In Vermont, reported sexual abuse by children under the age of 14 increased 300% within 10 years. More than 40% of known child abusers who came to the attention of authorities were under the age of 20.41
In a Utah survey of all sexual abuse perpetrators, 43% were youth under the age of 18, with 18% being under the age of 13.42
40% of all sexual abuse of children is committed by youth under the age of 18.43
Adolescent sex offenders had committed an average of 6.8% sexually abusive acts.44
Most adolescent sex offenders (61%) abuse more than one victim.45
The average adolescent sex offender abuses seven victims, with some juveniles disclosing as many as 30 or more victims. Many perpetrators abuse the same victim more than once.46
Diana Russell’s study revealed that almost 27% of the incest perpetrators were under the age of 18. Thus, more than 1 out of 4 incest perpetrators were juveniles.
A victim-based study of child sexual abuse investigations in Liverpool, England between 1989 and 1990 revealed that 36% of the perpetrators in the study were under the age of 18.47
91%-93% of adolescent sex offenders are male, and the average age is 14. The offender is likely to be white and living with two parents at the time of the offense. It is unlikely that he has a prior conviction for sexual assault but likely that this is not his first offense. He may or may not have been a victim of sexual abuse. There is one chance in 3 that he has been convicted of a nonsexual delinquent offense. The activity is unwanted, involves genital contact and in 60% of the cases, penetration. The offense is usually accompanied by some type of coercion or force. The average victim is a 7-8
41 Gray, A., et al. Children with Sexual Behavior Problems and Their Caregivers: Demographics, Functioning, and Clinical Patterns. 9 Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment (1997): 267-290.
42 Gray, A., et al. Children with Sexual Behavior Problems and Their Caregivers: Demographics, Functioning, and Clinical Patterns. 9 Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment (1997): 267-290.
43 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.
44 Abel, G., et al. Multiple Paraphilia Diagnoses Among Sex Offenders. 16(2) Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. (1988): 3-25.
45 Awad, George A., and Elizabeth B. Saunders. Adolescent Child Molesters: Clinical Observations. 19 Child Psychiatry and Human Development (1989): 195-206.
46 Becker, J.B., J. Cunningham-Rather, and M.F. Kaplan. Adolescent Sexual Offenders: Demographics, Criminal Sexual Histories, and Recommendations for Reducing Future Offenses. (4) Journal of Interpersonal Violence (1986): 431-445.
47 Horne, L., et al. Sexual Abuse of Children by Children. 3 Journal of Child Law (1991): 147-151.
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