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A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE OFFENDING PATTERNS OF MALE
AND FEMALE JUVENILE SEX OFFENDERS
A Dissertation Presented
to
The Faculty of the Department of Justice Studies
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
of
Juvenile Justice
By:
Tonya Y. Willingham
May August 2011
Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View, Texass

Certificate of Dissertation Approval
MAY August 2011
TO THE COMMITTEE OF GRADUATE STUDY:
The undersigned on this date have examined Tonya Y. Willingham for the awarding of the
doctoral degree and hereby certify that the dissertation was inspected by each of us and
was approved.
Approved:
________________________________________________(Chair)
Myrna CintrońJon Sorensen, Ph. D.
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
________________________________________________
Camille GibsonMyrna Cintroń, Ph. D.
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
________________________________________________
Jon SorensonCamille Gibson, Ph. D.
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
________________________________________________
William Kritsonis, Ph. D.
College of Education
Approved:
________________________________________________
Willie F. Trotty, Ph. D.
Dean, Graduate School

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Abstract
A Comparative Study of the Offending Patterns of Male and Female Juvenile Sex
Offenders. (May August 2011)
Tonya Y. Willingham, M.AB. S., Louisiana Tech UniversityUniversity of Central
Arkansas;
BM. A., University of Central ArkansasLouisiana Tech University
Chair of Advisory Committee: Dr. Jon SorensonSorensen
This research examines examined 3, 474 male and female juvenile sex offenders,
and comparing specific offender, victim, and offense characteristics. Relying on data
from the 2004 National Incident Based Report SS survey, bivariate analyseis wereas
conducted to examine the relationship between the offender’s gender and the following
variables: offender’s use of drugs or alcohol, location of offense, relationship of victim to
offender, use of weapons or force, and infliction of injury. An independent samples t-test
examined if whether a relationship existed between the offender’s age and the victim’s
age.
Results indicated that there was a relationship between offender age and victim
age. It was also found that as the age of the offender increased, the age of the victim
decreased. Relationships were found between offender gender and the victim’s
relationship to the offender, location of the offense, and case the disposition of the
offender.
Hierarchical logistic regression was used to examine the ability of the model to
accurately predict gender of the offender. This research contributes identifying offender,
offense and victim characteristics towards development of a typology for male and
female juvenile sex offenders.to the development of a typology of the male and female
juvenile sex offender.

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Copyright © May August 2011
Tonya Y. Willingham

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AcknowledgementsAcknowledgements
I would like to express my gratitude and deep appreciation to the members of my
committee, Dr. Jon SorensonSorensen, Dr. Myrna Cintroń, Dr. Camille Gibson, and Dr.
William Kritsonis for their guidance and encouragement in this educational process. To
the chair of my committee, Dr. Jon SorensonSorensen, thank you for your patience,
commitment and expertise. Your willingness to guide and counsel me will always be
appreciated. I am additionally grateful for the lessons taught by Dr. Frank Williams, III,
Dr. Marilyn McShane, Dr. Everette Penn and Dr. Richard Tachia. The guidance given
during my tenure in this program was exceptional.
To my parents, Robert and the late Elizabeth Willingham, thank you for
introducing me to the power and splendor of education, and for insisting that I settle for
nothing less than a terminal degree. Your guidance and nurturing has sustained me
through this process, and I will always be grateful and mindful that this accomplishment
is not mine alone. To my sister, Denise, thank you for your offers of assistance and
helping me with my library searches and other duties. This, along with family support, t
allowed me to pursue many of my dreams and goals. For this, I am extremely grateful.

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Author NoteAuthor Note
Data for this dissertation was provided by the Inter-University Consortium for
Political Science and Social Research (ICPSR) and was the product of the National
Incident-Based Reporting System, 2004. This dataset is affiliated with the National
Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Neither the principal investigators of this data nor
ICPSR assume any responsibility for the use of this data or for any interpretations or
conclusions presented in this dissertation.

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Table of Contents
Page
Certificate of Dissertation Approval........................................................................ii
Abstract..................................................................................................................iii
Acknowledgements..................................................................................................v
Author Note............................................................................................................vi
Chapter I..................................................................................................................1
Male Juvenile Sex Offenders...............................................................................7
Female Juvenile Sex Offenders.........................................................................10
Theoretical Foundation......................................................................................15
Trends................................................................................................................19
Problem Statement.............................................................................................23
Research Questions............................................................................................25
Summary............................................................................................................26
Organization of the Study..................................................................................26
Chapter II...............................................................................................................28
Literature Review..................................................................................................28
Characteristics of Juvenile Sex Offenders.........................................................30
Additional Areas of Research on the Juvenile Sex Offender.................................33
History of Family Dysfunction and Chaotic Family Environments..................34
History of Socialization Problems.....................................................................37
History of School Problems...............................................................................38
History of Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse.............................................39
Exposure to Pornography..................................................................................40
Multiple Offenders.............................................................................................41
Commission of Multiple Offenses.....................................................................42
Amenability to Treatment..................................................................................43
Treatment Efficacy.............................................................................................45
Recidivism.........................................................................................................47
Use of Illegal Substances/Alcohol During the Sex Offense..............................48
Characteristics of Victims..................................................................................49
Offense Characteristics......................................................................................53
Level of Physical Force/Violence/Coercion......................................................53
Use and Type of Weapons Used........................................................................55
Location of Offense...........................................................................................56
Role of Illegal Substances/Alcohol...................................................................58
Types of Sexual Offenses Committed...............................................................60
Research Questions............................................................................................61

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Summary............................................................................................................62
Chapter III..............................................................................................................63
Method...................................................................................................................63
Research Design................................................................................................63
Research Questions............................................................................................66
Research Hypotheses.........................................................................................66
Justification of Variables........................................................................................67
Offender.............................................................................................................67
Victim................................................................................................................68
Offense...............................................................................................................68
Statistical Analysis.............................................................................................70
Summary............................................................................................................73
Chapter IV Data Analysis......................................................................................74
Descriptive Analyses.........................................................................................74
Research Questions: Bivariate Relationships....................................................80
Multivariate Relationships.................................................................................85
Summary............................................................................................................88
Chapter V...............................................................................................................91
Discussion..............................................................................................................91
Policy Implications............................................................................................93
Limitations.........................................................................................................96
Recommendations for Future Research.............................................................97
Conclusions......................................................................................................100
References............................................................................................................105
Vita.......................................................................................................................125

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List of Tables
Page
Table 1 Geographic Distribution of Offenders......................................................65
Table 2 Demographic Variables for Offenders......................................................75
Table 3 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Disposition............................76
Table 4 Cross Tabulation of Sex Offenses..............................................................77
Table 5 Demographic Variables of Victims............................................................78
Table 6 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and VictimOffenderRelationship. .79
Table 10 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Weapons/Force....................83
Table 11 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Injury...................................84
Table 12 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Location...............................85
Table 13 Victim Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender..........................86
Table 14 Victim and Offense Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender......87

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List of Tables
Table 1 Geographical Distribution of Offenders
Table 2 Demographic Variables of

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Offenders…………………………………………..59
Table 3 Cross Tabulation of Offender's Gender and Disposition 60
Table 4 Cross Tabulation of Sex Offenses 61
Table 5 Demographic Variables of Victims 62
Table 6 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim's Relationship to Offender
63
Table 7 Cross Tabulation of Offender's Gender and Victim's Gender
64
Table 8 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim Race 64
Table 9 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Drugs/Alcohol
66
Table 10 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Weapons/Force
67
Table 11 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Injury
68
Table 12 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Location
69
Table 13 Victim Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender 70
Table 14 Victim and Offense Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender
71
Chapter I
Chapter I
Introduction
Sexually assaultive or abusive behaviors are usually linked to adults rather than
juveniles, and yet an awareness of juvenile sex offending has grown in recent years. A
juvenile sex offender male or female, is one who participates in sexual activity with
another person without the full consent of that person. The sex offenses may be physical
or nonphysical, and can include any of the following categories of acts: hands-off
offenses (exhibitionism, voyeurism, public masturbation, obscene phone calls); and,
hands on offenses (forcible rape, fondling, sexual homicide, prostitution, forcing others
into prostitution under duress, intercourse and child pornography) (Gibson, 2007).
In 2003, juveniles were responsible for 4, 240 forcible rapes and 18, 300 sex
offenses, excluding rape and prostitution as reported by the U.S. Department of Justice

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(Snyder & Sickmund, 2006). Maxwell, Robinson and Post (2003) surveyed high school
students and concluded just under half, 48%, of females had experienced sexual
aggression, while 34% of males acknowledged committing some type of offending
behavior. Righthand and Welch (2001) found that just under half of adult sex offenders
examined in their study began sexually offending during their adolescent years.
Research has also shown that most sex offenses have been committed against
children. Snyder (2006) found that 67% of sexual assault victims reportinged to law
enforcement agencies were under 18 years of age. Data collected by the National NIBRS
Incident Based Reporting System found that juveniles were responsible for 40% of sexual
offenses against children under the age of 6 (Snyder, 2006). These statistics lends support
to the need to further examine juvenile sex offending in order to safeguard those at risk
for victimization.
Bouhours and Daly (2007) noted that the initial response from society to juvenile
sex offending was to minimize or deny that such atrocious behavior could result from
actions of children, and their actions were was largely ignored. Another common reaction
from authority figures was to label the offending behavior as adolescent experimentation,
or as an isolated event that is not likely to be repeated (Bengis, 1986). Knopp (1982)
suggested that public response was due to: (a) a lack of knowledge regarding the area of
juvenile sex offenders; (b) a desire to shield juvenile offenders from the label of sex
offender, ; and, (c) the underreporting of juvenile sex offending.
Initially, what was known about adult sex offenders was applied to juvenile sex
offenders. Although there were some correlations, there were also distinct differences.
Medoff (2004) found meaningful differences between juvenile and adult sex offenders in
the following areas: (a) victim selection; , (b) rates of recidivism; and, (c) treatment
amenability. These differences can be traced to developmental variances between the

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juvenile and adult sex offender. Because juveniles are thought to be amenable to
treatment, it is believed that they are also more amenable to rehabilitation than the adult
offender (Medoff, 2004).
Developmentally, juveniles are not equipped to consider the broad implications of
their choices, and frequently seek immediate gratification. Conversely, the adult offender
is expected to be capable of thinking through consequences of a choice before making the
decision to act (Grisso, 2000) (as cited in Medoff, 2004).
In 2009, Finkelhor, Ormrod and Chaffin found that approximately 36% of
juveniles known to law enforcement have sexually victimized minors. Research
conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (2002) found that juveniles accounted
for some 17% of all forcible rapes and 21% of other sexual offenses committed in the
United States. Snyder (2000) found that juveniles accounted for 40% of sexual offenses
where the victims were children under the age of six, 39% of sexual assaults where the
victims were children between the ages of six to 11, 27% of sexual assaults of older
youth, and but only 4% of sexual assaults where the victim was an adult.
Juvenile sex offenders are identified by a number of traits that include academic
difficulties, psychiatric disorders, and a lack of impulse control (Center for Sex Offender
Management, 2002). These offenders have also been identified as having patterns of
deviant sexual interests and histories of physical and sexual abuse. Longo (2001), in his
role as therapist, also found increased rates of abuse, neglect, and family dysfunction in
the histories of offenders with whom he worked. Other traits associated with these
offenders include exposure to aggressive role models and to pornographic materials
(Knight & Prentky, 1993).
Literature on juvenile offenders frequently describes them as a heterogeneous
group (Zolondek, Abel, Northey & Jordan, 2001). Hence, the ability to accurately

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identify the etiology of juvenile sex offending is compromised, as are risk assessment
methods (Becker, 1998). Efforts to correctly identify and classify different types of
juvenile sex offenders will be helpful in overcoming the challenges of heterogeneity.
As more empirical studies are completed on these offenders, several categories of
juvenile sex offenders have emerged. One emerging classification of juvenile sex
offenders are those identified as serial juvenile sex offenders (Woodhams, Hollin, & Bull,
2008). Serial juvenile sex offenders have been defined as those juveniles who have
committed multiple sexual offenses with multiple victims. While some would argue that
this is recidivism, the authors note that recidivism occurs after some formal intervention
or judicial action. Whether or not there are sufficient differences between recidivists and
serial juvenile sex offenders to warrant a separate classification, the authors found both
differences and similarities between serial offender and non-serial juvenile sex offenders.
The serial juvenile sex offender was found to offend more frequently and
consistently than others, and they were more likely to use physical force in order to
maintain control over their victim. In a study conducted on a small sample of serial
juvenile sex offenders (Woodhams et al., 2008), the offenders, all male, were found to
have victimized both young males and females. In this small sample (where n=7), it was
found that these serial offenders were likely to know their victims, and to commit the
offenses in the victim’s home, or and in some incidents, in a home shared by the offender
and the victim. The authors assert that the selection of young victims whom the
offendersy are either casually acquainted or related to in some way, along with the
selection of similar locations, are traits characteristic of serial juvenile offenders.
Aside from the serial juvenile sex offender, this group of offenders has also been
classified across gender lines. While male juvenile sex offenders are more widely known,
there are lesser known categories of pre-pubescent child offenders, developmentally

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disabled, and female juvenile sex offenders. Regarding pre-pubescent child offenders,
Araji (1997) noted that some studies found offenders as young as three years of age,
although the age of onset is typically between the ages of six and nine. Other
characteristics of pre-pubescent sex offenders indicate that they have a history of sexual
abuse and neglect, are typically female, suffered victimization as children between the
ages of four and seven, and frequently select friends, siblings or acquaintances as their
victims. These pre-pubescent offenders have also been found to have frequent academic
and learning difficulties and impaired peer relationships. These offenders are also more
likely to experience academic and social difficulties. Victims of pre-pubescent offenders
tend to be very young (averaging between ages 4 and 7), 7 and are most often female
(Araji, 1997).
The developmentally disabled offender is another subgroup of juvenile sex
offenders. There is a tendency to overlook those offenders because they are often thought
to be asexual, and uninterested in matters of human sexuality. It is also suspected that the
number of developmentally disabled sex offenders is underreported by facilities who
specialize in providing residential care for them. Gilby, Wolf and Goldberg (1989)
studied adolescent sex offenders with mental retardation and concluded that the
frequency with which these those juveniles sexually offended was not unlike the
frequency of juvenile sex offenders with normal intelligence. Although the frequency of
sex offending is not significantly different, researchers have noted distinct differences
exhibited by these offendersdevelopmentally disabled offenders, including the tendency
to sexually assault against peers or strangers as opposed to family members. , and to
select strangers as their victims.

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Juvenile sex offenders have also been classified by their victims. The Center for
Sex Offender Management (2002) found that some offenders victimize their peers or
adults, while others tend to and some victimize children. Offenders who victimize peers
or adults are more likely to assault females, strangers, or acquaintances. They are also
more likely to offend in public places while committing an additional crime. These
offenders are also more likely to have histories of delinquency, suffer from conduct
disorder, and tend to injure their victim, use weapons during the offense, and present with
increased aggression and violence. The second group, those who victimize children, have
been found to have a slightly increased rate of female victimization, and will victimize
siblings or relatives, and use bribery and threats to manipulate their victim. This offender
will also be socially inept, have poor self-esteem, may be prone to depression and serious
personality disturbance, and may present with increased rates of aggression.
Female juvenile sex offenders are the focus of the current study, with male
juvenile sex offenders serving as the comparison group. Female juvenile sex offenders
are a difficult population to examine, due to the limited numbers of females formally
identified as sex offenders. Of the juvenile arrests rates for forcible rape and other sex
offenses recorded in 2001, females accounted for just over 6% of these arrests (U. S.
Department of Justice, 2002). While female offenders show up in modest numbers in the
arrest statistics, it is suspected that females are grossly underrepresented. One explanation
for this underrepresentation is that sex offenses committed by females are unnoticed or
simply ignored by law enforcement (Denov, 2004; Vandiver & Kercher, 2004). This may
be the result of a hesitancy to accept that females are capable of such atrocious offenses,
or a desire to minimize the severity or pathology behind the actions of female offenders.

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Victims of female juvenile sex offenders may also be reluctant to report
victimization for a number of reasons, including fear, threats, guilt or even shame that
they were unable to protect themselves from their peer. This is especially true for male
victims of female juvenile sex offenders. It is also possible that male victims may
experience confusion about the violation, particularly if they experience any enjoyment
from the act.
Research design may also play a role in the underrepresentation of female sex
offending in the literature. The design of the research instrument may be structured in a
manner that reflects offenses that are male oriented (Johansson-Love & Fremouw, 2006).
Anderson and Struckman-Johnson (1998) found gender bias in how researchers question
subjects. For example, females may only be questioned from a victim standpoint, while
males are questioned from a perpetrator standpoint.
Females may also be underrepresented in the literature for practical reasons. As
researchers manage a number of competing obligations, it may be more practical to study
male sex offenders due to their accessibility in correctional and treatment facilities.
Hence, reasons for underrepresentation of female sex offenders in the literature may be
due to accessibility, efficiency of research or methodological issues.
Male Juvenile Sex Offenders
Juvenile sex offending has long been attributed to male offenders. Of the juvenile
arrests for sex offenses recorded for 2001, just over 93% were committed by males (U. S.
Department of Justice, 2002). When attention was first directed towards juvenile sex
offending, most of the assumptions made about these offenders was based on what was
known about adult sex offenders (Nelson, 2007). While similarities exist between adult
and juvenile sex offenders, there are significant differences as well. There are also

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meaningful implications for future research, prevention efforts, judicial processing,
treatment and management of these offenders.
Other Ccharacteristics of the male juvenileis offender tends to include a history of
behavioral or school-related problems and high rates of abuse histories. Borduin and
Schaeffer (2001) found juvenile sex offenders could also be characterized as having
histories of psychiatric disturbances. Delisi et al. (2008) characterized the psychiatric
disturbances for these offenders as psychopathology, specifically, thought
psychopathology, which was defined as impairment in one’s thinking, and perception.
Other recent studies have concurred with the suggestion that many of these offenders
experience antisocial behavior and thought impairment (Butler & Seto, 2002; Sample &
Bray, 2003; Simon, 2000; Terry, 2006).
A study conducted by Becker, Cunningham-Rathner and Kaplan (1986) found that
on average, juvenile sex offenders were on average, 15 years of age, approximately 11%
had previous arrests for sex offenses, and 63% had victimized children. The authors
further found that when force was used during the commission of the sex offenses,
selected victims were more likely to be peers or adults, rather than unknown children.
Other traits associated with this population of offenders have included: (a) poor social
and interpersonal skills; (b) a tendency to isolate themselves from others; (c) a history of
learning disabilities; and (d) proneness to depression (Smith, Monastersky, & Deischer,
1986).
Fehrenbach, Smith, Monastersky and Deischer (1986) concluded that most
juvenile sex offenders tended to be social outcasts with few peers in their age group, and
they tended to feel more comfortable in the presence of younger children. The authors
further noted that these offenders tended to experience a multitude of family problems,
lacked empathy or remorse, and were unlikely to accept responsibility for their sexual

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offenses. In addition to disturbed familial relationships, these offenders were likely to
have experienced confused sexual values and inappropriate exposure to sexual activity
(Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002). Histories of family instability, as well as questionable
parental practices, supervision and bonding were also prevalent (Nelson, 2007).
Additionally, these offenders were likely to have a psychiatric diagnosis.
Letourneau and Miner (2005), in a study of juvenile sex offenders, found that 11% of the
sample had received mental health services. Kavoussi, Kaplan and Becker (1988) studied
58 male adolescent sex offenders participating in an outpatient program, and determined
that the most frequently occurring psychiatric diagnosis was conduct disorder, with
nearly half of the sample participants formally diagnosed with this disorderas such. It is
noted that many of the risk factors associated with juvenile sex offending are commonly
found in the psychosocial histories of juvenile delinquents. It is expected that many of
these characteristics will also be found in the backgrounds of female juvenile sex
offenders. However, there are also likely to be noticeable differences between the two
groups and their patterns of victimization.
Several typologies for male juvenile sex offenders have been developed over
time. In a study conducted by Worling (2001) of 112 male juvenile sex offenders, four
distinctive descriptive classifications or clusters were identified: (a) antisocial/impulsive;
(b) unusual/isolated; (c) over-controlled/reserved; and, (d) confident/aggressive. The
researcher found that just under one half of the juveniles sampled were included in the
antisocial/impulsive descriptor. Further, the study found that negative parental influences
were strongly correlated with the juvenile sex offenders sampled. Inclusive in the
negative parental influences descriptor were the parents’ marital status and whether or not
the juveniles were physically abused by a parent. For juveniles associated with the

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unusual/isolated cluster, they were found to have difficulty being accepted by their peer
group (O’Brien & Bera, 1996; Worling, 2001), and were also likely to have parents who
were either divorced or separated. Juveniles who associated with the overcontrolled/reserved cluster were likely to be suspicious and guarded in their social and
interpersonal interactions (Worling, 2001). Juveniles who identified with the
confident/aggressive cluster were likely to be narcissistic and aggressive in their
interactions with others.
O’Brien and Bera (1986) presented additional typologies of the male juvenile sex
offender and identified seven categories: naïve experimenters; under-socialized child
exploiters; sexually aggressive offenders; sexually compulsive offenders; disturbed
impulsive offenders; offenders influenced by group interactions; and, pseudo-socialized
offenders. Prentky, Harris, Frizzell, and Righthand (2000) concluded through their work
with this population of offenders that there were six categories: child molesters; rapists;
sexually reactive children; fondlers; paraphilia offenders; and, those who were
unclassifiable. The authorsPrentky et al. defined the paraphiliac offender as one who
presented a pattern of drawing sexual pleasure from sexually arousing imagery or
conduct generally considered to be socially unacceptable, such as sexual acts with
children. The lack of consensus among criminal justice professionals regarding the
classifications of these offenders warrants further study in order to more accurately
intervene and treat the juvenile offender.
Female Juvenile Sex Offenders
The research on female juvenile sex offenders is primarily descriptive and drawn
from small samples of females (adults and juveniles) involved in clinical settings. These
limitations result in research that is difficult to generalize to the greater population of

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female juvenile sex offenders. A further review of available literature on this subset of sex
offenders has revealed several characteristics common to females who sexually offend,
including histories of the following: child abuse with incidents of sexual victimization;
symptoms of emotional and mental disturbance inclusive of personality disorders;
substance abuse; and, troubled or non-existent intimate relationships with others (Hunter,
Becker, & Lexier, 2006).
Other characteristics related to patterns of offense include: a tendency to victimize
children and adolescents rather than adults; a propensity to victimize relatives or
acquaintances rather than strangers; and a greater probability of committing a sexual
offense with a male significant other. The authors recognized that the presence of these
traits in a female’s background does not necessarily indicate the existence of a sex
offender; however, it does provide practitioners with indicators about propensity and the
psycho-social contributors to female sex offending.
Hirshberg and Riskin, ( 1994) studied 20 female sex offenders in a residential
treatment facility for emotionally disturbed girls and found 80% of the sample began
committing sexual offenses before the age of 13. Not surprisingly, 100% of the sample
had experienced sexual or physical abuse. Family instability was also a trait of this
sample. The authors found that all of the girls were from broken families and families
with multiple problems including substance abuse, mental illness and terminal illness.
Hirshberg and Riskin (1994) found notable offense patterns of female offenders.
They study presented meaningful information about types of offenses, number of
incidents and type of coercion or force used to control the victim. Among those sampled,
offenses included fondling, non-penetrative contact, digital penetration, penetration with
an object, oral sex, intercourse, and excessive touching. Some victims were also made to
watch the offender masturbate or watch them have sexual intercourse with a boyfriend.

