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Welsh Criminology Conference 20091 Female-perpetrated child sexual abuse: the experiences of adult male child sexual abusers NSPCC funded study NSPCC funded.

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Presentation on theme: "Welsh Criminology Conference 20091 Female-perpetrated child sexual abuse: the experiences of adult male child sexual abusers NSPCC funded study NSPCC funded."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welsh Criminology Conference 20091 Female-perpetrated child sexual abuse: the experiences of adult male child sexual abusers NSPCC funded study NSPCC funded study 101 convicted & imprisoned adult male child sexual abusers 101 convicted & imprisoned adult male child sexual abusers 40 sexually abused as child 40 sexually abused as child 8 sexually abused by females 8 sexually abused by females

2 Welsh Criminology Conference 20092 Intergenerational transmission of abuse - research evidence conflicting Intergenerational transmission of abuse - research evidence conflicting See, for example: Craissati and McClurg (1996); Craissati et al (1999); Elliott et al (1995) - 50% of convicted child sexual abusers experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Craissati and McClurg (1996); Craissati et al (1999); Elliott et al (1995) - 50% of convicted child sexual abusers experienced sexual abuse in childhood. Colton et al (2004) - 40%. Colton et al (2004) - 40%. US - Hanson and Slater (1988) 28%. US - Hanson and Slater (1988) 28%. Dobash et al (1993) - 17% of offenders sexually victimised in childhood. Dobash et al (1993) - 17% of offenders sexually victimised in childhood.

3 Welsh Criminology Conference 20093 Much research emphasis - male sexual offenders Much research emphasis - male sexual offenders Little empirical research female-perpetrated child sexual abuse (Vandiver and Walker 2002; Denov 2003) Little empirical research female-perpetrated child sexual abuse (Vandiver and Walker 2002; Denov 2003) Understanding limited (Vandiver 2006) Understanding limited (Vandiver 2006) Impeded by ‘myths’: Impeded by ‘myths’: females do not sexually abuse; they only abuse if coerced by a male; female-perpetrated child sexual abuse is ‘harmless’, gentle, loving, or misguided ‘motherly’ love; women only sexually abuse adolescents (Longdon 1993).

4 Welsh Criminology Conference 20094 Focus: the experiences of 8 men convicted of, & imprisoned for child sexual abuse. the experiences of 8 men convicted of, & imprisoned for child sexual abuse. sexually victimised by female in childhood. sexually victimised by female in childhood. Qualitative data: nature of childhood victimisation nature of childhood victimisation perceptions of that perceptions of that links between experiences & subsequent sexual offending in adulthood. links between experiences & subsequent sexual offending in adulthood. work in progress/initial findings work in progress/initial findings

5 Welsh Criminology Conference 20095 Demographic characteristics (N=8) Age:18-301 31-453 46-552 65+2 (Age range – 25-76 years) Marital status:single2 married2 divorced3 widower1

6 Welsh Criminology Conference 20096 Children:02 23 32 41 Qualifications:none5 GCSEs1 higher degree1 other1

7 Welsh Criminology Conference 20097 Offending Record of offending:none2 sexual offs (children)1 sexual offs (adults)2 theft/fraud3 Current offence:ind asst4 gross ind1 incest1 ind asst/gross ind1 buggery/usi/ att rape1

8 Welsh Criminology Conference 20098 No. victims:14 23 121 Age of victim:1-5yrs1 6-10yrs3 11-15yrs4

9 Welsh Criminology Conference 20099 Gender of victim:female7 male1 Duration of abuse:0-11months3 1-5yrs4 11-15yrs1

10 Welsh Criminology Conference 200910 Childhood sexual victimisation Offender sexually abused by: mother1 aunt1 sister2 grandmother1 teacher1 careworker1 friend’s mother1 (5 also physically abused – father/stepfather/mother)

11 Welsh Criminology Conference 200911 Childhood & current offences Grandmother from age 10 Grandmother from age 10 Indecent assault 2 stepdaughters (15 + 12yrs) Aunt Aunt Indecent assault known female (10yrs) Female friend of family (+ residential care worker) Female friend of family (+ residential care worker) Incest – daughter (over 4 years) Female teacher (at 12yrs) Female teacher (at 12yrs) Gross indecency stepson’s child

12 Welsh Criminology Conference 200912 School-friend’s mother at 12yrs (+ headmaster at approved school) School-friend’s mother at 12yrs (+ headmaster at approved school) Indecent assault daughter + granddaughter (from 13yrs) Sister from 11yrs Sister from 11yrs Indecent assault + gross indecency (12 victims) Sisters (+brother) from 12 yrs Sisters (+brother) from 12 yrs Attempted rape/USI/Buggery – son + daughter (8 +10yrs) Mother Mother Indecent assault partner’s child (6yrs)

13 Welsh Criminology Conference 200913 CASE STUDY X - 34. Single. Parents divorced when 13. X & brother lived with mother until remarried. X - 34. Single. Parents divorced when 13. X & brother lived with mother until remarried. Degree & teaching qualification Degree & teaching qualification Employment - driving. Taught abroad (TEFL). Employment - driving. Taught abroad (TEFL).

