Sexual abuse histories of sexual offenders

  • Sonia Dhawan
  • W. L. Marshall


A comparison of sexual abuse histories of sexual offender and nonsexual offender inmates was undertaken. Sixty-five male subjects were interviewed and given questionnaires regarding their own sexual abuse histories and their family backgrounds. Eighteen of 29 rapists (62%), 8 of 16 child molesters (50%), and 4 of 20 nonsexual offender inmates (20%) were classified as having been sexually abused, with sexual offenders being more likely to report having been abused. A history of sexual abuse appears to be an important factor in the backgrounds of sexual offenders and it was found to be associated with other aspects of a disturbed family background.

Key Words

child molesters rapists sexual abuse sexual offending victimization 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Dhawan
    • 1
  • W. L. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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