Aggressive Girls / Les filles agressives

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Aggressive Girls - Overview Paper

Introduction

Until recently, males were believed to be Read More ..gressive and violent than females, and therefore few studies of aggression and violence included girls and women. Lately, however, Read More ..olescent girls have been charged with violent crimes than before,1 which has led to increased research on girls who use violent strategies. Nevertheless, prevention programs and intervention services often rely on research based on explanations of male behaviour. However, more recent research addresses how best to prevent and intervene in girls' use of aggression and violence.2-5

The rate of violent crime reflected in official reports increased steadily among both male and female youth during the late 1980s and the 1990s: the rate among male youth nearly doubled, and the rate among female youth almost tripled.6,7 For example, the violent crime rate among female youth rose from 2.2 per 1,000 in 1988 to a peak of 5.6 per 1,000 in 1996, and began to decline in 1999. Two key points must be noted. First, the number of charges laid against boys is still three to four times greater than the number against girls. Second, the actual number of girls charged is small, so that a small increase in the number of charges results in a large percentage increase.8

Some researchers suggest that the increase can be partly explained by the stricter approach to schoolyard fights and bullying in recent years, which has led educators, parents and police to label as "assaults" behaviours once viewed as unfortunate or "bad," but not criminal.9 In fact, the self-reported rates of aggressive behaviour of 10 and 11 year olds in the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth were similar in the 1994/95 and 1996/97 cycles (38% and 34% respectively).10 In both cycles, girls between the ages of 12 and 13 were less likely than boys to display aggressive behaviour (29% and 56% respectively).11

Terms and Definitions

Numbers by themselves do not provide insight into the dynamics of girls' participation in aggression and violence. It is helpful to start by defining the terms used to discuss the issue of aggression and violence in girls.

Aggression

Aggression can be defined as "a class of behaviours that have in common an intrusive, demanding, and aversive effect on others."12 In other words, aggressive behaviours are those that are hurtful and/ or harmful to others. Aggression that is outwardly observable, as in name-calling, taunting, or physical intimidation and threat, is overt. Aggression that is not observable, as in lying or stealing, is covert. Aggression can also be direct (threatening, yelling, insulting, name-calling, teasing, hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking or destroying personal property) or indirect (also known as "social" or "relational" aggression, as in shunning, excluding, ignoring, gossiping, spreading false rumours or disclosing another person's secrets). Canadian reports indicate that girls demonstrate a higher level of indirect aggression at every age than do boys and that indirect aggression increases with age for both boys and girls.13,14

Violence

Violence is distinguished from aggression by the presence of acts that involve the overt and observable use of physical force.15,16 Typically, males' aggression is overt and direct (physical), which contributes to the assumption that violence is a male behaviour. However, recent studies provide evidence of females employing both direct violence and indirect violence (using males to commit violent acts for them).17,18 If violence were assumed to be a male behaviour, female violence would be overlooked or denied. Consequently, we would fail to develop ways to prevent or intervene in violence by girls.

Bullying

Bullies use power to control others. Usually, a "dominant individual (the bully) repeatedly exhibits aggressive behaviour intended to cause distress to a less dominant individual (the victim)."19 Girl bullies tend to manipulate social groups by name-calling, verbal abuse and spreading rumours to damage friendships among others or to exclude selected girls from social interaction.20 Thus, girl bullies tend to use non-physical aggression more than physical violence.21 Most recently, girls are reported to be using the Internet to harass their peers.22 Recent research indicates that 9% of Canadian girls between the ages of 4 and 11 participate in bullying other children, and 7% are victimized by bullies; 68% of children have been observed in both roles (bully and victim).23 Without intervention, bullying behaviours in young children tend to persist throughout adolescence. Girls who are bullied are more likely to feel sad or miserable than to feel angry. They more often discuss their distress with their friends than with a teacher or another adult.24

