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Female perpetrators of child sexual abuse: A review of the clinical and empirical literature

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Abstract

Although women have long been viewed as offenders in cases of physical child abuse, it is only recently that clinicians and researchers have begun to seriously consider the problem of female-perpetrated sexual abuse of children. The purpose of the present paper is to review existing clinical and empirical literature on female sex offenders, in order to develop a summary profile of female perpetrators that may be of value to professionals involved in the assessment and treatment process.

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... Another highly documented finding in the female sex offender literature is the lack of discrimination when it comes to victim gender, with numerous studies suggesting that female sex offenders are far less discriminant about victim gender compared to male sex offenders who tend to have an exclusive victim gender preference, typically female [27,[41][42][43]. Referring to these same studies, some suggested their female sexual offender samples may have a slight inclination toward male victims; however, others noted that female sex offenders in their sample were more likely to have male victims [27,[41][42][43]. ...
... Another highly documented finding in the female sex offender literature is the lack of discrimination when it comes to victim gender, with numerous studies suggesting that female sex offenders are far less discriminant about victim gender compared to male sex offenders who tend to have an exclusive victim gender preference, typically female [27,[41][42][43]. Referring to these same studies, some suggested their female sexual offender samples may have a slight inclination toward male victims; however, others noted that female sex offenders in their sample were more likely to have male victims [27,[41][42][43]. Together, these studies still found that most female sexual offenders in their samples had both male and female victims [27,[41][42][43]. ...
... Referring to these same studies, some suggested their female sexual offender samples may have a slight inclination toward male victims; however, others noted that female sex offenders in their sample were more likely to have male victims [27,[41][42][43]. Together, these studies still found that most female sexual offenders in their samples had both male and female victims [27,[41][42][43]. ...
Chapter
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In the United States criminal justice system, female sexual offenders are among the most unrepresented groups of individuals, and they have evaded detection and/or prosecution for many reasons. This chapter explores the characteristics and patterns of female sexual offenders based on the collection of available literature. We will discuss how personal trauma histories, mental health, substance abuse, and motivations of female sexual offenders differ from their male counterparts. Additionally, we cover how social perception presents female sexual offenders in a light that adversely impacts their interactions with the social systems and explore empirically validated myths, risks, and interventions for this population.
... Many of the perpetrators were identified to be isolated and socially withdrawn. Some were found to be suffering from problems associated with mental health (Grayston & De Luca, 1999). ...
... An intriguable finding by Rudin, Zalewski and Bodmer-Turner (1995) designated that, both female and male perpetrators have more proneness in abusing girls than boys. Higher tendency of the female offenders to abuse a female child has been noted by Grayston and De Luca (1999) also. Dysfunctional background of the family and experience of physical, emotional and sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence or adulthood, lower socioeconomic status, poorly paid employment and feminine stereotyped occupational role are some of the common familial characteristics shared by female perpetrators. ...
... Also, there are possibilities of having deviant arousal patterns, among some female sexual offenders, that would make them behave abusively from which some sexual gratification may be derived. Such abusive tendencies may also be the result of imprecise insights of motherly fondness and unfulfilled emotional needs (Grayston and De Luca, 1999). ...
Article
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An analytical review of the studies related to the perpetrators of child abuse revealed that each minimal unit of human being has the potential to perpetrate. However, this potential need not be activated in the individuals who have good value strengths. Identification of the factors that would make an individual either stronger or vulnerable is yet to be revealed. However, this cannot be evaluated in a dichotomous manner, because it is multidimensional. Notably, the vulnerable individuals are a risk of the society, for it may generate a victim at any instant. There is a gap in the current literature regarding the methods that could be introduced to reduce the vulnerability to perpetrate. To fill this gap, first thing that has to be done is to have a shift in focus. Current literature is giving more focus on strengthening the potential victims. Instead, methods to intensify the value strengths of the perpetrators are to be focused here after. A model that may become the base of such an approach is designed and presented on the basis of Values in Action classification.
... This contrasts the findings by Greenfeld and Snell (1999) that state that 65% of female prisoners in United States prison institutions have previously committed crimes [6]. The findings on different criminal motives for different types of crime are consistent with past studies on criminals that found every crime committed had different motives [7][8][9][10][11][12]. ...
... His study that centred on male prisoners showed similar result that there was a significant relationship between some personality traits and aggressive behaviour within those who committed crimes. Cognitive distortion aspect of the findings are in parallel with past studies that have found that female criminals had high level of cognitive distortion [7,21]. However, past studies only focused on sexual female criminals. ...
... This contrasts the findings by Greenfeld and Snell (1999) that state that 65% of female prisoners in United States prison institutions have previously committed crimes [6]. The findings on different criminal motives for different types of crime are consistent with past studies on criminals that found every crime committed had different motives [7][8][9][10][11][12]. ...
... His study that centred on male prisoners showed similar result that there was a significant relationship between some personality traits and aggressive behaviour within those who committed crimes. Cognitive distortion aspect of the findings are in parallel with past studies that have found that female criminals had high level of cognitive distortion [7,21]. However, past studies only focused on sexual female criminals. ...
Article
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This study aims to explore the profiles of Malaysian female prisoners. Using a qualitative method through face-to-face interviews, the study was conducted in two prisons among 21 female prisoners who committed various types of crimes. The interview protocol contains open-ended questions and data obtained was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The crime profiles showed that the informants committed various types of criminal offenses for the first time with different criminal motives in selected closed locations. They used various objects as weapons and committed non-individual crimes. Their psycho-criminogenic profiles demonstrated that negative personality traits, high level of stress, aggression and cognitive distortion as psychological factors for committing crimes.
... Characteristics of FSOs include female specific offense supportive cognitions, early victimization, and periods of severe sexual, violent, and emotional abuse . During adulthood, FSOs present with sexual and/or physical victimization (Gannon, Rose, & Ward, 2008;Turner, Miller & Henderson, 2008;Wijkman, Bijleveld, & Hendriks, 2010), personality disorder, mental illness, and drug and alcohol use (Miller, Turner, & Henderson, 2009;Muskens et al., 2011;Turner et al., 2008;Strickland, 2008;Wijkman et al., 2010), relationship problems, intimacy deficits, and sexual abuse supportive cognitions (Gannon et al., 2008;Grayston & De Luca, 1999;Nathan & Ward, 2002). Notably, several, if not all of these factors represent known treatment targets for MSOs. ...
... Previous research has highlighted the importance of interpersonal difficulties and selfregulatory deficits for both female (Gannon et al., 2008;Grayston & De Luca, 1999;Nathan & Ward, 2002), and male offenders (Gillespie, Mitchell, Fisher, & Beech, 2012;Ward & Beech, 2006). The results reported here extend upon these findings and point toward differences in the self-regulatory styles of FSOs and MSOs. ...
Article
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Studies have highlighted differences in the victim choice, offender, and offense characteristics of female and male sexual offenders. However, little is known about how solo and co-offending females differ from solo male sexual offenders. We compared the characteristics of 20 solo and 20 co-offending females (co-offended with a male and/or female accomplice), and 40 male sexual offenders against children. We found that solo female offenders showed the most evidence of personal problems, including depression and sexual dissatisfaction. Compared with male offenders, female co-offenders showed poorer self-management, but better sexual self-regulation. Male offenders had a greater history of offending and showed more evidence of sexual abuse supportive cognitions relative to both solo and co-offending females. These results are consistent with the need for a gender-specific approach to working with sexual offenders and may have implications for understanding the often complex treatment needs of these clients.
... There emerged a narrative that most women were coerced into offending by males, which feeds into the notion that sexual offending is a male phenomenon. Grayston and De Luca (1999) found that female sex offenders are likely to co-offend, a finding contradicted by Johansson-Love and Fremouw (2006) who found that less than a third of their sample (n=13) had a co-defendant. Nathan and found that while most of the female sex offenders in their sample were convicted with a codefendant, only a minority reported being coerced to offend, highlighting the importance of gathering the characteristics and motives of the offenders and offences in order to understand nuances. ...
... Previous research has highlighted the importance of interpersonal difficulties and emotion-regulation difficulties for females (Gannon et al., 2008;Grayston & De Luca, 1999), and these difficulties appeared prevalent for interviewees. Regina, Melanie and Alesha engaged in selfharm in the form of cutting. ...
Article
Female perpetrated sexual abuse has historically been a neglected area of research. Encouragement for more dedicated research has followed the recognition that females who display this behaviour have often experienced adversities in their early life. The aim of this thesis is to further professional understanding of the aetiology of sexual abuse among females. The first chapter provides an introduction to the topic, and the justification and aims of the thesis. The following chapter is a systematic review of the prevalence of adverse childhood experiences among children and adolescents who display harmful sexual behaviour. The third chapter explores the characteristics and motivations of females who sexually abuse employing a mixed methods research design, using data pertaining to female children and adolescents in the community and adults in prison. The fourth chapter is a case study of an adult female sex offender, providing an account, rich in detail, of the cycle of victim to offender. The following chapter is a critique of the adverse childhood experiences scale, with the benefits and limitations of this measure discussed. This research develops and extends professional knowledge of sexual aggression, assessment and treatment methods and seeks to improve policy and practice. Insecure attachments resulting from adverse childhood experiences is a theme which runs throughout all chapters, and the clinical utility of using attachment theory to understand the motivations for sexually abusive behaviour is highlighted.