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This suggests that the range of offenses committed by female sex offenders is just as
varied as those committed by males. The authors also found that many of the offenders
had engaged in repetitive patterns of offending. Offenders reported committing these acts
over a period of time ranging from nine months to three years. The frequency of
victimization included twice two to seventy times over a period of time. Offenders in the
sample reported the use of physical force verbal and physical threats of force to gain
control over their victim. These offense characteristics, though representative of only 20
offenders, hints at the variability in juvenile female sex offending and has implications
for assessment, treatment and supervising female sex offenders.
It has been noted that the judicial system has been slow to address female juvenile
sex offending. When Hirshberg and Riskin (1994) queried subjects in their study, they
found little court involvement as a result of the offending behavior. In the study, three of
the 20 subjects were formally charged with a sexual offense. Although the judicial
response was lacking, the authors found a number of system responses, presumably from
the child welfare system, that included moving the offender to a foster home, placing
them in a residential facility or youth shelter, hospitalization, placement with another
family member, or referral for sex offender evaluation. This Their study highlights a
number of areas amenable to further research for the female sexual offender.
Matthews, Matthews, and Speltz (1989) developed three typologies of female sex
offenders: (a) male-coerced; (b) predisposed; and (c) teacher/lover. Female sex offenders
classified as predisposed are likely to have extensive histories of incestuous sexual
victimization, psychological disturbances, and deviant sexual fantasies. Female sex
offenders classified as teacher/lover are frequently experiencing troubled relationships
with their own peer group and view themselves as having real, rather than imagined,

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romantic relationships with their adolescent victim; , and, they do not view their sex
offenses as criminal.
It appears that traits common to female juvenile sex offenders are similar to those
of adult female sex offenders. Commonly occurring traits associated with female juvenile
sex offenders and their offending patterns include: increased rates of sexual victimization;
family and home life dysfunction and instability; dual diagnoses of psychiatric disorders;
tendency to choose as their victims younger family members, or other young children
with whom they are acquainted; a tendency to victimize either male or female children;
and, a tendency to commit their sexual offense alone, usually while in a care-giving role
(Bumby & Bumby, 2004; Frey, 2006). By virtue of their gender, these offenders have
inherent opportunities to commit their sexual offenses due in part to the stereotypical
roles society has in place for females, especially as caregivers.
While similarities can be found in the backgrounds and offense patterns of adult
female and juvenile female sex offenders, differences do exist. Matthews, Hunter, and
Vuz (1997) studied 67 juvenile females and identified three typologies, which differ
substantially from typologies associated with adult female sex offenders. The first type of
female juvenile sex offender engages in a limited number of incidents that occur while
they are engaged as a child-care provider for a child unrelated to them. These offenders
are likely to have limited histories of child maltreatment, family and home life
dysfunction, and psychological disturbances in their backgrounds. They are likely to be
inexperienced and fearful regarding sexual matters, and their motivation to offend
originates from curiosity and experimentation rather than a desire to meet a sexual need.
A second type of female juvenile sex offender includes offenders who abuse
younger children in the same manner that they were abused. Although psychological
disturbances were present, they were mitigated by satisfactory social skills. It would

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appear that this type reflects an offender who is reactive in her sexual offense, and who
uses the ability to sexually offend as a coping mechanism for her own victimization. The
few published studies indicate that female juvenile sex offenders are likely to have
histories of physical and sexual abuse (Becker, 1998). Fehrenbach and Monastersky
(1988) examined 28 females participating in a juvenile sex offender program, finding that
21% had been physically abused tand hat 50% had been sexually abused. Hunter, Lexier,
Goodwin, Browne and Dennis (1993) studied 10 females at a residential treatment
program and found that 80% of the females had histories of physical abuse during their
childhood, while 100% had histories of sexual abuse.
A third type of female juvenile sex offender includes those who have been
victimized repeatedly, usually at an early age, and in some of the most horrific and
traumatic ways. These offenders may have a long history of committing sexual offenses,
and are likely to have more extensive histories of emotional and psychiatric disturbances.
It is important to note however, that most victims of sexual abuse do not become abusers
themselves.
In spite of the similarities observed between genders, Matthews et al. (1997) also
observed noticeable differences. When comparing childhood maltreatment histories of
both groups, females were found to have suffered more severe incidents of maltreatment.
They were also more likely to have had multiple abusers and were victimized at much
earlier ages than males.
Differences between male and female juvenile sex offenders are significant when
considering policies and practices for processing, assessing, managing and treating
female offenders. In the absence of clear and definitive empirically based policies and
recommendations for addressing the needs and challenges associated with female
offenders, much of how the juvenile justice system responds to these offenders is based

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on what is known about male offenders. Risk assessment instruments have not been
customized to acknowledge gender differences, which and impacts treatment approaches
and supervision needs of these offenders.
Society’s reluctant acceptance of female juveniles in the role of sex offenders has
been reflected in the relatively few studies conducted, and in their female sex offender
low rates of arrests. Understanding different types of female juvenile sex offenders is
necessary to offer the most effective prevention and intervention efforts.
Theoretical Foundation
Theoretical considerations for juvenile sex offending have been varied and
continue to emerge as more focus is placed on the juvenile sex offender. Research by
Miner (2002), found little theoretical support for juvenile sex offending, and available
theories were found to be lacking in empirical support. As with most criminological
theories, few succeed in comprehensively explaining the conduct of all would be
offenders.
Theories on juvenile sex offending have proven to be no different. In this research
study, social learning theory was selected as the most fitting theory for juvenile sex
offending. Social learning theory has been credited to Albert Bandura, and later to Ronald
Aker (Williams & McShane, 2004). The premise suggests that individuals learn new
behaviors and gain new information by observing the actions of others (Bandura, 1986).
This phenomenon was termed, observational learning or modeling (Bandura, 1986). The
authorBandura further identified three basic tenets of his social learning theory: (a)
individuals learn through observation; (b) mental state is important to learning, and, (c)
learning does not always result in a change in behavior (Bandura, 1986). As the author
noted, observational learning could occur in one of three ways including by live model,

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which occurs when the individual can observe an actual person demonstrating the
behavior. Observational modeling may also occur through verbal instruction which
occurs when another individual describes or explains the behavior. Observational
learning can also occur through symbolic modeling that occurs when the individual
observes the behavior in books, films, television or other mass media (Bandura, 1986).
Another important element of Bandura’s theory involves types of models who
offer the greatest influence on an individual during the learning process. Bandura (1983)
surmised that three models were central to the learning process, and they include family
members, members of one’s peer group and symbolic members portrayed through mass
media. He argued that individuals typically learned from those closest, and of most value
to them, like family and friends. For juveniles, those who are likely to have the greatest
influences over them are parents, guardians, extended family members, friends and those
cultural icons represented through in social and mass media. Hence, this This lends
credence to Bandura’s emphasis on the value of these models.
Bandura’s theory on of social learning provides a reasonable theoretical
foundation for juvenile sex offending. Once the juvenile has been exposed to deviant
sexual behavior, he or she may then incorporate that behavior into one’s his or her own
personal vocabulary and re-create the behavior at some time in their future. In prior
research on juvenile sex offenders who have been physically or sexually abused, Johnson
(1988) concluded that as these offenders had observed physical and sexual abuse, they
acquired the knowledge for this sexually deviant behavior, and re-enacting ed what they
learned.
Burton (2000) studied three groups of adolescent sex offenders who admitted
incidents of sex offending at various stages of their adolescence. The author concluded
that for many of these those offenders, a history of victimization as perpetration was

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evident in their backgrounds. Burton, Nesmith, and Badten (1997) also studied children
who were assessed as having sexual behavior problems, and found rates of sexual
victimization in their backgrounds to range from 65% to 100%. Burton et al. (1997)
concluded that when applying Bandura’s modeling premise and examining the
characteristics of the participant’s victimization, it was evident that the theory of social
learning was an appropriate explanation for the participant’s subsequent sex offending.
Social learning theory, as a theoretical explanation for juvenile sex offending has
merit; however, not all questions are satisfied by this theory. All juveniles who have been
sexually abused or exposed to sexual behavior or activity will not become juvenile sex
offenders. This could be explained by further investigation into the subsequent exposure
to other more appropriate learning opportunities, as well as professional interventions
such as therapy, which override the negative lessons acquired from sexual victimization.
Likewise, there will be some juvenile sex offenders who have no history of sexual abuse.
One logical explanation could be that while they were not exposed to a live model, they
may have been exposed to sexual activity or behavior through mass media (i. e., adult
books, magazines, movies etc. ) that provided the learning opportunity. Even taking the
questions regarding the theory into consideration, Bandura’s social learning theory
provides a logical beginning basis for further study as a theoretical explanation for
juvenile sex offending.
Empirical research for this population of offenders is also driven by a need to
identify the etiology of juvenile sex offending. Most of what is known about juvenile sex
offenders has been assembled from observing adult sex offenders; however, there is little
consensus about the etiology of juvenile sex offending. Becker and Hunter (1997) noted
that much of the literature on juvenile sex offenders includes exposure to pornography,

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histories history of physical and sexual abuse, substance abuse, and exposure to
aggressive significant others as key factors in the development of juvenile sex offending.
Some of these factors are considered external, while others are internal factors.
Becker and Kaplan (1988) suggested a model that considers external factors such
as family and social-environmental variables as significant to the etiology of juvenile sex
offending. With In this model, the juvenile commits his/her first sexual offense in
response to a synthesis of variables including: poor or strained familial relationships; ,
poor or non-existent social skills; , a history of delinquency; , and, a history of anti-social
behavior. According to the authors, once the juvenile commits his/her first sex offense,
there are three pathways that may be chosen: (a) commit future sex offenses; (b) commit
other offenses including non-sexual offenses; or, (c) commit no further sexual or nonsexual offenses. Although these two models provide some promise in identifying the
etiology of juvenile sex offending, neither of them has been empirically tested.
Additionally, neither of them accounts for any gender differences that may exist and
significantly impact a juvenile’s decision to commit sexual offenses. Many unanswered
questions remain about this population of offenders, and chief amount among them is the
influence of gender roles on the offenders’ propensity to commit sexual offenses, and
how offenses are committed.
Trends
Due to an increased awareness of juvenile sex offending and other violent crimes,
society has responded in a manner indicative of their contempt for those who commit
such crimes. The passage of new and more punitive legislation was intended to serve a
dual purpose, making juvenile offenders more responsible for their delinquent conduct
while maximizing public safety; however, this has not produced the desired results. Some

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of the legislative responses to serious and violent juvenile offending have come in the
form of: juvenile waivers; lowering the age for juveniles to be tried as adults; sex
offender registration requirements such as those found in the Adam Walsh Child
Protection and Safety Act, passed in 2006; and, community notification requirements
such as those found in Megan’s Law, passed in 1996. Residency restrictions have also
become an oft-used method of controlling sex offenders, including juvenile sex offenders
(Chaffin, 2008).
What has been less clear is how many of these legislative actions targeting adult
sex offenders have been extended to juvenile sex offenders, as it varies by jurisdiction.
Juvenile waivers provide legislators, prosecutors and judges with the authority to transfer
or waive juvenile matters of a particularly serious and violent nature, to the adult criminal
justice system, and away from the insulation and protection afforded by the juvenile
justice system. A number of states lowered the age for juveniles to be tried as adults as
well as other provisions that allow juveniles to more easily be dealt with as an adult.
Further, provisions allow for juveniles prosecuted as an adult once to be prosecuted in
criminal court for any subsequent charges. While the age limits for these provisions vary,
most range target juveniles between 10 toand 16 years of age (Snyder, 2003).
As society sought to protect some of its most vulnerable citizens, an onslaught of
successive legislative acts was initiated to more effectively monitor and manage the
movement of sex offenders. Some of these acts include the Jacob Wetterling Act (1994);
Megan’s Law (1996); Pam Lychner Act (1996); Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
(2000); and the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Law (2006). These acts,
mandated by the federal government, provide for the creation and imposition of sex
offender registration and community notification programs for states that are directly

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linked to financial incentives. States have been left to grapple with how best to manage
and supervise the juvenile sex offender. Thus far, sex offender registration and
community notification requirements for juveniles mimic those imposed upon adult sex
offenders.
While concern for safety is important, the question arises whether or not the
application of registration and notification laws to juveniles accomplishes this goal. The
laws amount to labeling. Once labeled a juvenile sex offender, the label dictates the way
in which others interact with the individual. For juveniles, this can lead to a host of
difficulties, particularly when they are at-risk for delinquent behavior. Hence, there is a
need to continue further research on this population of offenders to examine the impact of
the label and its consequences on at-risk youth, particularly those who are at-risk for
committing sex offenses.
In a rush of overzealousness, some of the mandates have resulted in the
stigmatization and marginalization of juveniles who may be amenable to rehabilitation.
Zimring (2004) noted that some of the exclusionary restrictions placed on these juveniles
is more stringent than those placed on adult sex offenders. Thompson (2008) found some
jurisdictions to be so rigid in their application of residency restrictions for sex offenders
that colonies of homeless offenders, including juveniles, were beginning to surface within
communities. In a longitudinal study of incarcerated juvenile sex offenders that used
nonsexual juvenile offenders as a comparison group, nonsexual juvenile offenders,
Caldwell (2007) found that after release and during a five year follow up, 85% of the post
incarceration sex offenses for the entire released population, were committed by those
nonsexual juvenile delinquents. Public awareness and feelings of frustration and
helplessness have given way to the support of fewer liberties and more social controls for

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those convicted of sex offenses. What remains to be seen is whether these social controls
are the most effective tools for use in managing the juvenile sex offender, reducing
recidivism, and protecting this offender’s prospective victims.
Current research suggests that male and female juvenile sex offenders generally
desist upon reaching adulthood (Kruttschnitt, Uggen, & Shelton, 2000), yet the problem
of juvenile sex offending poses myriad problems. While these offenders may be
considered by some to be burgeoning adult sex offenders, there are those who would
view them as amenable to rehabilitation (Bouhours & Daly, 2007). This poses special
significance when evaluating the utility of applying registration and notification laws.
One the most important factors in protecting society is accurately assessing the juvenile
sex offender’s risk for re-offending (Becker, 1998). The costs associated with managing
and treating juvenile sex offenders justifies continued research. Further, due to the innate
differences between male and female juvenile sex offenders, it is expected that
differences between the genders will be significant.
Historically, juvenile sex offenders have either been ignored or viewed as an
anomaly. Past research suggests that nine out of 10 juvenile sex offenders are males, and
that most offenders commit their first sex offense before the age 15 (Finkelhor &
Berliner, 1995; Vandiver & Teske, 2006). Most of the available research on juvenile sex
offenders has focused on the following areas: descriptive or demographic information;
characteristics and prior experiences; development of effective screening and assessment
tools; treatment amenability; and, recidivism rates (Miner, 2002). In recent years,
researchers have begun studying characteristics of juvenile sex offenders as a very
separate and distinct category of sexual offenders and in much greater detail than before.
No discussion about the trends related to juvenile sex offending would be
complete without discussing the significance of the doctrine of parens patriae as one

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considers the management of these offenders. This doctrine advocates for rehabilitation
to be the guiding principle that directs the juvenile justice system’s response to these
offenders. The difficulty for some juvenile justice professionals concerns the apparent
abandonment of the founding principle of parens patriae in favor of more severe,
unforgiving and punitive responses, such as the legislative trends noted earlier. As society
continues to search for the most effective crime control policy for juvenile sex offending,
a balance must be struck between providing rehabilitative resources to these juveniles
who may age out of sex offending behavior and keeping their potential victims safe.
Further empirical study of the etiology of juvenile sex offending for both male and
female offenders as well as the efficacy of treatment and recidivism, should be included
in future research efforts. concerns for these offenders.
Problem Statement
Juvenile sex offending has emerged as one of several serious offenses committed
by juveniles 17 years old and under in recent years. Early research on these offenders
frequently compared them to adult sex offenders; however, as practitioners have
discovered, there are distinct differences between adult and juvenile sex offenders that
warrants special consideration in setting a research agenda.
Another important consideration regarding juvenile sex offenders is the paucity of
literature available on female juvenile sex offenders. In a meta-analysis, Johansson-Love
and Fremouw (2009) identified only 13 scientific studies of female sex offenders with
sample sizes larger than 10. Recent decades have seen an increased focus on both the
existence and etiology of female juvenile sex offending. While little doubt remains that
there are female juvenile sex offenders, the ability to recognize and accept the offending
behavior for what it is, sexual offending, has proven to be a great challenge to social

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scientists in past years. In order to measure the scope of the problem, it must be
acknowledged. For some, this has been difficult due to the inability to accept that young
females can and do, willingly engage in deviant sexual activity. This has resulted in the
sexual offending behavior of females being overlooked, minimized or rationalized into
something less threatening, such as child’s play, experimentation, or exploration.
Johansson-Love and Fremouw (2009) concluded that differences between male
and female juvenile sex offenders were could be categorized either as an offender trait, or
an offense/victim trait. Notable offender variables of interest for female offenders include
age of the offender at the time of their first sex offense, existence of an abuse history, and
existence of a psychiatric history. The authors also noted victim and offense variables of
interest to female offenders which include: victim age and gender, relationship between
victim and offender, presence of multiple offenders, and admission of guilt. Research has
shown that male sex offenders are more likely to commit their offense , alone, while
female offenders, particularly those with histories of sexual abuse, usually have a cooffender who acts as the dominant offender (Grayston and De Luca, 1999). A more recent
study by Vandiver (2006) of female sex offenders arrested in 2001, (N = 232), found that
46% of the offenders had a co-offender. Further study of this variable could yield
meaningful information for the processing, disposition, and treatment of these offenders.
Miller, Trapani, Fejes-Mendoza, Eggleston, and Dwiggins (1995) suggested that
research on female juvenile sexthis offenders has been restricted by size of samples
available for study. This has contributed to an over-reliance on research from adult female
sex offenders to explain, understand, or manage these juvenile offenders. Predictors of
juvenile sex offending include: physical and sexual abuse; , increased rates of
promiscuity; , increased rates of drug abuse; , and, increased rates of academic

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performance problems (Vandiver & Teske, 2006). The authors further found that female
juvenile sex offenders did not significantly differ from male offenders in areas of
psychological symptomology or , and delinquency history. These areas alone warrant
further study, but they are not all-inclusive of the challenges and nuances relevant to
female sex offending. Female juvenile sex offender research, although not as extensive as
that of male juvenile sex offenders, is slowly expanding.
Vandiver and Teske (2006) examined 1, 940 juvenile sex offenders in Texas, and
found significant differences between male and female offenders. The authors found that
females were slightly younger at the time of their arrest, between 11 and 13 years of age,
compared to males who were between the ages of 14 and 16. There were also significant
differences between male and female offenders in the selection of victims. Specifically,
the authors found that males were more likely to victimize females, while females were
less likely to differentiate the gender of their victim. Females were more likely to
victimize younger children, whereas males, chose slightly older victims.
In an earlier study that compared male and female juvenile sex offenders,
Matthews, Hunter and Vuz (1997) observed 67 female and 70 male juvenile sex
offenders, and found that both males and femalesgroups had were reported to have IQ’s
within the range of 80 to 119. While histories of childhood maltreatment were present for
both genders, there were significant gender differences observed. For example, 78% of
females had been sexually abused in comparison to 34% of males, and 60% of females
were physically abused in comparison to 45% of males. Researchers further observed that
male and female offenders were both likely to fondle and penetrate female victims, be
repeat offenders, victimize both male and female children, and to engage in sexual
fantasies before committing the sexual offense.

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Research Questions
The vast majority of research on sex offenders has been directed towards adult
male sex offenders. In recent years, criminologists have come to recognize that there is a
growing subset of sex offenders that have since been characterized as juvenile sex
offenders. Much of the available literature on juvenile sex offenders has been directed
toward identifying characteristics of male juvenile sex offenders. As criminologists
continue to identify a typology of juvenile sex offenders, it is possible that there may be
subtle differences existing between male and female juvenile sex offenders. This research
study will examine the following questions:
1. Is there a relationship between offender age and the age of the victim?
2. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of drugs or
alcohol?
3. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of weapons or
force?
4. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the infliction of injury?
5. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the location of the
offense?
Summary
The problem of juvenile sex offending is one that continues to warrant empirical
study. Most of the studies to date have focused on characteristics of juvenile sex
offending and have been concerned with developing typologies of these offenders. As
these typologies are created, distinct differences have begun to emerge between male and
female juvenile sex offenders. These differences necessitate additional scientific study for
management, treatment and prevention purposes.