2


Conduct Disorder

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV),25 to be diagnosed with conduct disorder a young person must have committed at least three violations in four categories of aggression (aggression toward people and animals, aggression toward property, deceit/theft and serious violations of rules) in the previous 12 months, the latest within the previous 6 months.26 Girls who frequently use aggression and violence may be diagnosed as "conduct disordered". These girls display a pattern of repetitive behaviours that involve violating the rights of others and other socially destructive behaviours.27 Only a qualified DSM-IV-trained practitioner can make a diagnosis of conduct disorder, which represents an underlying dysfunction within the individual and is distinct from behaviours that reflect reactions to social or contextual situations.28 Being labelled with a mental disorder represents a permanent condition and may not allow a girl to change or develop new behaviours. Therefore, labelling should be taken very seriously by anyone working with children and youth, and used only after careful consideration of its appropriateness and impact.29 Some research suggests that biological, genetic and medical factors are related to the occurrence of conduct disorder in some children.30 Environmental factors such as family, education and peer relationships also influence the development and maintenance of conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is not "oppositional disorder." Girls with oppositional disorder display patterns of negative, hostile and defiant behaviour, but their behaviours do not involve violating the rights of others.

Why Do Girls Engage in Aggression and Violence?

Some researchers think that girls resort to aggression and violence for different reasons than boys. No single factor can predict aggressive and violent behaviour.31 The factors that contribute to the risk of aggressive and violent behaviour among girls include both systemic (family, community and social context) and individual (personal) variables.32 Usually, many factors act in combination.

Family Dynamics and Parental Relationships

Evidence suggests that aggressive and violent behaviour in children is linked to family and social factors, such as social and financial deprivation; harsh and inconsistent parenting; parents' marital problems; family violence, whether between parents, by parents toward children or between siblings; poor parental mental health; physical and sexual abuse; and alcoholism, drug dependency or other substance misuse by parents or other family members.33 In addition, many aggressive and violent girls have poorly developed connections to their mothers.34,35

School Difficulties

Girls who experience difficulties at school, like social rejection by peers and low connectedness to school, are often more likely to be absent and to drop out eventually. These girls are also more likely to use aggression and violence.36-39 Problems at home and learning disabilities are also interconnected with difficulties at school.

3


Gender Issues

Aggressive and violent girls often see male control and domination over females as normal. They may hold views similar to those that support male violence towards females in that they tend to believe girls and women have less value and importance than boys and men. Aggressive and violent girls tend to attack other girls who are perceived as competing with them for male attention, and they tend to maintain social connections with peers who are perceived as helping them win in that competition.40

Boredom and Attention-seeking Behaviour

Girls who engage in relational aggression and bullying suggest that they often do so to alleviate boredom, by creating excitement, finding out gossip, seeking attention/importance41 and seeking validation from a group that excludes others.42

Connections to Delinquent Peers

Girls are more likely than boys to be rejected by their peers for engaging in outward (overt and direct) aggression and violence.43 However, gang membership can appeal to girls when they are seeking to escape economically disadvantaged homes, improve their self-esteem, increase their feelings of belonging, or seek revenge and protection.44 Association with delinquent peers increases girls' opportunities to engage in aggressive and violent behaviours.

Experiences with Abuse

Aggressive and violent girls often report having been victimized by others.45 These girls are more likely than non-violent girls and both violent and non-violent boys to have been attacked while going to or from school, physically abused at home, sexually abused or coerced into sexual relations.46 In their relationships with adults, aggressive and violent girls have often learned that relationships involve one person dominating and abusing another.47

Drug Involvement

The abuse of alcohol and drugs contributes to aggression and violence in both adolescent girls and boys.48 However, chronic use of drugs seems to be especially strongly related to girls' ongoing participation in violence.49

Atypical Physiological Responses

Girls who externalize (openly show) aggression and anger very often have family histories that involved repeated exposure to negative events during which they could neither fight nor flee (e.g. being abused as a child or being exposed to the abuse of a parent and/or sibling).50 As a result, these girls tend to be less responsive than other girls when exposed to threatening or stressful situations. They tend not to avoid situations that others would deem risky or dangerous and so are more likely to become involved with violence.51

