• Switzerland's news in English
 

Most young sex criminals don't re-offend: study

Published: 28 Mar 2012 10:34 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Mar 2012 09:43 GMT+02:00

The majority of young sex offenders do not go on to re-offend after sentencing, according to a study published in the Swiss Journal of Criminology.

The study examined the judgments against minors in Zurich from between 2000 and 2008. Only male perpetrators between the ages of 10 and 18 were considered, as the number of female perpetrators was too low to draw any statistical conclusions.

While research showed that 223 boys committed 1,393 assaults on 381 victims, 14 of the boys were responsible for almost half the total number of assaults, online news website 20 Minutes reported.

Although that would tend to indicate that these 14 boys had a higher likelihood of continuing this behaviour into the future, the study found that, rather than being motivated by pathological desires, the reasons for the attacks were more a question of adolescent behaviour.

Study co-author, Cornelia Bessler, believes that motivations for assault at these young ages are a result of the difficulties associated with going through puberty and of handling so many new emotions.

“The wide range of sexual images on the internet creates wrong role models and overwhelms young people,” Bessler told the news website.

A majority of the convicted young men were from the lower social classes, and almost half of the offenders had already been in trouble with the law. This led the study to conclude that the occasions of assault were not necessarily sexually motivated, but reflected a more general pattern of behaviour.

The authors found that violence was used infrequently, and that the victims tended to be either related or well known to the perpetrators.

Nearly 63 percent of offences had involved sexual acts, while the rest were made up of verbal sexual abuse or touching. Penetration or attempted penetration of the genital areas had been carried out in some 30 percent of cases.

Children who faced criminal proceedings tended to respond well, to the extent that most did not go on to re-offend.

Talking of the benefit of criminal proceedings, Bessler said: “If you set outside limits, young people to orient themselves better."

In the instances where children attacked unknown victims, the study showed that this behaviour was more indicative of a pathological problem, where re-offending would be more likely.

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Frog invasion forces halt to Zurich football game
Photo: FC Embrach

Frog invasion forces halt to Zurich football game

A referee was forced to stop an amateur football match between two senior clubs in Zurich after thousands of frogs invaded the field, according to media reports on Monday. READ  

Search continues in Chur River for missing boy
Photo: Saint Gallen cantonal police

Search continues in Chur River for missing boy

Police and fire department officers in the canton of Saint Gallen continued searching for the third day in a row on Monday for Semere, a two-year-old boy who went missing over the weekend. READ  

Mediterranean becoming a 'vast cemetery': UN

The Mediterranean is turning into a "vast cemetery" because of soaring migrant deaths, the UN human rights chief said in Geneva on Monday, as he strongly condemned "callous" EU migration policies. READ  

SBB looks abroad to hire needed train drivers
Photo: SBB

SBB looks abroad to hire needed train drivers

If you are a qualified train driver looking for work, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is hiring — and in a hurry. READ  

Anti-frontalier party loses support in Geneva
Eric Stauffer. Photo: Municipality of Onex

Anti-frontalier party loses support in Geneva

The Geneva Citizens’ Movement (MCG), a party that supports giving priority to Swiss citizens for jobs over foreign commuters crossing the border from France, was seen as the big loser in Sunday’s municipal elections in the canton of Geneva. READ  

Swiss 'second worst' for dumping electrical waste
Photo: AFP

Swiss 'second worst' for dumping electrical waste

Switzerland has the second worst record on a per capita basis for pitching electrical and electronic waste in rubbish dumps, a newly released report from the UN says. READ  

Wawrinka announces separation from wife
Wawrinka playing last week at Monte Carlo. Photo: AFP

Wawrinka announces separation from wife

Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka took to his Facebook page on Sunday to announce that he is separating from his wife Ilham after living with her for ten years. READ  

SwissPost launches tests for drone deliveries
'Quadcopter' drone tested by Germany's DHL. Photo: DHL

SwissPost launches tests for drone deliveries

Switzerland's postal service is to start testing deliveries by drone, a spokesman for Swiss Post said on Sunday. READ  

UN decries 'xenophobic' attacks in South Africa

The Geneva-based United Nations Refugee Agency on Friday expressed concern at the latest round of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, saying the violence had displaced 5,000 people. READ  

Nestlé posts better than expected sales growth
Photo: AFP

Nestlé posts better than expected sales growth

Swiss-based Nestlé, the world's biggest producer of packaged food, on Friday posted better-than-expected growth in the first quarter despite currency exchange rates that hampered sales. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
National
French president Hollande basks in good vibes from first Swiss visit
National
Segways win approval for operation on Swiss bicycle lanes
National
Joan Baez and Sting in lineup for this summer's Paléo music festival
National
Second CERN club skier dies from avalanche in Valais Alps
Sport
Lausanne and IOC celebrate a century of Olympism
National
Bern waters down criteria for beer that can be labelled ‘Swiss’
National
VIDEO: Swiss television satire clip ridicules Americans on ski slopes
National
Internet giant Google named most attractive employer in Switzerland
National
Immigration remains top election issue for Swiss voters: opinion poll
National
Environmental bureau ranks Zurich first among Europe's 'sootfree cities'
National
Zurich crane-climbing stunt by teenager flags 'roofer' concerns
Features
Mobility takes off as young urban Swiss catch the car-sharing bug
Education
THE ranks EPFL among seven 'fastest rising young universities'
Features
Six steps for expats to get along better with the Swiss
Business & Money
Ethical Coffee Company aims to beat Nespresso in home market
National
Use of temporary staffing continues to rise in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Need help with permits and registration in Switzerland?
National
Swiss foreign affairs minister touted as candidate for top UN job
National
One of Switzerland's most celebrated artists dies in Lucerne at 106
Business & Money
Swiss luxury brand Tag Heuer announces plans for smartwatch
National
Valais lights up 13 mountain peaks for 200th anniversary
Business & Money
Switzerland to avoid recession this year: Credit Suisse forecast
Business & Money
Europe's tallest hotel pitched for Swiss mountain village
National
Exlusive interview: surviving Swiss cousin remembers Anne Frank
National
New Credit Suisse chief executive 'offers hope for Africans'
Features
Top tips to help you find an apartment in Switzerland
Business & Money
American expat to make way for African as Credit Suisse CEO
National
Rising Swiss gender pay gap above European Union average
National
Political deal reached to enact Swiss holiday home restrictions
National
Optimism drives this year's Geneva International Motor show
National
Robust Swiss economy beats forecasts for 2014: government
Sport
Federer scores upset win against Djokovic for seventh Dubai title
National
Swiss train in collision near Zurich ignored stop signal: SBB
Technology
Switzerland best in world for per capita European patent filings
Education
New EPFL building to showcase art and science 'under one roof'
National
Same-sex marriage supported by most Swiss: opinion polls
National
New study finds Switzerland is world's best place to retire
National
Army official calls for Swiss women to undergo military training
National
New Swiss health campaign combats smoking as 'norm' for too many
Culture
Abba star Frida records song about first ascent of the Matterhorn
National
Swiss federal government unveils EU immigration quotas bill
Business & Money
HSBC Swiss private bank revelations 'tip of iceberg': whistleblower
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

4,570
jobs available