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Organization of the Study
This research study is organized into five chapters. The first chapter identified the
problem statement and the purpose of this study, which is to examine the differences that
exist between male and female juvenile sex offenders. It is the intent of this study to
broaden the base of available research on juvenile sex offenders by identifying
characteristics common to these offenders and traits unique to gendered offending
patterns. The second chapter presents a discussion of the literature on this population of
offenders including known characteristics, factors that place juveniles at-risk for sex
offending, and characteristics unique to the offendinger patterns of male and female
offenders. The third chapter provides an explanation of the study sample, dataset,
procedures, and variables. The fourth chapter presents the analyses of data, outcomes and
interpretation. The final chapter summarizes outcomes, and offers suggestions for further
research.

Chapter IIChapter II
Literature ReviewLiterature Review
Sex offending has received an inordinate amount of attention in recent years;
however, it is not a new phenomenon. The first U.S. laws for sex offenses date back to
the 1930s in response to what was then considered an increase in sexual offending
(Zonana & Norko, 1999). Although society could no longer deny the existence of this
offender, little effort was made to understand the sex offender; rather, efforts were made
to punish those found guilty through passage of some of the first sexual offending laws
(Winick & La Fond, 2003). During this time period, sex offenders were thought to be in
need of confinement and treatment, most frequently at a state mental facility. It was

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further believed that those trained in psychiatry were best equipped to manage these
individuals. Psychiatrists were often charged with risk assessment and treatment. This
approach was not limited to violent sex offenders, but was inclusive of exhibitionists,
voyeurs and homosexuals (Wells & Motley, 2001). While these laws were useful in
incapacitating sex offenders, they did not resolve the problem of sex offending.
Prior to the 1980s, limited empirical research existed on juvenile sex offenders.
This began to change in the 1990s as mainstream media began to highlight heinous sex
crimes where juveniles were the offenders. As noted by Winick and La Fond, (2003), sex
offenders may be found in any age range, socio-economic background, educational level,
gender and ethnicity. They may be married or single, parents or non-parents. They may
be businessmen, coaches, laborers, teachers, ministers, or involved in any other
profession. And, they may be adults or juveniles. Researchers began to conclude that
there was no typical juvenile sex offender, rather, there were social and individual traits
found in their backgrounds that were similar to those found in the backgrounds of other
juvenile delinquents (Barbaree & Marshall, 2006). Van Voorhris and Presser (2001) noted
that male and female sex offenders were both affected by histories of troubled family
relationships, criminal histories, unstable employment histories and anti-social peer
relationships. The authors further noted that while both genders were affected by low
self-esteem, bouts of depression and a prior history of victimization, female sex offenders
were more likely to experience the strongest link between these risk factors and sexual
offending. Other risk factors for female offenders showed that females are more likely
than their male counterparts to have experienced sexual and/or physical abuse, to have
histories of substance abuse and mental health issues, and a history of committing drug
and property offenses (Bloom, Owen, & Covington, 2003). Kruttschnitt et al. (2000)

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noted additional differences between male and female sex offenders that relate to their
patterns of offending. It was found that females were less likely to present a danger to the
community, less likely to commit violent offenses, and were more likely to have had
lower rates of imprisonment than male sex offenders.
While some research has been conducted towards the refinement of typologies for
male and female sex offenders, much remains to be done. In spite of female offenders
being the lesser known and lesser-researched sex offender, there is a greater realization
by criminal justice practitioners that females commit numerous sexual offenses. There
remains a scarcity of research that examines gender differences for this population of
adult offenders relative to their respective traits, amenability to treatment, and risks for
recidivism. Further, few studies were located that examined gender differences for these
offenders and the manner in which they respond to the social controls placed upon them
by sex offender registration and community notification practices.
Characteristics of Juvenile Sex Offenders
Researchers have consistently described juvenile sex offenders as a heterogeneous
group (Hunter, Figueredo, Malamuth, & Becker, 2003; Vandiver & Teske, 2006; Worling,
2001). Hence, there are an assortment of characteristics that have been found in the
backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders that have been studied over time.
Typologies developed for juvenile sex offenders have included histories of
juvenile delinquency, family dysfunction, school problems, childhood physical abuse and
childhood sexual abuse, history of mental health disorders and social skills deficits (Epps
& Fisher, 2004; Nelson, 2007). Other distinctive characteristics of juvenile sex offenders
include their tendency to be withdrawn, socially isolated, and to have experienced a
history of family dysfunction and violence (Martin & Kline-Pruett, 1998; Nelson, 2007).

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Further offered as characteristics commonly associated with these offenders include the
following: poor social skills; , a tendency to be self-absorbed and manipulative; ,
disruptive in their behavior; , and, found these offenders to be lacking in motivation
(Nelson, 2007). These offenders suffer from learning problems including ADHD,
dyslexia, or conduct disorders that affect their school performance (Nelson, 2007). Other
characteristics associated with these offenders concern their emotional health (Nelson,
2007). These offenders have been found to suffer from poor self-esteem and a negative
self-image, and often feel inadequate.
It is not surprising that these emotional health characteristics give rise to other
problems including social isolation and poor interpersonal relationships (Freeman,
Dexter-Mazza, & Hoffman, 2005). Freeman et al. (2005) examined four groups of
juvenile offenders. These offenders were child molesters, sexual assaulters, violent
offenders and property offenders. The authors found that child molesters were noted for
social isolation and had a tendency to bully their victims. In a review of the literature,
Nelson (2007), described these offenders as lonely and socially isolated from their peer
group. He further found that these offenders frequently preferred company of younger
children as they felt socially inadequate in the presence of their peers.
Veneziano and Veneziano (2002) found evidence of similar characteristics for this
population including: history of severe family dysfunction; emotional distance from
parents; placement out of the home; physical and sexual abuse; academic and behavioral
problems in the school setting; social ineptitude or isolation; and, psychopathology.
Nelson (2007) noted that a significant factor in the development of one, who would
become a sex offender, is the family environment. The family environment covers a
broad area including: stability of the home, presence of sexual deviance, inadequate

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parental sexual boundaries, poor parent-child relationships, inadequate parental
supervision, and family violence. In a research study conducted by Roe-Sepowitz &
Krysik (2008), 27% of the participants were found to have come from a home with
multiple and inconsistent parental figures, 26% were found to have come from homes
where there was little or no contact with a parent, 52% had little supervision and 22% had
no supervision whatsoever. Previous studies (Barbaree, Marshall, & McCormick, 1998;
Butler & Seto, 2002) found similar results that indicate the pivotal role that family
dysfunction plays in a juvenile sex offender’s development (Barbaree, Marshall, &
McCormick, 1998; Butler & Seto, 2002; ). Theis studiesy suggests that concern for
chaotic and dysfunctional families and parenting warrant further consideration when
crafting both treatment pathways and safety plans for these youth and their families.
Researchers who have studied characteristics of juvenile sex offenders have also
concluded that many of these offenders have histories of sexual abuse in their
backgrounds (Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002; Veneziano, Veneziano, & LeGrand, 2000).
This is a significant finding when considering the role that social learning may play in
juvenile sex offending. Other scholarsAuthors (Becker, 1998; Cashwell & Caruso, 1997;
Nelson, 2007) have suggested that for some juvenile sex offenders, the etiology of their
offending is rooted in their own childhood sexual abuse when offendersand erroneously
learns find that the sexual behavior meets their need for intimacy and affection (Becker,
1998; Cashwell & Caruso, 1997; Nelson, 2007). Further, prevention efforts may be
positively impacted by addressing issues of abuse with juveniles at-risk for sex offending
behavior.
Additional characteristics of juvenile sex offenders can be found by examining
their victims. Hunter, Hazelwood and Slesinger (2000) found distinct differences between

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juveniles who victimized younger children, and juvenile sex offenders who victimized
their peers or adults. The authors found that juvenile sex offenders were more likely to
victimize their younger, male relatives, and were more likely to lure their victims through
sexual play. The authors also found that juvenile sex offenders who victimized their peers
or adults were more likely to use physical force, offend against strangers rather than
someone known to them, and more likely to commit sexual offense while engaged in
other criminal activity, such as burglary.
As researchers continue to probe the etiology of juvenile sex offending and
characteristics of juvenile sex offenders, it is becoming clear that there are distinct
differences between male and female juvenile sex offenders. These differences may be
reflected in characteristics of these offenders the, degree to which male offenders are is
affected by a given characteristic, or in the manner is is where they best tend to offend.
Differences may also be found in the manner where malein which offenders are
processed, treated and managed. Male juvenile sex offenders have been found to
experience feelings of inadequacy, fear rejection, harbor anger towards females, and may
have experienced uncharacteristic and deviant erotic fantasies.
In the quest to develop a typology of the juvenile sex offender, additional
characteristics have been linked to this offender. Although these characteristics are
outside of the scope of this study, any discussion of a typology of the juvenile sex
offender must include them in the discussion.
Additional Areas of Research on the Juvenile Sex Offender
History of Delinquency
Earlier research studies of adolescent sex offenders found that histories of prior
aggressive behaviors and criminal behaviors were not uncommon to the sample of
adolescents included in the sample (Becker, 1998; Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002). A

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study by Eastman (2005) of adolescent sex offenders between the ages of 13 and 16,
found that 38% of the subjects had been found guilty of a nonsexual offense and 16% had
been found guilty of a previous sexual offense. Becker et al. (1986) found that 79% of the
juvenile sex offenders participating in their study, had prior arrests for sex offenses. Van
Ness (1984) studied incarcerated adolescent sex offenders and found that 86% of them
had engaged in four or more aggressive behaviors in their past. The above statistics do
not seem that surprising when one considers that many juvenile sex offenders have been
exposed to many factors or traits that make for a chaotic and tumultuous childhood.
Kavoussi et al. (1988) suggested after studying a group of juvenile sex offenders, that
behavioral problems such as conduct disorders and impaired judgment, as well as a lack
of impulse control (Vizard, Monck, & Misch, 1995) have all been found in to be
prevalent in the backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders and should be addressed through
treatment in order to maximize the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention. This
suggests that sexual offending is just a facet of a larger problem for this population of
juvenile offenders.
To broaden the research base on the link between a history of delinquency and
juvenile sex offending, more research studies are needed that focus on whether or not
there is a link between the category of sex offending that juveniles commit and prior acts
of delinquency. This could be very beneficial in determining the most appropriate
therapeutic approach for a juvenile sex offender during the assessment phase.
History of Family Dysfunction and Chaotic Family Environments
There are a number of traits that researchers in recent years have included in their
typology of the juvenile sex offender including: history of mental health disorders, social
skills deficits, school difficulties, and a history of delinquency among other traits. Family

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dysfunction includes the following areas: parental loss, family violence, emotionally
distant parents, parental substance abuse and a chaotic family environment.
Ryan, Miyoshi, Metzner, Krugman and Fryer (1996) studied 1, 616 juveniles from
30 states who ranged in age from five to 21 years and were referred for treatment as a
result of sexual offenses and found that 63. 4% of those sampled had observed family
violence in their home. A smaller study conducted on 256 juvenile sex offenders between
the ages of 13 and 18, across 5 states, found that 75% had witnessed either sexual or
physical violence towards a female and 53% had observed a male family member
physically assault a female (Hunter et al., 2003).
Several studies have alluded to the prevalence of chaotic and dysfunctional family
environments of juvenile sex offenders. After analyzing families of some adolescent sex
offenders across four variables-chaotic, rigid, disengaged and enmeshed, Graves,
Openshaw, Ascione and Ericksen (1996) found that a majority of these offenders
described their families as chaotic and unstable. Studies of this population of offenders
have consistently concluded that chaotic, dysfunctional and unstable family environments
play a significant role in the backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders (Araji, 1997).
Previous research determined that less than one third of juvenile sex offenders lived with
both of their birth parents (Fehrenbach et al., 1986; Kahn & Chambers, 1991). Pithers,
Gray, Busconi and Houchens (1998) conducted formal interviews of 72 juveniles about
their caregivers and determined that the families of these children were marked by
disorganized family environments which included high rates of sexual abuse, poverty,
single parent households and domestic violence. The study also included juveniles who
lived with a biological parent in addition to juveniles who lived with a foster parent. The
authors concluded that while some of the foster homes were characterized as chaotic and

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disorganized, they were less disorganized than the families of juveniles residing with a
biological parent. It is further noted, that some of the extended family members (62%) of
juveniles involved in this study, had also offended sexually.
Baker, Tabacoff, Tornusciolo and Eisenstadt (2003) compared the family histories
of adjudicated male juvenile sex offenders to youth diagnosed with conduct disorders
along five facets of family secrecy and deception which are characteristics typically
found in chaotic and dysfunctional families. The authors found that the families of the
male juvenile sex offenders tended to have higher incidents of lying, had more family
myths, and were more likely to be involved in taboo or socially undesirable behavior than
the families of the youth diagnosed with conduct disorder. These studies hint at the
existence of differences between male and female juvenile sex offenders that should be
studied further.
Parental Loss and Emotionally Distant Parents
The juvenile justice system is built upon the belief that children need the guiding
hand of interested adults committed to caring for them and nurturing them into adulthood.
Juvenile justice research has shown the effects of absent or neglectful parents. Awad,
Saunders and Levene (1984) studied a relatively small group of adolescent sex offenders
(n = 24), and found that 79% of them had been subjected to extended periods of parental
separations from the family. Ryan (1997), in a larger study of 1, 000 adolescent sex
offenders, found that 57% of the offenders had suffered through some degree of parental
loss and separation.
Another contributing factor to family dysfunction as it relates to juvenile sex
offenders is the level of emotional warmth and connectedness felt by juveniles from their
parents. Bischof, Stith and Whitney (1995), and Blaske, Borduin, Hennegeler, and Mann
(1989), studied adolescent sex offenders and discovered that more often than not, the

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adolescent sex offenders surveyed believed their parents to be devoid of emotional
warmth and connectedness. Marshall and Mazzucco (1995) further found that parenting
styles that were categorized as rejecting and neglectful contributed to an inability to form
bonds and attachment, and when combined with other factors, increased an adolescent’s
susceptibility to juvenile sex offending.
The parent or caregiver’s style of communication has also been linked to
emotional distance between the parent and the juvenile sex offender. Henggeler,
Schoenwald, Borduin, Rowland, and Cunningham (1998) concluded that patterns of
negative and aggressive statements were more prevalent in the family backgrounds of
juvenile sex offenders than were positive supportive statements. A more recent study
conducted by McCormack, Hudson, and Ward (2002) concluded that on average, sex
offenders tend to have negative relationships with parents, communicate less with
parents, experience loss of parents or caregivers, have unstable relationships with parents,
or caregivers, and experience higher incidents of physical and sexual abuse. Future
research efforts should consider the influence of offender gender on these variables.
Because society programs males and females differently, the manner in which they cope
with parental emotional distance may affect their motivations to sexually offend.
History of Socialization Problems
Juvenile sex offenders have also been characterized as having poor impulse
control and poor conflict resolution skills, as well as difficulty extending empathic
feelings to others (Prentky et al., 2000). Ryan et al. (1996) found, in their examination of
1, 616 juvenile sex offenders, that 62% expressed little if any, empathy for their victims;
51% expressed little or no remorse about their actions, and one third of the sample
blamed the victim for the offense.

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Although the role and importance of peer groups and social relationships cannot
be underestimated, the family has the primary responsibility in guiding one’s social
development and acquisition of interpersonal skills. When families neglect this important
obligation and no other entities or authority figures accept responsibility for the social
education of the child, or when the social and interpersonal skills modeled by adult
family members are inappropriate, the probability of a child exhibiting inappropriate or
absent social and interpersonal skills such as empathy and concern for others is much
more likely. So important is this aspect of human development for juvenile sex offenders
that many treatment programs include in their assessment tool and in their treatment
intervention a component that places a great degree of emphasis on helping offenders
look beyond their own need for immediate gratification to focusing on how their actions
impact others. Future research on male and female juvenile sex offenders would likely
indicate differences among male and female offenders and their socialization skills. This
may yield additional information that could be helpful in prevention and recidivism
efforts.
History of School Problems
Much of the research on characteristics of juvenile sex offenders has included a
history of school problems, which have historically included some combination of
disruptive behavior, truancy, or learning disabilities (Bourke & Donohue, 1996;
Fehrenbach et al., 1986; Kahn & Chambers, 1991). Juvenile sex offenders have also been
found to be of low average intelligence (Ferrara & McDonald, 1996; Jacobs, Kennedy, &
Meyer, 1997; Spaccarelli, 1997). McCurry et al. (1998) found that those juvenile sex

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offenders who have the lowest IQs were also more likely to present more sexually
inappropriate behavior than those with higher IQ’s.
Kahn and Chambers (1991) noted that a majority of those sampled experienced at
least one of three school related problems: (a) learning disability (39%); (b) truancy (just
under 30%) and (c) disruptive behavior (53%). A later study conducted by Langevin,
Marentette and Rosati (1996) of 162 male adolescent sex offenders found that a small
percentage had been placed in special education classes, at least 50% of them had
repeated at least one grade level, while 14% repeated grades at least twice and 3. 5 % had
repeated a grade at least three times. While not all juvenile sex offenders perform poorly
in school (Ferrara & McDonald, 1996), the majority of research studies conducted on this
population of offenders have consistently found a troubled school history.
History of Childhood Sexual and Physical Abuse
A history of childhood sexual and physical abuse is another distinguishing
characteristic of juvenile sex offenders (Butz & Spaccarelli, 1999). Becker (1998) found
that one of the most frequently revealed characteristics of juvenile sex offenders is a
history of childhood abuse. Several scholars (Hunter et al., 2003; Matthews et al., 1997;
Pithers & Gray, 1996) found that approximately 75% of juvenile sex offenders included
in the studied population had been sexually victimized in the past. Veneziano and
Veneziano (2002) scrutinized a number of studies of the characteristics of juvenile sex
offenders and found histories of physical and/or sexual abuse in 30 to 70% of the
juveniles included in the review.
Aylwin, Studer, Reddon and Clelland (2003) analyzed, in part, whether or not the
gender of the victim was related to a history of abuse in the background of the offender,
and found no evidence of a measurable relationship. While the impact of physical and

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sexual abuse in the juvenile offender’s past has on their subsequent sexually offensive
behavior has not been fully realized, a great deal of evaluation should be performed on
this characteristic. Although some research has been conducted on the impact of physical
and sexual abuse on the juvenile sex offender’s level of aggression, social aptitude and
selection of victim (i. e., stranger versus non-stranger), remain ripe for further
examination. What is not in dispute however, is that histories of physical and sexual
abuse continue to emerge as one the most frequently occurring characteristics of juvenile
sex offenders. Although the variable of physical and sexual abuse has played a central
role in the backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders, the differences between the gender of
the offender and these characteristics may prove helpful in understanding the etiology of
juvenile sex offending.
Exposure to Pornography
Exposure to pornography has also been found to be characteristic of juvenile sex
offenders. Although there are few studies on the effect of exposure to pornography and
juvenile sex offending, a study by Ford and Linney (1995) found that of those studied,
42% of juvenile sex offenders had a history of exposure to hardcore, sexually explicit
print media, compared to violent juvenile offenders and status offenders. Becker and
Stein (1991) concluded that 89% of juvenile sex offenders sampled had used sexually
explicit materials at some time during their past. The studies cited here lend credibility to
the need to further examine the relationship between exposure to pornography and
juvenile sex offending, as it holds relevance for both treatment and recidivism concerns.
Prior research has found that one’s exposure to aggressive authority figures has
been shown to contribute to sexually deviant behavior by juveniles (Fagan & Wexler,
1988). Further, the presence of paternal incidents of violence against women has been

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shown to increase the possibility that children in the home, particularly males, will adopt
the belief that violence is the best way to control females (Starzyk & Marshall, 2003).
It should be noted that other research on juvenile sex offenders has examined a
number of factors, such as whether or not a link exists between abuse in the background
of a juvenile sex offender, and choice of victim. A study by Aylwin et al. (2003) analyzed
in part, whether or not the gender of the victim was related to a history of abuse in the
background of the offender, and found no evidence of a measurable relationship. While
the impact of physical and sexual abuse in a juvenile offender’s past on subsequent
sexually offensive behavior has not been fully realized, a great deal of evaluation should
be performed on this characteristic. Although some research has been conducted on the
impact of physical and sexual abuse on the juvenile sex offender’s level of aggression,
social aptitude and selection of victim (i. e., stranger versus non-stranger), remain ripe for
further examination. What is not in dispute however, is that histories of physical and
sexual abuse continue to emerge as one of the most frequently occurring characteristics of
juvenile sex offenders.
Multiple Offenders
Multiple offenders are not the norm in juvenile sex offending; however, available
research has revealed enough disparity in the literature that further study is encouraged. A
review of the 1981 UCR crime statistics revealed that 25 to 31% of sex offenses
committed by offenders 21 years old and younger, involved several offenders (Davis &
Leitenberg, 1987). Considering that several studies conducted on this characteristic were
completed during the 1970s and very few recent studies since that time, it is uncertain
how relevant the results of these studies would be given today’s juvenile sex offenders.
Fehrenbach and Monastersky (1988) sampled female sex offenders participating in a