... En el perfil básico de los/as ofensores/as sexuales realizado por Malavé‐Rexach & Fernández (2002), la mayoría de estos, están dotados de buen juicio y su nivel de inteligencia es promedio o sobre promedio. Grayston & De Luca (1999), exponen que habría más niños que niñas como víctimas de las mujeres agresoras, y que existen dos tipos de agresoras: la pasiva, que observa el acto de abuso pero no interviene y la activa, que participa directamente en los abusos. González, Martínez, Leyton & Bardi (2004: 10), indican que a estas mujeres " se les ha descrito como solas, con problemas emocionales y, con muy baja frecuencia, psicóticas. ...
... La otra participante (P10) se categorizó en la tipología general/activa. Estas sub‐ tipologías generales y específicas se desprenden de la manera en que ellas narraron el acto y la relación percibida con la víctima; conforme a la revisión de literatura (Grayston & De Luca, 1999; Mathews, Matthews, & Speltz, 1989). 4. La presencia de historial de abuso sexual comúnmente incestuoso descrito para la sub‐tipología 'Predispuesta/inter‐generacional', no debiera ser un criterio exclusivo para clasificar un diagnóstico parafílico. ...
Article
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Por años, las personas han buscado satisfacer sus necesidades sexuales de innumerables formas. En el espectro de las posibles conductas sexuales humanas se encuentran algunas que no responden a lo establecido por diversos mores que conforman a una sociedad o cultura, en particular. La sexualidad humana es una función multidimensional, compleja y diversa por medio de la cual se puede influenciar el comportamiento de uno o más seres humanos, más allá del nivel biológico y reproductivo. Mediante este estudio se intentó explorar las características socio‐familiares y psicológicas de un grupo de mujeres puer‐ torriqueñas que han manifestado abuso sexual hacia menores de edad. Como diseño de investigación se utilizó la metodología cualitativa de narrativas de vida. La técnica utilizada, fue la entrevista semi‐estructurada de corte feno‐
... Bazı çalışmalarda kadın istismarcı oranları %4 ile %92 arasında tanımlanmaktadır (83,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91). Kadın istismarcılar tarafından daha çok istismar edilen cinsiyetin erkek cinsiyet olduğu saptanmıştır (82). • Olgu ve kontrol grupları içerisinde kı z ve erkek cinsiyetin dağılımı ve yaş ortalamaları açısından istatistiksel olarak anlamlı farklılık yoktu. ...
... De samme funnene gjaldt der overgriperen var en forelder. Dette samsvarer med funn om at kvinnelige overgripere ofte forgriper seg på yngre, naer beslektede barn, og ofte har en mannlig medovergriper (Grayston & De Luca, 1999). I tillegg vil en foreldrerelasjon trolig gjøre overgrepene vanskeligere å avsløre, og svaert vanskelige å fortelle om. ...
Article
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Background: Many survivors of childhood sexual abuse wait for a long time before they disclose the abuse to anyone. The aim of the present study was to identify factors related to delayed disclosure of sexual abuse. Material and methods: The study is based on self-report data from 508 respondents to the survey Longitudinal Investigation of Sexual Abuse (LISA). Results: The average number of years passed from first-time abuse to disclosing the abuse was 17,2 years. Disclosure latency was associated with the degree of other adverse childhood experiences, and predicted symptoms of mental health problems in adulthood. Age at first abusive incident was inversely associated with disclosure latency. Having had a known rather than a stranger perpetrator was also associated with longer disclosure latencies. Follow-up analyses revealed lower age at abuse onset and longer duration of the abuse when parents or women were among the perpetrators. Interpretation: Our findings highlight the need for preventive efforts facilitating early detection of sexual abuse, and for adults taking the responsibility for detecting sexual abuse against children.
... This article focuses on the living or residential placement options available for young men who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviour, their families and the workers who are charged with the task of sourcing and securing placements. We also acknowledge the greater recognition now being given to young women as perpetrators of sexually abusive behaviour (Bumby & Halstenson-Bumby, 1997;Grayston & De Luca, 1999;Harrison, 1994;Johnson & Shrier, 1987;Schwartz & Cellini, 1995). A New Zealand study commissioned by the STOP Adolescent Programme in 2003 (Evans, Cosgrove, Moth, & Hewitson, 2004) recommends that assessment tools and guidelines for intervention be developed to meet the specific needs of young women as perpetrators of sexual abuse as evidence suggests these may differ from that of young men. ...
Article
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Human service responses to sexual abuse perpetrated by young people are often extensive and expensive, and yet many aspects of these responses remain contentious. In 2007, as members of Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW), we prepared a submission to the Social Services Committee for the Inquiry into the Care and Rehabilitation of Youth Sex Offenders. This paper expands on points made in the ANZASW submission, with a particular focus on availability of suitable residential placements for young men who have sexually abused. The paper then considers issues relevant to reintegration of these youth into the community following a period in residential placement.
... A particular challenge cutting across diverse areas of practice has been a pervasive and prevalent societal reluctance to acknowledge the harm that can be perpetrated by females. This has been a common theme within the child abuse literature ( Grayston & De Luca, 1999 ;Peled, 2011 ) and is particularly evident with regard to sexual offending ( Anderson & Struckman-Johnson, 1998 ) and intimate partner violence (IPV; Hamel & Nicholls, 2007 ;Straus, 2012 ). Specifi c examples include denying access to female populations to allow for the study of controversial topics (e.g., see Laishes, 2002 ;Nicholls & Petrila, 2005 ), blocking access to research funding for IPV research (e.g., Straus, 1999Straus, , 2009 ) and public denunciations of academics who dare to challenge the status quo (e.g., Straus, 1999Straus, , 2009. ...
... Child maltreatment studies have long identified mothers perpetrating abuse to a comparable extent as fathers [42,48]. Sexual abuse as a form of women's aggression takes has only recently been examined as perpetrated against adults [49] and in its more prevalent form, against children [50] (for a review see [37]). Consistent with other forms of female aggression, it is also the case that women more often sexually offend against those to whom they provide care (their own offspring or other related children, children they baby-sit or educate [51]). ...
... A key difference amongst women relative to their male offending counterparts appears to reside in this manifestation of intimacy difficulties. Female sexual offenders appear to experience extensive levels of relationship abuse (Gannon et al., 2008;Wijkman & Bijleveld, 2008) and appear to present with passive traits as well as extreme dependency in relation to men or male intimate partners (Eldridge & Saradjian, 2000;Grayston & De Luca, 1999). These findings suggest that in assessing female sexual offenders, key aspects of exploration are likely to revolve around the presence and quality of social support as well as an in depth exploration of their current and past intimate relationship dynamics. ...
... 15.4% had a borderline personality disorder combined with persistent depressive disorder; 30.8% suffered from depression and a dependent personality disorder; and 15.4% had a dependent personality alone (Grayston and DeLuca 1999;Lewis and Stanley 2000;Covington and Bloom, Female Sex Offenders 4 2006;Booker-Loper et al., 2008). Other studies mention a prevalent addiction to psychoactive substances for 33.3% of these women (alcohol, drugs and/or psychotropic medication) (Weizmann-Henelius et al. 2009;Sarteschi, 2010); cognitive problems such as poor reasoning, judgment or understanding for 26.7% (Faller, 1995); or severe dissociative symptoms (Cortoni and Gannon, 2016). ...
Article
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This study into female sex offenders examines the links between their sexual acting out and traumatic life events. The methodology is based on an analysis of 35 court cases involving female convicted of sexual abuse alongside semi-structured interviews recorded with 13 participants. NVivo® software was used to analyse the data thematically, whence four key themes emerged (a desire for power, sadism, extreme anger and the quest for self-affirmation); these themes fall into a typology that highlights the different contexts and characteristics of the sexual abuse. The results also highlight a traumatic context during childhood and adolescence that is likely to have formed the basis for the development of the deviant sexual behaviour and the fact that all the women acted in collusion. The discussion on the results suggests that assessing and analysing the needs of these women should focus in particular on the relationship between the current sexual acting out and a personal biography filled with traumatic events.
... Female perpetrators of child sexual abuse, commonly referred to as female sex offenders, remain an understudied and somewhat invisible population in the academic literature (Becker, Hall, and Stinson 2001;Hislop 2001;Grayston and De Luca 1999). Despite the documenting of a growing demographic of female sex offenders in the child sex abuse literature (Pittaro 2016), cases reported to child protective services (McLeod 2015), and victimization surveys (Cortoni, Babchishin and Rat 2017), there is no recognition of female sexual offenders and male victims [ 207 ] of child sexual abuse within gender and race theory literatures regarding masculinity. ...
