War On…The Fallout of Declaring War on Social Issues: Symposium Article: The Ticking Sex-Offender Bomb
29 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2013
Date Written: 2012
Much like the ticking-time-bomb scenario in the public debate about torture, the belief that sex offenders generally, and child molesters specifically, will inevitably commit new offenses has come to effectively frame societal understanding. The concept of the sex offender who is a ticking time bomb waiting to molest more children has served as the basis for sex-offender registration, residency restrictions, community notification, and civil commitment. Relying on strongly held myths about stranger danger, sex-offender recidivism, and sex-offender homogeneity, the criminal war against sex offenders shows little sign of abating. This Symposium Article explores the rhetoric and reality of the War on Sex Offenders and how the ticking-time-bomb metaphor reshaped the debates and policies surrounding sexual violence.
Keywords: Sex Offender, Torture, Terrorism, Rhetoric, Registration, Residency Requirements, Civil Commitment, Criminal War
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