A critical review of the nature and profile of female sex offenders

Lambert, Gillian (2012) A critical review of the nature and profile of female sex offenders. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    There is an informal view held by society, professionals and those working in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) that males are perpetrators of sexual abuse and females are victims (Denov, 2001). Society has not fully acknowledged females as sex offenders (Saradjian, 1996; Vandiver, Dial and Worley, 2008). This denial has continued despite emerging evidence that females do sexually abuse (Russell and Oswald, 2001, 2002; Struckman-Johnson, 1988; Struckman-Johnson and Struckman-Johnson, 1998). This denial may be due to the strong feelings of repulsion that this generates and it is somehow more comforting to believe only males sexually abuse and females only sexually abuse alongside males. However, research suggests this is not necessarily always the case (Gannon and Cortoni, 2010).

    The small numbers of females detected and convicted of sexual offences means there is a lack of data specific to these offenders resulting in a lack of gender-specific psychological profiles and factors linked to re-offending (Elliott, Eldridge, Ashfield, and Beech, 2010). Attempts to explain the small numbers of women convicted of sexual offences rely on cultural myths. Such as women’s ‘natural’ passivity prevents them from sexually aggressive acts or their innate cunning allows them to abuse and evade detection (Matravers, 2001).

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2012 16:17
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:11
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/9701

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