's been editing in that way at other articles as well. I'm not currently very interested in policing his additions and trying to figure out what past Wikipedia account he edited under (yes, his editing history tells me that he is not at all new to editing Wikipedia). But if he takes that type of editing to the Child sexual abuse or Child pornography article, I won't be tolerating it much at all. Flyer22 (talk) 05:09, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi,FourViolas (talk · contribs) and Flyer22 (talk · contribs) Actually I am new in editing Wikipedia and I don't even live in U.S. but in Europe, Finland and am not myself affected by any of your legislation. I'm an academic student so that's why I don't do that much "rookie"- mistakes and might appear more experienced. Yes, I do see a blatant human right problem which has been addressed by HRW, twice actually while the rest of the world does not even know about the issue, so I might have some POV problems, but please if you see them try to convert them into neutral. Actually the weasel word problem is only one I might be guilty of, I try to take care of it ASAP. Anyway, I don't think I have asserted anything controversial without adding appropriate references. There is huge body of research that is over looked and not even mentioned in many of the articles I have edited. There are a lot of news articles about consensual teenage relationships leading to sex offender registration as well as mentions of mere public urination possibly landing someone in the registry. I have not written the part "a person who has some instances mere public urination.", nor any other parts of the "Overview" that are being disputed for that matter, but may I ask: why should it not be mentioned if public urination can land one in the registry? No one has minimized the severity of child molestation or rape, but pointed out that some rather mild offenses may lead to registration. I see this information pretty relevant. If it is not relevant, please tell why it is not and should be left out. "The sex offender panic" is solely written by me and the last sentence is probably crappy, since English is not my first language. I have no intentions to edit Child sexual abuse or Child pornography. IMO some of the articles covering the issues are poorly written and could be made more coherent, but this far I have restrained my self from deleting any info and tried only to add more, since I'm new here. ViperFace (talk) 05:53, 4 December 2014‎ (UTC)

ViperFace (talk · contribs), being an academic student does not explain how you were able to edit like this on the first day you edited Wikipedia as ViperFace. Plenty of academics have edited Wikipedia and they usually do not edit like that (with citation templates and correct reference formatting) as soon as they start; even WP:Student editors, whether guided by their teachers or not, often don't have the Wikipedia citation formatting skills that you have. I can't be convinced that you are entirely new to editing Wikipedia. The way that you sign your posts (I added your time stamp for you above), and the way that you copied me above concerning linking usernames makes me think that you are somewhat new to editing Wikipedia (I linked your username that way so that others can easily see your contributions). But that's as far as my "You are new here" thought process is willing to go with you. As for the rest, you are somewhat POV-pushing, and that needs to stop. I'm certain that the vast majority of people do not look at consensual teenage sexual relationships as sex offender cases, except for in the cases where one teenager is significantly older than the other, such as a 13-year-old and a 19-year-old, and many people cannot see how that is at all consensual. But a rapist or child sexual abuser (meaning a non-teenage adult with a child or a minor that is not close-in-age)? Those are different matters, and researchers have a lot more opinions on those matters than the minor sexual offenses you've referred to above, without there being any sort of consensus that such offenders generally are not harmful if let back into society; this is especially the case for adults who have sexually abused a prepubescent child and might be a pedophile.
Also, there is no need to ping me to this talk page; it's on my WP:Watchlist. I won't ping you to it anymore if you state that it's on your WP:Watchlist. Flyer22 (talk) 06:26, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Don't know what to say. Citation templates come automatically from the left corner of the edit window. I don't think one has to be a rocket scientist to employ deliberately user-friendly features, altough I did quite a lot errors in the begining. Luckilu there is "Show preview option. And when I don't know what to do I simply copy/paste what others are doing and replace the relevant parts. What comes to rest of your message, it's missing the point. No one is advocating for 19 year old with 13 year old. the point is that academic researchers are criticising the way sex offenders are handled in society. The habitual predatory offenders who should not be released in first place IMO are treated the same way than 19 year offender who has sex with his 15 year old girlfriend and it continues decades, even if those two get married and try to build life together, regardless of how vast majority of people looks it. If you don't know this, please research the subject. It has happened and will continue to happen. Critics claim that there is no differentiation between different level offenders and the whole group of offenders are subject to same rules as is the case in many states. The registration reguirement comes when certain statute is offended, there is no judicial discretion available for the judges. In effect they are saying that whole sex offender management is being done wrong. It seems like you don't like that type of criticism due to your own perception on sex offender boogeymen and you are trying to oppress the large body of critique presented by researcher and other advocates from surfacing on this article. Am I right? If presenting research results and views of treatment professional working on the field of sex offender management contradicting the public image of sex offender is seen as POV-pushing, then we should probably start using comment sections of Fox news articles (i.e. public view) as references. For the second time, I don't know what to say. If we may hold ATSA's position on these matters as some sort of professional consensus, it is clear that they do not approve with the current management and public perception of sex offenders. Here are two opinions of ATSA which pretty much sums their position: The Registration and Community Notification of Adult Sexual Offenders and "Sexual Offender Residency Restrictions" This page is now on my watch list. ViperFace (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 07:42, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

ViperFace, I know what I am talking about on the topic. You are apparently presenting yourself as knowing what you are talking about (keyword there is presenting), and, by your latest commentary to me above, you project your biases onto others; for example, stating "sex offender boogeymen." And considering both you and Noterie (talk · contribs), a "new editor" who edits the same topics as you and who "just happened" to pop up at the Hebephilia article after I told you above that I would not be tolerating your type of editing at the Child sexual abuse or Child pornography article, I'm thinking that a WP:Sockpuppet investigation is in order. Flyer22 (talk) 08:54, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Er, what? I have no idea about any of the above, and I have no idea what it has to do with my changes on hebephilia, but I do agree with ViperFace that there has been social extremism that has led to many bad side effects. A moderate or neutral page will probably look bad to anyone at any extreme. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Noterie (talkcontribs) 09:05, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

I was just editing my previous message to add the position of ATSA, which I consider as scientific consensus. Sorry for the use of "boogeyman", but you are implicitly implying that I'm some sort of NAMBLA advocate and you can't see the relevant references that I have presented in the article, so I got bit irritated. I have no connection with the other user you are talking about. This is my ip: You may verify my location to Finland. I have occasionally edited while not being logged in, but if you wish to conduct some sort of investigation, I'm ok with that. ViperFace (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 09:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