Personality Factors and Mental Illness

Although conduct disorder occurs in only 2% of the female youth population,52 close to 90% of aggressive and violent girls are given a diagnosis of conduct disorder, and 31% have a diagnosis of major depression.53,54 Aggressive and violent girls are also known to suffer from anxiety and attachment disorders (difficulties creating and sustaining affectionate social and personal bonds).55 With the onset of puberty, girls are typically three times as likely as boys to suffer from depression due to low self-esteem, negative body image, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and stress.56 If they are also exposed to abuse or neglect at home, they are at increased risk of becoming involved with violence.57

4


Delayed Cognitive, Moral and Social Development

The use of aggression and violence may be more likely if girls believe that other people's attitudes toward them are negative.58 Aggressive and violent girls may also have poor self-representations or self-images, based on negative beliefs about themselves or on negative perceptions they believe parents and peers have of them.59 Girls who experience delayed cognitive, moral or social development are more likely to experience school difficulties and social rejection, and are therefore at an increased risk of resorting to aggressive and violent behaviour.60

Myths and Realities About Violent Girls

Myths abound about the reasons for aggression and violence in girls. The reality about what drives girls to become aggressive or violent becomes clear when we examine their experiences and beliefs. Table 1 outlines the myths and realities of what contributes to aggressive and violent behaviour in girls.61,62

What Factors Can Prevent Girls From Engaging in Aggression and Violence?

Various protective factors can help girls at risk to avoid exhibiting aggressive and violent behaviour.63

Individual protective factors: An intelligent girl with solid self-esteem, who believes that she is a capable person and who is able to take on age-appropriate social and personal responsibilities, is not likely to become aggressive or violent.

Family protective factors: Within the family, variables that support girls' use of assertive rather than aggressive behaviour include positive exposure to social situations; the presence of at least one caring and supportive adult; positive relationships with parents, especially mothers; and effective, non-authoritarian parenting.

School/community protective factors: At the school and neighbourhood level, variables that help to prevent or counter aggression and violence in girls include opportunities for education, achievement, personal growth and employment, as well as feelings of connectedness to the local community.

Efforts to prevent or counter girls' aggression and violence should be directed toward individual, family and community levels.

5


Table 1

Myths and Realities About Aggressive and Violent Girls

Myth Reality

Aggressive and violent girls …
Aggressive and violent girls …
- Do not care about others. - Endorse respect and concern for others,
  politeness, forgiveness and generosity to the
  same degree as non-violent girls; they value
  honesty less than non-violent girls do, but not
  less than boys.
   
- Beat up people for no reason or for fun. - Rationalize their aggression and violence
  toward others by blaming someone else, as in
  "she made me do it" or "I never beat up anyone
  I didn't have to."
   
- Are trying to show that females - Do not recognize the value or power of females
are equal to males. and believe that females are inferior to males;
  they believe the only way they can attain power
  is by attracting dominant males.
   
- Are an outcome of women's - Are more likely to seek validation from men
liberation. than to compete with them.
   
- Have never been adequately - Have been harshly disciplined and received
disciplined. Read More ..use than non-violent girls and both
  violent and non-violent boys.
   
- Get high on being involved in - Often act out aggressively to secure social
dangerous activities. dominance or to avoid being controlled or
  victimized by others.

Individual level: Prevention programs and intervention services should address the unique ways in which girls respond to initiatives to prevent violence.64 Initiatives should

  • counter girls' low self-esteem as they approach adolescence;
  • focus on early intervention for girls who have witnessed or experienced violence, with an emphasis on strengthening and valuing the roles of women;
  • provide experiences that instill a sense of "mattering" ( i.e., a sense of being valued and belonging) not based on sexual currency;
  • involve girls in social skills and assertiveness training programs;65-67 and
  • resist programs that focus solely on anger management, since they ignore the ways in which aggression and violence can be adaptations in the struggle to survive (e.g. for self-protection).

6


Family level: Including parents in interventions is essential. Aggressive girls benefit from a long-term relationship with at least one adult who provides them with a sense of acceptance, safety and prosocial values.68 In some cases, this adult may be someone outside of the family.

School/community level: Early involvement in proactive, prosocial programs in elementary schools has demonstrated positive effects on reducing aggression and violence in girls.69 Children (both boys and girls) should be engaged in discussions about sexism and taught to hold broader and less restrictive views of the roles of girls and boys.70 The best prevention efforts tend to be community-driven, use multiple strategies and adopt a holistic approach that incorporates involvement of parents, students, community-based agencies and community members. Programs should also include a plan for ongoing evaluation and follow-up.

