Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 279–288

Religious Affiliations Among Adult Sexual Offenders

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11194-006-9020-5

Cite this article as:
Eshuys, D. & Smallbone, S. Sex Abuse (2006) 18: 279. doi:10.1007/s11194-006-9020-5


This article examines associations between self-reported religious affiliations and official offense histories among 111 incarcerated adult male sexual offenders. Four categories of religiosity were devised according to self-reported continuities and discontinuities in life-course religious affiliations: atheists, dropouts, converts, and stayers. ANCOVAs indicated that stayers (those who maintained religious involvement from childhood to adulthood) had more sexual offense convictions, more victims, and younger victims, than other groups. Results challenge assumptions that religious involvement should, as with other crime, serve to deter sexual offending behavior. Results are discussed in terms of social control and situational theories of crime.


Sexual offendersReligiositySocial control theory

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeGriffith UniversityQueenslandAustralia