THE OBJECT OF THE OFFENSE: AGE.

Since 12 of the present offense categories are based on age of the offender’s victim or partner, at first thought any further analysis of their ages may appear superfluous. However, when a closer inspection is made of the age distribution within the groups, particularly among children and minors, some variations worth noting can be found.

The four median ages show a range of 1.6 years, and while this is not a strong difference, it suggests that the pedophilic heterosexual offenses and aggressions are committed against somewhat younger children than are the incest and homosexual offenses. One finds that about twice as many heterosexual offenses and aggressions were committed against children under seven than were incest and homosexual offenses. On the other hand, it is also clear that pedophilic homosexual offenses show the strongest tendency to group in the oldest age-category—between nine and eleven years. This doubtless reflects a greater concern with sexual techniques in these offenses rather than with simple fondling, which is more typical of the heterosexual pedophilic offenses. The differences in sexual practices in the various offense categories are presented later in the chapter.

The youthfulness of some of these children is rather surprising, and an inspection shows six were age three, all girls; 17 girls and two boys were age four; and 35 girls and six boys were age five. With children of these ages being involved, there can be little surprise at the typical community response and distress, even though the physical contact may have been minimal.

The present data on the ages of persons subjected to exhibition are spotty, but in the sample of 288 total offenses there were two cases of children age three, one age four, one age five, and four age six, all females.

To the extent that data are available, 69 per cent of the heterosexual offenses vs. adults, 88 per cent of the incest offenses vs. adults, and 63 per cent of the homosexual offenses vs. adults involved objects from sixteen through twenty years of age. Here can be sensed the concern of the law-enforcement arm of society with persons it feels are still under a legal age, whether they are subjected to duress or not. That the incest cases vs. adult daughters are drawn from a group that is even more exclusively under twenty-one is due probably to other factors. Daughters over twenty-one who can be coerced into or are interested in an incestuous relationship are rare, and the incidence at even nineteen and twenty drops off rapidly. In the homosexual offenses vs. adults the large proportion of sixteen-year-old partners and the small proportions of older partners probably reflect society’s concern more than age preference.

From an over-all comparison of ages, the following conclusions seem apparent. Heterosexual pedophilic offenses are committed against somewhat younger persons than are aggressive, incestuous, or homosexual pedophilic acts. In the offenses vs. minors, nonforce heterosexual offenses tend to cluster at the top of the age-bracket 12-15, but this is less evident in aggression, incest, and homosexual offenses. Among the offenses vs. adults reporting bias tends to inflate the figures for the sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds in the heterosexual nonforce offenses, but this does not hold for the aggression offenses in which the distribution is even. The emphasis on youth in the homosexual offenses vs. adults is largely the result of selectivity in arresting, while in the incest cases youthfulness of partner is almost assured by the situation.

*369\161\2*

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