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Female Sex Offenders: Gender and Risk Perception

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society book series (PSRCS)

Abstract

Despite clear evidence indicating that a significant number of women are engaging in sexual activity with children, female perpetration of sexual abuse remains a concept that is often misconceptualized by both the criminal justice system and wider society in general. Although the evidence-base on which we are able to provide effective assessment and treatment for female sex offenders is increasing, it remains small relative to our knowledge of male sex offenders (Gannon and Cortoni, 2010; Vandiver et al., 2008). On average, data taken from both conviction rates and victimization studies from a variety of countries suggest that approximately 4–5% of all adult sexual offenders are female (Cortoni and Hanson, 2005; Cortoni et al., 2010). Recent data from the US Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention suggest that approximately 7% of all juvenile sexual offences are committed by females (Finkelhor et al., 2009). Cortoni et al. (2010) also used figures from an international meta-analysis of child sexual abuse prevalence by Pereda et al. (2009) to estimate that approximately 1.4% of all child victims are sexually abused by women, and to note that this rate is significant enough to warrant academic consideration.

Keywords

  • Sexual Abuse
  • Child Sexual Abuse
  • Criminal Justice System
  • Sexual Aggression
  • Abusive Behaviour

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2014 Ian A. Elliott and Alexandra Bailey

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Elliott, I.A., Bailey, A. (2014). Female Sex Offenders: Gender and Risk Perception. In: McCartan, K. (eds) Responding to Sexual Offending. Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137358134_3

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