Article
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Too often the idea of young Black boys as sexually aggressive or criminally assaultive displaces the idea that they can be victims at all. As such, Black boys are not theorized or researched as victims of sexual violations in current gender literatures. Instead they are almost exclusively represented as perpetrators of sexual violence, not victims of it. This study examines five snapshots of Black men who were victims of sexual violations as young boys. Our findings indicate that Black males are uniquely at risk for sexual impropriety and statutory rape, primarily via older women and teenage girl female-perpetrators (although risk also includes same-sex violations). This study, the first of its kind, argues that Black boys must be understood as a population at risk to be victims of sexual violations and require an earlier sex education emphasizing their sexual vulnerability.
... The Precondition Model highlighted elements of the offending behavior in line with recent research into the victims of female sex offenders. For example, the victim was a young female (Grayston & DeLuca, 1999), and victim and offender were biologically related (Johansson-Love & Fremouw, 2009). Quantitative content analysis also illuminated the role of cognitive distortion in the selection, grooming, and abuse of the victim. ...
Article
This research evaluates the use of an established model, typically used for understanding male sex offenders, to understand the behavior of a female sex offender. The Finkelhor (198420. Finkelhor, D. (1984). Child sexual abuse: New theory and research. New York, NY: Free Press.View all references) Precondition Model of offending is used to provide a rare opportunity to explore the process of offending for a female contact and non-contact offender, whose offenses were against children. It reviews the efficacy of utilizing this model in the rehabilitation and collaborative risk management of a female sex offender. The results suggest that this approach can be applied to Internet and contact sex offenses to develop understanding of the progression of offending, including issues such as sexual arousal and the impact of a male co-perpetrator. In this case, the results indicate a post-intervention improvement in areas such as affect control, ability to maintain positive relationships, self-support, and reduced dissociation and dysfunctional sexual behavior. This project provides support for the development of a treatment approach that explores the individual nuances of female sex offending.
... Problems in either domain are likely to reflect a motivating factor towards engaging in sexually offending behaviours and increase the risk of a client to reoffend. Moreover, these deficits may allude to previous or current issues that the offender has in their romantic or familial relationships (Grayston & De Luca, 1999); again, key treatment needs. In making judgements regarding treatment decisions for female sexual abusers who display issues with affection or intimacy, professionals should ensure that they take note of a client's history and background to ensure that they are capturing all necessary treatment targets. ...
Chapter
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This chapter reviews the nature and scope of female-perpetrated sexual abuse, and evaluates gender-responsive approaches. It highlights where possible implications of literature on policy and treatment, and draws necessary comparisons with the male sexual abuse literature. Psychological and clinical literature has highlighted key demographic differences between male and female perpetrators of sexual offences. In an attempt to assess the differences between males and females who engage in sexually offending behaviors, early work into female-perpetrated sexual abuse focused on reviewing demographic and personal characteristics of perpetrators. This highlighted that females who engage in illicit sexual activities constitute a heterogeneous population with distinct treatment needs. The chapter aims to offer readers insight into how best to risk assess, manage, and treat females who engage in sexually offending behaviors, while addressing misconceptions about this oft-misunderstood population. Typological research highlights that there is at least one distinct subgroup of female sexual abuser who offends in order to achieve intimacy.
... Although research data on female child sexual offenders (abbreviated female child sexual offenders (FCSO) in the following References [1,2,5,[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]) is available and can be used for reviews and meta-analyses, there is still a noticeable gap of information on what is known about FCSO as opposed to male child sexual offenders [15]. Additionally, most of what is known resulted from studies with only small clinical samples of female offenders registered by the criminal system [16]. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article provides a short literature overview on female child sexual offenders (FCSO) focusing on the discrepancy between prevalence rates from different sources, characteristics of FCSO and their victims, as well as the societal "culture of denial" surrounding these women. FCSO are a powerful social taboo. Even professionals in the healthcare or justice system were shown to respond inappropriately in cases of child sexual abuse committed by women. As a result, offences of FCSO may be underreported and therefore difficult to research. The lack of scientific data on FSCO lowers the quality of child protection and treatment services. We therefore deem it particularly necessary for professionals in health care to break the social taboo that is FCSO and to further stimulate research on the topic of FCSO. We provide some general implications for professionals in health care systems as well as specific recommendations for researchers. We end with an overall conclusion.
... Sexual abuse of female children by women is virtually non-existent in the media, while in cases where female are co-offenders most victims are female children. Research has long suggested that not on ly women are perpetrators of child sexual abuse, both female and male (Graystone & De Luca, 1999), but also that child victims often suffer the long-term effects of female abuse, which includes substance abuse prob lems, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, depression, and others (Denov, 2004). Bourke et al. (2014) found on a nationally representative sample of adult victims that women committed 6 % of the CSA and that their victims were more likely to be young, male, and children between nine and 17 years of age compared with the victims of male perpetrators. ...
Chapter
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The main objective of this study was to determine how the newspapers present child sexual abuse (CSA) perpetrators. A longitudinal content analysis (2007–2016) of a random cluster sample of 1.159 CSA news printed in Croatian daily newspapers was conducted. Perpetrators are presented as single/individual, male, elderly perpetrator, usually a church figure or person in charge of childcare. They are a known person to the child or a complete stranger. Use of derogatory terms to describe the perpetrator is greater in episodic news dealing with criminal offenses that highlight background information on the perpetrator and victim. Also, perpetrators are often wrongly described as pedophiles, while a portion of the news still incorrectly describes perpetrators as mentally ill persons. Finally, the news prematurely reveals the identity of the perpetrators, and predictors of identity disclosure are emphasized. News reports still support common stereotypes regarding the perpetrators, making them difficult to detect and recognize.
... In the current study, all boys were sexually assaulted by single women who were living alone and did not have biological children. A previous study indicates that use of CSA by female offenders is a means to address various feelings and unmet needs like anger, loneliness, and needs for affection and attention (Grayston & Luca, 1999). The findings also indicated that perpetrators used a number of strategies to gain access to children ranging from giving simple items to promises for school fees providence and promises of a hand in marriage. ...
Article
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Although substantial literature exists on child sexual abuse (CSA), little is known about abuses children encounter in northern Uganda, a post-conflict area. Media reports have indicated a high incidence for CSA. The study, firstly, explored boys’ and girls’ experiences of sexual abuse by adults in this post-conflict region and secondly, interventions directed at improving the current situation of children at risk of child abuse and the survivors were investigated as well. The study was guided by radical feminism and nested ecological framework theories. Semi-structured interviews were conducted involving 43 sexually abused children. Narrative responses were audio recorded and transcribed. Content qualitative analysis was used to understand sexual offenses from children’s perspectives. Participants mentioned the following as the most perilous situations; laxity in parental roles, cultural norms, and practices, patriarchal attitudes, child sexual desires and attitudes, family breakdown and alcoholism. The study found many reported cases of CSA in the region. The results imply the exigent need of separate units specifically for reporting and handling child sexual offenses, need for personnel training on gender issues and filing system in child protection agencies and family programs for both fathers and mothers on child protection strategies for prevention and mitigation of CSA.
... Consequently, sexual offending is generally considered a male phenomenon (Wijkman, Bijleveld, & Hendriks, 2010). As such, this leads many to state that in academic research, female perpetrators of sexual offenses are ignored (Grayston & De Luca, 1999). While the true prevalence of sexual abuse is currently unknown for sexual offenders, a meta-analysis conducted by Cortoni (2009) found that female sexual offenders represent about 5% of the sexual offender population. ...
Article
The current sexual offender literature focuses on recidivism reduction in an effort to increase public safety. While cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) programs are considered a mainstream treatment method, it is essential to study recidivism as an indicator of treatment effectiveness. This meta-analysis examines research published since 1970 to determine the overall effectiveness of treatments in reducing recidivism among adult male sexual offenders. Decade of implementation and CBT treatment features are also assessed as moderator variables. The results from the 25 studies identified were converted into 42 weighted effect sizes utilizing a random-effects model. Significant overall effect sizes were found for sexual and violent/combination recidivism; however, multiple indices indicate heterogeneity in the effect sizes. Significant differences were found in the overall effectiveness of the treatments by decade, and the treatments delivered during the 1990s were found to be related to lower levels of sexual and violent/combination recidivism.
... Elevations in antisocial attitudes such as attitudes supportive of IPV behaviours (Cunradi et al., 2008) and anger and hostility issues (Eng et al., 2010) According to Wiehe (2003), perpetrators of child abuse are usually self-centred, narcissistic individuals who lack self-confidence, have poor impulse control and usually are deficient in empathy. They were reported to be failures in their family and marital relationships and some were suffering from mental health problems (Grayston & De Luca, 1999). Victims of child abuse may be more likely to continue patterns of intergenerational transmission of abuse towards their own children, relative to parents who were not victimised (Pears & Capaldi, 2001;Simons et al. 2008). ...