I did not accuse you of being/imply that you are a NAMBLA advocate. Not all child sexual abuse advocates are a part of NAMBLA, after all. Nor are all of them pedophiles, especially since child sexual abuse laws can concern pubescents and post-pubescents in addition to prepubescents. I also did not accuse you of being a child sexual abuser or a pedophile. Not all people who think that child sexual abusers and pedophiles are not as bad as they seem are sexual offenders or pedophiles. And I know that you focused on consensual teenage sexual relationships above. As for your possible connection with Noterie, like I stated here, here and here, you are two "new editors" popping up to edit the same relatively inactive articles, with one of you (ViperFace) engaging in noticeable POV-pushing at various articles. You want me to believe that Noterie simply popped up to edit the same relatively inactive articles as you. The only articles so far that Noterie edited that you have not yet edited are the Hebephilia and Ephebophilia articles, and that is only after I told you that I would not tolerate your type of editing at the Child sexual abuse and Child pornography articles. If you are not WP:Sockpuppets or WP:Meatpuppets, this is a strange coincidence. Noterie asked above what does this section have to do with his edits to the Hebephilia article. Well, hebephilia obviously partly concerns child sexual abuse. FourViolas was nice to you on your talk page regarding your POV-pushing. Good. Since I'm not usually that nice to editors who POV-push, especially on sexual topics, FourViolas makes up for my lack of a softer approach in such cases. Flyer22 (talk) 09:55, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The WP:Sockpuppet angle is not adding much to the discussion, so I am willing to put that aside for now. The problem with your edits is that you are adding too much to the article (and other articles) about sex offenders not being as bad as people think. This tends to create WP:Undue weight. Pariah24 criticized your edits here (though, unlike Pariah24, I feel that some of that material belongs in the lead...per WP:Lead; I told you that before) and, in addition to the above and on your talk page, FourViolas criticized your edits at the Megan's Law talk page. These criticisms do not mean that it's just reverse POV, and you are right. It means that you should truly analyze how you are adding material to these articles. If it's not clear by my "06:26, 4 December 2014 (UTC)" post above, I'm in agreement that consensual teenage sexual relationships should not be treated in the same way that offenses by habitual predatory offenders are treated. But that is not the point. As much as possible, we are not supposed to let our personal opinions affect the article content. Flyer22 (talk) 11:09, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Okay. Flyer, thanks for weighing in; I was hoping to see you here. I'm sure you could be a great help, but I respect your choice to pick your battles. (nb for ESL readers: that's an idiom, not a reference to literal WP:Edit wars).
ViperFace, I was pretty impressed by how well-sourced the "panic" section was, and I'm happy to believe you're new since Flyer had her doubts about me, too. I'm glad to be reassured that you're working in good faith, and your add-only policy is a smart way to keep off people's toes. I greatly appreciate that you're only adding factual material. The issue here is mostly one of due weight: which of many true facts should be reported, and in what way? I'm sorry to throw more rules at you, but Wikipedia:Advocacy (under #Defences) explains that truth or worthiness is not sufficient justification for unbalancing an article. This article, Megan's Law, and similar articles should include perspectives in proportion to their actual representation in the world. Review articles in peer-reviewed journals often give this kind of information in neutral language. If you can find a good one
Part of the problem is simply organizational. If you want to include this kind of criticism of sex crime laws, put them in a section labelled as such. Giving activists their own section in the middle implies that unfair treatment of sex offenders is what "Sex offender" is all about. I respect your views that the US situation is a human-rights issue, but "Sex offender" should be mostly about sex crime and the people who commit it. Concerns about the societal prejudices which lead to these labels are peripheral.
The basic idea here is that Wikipedia is not a tool for WP:Righting great wrongs. We're here to give the major opinions on an issue, with most weight given to the majority position. There are other fora for fixing the world; WP is for describing it.[1] FourViolas (talk) 12:19, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ with reliable references.
Having looked over ViperFace's edits more, I'm convinced of their good faith, and even that they have good points to contribute. It's just that their current style is not neutral enough for us. FourViolas (talk) 12:32, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
The WP:Sockpuppet aspect is being discussed elsewhere. Too many "coincidences" for my tastes, especially if ViperFace or Noterie don't claim the IP in question. Flyer22 (talk) 12:59, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
I struck through the above since I've remembered that ViperFace claimed the IP above. Flyer22 (talk) 13:13, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
As stated here, I am willing to believe that ViperFace and Noterie are two different editors. Flyer22 (talk) 13:20, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
My take is that at this time it's a red herring. If there were more than two editors (or accounts, whatever) involved it might start to matter. Right now on one is claiming consensus to do anything so whether its sockpuppets, meatpuppets, a tag team, or coincidence, whatever. I'm sure we can work thru this on the merits. Herostratus (talk) 13:59, 4 December 2014 (UTC)


Well all this is rather complicated -- it's a complicated subject, there are a lot of edits, and there's a lot of material here on the talk page. So let's slow down a little. For now, I've rolled the article back to its status as of November 15 per WP:BRD. Let's look at proposals for specific improvements, and I'd recommend looking at relatively small improvements a little at a time. It's a fraught subject and a complicated one, and there's no hurry -- we want to get this right. Herostratus (talk) 12:03, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! I wanted to, but wanted to raise the issue and let others do it (if anyone agreed with me). FourViolas (talk) 12:27, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi Herostratus, FourViolas & Flyer22

What I have been trying to add to these articles is IMO the majority position of academics and treatment professionals, which most of the articles seemed to be lacking. As FourViolas says edits "should include perspectives in proportion to their actual representation in the world." The criticism seems to be widespread in academic world, but naturally academic opinions come up less often in popular media. Majority opinion among professionals seems to be that registration should be tailored according the results of risk assessment, not solely by virtue of conviction statute, as is the case in most jurisdictions in U.S. and they are not supporting many aspects of the current legislation, since it is not based on scientific research but more on public emotion. (Please see links to ATSA's position on these matters above, more similar viewa can be found from other references I have used) The considerable minority opinion among general population, i.e. the reformist groups and other critics are echoing the views of academics. In fact, at least two of popular media publications I have used as references were written by research professionals as well. I maintain that my edits have been in proportion to actual representation, at least in the academic world. The academic views are contrary to that of general public, so my edits might appear to give too much weight to views that are not so often presented outside the academic world, but is this necessarily wrong?? I can add more references to make it more clear that the critical views are indeed held by majority of professionals working on this field, but I have seen that adding 5 references in a row makes the article less readable. If my sections are unbalanced merely in length with respect to other sections of the said articles, I can see the problem, please try to contribute by compressing them without deleting too much of relevant information or by expanding the other sections if you wish. I'm not good at writing compactly, since English is not my first language. That being said, I'm bit disappointed for seeing the article reverted this far back in time and especially the loss of "panic" section. It was by far my best edit this far. I also think it is very relevant to this article. I think the quality of the article could have been improved without leap back in time, merely editing it more coherent. I hope we can find some common ground so that we may accept to include at least some part of the "panic" section. Thank you FourViolas for acknowledging the quality of my references. I'm happy to see this bruhaha calm down a little. How this started seemed bit aggressive and unfair to me at least from the part of Flyer22, at least that's how I felt it, given that I have not deliberately distorted any facts and have delivered sufficient amount of reliable references IMO. I guess I share some of the blame for not adding too much info in edit summary and explaining my edits on talk pages, I'm still a newbie here so please forgive me. --ViperFace (talk) 17:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC) Oh and FourViolas, I have yet to read through review articles, but there seem to be quite a lot content available on Google Scholar. Anyway, I don't believe that this episode could have been avoided even if I had used some review article as a reference, since I believe that you and Flyer did not actually check my references at first, but were just alerted for someone giving "too much" attention on controversial subjects. I will try to come up with a review article if that is enough to justify lengthy sections (compared to other sections) covering critical views. Also, if you wish to revert the quote on Megan's Law, I'm ok with that. It just seems to summarize the critique of Wetterlin, but I can see why it may be seen standing out of the line --ViperFace (talk) 17:42, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

