All sex offenders deny their offences, or minimize the seriousness of them or their consequences on the victims. Rarely they are ready to accept responsibility for the offence. However, the role of denial upon sexual recidivism is controversial. Within the criminal justice system and correctional settings, denial is judged as a factor that exacerbates the risk of reoffending. This assumption becomes dubious when psycho-criminological and clinical evidence shows that denial is not per se a criminogenic need; it is a responsivity need and is only indirectly associated with sexual recidivism. Interventions designed to evaluate rather than reject denial could be more effective because they can provide specific knowledge to maximize treatment effectiveness. Perhaps society will benefit more from offenders who stop abusing victims, even if the process of admitting and taking responsibility for their offences will only follow behavioural change, rather than anticipating it.
Keywords: Sex offending, Denial, Criminogenic needs, Responsivity needs, Recidivism, Treatment.