Research on female juvenile sex offenders is limited by small clinical samples. Little is known about the characteristics of female sexual offending and how it is related to child maltreatment. This study examines data from the case histories of 118 female juvenile sex offenders. In contrast to portrayals in previous research, this study shows that female sex offenders are not a homogeneous group. Findings also included differentiation between female juvenile sexual offenders with a history of child maltreatment and those without a history of child maltreatment. Female juvenile sex offenders who had a history of child maltreatment were more likely to have a current mental health diagnosis and experience clinical levels of anger-irritability and depression-anxiety than those without a history of child maltreatment. The impact of a history of sexual abuse for female juvenile sex offenders was found to be important with regard to higher levels of coercion of their sexual abuse victims. Important distinctions are highlighted that have implications for female-specific assessment, treatment, and prevention.
- child maltreatment
- juvenile sex offender
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychology (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health