OK. Sorry about rolling back so much, but what can I do... there're a lot of edits there, all in a row. I'm certainly not saying that none of the material is useful. It is! I'm not in a position in terms of time, energy, and interest to pick out the good from the bad... I'm willing to help by participating in discussion and that's it.
OK. There's no "right" or "wrong" answer to the question of "how should a society in general, and the United States in particular, deal with these issues". It's complicated. I infer that you think that all this is lot of nonsense and moral panic. Maybe you're right, or (more likely) it's not possible to ascertain "right" or "wrong" about that because it's a matter of opinion.
I get that the ACLU has criticized some laws in this area. I'm a former member of the ACLU and support their mission generally, while at the same time recognizing they will not and cannot take a detached neutral view on most matters (and shouldn't). Ditto I assume for the other groups you have mentioned, probably. These are advocacy groups and what they have to say is of some value but limited value for our mission. Our best bet IMO is to have short (but punchy) material indicating that the definition of "sex offender" is contested. By all means pile on the names of groups especially if they're bluelinked, and [ref] [ref] [ref] them.
I would steer far away from several sentences based individual studies. I have a number of questions about this. I'm not qualified to answer my own questions because I lack expertise re the methodology and so forth.
On the merits of various sex offender registries and so on.... the American people are entitled to, through their elected representatives, enact laws which are ineffective but symbolic or whatever if they want to. It's not possible to say that they are "wrong" because it's a purely political question. By the same token, more people are killed in car crashes every X days than died on 9/11, but the American people have decided that they can live with the one but not the other. Ditto for stranger child sex crimes, I infer.
At any rate, I would also steer away from "moral panic" stuff.... moral panics are mostly about stuff that basically isn't true, like satanic child abuse or whatever, or even if true are blown way out of proportion like Joe McCarthy's claims of Communist infiltration. It's OK to mention in passing that such-and-such person(s) have said "this is a moral panic" but I wouldn't put as too much emphasis on that since it seems to be minority view if not a fringe view. These laws are pretty popular I think.
Does this help you see where I'm coming from? Maybe others can chime in. Would it be possible for you to start a new section below and be like "here's a particular section, and here's my proposed revision" (or "here's a new section I propose"), or maybe individual paragraphs or even sentences. This is slower going but we want to get this right. Herostratus (talk) 18:30, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
ViperFace, thanks a lot for your patience and forbearance as we wreak havoc on your hard work. I addressed your other concerns below, but I wanted to share my story about Flyer22.
When I was very new to WP, she gave me a revert and a polite nip after I clumsily made some unconstructive changes to Asexuality. I, like you, found her response a "bit aggressive and unfair," and felt punished (by a SP suggestion) for having made a good-faith effort to learn the rules before editing. Since then, I've spent some time reading her talk page and block history, and noticing her tireless contributions. I've reversed my feelings and come to admire her for her willingness to preserve the quality of WP at the cost of exposing herself to Internet hate. Most people on WP have a little more patience when dealing with edits they disagree with, but Flyer has other specialties: she's highly intelligent, writes well, and knows what she's doing. I hope your hurt feelings will heal a little upon learning that Flyer has a justifiably short temper from noble battles with vicious people who sometimes superficially resemble the likes of you and me.
I'm much fresher to WP, so I still have extra goodwill to spend noticing that you are using great English (especially in mainspace) for a non-native speaker, contributing factually and with good references, and working hard to bring valuable (if highly sensitive) perspectives to the topic. FourViolas (talk) 04:04, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Meanwhile, after convincing herself that FourViolas and I were the same person, she reverted EVERY EDIT I have made since joining, not because of any problem of content, but because she thought FourViolas and I were the same person. In fact, right now, on the Hebephilia page, she reverted my edits and said I should bring them to the talk page. She then made edits to the Hebephilia, but when I reverted them and asked HER to bring them to the talk page, she reverted THAT and declared her 4-hour old changes to be the stable version instead of the version that had been untouched since September!! She isn't biting newbies, she's mauling them.Noterie (talk) 04:21, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I was clear about why I reverted you at the Hebephilia article. And you keep convincing me that you are not new to editing Wikipedia, including with the sudden signing of your posts without any signing mistakes, a contrast to how ViperFace kept making signing mistakes like the vast majority of WP:Newbies do, and your sudden knowledge of the WP:Canvass guideline. Whether you are a WP:Sockpuppet, a WP:Meatpuppet or something else, you are not completely new to editing Wikipedia. And trying to convince me that you are is futile. I've caught various WP:Sockpuppets, ones who thought they were smarter than me and everyone else, and I know the signs. Even when I back away from a WP:Sockpuppet case, it does not mean that I no longer suspect that editor of not being a new Wikipedian (WP:Sockpuppet or not). Flyer22 (talk) 04:57, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Also, regarding my temper, similar to what I stated in my "09:55, 4 December 2014 (UTC)" post above, there are definitely types of editors I am short-tempered about; I was not always like that, and I am working on being less temperamental regarding such editors. But I definitely have a lack of patience for nonsense and POV-pushers, unless it's well-meaning nonsense. And I can sometimes excuse well-meaning POV-pushing. Returning editors who edit under a different account also irritate me unless it's a WP:SOCK#LEGIT or WP:Clean start matter (in the case of a WP:Clean start, I mean as long as they are not returning to the same areas they edited before, expecting that no one will recognize them). ViperFace strikes me as a case of well-meaning POV-pushing; and as long as he stays on the right path of editing, I won't have much of a problem with him. Flyer22 (talk) 17:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Conciliatory statements and moving onEdit