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clinical setting and found that less than half of them reported using force while
committing their sexual offenses. This gives further support to the need to carefully
consider differences between the offending patterns of male and female juvenile sex
offenders, and to promote further scientific study of this population. While adult females
have been noted to sexually offend at the urging of their significant other, fortunately,
this pattern has not been repeated with the female juvenile sex offenders however it bears
watching as this population does traditionally suffer from troubled romantic relationships.
Commission of Multiple Offenses
An additional characteristic that has been considered as an offense characteristic
has been whether or not juvenile sex offenders tend to commit additional offenses while
committing the sex offense. Available research has indicated that it is rare for juveniles to
commit additional crimes while committing a sex offense (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). A
study by Hindelang and McDermott (1981) concluded that approximately 6% of juvenile
sex offenders who selected their peers or adults were likely to commit theft during the
sexual offense. The authors found that not only was theft the most commonly occurring
offense during a sexual offense but also that most often, this occurred when the offender
was a young adult or adult rather than a juvenile. This study provides much needed
insight into the offense patterns of juvenile sex offenders, however it would seem prudent
to examine whether the number of offenders present would have any impact on whether
additional crimes were committed during the sexual offense.
While patterns of offense were the focus of this study, further exploration of the
outcome of the offender’s involvement in the juvenile or criminal systems should occur.
Juvenile sex offending has placed demands on a strained and burdened juvenile justice
system and with legislative trends, those demands have expanded to the adult criminal

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justice system which is tasked with investigating, arresting and adjudicating the offenders
that come to its attention (Gretton, Catchpole, & Hare, 2004). The survey for this dataset
included one question on the disposition of the offender, but provided no additional
follow up information. Research on the disposition of the offender should also transition
to research on the efficacy of community notification laws, sex offender registries and
residency restrictions as they are applied to the juvenile sex offender.
Amenability to Treatment
The centuries old debate regarding whether or not the best interests of children
could be served in the criminal justice system, was addressed in 1899 in Cook County,
Illinois, with the establishment of the juvenile court, however, society finds itself
engaging in this debate once more. This most important creation, the juvenile court, was
founded on the belief that there are distinct differences between adults who commit
crimes, and children who engage in acts of delinquency. As a result, the judicial
establishment should recognize these profound differences and respond accordingly. The
idea that there is a redeeming value in children that can be uncovered with the
appropriate direction, intervention, and nurturing, has been the guiding principle for work
executed with juveniles who have passed through the juvenile court. The belief that
juveniles can be shaped, molded and refashioned into law abiding citizens becomes
questionable in light of incidents of juvenile sex offending.
A study conducted by Longo (1982) of incarcerated adult sex offenders, reported
that 50% committed their initial sex offense in adolescence. The same study concluded
that 35% of these offenders acknowledged progressing from “hands off” sexual offenses,
to the more serious “hands on” sexual offenses, which eventually led to conviction and
incarceration. It has been projected that an average juvenile sex offender will have

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victimized approximately 380 victims from his or her adolescent offending years, to his
or her adult offender years. Although this is an estimate, the number lends credence to
those who advocate for early intervention and treatment of juvenile sex offenders.
Examining these statistics makes a reasonable case for considering merits of
rehabilitation and treatment while a juvenile. It would be outside the scope of this
academic effort to speculate on the outcome for these now adult sex offenders had
rehabilitation and treatment been the response during their formative, adolescent years.
For juvenile sex offenders, treatment options have mirrored those for the adult
population. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of treatment programs
directed towards juvenile sex offenders with hope of identifying those juveniles who have
engaged in sexual deviancy, and intervening early enough to impede further sexually
offensive behavior (Edwards & Beech, 2004). Cognitive-Behavioral therapy has proven
to be useful in treating juvenile sex offenders, just as it has been for adult offenders.
As new treatment programs emerged, the approaches focused on cognitivebehavioral efforts rather than relying solely on psychotherapeutic intervention. To date,
there have been few programs that have exclusively offered biological, organic, or
physiological treatment as the only approach. There have been programs that have
combined biological, organic and physiological treatments, with either psychotherapeutic
or cognitive-behavioral approaches; however there remains a large contingency of
citizens who discount the effectiveness of either of these treatment approaches.
Treatment Efficacy
Traditionally, scientific study has been employed as a way of validating the
efficacy of some approach, intervention or theory however in terms of treatment
amenability for sex offenders, scientific study has been hampered by a number of

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barriers. One barrier has been the willingness of sex offenders to participate in the
treatment opportunities available to them. Sex offenders who voluntarily seek treatment
may be more amenable to treatment intervention than those who do not voluntarily seek
treatment. A factor might be their willingness to actively and truthfully participate in
treatment services (Borduin & Schaeffer, 2001); but, one must consider how this barrier
affects juveniles who are compelled into treatment programs by the juvenile justice
system. Future research should examine whether or not a significant difference in
recidivism is observed in those juveniles mandated to participate in treatment programs
versus those whose sexually offensive behavior has been minimized due to an inability or
unwillingness to view a juvenile as a sex offender.
Efforts to validate the efficacy of juvenile sex offender treatment have also been
challenged. There are concerns for patient privacy, and tendency for treatment programs
to be suspicious of program evaluation or scientific research that proposes to closely
examine treatment efficacy. Treatment programs depend on favorable evaluations for
continued financial support. When funding and treatment efficacy are intertwined, threats
to the financial well-being of the program may surface. The very nature of the juvenile
justice system advocates confidentiality, and makes every effort to protect them from the
public, as will be those who do not have a direct relationship to them. As a result, it is
difficult to access these juveniles and their treatment records. Another factor that impacts
availability of true scientific research for this population of offenders relative to effective
treatment interventions is the opportunity for researchers to offer an alternative treatment
intervention. -In an experimental setting.
Last, the effectiveness of treatment for this specialized group of offenders is
possibly compromised by the fact that these offenders are generally affected by other

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serious anomalies. They might possess serious psychiatric disturbances that may make it
more difficult to focus on controlling their urges and impulses to sexually offend.
Additionally, if the family unit is not assisted and given some therapeutic attention, the
possibility of recidivism is presumed to be greater than if the family unit is strengthened
through therapeutic intervention.
Historically, relatively few offenders voluntarily sought treatment (Becker, 1998).
Most offenders, particularly those who had come to the attention of the juvenile justice
system, tended to participate only as a result of their involvement with the justice or
correctional system. For some offenders, a pretrial diversion program facilitates treatment
intervention while for others; treatment becomes a condition for consideration for
probation. For other offenders, informal agreements for treatment are negotiated. This
last option is frequently seen in instances of incest or familial sexual abuse. Although
some offenders have been obligated by the courts or their custodial institution to
participate in treatment, attending and participating are two very different issues. While
attendance can be mandated, authentic participation cannot. As juvenile and criminal
courts are faced with increasing numbers of juvenile offenders, the availability and
effectiveness of sex offender treatment will become even more critical.
Recidivism
Evaluating recidivism rates for juvenile sex offenders has been challenged by a
number of issues that has made it difficult to accurately reflect the rate of recidivism. One
challenge to monitoring recidivism rates involves the principle and practice of
confidentiality regarding juveniles involved in the justice system. Even as more juveniles
enter the adult criminal justice system, efforts are still made to protect the privacy of the

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juvenile when possible. This makes it difficult to collect detailed data on those who reoffend. Measuring recidivism is also made difficult by changes in laws and legal
definitions of sex offenses. Further, the accuracy of recidivism rates may be
compromised by the amount of time the sample is followed, as well as by variations in
the methodology used to follow juvenile sex offenders (Sipe, Jensen, & Everett, 1998).
Borduin, Henggeler, Blaske and Stein (1990) found sexual offense recidivism
rates of 12. 5%, and non-sexual offense recidivism rates of 25% for juveniles who were
treated using the MST approach. This was compared to sexual offense recidivism rates of
75%, and non-sexual offense recidivism rates of 50% for juveniles who were treated
using individual therapy alone. This study, though a relatively small and limited one in
terms of the demographics of those sampled, suggests that there is an intrinsic value in
considering a holistic approach to the juvenile and his environment when treating him/her
for inappropriate and offensive sexual conduct. Later studies also yielded similar rates of
recidivism, further supporting the assertion that a holistic approach is more likely to yield
lower rates of recidivism than other treatment approaches (Kahn & Chambers, 1991;
Schram, Milloy, & Rowe 1991). Not surprisingly, research shows that the rates of
recidivism are higher for juveniles who fail to complete a treatment program. Hunter &
Figueredo (1999) found that 50% of juveniles who entered one community based
treatment program were expelled before completion of twelve months of treatment. They
reported that they had higher rates of recidivism, and were at greater risk of long-term
sexual re-offending. Future research efforts should consider the influence of offender
gender and rates of recidivism. Results of such a study could provide meaningful
information for treatment professionals.

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A review of the literature on juvenile sex offenders has indicated that differences
also exist across gender lines, which can signal noticeable distinctions in the offending
patterns of this group of offenders (Kubik, Hecker & Righthand, 2002). While the victims
of female juvenile sex offenders tend to be young children, male juvenile sex offenders
are more likely to be diverse in their selection of victims. When victimizing young
children, females tend to victimize both sexes, while male juvenile sex offenders tend to
victimize females more frequently than males. As has been noted previously, most of the
available literature on juvenile sex offenders has focused on male juvenile sex offenders;
therefore, this research study will add to the body of knowledge that exists about female
juvenile sex offenders by examining their offending patterns. The study will examine the
characteristics discussed below.
Use of Illegal Substances/Alcohol During the Commission of the Sex Offense
Although research on the effect of illegal substances and/or alcohol on juvenile
sex offending has been limited, most studies have found that while juveniles who
sexually offend may be more likely to have histories of substance or alcohol abuse than
non-sex offending juveniles, they are not typically under the influence of illegal
substances or alcohol at the time of their offenses (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). Scholars
(Fehrenbach et al., 1986; Groth, 1977; Wasserman & & Kappel, 1985) have found
varying, yet similar degrees of self-reported incidents of offending while under the
influence of illegal substances or alcohol, 11%, 10% and 6% respectively. While a study
conducted by Van Ness (1984) revealed rates of use as high as 55%, it has been suggested
that this disparity in results may be due to efforts by the offender to minimize
responsibility for committing the offense by self-reporting high levels of use. Either way,

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further study would be helpful in determining whether ready accessibility of illegal
substances and alcohol would yield different results.
Characteristics of Victims
More studies conducted on juvenile sex offending have focused efforts on
understanding the characteristics of the victims. Research has shown that juvenile sex
offenders report feeling little empathy or concern for their victim (Eastman, 2005;
Lawing, Frick, & Cruise, 2010). This lack of empathy has proven to have implications in
level of aggression and violence directed towards victims of these offenders. Other
studies have found this this to be high for these juvenile sex offenders (Knight & SimsKnight, 2003). This lack of empathy is an extremely critical issue as it relates to treatment
success for this population of fenders, and according to Eastman (2005), is essential to
efforts to decrease recidivism. This is not surprising, given the difficulty these juvenile
sex offenders have with social relationships and peer interactions. Relevant to this study
are age, gender and relationship of the victim to the offender.
Much of the available research considers age, gender and relationship of the
victim to the offender. A review of the literature indicates that a majority of victims of
both male and female juvenile sex offenders are young children. Langstrom and Lindblad
(2000) found that victims of these offenders ranged in age from two to 77. Letourneau et
al. (2009) found the juveniles in their study primarily victimized other youth, frequently
between the ages of four and 15. Deisher, Wenet, Paperny, Clark and Fehrenbach (1982)
found that 46% of the victims were under the age of 10, while another study by
Wasserman and Kappel (1985) found that over two-thirds of the victims were under the
age of 10 years old. A later and much larger study of 305 juvenile sex offenders found
that for male juvenile sex offenders, 62% of their victims were 12 years old or younger,

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and 44% were six years old or younger. Among female juvenile sex offenders, victims
were most often under the age of six (Fehrenbach et al., 1986). For non-contact offenses
(i. e., exhibitionism, obscene phone calls), the authors revealed that offenders were more
likely to choose their peers or adults.
Another characteristic traditionally considered in the literature has been the gender
of the victim. Available literature suggests that juvenile sex offenders are more likely to
violate females than males. Letourneau et al. (2009) studied a group of juvenile sex
offenders and found that 74% of them victimized females, 20% victimized males,
and 6% victimized both male and female victims. Bumby and Bumby (1997) studied
juvenile sex offenders, and found that 42% of the offenders victimized females, 25%
victimized boys, and 33% victimized both males and females. Other studies have
( Fehrenbach et al., 1986; Van Ness, 1984; Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002; Wasserman &
Kappel, 1985) noted similar results, suggesting that females were targeted more
frequently than males (Fehrenbach et al., 1986; Van Ness, 1984; Veneziano & Veneziano,
2002; Wasserman & Kappel, 1985) . Groth (1977) found that there appears to be some
correlation between the age and gender of the victim, in that the older the victim, the
more likely the victim is to be female. As the age of the victim decreases, the likelihood
of the victim being male, increases. The author also found that when the victim was a
child, the likelihood of being male was greater.
Miller, MacDougall, Tarnopolsky, and Sale (1993) suggested that older females
were likely chosen more frequently than males because they were perceived to be easier
to control due to a lack of physical strength. Hunter et al. (2000) concurred that the
offender’s ability to control their victim was predictive of the level of violence used.
Kubik et al. (2002), in examining a small sample of female juvenile sex offenders and
female juvenile non-sex offenders, determined that both groups victimized males and

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females frequently under the age of five. Due to the small number of female juvenile sex
offenders (n = 11) participating in their study, it is difficult to determine whether or not
this is the norm, and whether these results can be generalized to the entire population of
female juvenile sex offenders.
Another characteristic considered in the literature has been the relationship of the
victim to the offender. Woodhams et al. (2008) concluded in their study of juvenile sex
offenders this population that the offenders were acquainted with their victims either
from school, as a family friend, sibling, or member of the offender’s extended family.
Langstrom and Lindblad (2000) studied victims of juvenile sex offending, and found
that not only were victims a mix of genders and ages, but were also of varying levels of
acquaintance. The authors also concluded that victims were family members, nonfamily members, and strangers. Taylor (2003) also found that the offenders knew their
victims.
In a study conducted by Van Ness (1984), it was revealed that the offender knew
the victim in 55% of the sexual offenses. Wasserman and Kappel (1985) found that 20%
of the victims of juvenile sex offenders were immediate family members, another 20%
were extended family members, 51% were either friends or acquaintances, and only 9%
were strangers. Fehrenbach et al. (1986) also found that for non-contact offenses, the
juvenile sex offender was more likely to select a stranger as victim.
With respect to female juvenile sex offenders, Vandiver and Teske (2006) found
that female juvenile sex offenders frequently selected relatives or acquaintances as their
victims. In assessing young female juvenile sex offenders, Johnson (1988) found that
only three of the study’s participants had sexually abused a non-relative. The above
studies present a pattern that does not appear to have varied much over the years.
Research as far back as the mid-1980s suggests that these offenders select as their

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victims, persons with whom they have some relationship or acquaintance. While the
studies have provided some insight into the relationship, further research is needed to
discern contributing factors that make one victim (stranger versus relative) more
appealing than the other. It appears that convenience and accessibility play a significant
role in victim selection. It is also noted that some researchers have found that the familial
relationship shared by some offenders and their victims may contribute to the
underreporting of juvenile sex offending incidents (Smith, Wampler, Jones, & Reifman,
2005). The authors suggested that some family members choose not to report the offense
in order to keep the juvenile offender from the authority of the juvenile justice system.
This is problematic for a number of reasons, including; (1) the message that it sends the
victim; (2), that the offender is more important than the victim and the harm he or she
suffered; and, (3) may continue to inflict if left untreated and free of consequences, the
offender may continue this offensive behavior, potentially victimizing other vulnerable
individuals. .
Offense Characteristics
This literature review would be incomplete without examining offense
characteristics common to juvenile sex offenses. The level of physical force, violence or
coercion employed in the sex offense, presence of one or multiple offenders, location of
the offense, use of illegal substances or alcohol during commission of the offense,
commission of additional contemporaneous offenses, and the type of sexual offenses
committed. These have been identified as important in explaining the offense patterns
among sex offenders. Each of these factors plays a prominent role in this study and will
be discussed below.

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Level of Physical Force/Violence/Coercion
According to research conducted by Miranda and Corcoran (2000), juvenile sex
offenders inflict more physical force during commission of a sex offense than adult sex
offenders. There are a number of issues that may impact the level of physical force,
violence, or coercion employed by juvenile sex offenders. When it comes to use of
coercion, most of the available research indicates that a combination of factors such as
the number of offenders present, the age of the victim, relationship to the victim, and
gender of the victim, play a significant role in determining whether coercion or physical
force is used during the commission of the sex offense. Smallbone and Milne (2000)
suggested that victims suffered greater psychological harm when physical, verbal or
sexual violence was committed during the offense.
It has been difficult to get an accurate picture of the level of force or coercion
used by juvenile sex offenders during commission of their sex offenses. This can be
attributed to their tendency to under-report or minimize the level of force or coercion
used, as well as exaggerated memories of the victims of these offenses. It is frequently
either the offender, or the victim who provides information about the offense, and
research efforts are dependent on them to accurately, truthfully and fully disclose details
and circumstances of the offense.
While additional research on use of coercion and physical force by female
juvenile sex offenders is needed, the review of literature yielded a few studies that
examined this concern. An early study by Johnson (1989) of 13 thirteen female juvenile
sex offenders who had sexually victimized a relative, concluded that 54% of the time,
verbal coercion was used; 15% of the time, physical violence was used; and 23% of the
time , excessive physical violence was used. In the study, 8% of the participants’ victims

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were described as so young that no level of coercion or violence was needed because they
did not resist, or understand. Kahn & and Chambers (1991) studied young female sex
offenders, and found that the offender used verbal coercion in 33% of the cases to gain
the victim’s compliance. In 42% of the cases, either the threat of violence, use of violence
and/or weapons was used to gain compliance. Based on these results, it appears that
female sex offenders have little difficulty employing use of force.
Miranda and Corcoran (2000) studied characteristics of 16 juvenile sex offenders,
and 19 adult sex offenders, comparing a number of offense- related characteristics during
the sexual offense. The authors found that when compared to their adult counterparts,
juvenile sex offenders used more physical force. A study by Kimerling, Rellini, Kelly,
Judson and Learman (2002) concluded that female victims were more likely to be
physically injured than males. A study conducted by Pino and Meier (1999) found that
rapes involving male victims were more likely to involve the use of weapons.
Muram et al. (1995) suggested that when adult females were the victims, they
were more likely to be abducted rather than conned or coerced by their offender. This
may be a result of the juvenile sex offender’s inability to intellectually manipulate their
victim into compliance. Conversely, when young children are the victims, research
shows that varying levels of coercion are used to manipulate the victim into compliance
(Muram et al., 1995). For very young children, the lure of a toy, reward, or some other
tangible object is often used to gain compliance; however, this ruse is much more
difficult when the offender is a peer or an adult. Woodhams (2004) found that some of
these offenders would employ dating scenarios to coerce teenagers into secluded areas.
Hence, it would appear that juveniles are able to successfully employ methods of
coercion on victims based upon age variance.

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53
Woodhams et al. (2008) noted that when compared to adults, juvenile sex
offenders used more physical force during commission of offenses. The authors found
thatin their study of juvenile sex offenders, physical violence was threatened in 63% of
offenses reported, with while13% of offenses resulting in the actual use of physical force.
This is worthy of concern by juvenile justice practitioners and policy makers who must
prepare for offenders who add the more serious element of physical force to their offense.
The use of physical violence or force also has implications for treatment and
rehabilitation professionals, for they structure programs offered to these offenders.
Use and Type of Weapons Used
A study conducted by Langstrom and Lindblad (2000) found that 71% of the
juvenile sex offenders sampled, used physical violence, and 14% of those sampled used a
weapon. A study by Woodhams, Hollin and Bull (2008) found that some offenders used
their bodies as weapons. While additional research on the use of coercion and physical
force by female juvenile sex offenders is needed, the review of literature yielded few
studies that examined this factor. An early study by Johnson (1989) of 13 female juvenile
sex offenders who had sexually victimized a relative, found that verbal coercion was
used 54% of the time physical violence 15% of the time, and excessive physical violence
23% of the time. In 8% of the cases, participants’ victims were described as so young
that no level of coercion or violence was needed; this was because they were
developmentally unable to understand or resist. In a study of young female sex offenders,
Kahn and Chambers (1991) found that the offender used verbal coercion in 33% of the
cases to gain the victim’s compliance. In 42% of the cases, either the threat of violence,

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54
use of violence, and/or weapons were used to gain compliance. Based on these results, it
appears that female sex offenders have little difficulty employing the use of force.
Location of Offense
One under-researched characteristic of juvenile sex offenses is location of the
offense. A study by Woodhams et al. (2008) found that selected locations included the
victim’s home, offender’s home, outdoor locations (i. e., playground) and indoor
locations such as public restrooms. Although this characteristic has not received much
attention, it does not lessen its importance when considering its impact on prevention
efforts. The location of offense is included in this research study as an offense
characteristic. It is included in order to give insight into the role location plays in
granting the offender access to the victim. The Wasserman and Kappel (1985) study
revealed that 75% of juvenile sex offenses were committed in the home. The study
further concluded that 55% of the offenses occurred in the home of the victim, 22%
occurred in the home of the offender, and 15% occurred in a home shared by both the
victim and the offender.
When location of offense is considered by gender, Fehrenbach et al. (1986) found
that 63% of sex offenses committed by females in the study occurred while babysitting in
a home. This compared to a rate of 47% for males who were babysitting young children.
While their study relies on a very small sample of female juvenile sex offenders, it
provides some insight into issues of victim access.