Technical Report
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Aims To compare characteristics and outcomes of two types of domestic violence (DV) offenders; namely, offenders who engage in intimate partner violence (IPV) or non-intimate partner violence (non-IPV). Methods Descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted for a cohort of male offenders (n=7,280) who received a custodial or community sentence in relation to DV offending and exited Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW) supervision between 1 July 2014 and 31 October 2017. Results Most offenders in the cohort were convicted of IPV offences (74.7%). Among those convicted of non-IPV offences, the majority involved victims who were cohabiting family members including parents and children. IPV and non-IPV offenders had similar demographic and criminal history characteristics across a range of measures; however the non-IPV group tended to have higher actuarial risk of reoffending on average and greater proportions of young adult offenders (18-24 years old). IPV offenders were also significantly more likely to be convicted of DV reoffending within 12 months compared to non-IPV offenders. An examination of treatment pathways through the CSNSW EQUIPS programs indicated that IPV offenders had more consistent patterns of intervention and were more likely to participate than non-IPV offenders. Conclusion While the relationship dynamics associated with their DV offending varied widely, IPV offenders and non-IPV offenders appear to share a number of similarities in their demographic characteristics, risk profiles and reoffending outcomes. Current CSNSW practice to prioritise offence-specific DV interventions to IPV offenders only may be related to challenges in accessing suitable alternative treatment pathways for non-IPV offenders. 2
... The most frequent (Ferguson & Mullin, 1999;Grayston & De Luca, 1999;Hornor & Zeno, 2018) and least ambiguous form of CSA is family-perpetrated abuse. Research examining CSA cases has found that the perpetrator is least likely to be a stranger and most likely to either be a parent or other relative (Weinsheimer et al., 2017). ...
Article
Child sexual abuse is often perceived differently based on characteristics of the victim and the perpetrator. However, unknown is whether variations in perceptions occur when the relationship to and gender of the victim are manipulated—particularly when the offender is a woman. The current study sought to explore whether authority role (neighbor, teacher, family, or clergy) and victim gender affect perceived outcomes for the victim. A factorial vignette design was used to randomly assign participants to one of eight conditions, and a series of analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted to assess differences in perceived victim outcomes for the vignettes. Results showed significant differences for authority role, victim gender, and the interactions between authority and victim gender for nearly all dependent variables. Respondents recognized that the scenarios presented were damaging and harmful; however, certain authority positions (i.e., teachers) were sexualized leading to diminished perceptions of negative outcomes, particularly for male victims.
... Narcissism has often been used to explain why men engage in sexually aggressive behaviors that are targeted toward female victims [11], but it is important to note that both men and women are capable of sexual aggression [24][25][26][27][28][29]. Further, narcissism has been shown to be associated with various aspects of sexual aggression for both men and women [23,[30][31][32]. ...
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The present research examined the associations that narcissistic personality features had with subjective arousal in response to sexually aggressive behaviors, as well as whether these associations were mediated by the power that was believed to accompany these behaviors. Participants were 221 community members (115 women, 106 men) who completed a self-report instrument that captured narcissistic admiration (an agentic form of narcissism) and narcissistic rivalry (an antagonistic form of narcissism). In addition, participants were asked to rate how powerful they would expect to feel if they actually engaged in an array of sexually aggressive behaviors (e.g., “Tying up a person during sexual intercourse against her/his will”) as well as how sexually aroused they would be by each behavior. A multilevel mediation analysis revealed that both narcissistic admiration and narcissistic rivalry were positively associated with subjective arousal in response to sexual aggression and that these associations were mediated by the perceived power that was believed to accompany these sexually aggressive behaviors. These results suggest that perceptions of power may play an important role in the connections that narcissistic personality features have with subjective arousal in response to sexually aggressive behavior for both men and women. This discussion will focus on the implications of these results for understanding the connections between narcissism and sexual aggression in both men and women.
... This approach most likely reflects the global pervasiveness of men's sexual violence and perceptions of women as sexually passive (Denov, 2017;Krahé & Berger, 2013). However, females also sexually aggress against unwilling partners (Erulkar, 2004;Hines, 2007) and researchers have increasingly acknowledged nuances in how this might be expressed (e.g., by harassment, abuse, and coercion) (Grayston & De Luca, 1999;Ménard, Hall, Phung, Ghebrial, & Martin, 2003). Despite this, and the negative physical and psychological consequences experienced by male victims (Visser, Smith, Rissel, Richters, & Grulich, 2003), a dominant gendered perspective has resulted in a relative paucity of information on factors that may explain female sexual aggression Denov, 2017). ...
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Largely overlooked in the literature, this study investigated factors influencing women’s use of sexual coercion. Specifically, pornography use and personality disorder traits linked with poor impulse control, emotional regulation, and superior sense of sexual desirability were considered. Women (N = 142) aged 16–53 years (M = 24.23, SD = 7.06) were recruited from community and student populations. Participants completed the Narcissistic and Histrionic subscales of the Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire-4, in addition to the Cyber-Pornography Use Inventory to explore the influence of their pornography use (interest, efforts to engage with pornography, and compulsivity) on their use of sexual coercion. This was measured using four subscales of the Postrefusal Sexual Persistence Scale: nonverbal sexual arousal, emotional manipulation and deception, exploitation of the intoxicated, and use of physical force or threats. Multiple regression analyses revealed that pornography use, narcissistic traits, and histrionic traits significantly predicted the use of nonverbal sexual arousal, emotional manipulation and deception, and exploitation of the intoxicated. Effort to engage with pornography was a significant individual predictor of nonverbal sexual arousal and emotional manipulation and deception, while histrionic traits were a significant individual predictor of exploitation of the intoxicated. Findings were discussed in relation to existing sexual coercion literature and potential future research.
... These offenders often have low self-esteem, low intelligence, exhibit feelings of powerlessness, fear being alone, and experienced sexual abuse during childhood (Mathews et al., 1989;Syed & Williams, 1996). Vandiver and Kercher (2004) More recent research has differentiated between women who take an active role in abuse by engaging in direct sexual contact with the victim and those who participate passively by watching the abuse, procuring victims for others, and exposing children to sexual interaction or pornography (Grayston & De Luca, 1999). Research also has shown that some women who take an active role in abuse while accompanied by a male, may not necessarily be coerced but motivated by jealousy and anger (Nathan & Ward, 2002). ...
... In counseling or therapy, as well as for long-term consequences, however, much greater importance must be attached to the subjective perception and processing of sexual abuse than to the objective classification into "moderate" and "severe" abuse (Fegert et al., 2013). Grayston and De Luca (1999) report in their literature review that most female perpetrators offend with a co-perpetrator and rather engage in abuse of "moderate" intensity. Contrary to that, another literature review concludes, that the majority of female perpetrators offend alone and that female perpetrators do engage in "severe" forms of sexual abuse such as penetration (Johansson-Love & Fremouw, 2006). ...
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Introduction: Child sexual abuse has been discussed thoroughly; however, marginalized groups of victims such as victims of child sexual abuse in early childhood and victims of maternal sexual abuse have rarely been considered. Objective: This essay combines these two relevant perspectives in child protection and aims to pin out future directions in the field of child abuse and specifically maternal sexual abuse and its early prevention. Method: In the course of the 7th Haruv International PhD Workshop on Child Maltreatment at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in 2019 the topics of maternal sexual abuse and early prevention of child maltreatment in Germany were discussed and intertwined. Problems concerning the specific research of maternal sexual abuse in early childhood and prevention were identified. Results: Both, maternal sexual abuse as well as sexual abuse in early childhood, i.e. before the age of three, are underreported topics. Society still follows a “friendly mother illusion” while recent cases in German media as well as research findings indicate that the mother can be a perpetrator of child sexual abuse. Similarly, sexual abuse in early childhood, namely abuse before the age of three, is existent; although the recognition of it is difficult and young children are, in regards to their age and development especially vulnerable. They need protective adults in their environment, who are aware of sexual abuse in the first years of life. Discussion: Raising awareness on marginalized or tabooed topics can be a form of prevention. An open dialog in research and practice about the so far marginalized topics of maternal sexual abuse and sexual abuse in early childhood is crucial.
... One explanation of the lower levels of depressive and dysthymic symptoms in the 'Severe levels of all types of trauma' profile might be that women may respond to severe sexual and emotional abuse with internalizing symptoms, e.g., depression, whereas women might respond to severe physical abuse in addition to sexual abuse with externalizing symptoms, e.g., aggressive behavior (51) that may mask depressive symptoms. Consistent with this idea, women exposed to severe physical abuse in childhood had an increased risk to become a perpetrator by themselves in adulthood (52). ...
