Welcome to CRJS 495: Sex Crimes, a three-credit, senior-level course offered by Athabasca University. The course covers a range of topics that are of mutual interest to professionals involved in the administration of justice, the enforcement or evaluation/rehabilitation sectors.

Sexual crimes, more than any other type, incite a reaction in the general population that includes anguish, fear and anger. The image of a violent pedophile is rarely without commentary from other community members. However, such strong sentiments are not accompanied by objective knowledge of this area of crime.

In this course, we explore a range of sex crimes to understand types of offenders and ways in which their behaviours can be modified. Students involved practically in the justice system will find the course content to be of specific relevance. Additionally, it will be of interest to those studying abnormal behaviour and criminology.


Course Materials

The course package you received by mail should contain a textbook:

Holmes, S. T., & Holmes, R. M. (2009). Sex crimes: Patterns and behaviors (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

What to do if something is missing

If any of the above items are missing from your course package, please contact Course Materials at Athabasca University as soon as possible. Use Athabasca University’s toll-free number, 1-800-788-9041, choose menu option 3, and extension 6366. If you live outside Canada or the United States, or if you prefer not to use the automated system, you may send an email message to

Course Manual

This Course Manual provides essential information about the course design, the course materials, the assignments, and the process you should follow to complete the course. Please read it through before beginning your studies. Pay particular attention to the suggested study schedule, as it indicates what you should be working on each week to complete the course within your six-month course contract period. If you have any questions about the course itself, or how to proceed with your studies, please contact your course tutor or, if unavailable, your course coordinator.

Study Guide

The Study Guide takes you through the seven units of the course. Each unit includes an overview, reading assignments, learning objectives, key terms and concepts, and two quizzes.

Digital Reading Room (DRR)

Digital Reading Room contains the non-textbook readings for the course. You will be directed to the required readings at the appropriate points in the Study Guide.



Course Overview

CRJS 495 follows the chronology of the textbook and is divided into seven units, as follows:

Unit 1—Sex Behaviours, Crimes and Theories of Sexual Deviance (Chapters 1 and 2)
Unit 2—Sex in History and Nuisance Sex Behaviours (Chapters 3 and 4)
Unit 3—Incest and Pedophilia (Chapters 5 and 6)
Unit 4—Pornography (Chapters 7 and 8)
Unit 5—Sex, the Internet and Dangerous Sex Crimes (Chapters 10 and 11)
Unit 6—Sexually Motivated Homicides and Sexual Assault (Chapters 11 and 12)
Unit 7—Helping Victims and Rehabilitating Offenders (Chapters 13 and 14)


Library Resource Materials

Most of the following CRJS 495 resources are available in Athabasca University’s library.

Barbaree, H. E. & Marshall, W. L. (Eds.). (2006). The juvenile sex offender (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.

Boer, D. P., Hart, S.D., Kropp, P.R., & Webster, C.D. (1997) Manual for the sexual violence risk – 20: Professional guidelines for assessing risk of sexual violence. Vancouver, BC: The Institute against Family Violence.

Hanson, R. K., et al. (2009). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of treatment for sexual offenders: Risk, need, and responsivity. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

Hanson, R. K., & Morton-Bourgon, K. (2004). Predictors of sexual recidivism: An updated meta-analysis. Ottawa: Department of the Solicitor General of Canada.

Hickey, E. W. (Ed.) (2006). Sex crimes and paraphilia. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Laws, D. R., & O’Donohue, W. T. (Eds.) (2008). Sexual deviance: Theory, assessment and treatment. New York: Guilford Press.

Marshall, W. L., Fernandez, Y. M., Marshall, L. E., & Serran, G. A. (Eds.). (2006). Sexual offender treatment: Controversial issues. Etobicoke, ON: Wiley.

Patrick, C. J. (Ed.). (2007). Handbook of psychopathy. New York: Guilford Press.

Seto, M. C. (2008). Pedophilia and sexual offending against children: Theory, assessment, and intervention. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Terry, K. J. (2006). Sexual offenses and offenders: Theory, practice, and policy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.