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date: 28 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Women represent a small proportion of offenders convicted of sexual offences, and a small proportion of imprisoned women have been sentenced for offences of this kind. This essay begins with a discussion of the nature of female sexual offending, including the number and types of offences, the characteristics of victims, and the level of co-offending with men. It then considers the characteristics and emerging typologies of female sexual offenders. Theoretical approaches to female sexual offending are discussed, with particular attention to the relevance of theories of male sexual offending to sexual offending by women and theoretical developments that focus on women. The implications for assessment and treatment of female sex offenders are considered. Given its increasing role in relation to sexual offending more generally, the role of new technology—particularly the Internet—in facilitating female sexual abuse is explored.

Keywords: characteristics, female sex offenders, technology, theoretical developments, treatment

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