Attitudes towards and perceptions of females who sexually offend against children: A comparison between students and professionals

Kelly M. Brown, Juliane A. Kloess*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Research has identified that male and female perpetrators are viewed differently. The aim of the study was therefore to (a) explore attitudes towards and perceptions of females who sexually offend against children, and (b) compare these attitudes and perceptions between a sample of students and professionals. Ten students, who had not previously studied theories of sexual offending or the management of child sexual offenders, and ten professionals, who work with females in a therapeutic capacity, took part in the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted, transcribed and analysed using Thematic Analysis. Three themes were identified, namely the “facilitating role of women in society”, “why women offend”, and “what should happen to women who offend”. There was a tendency to minimise sexual offending by females. Across the two samples, there were similarities in terms of perceptions around why women offend, and differences in terms of attitudes around what should happen to women who offend.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Early online date11 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • sexual offending against children
  • child sexual offending
  • female offender
  • attitudes
  • perceptions

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