Episode 176: Inside the Minds of Sex Offenders

March 17, 2023 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 176: Inside the Minds of Sex Offenders

Why do people commit sex crimes? We often hear that they’re not really motivated by sex and, instead, that they’re about power and control. However, it’s more complex than that, and understanding that complexity is key to preventing these crimes from happening in the first place. So let’s talk about. This is the first episode in a two-part series on the psychology of sexual offending and what we can do to stop it. Today, we’ll focus on the why question. In the next show, we’ll focus on prevention.

I am joined by Dr. Michael Seto, a registered clinical and forensic psychologist and a research director with the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group. He is also a Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. Michael has published extensively on the subject of sexual offending, which includes the books Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children and Internet Sex Offending.

Some of the topics we discuss include:

  • How common is sexual offending?
  • What are some of the common challenges in studying sexual offending?
  • How does sexual violence relate to sex, power, and control?
  • What is the Motivation-Facilitation Model, and how can it help us to understand the psychology behind sex crimes?
  • How is sexual fantasy related to sexual offending?
  • How common is it for sex offenders to reoffend? And can we predict who is most likely to do so?

Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MCSeto and learn more about his research here.

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Credits: Precision Podcasting (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.


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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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