Characteristics of Females Who Sexually Offend: A Comparison of Solo and Co-Offenders

Steven M Gillespie, Rebecca Williams, Ian A Elliott, Hilary J Eldridge, Sherry Ashfield, Anthony R Beech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Although recent typologies of female sexual offenders have recognized the importance of having a co-offender, the clinical characteristics of solo and co-female sexual offenders remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to compare solo (n = 20) and co- (n = 20) female sexual offenders on a variety of clinical characteristics. It was found that although solo and co-offenders reported similar developmental experiences and psychological dispositions, differences were found in environmental niche, offense preceding, and positive factors. Specifically, solo offenders demonstrated a greater presence of personal vulnerabilities including mental health and substance abuse difficulties. Co-offenders reported a greater presence of environmentally based factors, including a current partner who was a known sex offender and involvement with antisocial peers. It is suggested that these results have implications for understanding assessment and intervention needs for these groups of sexual offenders.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2014.


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