Perverts and Predators: The Making of Sexual Offending Laws (Issues in Crime and Justice)



Lisa A. Zilney is an assistant professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Montclair State University in New Jersey. 

Laura J. Zilney is a Sexologist with a private practice near Toronto, Ontario, Canada . 


Perverts and Predators elaborates on the numerous factors that have contributed to the passage of sexual offending laws in the United States. Authors Lisa and Laura Zilney weave together a story of how sex crimes laws were created by analyzing the changing roles of religion and the medical community, offering theoretical explanations for sex offending from the unique perspectives of criminology and sexology. Working under the central premise that sex and sexuality are positive and healthy and that the only way to deal with the issue of sexual offending is through sex positive education and counseling, Zilney and Zilney trace the history of sex offending laws and highlight cases in the media that contributed to increasingly punitive legislation. 

The authors provide information concerning the prevalence and incidence of sex offending, including victim and offender profiles and the frequency and types of offenses committed in order to give readers greater understanding of the problem. They discuss politics as a major player in the creation of a moral panic surrounding sex offenders and fueling public outrage to garner support for “get tough” laws. The management of sex offenders in society is discussed, as are consequences of the punitive approach for both the offender and the victim. Comparative case studies are used to explore what the United States could learn from other countries’ approaches to sexual offending.


The Zilneys present a story of how sex crime laws were created by analyzing the changing roles of religion and the medical community, and offer theoretical explanations for sex offending from the perspective of criminology and sexology.
— Law and Social Inquiry

In Perverts and Predators the authors provide a refreshing and innovative approach to the highly complex legal issues related to laws associated with sexual offending in the United States. They address a full range of issues concerning the topic and, based on cultural issues, legal decisions, and research data, shedding new light on matters such as the history, theories, legal issues, treatment outcomes, the victims, and cross cultural perspectives concerning sexual offenders and their behaviors. This book should be a must-read for all who have interest in the topic, especially therapists, clinical sexologists, criminologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, clergy, legislators, lawyers, and members of the judiciary at all levels.
— Howard J. Ruppel, Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality

Book Details

  • Series: Issues in Crime and Justice
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0742566234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0742566231


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