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Role of Illegal Substances/Alcohol
Much of the available literature regarding characteristics of juvenile sex offenders
includes brief discussions on the role of substance use and abuse, on juvenile sex
offending. Bouhours and Daly (2007) included in their descriptors of juvenile sex
offenders, abuse of drugs or alcohol. In recent years, researchers have added to the body
of knowledge by researching this variable as it relates to juvenile sex offenders. Johnson
and Knight (2000) found that the use and abuse of drugs or alcohol are characteristic of
juveniles who engage in sexually coercive behavior. While Lightfoot and Barbaree
(1993) concluded that 34% to 72% of offenders were under the influence of alcohol or
drugs at the time of their offense, they did not conclude that it was strictly related to a
substance abuse problem. Miner, Seikert, and Ackland (1997) also found in a later study
that substance abuse was a recurring theme in the histories of juvenile sex offenders.
Zolondek, Abel, Northey and Jordan (2001) found, in their study of 485 juvenile sex
offenders that less than 10% reported trying drugs or using drugs more than 10 times.
The exception will bewas marijuana and alcohol.
Davis and Leitenberg (1987) argued that no methodologically solid evidence
existed to support a contention that juvenile sex offenders abused substances any more
than other juvenile offenders. A study conducted by Miner and Crimmins (1995)
discovered little difference in the substance abuse histories of juvenile sex offenders and
other juvenile offenders, but did find that juveniles who committed violent nonsexual
crimes had the highest rates of substance abuse. As a result, many treatment practitioners
specializing in treatment of juvenile sex offenders recommend substance abuse treatment
as an auxiliary component, with more of a focus on its educational value rather than
treatment potential (Ertl & McNamara, 1997; Lightfoot & Barbaree, 1993). It was further

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56
suggested by Lightfoot and Barbaree that a more thorough assessment instrument and
process be adopted by treatment programs to ascertain whether or not substance abuse
use by juvenile sex offenders is of a normative experimental nature, rather than a more
pronounced problem (Lightfoot & Barbaree, 1993).
Although research on the effect of illegal substances and/or alcohol on juvenile
sex offending has been limited, most studies have found that while juveniles who
sexually offend may be more likely to have histories of substance or alcohol abuse than
non-sex offending juveniles, they are not typically under the influence of illegal
substances or alcohol at the time of their offenses (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). The use of
illegal substances/alcohol during the commission of the sex offense is included in this
study as an offense characteristic. The frequency of juveniles offending while under the
influence, may yield information about the level of violence and force used during sex
offense. Studies by Fehrenbach et al. (1986), Groth (1977) and Wasserman and Kappel
(1985) found varying, yet similar degrees of self-reported incidents of offending while
under the influence of illegal substances or alcohol, 11%, 10% and 6%, respectively. A
study conducted by Van Ness (1984) revealed rates of use as high as 55%, and suggested
that the disparity in results may be due to efforts by the offender to minimize
responsibility for committing the offense, leading them to exaggerate their reports of
intoxication. Either way, further study would be helpful in determining whether the ready
accessibility of illegal substances and alcohol would yield different results.

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Types of Sexual Offenses Committed
One of the difficulties associated with acceptance of juvenile sex offending
involves types of sexual acts that have been categorized as sexual offenses. In the past,
response by adult caretakers and some law enforcement officers has been to characterize
fondling and, non-contact offenses such as exhibitionism as normal childhood or
adolescent exploration or curiosity. In recent years, however, this has begun to change as
juvenile sex offending became more pervasive and the zero tolerance to juvenile crime
posture became more prevalent.
Woodhams et al. (2008) concluded in their study that 93% of offenses in their
sample involved some type of penetration, including digital or penile penetration. The
authors further examined whether the victim’s gender was a predictor of physical
violence, weapon use or penetration, and but found that gender was not a predictor. These
results differ from those found noted by Kimerling et al. (2002), who found that female
victims were significantly more likely to experience penetration and more violent assaults
, than male victims. The study also concluded showed that some of the victims were
forced to penetrate the offender (Woodhams et al., 2008). According to the available
literature, it appears that juvenile sex offenders are more likely to commit offenses
categorized as lewd conduct (e. g., fondling, exhibitionism) when the victim is a young
child (Roe-Sepowitz & Krysik, 2008). This study adds further support to the observation
that the younger in age the victim is, the less likely it is that the juvenile offender will
commit a penetrating sexual offense. There is a need for more current research on the
types of sexual offenses committed by juveniles to examine whether or not there have
been noticeable changes in their offending patterns. Additionally, larger and more diverse
samples would enhance the scientific value of these studies.

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58
Female juvenile sex offenders commit offenses similar to males, including oral
sex, vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, and fondling (Kubik et al., 2002). Research
shows that female offenders engage in a wide range of sex offenses. Roe-Sepowitz and
Krysik (2008) concluded, in their study of 118 female juvenile sex offenders from
Florida, that more frequently occurring sexual offenses were oral sex (24%) and fondling
(24%). In this the same study, 15% of the offenders exposed their victim to a sexual act,
12% exposed their victim to vaginal or anal penetration, 11% forced their victim to
penetrate the offender, 6% engaged in exposure of the breasts or genitals, and 6% forced
the victim to engage in sexual activity with someone else. These results were similar to
other results found by Matthews et al. (1997), who relied on a sample of 67 female
juvenile sex offenders, concluding that over one-fourth engaged in vaginal or anal
intercourse, over half of the sample fondled their victims, and just under one-half of the
study’s participants engaged in oral sex. As society becomes more aware of female
juvenile sex offending, perhaps more scientific studies with larger and more diverse
samples will be available. Further examination of the types of sex offenses committed by
females, as well as the conditions under which these offenses are carried out is
warranted.
Research Questions
1. Is there a relationship between offender age and the age of the victim?
2. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of drugs or
alcohol?
3. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of weapons or
force?
4. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the infliction of injury?

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5. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the location of the
offense?
Summary
While earlier research studies have addressed juvenile sex offenders collectively,
the majority focused on males without much, if any, attention directed to females. This
chapter provided insight into characteristics of male and female juvenile sex offenders.
The review of literature also yielded both offense and victim characteristics relevant to
this study including use of substances or alcohol, location of offense, age and gender of
both the perpetrator and the victim, as well as the presence of a relationship between the
offender and the victim. The type of sex offenses committed by juvenile offenders was
also discussed within this chapter. Although some common traits associated with these
offenders have been identified, a more expansive examination of risk factors for both
male and females is in order. The next chapter discusses the methods used in the current
study.
Chapter IIIChapter III
MethodMethod
This chapter will examineoutlines a plan for examining the relationships between
the gender of juvenile sex offenders and selected offender, victim and offense variables.
The chapter consists of the following sections: Research Design, Research Questions,
Research Hypothesis, Justification of Variables, Statistical Analysis and Summary.
Research Design
This quantitative study examined the relationship between male and female
juvenile sex offenders and selected offender, victim and offense variables. The dataset
selected for use in this research study was obtained from the Inter-University Consortium

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60
for Political and Social Research, hereafter referred to as ICPSR. This study will used the
2004 Extract of the National Incident Based Reporting System, hereafter referred to as
NIBRS, which is a collection of all arrests and criminal incidents reported to police
throughout the United States for 2004.
The NIBRS program systematically collects criminal data on individual criminal
incidents that are reported to law enforcement agencies. The NIBRS was created out of
efforts to update the FBI-managed Uniform Crime Reports (hereafter referred to as the
UCR) to make it more reflective of actual crime in America. The NIBRS assembles data
on each individual criminal offense and arrest that occurs in any one of 22 major offense
categories, consisting of 46 specific offenses, designated as Group A Offenses. There is a
second group of less serious crimes that consist of 11 specific offenses designated as
Group B Offenses. While a great deal of information is collected on incidents recorded as
a Group A offense, only arrest data are collected on incidents recorded as Group B
offenses. Of interest to this study are those offenses categorized as sex offenses, which
along with their definitions are presented below:
Forcible rape is carnal knowledge of a person, forcibly or against their will or if
the person is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or permanent mental or
physical incapacitation or because of their youth; .
Forcible sodomy is oral or anal sexual intercourse with another person forcibly or
against their will or where the person is incapable of giving consent because of mental or
physical incapacitation or because of their age; .
Sexual assault with an object is the use of an object/instrument to unlawfully
penetrate the genital or anal opening of the body of another person, forcibly/against their
will or when the person is incapable of giving consent because of temporary or
permanent mental or physical incapacitation or because of their youth; .

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61
Forcible fondling is the touching private body parts of another person for sexual
gratification, forcibly against their will or when the person is unable to give consent
because of youth or mental incapacitation; .
Statutory rape is non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is under the
statutory age of consent, generally recognized as 16 years of age; and.
Incest is non-forcible sexual intercourse between persons who are related to one
another within the degrees where marriage is prohibited by law.
Hunter et al. (2000) laid an extensive foundation of the characteristics and
offending patterns of juvenile sex offenders. Building upon this foundation, a sample of
3, 474 sex offenders (those juveniles who committed sex offenses and who were 17 years
old or younger) was extracted out of the National Incident Based Reporting
SurveyNIBRS (NIBRS). Theseis data was were collected by law enforcement agencies
nationwide through a survey instrument and represents Uniformed Crime Index (UCR)
offenses reported to law enforcement in 2004. The geographical distribution of the
offenders in this study is presented in Table 1. The data files used for this study were the
offender, victim, and offense data files.
Table 1 Geographic Distribution of OffendersTable 2
Geographic Distribution of Offenders
State
AR
AZ
CO
CT
DC
DE
IA
ID
KS
KY
LA
MA
MI

N=3450
37
6
225
120
1
37
102
185
154
4
22
115
557
61

%
1. 1%
0. 2%
6. 5%
3. 5%
0. 0%
1. 1%
3. 0%
5. 4%
4. 5%
0. 1%
0. 6%
3. 3%
16. 1%

62
NE
ND
NH
OH
OR
RI
SC
SD
TN
TX
UT
VA
VT
WI
WV

27
37
47
231
78
7
421
26
237
158
272
299
21
13
11

0. 8%
1. 1%
1. 4%
6. 7%
2. 3%
0. 2%
12. 2%
0. 8%
6. 9%
4. 6%
7. 9%
8. 7%
0. 6%
0. 4%
0. 3%

Variables of interest include gender, age, race and ethnicity of both the arrestee
and the victim; arrestee use of substance/alcohol, type of sex offense committed (hands
on/hands off), type of weapon used, type of injury, and location of the offense.
Research Questions
This study considered effects of gender on specific characteristics of juvenile sex
offending. The research questions examined both offender, victim and offense
characteristics commonly found in the offending histories of juvenile sex offenders.
1. Is there a relationship between offender age and the age of the victim?
2. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of drugs or
alcohol?
3. Is there a relationship between offender gender and the use of weapons or
force?
4. Is there a relationship between offender gender and infliction of injury?
5. Is there a relationship between offender gender and location of the offense?
Research Hypotheses
1. There is a relationship between offender age and the age of the victim.
2. There is a relationship between offender gender and the use of drugs or
alcohol.

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63
3. There is a relationship between offender gender and the use of weapons or
force.
4. There is a relationship between offender gender and the infliction of injury.
5. There is a relationship between offender gender and the location of the
offense.
Justification of Variables
Offender
The offender variables selected for use in this study included: gender, age, race,
ethnicity, disposition and the use of drugs or alcohol. The demographic description of the
offenders included in this sample will be presented for consideration in the following
chapter. Letourneau et al. (2009) studied 127 juvenile sex offenders participating in a
treatment program and found that they ranged in age from 11 to 18 years, were primarily
males, primarily black or white, and found that 31% of the sample was of Hispanic
ethnicity.
The disposition of the offender has become increasingly important in light of
recent policy trends directed towards managing sex offenders. For this study, the NIBRS
operationalized this variable as the processing of the juvenile sex offender. More
specifically, the response categories were that the offender was handled (i. e., returned to
care of parent/guardian, warned, etc. ) or referred (i. e., processed through the juvenile or
adult criminal justice systems, probation department, etc. ).
Another variable of importance associated with juvenile sex offending concerns
whether or not offenders have used drugs or alcohol prior to, or during the offense.
Letourneau et al. (2009) found that 4% of the offenders studied had received substance
abuse services and were therefore at risk of abusing drugs or alcohol around the time of
their offending behavior. The data collection instrument for this study allowed for

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64
multiple response categories; however, the actual response rates were few and justified
the decision to recode this variable into the following response categories: alcohol,
drugs/narcotics, none and unknown/missing.
Victim
The victim variables selected for use in this study included: gender, age, race,
ethnicity, and relationship to the offender. Much of the literature on victims of juvenile
sex offenders has found them to be as diverse as the offenders themselves. The
demographic description of the victims included in this study will be presented for
consideration in the following chapter. This study examined as a variable, the victim’s
relationship to the offender. Vandiver and Teske (2006) found it common for offenders to
have a relationship with their victim. Woodhams et al. (2008) also found offenders were
acquaintances of their victims, and that the types of relationships varied, ranging from
family members or school peers. This variable was recoded into the following response
categories: family member, peer/acquaintance, otherwise known, stranger, and
unknown/missing.
Offense
The offense variables selected for use in this study included: the sex offense, the
use of weapons or force, the infliction of injury, and the location of the offense. A number
of qualitative research studies have identified these variables as traits associated with
offending patterns of juvenile sex offenders (Finkelhor, Ormrod, & Chaffin, 2009;
Hunter, Hazelwood, & Slesinger, 2009; Lawing, Frick, & Cruise, 2010). Hunter et al.
(2003) concluded that the most commonly occurring sex offenses committed by juvenile
sex offenders included offenses of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault with an object, and

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65
fondling. Although existing literature has been included in a number studies, because of
the few small numbers of female juvenile sex offenders, comparisons between male and
female offenders and sex offenses have not occurred as often. For this study, the sex
offense variable included the following response categories: forcible rape, forcible
sodomy, sexual assault w/an object, forcible fondling, incest, and statutory rape.
As noted by Hunter et al. (2000), juvenile sex offenders have also begun to use
weapons or force during the commission of sex offenses, creating the possibility of a
more harmful and violent outcome. The NIBRS data collection instrument allowed for up
to thirteen separate responses; however, due to relatively few responses in a number of
these response categories, the variable was recoded into the following response
categories: personal weapon, other weapon, no weapon and unknown/missing.
This added use of weapons or force would logically suggest that the offenders are
also inflicting more physical injuries on their victims. Woodhams et al. (2008) studied a
group of sex offenders and found that although 62. 5% of the sex offenses committed by
their sample, suggestedinvolved the threat of physical violence, the actual use of
physical violence occurred in only 12. 5% of the offenses. The NIBRS data collection
instrument allowed for up to five responses for the injury variable, although for many of
the cases, no information was recorded beyond the first injury. For this study, the injury
variable was recoded so that responses would be directed into the following categories:
apparent minor injury, recoded as 1, apparent major injury, recoded as 2, none, recoded as
3 and missing/unknown, recoded as 6.
Location was another offense variable examined in this study. A number of
research studies on juvenile sex offending included discussion of the location of offense
(Hunter et al., 2000; Woodhams et al., 2008). The authors found in their study of juvenile
sex offenders, that 62. 6% of the sample assaulted their victim in either the victim’s

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66
dwelling, or in a dwelling shared by the offender and the victim. Finkelhor et al. (2009)
compared juvenile and adult sex offenders and found that when locations of offense
where examined, the residence/home was the most frequent location of offense for both
juvenile (68. 8%) and adults (79. 6%).
The NIBRS data collection instrument allowed for a number of responses;
however, due to a lack of responses in many of the response categories, the variable was
recoded so that response would be directed into the following categories: residence/home,
recoded as 1, school/college, recoded as 2, outside/outdoors, recoded as 3,
stores/businesses, recoded as 4 and other/unknown, recoded as 5.
Statistical Analysis
There were some modifications made to the data prior to analyses to make it
amenable to this study. First, categories that were labeled “unknown/missing” were made
changed to discrete missing values so that they would be excluded from the analyses.
Secondly, several variables were recoded into an ascending order to reflect a more
heightened degree of seriousness. Recoded offender variables included the drug/alcohol
use and the disposition variable. Because there were so few responses in the categories
for alcohol and for narcotics/drugs, the responses were combined into one category,
alcohol/drugs and was recoded as 1, while responses of none were recoded as 0 and
unknown/missing responses were coded as 6. The disposition variable was recoded so
that referred responses were recoded as 0, handled responses were recoded as 1 and
unknown/missing responses were recoded as 6.
Recoded victim variables were weapon, and injury to victim. The weapon variable
was recoded so that responses for the use of a personal weapon was recoded as 1,
responses for other weapon was recoded as 2, no weapon was recoded as 3 and

66

67
unknown/missing responses were recoded as 6. Injury to victim recoding was explained
previously.
Recoded offense variables were the offense type and location of the offense. The
offense type was recoded so that forcible rape, sodomy, incest and statutory rape were
combined into one category and recoded as 111, forcible fondling was recoded as 112,
and sexual assault with an object was recoded as 113. This recoding allowed for
variables to be treated as continuous variables rather than categorical variables. A third
modification involved deleting from the offender age variable, those subjects whose
listed ages were one, five and six years old. These cases were considered to be data entry
errors and were removed from all analysis. The final modification was in preparation for
exploring multivariate relationships. In order to address the imbalance in the number of
male offenders (94%) versus female offenders (6%), a random sample of approximately
12% was selected out of the male sample. This reduced the ratio of males to a more
balanced 2: 1 ratio as opposed to the approximate 16: 1 that previously existed. After all
of the modifications to the sample, the final sample available for use in this study
consisted of 3, 474 offenders.
The statistical analysis proceeds by presenting statistical descriptions of the
sample. Using nominal variable and ordinal variables, demographic information on the
offenders and the victims were presented through the use of frequency tables. For the
offender, additional descriptive variables were also included, and these variables included
the disposition variable and the offender’s use of drugs, or alcohol. For the victim, an
additional descriptive variable included the victim’s relationship to the offender. For the
offense, additional variables included the sex offense, use of weapons/force, the infliction
of injury, and the location of the offense. Both the frequencies and percentages were

67

68
provided for each of these variables. For the age variable (an interval variable) for both
offender and victim, the measures of central tendency (i. e., mean, median, and mode)
were presented along with a measure of variability (i. e., standard deviation).
The research questions were then presented tested in along with bivariate
analysies. For research question one, an independent t-test was conducted to examine
whether or not there were differences between the age of the male and female offender
and the age of the victim. Pearson’s chi square test was also conducted to verify the
existence of a relationship between the offender’s age and the age of the victim. Where
appropriate, cross tabulations were conducted and presented for each of the research
questions (questions two through five). These cross tabulations were followed by
Pearson’s chi square analysis for questions two through five.
Finally, multivariate relationships were explored using the offender’s gender as
the dependent variable and other selected categorical or continuous victim and offense
variables. A hierarchical regression was constructed to examine whether specific victim
and offense variables could predict offender gender. In addition to the previously stated
offender variables, the disposition variable was also placed in this model. Victim
variables were first placed into the model, followed by offense variables. Placing the
variables into the model in this order allowed for an examination of whether or not victim
characteristics alone, were sufficient to predict gender. The offender’s gender was entered
as the criterion variable.
Summary
This study examines the relationship between the offender’s gender and specific
offender, victim and offense characteristics. By examining these variables and their
interrelatedness to the offender’s gender, it is expected that added knowledge about the

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69
offending patterns of juvenile sex offenders are better understood and can positively
contribute to prevention efforts. It is also expected that by examining these variables,
information will be obtained that can be useful to those tasked with treating juvenile sex
offenders. Chapter IV presents the data analyses and findings.
Chapter Chapter IV
Data AnalysisData Analysis
This chapter provides results from a statistical analysis conducted on the gender
of juvenile sex offenders and selected offender, and victim and offense characteristics.
The chapter will beis organized in the following manner: Descriptive Statistics Analyses
(offender, offense, victim, offense); Research Questions-Bivariate Relationships;
Multivariate Relationships and Summary.
A sample of 3, 474 sex offenders (juveniles who committed sex offenses and 17
years old, or younger) were extracted out of the National Incident Based Reporting
Survey (NIBRS) dataset. This data was collected by law enforcement agencies
nationwide through a survey instrument, and represents (UCR) offenses reported to law
enforcement during the 2004 calendar year. Variables of interest include gender, age, race
and ethnicity of both the offender and the victim. Other offender variables include
drug/alcohol use and disposition. Other victim variables include the relationship to the
offender. . Other offense variables include the type of sex offense, type of weapon/force
used, injury to the victim, and location of the offense.
Descriptive Analyses
The descriptive variables for this study were gender, ethnicity, race, age, and
disposition. With the exception of the disposition variable, the above-mentioned descriptive
variables were analyzed for both the offender and the victim. For this study, juveniles were

69

70
defined as those 17 years of age and under. Participants were 3, 262 (93. 9%) male and 212
(6. 1%) female juvenile sex offenders with a mean age of 14. 43 (Med = 15. 00, SD = 1. 97).
The greatest concentration of offenders fell between the ages of 13 and 17 years of age. The
overwhelming majority of the sample was White (n = 2, 453, 72. 2%), with a sizable
minority of Blacks (n = 907, 26. 7%). The sample also included 23 (0. 7%) American
Indians/Alaskan Natives and 15 (0. 4%) Asians/Pacific Islanders. The majority of the
participants was not of Hispanic origin (n = 2, 165, 90. 0%), whereas 241 (n = 6, 10. 0%) of
the sample was of Hispanic origin (see Table 2).
Table 3
Demographic Variables for Offenders
Table 4 Demographic Variables for Offenders
Demographics

N = 3474

%

Offender Gender
Female
Male
Offender Race
White
Black
American Indian/Al. askan
Native
Asian/Pacific Islander
Offender Ethnicity
Not Hispanic
Hispanic Origin
Total

70

212
3262

6. 1%
93. 9%

2453
907
23
15

72. 2%
26. 7%
0. 7%
0. 4%

2165
241
3474

90. 0%
10. 0%
100%

71

Offender disposition was also briefly examined. Of the 3, 474 cases, 20% were
handled within the criminal justice system, and 80% were referred to the juvenile justice
system. It is noted that there is a lack of attention on the differences in the manner in
which female juvenile sex offenders are processed when compared to male juvenile sex
offenders. Cauffman (2008) examined the trends in judicial processing of juvenile
offenders and found that females were less likely to be arrested, less likely to be formally
petitioned and if adjudicated, less likely to be placed in secure confinement suggesting
that males continue to be processed more severely than females. Results of a chi square
test for independence indicated a significant relationship between offender gender
offender disposition, X2 (1, n = 3474) = 5. 854, p = 0. 016. Table 3 depicts the
interrelatedness between the offender’s gender and the disposition of the offender.
Table 5 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and DispositionTable 6
Cross Tabulation of Offender's Gender and Disposition
Disposition
Handled
Referred
Total

Female FrequencyOffender
26. 4% (N=56)

Male FrequencyOffender
19. 6% (N=638)

73. 6% (N=156)
100% (N=212)

80. 4% (N=2624)
100% (N=3262)

Results indicate that 98. 7% of participants committed a sex offense as their first
offense during an offending incident, whereas 1. 2% committed a sex offense as their
second offense in an offending incident. Offenders in this sample committed a variety of
sex offenses such as forcible fondling, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with
an object, incest and statutory rape. Results of a chi square test for independence
revealed no significant relationship between offender gender, and the types of sex
offenses committed, X2 (2, n = 3474) = 2. 370, p = 0. 306. Cross tabulation on the
71

72
offender gender and on the types of sex offenses committed is provided below (see Table
4).

