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Study: Most female child molesters were victims of sexual abuse
Date:5/13/2008

ity disorders. While the majority of both groups reported being the victims of childhood maltreatment, the sex offenders were significantly more likely to experience pervasive, serious and more frequent emotional abuse, physical abuse and neglect.

Weve pretty much known that the majority of women in prison have had bad childhoods and that many suffered childhood sexual abuse, Strickland said. But the subgroup of female sex offenders has suffered significantly more abuse, particularly sexual abuse.

Sex offenders also exhibited more social and sexual insecurities, inhibitions and inferiorities. Strickland said the findings suggest that many female sex offenders struggle with relationships and lack the social skills to have their needs met with consensual adult partners. Therefore, treatment for female sex offenders should address their past trauma and focus on developing appropriate social skills and increasing arousal to appropriate sexual and emotional encounters.

Because victims are at increased risk of becoming abusers later in life, Strickland said their treatment should include offender prevention therapy, which addresses issues of power and control, appropriate sexual expression and boundaries, and cycles and triggers that may lead to offending behaviors.

While it appears that only a minority of girls who are sexually abused become offenders, Strickland said, we can reduce that number and reduce the potential for further sexual assaults on children both male and female by including offender prevention in our treatment protocols.


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Contact: Sam Fahmy
sfahmy@uga.edu
706-542-5361
University of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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