All right, thanks to everyone for jumping in to discuss. I had no idea a POV template was such good tinder, and I'm a little overwhelmed by the above conflagration.
I plead guilty to not reading the refs beyond noticing that most were WP:RS, and I'm open to the opinion that I am falling victim to the Just world fallacy or personal bias in assuming that US sex-offense legislation is not a human-rights problem; I'm willing to believe that it's a mainstream academic opinion that US laws are too punitive and ineffective, although I still think it would be activism to have that fact be the focus of the article.
I apologize for anything I said which strayed from WP:AGF; my original complaint didn't name any particular editors, and I naîvely thought that would prevent anyone from being upset (although ViperFace has been very restrained and civil about the whole thing, considering how many hours of their work are at stake).
The above miasma probably wasn't the ideal way to bring out and explain the appropriate policies and guidelines (to review: WP:NPOV, WP:ADVOCACY, WP:SOAP, WP:TE, WP:AGF, WP:BITE, WP:DBQ, WP:BRD), but they're there now and I think we're ready to start rebuilding the article. I think Herostratus's comment of 18:30, 4 December is spot-on; I'm putting my suggestions in a new section below. FourViolas (talk) 02:01, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposed new outlineEdit

  • Lead paragraph Keep very general and factual. Definition, punishments, maybe gender breakdown. Note: A sex offender is someone who has committed a sexual offense; arguments about what should be considered a sex crime belong elsewhere.
  • Types of sexual offenses To get across the main info of the topic: what offenders have done.
  • Felonies and
  • Misdemeanors Of course these will vary by country; mention particular offenses treated differently in different jurisdictions. Describe global cultural variation in treatment of offenders.
  • Effects on society Percent of population victimized and victims' trauma, effects on women of the threat of sexual violence according to feminist opinions on sexual violence and rape culture.
  • Legal treatment Describe typical sentences, including registry, and how they vary globally.
  • Debate Here is a fine place to put lots of good refs, activist groups, and the most reliable quote you can find saying that it's mainstream evidence-based criminology to assert that US laws need to be more logical and less punitive.
  • Therapies Make sure to balance professional opinion on various therapies and their effectiveness.
  • See also Maximum a handful of historically significant perpetrators and victims (Jack the Ripper, Megan Kanka). No editorial memorials. Cull the current unusually-large section to what people are actually likely to want to see from here.

I'm by no means wedded to this plan, and I don't want to be a major contributor for personal reasons. Please respond with alternatives, variations, and comments. FourViolas (talk) 02:42, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Thanks FourViolas for taking this to the right direction
Few comments and proposals on otherwise good outline:
To be able to describe a typical sentence may be hard, since it varies depending on jurisdiction. In U.S. federal and state level sentences are very different. Also is there a typical sex offense? Predatory abductions picked up by media are statistically very rare. My gut feel is that most common sex offense is statutory rape.
Another more important point about legal treatment and sentencing: The sex offender registration is NOT part of the sentence in most U.S jurisdictions, judge does not impose it nor has discretion on it. Prosecutor is the only person with discretion trough offering plea bargain to non-listed offense. Instead it is collateral consequence of being convicted under one of the listed statutes. That's why arguably disproportional consequences like these example, example2, example3 occur. While arguably punitive, it's not considered as punishment, but regulatory measure similar to felons losing right to vote. This is why more rules can be retroactively applied without violating the constitution. I don't wish to see mistakes with respect to these facts in any article. This combined with harshness of the registry is the number 1 main point of the critics. Outside U.S., registration is not based on offense, but is determined by risk assessment or based on sentence length. (In UK sentence of 5 years and over will get the offender in registry) I'm not aware of any considerable criticism towards these systems.
If there is going to be a section of post incarceration registries, like there is currently, these differences among jurisdictions should be presented clearly, and the distinctive nature of U.S, system should be made clear IMO. I'd also wish to add some coverage on criticism and main parties presenting it, although there is already main article Sex offender registration (which could use some re-writing as well) where differences of the registries in various countries and criticism could be covered, but it is more about registries in general, while the U.S. system is the only one generating criticism. So I really don't know what is the best article for criticism??
Debate section might be good place to cover some points presented in recent "panic" section. If this article is to be strictly about sex offender, not sex offender registries, then only relevant debate IMO is the public perception vs. academic view of sex offenders (e.g. dangerousness, what else?), and debate/criticism of registries themselves might suit better in other articles covering the legislation. Like Herostratus said we want to get this right. I would extend getting "this right" to also articles as sex offender registration, Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, United States National Sex Offenders Public Registry and Megan's Law, since these articles are closely related.Some of them are some what fragmented and cover partly same issues. I would like to see these articles forming a coherent pack covering these subjects. I suggest that we take this discussion here:
Thank you again FourViolins for taking the first productive step.--ViperFace (talk) 16:14, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome, I'm more than happy to move past those heightened emotions. "Real" (off-line) life is upsetting enough, as the article illustrates.
I'm increasingly reassured that you've accepted my, Flyer22's, and Herostratus's feedback. In turn, I'd like to let you know that I fully respect and appreciate the points you have to bring. The main problem, I think, was about structure rather than content (although the content is somewhat too detailed on one side for WP:Balance). I'll clarify by exaggeration: the article as you were editing it was something like,
"Sex offenders are people who have committed a sexual offense which may not have been as bad as you might think, and many respectable activists say US sex-offender law is unjust and ineffective."
I think it's necessary to include broader info, more like
"Sex offenders are people who have committed a sexual offense. There are many types of sexual offense of different severities, with many different deleterious effects. To counter these effects, societies punish sex offenders in widely variable ways. US sex-offender law has some unique details which many respectable activists say are unjust and ineffective."
Do you see how the first is incomplete to the point of activism, even if fleshed out with perfectly good info and sources? If too many of the article's bytes relate to a debate several levels down from the article title (that is, controversy about mandatory registration provisions of the US's version of legislation about sex offenders), the article is ignoring lots of higher-level content. If those bytes are heavily dedicated to one side of the debate, the article stops sounding like an encyclopedic compendium of important facts and starts to read like a pamphlet. However, that's no reason to reject your points, moderately condensed, if they're under a heading which makes it clear that they aren't what "sex offender" is all about.
It's my guess that this and related articles will always have less room for criticism than you'd like; you're an activist on this issue, and that's not a bad thing but an inconvenient one for you (and maybe me [smiley emoticon]) while you're editing WP. I encourage you to read the Child_sexual_abuse#Offenders section, if you haven't yet, for an model of an encyclopedically written, heavily sourced (to peer-reviewed studies), thorough look at a subset of sex offenders. The article on relevant US laws (several links away) has no mention of controversy except a SCOTUS case on whether child rape should be a capital offense, but the article presupposes a subsection of sexual offense less likely to generate sympathy for convicted offenders. Statutory_rape#Romeo_and_Juliet_laws appears neutral and detailed, and relevant to many of the specific situations you and your refs been talking about. That said, I think it would be totally fine to quote highly-reliable sources (in this article) on the distinctiveness, and questioned utility & fairness, of US registration policies.
Your proposed discussion move sounds logical, but I have an impression that nobody ever looks at category talk pages. (The only post on Category talk:Sex offender registration was by an IP in 2008.) You could drop a link there saying there's a lot of discussion here.
FourViolas (talk) 03:31, 7 December 2014 (UTC)
I appreciate your clarification FourViolas. I can see your point and I try to edit along those lines in future, although some times I might need some gently whipping from more experienced editors like you. I have suggestion of section that is pretty much cleaned and condensed version of my recent "panic" section and would like to hear your feed back. Please find it below. To your advise to find "most reliable quote you can find saying that it's mainstream evidence-based criminology to assert that US laws need to be more logical and less punitive", I have to ask help of — James Cantor. I would like to establish this notion in this article, but I'm not aware of any in-depth review article that would explicitly spell out the critical consensus among academics and treatment professionals, but IMO it is evident: I have not found a single article supporting current laws even though I have tried. Anyway, ATSA has been critical in every opinion and report I have read considering this subject. Would ATSA be mainstream enough? I can't see why it wouldn't.
@Herostratus: I have to counter what you said about steering "away from "moral panic" stuff...moral panics are mostly about stuff that basically isn't true": The public perception of dangerousness and rate of recidivism is not true. There is an academic consensus about this. See any of the articles I posted here. Yet, it is the main rationale behind the laws. Judging by The Meaning Of Moral Panic Criminology Essay the characteristics of moral panics are easily fulfilled. Media exaggerates the dangerousness of ALL those labelled as sex offenders by highlighting the most repulsive and egregious offenders, generating the perception that ALL offenders are truly dangerous. There's also clear distinction between "them" and "us", and there is wide spread perception among general public, that this group poses great danger. Also, the measures taken to counter this exaggerated danger are disproportional and irrational, as they are applied to ALL offenders. There's academic consensus on this as well. If applied to only those assessed to pose risk, rather than everyone found guilty to qualifying offense, the measures wouldn't be irrational and disproportional. Just to clarify that the term is largely used by academics with respect to sex offender legislation, here are some Google Scholar results. Researchers not explicitly using the term are practically always stating something along the lines: "laws should be based on scientific evidence, rather than to public emotion", in the introduction or background, and it's usually repeated in conclusion/discussion sections. To me it reads like: "these laws were made amid moral panic"
This being said, I'm asking your opinions on adding below section in main space. I understand that this might disturb the balance for a while, but this should be temporary problem, if we are going to follow FourViolas proposal. Also, if you don't totally object this, but still want to make some modifications, and maybe check my spelling, please do, I'm a rookie editor after all. Later this could be under "Legal Treatment" section according the proposed outline, or what ever we decide. This is also pretty much all I want to add considering criticism, so I personally have no further pressing urges to be adding more criticism, except the notion of academic consensus. Oh...and sorry for my lengthy posts. I'm probably pain in the ass already :) --ViperFace (talk) 02:39, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Controversy (proposal)Edit