Table 7 Cross Tabulation of Sex OffensesTable 8
Cross Tabulation of Sex Offenses
Offenses

Female OffenderFrequency

Male

Forcible Rape

25. 5% (N=54)

OffenderFrequency
23. 1% (N=755)

Forcible Sodomy
Sexual Assault w/Object
Forcible Fondling
Incest
Statutory Rape
Total

15. 1% (N=32)
4. 2% (N=9)
43. 9% (N=93)
3. 3% (N=7)
8. 0% (N=17)
100% (N=212)

13. 1% (N=427)
4. 7% (N=152)
48. 9% (N=1595)
2. 9% (N=95)
7. 3% (N=238)
100% (N=3262)

Table 5 provides data on victim gender, race and ethnicity of the victims included
in this study. The victims included 759 (22. 6%) males and 2, 597 (77. 4 %) females with
a mean age of 10. 98 (Med = 12. 00, SD = 6. 01). The overwhelming majority of the
victims was White (n = 2, 579, 79. 1%), with a small representative representation sample
of Blacks (n = 648, 19. 9%). The sample of victims also included 14 (0. 4%) American
Indians/Alaskan Natives and 18 (0. 6%) Asian/Pacific Islanders. The ethnicity of the
victims was overwhelmingly not of Hispanic origin (2, 093, 91. 9%) whereas 185 (8. 1%)
were of Hispanic origin.

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Table 9 Demographic Variables of VictimsTable 10
Demographic Variables of Victims
Demographics
Victim Gender

N = 3474

Female
Male
Victim Race
White
Black
American Indian/Al. askan Native
Asian/Pacific Islander
Victim Ethnicity
Not Hispanic
Hispanic Origin
Total

%

2597
759

77. 4%
22. 6%

2579
648
14
18

79. 1%
19. 9%
0. 4%
0. 6%

2093
185
3474

91. 9%
8. 1%
100%

The victim’s relationship to the offender also yielded information of interest, as
depicted in Table 6. Further, the results of a chi square test for independence revealed a
significant relationship between the offender’s gender and the victim’s relationship to the
offender, X2 (3, n = 2726) = 14. 045, p < . 001. Specifically, it was found that females
were more likely than male offenders to know their victims.

Table 11 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim/Offender RelationshipTable 12
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim's Relationship to Offender
Relationship
Family Member
Peer/Acquaintance
Otherwise Known
Stranger

Female Offender
12. 7% (N = 21)
66. 9% (N = 111)
19. 3% (N = 32)
1. 2% (N = 2)

73

Male Offender
20. 0% (N = 512)
64. 4% (N = 1648)
11. 9% (N = 305)
3. 7% (N = 95)

74
Total

100% (N = 166)

100% (N = 2560)

Although there were no specific research questions identified for the results
presented here, there were some areas of interests revealed by the data that provides
greater descriptive details about the sample used in this study. The following variables
were further examined to determine whether or not a relationship exists between the
offender’s gender and other specific variables. The additional variables examined for
descriptive purposes include: gender of victim and race of victim. Results of a chi square
test of independence indicated no significant relationship between the two, X2 (3, n =
3259) = 5. 664, p = . 129. Table 7 describes the distribution of the victim’s gender and the
offender’s gender.

Table 13 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim's GenderTable 14
Cross Tabulation of Offender's Gender and Victim's Gender
Gender of Victim
Female
Male
Total

Female Offender
66. 2% (N = 133)

Male Offender
78. 1% (N = 2464)

33. 8% (N = 68)
100% (N = 201)

21. 9% (N = 691)
100% (N = 3155)

Both male and female offenders were more likely to select whites as their victims
followed closely by African American victims (see Table 8). This descriptive data can
provide useful guidance when attempting to direct strained resources to those groups
most at-risk for victimization.

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Table 15 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim RaceTable 16
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Victim Race
Victim Race
White
Black
American Indian/Al. askan
Native
Asian/Pacific Islander
Total

Female Offender
83. 2% (N = 163)
14. 8% (N = 29)
1. 0% (N = 2)
1. 0% (N = 2)
100% (N = 196)

Male Offender
78. 9% (N =
2416)
20. 2% (N = 619)
0. 4% (N = 12)
0. 5% (N = 16)
100% (N = 3063)

Research Questions: Bivariate Relationships
The first research question asked: Is there is a relationship between offender age
and the age of the offendervictim? Pearson’s correlation revealed that there is a
significant relationship between the two variables, r (3, 320) = 0. 33, p < 0. 001,
suggesting that as the age of the offender increases, the age of the victim decreases.
When juvenile sex offenders were between the ages of 15 and 17, their victims were
more likely to be between the ages of 11 and 13. When juvenile sex offenders were
between the ages of 13 and 14, their victims were more likely to be between the ages of
five and seven. These results were found to be similar to those found by Finkelhor et al.
(2009) in their examination of the age distribution of juvenile sex offenders and their
victims. Specifically, the authors found that older, teenage juvenile sex offenders were
more likely to commit their offenses against younger victims. Specifically, when the
juvenile sex offenders in the study conducted by the authors were examined, they found
that even offenders as young as nine years of age selected younger victims.
The second research question asked: Is there a relationship between offender
gender and the use of drugs/alcohol? First, cross tabulation was conducted to examine

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the relationship between the offender’s gender and the offender’s use of drugs or alcohol
(see Table 9). It was expected that male and female offenders would have increased rates
of drug and alcohol usage; however, the observed count for female offenders was
unexpectedly low. Secondly, the chi-square statistic was used to determine whether or not
alcohol/drug use was more prevalent among male versus female offenders. Results of this
analysis indicated no significant relationship between the variables, X2 (1, n = 111) = 0.
72, p = 0. 788. These results suggest that the offender’s gender has no association with
whether or not there is drug or alcohol use prior to, or during the commission of the sex
offense. These results are similar to those found in other studies, however, a more
thorough approach to capturing the data for this variable may yield different results. It is
likely that the number of offenders using drugs or alcohol is underrepresented in this
study asas well as many others due to laxness during the data collection phase.

Table 17 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Drugs/AlcoholTable 9
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Drugs/Alcohol
Substance
None
Drugs/Alcohol
Total

Female Offender
23. 8% (N = 5)
76. 2% (N = 16)
100% (N = 21)

Male Offender
26. 7% (N = 24)
73. 3% (N = 66)
100% (N = 90)

The third research question asked: Is there a relationship between offender gender
and the use of weapons/force during the offense? First a , cross tabulation was conducted
to examine the relationship between the offender’s gender and the offender’s use of
weapons or force, during the commission of the sex offense (see Table 10). It was
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77
expected that males would be more likely to use weapons or force and observed counts
supported this expectation. It is noted that females closely followed their male
counterparts in the use of weapons. The most common choice of weapons between both
male and female was categorized as personalized weapons that included the offender’s
use of their hands, teeth, or feet to control the victim. Secondly, the chi square test
statistic was used to determine whether the use of weapons or force was more prevalent
among male versus female offenders. Results of the analysis revealed no significant
relationship between the variables, X2 (1, n = 3008) = 0. 42, p = 0. 837. This suggests that
the use of weapons or force was not related to whether or not the offender was male or
female. The use of weapons or force by these offenders indicates the potential for
increased violence and therefore should be more thoroughly examined during the
treatment of these offenders.

Table 10
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Weapons/Force
Weapon
None
Weapon
Total

Female Offender
25. 6% (N = 44)
74. 4% (N = 128)
100% (N = 172)

Male Offender
26. 3% (N = 732)
73. 7% (N = 2052)
100% (N = 2784)

The fourth research question asked: Is there a relationship between offender
gender and the infliction of bodily injury during the offense? Cross tabulation was
conducted to examine the relationship between the offender’s gender and the offender’s
infliction of injury to their victim (see Table 11). Responses for this variable were
categorized as either major or minor injuries. It was expected that males would be more

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likely than females to cause a major injury to their victims. Although the observed count
bore this out, it was interesting to note that however slightly, females surpassed the
expected count in terms of percentagesof causing a major injury to their victims. The chi
square statistic was used to determine whether or not the infliction of bodily injury was
more prevalent among male versus female offenders. Results of this analysis indicated no
significant relationship between the offender’s gender and the infliction of bodily injury
to the victim, X2 (2, n = 2956) = 2. 046, p = 0. 359. These results suggest that the
infliction of bodily injury has no association to the gender of the offender.

Table 18 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and InjuryTable 11
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Injury
Injury
None

Female Offender
2. 2% (N = 4)

Apparent Minor Injury
Apparent Major Injury
Total

83. 3% (N = 155)
14. 5% (N = 27)
100% (N = 186)

Male Offender
3. 0% (N = 84)
85. 7% (N = 2418)
11. 3% (N = 320)
100% (N = 2822)

The fifth research question asked: Is there a relationship between offender gender
and the location of the offense? Table 12 presents a cross tabulation on the offender’s
gender and the location of the offense. A chi-square test for independence was conducted
to determine whether there was a significant relationship between male and female
offenders and their location of choice for committing sex offenses. Results indicated a
significant relationship between offender and the location of the offense, X2 (3, n = 3067)
= 22. 386, p < . 001. Specifically, female offenders were more likely than expected to
commit their offenses in a home or residence, and in stores or businesses. Female
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offenders were also less likely than expected to commit their offenses at school or
outdoors. Results revealed that male offenders were more likely than expected to commit
their offenses at school or outdoors and were less likely to commit their offense in a
residence, or home, or at stores or businesses. This suggests that female offenders are
more likely to commit their offenses in more intimate, familiar settings than their male
counterparts.

Table 12 Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and LocationTable 12
Cross Tabulation of Offender Gender and Location
Location
Residence/Home

Female Offender
83. 1% (N = 152)

Male Offender
73. 6% (N = 2122)

School/College
Stores/Businesses
Outside/Outdoors
Total

4. 4% (N = 8)
7. 7% (N = 14)
4. 9% (N = 9)
100% (N = 212)

14. 9% (N = 431)
4. 0% (N = 116)
7. 5% (N = 215)
100% (N = 3262)

Multivariate Relationships
Finally, multivariate analysis was conducted to explore whether or not selected
victim and offense variables could predict the offender’s gender. The model began with
597 cases, 292 of which were missing, hence, the missing cases equated to 47. 2% of the
selected cases. As a result, there were 315 cases included in this analysis that equated to
52. 8% of the selected cases.
Using the offender’s gender as the dependent variable and selected victim and
offense variables, multivariate relationships between these variables were explored.
Hierarchical logistical regression analysis using simultaneous entry at each block was
conducted to determine whether the model could classify cases by gender by examining
specific victim and specific offense characteristics. The victim characteristics were

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entered first in order to examine whether the victim characteristics alone were sufficient
for the model to correctly classify cases by gender. Offense characteristics were then
added in order to determine whether the addition of these variables contributed to the
model’s ability to classify cases according to gender. The criterion variable for this model
was the offender’s gender. Victim characteristics selected were victim’s age, gender, race
and relationship to the offender. These characteristics were entered on the first block.
Entered on the second block of the hierarchical logistic regression analysis were the
following offense characteristics: offense type, weapon use, injury, location and
disposition.
Results of this analysis indicated that victim characteristics were significant in
predicting offender gender, X2 (6) = 13. 56, p = 0. 04, R2 = 0. 4. However, examination of
the standardized coefficients revealed that victim gender was the only significant
predictor in the model. With an odds ratio of 0. 57, this suggests that male victims are 0.
57 times as likely to be victimized by male offenders than by female offenders. The
model correctly predicted the offender’s gender 65. 7% of the time. More specifically,
male offenders were correctly predicted 96. 6% of the time and female offenders, 7. 3%
of the time (see Table 13). Results of this analysis lends additional support to the
inclusion of these victim variables as predictors of both male and female juvenile sex
offenders.
Table 13 Victim Characteristics Regressed on Offender GenderTable 13
Victim Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender
Variable
VicAge
VicSex
VicRace(1)

B
-0. 027

SE
. 017

Wald
2. 419

-. 556
0. 616

0. 275
0. 330

4. 089
3. 479

80

Df

P
1

0.

1
1

120

Exp(B)
0. 973
0. 573
1. 851

81
VicRace(2)
Vic Rel to Offender
Total Constant

-0. 813
-0. 250
1. 762

1. 434
0. 189
0. 616

0. 321
1. 753
8. 184

1
1
1

0.
043
0.

0. 444
0. 779
5. 827

062
0.
571
0.
186
0.
004
*p<. 05
The variables in the equation for the second block found that only the “VicSex” variable
was found to be significant with a corresponding p-value of 0. 032 < 0. 05. The
remaining eight variables were not significant because their corresponding p-values were
>0. 05. This suggests that the remaining variables (Offense, Weapon, Injury, Location and
Disposition, do not significantly affect the dependent variable, and are therefore unable to
predict the offender’s gender (see Table 14).

Table 19 Victim and Offense Characteristics Regressed on Offender GenderTable 14
Victim and Offense Characteristics Regressed on Offender Gender
Variable
VicAgeTot
VictSexTot
VicRaceTot
VicRaceTot1
VicRaceTot2
Rel of Vic
Total
Offense

B
-0. 031
-0. 601

SE
0. 018
0 . 281

0. 578
-0. 992

0. 336
1. 436

-0. 312
-0. 009
0. 185

Wald
2. 885
4. 580
3. 527
2. 953
0. 478

0. 198
0. 224

2. 496
0. 002
81

Df
1
1
3
1
1

P
0. 089
0. 032
0. 317
0. 086
0. 490

Exp (B)
0. 970
0. 548

1
1

0. 114
0. 967

0. 732
0. 991

1

0. 521

1. 203

1. 782
0. 371

82
Weapon
Injury
Location
Disposition

-0. 398
0. 224
0. 134

0. 288
0. 324
0. 153
0. 316

0. 411
1. 514
2. 149
0. 182

2. 113
Constant
*p<. 05

0. 803

1
1
1

0. 219
0. 143
0. 670

0. 671
1. 251
1. 144

1

0. 009

8. 272

6. 917

The addition of offense characteristics on the second block added nothing to the
model, Δx2 (5) = 5. 07, p = 0. 41, ΔR2 = 0. 02, making the overall model non-significant,
x2 (11) = 18. 63, p = 0. 07, R2 = 0. 06. The model correctly classified 65. 4% of the cases
in terms of gender of the offender. An examination of the odds ratios of coefficients
revealed that victim gender (OR = 0. 55) was the only significant predictor in the final
model, suggesting that female victims were associated with male offenders.
The results of the hierarchical multiple logistic regression analysis showed that
the model with only the victim characteristics can predict the offender’s gender. The
addition of offense characteristics added nothing to the prediction of offender gender.
Hence, it was concluded that only the victim characteristics were necessary to predict
offender gender.
Summary
Chapter IV examined whether or not a relationship existed between offender
gender and selected offense, victim, and offense characteristics associated with juvenile
sex offending. Research question one examined whether or not a relationship existed
between offender gender and the age of the victim. Results indicated that a relationship
existed between the two variables. Specifically, as the age of the offender increases, the
age of the victim decreases.
Research question two examined whether or not a relationship existed between
offender gender and the use of drugs, or alcohol. Results of chi square analysis found no

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relationship between the offender’s gender and the use of drugs, or alcohol. A frequency
test revealed that 3% of the sample used drugs, or alcohol. As noted in an earlier chapter,
there was a significant amount of missing data on this variable ; therefore, leaving some
question about the external validity of these results.
Research question three examined whether or not a relationship existed between
offender gender and the use of weapons or force. Results of chi square analysis found no
relationship between the offender’s gender and the use of weapons, or force. A frequency
test revealed that 73% of the sample used some form of weapon or force during the
commission of the offense, and with a similar percentage of both males and females using
a weapon. 69% of males used weapons or force during the commission of the offense,
compared to 4% of the females included in this sample.
Research question four examined whether or not a relationship existed between
offender gender, and infliction of injury. Results of chi square analysis found no
relationship between the offender’s gender and infliction of injury. A frequency test
revealed that 86% of the sample inflicted some injury to the victim. Further analysis
revealed that minor injuries (80%) were the more commonly inflicted injury. It was
observed that of both male and female offenders, males offenders (94%) were more likely
to inflict injury on their victim than were female offenders (6%).
The final research question examined whether or not a relationship existed
between offender gender and location of the offense. Chi square analysis found there was
a relationship between the offender’s gender, and the location of the offense. Specifically,
females were more likely to commit their offenses in intimate or personal locations such
as the home, while male offenders were more likely to use more public locations such as
schools to commit their offenses.

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The final analysis conducted was a hierarchical multiple regression entering the
following victim’s characteristics in the first block: victim’s age, victim’s gender, victim’s
race and victim’s relationship to the offender. The results of this analysis reflected that
these victim characteristics were significant in predicting the offender’s gender.
Specifically, 65% of the cases (N = 315) were correctly classified by gender when the
victim characteristics were included in the model. The following offense characteristics
were entered on the second block: offense, weapon, injury, location and disposition.
When the second block was computed, the victim’s characteristics, when paired with
offense characteristics, were found to be insignificant, and unable to predict the gender of
the offender.
Chapter V will presents a discussion on suggestions for future research, and will
summarize how this current study correlates to existing literature on juvenile sex
offenders.
Chapter Chapter V
DiscussionDiscussion
Finkelhor et al. (2009) noted the significance of certain offender, victim and
offense characteristics found in incidents of juvenile sex offending. Those included the
offender’s gender, and age, victim’s age, and relationship to the offender, use of
weapons/force, injury to the victim, and location of the offense. Through five research
questions, this study sought to examine whether an association existed between these
specific offender, victim and offense characteristics, and the offender’s gender.
It was hypothesized that a relationship existed between offender’s age and the age
of the victim. A Pearson’s correlation revealed that there is was a significant relationship
between the two variables, suggesting that as the age of the offender increases, the age of

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the victim decreases. Finkelhor et al. (2009) concluded similar results in their
examination of juvenile sex offenders.
It was hypothesized that a relationship existed between offender gender and the
use of drugs or alcohol. A chi square test of independence found that there was no
significant difference in the use of drugs or alcohol, between male and female offenders.
Literature regarding the influence of drugs, or alcohol use among juvenile sex offenders
has been mixed (Zolondek et al., 2001). For this study, the results echoed previous
research; however, it is noted that a more comprehensive set of responses for this survey
question may likely yield different results, or at the very least, a more accurate reflection
of the offenders surveyed.
It was hypothesized that a relationship existed between the offender’s gender and
the use of weapons or force. A chi square test of independence found that no significant
relationship existed between male and female offenders sampled in this study. Of the
offenders in this sample, 85% of them used some type of weapon during the offense.
Although Ffemale offenders have increasingly imitated offense patterns of male offenders
and did, they did not do so with the use of weapons for this study. There are several
considerations that may explain the lack of more violent weapons including: age of the
victim, ability to manipulate the victim with mere threats of violence as well as with
bribes such as toys (Kahn & Chambers, 1991) or the ability of the offender to charm and
employ the necessary level of cunningness.
It was hypothesized that a relationship existed between the offender’s gender and
the infliction of injury. A Chi square test of independence found that there was no
significant relationship between male and female offenders and infliction of injury on
their victim. It was expected that a fairly significant number of juveniles committing
these types of crimes would be more likely to injure their victims. This expectation was

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based on the perceived lack of internal control thought to be characteristic of these
offenders. Additionally, due to highly publicized serious and violent crimes in recent
years, some juvenile offenders have been portrayed as hardened criminals capable of
inflicting significant harm on their victims. The findings found that 86% of the offenders
inflicted some form of injury and of these injuries, 85% were classified as minor injuries,
and 11% were considered to be major injuries. This suggests that at least for this sample,
offenders may have been skilled enough to manipulate victims without inflicting serious
physical harm, or offenders may have been gifted with more empathy than expected.
It was hypothesized that a relationship existed between offender gender and the
location of the offense. A Chi square test of independence found that female offenders
were more likely to commit the sex offense in the home or residence when compared to
the male offender. For this study, 74% of the sample frequently offended in a home or
residence, followed closely by the school or college. This would suggest that these
offenders were not unlike offenders in previous studies (Fehrenbach et al., 1986), who
offended in locations where access to the victim was optimal or where the location was
conducive to carrying out the offense.
Policy Implications
Research has shown that distinct differences exist between male and female
juvenile sex offenders and the etiology of their offending behavior as well as in the
manner they offend (Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002). These gender differences should
provide some guidance and direction to those charged with establishing policies for
managing juvenile sex offenders. Three significant areas that should be considered when
creating policies for management of these offenders that may be affected by gender

