Tuesday, 24 February 2015 - 14:23
Young sex offenders must get psychiatric help: VU prof.
Young people who commit a sexual offense should receive a standard psychiatric examination, according to Theo Doreleijers, professor of child psychiatry of the VUmc. Doreleijers makes this plea following Cyril Boonmann's (of the VUmc) thesis about young sex offenders, Het Parool reports. Boonmann found that boys who abuse children have remarkably similar psychological problems. These children were often themselves abused in childhood and very often have signs of autism. Doreleijers and Boonmann divide young sex offenders into three groups: young people who abuse little kids, young people who assault and rape their peers and young people who participate in gang rape. According to Doreleijers, teenagers from the first group show prominent signs of autism. There are a few signs of autism in the second group and those in the third group are often diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder. "If you approach this kind of sex offender only judicially, lock them in juvenile prisons and do noting about the underlying disorder, you do not solve the problem", the professor said. He explains that these are teenagers with hormones raging through their bodies, but also with a serious contact disorder. "Often they are timid, shy children. If they sit in an environment where sexuality is not discussed, things can go really wrong." Inappropriate sexual behavior in children should be reported as soon as possible.