It is argued that in U.S. sex offenders have been selected as the new realization of moral panics about sex, stranger danger, and national paranoia, the new folk devils or boogeymen. People convicted of any sex crime are "transformed into a concept of evil, which is then personified as a group of faceless, terrifying, and predatory devils", who are contrary to scientific evidence perceived as constant threat in our neighborhoods, habitually waiting for opportunity to attack.[1] Consequently, sex offenders are brought up by media on Halloween, despite there has never been recorded case of abduction or abuse by a registered sex offender on Halloween.[1]

Academics, treatment professionals[2][3] and law reformist groups as RSOL[4] and WAR[5] criticize current sex offender laws being based on media driven moral panic and "public emotion", rather than advised attempt to protect the society,[1][6][7][8][9][10] attracting the legislators to deliver knee-jerk laws[11] which echoes "populist punitiveness" to counter the public hysteria,[12] and to collect votes by appearing conspicuously vigilant on subjects related to sex offenders.[13] One discrepancy pointed out by critics, is that John Walsh, father of Adam Walsh and supporter of Adam Walsh Act has admitted having a relationship with a 16 year old girl while being on his early 20s and aware of age of consent being 17 in New York,[14] meaning that, had he been convicted, John Walsh himself could required to to register. Since passage of Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act Walsh himself has criticized the law, stating "You can't paint sex offenders with a broad brush."[15] Critics point out that contrary to the media depictions, abductions by predatory offenders are very rare[16] and 95% of child abuse is committed by perpetrator known to the child, as well as U.S Department of Justice studies finding sex offender recidivism to be 5.3%[17] which compares as second lowest of all offender groups, only those convicted of homicide having lower rate of recidivism.[18]

Critics say that, while originally aimed at the worst offenders, as a result of moral panic; the laws have gone through series of amendments, many named after victim of highly publicized predatory offense, expanding the scope of the laws to low-level offenders, and treating them the same as predatory offenders, leading to disproportional punishment of ending on public sex offender registry, and subjecting them to strict rules restricting movement and residency.[5][16] The media narrative of sex offenders, highlighting egregious offenses as typical behavior of a sex offender, and distorting the facts of cases,[19] the panic has increased leading legislators to attack judicial discretion,[19] by making registration mandatory based on offense of conviction, without considering the likelihood to re-offend or the actual severity of the crime, thus catching less serious offenders under the harsh sex offender laws.--ViperFace (talk) 02:39, 11 December 2014 (UTC)



