White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

"My history is not my destiny": Exploring Desistance in Adult Male Child Sex Offenders.

Hulley, Joanne L (2016) "My history is not my destiny": Exploring Desistance in Adult Male Child Sex Offenders. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales.

Download (2555Kb) | Preview


Child sexual abuse has become the subject of heightened public interest in recent years, with individuals committing such offences typically regarded as irredeemable. Public vilification of this offender type does little to assist their community integration and has the potential to result in exclusion and social isolation, known risk factors for sexual reoffending. Whilst research on desistance from non-sexual offending has grown exponentially over previous decades, a focus on desistance from sexual offending has been largely neglected until recent years, which have witnessed the publication of a small number of qualitative studies. This thesis empirically explores the experiences of 15 men convicted of sexual offences involving children, and self-reporting desistance from further sexual offending. The men had served prison sentences and had since been released into the community for various periods. Obtaining access to a suitable sample proved to be a difficult and protracted process which resulted in the placement of an advertisement seeking volunteers. Narrative interviews generated a large amount of data which was subjected to thematic analysis. This revealed the three themes of formal social control, informal social control, and internal (re)sources of control. The use of stigma management techniques was significant, employed by the majority of respondents to enable a positive sense of self and allow for identity reconstruction. The findings also suggest two types of desistance from sexual offending within this sample - formal and substantive. The latter, a protracted process, involved identity change along a continuum, resulting from a continued interaction with the social and structural supports attained by respondents. In contrast, formal desistance involved no identifiable process. These findings are argued to make a significant contribution to the largely neglected empirical and theoretical work exploring desistance from sexual offending, and hold implications for treatment and management of convicted sexual offenders with child victims.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Law (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.702633
Depositing User: Ms Joanne L Hulley
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2017 11:55
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:34
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15914

You do not need to contact us to get a copy of this thesis. Please use the 'Download' link(s) above to get a copy.
You can contact us about this thesis. If you need to make a general enquiry, please see the Contact us page.

Actions (repository staff only: login required)