Resources

Canadian risk assessment tools, prevention programs and intervention services are listed below to assist parents, teachers and youth workers.

Earlscourt Child and Family Centre

46 St. Clair Gardens Toronto, ON M6E 3V4 Telephone: (416) 654-8981 Fax: (416) 654-8996 E-mail: mailus@earlscourt.on.ca Internet: www.earlscourt.on.ca

  • Girls Connection Program and the

    EARL-21G Early Assessment Risk List for Girls, Consultation Edition - 2001.

Department of Justice Canada

284 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8

Internet: canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj

-

  

Shaw, M. and Jané, F. Family Group Conferencing with Children Under Twelve: A Discussion Paper, 1999. Available on Internet: <http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj/ rp/doc/Paper107.PDF>

-

  

Goldberg, K., Augimeri, L.K., Koegl, C.J. and Webster, C.D. Canadian Children Under 12 Committing Offences: Legislative and Treatment Approaches, 1999. Available on Internet: <http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj/ rp/doc/Paper102.PDF>

-

  

Artz, S. A Community-Based Approach for Dealing with Chronically-Violent Under Twelve Year Old Children, 2001. Available on Internet: <http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/yj/ rp/doc/Paper104.PDF>

Men for Change

Box 33005, Quinpool Postal Outlet Halifax, NS B3L 4T6 Telephone: (902) 457-4351 Fax: (902) 457-4597 E-mail: info@m4c.ns.ca or aa116@chebucto.ns.ca or mailto:healthy@fox.nstn.ca Internet: www.m4c.ns.ca or www.chebucto.ns.ca/Community Support/Men4Change

  • Safer, A. Healthy Relationships: A Violence-prevention Curriculum, 1996.

7


British Columbia Health Research Foundation

#710-4720 Kingsway Burnaby BC V5H 4N2

Telephone: 1-800-565-1994 or (604) 436-3573 Fax: (604) 436-2573 Internet: http://www.bchrf.org

-

  

Artz, S., Riecken, T., MacIntyre, B., Lam, E. and Maczewski, M. A Community-based Violence Prevention Project: Final Report, 1999.

School of Child and Youth Care

University of Victoria Victoria, BC and

National Crime Prevention Centre Ottawa, ON

Internet: http://web.uvic.ca/cyc or http://www.crime-prevention.org

  • Gender-Sensitive Guide for Needs Assessment for Youth. Available on Internet: http://web.uvic.ca/cyc/naty

BC Institute Against Family Violence

Vancouver, BC

Telephone: (604) 255-5147 Internet: http://www.bcifv.org/

  • SAFE TEEN: A life skills and violence prevention program. Available on Internet: http://www.bcifv.org/resources/newsletter/ 1998/fall/safeteen.html

Suggested Reading

Artz, S. Sex, Power, and the Violent School Girl. Toronto, ON: Trifolium, 1998.

Cameron, C.A. and the Creating Peaceful Learning Environments School's Research Team. Violence Prevention in the Socialization of the Girl Child. Girls and Boys: Apart … and Together. Fredericton, NB: Muriel McQueen Fergusson Family Violence Research Centre, 2000.

Carrington, P. and Moyer, S. A Statistical Profile of Female Young Offenders. Ottawa: Justice Canada, 1998. Available on Internet: <http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/rs/rep/ tr98-4a-e.html>

Cavell, T. Working with Parents of Aggressive Children: A Practitioner's Guide. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2000.

Lamb, S. The Secret Lives of Girls: What Good Girls Really Do - Sex Play, Aggression, and Their Guilt. New York, NY: Free Press, 2002.

Pollack, W. Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons From the Myths of Boyhood. New York, NY: Henry Holt, 1998.

Simmons, R. Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace, 2002.

8


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9


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Aggressive Girls in Canada (Ottawa, ON: Human Resources Development Canada, 1998).

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M. Clark, "Influencing Positive Behavior Change: Increasing the Therapeutic Approach of Juvenile Courts," Federal Probation, 65, 1 (2001): 18-28.
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34.    Artz, 1998.
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(Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 1990).