  1. ^ a b c Extein, Andrew (25 October 2013). "Fear the Bogeyman: Sex Offender Panic on Halloween". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 November 2014. Cite error: The named reference "Extein" was defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ "The Registration and Community Notification of Adult Sexual Offenders". Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. April 5, 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ Rogers, Laura (July 30, 2007). "Comments on Proposed Guidelines to Interpret and Implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)" (PDF). Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers. External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ "Our History". Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc. Retrieved 25 November 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ a b Levin, Sam (5 September 2013). "Missouri Sex Offenders: "Women Against Registry" Says Labels Unfairly Destroy Lives". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  6. ^ Maguire, Mary; Singer, Jennie Kaufman (4 December 2010). "A False Sense of Security: Moral Panic Driven Sex Offender Legislation". Critical Criminology. 19 (4): 301–312. doi:10.1007/s10612-010-9127-3.
  7. ^ Walker, Bela (19 January 2011). "Essay: Deciphering Risk: Sex Offender Statutes and Moral Panic in a Risk Society". The University of Baltimore Law Review. 40 (2).
  8. ^ Spohn, Ryan (31 July 2013). "Nebraska Sex Offender Registry Study Final Report" (PDF). University of Nebraska - Omaha. p. 51. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  9. ^ Fox, Kathryn J. (28 February 2012). "Incurable Sex Offenders, Lousy Judges & The Media: Moral Panic Sustenance in the Age of New Media". American Journal of Criminal Justice. 38 (1): 160–181. doi:10.1007/s12103-012-9154-6.
  10. ^ Lancaster, Roger (20 February 2013). "Panic Leads to Bad Policy on Sex Offenders". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Wright, Richard G. (2014). Sex offender laws : failed policies, new directions (Second edition. ed.). Springer Publishing Company. p. 64. ISBN 0826196713.
  12. ^ Mcalinden, Anne-Marie (1 May 2006). "Managing risk: From regulation to the reintegration of sexual offenders". Criminology and Criminal Justice. 6 (2): 201. doi:10.1177/1748895806062981.
  13. ^ Mansnerus, Laura (29 May 2005). "ON POLITICS; Stoking 'Moral Panic' Over Sex Offenders". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Walsh, John; Walsh, Susan (2008). Tears of rage : from grieving father to crusader for justice: the untold story of the Adam Walsh case. New York: Pocket Books. p. 9. ISBN 1439136343. I never gave much thought to how old Reve was. She was pretty, and she dressed sharp. And there was also that body. We were starting to kind of hang around together. She took me horseback riding, and we went skiing. She was always into her own thing, and I like that. Then one night Tom Roche was sitting around in my place and picked up a copy of that day’s Buffalo Evening News. It was a picture of Reve, who had just won an art contest. ‘Holy Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,’ Tom said. ‘There is a picture of Reve in the paper, John, and she's 16 years old.’ But you know, she had this way about her. She had a certain presence. And after awhile I just got over how young she was. She was way more sophisticated than anybody in her high school and she always dated older guys. She had a fake ID. That's how she got into Brunner’s. She was born with high school. She was into art and her horses. And even then, she always seemed very… I don't know, serene. We weren't madly in love with each other. Though we had a good time together, and I relaxed a little after she turned 17."
  15. ^ Koch, Wendy (26 February 2007). "Sex-offender residency laws get second look". USA Today.
  16. ^ a b Lancaster, Roger (20 February 2013). "Panic Leads to Bad Policy on Sex Offenders". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  17. ^ Langan, Patrick; Schmitt, Erica; Durose, Matthew (November 2003). "Recidivism of Sex Offenders Released from Prison in 1994" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  18. ^ Langan, Patrick; Schmitt, Erica; Durose, Matthew (November 2003). "Recidivism of Prisoners Released in 1994" (PDF). U.S. Department of Justice. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  19. ^ a b Fox, Kathryn J. (28 February 2012). "Incurable Sex Offenders, Lousy Judges & The Media: Moral Panic Sustenance in the Age of New Media". American Journal of Criminal Justice. 38 (1): 160–181. doi:10.1007/s12103-012-9154-6. ISSN 1936-1351.

Wholesale reversions by User:MONGOEdit

I am becoming increasing concerned by User:MONGO's unproductive behaviour here and at the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act page. Mongo's comments such as these [] are both unnecessarily antagonistic and entirely devoid of any content-based or policy-based argument. Mongo's is editing simply out of WP:IDONTLIKEIT. As I said in a diff comment, the material on these pages likely fall within the discretionary sanctions imposed by the Sexology case. I must caution Mongo to tread carefully and to make any future edits with specific references to content or policy. Mongo's statements such as "You guys seem to be very specifically focused on degrading articles. That isn't going to happen here or anywhere else on this website" are counter-consensus and disruptive.
— James Cantor (talk) 11:20, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

What we can do Mr. Cantor is open up a new case or reopen the Sexology arbcom case and let the arbitrators decide if your actions on these types of articles are either beneficial or not so. Since your opinion of such issues, citing almost exclusively opinion pieces and weak evidentiary correlations then it definitely looks like an effort to degrade related articles and POV push fringe concepts for which there is no substantive proof.--MONGO 12:52, 11 December 2014 (UTC)
Please do.— James Cantor (talk) 13:33, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

My comment as the original objector to ViperFace's work:

While I directly empathize with MONGO's instinct that POV is bad and even good-faith newbies are liable to be unfamiliar with proper protocol, I think it's time to let VF and Dr. Cantor do some work unimpeded. I believe VF has done a lot of work to learn the guidelines and Dr. Cantor knows what he's doing, and (having gotten around to reading VF's refs and doing my own research) I'm willing to concede that there is broad academic consensus on the specific criticisms in question. The article must emphasize plain facts and facts about opinions, without UW or POV, but I'm admitting that the ideal NPOV includes more criticism than the current article. So, let's all be civil and let the WP:YESPOVers have their say. FourViolas (talk) 20:16, 14 December 2014 (UTC)

Note: As shown in my sex offender discussion with ViperFace above, I was clear that certain types of sex offenders are a threat, or are very much a threat, and that I was not asserting that consensual close-in-age matters with regard to age of consent are a part of that threat. I think it's clear, except apparently to ViperFace, that I was not referring to all sex offenders. So if anyone refers to what I am in agreement on in this case, keep that in mind. I was not reverting ViperFace; nor am I in complete agreement with ViperFace's view of things regarding the topic of sex offenders. Flyer22 (talk) 07:08, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

ViperFace clarified that he understands what I meant. Flyer22 (talk) 02:08, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 December 2014Edit - predatory open access (talk) 06:22, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

  Not done: as you have just added a URL, not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 09:15, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

