The use of online technology in the modus operandi of female sex offenders

  • Elliott I
  • Ashfield S
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In this review we examine the methods by which female sexual offenders may use communications technologies such as the internet in their offending behaviours. We outline the context of sexual abuse of children both by female perpetrators and by those using the internet. The topic is examined based on three criminogenic areas highlighted by Lambert and O'Halloran: (1) interpersonal/socialization deficits; (2) deviant sexual arousal; and (3) cognitive distortions and recognition barriers. We include elements drawn from anonymized clinical cases of female-perpetrated sexual abuse of children involving online technology. We present the argument that the characteristics of this population are likely to suggest that clinicians assessing cases of this nature may find it more useful to refer to the literature on female sexual offenders rather than that of male internet offenders. © 2011 National Organisation for the Treatment of Abusers.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Child pornography
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Female sex offender
  • Grooming
  • Internet

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  • I A Elliott

  • S Ashfield

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