Female Sex Offenders: A Comparison of Solo Offenders and Co-Offenders

By Vandiver, Donna M. | Violence and Victims, June 2006 | Go to article overview

Female Sex Offenders: A Comparison of Solo Offenders and Co-Offenders


Vandiver, Donna M., Violence and Victims


Even though much of the prior sex offender literature focuses on males, recent research has included females as offenders. Such research, however, has been limited by small sample sizes. Several researchers have proposed typologies of female sex offenders that include both females who act alone (i.e., solo offenders) and females who act with another person (i.e., co-offenders), often a male. The current research includes a cross-national sample of 123 females who were solo offenders and 104 who were co-offenders. It was found that the two groups of females were not significantly different in regard to their age, race, time of offense, and the location of the offense. Co-offenders were more likely than solo offenders to have more than one victim, to have both male and female victims, to be related to the victim, and to have a nonsexual offense in addition to the sexual offense listed.

Keywords: female sex offender; solo offender; co-offender; logistic regression

Much of the prior literature on sex offenders has focused solely on males (see Barnard, Fuller, & Robbins, 1989; Knight, Rosenberg, & Schneider, 1985; Kuznestov & Pierson, 1992; Prentky, Cohen, & Seghorn, 1985; Rosenberg, Knight, Prentky, & Lee, 1988); recently, however, sex offender research has included female offenders (see Denov, 2004; Lewis & Stanley, 2000; Nathan & Ward. 2002; Vandiver & Kercher, 2004). Official law enforcement reports for 2002 (U.S. Department of Justice, 2003) indicate that females were arrested for 6.7% of sex offenses (forcible rape and other sex offenses, excluding prostitution). Some researchers, however, have suggested official numbers of female sex offenders are underestimated (Finkelhor, Hotaling, Lewis, & Smith, 1990). Sex offenses, in general, often go unreported to law enforcement. Females may be better able to hide the offense by engaging in such offenses during normal child-rearing practices, such as bathing, dressing, and other normal routine tasks (Groth & Birnbaum, 1979). Additionally, the cases reported to law enforcement do not always result in an arrest (Allen, 1991). It is often perceived that females simply cannot sexually assault another person; society has been geared towards assuming sex offenders are only males and females are incapable of committing such offenses (Denov, 2004).

Prior research on female sex offenders has been limited by small sample sizes, making it difficult to generalize to larger groups; fewer than 12 studies have used samples greater than 30. With the exception of one study (see Vandiver & Kercher, 2004), studies have utilized no more than 100 female sex offenders in their sample. Other studies have relied on extremely small samples, ranging from only one to nine female sex offenders or victims of female sexual abuse (see Chasnoff, Burns, Schnoll, Burns, Chisom, & Kyle-Spore, 1986; Chow & Choy, 2002; Krug, 1989; Margolis, 1984; Marvasti, 1986; Peluso & Putnam, 1996; Rowan, Rowan, & Langelier, 1990; Travin, Cullen, & Protter, 1990). Even though the studies have provided a great deal of descriptive data, the information is limited in that it is not possible to assess complex relationships among the variables.

Prior research has also been limited in the source of the sample of offenders (Vandiver & Kercher, 2004). Much of the research has relied upon clinical samples, which may not be representative of female sex offenders in that it includes a psychologically impaired sample. Prison samples have also been utilized, which include only the most serious offenders. Prison samples do not include those who are placed on probation or receive another form of community supervision. It also excludes those who are circumvented from the criminal justice system altogether. Additionally, few studies have included cross-national samples. Including only localized samples leads to poor generalizability.

Despite the development of information regarding characteristics of females who have committed sex offenses, a paucity of information exists in regard to the differences of females who act alone and females who act with a co-offender. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Female Sex Offenders: A Comparison of Solo Offenders and Co-Offenders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.