14 Welsh Criminology Conference 200914 Previous convictions - theft & deception: Previous convictions - theft & deception: theft from an employer shop lifting Also involved in ‘….prostitution and stuff like that….’ pimp for 3/4 months. Also involved in ‘….prostitution and stuff like that….’ pimp for 3/4 months. Current offence - indecent assault - 6 yr old daughter of partner. Current offence - indecent assault - 6 yr old daughter of partner. Victim’s house - over 4 months Victim’s house - over 4 months

15 Welsh Criminology Conference 200915 Access? - through personal ads Access? - through personal ads Victim’s sister sexually abused by father Victim’s sister sexually abused by father

16 Welsh Criminology Conference 200916 Promiscuous lifestyle precursor to abuse: ‘Basically I had just got myself into a very promiscuous sort of lifestyle, where any thing goes, nothing was taboo. There was group sex, there was exploring the boundaries of sexual experimentation with other adults You know, straight, gay, anything basically and so the whole philosophy was just anything, you know, nothing is taboo, nothing is sacred. So with that sort of philosophy and the sort of drunken lifestyle I was living….I wasn’t drunk when I committed my offence but away from this girlfriend’s, the rest of the time I was off getting drunk, with my friends, going to night clubs, just generally sleeping around with women. It was just then you start sliding sort of thing, it’s almost like a drug. You just get yourself onto a roller coaster and you can’t get off sort of thing. I don’t expect that to make an awful lot of sense, it was a madness really.’ ‘Basically I had just got myself into a very promiscuous sort of lifestyle, where any thing goes, nothing was taboo. There was group sex, there was exploring the boundaries of sexual experimentation with other adults You know, straight, gay, anything basically and so the whole philosophy was just anything, you know, nothing is taboo, nothing is sacred. So with that sort of philosophy and the sort of drunken lifestyle I was living….I wasn’t drunk when I committed my offence but away from this girlfriend’s, the rest of the time I was off getting drunk, with my friends, going to night clubs, just generally sleeping around with women. It was just then you start sliding sort of thing, it’s almost like a drug. You just get yourself onto a roller coaster and you can’t get off sort of thing. I don’t expect that to make an awful lot of sense, it was a madness really.’

17 Welsh Criminology Conference 200917 Reported strong link between childhood experience of abuse and later offending: ‘Well I know there is a link, when I was abused as a kid, sexually abused, very similar to what I did to my victim what was done to me as a small boy. It was by my mum - she masturbated me basically from as early as I can remember. It didn’t happen all the time, and it wasn’t done in a nasty sort of violent way, but sort of loving, quote, unquote loving. A non-threatening sort of a way, so it just seemed normal. I got used to it, enjoyed it.’ ‘Well I know there is a link, when I was abused as a kid, sexually abused, very similar to what I did to my victim what was done to me as a small boy. It was by my mum - she masturbated me basically from as early as I can remember. It didn’t happen all the time, and it wasn’t done in a nasty sort of violent way, but sort of loving, quote, unquote loving. A non-threatening sort of a way, so it just seemed normal. I got used to it, enjoyed it.’

18 Welsh Criminology Conference 200918 ‘Once I got up to about 13 or round that age, early teens, I realised this wasn’t normal and kind of shied away from it then, and lost a lot of respect for my mum. My parents had divorced, separated when I was 11, finally divorced when I was 13 so that was happening around that time as well. My dad was always working so he wasn’t around an awful lot. He was basically a decent sort of a guy, a bit short tempered at times but he wasn’t violent or abusive, he wasn’t drunk, he didn’t smoke, he always had a job, he was sensible with money, he wasn’t a gambler, he didn’t abuse my mum or anything like that, they used to row before they divorced. It was just a lot of bickering and door slamming and shouting which is unsettling as a kid but it wasn’t violent.’ ‘Once I got up to about 13 or round that age, early teens, I realised this wasn’t normal and kind of shied away from it then, and lost a lot of respect for my mum. My parents had divorced, separated when I was 11, finally divorced when I was 13 so that was happening around that time as well. My dad was always working so he wasn’t around an awful lot. He was basically a decent sort of a guy, a bit short tempered at times but he wasn’t violent or abusive, he wasn’t drunk, he didn’t smoke, he always had a job, he was sensible with money, he wasn’t a gambler, he didn’t abuse my mum or anything like that, they used to row before they divorced. It was just a lot of bickering and door slamming and shouting which is unsettling as a kid but it wasn’t violent.’

19 Welsh Criminology Conference 200919 Relationship with mother: ‘….quite cold. I wasn’t especially close to her growing up either. I mean I suppose deep down I always suspected that there was something weird but my young brother tended to be closer to her so she tended to have a lot more affection and cuddles and stuff with him, whether or not she was doing any thing with him I don’t know. I mean I haven’t said anything to anyone about it before, and I wouldn’t want to take it any further do you know what I mean. I wouldn’t want to take it to court or anything like that, I don’t see the point in that, it would be too destructive for everybody.’ ‘….quite cold. I wasn’t especially close to her growing up either. I mean I suppose deep down I always suspected that there was something weird but my young brother tended to be closer to her so she tended to have a lot more affection and cuddles and stuff with him, whether or not she was doing any thing with him I don’t know. I mean I haven’t said anything to anyone about it before, and I wouldn’t want to take it any further do you know what I mean. I wouldn’t want to take it to court or anything like that, I don’t see the point in that, it would be too destructive for everybody.’

