University of Leicester
2008woodhamsjphd.pdf (2.18 MB)

Juvenile sex offending: an investigative perspective

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posted on 2010-05-05, 09:17 authored by Jessica Ann Woodhams
The first chapter of the thesis critically reviews the research on juvenile violent and sexual offending and highlights the heterogeneity of such offenders in terms of those that persist and those that assault different types of victim. Research on juvenile stranger sex offenders and their offence characteristics is explored. Chapter 2 presents empirical research on the behavioural consistency and distinctiveness of juvenile stranger sex offending and whether case linkage can accurately identify the crimes of serial offenders. Calls from personality psychologists to consider the context of behaviour when investigating behavioural consistency are responded to with preliminary research into incorporating context in case linkage. Evidence for behavioural consistency and distinctiveness is reported for serial juvenile stranger sex offenders, however evidence for consistency in ‘if(victim behaviour)-then(offender behaviour)’ contingencies is less convincing. Chapter 3 investigates ways of prioritising sex offences for crime analysis. Whether juvenile serial stranger sex offenders escalate in their use of physical aggression is investigated with few “increasers” being identified. Preliminary findings suggest some characteristics on which increasers vs. non-increasers differ that might inform investigative risk assessment. However, escalation appears largely related to learning behaviour and progression to more elaborate sexual assaults. Preliminary findings suggest some offence behaviours that appear more characteristic of offences occurring later in a series. Chapter 4 investigates and contrasts group rape by juvenile and adult perpetrators. How applicable social psychological theories of group violence are to group rape is tested with findings suggesting that theories of group dynamics as well as social convergence are relevant. Further, aggression in group rapes appears both expressive and instrumental in purpose. Roles adopted by group members are investigated. Evidence of distinct leaders and followers in group rapes is identified using both Porter and Alison’s (2001) Scale of Influence and through the use of pragmatics theory. Additional roles are discussed.



Hollin, C.; Bull, R.

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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