37.    J. Whithecomb, "Causes of Violence in Children," Journal of Mental Health, 6, 5 (1997): 433-42.
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  K. Levene, EARL-20B: Early Assessment Risk List for Boys, Version 1, Consultation Edition (Toronto, ON: Earlscourt Family Centre, 1998).
39.    K. Levene, K. Madsen and D. Pepler, "Girls Growing Up Angry: A Qualitative Study." In Girlhood Aggression, edited by D. Pepler, K. Madsen, K.Levene and C. Webster (Toronto, ON: Erlebaum, in press).

10


40.    S. Artz, "Considering Adolescent Girls' Use of Violence: A Researcher's Reflections on Her Inquiry," The B.C. Counsellor, 22, 1 (2000): 44-54.

41.    L. Owens, Teenage Girls: Voices of Aggression (20th International School Psychology Colloquium, Melbourne, Australia, July 15-19, 1997): 219-22.
42.    M. Ashford, "Adolescent Boredom: A Conceptual Analysis," The B.C. Counsellor, 22, 1 (2000): 55-70.
43.    Leschied et al., 2000.<
44.    K. Joe and M. Chesney-Lind, "Just Every Mother's Angel: An Analysis of Gender and Ethnic Variations in Youth Gang Membership," Gender & Society, 9 (1995): 408-31.
45.    Leschied et al., 2000.
46.    Pepler and Sedighdeilami, 1998.
47.    Artz, 1998.
48.    Wright, Cameron and Susman, under review.
49.    Auditor General of BC, Fostering a Safe Learning Environment: How the British Columbia Public School System Is Doing (Victoria, BC: Office of the Auditor General, 2000).
50.    M. Read More ..i, R. Holland and S. McKay, "Self-other Representations and Relational and Overt Aggression in Adolescent Girls and Boys," Behavioural Science and the Law, 19, 1 (2000): 109-126.
51.    More ..i, Holland and McKay, 2000.

52.

  

Borst, 2001.

53.

  

Leschied et al., 2000.

54.

  

Auditor General of BC, 2000.

55.

  

M. Zoccolillo and K. Rogers, "Characteristics and Outcome of Hospitalized Adolescent Girls with Conduct Disorder," Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 30 (1991): 973-81.

56.

  

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57.

  

Leschied et al., 2000.

58.

  

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(New York, NY: Touchstone, 1994).

59.

  

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60.

  

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61.

  

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62.

  

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63.

  

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64.

  

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65.

  

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(Vancouver, BC: B.C. Health Research Foundation, 1999).

11


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S. Artz and M. Blais, An Evaluation of an Awareness and Violence Prevention Pilot Project Directed at Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Date Rape among Teens

(Report to Ministry of Education, Victoria, BC, 1998).

67.

  

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(Vancouver, BC: The Canadian Red Cross, BC/Yukon Division, 1993).

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12

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Health Canada - "Our mission is to help the people of Canada maintain and improve their health."

Health Canada

Aggressive Girls was prepared by Sibylle Artz and Diana Nicholson for the Family Violence Prevention Unit, Health Canada.

The opinions expressed in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Health Canada.

Contents may not be reproduced for commercial purposes, but any other reproduction, with acknowledgements, is encouraged.

This publication can be made available in alternative formats upon request.

For more information:

National Clearinghouse on Family Violence

Family Violence Prevention Unit Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Health Canada (Address Locator: 1909D1)

9th Floor, Jeanne Mance Bldg., Tunney's Pasture Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1B4

Telephone: 1-800-267-1291 or (613) 957-2938 Fax: (613) 941-8930 TTY: 1-800-561-5643 or (613) 952-6396 Web Site: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/nc-cn E-mail: ncfv-cnivf@phac-aspc.gc.ca

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2002 Cat. N° H72-22/24-2002E

ISBN 0-662-33312-8

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Mom drugged daughter to get her pregnant: police

Associate Press, U.S.A.
April 3, 2009

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A western Pennsylvania mother has been charged with giving her 13-year-old daughter drugs and alcohol so the woman's boyfriend could impregnate the girl without her knowing, police said Thursday.

