Sex offenders’ modus operandi: a literature-based comparison between child victims and adult victims

King, Alice (2016) Sex offenders’ modus operandi: a literature-based comparison between child victims and adult victims. MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The purpose of this literature review is to outline and critically assess the existing knowledge related to sex offenders’ modus operandi. Based on the current state of the literature and the contemporary understanding of the subject-matter, it is the aim of this project to answer the question as to whether there differences can be found between decisional patterns in offences against child as opposed to adult victims. Firstly, definitional issues of the concepts of sex offender, modus operandi, child, and adult are discussed, and consequent implications for research in this area debated. Secondly, the most prominent psychological and criminological theories are presented, which shed light on the affective, cognitive, and behavioural factors underlying the decisional process of sexual offences. Thirdly, by means of a systematic search strategy and subsequent thematic analysis of the retrieved literature, empirical contributions related to sex offenders’ modus operandi are reviewed and critically evaluated. A comparison between the crime commission process against child victims versus adult victims is made on the basis of existing research findings. Through a structured analysis of previous studies it is shown that there is substantial evidence that offences against children differ from those against adults with regard to various components of the modus operandi adopted by the offender. Lastly, gaps within the existing literature are identified and recommendations given for future research.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2017 15:02
    Last Modified: 21 Mar 2017 15:02

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