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Childhood Sexual Abuse by Women of Boys Who Go On to Sexually Offend: Review and Critical Analysis.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sexual offending perpetrated by women has historically been overlooked and understudied, and the potentially unique impact of that abuse is even more so.

RECENT FINDINGS: Women who have sexually offended against children typically do so against older boys, use little or no forms of force or coercion during the abuse, and are unlikely to be prosecuted or sentenced following the abuse. Boys whom women have sexually abused are unlikely to report or disclose the abuse that they have experienced, perhaps because social structures surrounding sexual abuse of boys by women are designed to minimize, excuse, or even encourage such sexual contact. The intersection of these unique features may help understand the role of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by women in subsequent sexual offending among adult men. Men who have sexually offended experience high rates of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by women. The relationship between experienced sexual abuse and subsequent perpetration of sexual abuse is neither linear nor causal; however, the characteristics associated with this form of abuse, such as non-disclosure and lack of sentencing, may contribute to adulthood sexual maladjustment and vulnerability to offending among men.

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