Uncovering Female Child Sexual Offenders—Needs and Challenges for Practice and Research
Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, University Medical Center Hamburg–Eppendorf, 20251 Hamburg, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(3), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8030401
Received: 20 February 2019 / Revised: 20 March 2019 / Accepted: 21 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Research in Sexuality and Mental Health)
This article provides a short literature overview on female child sexual offenders (FCSO) focusing on the discrepancy between prevalence rates from different sources, characteristics of FCSO and their victims, as well as the societal “culture of denial” surrounding these women. FCSO are a powerful social taboo. Even professionals in the healthcare or justice system were shown to respond inappropriately in cases of child sexual abuse committed by women. As a result, offences of FCSO may be underreported and therefore difficult to research. The lack of scientific data on FSCO lowers the quality of child protection and treatment services. We therefore deem it particularly necessary for professionals in health care to break the social taboo that is FCSO and to further stimulate research on the topic of FCSO. We provide some general implications for professionals in health care systems as well as specific recommendations for researchers. We end with an overall conclusion.