Anthony Perillo of the Psychology Department is the lead author of a recently published study in the International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, titled “Understand Sexually Abusive Clergy as a Unique Offender Subgroup: Risk-based Comparisons Across the Course of Offending.” This paper examines data from over 4,000 sexually abusive clergy and community members.
Results suggest significant differences on most risk-relevant variables, particularly victim gender and use of force. Notably, the magnitude of all differences remained when matching abusers with similar victims (e.g., only comparing those with male child acquaintance victims). Findings suggest sexually abusive clergy differ from other sexually abusive persons in ways likely to be meaningful to their reoffending risk, which may lower the accuracy of current risk assessment instruments when used with clergy.
Department of Psychology