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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Sex Offender Recidivism: A Simple Question

General Material
Published Date
January, 2004
Publisher(s)

This study examines sexual recidivism, as expressed by new charges or convictions for sexual offenses, using the data from 10 follow-up studies of adult male sexual offenders (combined sample of 4,724). Results indicated that most sexual offenders do not re-offend sexually, that first-time sexual offenders are significantly less likely to sexually re-offend than those with previous sexual convictions, and that offenders over the age of 50 are less likely to re-offend than younger offenders. In addition, it was found that the longer offenders remained offense-free in the community the less likely they are to re-offend sexually. Data shows that rapists, incest offenders, 'girl-victim' child molesters, and 'boy-victim' child molesters recidivate at significantly different rates. These results challenge some commonly held beliefs about sexual recidivism and have implications for policies designed to manage the risk posed by convicted sexual offenders.