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Background: It is increasingly becoming accepted that substance use disorders, including substance abuse and substance dependence, are closely related to childhood trauma and posttraumatic stress disorders. Among women with substance use disorders, the majority report sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or neglect. However, it is poorly understood which types of childhood trauma co-occur in women with substance use disorders and how combinations of different types and severities of childhood trauma are related to clinical characteristics. This information is important to inform treatment of substance use disorders. Aim: The first aim of this research was to investigate profiles of childhood trauma in female patients with substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorders. The second aim was to examine relationships between these childhood trauma profiles and addiction characteristics or current clinical symptoms. Methods: We includeda 343 treatment-seeking women with substance use disorders and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorders according to DSM-IV. Five types of childhood trauma (sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse) were measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. Addiction characteristics were assessed by using the Addiction Severity Index-lite. Current severity of clinical symptoms was determined by the Symptom-Checklist-27. Latent profile analysis was conducted to distinguish profiles of childhood trauma. Analysis of variance was applied to examine the relationship between childhood trauma profiles and addiction characteristics or severity of clinical symptoms. Results: Nine out of ten women reported at least one type of childhood abuse or neglect. Four different childhood trauma profiles could be distinguished that characterized different types and severities of childhood trauma: ‘Low trauma’; ‘Moderate sexual abuse and emotional abuse’; ‘Severe sexual abuse and emotional abuse’; and ‘Severe levels of all types of trauma’. Profiles with more severe levels of childhood trauma showed an earlier age at initiation and escalation of substance use. Furthermore, childhood trauma profiles were related to current severity of depressive symptoms, dysthymic symptoms, sociophobic symptoms, and distrust. Conclusion: In women with substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorders, childhood trauma profiles can inform about addiction characteristics and severity of a wide range of clinical symptoms. This information is essential to understand current treatment needs and should be systematically assessed in women with substance use disorders and trauma exposure.
... Many of them are socially withdrawn. According to Grayston and De Luca (1999), some of the perpetrators are suffering from mental health problems. Another common characteristic of the perpetrator is a history of childhood maltreatment (Brewster et al., 1998;Glasser et al., 2001). ...
Article
Background: According to schema theory, early maladaptive schemas (EMSs) are formed due to unsatisfied core emotional needs in childhood. However, there is limited research about the association between parent’s EMS and the child’s EMS. Objective: The current study investigated the mechanisms underlying the relationship between the parent’s disconnection and rejection schemas and the child’s disconnection and rejection schemas. Participants and Setting: One hundred seventy-nine mother-late adolescent dyads participated in the study. Mothers filled out the forms at home, and adolescents completed the forms in the classroom. Methods: The adolescents completed the Young Schema Questionnaire-Short Form-3 (YSQSF3), Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, Father Involvement Scale, and Resilience Scale. The mothers completed only the YSQ-SF3. Results: Mothers' EMSs related to the disconnection and rejection domain predicted their children's EMS in the same domain. Adverse childhood experiences also significantly mediated this relationship only when father involvement was low (β= .08, SE= .04, 95% CI [.01, .18]). Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that EMSs are passed on from one generation to the next through adverse childhood experiences especially when fathers do not provide enough support in childrearing.
Article
Data from 2,607 female participants in an anonymous computerized study were entered by the participants themselves: 276 (10.6%) had exposed themselves in public, 134 (5.1%) reported having urges to expose themselves in public, 153 (5.9%) had engaged in some sort of sex with underage males, and 100 (2.4%) reported they had sexual intercourse with underage males. As predicted by conditioning, modeling, and critical period learning theories, exposure to nudity within the nuclear family and partnered early sexual experimentation involving breast or genital exposure significantly increased the likelihood of participants exposing themselves in public and having such urges.
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In this exploratory study, we conducted in-depth interviews with three females who were employed in the sex industry which ultimately led to their arrest, conviction, and registration as a sex offender. In all three cases, the interviewees were co-offenders who committed a sex crime at the behest of a dominant male partner whom they met through the adult entertainment industry. This study suggests that women who are employed in the sex industry may be at a heightened risk of becoming entangled in the criminal justice system and being labeled as sex offenders. Further research is warranted in this area.
Chapter
This chapter focuses on females who commit sexual offenses. Female sexual offenders are seldom studied, the most prominent reason probably being that the prevalence of female sexual offending is low. It focuses on adult female perpetrators of hands-on sexual offenses. It uses Dutch data, and under Dutch law hands-off sexual offending comprises a very heterogeneous set of offenses including indecent exposure, producing and possessing child pornography, trafficking of individuals, and brotheling. The chapter examines the criminal histories of a sample of adult female sexual offenders in order to answer the following questions: what are the characteristics of criminal careers of female sexual offenders, in terms of age of onset, offending frequency, duration, and desistance? How do these characteristics vary by offender type and prominent background characteristics within the group of female sexual offenders? It reviews the prevalence of female sexual offending and offenders’ background characteristics based on previous research.
Article
A comprehensive and well-cited review on the topic of female child sex offenders was published by Grayston and DeLuca in 1999. Over the past twenty years, the clinical and empirical literature relating to female child sex offending has grown. In particular, more is now known about the characteristics of female child sex offenders, and the nature, type, and context of offences, as well as motivations underpinning offending. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the current clinical and empirical literature on female child sex offenders, and to update the summary profile on these offenders as originally proposed by Grayston and DeLuca (1999). Of particular note are updates to the co-offending literature and new research regarding the use of technology, abuse within the educational context, and recidivism in female perpetrated child sexual abuse. Implications for assessment and treatment of this offender cohort are also discussed, alongside limitations of this review.
Article
Anonymous retrospective data were input by 2,828 female and 1,556 male adult study participants using a study-specific computer program. Although adult males were more likely than adult females to select underage females for victims, adult females were more likely than adult males to select underage males for victims of both disguisable and obvious child sexual abuse in both data from perpetrators and data from victims. Logistic regression analysis of potential statistical predictors from early behaviors for being sexually addicted revealed that many were statistically significant in both females and males. The three most powerful predictors were identified in each sex.
Chapter
In comparison to men, women commit considerably less crimes and they diverge in the paths that brought them to the attention of the criminal justice system. Women also diverge in their responses to custody and community supervision, likely due to their lower risk of reoffending and the differing nature of their risk and needs (Blanchette & Brown, 2006). In the sexual offending field, like in the general offending field, gender matters. Although in its infancy, the emerging empirical information on women who sexually offend indicate that a blanket application of research knowledge based on male sexual offenders is not a viable option. As we will see in this chapter, while men and women appear to share some characteristics, important differences in risk of recidivism and factors related to their sexually abusive behavior indicate that a gender-informed as opposed to a gender-neutral approach to the assessment and treatment of female sexual offenders is warranted. The term “gender-neutral” refers to characteristics that are linked to the criminal behavior that are equally applicable to men and women. The term “gender-informed” refers to factors unique to women offenders. This chapter provides a two-part review of the current knowledge on female sexual offenders, highlighting similarities and differences between female and male sexual offenders. The first part reviews current theoretical and empirical knowledge on female sexual offenders, including prevalence, socio-demographic features, developmental history, and offense characteristics. Typologies of female sexual offenders are also described. The second part presents recidivism rates of female sexual offenders, risk factors, and current best practices in the assessment and treatment of these women.
Chapter
This chapter is concerned with two of the system boxes in the systems model for understanding the social drivers and determinants of abuse (see Figure 1.1): the lack of awareness of the seriousness of the effects of child sexual abuse and the lack of collective outrage and community action (see Figure 6.1).
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Kadınların cinsel istismarcı olabilme potansiyeli yakın zamana kadar kabul edilmemiştir. Özellikle kadınların cinsel saldırılarda “saldırgan”dan ziyade “mağdur” olarak tanımlanması, ayrıca çocuklar için temel bakıcı figürü olarak değerlendirilmeleri onların istismarcı olabilme potansiyellerinin göz ardı edilmesinin temel nedenlerinden biri olabilmektedir. Elde edilen son bulgular kadınların tanıdıkları ve özellikle bakım verdikleri çocukları istismar edebileceklerini göstermektedir. Kadın cinsel istismarcılar konusunda yakın dönemli çalışmaların da artmasıyla kadın istismarcıların yaygınlığı ve özellikleri hakkında bilgiler edinilmeye başlanmış olsa da bu grup hakkında erkek cinsel istismarcılar kadar detaylı bilgileri henüz elde edilememiştir. Kadın cinsel istismarcıların yaygınlığı konusunda da henüz net bir oran bulunmamakla birlikte yakın dönemli çalışmalarda düşünüldüğünden çok daha fazla olduğu ifade edilmektedir. Yapılan çalışmalarda kadın cinsel istismarı mağdurlarında sıklıkla kadınlarla sorunlu ilişkiler, depresyon, madde kullanımı, intihar girişimleri, kaygı bozuklukları, cinsel bozukluklar, benlik karmaşası, ihanete uğrama hissi rapor edilmektedir. Kadın cinsel istismarcıların tedavisinde erkek istismarcılar için uygulanan programlar sıklıkla kullanılmakta ancak bu programlar kadın istismarcıların ihtiyaçlarına yanıt vermemektedir. Ülkemizde kadın cinsel istismarcılara yönelik düzenli verilerin olmadığı görülmekle birlikte, konu hakkında yürütülecek çalışmalara ihtiyaç duyulmaktadır.