20 Welsh Criminology Conference 200920 Abuse by mother & knowledge teacher abusing younger pupils. Abuse by mother & knowledge teacher abusing younger pupils. Normalised abusive behaviour and became ‘accustomed’ to it. Normalised abusive behaviour and became ‘accustomed’ to it.

21 Welsh Criminology Conference 200921 ‘So once I got in a relationship with her mother, for the first two months or so nothing improper happened with the daughter but looking back now, I can see now that there was a lot of thoughts going on in my head during that two month period. I didn’t actually offend but mentally I was going off the track big time. So that was the period where there was an attraction there, I think it was an emotional attraction as much as sexual. I think it was an attraction for that particular girl. I got on well with her and she liked me, I am just trying to explain how I was thinking at the time. She took a shine to me and came up to cuddle me the way kids do.’ ‘So once I got in a relationship with her mother, for the first two months or so nothing improper happened with the daughter but looking back now, I can see now that there was a lot of thoughts going on in my head during that two month period. I didn’t actually offend but mentally I was going off the track big time. So that was the period where there was an attraction there, I think it was an emotional attraction as much as sexual. I think it was an attraction for that particular girl. I got on well with her and she liked me, I am just trying to explain how I was thinking at the time. She took a shine to me and came up to cuddle me the way kids do.’

22 Welsh Criminology Conference 200922 ‘I convinced myself that she liked me with more than just affection she was sort of sexually aware of things, she wanted me to experiment with her or whatever you might call it. I gave myself permission to abuse her, to masturbate her and so on. I convinced myself that she wanted this, she liked it, I wasn’t forcing her to do anything. I wasn’t forcing her to allow me to do what I was doing. She enjoyed it, she liked it, she wanted it you know those sort of cognitive disorders. But that made it OK…Given enough time … it is quite possible that the extent of the abuse could have gone further ’ ‘I convinced myself that she liked me with more than just affection she was sort of sexually aware of things, she wanted me to experiment with her or whatever you might call it. I gave myself permission to abuse her, to masturbate her and so on. I convinced myself that she wanted this, she liked it, I wasn’t forcing her to do anything. I wasn’t forcing her to allow me to do what I was doing. She enjoyed it, she liked it, she wanted it you know those sort of cognitive disorders. But that made it OK…Given enough time … it is quite possible that the extent of the abuse could have gone further ’

23 Welsh Criminology Conference 200923 ‘Each time I abused her it got easier if you know what I mean. I was able to put the concerns to one side; pretending that it was OK. It was easier in the sense that I hardened my conscience, chose to ignore everything in me that said that it was wrong. It was a sort of a morbid curiosity. There was an element of experimentation there and exploration. This was obviously the first time for this particular girl, so in a sense I was kidding myself that I was teaching her something, introducing her to all these sexual things.’ ‘Each time I abused her it got easier if you know what I mean. I was able to put the concerns to one side; pretending that it was OK. It was easier in the sense that I hardened my conscience, chose to ignore everything in me that said that it was wrong. It was a sort of a morbid curiosity. There was an element of experimentation there and exploration. This was obviously the first time for this particular girl, so in a sense I was kidding myself that I was teaching her something, introducing her to all these sexual things.’

24 Welsh Criminology Conference 200924 ‘stable relationships’ ‘stable relationships’ ‘Obviously not being abused as a kid would have helped, but I think really for me the biggest thing, looking back I would say, is the lack of stable relationships. I wasn’t close to my parents, they got divorced, I was being abused at home by one parent. I was at boarding school which has a very cold army lifestyle. I just shut myself off then from getting close to people because all I was doing then was getting hurt emotionally.’ ‘Obviously not being abused as a kid would have helped, but I think really for me the biggest thing, looking back I would say, is the lack of stable relationships. I wasn’t close to my parents, they got divorced, I was being abused at home by one parent. I was at boarding school which has a very cold army lifestyle. I just shut myself off then from getting close to people because all I was doing then was getting hurt emotionally.’

25 Welsh Criminology Conference 200925 ‘My offence was as much emotional as it was sexual. I was getting emotional love and what I considered love you know, nice feelings when I was with kids because obviously they are unassuming and they are accepting. I was very conscious of the fact that I had made a bit of a mess of my life at that point, you know they (children) are quite accepting, forgiving.’ ‘My offence was as much emotional as it was sexual. I was getting emotional love and what I considered love you know, nice feelings when I was with kids because obviously they are unassuming and they are accepting. I was very conscious of the fact that I had made a bit of a mess of my life at that point, you know they (children) are quite accepting, forgiving.’

26 Welsh Criminology Conference 200926 Work in progress Work in progress Methodological limitations Methodological limitations Contribution? Contribution? Relevance? Relevance? Treatment Treatment Prevention Prevention


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