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Johnson and Feldmeth and Crisci and Brown report the motives behind children acting out sexually to include the need to reduce feelings of fear, anger, or loneliness, or to achieve power over victims through acts of coercion.  Some professionals believe that a significant number of sexually aggressive children are also addicted to the behaviors.67

CHARACTERISTICS

A study of children with sexual behavior problems found that: 68

84% had been sexually abused;

48% reported they had been victims of physical abuse;

33% had been emotionally abused;

18% had been neglected;

56% had been subjected to multiple forms of abuse, most often physical and sexual abuse.

OFFENDERS WHO ABUSE PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

33% to 40% of sexual offenders against persons with disabilities are service providers;

20% are friends and neighbors of the victims;

25% are family members;

10% to 40% are other persons with disabilities.

FEMALE OFFENDERS

Only 2%-4% of reported child sex offenses are committed by women.69  However, this number may be low, since women are not traditionally viewed as offenders, even by victims, and because boys tend to underreport sexual abuse.

One half to 2/3 of incarcerated female offenders committed the crime in conjunction with a man.  Almost all were acquainted with children.

Fifty percent of female sexual offenders have a history of mental illness (as opposed to 9% of male offenders).70

Research indicates that females commit approximately 20% of sex offenses against children.71

67 Ibid.

68 Pithers, W.D., and A. Carey. The Other Half of the Story: Children with Sexual Behavior Problems. 4(1-2) Psychology, Public Policy and Law (1988): 200-217.

69 Bureau of Justice Statistics. U.S. Department of Justice. 1997.

70 Grayson, Joanne. Female Sex Offenders. Interchange (June 1989).

71 Center for Sex Offender Management. Office of Justice Programs. An Overview of Sex Offender Management. U.S. Department of Justice (July 2002).

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