Chapter
Wissen über die Ursachen und Verursachenden von sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch stellt eine wirksame Strategie zur Verhinderung sexuellen Missbrauchs dar. In dem Kapitel wird zwischen sexuellen Präferenzstörungen und sexuellen Ersatzhandlungen unterschieden sowie eine differenzierte Darstellung von Nutzern sexueller Missbrauchsabbildungen und Frauen als Täter geboten. Weiterhin wird auf die Ursachen von Täterschaft und Täterstrategien eingegangen. Schließlich werden auch Risiko- und Schutzfaktoren in Bezug auf Rückfälligkeit und Behandlungsmöglichkeiten vorgestellt.
Chapter
This chapter discusses recommendations for re-integrating sexually harmful youth into school. While school psychologists and counselors possess a wide range of skills, they typically do not have formal training in providing treatment or intervention for sexually harmful youth. The treatment methods for special populations (i.e., young children, females, and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities) are also explored. Because most school psychologists have not had supervision or training with sexually harmful youth, school psychological services are probably not warranted to address sexually harmful behavior. Nonetheless, the school psychologist can be integral to competency development. This would entail the development of social skills, moral reasoning skills, academic skills, workforce development skills, and independent living skills.
Chapter
This chapter considers a number of approaches to assessing risk in sexual offenders and measures used to assess levels of deviancy in sexual offenders and how this relates to treatment. It discusses assessment considerations for Internet, juvenile, and female sexual offenders, and sexual offenders with intellectual disabilities, special subgroups that are increasingly coming to the attention of the criminal justice system. The accurate assessment of treatment need and recidivism risk in sexual offenders is the cornerstone of effective practice in treating and managing of sexual offenders in the community. Having the experience of being valued, being able to help others, practicing social skills and getting to know others in detail can greatly improve an individual's self-esteem and interpersonal functioning. Given that feelings of inadequacy and lack of appropriate relationships may be an important vulnerability factor for many sexual offenders, improvement in these areas is an important element in reducing reoffending.
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This mixed-methods study compares experiences of female- and male-perpetrated child sexual abuse using self-report data from a correctional subsample of 26 women and 25 men currently incarcerated for a sex crime against a child. First, we use bivariate and logistic regression analyses to determine whether there are differences in offender, victim, and offense characteristics between women and men who commit child sexual abuse. Second, we examine participants’ open-ended responses eliciting details about their offenses. Quantitative results reveal some differences between women and men in victim characteristics, presence of a co-offender, and adulthood experiences with violence but no differences between women and men in experiences of childhood adversity, including prior child sexual abuse victimization. Qualitative results, however, suggest marked differences in the way women and men characterize their offenses. Overall, findings indicate that women and men report unique experiences with child sexual abuse perpetration and therefore would benefit from gender-specific treatment.
Chapter
Although female and male sexual offenders appear to share some characteristics, important differences in their risk of offending indicate that a gender-informed approach to the understanding of female sexual offenders is warranted. The term ‘gender-informed’ refers to factors that are either unique to or that manifest themselves in unique ways among women offenders. This chapter reviews the latest theoretical and empirical knowledge regarding women who engage in sexually offending behaviour, highlights similarities and differences between male and female offending, and provides gender-informed explanations of sexual offending by women. Within this context, the nature of female sexual offending is established, and typologies of female sexual offenders, research examining single-factor explanations of female sexual offending, and research examining the offence process of these women are reviewed.
Article
People Who Sexually Abuse Children in Organisational Positions of Trust – a definitionHow Prevalent are Sexual Offences Committed Against Children in Professional or Workplace Settings?Characteristics and Behaviour of People Who Sexually Abuse Children in Organisational Positions of TrustFindings From a Study of Residents in a Specialist Treatment Setting Who had Sexually Abused Children Whilst in Organisational Positions of TrustGroomingUse of the InternetMotivations to Sexually AbuseThought Processes and Cognitive DistortionsFemale Sexual AbusersConclusions References
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The research described is a study of a clinical sample of 72 women who allegedly sexually abused 332 children. The Sample is examined from a variety of perspectives, including whether the abuse was intrafamilial (n = 33), extrafamilial (n = 18), or both (n = 21); and whether the abuse involved multiple intrafamilial offenders (n = 33), a solo intrafamilial offender (n = 17), multiple extrafamilial offenders (n = 16), or solo extrafamilial offenders (n = 6). Social situational factors and individual deficits [mental illness (n = 23), mental retardation (n = 16), substance abuse (n = 37), and other maltreatment of their children (n = 61)] that might lead women to sexually abuse children are examined. Case outcomes, including the number of confessions (n = 49), criminal prosecution (n = 3), and protection of victims (n = 44) are described.
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Notes the increase in the crime rate for female offenders over the past 15 yrs and describes the types of offenses for which women are most often convicted. It is suggested that occupational therapy can provide a normalizing environment for the female offender, preparing her to return to the community with positive personal assets and adaptive skills. The etiology and elements of incest, particularly mother–son and mother–daughter incest are described, as well as methods of treatment of the incest offender. Intervention by the occupational therapist in cases of female sexual offenders includes conducting a structured assessment interview related to the patient's occupational role and level of functioning (e.g., education, employment, personal and home management, interpersonal interaction, a personal appraisal), and general and specific treatment. The case illustration of a 32-yr-old woman convicted of incest and her treatment through occupational therapy are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Radical feminist theory states that patriarchy is related to the oppression and victimization of women. This study focuses on the extent to which radical feminist theory can be used to understand male and female children as victims of sexual abuse by female and male family members. The data are cases (N=3864) of substantiated and indicated intrafamilial child sexual abuse reported to the Indiana Department of Public Welfare. The sample is approximately 80% white and mostly middle to lower middle class. In support of the theory, it was found that, while men were overwhelmingly perpetrators of child sexual abuse in the family (87%), girls were usually the victims (85%), even when the perpetrator was a woman. Women abused more boys in single-parent homes than in two-parent homes that contained a man as representative of the patriarchal order. In contrast, the presence of a woman in two-parent families did not inhibit the victimization of girls. Men victimized more girls in two-parent homes than in single-parent homes. Additional support for radical feminist theory was indicated by the finding that most women were coperpetrators with a man, while over 90% of the men acted alone.
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The article describes a clinical sample of 87 boy victims of child sexual abuse and compares them to 226 girl victims. Boys were on average 6.3 years of age at onset of the sexual abuse; girls were 5.5 years. Boys were more likely to be victimized by someone outside the family than girls, but about two-thirds of the boys were abused by someone within the family. Male victims were more often abused by someone who sexually abused other children than were female victims. The majority of perpetrators were men; however girls were more likely than boys to be abused by men, and boys by both men and women. Only a small percentage of the offenders were women acting alone, but boys were more likely to be abused by women than girls. In addition, data on the role relationship between victim and offender and how these relationships differ for boy and girl victims are presented.
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This article describes a clinical sample of 40 women who sexually abused 63 children. Sixty percent of the female perpetrators victimized two or more children. Almost three-fourths of these women sexually maltreated children in polyincestuous family situations. More than four-fifths were mothers to at least one of their victims. The most common form of sexual activity was group sex; the next most common was fondling. The mean age of these women was a little over 26; they were poor and poorly educated. Their victims were also young, having a mean age of 6.4 years at the time the case was identified. About two-thirds of the victims were female and one-third were male. Female perpetrators evidenced marked difficulties in psychological and social functioning. About half had mental problems, both retardation and psychotic illness. More than half had chemical dependency problems, and close to three-fourths had maltreated their victims in other ways in addition to the sexual abuse.
Article
The incest taboo is universal in human culture. Though it varies from one culture to another, it is generally considered by anthropologists to be the foundation of all kinship structures. Lévi-Strauss describes it as the basic social contract; Mead says its purpose is the preservation of the human social order.1 All cultures, including our own, regard violations of the taboo with horror and dread. Death has not been considered too extreme a punishment in many societies. In our laws, some states punish incest by up to 20 years’ imprisonment.2
Article
Although a sizable percentage of all sexual abuse in the United States is perpetrated by females, until recently the subject of sexual offending by this population has been largely overlooked. In this study, reports of child sexual abuse by 53 victims of female perpetrators were compared with reports by a group of 53 victims of male perpetrators. Victims were matched for age, race, and sex. The purpose of this investigation was to gain information about similarities and differences in the modus operandi of female and male offenders. Females were more often involved with males in co-offender situations. They were also more likely to exploit their victims than males. Male offenders were reported to be more sexually invasive in their abuse and were more likely to use bribes to obtain victim cooperation than females.
