Fiche mise à jour le 29 mai 2020
Women who sexually abuse children
This article describes a clinical sample of 40 women who sexually abused 63 children. Sixty percent of the female perpetrators victimized two or more children. Almost three-fourths of these women sexually maltreated children in polyincestuous family situations. More than four-fifths were mothers to at least one of their victims. The most common form of sexual activity was group sex; the next most common was fondling.
The mean age of these women was a little over 26; they were poor and poorly educated. Their victims were also young, having a mean age of 6.4 years at the time the case was identified. About two-thirds of the victims were female and one-third were male.
Female perpetrators evidenced marked difficulties in psychological and social functioning. About half had mental problems, both retardation and psychotic illness. More than half had chemical dependency problems, and close to three-fourths had maltreated their victims in other ways in addition to the sexual abuse.