Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

January 8, 2010

THESIS: Lave, Tamara R. Constructing and Controlling the Sexually Violent Predator: An American Obsession.

Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 2009, 288pp.

Abstract: "My dissertation examines the sexually violent predator laws. These laws allow the state to commit individuals to a locked mental hospital for the rest of their lives after they have completed their prison sentence. I question the underlying justifications for the laws as well as whether they have impacted the rate of sexual homicide and/or forcible rape. I find that many of the underlying justifications are incorrect and that the laws have had no impact on these crimes.
In conducting my analysis, I use data from a variety of legal, historical, and other sources. These include: the Supplementary Homicide Reports to analyze trends in sex related homicides from 1976-2006 as well as characteristics about the offender, the victim, and the crime; the National Crime Victimization Survey to paint a picture of the rape victim as compared with the rape homicide victim, and the Uniform Crime Reports to compare offenders who rape with offenders who rape and kill. I also gather my own data from states with SVP laws and then use it to analyze demographics about SVP's including age at admission and current age.
This dissertation also questions the assumption that the state can accurately identify those who will re-offend. I show that the methods used to predict future dangerousness are not very accurate and that the best instruments currently in use commit many offenders who would not re-offend for every one who would.
Finally, this dissertation tests whether the laws have had any measurable impact on the rate of sexual homicide and/or forcible rape. I use a Difference in Difference regression to estimate this impact and an event study analysis to display the post SVP passage effects on the incidence of both crimes. My results suggest that the SVP laws have had no statistically significant impact on the incidence of either crime. As part of this analysis, I look at the age frequency distribution of sex killers in SVP states pre and post passage in an attempt to find more sensitive indicators of SVP prevention. Once again, I find no effect."

Full Text: ProQuest. [Limited preview.]