Article
The development of a 14‐year‐old female from defending herself from sexual crimes to committing such a crime is presented in case‐report form. Her individual history, family dynamics, and transgenerational patterns are explored. A review of the current literature is utilized to understand why some abused persons become abusers.
Article
The literature suggests that the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among sexual perpetrators is higher than that found among the general male population. However, there is a paucity of empirical research comparing sexual perpetrators to other perpetrators and community samples. Research on the specific characteristics of sexual abuse experiences is limited. 7he purpose of the present exploratory study was to further examine the cycle of sexual abuse in a sample of 42 males with histories of sexual abuse. Sexual perpetrators, nonsexual perpetrators, and nonperpetrators completed a sexual victimization survey on the nature of their abuse experiences. Findings revealed a considerably higher prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among sexual perpetrators with the abuse generally being more extensive and severe in nature. Results appear to lend support to the sexual abuse cycle and may have important implications for clinicians and researchers involved in the sexual abuse area
Article
Analyzed a large multiagency sample of 619 cases of child sexual abuse in terms of victim and perpetrator characteristics and the circumstances under which such victimization occurred. Consistent with previously published reports, most perpetrators were male and most victims were female, but the nature of the abuse was also analyzed in terms of the relationship between victim and perpetrator, marital status of the offender, and types of sexual activity that took place. Findings reveal that most of the victims of female offenders were also female. Male victims, on the other hand, were most often victimized by other males unrelated to them. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A review of the literature on female sexual abusers indicates that although most sexual abusers are males, child sexual abuse by females does occur and may be less rare than was once believed. There is a great range in the estimated frequency of sexual abuse by women from different studies. The definition of abuse used, sample selected, and methodology employed must be considered. There are widely different circumstances under which women sexually abuse children, and these circumstances may differ from those causing men to do so. Many studies depict female abusers as socially isolated, loners, alienated, coming from abusive backgrounds and having emotional problems, although most are not psychotic. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
When childhood sexual abuse is discussed, abuse suffered by boys is seldom mentioned. The assumption is that sexual abuse of boys is very rare, and that the consequences of abuse are less serious for boys than for girls. These destructive myths stand in the way of addressing a serious problem in our society, says psychologist Mic Hunter in this important book. Ignoring or minimizing the problem does not make it disappear, he points out; it allows the tragic mistreatment of children to continue unchecked. There is the mistaken belief that all men who have been abused as children are destined to become abusers themselves. This belief prevents men from identifying themselves as victims and adds a burden of fear to their pain as they remain terrified that one day they too will abuse a child. The fact is that most men who were abused as children do not become abusers. The opposite impression persists because those who do become offenders and are caught receive so much more attention than the "silent" victims who do not abuse others. For the adult recovering from childhood sexual abuse, [this book] offers a more complete understanding of the problems he experiences and enables him to see the complete process of recovery through the eyes of other male abuse victims who write of their experiences at different points during their recovery. For partners of men recovering from childhood abuse, the book will deepen their understanding of the problem and help them appreciate the difficult work their recovering partner has undertaken. For clinicians and others in the helping professions, it provides insight into the nature and scope of the problem, as well as a valuable view of the treatment and recovery process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examines sexual abuse of children in the light of the facts that approximately 10% of all women report a childhood sexual experience with a relative and that 1% are victims of father–daughter incest. Incestuous families are seen to represent a pathological exaggeration of traditional patriarchal norms. Common features include extreme paternal dominance, maternal disability, and imposition of a mothering role on the oldest daughter. The incestual relationship has not only been found to begin before puberty and to continue in secrecy for many years, but more than one daughter may be involved. Adult women with a history of incest exhibit a clinical syndrome that includes low self-esteem, difficulty in intimate relationships, and repeated victimization. Measures that improve the general status of women and strengthen the role of mothers within the family are proposed as the best means of long-term prevention. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
In an effort to sort out the reality from the controversies and anxiety, the Family Research Laboratory, with funding from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, undertook a two-year nationwide investigation of sexual abuse in day care. The study was intended to answer a broad range of questions about the problem, looking not just at the sensational and controversial cases, but "ordinary" cases as well—cases that were handled in a routine and unremarkable fashion. This book reports that study. The book addresses issues related to the incidence of the problem and whether day care is a high-risk environment for children (Chapter 1). It describes the perpetrators of this abuse, and tries to evaluate various strategies for screening them from access to children (Chapter 2). The book also describes the victims and the dynamics of abuse (Chapters 3 and 4) and the characteristics of facilities (Chapter 7), all with an eye toward finding vulnerabilities that might be better protected. The process of detection and disclosure is examined carefully (Chapter 5) for ideas about how to promote more, better, and earlier reports. The impact on the children is examined for help in working with victims in the aftermath (Chapter 6). The study also looked into the social and professional response to cases of abuse. Chapter 8 describes the types of investigations that occurred, the kinds of problems encountered by investigators, and the relative effectiveness of different approaches. Chapter 9 details the types of actions taken by licensing and law-enforcement agencies, trying to evaluate whether the response was effective and appropriate. Finally, Chapter 10 discusses the kind of impact that cases had on the communities where they occurred, an impact that in some cases was profound and long-lasting. All in all, the report touches on many facets of the problem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Examined Canadian data on 191 child sexual abuse cases and compared 5 variables that differentiated male and female victims. These variables were victim, victim's family, perpetrator, occurrence, and outcome of the investigation. Data showed that 84% of all reported victims of child sexual abuse were female; 50% of the male Ss were abused by nonrelated perpetrators; intrafamilial abuse among females occurred in 84% of the cases; and a previous history of child abuse was recorded for 23% of the male victims and 26% of the female victims. Moreover, 97% of the male Ss were victimized by a single perpetrator; 94% of the female Ss had a single perpetrator; and 98% of the perpetrators were male. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
A descriptive survey was conducted on ten juvenile female sexual offenders in a residential treatment program. Similarities to juvenile male perpetrators were found in both an etiological link to prior victimization, as well as pattern of perpetration. These youth typically were molested by a number of individuals beginning at a young age. Their own sexual victimizations were notable for having been molested by not only a male perpetrator (all of the youth), but also a female (six of the ten). Eight of the females reported having been sexually aroused to one of their own victimizations, with this experience of arousal rated as particularly psychologically distressful when the perpetrator was of the same gender. Their patterns of perpetration began approximately five years following their first sexual victimization experience. Like their male counterparts, they tended to be repeat offenders, molested children of both sexes, and fantasized about such behavior prior to the first act of perpetration. Furthermore, these youth generally acted alone in the commission of their acts of perpetration, and engaged in sexual behaviors which were relatively invasive. Directions for future research are discussed.
Article
Empirical findings indicate that many adult sexual offenders experienced sexual abuse during childhood. It has been suggested that characteristics of offenders' sexual perpetrating behaviors may resemble their own victimization experiences, although there has been minimal empirical investigation in this area. The purpose of the present study was to provide preliminary data on the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and characteristics of sexual offending behavior. A sample of adult male sexual offenders with histories of sexual abuse completed the Sexual Victimization Survey as well as a measure on their sexual offenses. Such characteristics as the nature of sexual activities, duration and frequency of experiences, and age and relationship of participants were examined. Results showed trends in the hypothesized direction and revealed a variety of similarities between childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual perpetration. Findings of this exploratory study suggest the importance of addressing the nature of victimization in the treatment of sexually abused boys and offenders with histories of sexual abuse.
Article
This paper was written as part of a joint MSW program of the College of St. Catherine and the University of St. Thomas. Research paper (M.S.W.)--College of St. Catherine ; University of St. Thomas (Saint Paul, Minn.) , 2006. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 43-45) and abstract.
Article
This study examined the social contexts in which sexually abusive child care providers came into contact with children and parents. Content analysis of 325 case records resulted in the identification of seven main child care arrangements in which sexual abuse occurred. These arrangements varied by the routinization and formality of the caregiving relationship, as well as the methods of caregiver selection and reimbursement. The main finding was that the vast majority of female perpetrators were adolescents whose abusive behavior took place in the caregiving arrangement in which she is selected by parents, engaged on a routine basis, and paid a sum of money for her child care. In contrast, sexually abusive male caregivers represented a wide range of ages and committed sexual abuse over a significantly broader range of situations than female caregivers.
Article
Although there is an extensive body of literature concerning male sexual offenders, there is a marked lack of articles describing sexual offenses committed by females. The authors present a review of the existing literature on this topic and describe five cases of female sexual offenders and four cases of female sexual abusers. Implications for the effective assessment and treatment of this unique population are discussed.
In only nine of approximately 600 cases of child molestation in New Hampshire and Vermont was the perpetrator found to be a woman. Case histories and some testing data show a history of sexual assault as a child, frequent offense in the company of a dominant male partner, and a major disinhibition as a result of severe character disorder or limited intelligence. These factors not only interfered with maternal bonding and nurturing behavior but also contributed to suspension of judgment about the appropriateness of sexual contact with children.
