IPT Book Reviews

Title:

Unspeakable Acts: Why Men Sexually Abuse Children  Positive Review

Author: Douglas W. Pryor
Publisher: New York University Press, 1996

New York University Press
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
(800) 996-6987
$26.95 (c)

This 351-page book reports on a research project on 30 convicted sex offenders; the sample was provided by four clinicians. The author, who acknowledges our social and moral distaste for studying this population, attempts to learn why men sexually abuse children. On the basis of in-depth interviews, Pryor analyzes offender style and concludes that sex offender dynamics are quite varied. The book closes with a table summarizing recent research and a series of appendices on interview questions, consent forms, and statistical data. Chapters have footnotes and Pryor closes with a set of suggested readings and a short index. Despite several shortcomings (i.e., small sample size, use of only official data, confusion over definitions, ignoring the issue of plea bargained cases), the book provides useful information about the dynamics of child sexual abusers and is recommended.

Reviewed by LeRoy G. Schultz, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, West Virginia University.

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