Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
Dr. Keith Beard, Committee Chairperson
Dr. Ray Haning
Dr. Sandra Stroebel
Females who are perpetrators of sexual offenses are an understudied population. Due to societies’ failure to recognize that female perpetrators exist and to recognize their abuse when it occurs, sexual abuse completed by females often goes unreported. As a result, females engaging in sexual offenses, particularly pedophilia, is seen as a rare occurrence. However, research suggests that the actual rate of female pedophilic behavior is occurring at a rate three-four times higher than what is actually reported (Cortoni, Babchishin, & Rat, 2017). This study used anonymous data from 2,828 adult females in the IRB approved study [127810-11] Effects of Recalled Family Attitudes and Childhood Sexual Experiences on Adult Sexual Attitudes and Adjustment. A total of 45 variables were analyzed to determine predictors of adult females having sexual activity of any kind with underage partners. The strongest predictor of engaging in sexual activity of any kind with underage partners as an adult was participating in sexual activity of any kind with a partner under the age of 18 while also being under the age of 18. Twelve variables were statistically significant predictors of females who had underage male partners, but only two were also clinically significant. Females who later chose underage male partners had early sexual experiences with male partners while they were under the age of 18 and shared a bed for sleeping with a younger male partner more than four years younger than them while they were under the age of 18. Nine variables were statistically significant predictors of females who had underage female partners, but only one was also clinically significant. Females who later chose underage female partners had early sexual experiences with female partners while they were under the age of 18.
Female sex offenders -- United States -- Psychology.
Child sexual abuse.
Hershman, Cassandra Marie, "Understanding the Influence of Childhood Experiences on the Development of Female Sexual Perpetrators Against Underage Individuals" (2021). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1285.