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differences include the assessment, treatment and the sanctions assessed to these
offenders.
Another key component associated with the success of treatment for juvenile sex
offenders is the manner in which the juvenile sex offender is assessed. A comprehensive
assessment tool would ideally include an in-depth analysis of the following areas in a
juvenile’s life and personal history: (a) intellectual and neuropsychological, (b)
personality and psychopathological, (c) social and behavioral, (d) sexual, (e) history of
victimization, and (f) substance use and abuse (Kraemer, Salisbury, & Spielman, 1998).
Each of these areas yield important information regarding the juvenile sex offender’s
ability to manage his or her impulses and deviant sexual urges.
Veneziano and Veneziano (2002) noted the importance of correctly assessing the
juvenile sex offender’s level of intellectual functioning in order to accommodate the best
treatment modality and to make any necessary modifications to the selected treatment
approach. Thise approach was done used in the event that the level of functioning
prohibits the juvenile from comprehending and applying tenets of treatment program.
This emphasizes the importance of creating and implementing policies regarding the
treatment of juvenile sex offenders who also consider differences in gender among these
offenders.
For juvenile sex offenders, treatment options have mirrored those for the adult
population. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of treatment programs
directed towards juvenile sex offenders with the hope of identifying juveniles who have
engaged in sexual deviancy, and intervening early enough to impede further sexually
offensive behavior (Edwards & Beech, 2004). One widely used treatment modality for
juvenile sex offenders is the multi-systemic treatment approach (MST). This approach
gained acclaim for addressing the totality of the individual offender that could be

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appropriate for mitigating gender differences. The multi-systemic approach involves
intervention across the following aspects of the offender’s life: family, peer and school
(Blaske et al., 1989). An assessment of MST treatment for 48 juvenile sex offenders who
were randomly assigned to this treatment approach found improvement in the following
areas: academic performance, peer and parental relationships and fewer symptomatic
issues between the parents of the selected sample (Borduin & Schaeffer, 2001).
When considering the sanctions assessed to these offenders, the discussion
includes issues of adjudication and recidivism. Historically, the management of sex
offenders has been tailored to accommodate adult sex offenders. In recent years, these
adult sanctions have been applied to some juvenile sex offenders (Garfinkle, 2003;
Zimring, 2004). In 2003, 23 states had enacted legislation requiring adjudicated juveniles
to register as sex offenders, some of whom were as young as 11 years old (Szymanski,
2003). Consideration must be given to the differences between male and female
offenders, and the differences necessitated by gender in terms of residence and
registration requirements. As Thompson (2008) noted, some jurisdictions with firm
residency requirements and expansive registration policies for sex offenders, have
resulted in homelessness and segregation for offenders who committed sex offenses
during their youth. Some scholars have suggested that adult sex offender sanctions
applied to juvenile sex offenders, can be detrimental to the juvenile once they reach
adulthood ((Chaffin, , 2008; and Sampson & Laub, 2005). This is likely due to the
negative impact on the juvenile’s ability to establish social anchors during their formative
years if they are restricted by such adult sanctions like residency or registration
requirements. argued that the negative impact of such restrictive policies applied to
juveniles who are in the formative years of establishing social anchors will act as

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stabilizing forces for them during their adult years. It is suspected that these concerns
would also be affected by gender differences among these offenders.
Additionally, consideration must also be given to the reasonableness of assessing
such adult sanctions on these juvenile sex offenders given the low recidivism rates of
these juvenile sex offenders. Caldwell (2007) conducted a longitudinal study comparing
the recidivism rates of juvenile sex offenders and non-juvenile sex offenders, and found
that over a five-year period, there was no significant difference in the recidivism rates of
the two groups for new sex offenses. Specifically, the author found that 85% of the sex
offenses committed during the follow-up period were attributed to the non-sex offenders,
including three sexual homicides. This would suggest that the efforts, resources and
constraints placed on those systems tasked with management and the labeling constraints
placed on the juvenile sex offender, are impractical and excessive.
As juvenile sex offenses increase in frequency, it becomes increasingly important
to accurately identify, treat and manage those juveniles who commit these offenses.
Policies and practices should be designed that best fit the needs and differences
associated with these youthful offenders, especially when those differences are based on
gender. As noted throughout this study, some differences can be found between male and
female offenders, hence the need to carefully consider the application of policies and
practices when applied to youthful sex offenders.
Limitations
This study relied upon secondary data obtained from surveys collected by law
enforcement personnel. There are inherent limitations when using secondary data; several
were noted for this study. One limitation with this dataset involved lack of uniform
compliance and participation of all U.S. law enforcement agencies in reporting sex

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offenses committed by juveniles. Law enforcement agencies are not mandated to
participate in these surveys resulting in an incomplete picture of crime in the United
States. Relevant to this study, it is likely that the sample size for this study was affected
by the lack of agency participation.
A second limitation of this study involved the collection instrument used for the
data. Research on juvenile sex offending (Finkelhor et al., 2009; Vandiver & Teske, 2006)
has referenced studies that encompass a number of variables including: geographical
indicators, socio economic status, abuse history, academic history, emotional/behavioral
history, delinquency history, family history, and exposure to violence. This study was
limited by the lack of data collected on information in the above referenced areas. The
data instrument failed to capture data on these important areas that would have made for
a richer study of these juvenile sex offenders.
A third limitation of this study involved the incomplete collection of information
on a number of variables relevant to this study, such as responses concerning the
offender’s use of drugs, or alcohol. In the literature on juvenile sex offending, questions
remain about this offender’s propensity to use drugs or alcohol; therefore, opportunities
to query these offenders on this issue should not be overlooked.
A fourth limitation to this study involved the relatively few numbers of female
juvenile sex offenders included in the study. The difficulty in conducting empirical
research on female juvenile sex offenders has been well documented throughout the
literature on juvenile sex offending. This sample provided a rather significant number that
is indicative of the growing problem of female juvenile sex offenders. This also indicates
that some societal systems are no longer minimizing incidents of female sex offending.
Although this study provided a more fruitful number of female offenders for comparison

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than other studies, it suffers the same fate as previous studies, the constraints of having a
relatively small sample of female juvenile sex offenders to use for comparison purposes.
Recommendations for Future Research
Though recent years have brought about expanded research in the area of juvenile
sex offending, there are sufficient gaps in the available literature to warrant further study.
At first glance, it is observed that a large contingent of research on this population comes
from abroad (Bijleveld & Hendriks, 2003; Hendriks & Bijleveld, 2004, 2006; Wijk,
Horn, Bullens, Bijleveld, & Doreleijers, 2005; Wijk, Mali, Bullens, & Vermeiren, 2007)
which can affect the ability to accurately generalize the results to American juvenile sex
offenders if significant differences exist in the classification of sex offenders. Although
similarities exist in the motivation to offend, there are distinct differences in other
extraneous factors that influence offending behavior including family dynamics, cultural
influences, socio- economic indicators that are noticeably different and affect the
offending patterns of these juveniles differently than those in the United States. Further,
the judicial processing, management and treatment of these offenders may differ as well
due to the differences inherent in the judicial process in America and the resources
available for juvenile corrections and treatment.
Future research efforts would benefit from a more thorough inclusion of
psychosocial variables that could provide more insight into the characteristics and risk
factors of male and female juvenile sex offenders as well as their patterns of offending.
There are likely other associations that can be made between the offender’s gender that
would prove insightful and would provide a more comprehensive base of knowledge for
practitioners charged with prevention, treatment and managing these offenders. A more
specific discussion on these psychosocial variables is presented later in this chapter.

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Future research efforts would also benefit from the longitudinal study of these
offenders. These studies would allow for a careful examination of the impact of
maturation, both developmental and the influences of social and environmental exposure
would have on the recidivism rate of this population. It would also be beneficial to
examine the efficacy of community monitoring and registries along gender lines for these
offenders.
Additional offense characteristics that would be of interest in the study of juvenile
sex offenders involve the propensity of these offenders to offend in groups, versus as a
solo offender. Media portrayals would have society believe that juveniles erupt into a
frenzied mob pack and attack in groups; however, further research would be useful to
determine not only the frequency of attacks involving multiple offenders, but whether or
not weapons are involved in these attacks and what if any distinctions can be made
between male and female offenders.
While this study focused on patterns of offense, further study should explore the
outcome of the offender’s involvement in the juvenile, or criminal systems. The survey
for this dataset included one question on the disposition of the offender, and provided no
additional follow-up information. Research on the disposition of the offender should also
transition to research on the efficacy of community notification laws, sex offender
registries, and residency restrictions, as they are applied to the juvenile sex offender.
While this study examined several traits found to be characteristic of juvenile sex
offenders, there were several aspects and characteristics amenable to further research.
Future research efforts should consider the presence of a history of delinquency, a history
of family dysfunction and chaotic family environments, parental loss and emotionally
distant parents, history of socialization problems, a history of school problems, a history
of childhood sexual and physical abuse, exposure to pornography, exposure to aggressive

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authority figures, hyperactivity and impulsivity, the presence of multiple offenders, the
commission of additional offenses during the commission of the sex offense, amenability
to treatment, treatment efficacy and recidivism. While some support has been found for
these factors as characteristics associated with juvenile sex offenders, further study
should examine the impact of gender on these characteristics and juvenile sex offending.

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History of delinquency. Earlier research studies of adolescent sex offenders found
that histories of prior aggressive behaviors and criminal behaviors were not
uncommon to the sample of adolescents included in the sample (Becker, 1998;
Veneziano & Veneziano, 2002). A study by Eastman (2005) of adolescent sex
offenders between the ages of 13 and 16, found that 38% of the subjects had been
found guilty of a nonsexual offense and 16% had been found guilty of a previous
sexual offense. Becker et al. (1986) found that 79% of the juvenile sex offenders
participating in their study, had prior arrests for sex offenses. Van Ness (1984)
studied incarcerated adolescent sex offenders and found that 86% of them had
engaged in four or more aggressive behaviors in their past. The above statistics do
not seem that surprising when one considers that many juvenile sex offenders have
been exposed to many factors or traits that make for a chaotic and tumultuous
childhood. Kavoussi et al. (1988) suggested after studying a group of juvenile sex
offenders, that behavioral problems such as conduct disorders and impaired
judgment, as well as a lack of impulse control (Vizard, Monck, & Misch, 1995) have
all been found in to be prevalent in the backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders and
should be addressed through treatment in order to maximize the effectiveness of
therapeutic intervention. This suggests that sexual offending is just a facet of a
larger problem for this population of juvenile offenders.

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To broaden the research base on the link between a history of delinquency and
juvenile sex offending, more research studies are needed that focus on whether or
not there is a link between the category of sex offending that juveniles commit and
prior acts of delinquency. This could be very beneficial in determining the most
appropriate therapeutic approach for a juvenile sex offender during the assessment
phase.
History of family dysfunction and chaotic family environments. There are a
number of traits that researchers in recent years have included in their typology of
the juvenile sex offender including: history of mental health disorders, social skills
deficits, school difficulties, and a history of delinquency among other traits. In
terms of this study, family dysfunction includes the following areas: parental loss,
family violence, emotionally distant parents, parental substance abuse and a chaotic
family environment.
Ryan, Miyoshi, Metzner, Krugman and Fryer (1996) studied 1,616 juveniles from 30
states who ranged in age from five to 21 years and were referred for treatment as a
result of sexual offenses and found that 63.4% of those sampled had observed family
violence in their home. A smaller study conducted on 256 juvenile sex offenders
between the ages of 13 and 18, across 5 states, found that 75% had witnessed either
sexual or physical violence towards a female and 53% had observed a male family
member physically assault a female (Hunter et al., 2003).

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Several studies have alluded to the prevalence of chaotic and dysfunctional family
environments of juvenile sex offenders. After analyzing families of some adolescent
sex offenders across four variables (chaotic, rigid, disengaged and enmeshed),
Graves, Openshaw, Ascione and Ericksen (1996) found that a majority of these
offenders described their families as chaotic and unstable. Studies of this
population of offenders has consistently concluded that chaotic, dysfunctional and
unstable family environments play a significant role in the backgrounds of juvenile
sex offenders (Araji, 1997). Previous research determined that less than one third of
juvenile sex offenders lived with both of their birth parents (Fehrenbach et al., 1986;
Kahn & Chambers, 1991). Pithers, Gray, Busconi and Houchens (1998) conducted
formal interviews of 72 juveniles about their caregivers and determined that the
families of these children were marked by disorganized family environments which
included: high rates of sexual abuse, poverty, single parent households and domestic
violence. The study also included juveniles who lived with a biological parent as
well as juveniles who lived with a foster parent (Pithers et al., 1998). The authors
concluded that while some of the foster homes were characterized as chaotic and
disorganized, they were less disorganized than the families of juveniles residing with
a biological parent. It is further noted, that some of the extended family members
(62%) of juveniles involved in this study, had also offended sexually.

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Baker, Tabacoff, Tornusciolo and Eisenstadt (2003) compared the family histories of
adjudicated male juvenile sex offenders to youth diagnosed with conduct disorders
along five facets of family secrecy and deception which are characteristics typically
found in chaotic and dysfunctional families. The authors found that the families of
the male juvenile sex offenders tended to have higher incidents of lying, had more
family myths, and were more likely to be involved in taboo or socially undesirable
behavior than the families of the youth diagnosed with conduct disorder. These
studies hint at the existence of differences between male and female juvenile sex
offenders and should be studied further.
Parental loss and emotionally distant parents. The juvenile justice system is built
upon the belief that children need the guiding hand of interested adults committed
to caring for them and nurturing them into adulthood. Juvenile justice research has
shown the effects of absent or neglectful parents. Awad, Saunders and Levene
(1984) studied a relatively small group of adolescent sex offenders (n = 24) and
found that 79% of them had been subjected to extended periods of parental
separations from the family. Ryan (1988) in a larger study of 1,000 adolescent sex
offenders found that 57% of the offenders had suffered through some degree of
parental loss and separation.

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Another contributing factor to family dysfunction as it relates to juvenile sex
offenders is the level of emotional warmth and connectedness felt by juveniles from
their parents. Bischof, Stith and Whitney (1995) and Blaske et al. (1989) studied
adolescent sex offenders and discovered that more often than not, the adolescent sex
offenders surveyed believed their parents to be devoid of emotional warmth and
connectedness. Marshall and Mazzucco (1995) further found that parenting styles
that were categorized as rejecting and neglectful contributed to an inability to form
bonds and attachment, and when combined with other factors, increased an
adolescent’s susceptibility to juvenile sex offending.
The parent or caregiver’s style of communication has also been linked to emotional
distance between the parent and the juvenile sex offender. Henggeler, Schoenwald,
Borduin, Rowland, and Cunningham (1998) concluded that patterns of negative and
aggressive statements were more prevalent in the family backgrounds of juvenile sex
offenders than were positive supportive statements. A more recent study conducted
by McCormack, Hudson, and Ward (2002) concluded that on average, sex offenders
tend to have negative relationships with parents, communicate less with parents,
experience loss of parents or caregivers, have unstable relationships with parents, or
caregivers, and experience higher incidents of physical and sexual abuse. Future
research efforts should consider the influence of offender gender on these variables.
Because society programs males and females differently, the manner in which they
cope with parental emotional distance may affect their motivations to sexually
offend.

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History of socialization problems. Juvenile sex offenders have also been
characterized as having poor impulse control and poor conflict resolution skills, as
well as difficulty extending empathic feelings to others (Prentky et al., 2000). Ryan
et al. (1996) found in their examination of 1,616 juvenile sex offenders, that 62%
expressed little if any, empathy for their victims; 51% expressed little, or no remorse
about their actions, and one third of the sample blamed the victim for the offense.
Although the role and importance of peer groups and social relationships cannot be
underestimated, the family has the primary responsibility in guiding one’s social
development and acquisition of interpersonal skills. When families neglect this
important obligation and no other entities or authority figures accept responsibility
for the social education of the child or when the social and interpersonal skills
modeled by adult family members are inappropriate, the probability of a child
exhibiting inappropriate or absent social and interpersonal skills such as empathy
and concern for others is much more likely. So important is this aspect of human
development for juvenile sex offenders that many treatment programs include in
their assessment tool and in their treatment intervention, a component that places a
great degree of emphasis on helping offenders look beyond their own need for
immediate gratification to focusing on how their actions impact others. Future
research on male and female juvenile sex offenders, would likely indicate differences
among male and female offenders and their socialization skills. This may yield
additional information that could be helpful in prevention and recidivism efforts.

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History of school problems. Much of the research on characteristics of juvenile sex
offenders has included a history of school problems, which have historically
included some combination of disruptive behavior, truancy, or learning disabilities
(Bourke & Donohue, 1996; Feherenbach et al., 1986; Kahn & Chambers, 1991).
Juvenile sex offenders have also been found to be of low average intelligence
(Ferrara & McDonald, 1996; Jacobs, Kennedy, & Meyer, 1997; Spaccarelli, 1997).
McCurry et al. (1998) found that those juvenile sex offenders who have the lowest
IQs were also more likely to present more sexually inappropriate behavior than
those with higher IQ’s.
Kahn and Chambers (1991) noted that a majority of those sampled experienced at
least one of three school related problems: (a) learning disability (39%); (b) truancy
(just under 30%) and (c) disruptive behavior (53%). A later study conducted by
Langevin, Marentette and Rosati (1996) of 162 male adolescent sex offenders found
that a small percentage had been placed in special education classes, at least 50% of
them had repeated at least one grade level while 14% repeated grades at least twice
and 3.5 % had repeated a grade at least three times. While not all juvenile sex
offenders perform poorly in school (Ferrara & McDonald, 1996), the majority of
research studies conducted on this population of offenders have consistently found a
troubled school history.

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History of childhood sexual and physical abuse. A history of childhood sexual and
physical abuse is another distinguishing characteristic of juvenile sex offenders
(Butz & Spaccarellli, 1999). Becker (1994) found that one of the most frequently
revealed characteristics of juvenile sex offenders is a history of childhood abuse.
Several scholars (Hunter et al., 2003; Matthews et al., 1997; Pithers & Gray, 1996)
have found that approximately 75% of juvenile sex offenders included in the studied
population had been sexually victimized in the past. Veneziano and Veneziano
(2002) scrutinized a number of studies of the characteristics of juvenile sex offenders
and found histories of physical and/or sexual abuse in 30 to 70% of the juveniles
included in the review.

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Aylwin, Studer, Reddon and Clelland (2003) analyzed in part, whether or not the
gender of the victim was related to a history of abuse in the background of the
offender, and found no evidence of a measurable relationship. While the impact of
physical and sexual abuse in the juvenile offender’s past has on their subsequent
sexually offensive behavior has not been fully realized, a great deal of evaluation
should be performed on this characteristic. Although some research has been
conducted on the impact of physical and sexual abuse on the juvenile sex offender’s
level of aggression, social aptitude and selection of victim (i.e., stranger versus nonstranger), remain ripe for further examination. What is not in dispute however, is
that histories of physical and sexual abuse continue to emerge as one the most
frequently occurring characteristics of juvenile sex offenders. Although the variable
of physical and sexual abuse has played a central role in the backgrounds of juvenile
sex offenders, the differences between the gender of the offender and these
characteristics may prove helpful in understanding the etiology of juvenile sex
offending.

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Exposure to pornography. An exposure to pornography has also been found to be
characteristic of juvenile sex offenders. Although there are few studies on the effect
of exposure to pornography and juvenile sex offending, a study by Ford and Linney
(as cited in Righthand & Welch, 2001) found that of those studied, 42% of juvenile
sex offenders had a history of exposure to hardcore, sexually explicit print media,
compared to violent juvenile offenders and status offenders. Becker and Stein (1991)
(as cited in Righthand & Welch, 2001) concluded that 89% of juvenile sex offenders
sampled had used sexually explicit materials at some time during their past. The
studies cited here lend credibility to the need to further examine the relationship
between exposure to pornography and juvenile sex offending, as it holds relevance
for both treatment and recidivism concerns.
Prior research has found that one’s exposure to aggressive authority figures has
been shown to contribute to sexually deviant behavior by juveniles (Fagan &
Wexler, 1988). Further, the presence of paternal incidents of violence against
women has been shown to increase the possibility that children in the home,
particularly males, will adopt the belief that violence is the best way to control
females (Starzyk & Marshall, 2003).

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It should be noted that other research on juvenile sex offenders has examined a
number of factors, such as whether or not a link exists between abuse in the
background of a juvenile sex offender, and choice of victim. A study by Aylwin et al.
(2003) analyzed in part, whether or not the gender of the victim was related to a
history of abuse in the background of the offender, and found no evidence of a
measurable relationship. While the impact of physical and sexual abuse in a
juvenile offender’s past on subsequent sexually offensive behavior has not been fully
realized, a great deal of evaluation should be performed on this characteristic.
Although some research has been conducted on the impact of physical and sexual
abuse on the juvenile sex offender’s level of aggression, social aptitude and selection
of victim (i.e., stranger versus non-stranger), remain ripe for further examination.
What is not in dispute however, is that histories of physical and sexual abuse
continue to emerge as one of the most frequently occurring characteristics of
juvenile sex offenders.

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Multiple offenders. Multiple offenders are not the norm in juvenile sex offending;
however, available research has revealed enough disparity in the literature that
further study is encouraged. A review of the 1981 UCR crime statistics revealed that
25 to 31% of sex offenses committed by offenders 21 years old and younger, involved
several offenders (Davis and Leitenberg, 1987). Considering that several studies
conducted on this characteristic were completed during the 1970s and very few
recent studies since that time, it is uncertain how relevant the results of these studies
would be given today’s juvenile sex offenders. Fehrenbach and Monastersky (1988)
sampled female sex offenders participating in a clinical setting and found that less
than half of them reported using force while committing their sexual offenses. This
gives further support to the need to carefully consider differences between the
offending patterns of male and female juvenile sex offenders and to promote further
scientific study of this population. While adult females have been noted to sexually
offend at the urging of their significant other, fortunately, this pattern has not been
repeated with the female juvenile sex offenders however it bears watching as this
population does traditionally suffer from troubled romantic relationships.

