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Characteristics of female solo and female co-offenders and male solo sexual offenders against children

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rebecca Williams, Dr Steven Gillespie



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Williams R, Gillespie SM, Elliott IA, Eldridge H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sexual Abuse

Year: 2017

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 151-172

Print publication date: 01/03/2019

Online publication date: 09/09/2017

Acceptance date: 04/07/2017

Date deposited: 01/08/2017

ISSN (print): 1079-0632

ISSN (electronic): 1573-286X

Publisher: Sage Publications, Inc.


DOI: 10.1177/1079063217724767


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