Offender risk assessment instrumentsEdit

I think I can find good sources for risk assessment [1] [2] [3]measures and propose some edits. There are measures involving static [4]variables, those that do not change, such as number of convictions, age of first victim, etc., and there are instruments which measure dynamic[5], [6](scroll down on that reference, it's a document) [7]risk factors, those that can have variance over time), i.e., environmental factors, level of cooperation with supervision, treatment compliance, etc.), and general information about the static/dynamic risk assessment model: [8], [9], [10],[11](this last one has good findings but it's not loading properly on my machine). I will propose some language and sources here on the talk page and am leaving this note for comments and ideas as I'm going along. Should I work up some edits in my own sandbox first and then move them here later? --Cityside189 (talk) 02:21, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I don't know how to separate this comment from the references below, it looks like they follow immediately and belong to my comment, is there a way to box them off, so when I propose new ones they are somewhat apart? --Cityside189 (talk) 02:24, 30 August 2015 (UTC)
Fixed Etamni | ✉   09:00, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Hello again, it seems like a giant job to select out all the references here and point to certain assessments, I was wondering how you felt about using a paragraph such as above to describe risk assessments in general. A sex offender risk assessment could be a series of articles all on their own, but I wanted to include at least a starting off point. OK with trying a paragraph and discussing the static and dymamic risk concepts and seeing where that leads? ( I tried to use the Refill tool on this page so that I had more than bare URL's as sourcing, but it doesn't seem to work, is it because many of the documents are PDF's? --Cityside189 (talk) 03:31, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

Your best bet is to make incremental changes to the existing risk-assessment section, ensuring each is well-sourced and meets WP:NPOV. Try not to put undo weight on any particular risk-assessment methodology, but rather attempt to determine which methodologies have the most support in the treatment community, and balance those with any that have significant support, even if not the first choice of the majority. Who knows, perhaps this section will grow to the point that it does merit its own article, but that should not be the goal right now. Etamni | ✉   05:49, 3 September 2015 (UTC)


recent edit by ViperfaceEdit

RE: The level of sexual recidivism in sexual offenders is lower than is commonly believed. I think this statement should be removed. It leans the article toward a point of view such as "everybody thinks sex offender risk is X, but it really is less than that". It's a generalization and speaks about what's "commonly believed" without adequate references. It also reminds me of the apologetic or minimizing tone this editor has been criticized for earlier in the talk page. pinging @Flyer22, James Cantor, FourViolas, and Etamni: I don't know if this the right thing to do in the culture here but I figure it can't hurt to call out for your opinions. --Cityside189 (talk) 02:40, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I agree that it does suggest that popular belief is incorrect, and this might be perceived as POV pushing. That said, I also believe it is an accurate statement. I've heard people talk about this subject, and the common consensus seems to be informed by prime-time television police dramas, rather than by any systematic attempt to learn facts. The statement is immediately followed by sourced information explaining what the actual recidivism rate is. Technically, we could require someone to find a source proving what popular belief is, but I don't see any point in that, and the situation is likely covered by WP:Blue. As an opening sentence in a section, it sets clear expectations what the section is about and is, itself, supported by the information that follows. (For comparison, if the residents near a mountain lake all believe their lake is pure and unpolluted, but scientific testing showed high levels of mercury and lead, it wouldn't be POV pushing to tell them the results of said testing; it would just be explaining facts.) Others will likely have differing viewpoints. Etamni | ✉   03:42, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
I disagree. I have added RS to support the statement, which I somehow failed to do when editing that part. [1] and [2] ViperFace (talk) 06:44, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Thanks User:Viperface, and I apologize to you for not reading more about this before suggesting a removal. (I originally typed out "...should be removed, repaired or sourced" but then got more and more tired as the evening went on and went for brevity. And a tip of the hat to you for being a thorough worker. A question I have now is should the sentence be paraphrased as not to be a direct word-for-word quotation of Harris' article? But he does say it very succinctly and maybe it's best for the direct quote? (can we use quotes here, i.e., "Andrew Harris, leading researcher in recidivism research has said that 'The level of sexual recidivism in sexual offenders is lower than is commonly believed'.< ref>? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Cityside189 (talkcontribs) 13:48, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I was just typing longer response as I did not have time to respond properly at the time of my last post, but there was edit conflict. Anyway here's copy paste of what I tried to post just two minutes ago: It might be wise to break down the recidivism rates further as it is known that certain offender groups have considerably higher rate of recidivism than that of all sex offenders as aggregate. I have read studies, if I recall right, that put recidivism rate of rapists of adult women, and those convicted of molesting pre-pubescent boys somewhere around 25%-30%. Furthermore, those classified as sexually violent predators have even higher rate of recidivism. @Cityside189: I'm not being apologetic for any crime but I do recognize the gaping injustice and disproportionality of consequences when handing this label out like candy. Sex offender is a broad label that is attached to people like Jesse Timmendequas, like it should be, like it was originally intended. Nowadays, it's also attached to couples having sex on beach or people like Zach Anderson. Latter cases are nothing less than absurd. They are also blatant violations of human rights considering all the restrictions and stigma attached to this label. Totally disproportional to crimes committed. To me, it's beyond mind boggling that something like this is taking place in civilized western country. I recognize my personal POV might bring NPOV issues to my editing but I expect the community to address them in civil way to reach consensus, just like you have done here. What I don't wish to see are counter-consensus things that recently took place in Talk:Adam_Walsh_Child_Protection_and_Safety_Act. I salute you for your efforts in improving risk assessment section. ViperFace (talk) 14:01, 5 September 2015 (UTC)


I didn't know I was WP:Pinged in this section until now. Flyer22 (talk) 02:15, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

In my haste the other day I was worried. Before I got to know Viperface's work, I thought I was seeing the article take a turn. So pinged you guys over here to take a look. But he's since added the references which makes all the difference. I figured you and the others were just busy as you normally are, but it's even more likely that I typed the code syntax wrong too. Seems like were making at least one progress at least.!! Thank you {user:Flyer22]] for coming. I would like to send a gift message on your talk page but I also don't want to make you uncomfortable with that either. Do you think it would be OK?--Cityside (let's talk! - contribs) 03:38, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

Recidivism nonsenseEdit

The first paragraph under the Recidivism section reads as follows:

"The level of sexual recidivism in sexual offenders is lower than is commonly believed.[4][5] A 2002 study by the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of the United States Department of Justice following 9,691 male sex offenders released from prisons in 15 US states in 1994 indicated that within the first 3 years following their release rearrest and reconviction rates for new sex offenses were 5.3 and 3.5 percent, respectively; that is, about 1 in 19 of released sex offenders were later arrested for another sex crime. The same study found that 68 percent of released non-sex offenders were re-arrested for any crime (both sex and non-sex offenses), while 43 percent of the released sex offenders were rearrested for any crime (and 24 percent reconvicted for any crime).[6]"

The last sentence is utterly meaningless because it omits any time frame.

Will someone who is knowledgeable on this subject please fix it so that it makes sense and can somehow be compared with the earlier portion of this paragraph?

