Source: (1999) Arizona Law Review. 41: 485.

Historically, writes Lenore Simon, sex offenses have generated more attention and revulsion by the public and the legal system than other types of offense. The assumption has been that sex offenders are distinguishable from other offenders by their psycopathy or mental disorder. Additionally, the perspective has been that sex offenders target strangers. Indeed, Simon believes that the fear of the stranger fuels the majority of criminal legislation, including that pertaining to sex offenses. This is despite the fact that most sex offenses occur within families and among acquaintances. Hence, Simon examines the disjuncture between sex offender legislation aimed at stranger offenders and the empirical realities of sex crimes against children and women. The aim is to propose legal reforms that will lead to more therapeutic outcomes for victims.