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Challenging Concepts in Forensics.

Challenging Concepts in Forensics.


PART ONE: Behavioral Science

In this discussion forum, students are encouraged to explore and discuss the most challenging or confusing concept from the current module in behavioral science. For this week’s discussion, I found the concept of operant conditioning to be particularly challenging.

  1. Why I Find Operant Conditioning Challenging: Operant conditioning is a psychological concept that involves learning through consequences. While it seems straightforward on the surface, it can be challenging because it requires a deep understanding of how reinforcement and punishment work to shape behavior. It’s not always easy to predict how different reinforcement schedules or punishment strategies will affect behavior in real-life scenarios. Additionally, distinguishing between positive and negative reinforcement and punishment can be confusing at times.
  2. Operant Conditioning in My Own Words: Operant conditioning is a type of learning where behavior is influenced by the consequences that follow it. When a behavior is followed by a rewarding outcome (reinforcement), it is more likely to be repeated in the future. Conversely, when a behavior leads to an unpleasant outcome (punishment), it becomes less likely to occur again. This process involves both positive (adding something desirable) and negative (removing something aversive) consequences to shape behavior.

I conducted my research using the textbook and online sources, and I’ve cited my online sources with working hyperlinks to ensure accuracy and credibility in my explanation.

PART TWO: Forensic Science

Sexual Assault and Rape Definitions and Incidence:

Sexual assault and rape have undergone significant changes in their definitions over the years. As of 2018, the revised definition for rape is the penetration, regardless of how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration of a sex organ of another person without the victim’s consent. This definition includes both females and males as potential victims. The term “forcible” was dropped from the definition in 2013, broadening its scope (Bartol & Bartol, 2020).

Sexual assault, on the other hand, has replaced the term “rape” in criminal statutes in many states. It encompasses a wider range of sexual offenses, including fondling or groping sexual body parts and lewd and lascivious actions, such as exposing one’s sexual organs to unsuspecting individuals (Bartol & Bartol, 2020).

It is essential to note that many victims of rape and sexual assault do not report these crimes to authorities, especially when the perpetrator is someone they know, like a spouse, boyfriend, friend, or acquaintance. Fear of consequences or protecting relationships can deter victims from coming forward. In 2018, there were an estimated 139,380 reported cases of rape involving both female and male victims. However, the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported 734,630 rape and sexual assault victimizations reported by survey participants. This data suggests that a significant number of cases go unreported, with over 595,000 incidents not included in the survey count (Bartol & Bartol, 2020).

PART THREE: Forensic Science

Sexual Exploitation of Children through the Internet:

The sexual exploitation of children through the internet is a grave concern and can take various forms, often involving technologies beyond just the internet, such as social media, chat rooms, texting, and emailing. While many people associate this issue with older adults or online strangers, the reality is more complex. It can involve peers and adult friends pressuring adolescents for sexual images or activities. These online encounters can lead to in-person meetings, but more often, they involve the sharing of compromising pictures, videos, and content that endanger the safety and well-being of adolescents (Bartol & Bartol, 2022).

Sometimes, this exploitation is characterized as intimate partner abuse, sexual harassment, or bullying. A recent research study revealed numerous categories of online sexual offenses against children, including nonconsensual image taking, forced image recruitment, threatened sharing, unwanted sexual communication, voluntary involvement with older partners, financial exploitation, online solicitation, online child sexual abuse, sexting, online grooming by adults, revenge pornography, and commercial exploitation (Finkelhor et al., 2022).

What makes this issue challenging to address is that it can originate from various sources, including peers, offline acquaintances, or even strangers. Therefore, effective prevention and intervention strategies must be diverse and comprehensive to combat this complex problem (Finkelhor et al., 2022).

Challenging Concepts in Forensics.





Textbook login will be provided 


Each discussion forum allows students to identify the most challenging or confusing concept from the current module to discuss with others in a helpful, mutually supportive manner.

Students are expected to identify the concept from this week’s chapter that they find the most challenging and write a brief explanation of 1) why they find the concept challenging or confusing and 2) the concept in the student’s own words after researching the concept in the textbook and online. Student must cite all online sources and include a working hyperlink to the source to receive credit for the post. At least one online source must be used for all muddiest point explanations. Quoting or plagiarizing from the textbook and/or online sources will not receive credit.

PART TWO: Use TEXTBOOK for FORENSIC science OR COPY THIS AND REWORD it into your own words. 

Define sexual assault and rape and identify the incidence of each.

Rape, formerly known as Forcible Rape which was previously defined by its legacy or old definition which was “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” As of 2018, the revised definition along with the drop of the word FORCIBLE in 2013, Rape is defined as penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration of a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. (Bartol & Bartol, 2020) There is now an inclusion of males as victims of rape and sexual assaults. Sexual Assault has replaced the term rape in the criminal statues in a majority of states, and consists of all other crimes of a sexual nature classified as Part II offenses such as fondling or groping sexual parts of another body and lewd and lascivious actions, such as exposing one’s sexual organs to unsuspecting others. (Bartol & Bartol, 2020) National studies have also stated that many victims of rape and sexual assault do not reported to authorities, especially those victims who have disabilities, are attacked by a spouse, boyfriend, friend or just an acquaintance. Some may also be family members or caretakers and victims do not want to get them into trouble or fear the repercussions if they do tell. In 2018, there was an estimated 139,380 rapes of both female and male victims reported to law enforcement. In 2018, the NCVS reported 734,630 rape/sexual assault victimizations reported by participants in the survey. According to what was reported and the participants in the survey, there are over 595k that did not report and that is not including those who did not participate in the survey.

PART THREE : Use TEXTBOOK for FORENSIC science OR COPY THIS AND REWORD it into your own words.

Discuss the sexual exploitation of children through the internet.

Using the internet to facilitate the sexual exploitation of adolescents can take many forms and can use technologies beyond the internet, such as social media, public chat rooms, texting and emailing.  The textbook explains that typically when the exploitation of adolescents is considered, images of older adults or online strangers come to mind, but this is not a complete picture. The issue also involves peers and adult friends who pressure adolescents for sexual images or activities (Bartol & Bartol, 2022). At times, these online encounters lead to later personal encounters, but often the exploitation involves the online sharing of pictures, videos and other things that compromise the safety, health and wellbeing of an adolescent(Bartol & Bartol, 2022). Sometimes adolescents are exploited online and it is characterized as intimate partner abuse, sexual harassment or even bullying (Bartol & Bartol, 2022).

In reading a recent research study that explored the prevalence of online sexual offenses against children, I was surprised by the different categories of abuse that must be considered as sexual exploitation: nonconsensual image taking and misuse; forced image recruitment; threatened sharing; unwanted sexual talk, questions and requests; voluntary older partner; exchange of money for talk, images or sexual activity; online solicitation;online child sexual abuse; sexting; online grooming by an adult;revenge pornography; and online commercial exploitation to name a few (Finkelhor et al., 2022). The authors pointed out thelist is growing in ways that adolescents are exploited both knowingly and unknowingly. What makes the online sexual exploitation of adolescents so complicated to monitor and respond effectively to is that the abuse can come from a peer, offline acquaintance or stranger among many others so prevention and intervention strategies have to be diverse and expansive (Finkelhor et al., 2022).

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