A Brunswikian Evolutionary-Developmental theory of adolescent sex offending

Aurelio José Figueredo, Bruce D. Sales, Kevin P. Russell, Judith V. Becker, Meg Kaplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A Brunswikian Evolutionary-Developmental model was developed to relate the sex offending behavior of adolescents to other forms of social deviance, tracing a history of repeated frustration and failure in various competitive sexual strategies and escalation to more extreme means of obtaining sexual gratification. Four hypothetical constructs were proposed as stages in the development of sexual criminality: (1) Psycho-Social Deficiency (PSD); (2) Non-Criminal Sexuality (NCS); (3) Non-Sexual Criminality (NSC); and (4) Sexual Criminality (SC). Significant direct and indirect pathways led from PSD to SC through both NCS and NSC, each time facilitated by an interaction with PSD. Although the causal orders between stages remain equivocal, the current results are consistent with our theory and establish the heuristic value of our theoretical approach, providing empirical support for otherwise counterintuitive predictions. This interpretation also offers hope for focusing preventative intervention at one major root cause of this unfortunate cascade of consequences, Psycho-Social Deficiency. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-329
Number of pages21
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Law


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