Article
A 20 year old female pedophile exhibiting multiple paraphilias and who had been both a victim of incest and an active participant, undertook extensive clinical, psychometric, endocrine and laboratory sexual arousal studies. Her psychiatric, psychometric and physiologic arousal profiles showed similarities to those of a sizable proportion of male child molesters, especially incestors. It is suggested that laboratory arousal tests (using the vaginal photoplethysmograph) may have a role in the assessment of some female sex offenders.
Article
Sexual abuse of male children by their mothers is rarely reported. However, it may not be as rare as commonly believed. Eight case histories are presented which exemplify mothers' sexual abuse of their sons to satisfy the mothers' own needs. In no case was the mother psychotic. In seven cases the mother began the seduction and sexual abuse while the son was prepubescent and continued until at least early adolescence. As adults, each of these sons experienced difficulty maintaining an intimate emotional and sexual relationship with one person, and most presented with some degree of depression. Substance abuse was present in five of eight cases.
Article
Little is known about sexual perpetration by females or by young children. This paper describes the sexual perpetration behavior of 13 female child perpetrators between 4 and 13 years of age. These children were treated in a specially designed program for child perpetrators, the Support Program for Abuse-Reactive Kids (SPARK) at Children's Institute International of Los Angeles, California. All of these girls used force or coercion to gain the compliance of the other child or children. Of these child perpetrators, 100% had been previously sexually abused; 31% had been physically abused; 85% were molested by family members; 77% of the girls chose a victim in their family (the other 3 girls had no available family members). The mean age of their first known perpetration was 6 years, 9 months. The average age of their victims was 4 years, 4 months. The average number of victims of these girls was 3.5 with a range of 1 to 15. The girls victimized two times more boys than girls. There was a history of sexual, physical, and substance abuse in the families of these children. Hypotheses regarding the genesis of the sexually abusive behavior in these female child perpetrators are explored.
Article
This paper examines the proposition that the incidence of child sexual abuse by female perpetrators is underestimated. This may be due to a culturally based unwillingness to believe that women commit such acts. Female sexual offenders have been little studied and poorly understood. Until recently mother-child incest was considered to be virtually nonexistant and there remains a huge discrepancy in the incidence of male and female offenders. The predisposing factors contributing to this situation are examined for both men and women and an illustrative case history of mother-son incest is used to highlight our prejudices. The tentative conclusions reached are that (1) we underestimate the incidence of sexual abuse of male and female children by women and that (2) the changing roles of men and women in Western societies may lead to an increase in such abuse.
Article
In a retrospective study of 511 cases of alleged sexual abuse in children 12 years of age and under, data were analyzed with respect to the victim's age, sex, and the type of sexual abuse (intra- or extrafamilial). A total of 85.5% of the victims were female and 14.5% were male with ages ranging from 2 months to 12 years. The mean age of female victims was 6.8 years and that of male victims, 7.4 years. Most victims (68%) presented with histories of single assault by a known perpetrator (78%). Characteristics of abuse were found to be associated with the victim's age, sex, and relationship to the assailant. School-age victims were more likely to be abused by an individual outside the family or by a complete stranger. Older victims were also more likely to be involved in severe forms of sexual abuse (penetration, attempted penetration or oral-genital contact), associated with acts of abduction and with reports to the police. Male victims were more likely to be assaulted by a stranger, outside the home environment, and to suffer a more severe form of sexual abuse than female victims. Finally, extrafamilial sexual abuse was distinguished from intrafamilial sexual abuse insofar as it was more often a single episode, occurring outside the home environment, involving an act of abduction and physical force, and being reported to the police.
Article
Descriptive data on a group of female adolescent sexual offenders seen in an outpatient clinic are presented, with characteristics of offenders, offenses, and victims. Unlike female adult sexual offenders of previous studies, these adolescents committed offenses without coercion from male co-offenders starting at an early age. Results are discussed with reference to gender differences among adolescent sexual offenders.
Article
In an adolescent medicine clinic with more than 1,000 patients during 1982-1984, 11 male adolescents reported a history of sexual molestation by females. This molestation had commonly involved acquaintances and was unlikely to have been accompanied by threats of violence or physical coercion. One-fourth of the victims of both male and female molesters described themselves as sexually dysfunctional, and eight of the victims of male molesters identified themselves as homosexual. Both groups experienced the molestation as highly traumatic.
Article
Information on 19 women convicted of indecency and 62 women convicted of other sex offences was examined. Those convicted of indecency offences often had poor social skills and had a high incidence of mental illness, mental handicap and alcoholism. Two were convicted of indecent exposure, a rare offence in women. In 39 (63%) of the sex offences with individual victims, the victims were children and in 9 cases the offender was the mother or step-mother. In 25 cases the women were convicted of aiding and abetting a male offender. Of those convicted of indecent assault on persons under 16 and of gross indecency with children, 48% had a previous history of psychiatric disorder.
Article
Studies of the childhood, adulthood, and parenthood of women who sexually abuse their children are rarely found in the literature. The characteristics of 26 such mother-child incest offenders are explored by the author and compared to the characteristics found in other studies and in clinical experiences with incest offenders of either sex.
Article
Among all the forms of child abuse, sexual abuse during infancy is the least often discovered. Three cases of mother-child incest initiated during the neonatal period are described in this paper. The mothers all were estranged from their sexual partners, had demonstrated some confusion regarding sexual identity, and had sought assistance with chemical dependency during pregnancy.
Article
Data obtained from a random sample of 930 adult women in San Francisco provide the soundest basis heretofore available for estimating the prevalence of intrafamilial and extrafamilial sexual abuse of female children. This article describes the methodology of this survey, as well as some of the key findings. For example: 16% of these women reported at least one experience of intrafamilial sexual abuse before the age of 18 years; 12% reported at least one such experience before the age of 14 years; 31% reported at least one experience of extrafamilial sexual abuse before the age of 18 years; and 20% reported at least one such experience before the age of 14 years. When both categories of sexual abuse are combined, 38% reported at least one experience before the age of 18 years; and 28% reported at least one such experience before the age of 14 years. Only 2% of the cases of intrafamilial and 6% of the cases of extrafamilial child sexual abuse were ever reported to the police. A plea is made for the urgent need to recognize the magnitude of the problem of child sexual abuse, and to act to prevent it.
Article
Characteristics of child sexual abuse victims were determined through a comparison of 87 victims of lone female perpetrators to 93 victims of lone male perpetrators according to age, gender, and relationship of perpetrator to the victim. Lone female perpetrators abused children 3.3 years younger (M = 6.0 years) than lone male perpetrators (M = 9.3 years). Both lone female and lone male perpetrators abused more girls (62%, 76%, respectively) than boys. Female perpetrators were more likely to be caretakers than male perpetrators, whereas male perpetrators were more likely to be strangers than female perpetrators. Lastly, lone female perpetrators, lone male perpetrators, and male/female coperpetrators did not differ regarding severity of abuse. Thus, contrary to popular assumption, abuse by female perpetrators was not less severe than abuse by male perpetrators.
Article
To assess psychiatric impairment and childhood victimization experiences in female child molesters. Eleven incarcerated female child molesters were compared to 11 women imprisoned for nonsexual offenses as to their psychiatric diagnoses based on interviews with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R, Outpatient Version (SCID-OP), the SCID II for Personality Disorders, and the Harvard-Upjohn Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Interview. A family and sexual history with a description of childhood victimization experiences was also obtained by using the Wyatt Sexual History Questionnaire. The majority of the subjects in each group exhibited major depression, alcohol/substance abuse, and PTSD, but the sexual offenders demonstrated more psychiatric impairment on the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale on the SCID-OP. The sexual offenders demonstrated a higher incidence of childhood physical and sexual abuse within the family than the comparison group, and these victimization experiences were more severe and more frequently associated with PTSD. The sexual offenders and the comparison women described negative relationships with parents and caretakers, and with spouses or boyfriends. However, the sexual offenders perceived their parents as more abusive, while the comparison women regarded their parents as more neglecting. Incarcerated female child molesters exhibited greater psychiatric impairment and more intrafamilial physical and sexual abuse than a comparison group of women imprisoned for nonsexual offenses.
Article
The personality traits of 11 incarcerated white female sex offenders were compared with those of 11 nonsex offenders using the Clinical Analysis Questionnaire; no significant mean differences were found
Article
A lack of sensitive differentiation across the types of child maltreatment and lack of attention to differences due to perpetrator gender are serious shortcomings in child maltreatment perpetration research. Findings about perpetration may be confounded and of questionable validity as a result. Certain conceptual and methodological difficulties lie at the root of this lack of sensitivity and lead to inadequate research designs and sampling procedures. These difficulties are discussed in this article, with corrective recommendations and an example of a new approach that will enhance sensitivity to the effects of both perpetrator gender and types of maltreatment.
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