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Does 'sex offender' mean 'paedophile', or are there other kinds?

(14 Posts)
BelfastBloke Wed 15-Jun-11 16:29:06

The terms seem to be used interchangeably on MN, I think.

Are rapists, when released from prison, on the sex offenders' register?

Are there different technical/legal terms for people who molest pre- and post-pubescent children?

GollyHolightly Wed 15-Jun-11 16:32:23

There are all kinds of sex offenders, from paedophiles to rapists, to the 15yr old boy who had sex with his 14yr old girlfriend.

Sex offender and paedophile are not interchangeable terms as far as I'm concerned.

What Golly said.

noir Wed 15-Jun-11 16:38:19

Paedophile is not a legal term, however we all know it means the person has a sexual interest in children.

A sex offender is a generic term which includes adults who abuse children or other adults. The sex offenders register also includes children who abuse other children.

In a professional/ legal sense we used to refer to sexual abusers who target children as Schedule One offenders, however we're moving away from this, it can be a confusing phrase as it is not exclusive to sexual offences and can include other offences against children such as assault.

Are you keeping up?!

meditrina Wed 15-Jun-11 16:39:08

Here is a link to the Sexual Offences Act 2003. I think you could call the perpetrators of any of these sexual offenders. There is more than rape and child-related offences.

deemented Wed 15-Jun-11 16:43:47

Noir Can i just ask - are all schedule one offenders those that have targeted children specificly? Would someone who had a conviction for gross indecency be a section one offender?

deemented Wed 15-Jun-11 16:46:39

*Sorry, i meant a shedule one offender.

BelfastBloke Wed 15-Jun-11 17:39:09

So the people who molest pre-pubescent children are paedophiles, but that is not a legal term?

What about adult offences against post-pubescent children - like a teacher and a fifth-former - is there a different term for that?

What's a pederast?

LaurieFairyCake Wed 15-Jun-11 17:42:18

People who have been convicted of sexual offences against children may or may not suffer from paedophilia - some people who suffer from paedophilia may not act on their inclinations.

Calling some a paedophile is a ridiculous term of abuse, it's a descriptive term.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 15-Jun-11 17:46:03

There are many offenders who have been convicted of sexual offences against children who don't have paedophilia - they may be sociopathic - so they don't necessarily derive sexual gratification from it (and may have other sexual relationships with adults) but they want to hurt or exploit children for whatever reason.

noir Wed 15-Jun-11 19:38:44

Hi Deemented. My understanding is that a schedule one offender could include indecency providing it was against a child. I wonder to what degree the offender has to 'target' a child in such a case as I once heard of a young man who was a youth worker losing his job after being caught having a pee in the street, it showed up on the CRB as a sched 1 despite there being no particular children involved.

A sched 1 could also include someone who knocks down a child in their car. Its a pretty broad church hence it not being very popular anymore, its not helpful in keeping children safe. Instead of asking is this person a sched 1 offender its more appropriate to ask, is this person known to be a risk to children? And if so talking about specific offences.

cattj Tue 12-Jul-11 11:58:31

When a UK government minister recently made a comment about "more serious forms of rape" the press went to town on it.

However, this question hints at that issue.

In that case he was talking about "dragged into the bushes late at night by a stranger" type of rape as being "more serious" than "15 year old boy and consenting 14 year old girl" type of rape. Both are rape.

However, no-one listened to what was actually said, especially the Daily Fail.

SardineQueen Tue 12-Jul-11 12:14:04

cattj you are wrong.

"15 year old boy and consenting 14 year old girl" type of rape"

This offence is not called rape, in the UK. Kenneth Clarke was talking out of his arse. I listened to, and saw, the various interviews that he gave.

this thread contains more detail if you are interested.

SardineQueen Tue 12-Jul-11 12:17:58

This sums up the problems with mr clarke's comments:

"BBC contains more of what he said and it is staggering

"Again pressed on the fact rapists could be out in 15 months: "I must stop you repeating this total nonsense that - assuming you and I are talking about rape in the ordinary conversational sense, some man has forcefully with a bit of violence..."

When BBC interviewer Victoria Derbyshire interrupted to say "Rape is rape, with respect" Mr Clarke replied: "No it's not, if an 18-year-old has sex with a 15 year old and she's perfectly willing, that is rape. Because she is under age, she can't consent... What you and I are talking about is we are talking about a man forcibly having sex with a woman and she doesn't want to - a serious crime."

The context of this was that Mr Clarke was saying that the 5yo average tariff was skewed. With people who had committed a "proper rape" getting much longer, and the average was watered down by lots of people getting shorter terms for "not really rape rape".

What is he on? The figures I am sure will show that the men who are in prison for rape are there for crimes that even mr clarke would recognise as rape. The idea that droves of 18 yo are being sent to prison for consensual sex with 15yo and this is skewing the stats is just so incredible I can't believe he said it."

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