Factors Related to Co-Offending and Coerced Offending Among Female Sex Offenders: The Role of Childhood and Adult Trauma Histories

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Abstract

Research suggests two important domains of women's sexual offending: co-offending, in which additional perpetrators are present with the woman during the crime, and coerced offending, in which the woman feels pressured by someone else to commit the crime. This exploratory analysis examines these 2 domains using self-report data from 60 incarcerated female sex offenders (FSOs) in a Midwestern state. In addition to indicating whether a co-offender was present and whether they felt pressure to commit the sex offense for which they were incarcerated, participants provided demographic information about themselves, the victim, and the offense, as well as about their own trauma, substance abuse, and mental illness histories. Results indicate that childhood and adult trauma histories are related to both co-offending and coerced offending among FSOs. Implications for theory, policy and practice, and future research are discussed.

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