Abstract

This discussion of the literature and study of female sex offenders examined the cases of 19 female sex offenders incarcerated in Canada. Information on offenders obtained through Offender Management Systems and hard copy files were used to construct case studies of each of the offenders. An analysis of this information revealed that characteristics of these women and their offences generally fit the profile of female sex offenders in the current literature.

However, the findings revealed that females studied tended to be more violent than expected. Most recent typologies established by Mathews et al. (1989): teacher/lover, male-coerced or predisposed only fit half the sample. Although many of the women committed sex offences with men, they did not seem coerced into doing so and almost half the women seem better classified by Mathews' (1987) typology of male-accompanied. This finding underlines the importance of maintaining male-accompanied as a typology.

Other categories such as "angry-impulsive" and "male-accompanied familial and non-familial" should be added to provide an appropriate model for those women who committed violent offences on their own or in the company of males against "unconventional" victims. The existing typologies, along with most of the literature, neglects this population.

Thus, the typologies which best fit this population of female sex offenders are: teacher/lover (1), angry-impulsive (1), male-coerced (4), male-accompanied familial (3), male-accompanied, non-familial (2).

An examination of the characteristics of victims of female sex offenders revealed that they generally matched those described in the current literature.

In treatment, a considerable number of programs were offered to meet the specific needs of the females (i.e. substance abuse, anger management, self-esteem, family violence). While 50% of the females also received specific sex offender counselling, the remainder of females did not. However, many were too early in sentence for all of their treatment needs to be met. There needs to be further development of programs appropriately targeting the behaviour which resulted in sexual offending. Assessment and treatment issues should be addressed in light of motivational differences.