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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The criminological and psychological literature has generally focused solely on either victims or offenders, as has research on sex offending. Recently, however, researchers have investigated the overlap among victims and offenders. Evidence has demonstrated that individuals who have experienced these two outcomes (e.g., victimization and offending) are not always mutually exclusive. Recognizing the linkages between sex offending and sexual victimization, the authors of this essay review the theoretical frameworks and empirical research exploring the sexually abused/sexual abuser hypothesis or the victim–offender overlap among sexual offenders and sexual victims. Policy implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords: empirical research, overlap, sex offending, sexual victimization, theoretical frameworks

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