Religious practices and spiritual beliefs of incarcerated sex offenders
The relationship between sexual pathology and religious ideation is a poorly understood yet frequently discussed issue in the literature on the psychological profile and treatment of sex offenders. In particular, incarcerated sex offenders have often been described as showing high utilization of religious services in prison and a preoccupation with spiritual conflict in their projective drawings and group treatment. This raises a question concerning the chronology of this relationship: Do sex offenders commit their offenses, come to prison, and then experience an increased need for spiritual and religious comfort or do distorted and excessive religious messages about sexuality in childhood lead to the creation of sexual pathology that results in incarceration? The purpose of this study is to examine the religious practices and spiritual beliefs of incarcerated sex offenders with specific emphasis on the way in which these issues have changed as a result of incarceration. A survey was constructed about religious practice and spiritual beliefs and administered to three groups of incarcerated inmates: two "types" of sex offenders and a control group of inmates who are not serving time for a sex offense. Results of the surveys were examined with particular focus on the way in which religious beliefs and spiritual attitudes of the sex offender's childhood are expressed in prison, the relationship between sexual pathology and religious ideation, and whether or not the groups of surveyed inmates differed in their approach to religion.
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Newlin, Michael H.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences;Prison psychology;Prisoners -- Religious life;Sex offenders -- Religious life
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Kuzniar, Kimberly, "Religious practices and spiritual beliefs of incarcerated sex offenders" (2001). HIM 1990-2015. 283.