Or else, please just delete it. We do not need or want meaningless statistics in Wikipedia.Daqu (talk) 15:20, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Done. Time frame is the same, 3 years. ViperFace (talk) 19:38, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Copy editing for general readersEdit

What would you think about the idea of editing the article in some places to make it more readable for a general audience, average level of reading ability etc. I think there are a bunch of advanced graduate level, and/or post-doc contributors here, who are making the article more and more refined, and also perhaps a bit more confusing for general readers who may get lost in technical descriptions. For example I might add some very general comments to the risk assessment section that explains what the tests are designed to measure, to give readers an overview. --Cityside189 (talk) 23:58, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

I think that there needs to be a way of balancing the needs of the general public (reading this article) with the needs of other more advanced users. An explanation of terms used, or links to appropriate articles about those items, would not be out of place. It's important that any summary be just a summary, and not a synthesis unsupported by the original material. Etamni | ✉   21:11, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

question in overview, sentenceEdit

Hello and thanks for the ongoing collaboration. I saw this sentence in the "Overview section": The term "sexual predator" is often used to describe a sex offender or any of the "tier offenders"; however, only the category just below sexually-violent sexual predator is reserved for a severe or repeated sex offender: sexual predator. The article hadn't introduced "tier offender" before that point and I think it relates to, for example, the New York State SORA registry, where there are three levels/tiers. But I'm not sure if that's what is meant. How about "The term "sexual predator" is often used to describe a sex offender or any of the most serious offenders assigned to a tier/level system (i.e., 1, 2, or 3), with higher numbers indicating more serious offenses. The category just below "sexually-violent sexual predator" is reserved for a severe or repeated sex offender and is thus labelled "sexual predator". ??? --Cityside189 (talk) 23:51, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

question about John Walsh's historyEdit

Hello, I don't think it's important to include the following information: One discrepancy pointed out by critics is that John Walsh, father of Adam Walsh and supporter of the Adam Walsh Act, has admitted having a relationship with a 16-year-old girl while being in his early 20s and aware of age of consent being 17 in New York,[44] meaning that, had he been convicted, John Walsh himself could be required to register as a sex offender. I don't see an alleged crime referenced in the source material (even while it may be inferred by many of us), and I worry that the article is going beyond it's intended scope by including the information in this section. If Walsh violates the law, (or anyone else for that matter) they are subject to the law - so I don't think it's a valid criticism of the law itself. Propose deleting? --Cityside (let's talk! - contribs) 17:12, 13 September 2015 (UTC)

types of offendersEdit

user:Flyer22 makes a good point about listing recidivism rates for child molester, something that User:ViperFace mentioned earlier in the talk page. This brings to mind the different types of offenders (or offense characteristics) and some discussion of these differences may belong in the article. I will begin looking at RS which may be acceptable and will leave further notes here for discussion. (i.e., child molesters, adult rapists, non-contact offenders (exhibitionists, etc.), offenders who victimize family members (incest offenders), predatory offenders, opportunistic offenders. I'll write back as I go along and report on the RS's which may bear these distinctions out --Cityside (let's talk! - contribs) 16:20, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Proposed merge with Denial and minimization in sex offendersEdit

Seems like undue emphasis on a particular element of the scholarship, that might be better suited as a subsection of sex offender- vergining on an essay when the main article doesn't include this topic. Sadads (talk) 17:05, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Article has since been deleted. Assuming the tag is no longer valid, I'll remove it. -- Chamith (talk) 04:31, 29 December 2015 (UTC)


Nambla residents seek Doongi block jurisdiction - Does anyone know what this means? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Veteranshelping94 (talkcontribs) 15:41, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 4 January 2017Edit

Jacob Wetterling: Kidnapped at age 11 from his Minnesota hometown in 1989 and has not been seen since.

You should add:

Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped and murdered Oktober 22, 1989. He was found September 1, 2016 and Danny Heinrich confessed to the murder and kidnapping. (talk) 12:11, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

done: thanks IdreamofJeanie (talk) 12:21, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

'When Junk Science About Sex Offenders Infects the Supreme Court' NYT linkEdit

Here's a link to a recent, 2017-09-12, New York Times op-ed piece, When Junk Science About Sex Offenders Infects the Supreme Court:

-- (talk) 03:24, 15 September 2017 (UTC)

Move of this articleEdit

Deisenbe, per WP:Requested moves, do not move articles like this without taking the matter through the WP:Requested moves process. Just where did you think the term sex offender was going to redirect to after you moved this article to "Sex offenders in the United States"? How are we to have sex-offender related articles without a Sex offender article? All of this is why I moved the article back. The way to tackle a Template:Globalize issue is to globalize the article, not move the article. And do read Template:Globalize. Furthermore, a Sex offenders in the United States article would not be much different than the Sex offender registries in the United States article once the former began to be expanded with more United States material. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 22:54, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

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Lede sectionEdit

The lede section of this article strikes me as non-neutral, because it emphasizes "failures" of sex-offender classifications. CapitalSasha ~ talk 07:32, 10 April 2018 (UTC)

Where? Here's the lede:

A sex offender (sexual offender, sex abuser, or sexual abuser) is a person who has committed a sex crime. What constitutes a sex crime differs by culture and legal jurisdiction. Most jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault, and sexual[clarification needed]. The majority of convicted sex offenders have convictions for crimes of a sexual nature; however, some sex offenders have simply violated a law contained in a sexual category. Some of the crimes which usually result in a mandatory sex-offender classification are: a second prostitution conviction, sending or receiving obscene content in the form of SMS text messages (sexting), and relationship between young adults and teenagers resulting in corruption of a minor (if the age between them is greater than 1,060 days). If any sexual contact was made by the adult to the minor, then child molestation has occurred. Other serious offenses are sexual assault, statutory rape, bestiality, child sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, incest, rape, and sexual imposition. However, particularly sex offender registration laws in the United States, may also classify less serious offenses as sexual offenses requiring sex offender registration. In some states public urination, having sex on a beach,[1] or unlawful imprisonment of a minor also constitute sexual offenses requiring registration.[2][3]

So what specifically's the problem here? I'm not saying there isn't a problem, just need more info. Herostratus (talk) 22:37, 18 April 2018 (UTC)

Sorry, I missed your response here. I think what I meant is that the emphasis on more minor crimes that can lead to sex-offender status in the lead is undue. CapitalSasha ~ talk 16:27, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

What is the neutrality dispute about?Edit

"The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page."

Would somebody please clarify which discussion is relevant? What issues are in dispute? deisenbe (talk) 11:21, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

See the section above this one. CapitalSasha ~ talk 16:28, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Return to "Sex offender" page.