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

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  • Rebecca Williams
  • Hilary J Eldridge
  • Sherry Ashfield

Colleges, School and Institutes


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.

Bibliographic note

© The Author(s) 2014.


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