Women don't do such things! Characteristics of female sex offenders and offender types

Sex Abuse. 2010 Jun;22(2):135-56. doi: 10.1177/1079063210363826. Epub 2010 Mar 17.


The authors studied offender, offense, and victim characteristics in a cohort of 111 adult female sex offenders comprising all female sex offenders known to the criminal justice authorities in the Netherlands between 1994 and 2005. In 77% of the cases, the female sex offenders had abused children; almost two thirds of the women had co-offended with a male co-offender. Their backgrounds are on average problematic with sexual abuse being prominent (31%); mental disorders were also prominent (59%). Using multiple correspondence analysis, the authors distinguished four prototypical offender types. They identified the young assaulter and the rapist who are relatively young solo offenders. Two prototypes, the psychologically disturbed co-offender and the passive mother, comprise older women. They mostly abused their own children together with their male/intimate partner. These prototypes partly overlap with previous typologies. The authors discuss implications for theory and treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / psychology
  • Adult Survivors of Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Distribution
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Comorbidity
  • Criminal Psychology
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / complications
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Personality
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Offenses* / psychology
  • Sex Offenses* / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Environment
  • Spouse Abuse / psychology
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Women* / psychology