A comparison of psychosocial and psychiatric features of mentally capable versus mentally incapable individuals referred by the courts for forensic psychiatric observation in relation to an alleged sexual offence

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dc.contributor.advisor Roos, J.L. (Johannes Louw)
dc.contributor.coadvisor Pretorius, H.W. (Herman Walter)
dc.contributor.postgraduate Sokudela, Funeka
dc.date.accessioned 2018-07-20T07:47:14Z
dc.date.available 2018-07-20T07:47:14Z
dc.date.created 2018-09-07
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.description Thesis (PhD)- University of Pretoria, 2018. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This is a mixed research methods study based at the forensic mental health unit of Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria, Gauteng Province, South Africa. The overarching aim of the study was to help add insights that could indirectly inform the wider discourse on sexual offending in society and to the body of knowledge on the prevention of sexual violence – including in forensic mental health. Qualitative and quantitative methods were applied through concurrent and transformative mixed research methods, premised on the philosophical stance of pragmatism. Records of individuals accused of sexual offences were explored and in-depth interviews with individuals accused of sexual offending and / or other types of charges referred for observation in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 51, 1977 (CPA 1977) were conducted. Psychiatric and psychosocial features and general perspectives on sexual offending were explored. Data collection was done from the end of 2014 to the end of 2015. In terms of findings, the record-based component of the study revealed that the majority of those referred were mentally capable, were known to the victims and lived in close proximity to them. Boys and girls, elderly women and socially isolated individuals seemed the most vulnerable irrespective of the mental capacity of the accused at the time of an alleged incident. In-depth interviews revealed scepticism, myths and new locally relevant ways of defining sexual violence. Socio-economic determinants of health seemed to render potential perpetrators of sexual offending vulnerable to violence and included adverse childhood events, poverty, unemployment and inequality. Experiences during and after arrest revealed possible human rights violations of alleged offenders by communities and law enforcement systems. Mental illness worsened stigma even in the hands of law enforcement systems. Central phenomena viz. ‘the perceived oppression of men’ and ‘vulnerability’ of potential victims and potential perpetrators emerged. A tentative theory of ‘vulnerability’, as an explanation and an approach to preventing sexual and other forms of violence in society, is proposed for both victims and potential perpetrators. Public health, socio-ecological frameworks of sexual violence prevention and other explanatory and prevention frameworks on sexual offending seem aligned to the study’s findings. Patriarchy, collective violence inherited from South Africa’s past, social cognitive theory on learning, trauma re-enactment, and other factors seem to play a role. In terms of mixed research contributions, a need for robust ways of studying diverse populations such as South Africa is emerging. Further, an initial stance of studying prevention of sexual violence from a victim-centred advocacy lens, has been transformed to yield accused individuals’ advocacy issues as well. Multi-system prevention approaches involving at-risk potential perpetrators, and not just victims, seem to be the next frontier for research and interventions. The study reveals insights that may contribute to the field of violence prevention. en_ZA
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en_ZA
dc.description.degree PhD en_ZA
dc.description.department Psychiatry en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Sokudela, F 2018, A comparison of psychosocial and psychiatric features of mentally capable versus mentally incapable individuals referred by the courts for forensic psychiatric observation in relation to an alleged sexual offence, PhD Thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/65810> en_ZA
dc.identifier.other S2018 en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/65810
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher University of Pretoria
dc.rights © 2018 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.
dc.subject Forensic psychiatry en_ZA
dc.subject Mental illness en_ZA
dc.subject Forensic mental health observation en_ZA
dc.subject Sexual violence en_ZA
dc.subject Transactional sex en_ZA
dc.subject Vulnerability theory en_ZA
dc.subject Oppression en_ZA
dc.subject Stigma en_ZA
dc.subject Human rights en_ZA
dc.subject Child sexual abuse en_ZA
dc.subject UCTD
dc.title A comparison of psychosocial and psychiatric features of mentally capable versus mentally incapable individuals referred by the courts for forensic psychiatric observation in relation to an alleged sexual offence en_ZA
dc.type Thesis en_ZA


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