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Commission of multiple offenses. An additional characteristic that has been
considered as an offense characteristic has been whether or not juvenile sex
offenders tend to commit additional offenses while committing the sex offense.
Available research has indicated that it is rare for juveniles to commit additional
crimes while committing a sex offense (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). A study by
Hindelang and McDermott (1981) concluded that approximately 6% of juvenile sex
offenders who selected their peers or adults were likely to commit theft during the
sexual offense. The authors found that not only was theft the most commonly
occurring offense during a sexual offense but also that most often, this occurred
when the offender was a young adult or adult rather than a juvenile. This study
provides much needed insight into the offense patterns of juvenile sex offenders
however it would seem prudent to examine whether the number of offenders present
would have any impact on whether additional crimes were committed during the
sexual offense.

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While patterns of offense were the focus of this study, further exploration of the
outcome of the offender’s involvement in the juvenile or criminal systems should
occur. Juvenile sex offending has placed demands on a strained and burdened
juvenile justice system and with legislative trends, those demands have expanded to
the adult criminal justice system which is tasked with investigating, arresting and
adjudicating the offenders that come to its attention (Gretton, Catchpole, & Hare,
2004). The survey for this dataset included one question on the disposition of the
offender and provided no additional follow up information. Research on the
disposition of the offender should also transition to research on the efficacy of
community notification laws, sex offender registries and residency restrictions as
they are applied to the juvenile sex offender.
Amenability to treatment. The centuries old debate regarding whether or not the
best interests of children could be served in the criminal justice system, climaxed in
1899 in Cook County, Illinois, with the establishment of the juvenile court, however,
society finds itself engaging in this debate once more. This most important creation,
the juvenile court, was founded on the belief that there are distinct differences
between adults who commit crimes, and children who engage in acts of delinquency.
As a result, the judicial establishment should recognize these profound differences
and respond accordingly. The idea that there is a redeeming value in children that
can be uncovered with the appropriate direction, intervention, and nurturing, has
been the guiding principle for work executed with juveniles who have passed
through the juvenile court. The belief that juveniles can be shaped, molded and
refashioned into law abiding citizens, becomes questionable in light of incidents of
juvenile sex offending.

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A study conducted by Longo (1982) of incarcerated adult sex offenders, reported
that 50% committed their initial sex offense in adolescence. The same study
concluded that 35% of these offenders acknowledged progressing from “hands off”
sexual offenses, to the more serious “hands on” sexual offenses, which eventually led
to conviction and incarceration. It has been projected that an average juvenile sex
offender will have victimized approximately 380 victims from his or her adolescent
offending years, to his or her adult offender years. Although this is an estimate, the
number lends credence to those who advocate for early intervention and treatment
of juvenile sex offenders. Examining these statistics makes a reasonable case for
considering merits of rehabilitation and treatment while a juvenile. It would be
outside the scope of this academic effort to speculate on the outcome for these now
adult sex offenders, had rehabilitation and treatment been the response during their
formative, adolescent years.
For juvenile sex offenders, treatment options have mirrored those for the adult
population. In recent years, there has been a surge in the number of treatment
programs directed towards juvenile sex offenders with hope of identifying those
juveniles who have engaged in sexual deviancy, and intervening early enough to
impede further sexually offensive behavior (Edwards & Beech, 2004). CognitiveBehavioral therapy has proven to be useful in treating juvenile sex offenders, just as
it has been for adult offenders.

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As new treatment programs emerged, the approaches focused on cognitivebehavioral efforts rather than relying solely on psychotherapeutic intervention. To
date, there have been few programs that have exclusively offered biological, organic,
or physiological treatment as the only approach. There have been programs that
have combined biological, organic and physiological treatments, with either
psychotherapeutic or cognitive-behavioral approaches; however there remains a
large contingency of citizens who discount the effectiveness of either of these
treatment approaches.
Treatment efficacy. Traditionally, scientific study has been employed as a way of
validating the efficacy of some approach, intervention or theory however in terms of
treatment amenability for sex offenders, scientific study has been hampered by a
number of barriers. One barrier has been the willingness of sex offenders to
participate in the treatment opportunities available to them. Sex offenders who
voluntarily seek treatment may be more amenable to treatment intervention than
those who do not voluntarily seek treatment. A factor might be their willingness to
actively and truthfully participate in treatment services (Borduin & Schaeffer,
2001); but, one must consider how this barrier affects juveniles who are compelled
into treatment programs by the juvenile justice system. Future research should
examine whether or not a significant difference in recidivism is observed in those
juveniles mandated to participate in treatment programs, versus those whose
sexually offensive behavior has been minimized due to an inability or unwillingness
to view a juvenile as a sex offender.

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Efforts to validate the efficacy of juvenile sex offender treatment have also been
challenged. There are concerns for patient privacy, and tendency for treatment
programs to be suspicious of program evaluation or scientific research that proposes
to closely examine treatment efficacy. The fear is of threats to the program’s
financial well-being. The very nature of the juvenile justice system advocates
confidentiality, and makes every effort to protect them from the public, as will be
those who do not have a direct relationship to them. As a result, it is difficult to
access these juveniles and their treatment records. Another factor that impacts
availability of true scientific research for this population of offenders relative to
effective treatment interventions is the opportunity for researchers to offer an
alternative treatment intervention. -In an experimental setting.
Lastly, the effectiveness of treatment for this specialized group of offenders is
possibly compromised by the fact that these offenders are generally affected by
other serious anomalies. They might possess serious psychiatric disturbances that
may make it more difficult to focus on controlling their urges and impulses to
sexually offend. Additionally, if the family unit is not assisted and given some
therapeutic attention, the possibility of recidivism is presumed to be greater than if
the family unit is strengthened through therapeutic intervention.

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Historically, relatively few offenders voluntarily sought treatment (Becker, 1994).
Most offenders, particularly those who had come to the attention of the juvenile
justice system, tended to participate only as a result of their involvement with the
justice or correctional system. For some offenders, a pretrial diversion program
facilitates treatment intervention while for others; treatment becomes a condition
for consideration for probation. For other offenders, informal agreements for
treatment are negotiated. This last option is frequently seen in instances of incest or
familial sexual abuse. Although some offenders have been obligated by the courts or
their custodial institution to participate in treatment, attending and participating
are two very different issues. While attendance can be mandated, authentic
participation cannot. As juvenile and criminal courts are faced with increasing
numbers of juvenile offenders, the availability and effectiveness of sex offender
treatment will become even more critical.
Recidivism. Evaluating recidivism rates for juvenile sex offenders has been
challenged by a number of issues that has made it difficult to accurately reflect the
rate of recidivism. One challenge to monitoring recidivism rates involves the
principle and practice of confidentiality regarding juveniles involved in the justice
system. Even as more juveniles enter the adult criminal justice system, efforts are
still made to protect the privacy of the juvenile when possible. This makes it
difficult to collect detailed data on those who re-offend. Measuring recidivism is
also made difficult by changes in laws and legal definitions of sex offenses. Further,
the accuracy of recidivism rates may be compromised by the amount of time the
sample is followed, as well as by variations in the methodology used to follow
juvenile sex offenders (Sipe, Jensen, & Everett, 1998).

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Borduin, Henggeler, Blaske & Stein (1990) found sexual offense recidivism rates of
12.5%, and non-sexual offense recidivism rates of 25% for juveniles who were
treated using the MST approach. This was compared to sexual offense recidivism
rates of 75%, and non-sexual offense recidivism rates of 50% for juveniles who were
treated using individual therapy alone. This study, though a relatively small and
limited one in terms of the demographics of those sampled, suggests that there is an
intrinsic value in considering a holistic approach to the juvenile and his
environment when treating him/her for inappropriate and offensive sexual conduct.
Later studies also yielded similar rates of recidivism, further supporting the
assertion that a holistic approach is more likely to yield lower rates of recidivism
than other treatment approaches (Kahn & Chambers, 1991; Schram, Milloy, &
Rowe 1991). Not surprisingly, research shows that the rates of recidivism are higher
for juveniles who fail to complete a treatment program. Hunter & Figueredo (1999)
found that 50% of juveniles who entered one community based treatment program
were expelled before completion of twelve months of treatment. They reported that
they had higher rates of recidivism, and were at greater risk of long-term sexual reoffending. Future research efforts should consider the influence of offender gender
and rates of recidivism. Results of such a study could provide meaningful
information for treatment professionals.

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While this study focused on patterns of offense, further study should explore the
outcome of the offender’s involvement in the juvenile, or criminal systems. The
survey for this dataset included one question on the disposition of the offender, and
provided no additional follow-up information. Research on the disposition of the
offender should also transition to research on the efficacy of community notification
laws, sex offender registries, and residency restrictions, as they are applied to the
juvenile sex offender.
Conclusions
This research study examined selected variables associated with juvenile sex
offending. These variables included selected demographic variables such as gender, race,
ethnicity, and age for both the offender and the victim. Additional variables included the
offender’s use of alcohol/substances, use of weapons/force, location of offense, and type
of UCR sex offense. The sample included a sufficient number of male and female sex
offenders in this comparative study. This research provided additional support to the
juvenile justice field; it provided a substantial sample of female juvenile sex offenders to
draw conclusions. The study also identified areas for consideration that provide insight
into female juvenile sex offending, those who had been found lacking due to inability or
difficulty in identifying these offenders.
The study also contributed to the body of literature by providing insights for
preventative efforts. It concluded that sample participants were likely to offend younger,
male victims. This provides both parents and professionals opportunity to adequately
educate children who are at-risk for victimization. Results of the study also allow parents
and professionals the opportunity to better monitor against providing opportunities for
sexual offending to occur. Additionally, it helps them to be more mindful of selected

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caretakers, and more vigilant about supervision of minor children in locations where
juvenile sex offenses are known to occur.
Although homogeneity exists between male and female juvenile sex offenders,
there are notable differences between these groups of offenders; , this study has provided
insight into the differences and similarities between male and female juvenile sex
offenders. The study has yielded insights that can be useful in both prevention, and in the
management of these offenders; however, much remains to be done to more accurately
capture the offense patterns associated with juvenile sex offending.
This analysis showed that as the age of theolder offenders had older victims.
offender increased, the age of the victim decreased. This is useful for helping to educate
potential victims, and for offenders at-risk for recidivating. Parents and caregivers who
rely on an adolescent to care for a younger sibling after school, may consider ways to
randomly assess whether or not the situation is working out as intended, just as a parent
would randomly check on a child in a daycare setting. These results, similar to other
research (Finkelhor et al., 2009), also has have implications for management of offenders
in the care and custody of state agencies. State- sanctioned residential facilities and foster
homes are likely to have juvenile sex offenders placed among non-sex offenders. This
could prove dangerous and problematic if staff have not been educated about the offense
patterns of these offenders, and if they fail to consider these patterns when assigning
residents to rooms and roommates.
Additional information provided support to the literature regarding the occurrence
of juvenile sex offenders, offending occurring under the influence of alcohol, or illegal
substances. Available literature has been inconsistent in determining prevalence of use, or
abuse for these offenders, providing mixed results (Davis & Leitenberg, 1987). The study
provided support that alcohol and illegal substances were not a significant factor in these

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offenses. This is helpful to those who are charged with directing limited resources
towards interventions that are most consistent in backgrounds of juvenile sex offenders.
Analysis of this variable has been challenged by data collection issues. Some studies have
not collected data on this variable. In this study, the results did not indicate a high level of
drug or alcohol use; however, missing and unknown data is likely responsible for such a
small outcome. This study also provided additional support to the literature regarding
occurrence of juvenile sex offenders offending under the influence of alcohol or illegal
substances. It is possible that the influence of drugs, or alcohol may give the offender a
false sense of courage, lower inhibitions and impair one’s ability to process moral and
legal considerations. Hence, those tasked with assessing and treating these offenders
should be concerned with the role of drugs or alcohol on juvenile sex offending.
Results of this study correlated with available literature on these offenders. As
noted during the literature review, juvenile sex offenders have been found to commit a
variable range of sex offenses. Offenders sampled in the current study were also found to
have committed a variety of forcible sex offenses, with forcible fondling as the most
prevalent for both male and female offenders. This is comparable to results found in other
studies (Finkelhor et al., 2009; Snyder and & Sickmund, 1999). This is significant to
efforts to assess risk levels, and to treat these offenders.
Other offense characteristics highlighted in this study include the relationship of
the victim to the offender, the location of the offense, the use of weapons and the
infliction of injury. Studies have shown that the relationship of the victim to the offender
may differ, based upon the classification of the offender. Results of this study were
similar to results in earlier studies that indicate many juvenile sex offenders victimize
peers or acquaintances (Finkelhor et al., 2009). Findings show that the location of the

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offense for both male and female offenders was the residence or home as the most
frequently used location for the offense. This could indicate that juveniles select locations
based upon availability and convenience. Prevention and treatment efforts could be
impacted by these results. Treatment professionals must be concerned with those triggers
for offending, and an available location may be a trigger.
The use of weapons and force and infliction of injury were also found to yield
significant implications for those tasked with assessing juvenile offenders. Media
portrayals mislead some into believing that the juvenile sex offender is a super-predator
deserving of swift and certain punishment. For policy makers, results of this study
suggest that more consideration should be given to enacting reactive legislation.
Offenders in this sample did not frequently use weapons or injure their victims. For those
tasked with prevention and treatment, it would be helpful to better understand nonviolent, coercive methods used to control the victim.
This research study provided additional support to the juvenile justice field in that
it provided a substantial sample of female juvenile sex offenders to draw conclusions.
The study also identified areas for consideration that provide insight into female juvenile
sex offending, which has been found lacking due to inability or difficulty in identifying
these offenders.
Other contributions of the study were providing insights for preventative efforts.
The study concluded that sample participants were likely to offend against younger, male
victims. This provides both parents and professionals opportunity to adequately educate
children at-risk for victimization. The results of the study also allow parents and
professionals opportunity to better monitor against providing opportunities for sexual
offending to occur. It encourages them to become more mindful of selected caretakers,

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and more vigilant about the supervision of minor children in locations where juvenile sex
offenses are known to occur.
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Vita
PERSONAL DATA
Office:
AR Federal Public Defender Office
Capital Habeas Unit

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1401 W. Capitol Avenue
Suite 490
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 772-4525
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
MidSouth Training Academy
100 S. University Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72205
(501) 296-1920

Home:
2221 Wentwood Valley Dr. #30
Little Rock, AR 72212
(501) 251-5483 Cellular
Email:
tywillingham@sbcglobal.net
tywillingham@ualr.edu
EDUCATION
Doctor of Philosophy in Juvenile Justice
(In Progress-Anticipated Graduation Date: August 2011)
College of Juvenile Justice and Psychology
Prairie View A & M University
P. O. Box 4017
Prairie View, Texas 77446
Date of Completion: August 2011

Master of Arts in Counseling
College of Education
Louisiana Tech University
P. O. Box 3163
Ruston, Louisiana 71272
Date of Completion: May 1990
Bachelor of Science in Psychology
University of Central Arkansas
Department of Psychology and Counseling
P. O. Box 4915
Conway, Arkansas 72035
Date of Completion: August 1989
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
AR Federal Public Defender Office (July 2007-Present)
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Mitigation Investigator (responsible for investigating the psycho-social, family,
criminal, educational, psychiatric and psychological histories of individuals
sentenced to death in order to provide assistance to federal defense attorneys in
the representation of these inmates in post-conviction proceedings)
Capital Habeas Unit
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Pulaski Technical College (Spring 2006-Summer 2007)
Director, TRIO Scholars Program (responsible for administering a federally
funded Student Support Services program for first generation college and at-risk
students.
Department of Student Support Services
TRIO Scholar’s Program
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72118
Pulaski Technical College (Fall 2005-Spring 2006)
Education Specialist (responsible for coordinating the tutoring and mentoring
services for TRIO students as well as assisting them with academic advising and
counseling services)
Department of Student Support Services
TRIO Scholar’s Program
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72118

College Service
Financial Aid Appeals Committee
Dean of Students Search Committee
Grant Writer/Annual Gifts Officer Search Committee
Pathways Counselor Search Committee
University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Fall 2004-Present)
Adjunct Professor (taught Introduction to Criminal Justice with Web Enhanced
format).
Department of Criminal Justice
Ross Hall, 5th Floor
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth Training Academy (Fall
2005-Present)
Contract Trainer (taught Foster/Adopt PRIDE Curriculum to prospective foster
and adoptive parents for the State of Arkansas, conduct home studies and writes

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comprehensive assessments of each family. Provide PRIDE training for select
State of Arkansas Division of Children & Family Services employees.
University of Arkansas at Little Rock MidSouth Training Academy
Foster Parent Program
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Montgomery College (1999-2003)
Division of Continuing Education
Center for Business Training & Technology
Conroe, Texas
Grant Manager (directed a 4. 5 million dollar federal grant that provided job
training, life skills, job placement and retention services and support services to
welfare recipients, low income parents, victims of domestic violence and noncustodial parents.
Seminars Taught through Continuing Education Division
Time Management: Striking a Balance Between Work, School and Family
Conflict Management in the Workforce
Employment Search, Acquisition and Retention
Presenting Your Most Professional Self

College Service
Chair, Community Consortium and Partnerships
Telecom Grant Manager Search Committee
Call Center Grant Manager Search Committee
College Liaison, Tamina Community Service Center
College Liaison, Conroe Independent School District
College Liaison, Montgomery County Department of Youth Services
College Liaison, HISD Fragile Families Project & Even Start Project
T-CARE, Inc. (1998-1999)
Sr. Program Director (Supervised educational staff, volunteers and clinical
therapists and recruited, screened, trained and monitored the placements of
volunteers and student interns and monitored program to ensure compliance with
State licensing regulations)
Houston, Texas 77068
Covenant House New Orleans (1995-1998)
Director of Residential Services/Grants Writer (responsibilities included
managing the Crisis Emergency Shelter and two transitional living programs for
homeless youth as well as hiring, scheduling and conducting employee
performance appraisals, ensuring that the above programs were in compliance
with all State licensing regulations and researching, writing and monitoring grants
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for programmatic services and represented the agency in community
collaborations and conducted internal and external training and professional
development workshops for staff development)
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Methodist Home of New Orleans (1993-1995)
Director of Clinical Services (responsible for assessing the emotional needs of
clients; supervision of Moderate and Severe Intervention Units and developing an
agency-wide behavior modification program as well as ensuring compliance with
State licensing and accreditation standards and supervising treatment goals and
client records)
New Orleans, Louisiana 77089

AREAS OF TEACHING AND LECTURING COMPETENCY
I have taught and lectured in the subject areas of introductory criminal justice,
criminological theory, history of corrections, courts and criminal procedure,
juvenile delinquency, employment preparation-what to wear, what to say and what
to do, time management-striking a balance between work, school and family, and
professional conduct and conflict management in the workforce.
AREAS OF RESEARCH INTEREST
My research interests include juvenile delinquency causes and prevention, female
juvenile gangs and gang violence, juveniles and domestic violence, juvenile
residential care facilities, juveniles sentenced to life imprisonment without the
possibility of parole, juvenile sex offenders, policing, corrections, police
subculture, juvenile probation policy and practice, homeless and runaway youth,
children in foster care and adoptive care.
HONORS, AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, MEMBERSHIPS
Member of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
Member of American Society of Criminology
Member of Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice
Member of National Academic Advising Association
Volunteer Consultant, Perpetual Help Ex-Offender Re-Entry Program
Chair, Women’s Day Committee Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
General Secretary, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church Sunday School
Board of Directors, Friendship Center for Senior Citizens
Chair of Community Consortium & Partnerships (CCAP)
Member of Plane State Jail Wrap Around Coalition
Member of Transitional Partners (State Jails Coalition)
Member of Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
Volunteer, Dress for Success Houston

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Member of Houston Association of Volunteer Administrators
Member of Louisiana Coalition for Mental Illness
Member of UNITY for the Homeless Coalition
Member of Greater New Orleans Violence Prevention Coalition
Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Certified Contract Trainer of FOSTER/ADOPT PRIDE Curriculum
Certified Trainer and Instructor of Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
Certified Trainer and Instructor of Sex Education
Licensed Texas Child Care Administrator
PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATIONS
“Death Row Inmates in Arkansas,” presented to the AR Black State Troopers
Association Boys Youth Camp, Little Rock, AR, July 2011.
“A Partnership for Student Success,” presented at AATYC, Hot Springs, AR,
October 2006.
“Building a Successful Tutoring Program,” presented at AASAP, Little Rock, AR,
September 2006.
“Tutoring & Mentoring Your Way To Success,” presented at COE, New York,
New York, September 2006.
“Nurturing Ourselves, Our Families and Our Friends,” presented to the Barnes
Girlfriend’s Retreat Weekend, April 2006.
“Expectations of the Masses,” presented to the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church
Youth Department, February 2005.
“Parental Involvement Matters In Preventing Juvenile Delinquency,” presented at
SWACJ, San Antonio, TX, 2002.
PUBLICATIONS
“Female Gangs” Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Sage, 2009)
“Juvenile Waivers to Adult Court” Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Sage, 2009;
Co-Authored w/ Willie M. Brooks, Jr. )
“House Arrest” Encyclopedia of Criminal Justice ( Salem, 2005)
“History of Training Schools,” Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice, edited by M. D.
McShane and F. P. Williams (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2003)
BOOK REVIEW
Miller, J. (2001). One of the Guys: Girls, Gangs, and Gender. Oxford University
Press.
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