Viewing time and choice reaction time : exploring its utility with child sex offenders in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
This study explores the utility of Viewing Time and Choice Reaction Time in the assessment of child sex offenders in New Zealand. The assessment of sexual interest remains a challenge for clinicians working with child sex offenders. Child sex offenders are less likely to disclose sexual interest towards children for fear of potential repercussions and these issues become evident when offenders attend treatment for their offending. The efficacy of treatment depends upon having reliable information on the individual‟s sexual interest. The Plethysmograph assessment has been the most widely used assessment of sexual arousal, but research into the use of alternative assessments that are less intrusive is needed. Participants in this study were 52 child sex offenders who were attending treatment at Te Piriti Special Treatment Unit. Participants were assessed on two occasions with the VT and CRT assessments while they were attending the preparatory stages of the programme. Results indicates that response times are not reliable over time and that these assessments cannot identify child sex offenders according to their level of sexual deviance as determined by the STABLE-2007, or the gender and age of the victims they offended against. The findings, possible explanations, and limitations for this study are discussed and recommendations are given for future research.