Assessing female sexual offenders' motivations and cognitions : an exploratory study

Beech, Anthony R., Parrett, Natalie, Ward, Tony and Fisher, Dawn 2009, Assessing female sexual offenders' motivations and cognitions : an exploratory study, Psychology, crime & law, vol. 15, no. 2-3, February-March, pp. 201-216, doi: 10.1080/10683160802190921.

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Title Assessing female sexual offenders' motivations and cognitions : an exploratory study
Author(s) Beech, Anthony R.
Parrett, Natalie
Ward, Tony
Fisher, Dawn
Journal name Psychology, crime & law
Volume number 15
Issue number 2-3
Season February-March
Start page 201
End page 216
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2009-02
ISSN 1068-316X
Keyword(s) female sexual offenders
implicit theories
cognitive distortions
motivations
Summary Semi-structured interviews eliciting cognitions and motivations were carried out with 15 incarcerated female child sexual abusers (nearly 50% of the current UK female sexual offender prison population). Qualitative analysis indicated that four of the five motivational schemas (implicit theories) suggested by Ward (Ward, 2000; Ward & Keenan, 1999) to underlie male sexual offenders' cognitions could be clearly identified in women, these were: Uncontrollability (UN, identified in 87% of participants), Dangerous world (DW, 53%), Children as sexual objects (CSO, 47%) and Nature of harm (NH, 20%). Entitlement, the final implicit theory (IT), commonly found in males, was not identified in any participants in the sample. Further analysis indicated that there were four main motivational types of offender based on combinations of these ITs. These were: (1) presence of DW/CSO, indicating sexual motivation and cognitions with fear of violence; (2) presence of DW/no CSO, indicating fear of violence with no sexual cognition or motivation; (3) presence of CSO/no DW, indicating sexual motivation and cognition; the NH IT also strongly featured in this group; and (4) presence of UN/no DW or CSO, indicating lack of control, sometimes with sense of protection for the victim. Suggestions are made on how the results can inform theoretical developments in the field as well as policy and practice.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/10683160802190921
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30034162

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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