SEXUALITY OF CRIMINAL OFFENDERS: A CROSS-SECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF SEXUAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR, CRIMINAL HISTORY, AND MARRIAGE

Open Access
Author:
Parks, Michael Jeffrey
Graduate Program:
Crime, Law and Justice
Degree:
Master of Arts
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
July 21, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Derek Allen Kreager, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • crime
  • marriage
  • sex
Abstract:
Romantic relationships in adulthood are important phenomena in contemporary criminology. Criminological research has begun to emphasize the need for more information on the quality and nature of romantic relationships, and the processes that contribute to successful relationships; such as happy marriages. However, there is relatively little research on the processes involved in offenders’ intimate relationships. This study examines offenders’ intimate relationships by focusing on sexuality. Criminological theory and research often assume offenders have different sexual attitudes and behaviors compared to non-offenders and it is possible these differences contribute to the prevalence and quality of sexual relationships. In this project I derive hypotheses from classic criminological theory, and from family literature’s research on sexuality. Using data from the National Health and Social Life Survey, offenders were found to have different sexual attitudes and less satisfying sexual relationships compared to non-offenders. Offenders’ sexual attitudes also mediated much of the negative effect that a criminal history has on emotional satisfaction with sexual relationships. Marriage processes appear to be different for offenders compared to non-offenders. Implications for life-course criminology and future research are discussed.