Shana Brown, 32, is no longer able to have children but wanted to have a baby with her current boyfriend, Duane Calloway, said Uniontown Police Detective Donald Gmitter. The pair decided to drug the girl so Calloway, 40, could have sex with her, he added.

"There's some sick people on this case," Gmitter said.

Brown has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, turned herself in Thursday and was being held in the Fayette County jail, police said. Brown's attorney did not return a call for comment.

Calloway faces several counts of attempted rape. He was arrested Wednesday and remains in jail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

The three attacks occurred in Brown's home in Uniontown, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, according to the criminal complaint.

Female Sexual Predators / Female Sex Offenders

The Oprah Winfrey Show

Lisa Ling Video Interview of Female Sexual Predator / Offender

This woman raped or sexually assaulted over 100 children by her own account.

Research - 20% out of 800 Sex Offenders are Female

Guardian UK

Our blind rage at women who abuse

Because we assume women never commit child sexual abuse, we treat one who is accused with disproportionate disgust

The Guardian, UK
June 11, 2009

About 20 years ago, I gave a talk about sexual abuse to the RAF. At the end, a young airman came up to me and said, "It's not just men, you know," before hurriedly walking away. That pulled me up sharp. Up till then, like most people working in the area of sexual abuse, I'd always assumed the abusers were men.

This just isn't so. We can't be sure of the precise prevalence of sexual abuse by women, as there hasn't been enough research into the subject. Academics have just assumed it doesn't happened. But conservative estimates suggest that 5% of girls and 20% of boys who have reported being abused have been abused by women. From my own research - I have had 800 cases reported to me - I believe the more likely figure is that it is 20% of all sexual abuse that is done by women.

It is women themselves who have done most to propagate this conspiracy of silence. It has almost become a feminist axiom that it is men who are to blame for abuse and that if women are in some way implicated, it is only because they have somehow been forced or controlled into doing so against their will. Again, this turns out to be completely incorrect: 75% of the cases reported to me involved women acting on their own.  Read More ..

OVERALL NEGLECT OF FEMALE SEXUAL OFFENCES

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Correctional Services Canada
Service correctionnel du Canada

Female Sex Offenders in the Correctional Service of Canada, Case Studies

Délinquantes sexuelles sous la responsabilité du Service correctionnel du Canada, études de cas

LITERATURE REVIEW ON FEMALE SEX OFFENDERS

Although there is an increasing literature on male sex offenders, there is a noticeable dearth of information concerning female sex offenders. Most of the work in the area has come from three of the largest prison programs for female sex offenders in Missouri, Minnesota, and Kentucky.

OVERALL NEGLECT OF FEMALE SEXUAL OFFENCES

For a variety of societal reasons, female sexual abuse is likely to remain unnoticed. Some researchers have found that the incidence of sexual contact with boys by women is much more prevalent than is contended in the clinical literature (Condy, Templer Brown & Veaco, 1987). Despite society's increasing concern about sexual assault, there may be several reasons for the under-reporting of female sexual abuse of both child and adult victims. Traditionally, society has held preconceptions of women as non-violent nurturers. Women in general, and mothers mopre specifically, have more freedom than men to touch children (Marvasti, 1986). Therefore, a man may be mpre easily perceived as abusive when touching a child than when a woman touches a child in a similar manner (Plummer, 1981). Further, sexual offences perpetrated by women are often incestuous in nature and children may be reluctant to report sexual contact with a parent on whom they are dependent (Groth, 1979). Health care workers are often unable to detect mother-child incest as mothers often accompany their children to the doctor's office. This may serve as a barrier to detecting sexual abuse of the child (Elliott & Peterson, 1993). The medical profession is only reluctantly becoming sensitive to the fact that females can, in fact, be perpetrators of sexual abuse (Wilkins, 1990; Krug, 1989).


EXAMEN DE LA DOCUMENTATION SUR LES DÉLINQUANTES SEXUELLES

La documentation sur les délinquants sexuels s'accroît alors que l'information sur les délinquantes sexuelles est clairement déficiente. La plupart des travaux en ce domaine proviennent de trois des programmes les plus importants établis pour les délinquantes sexuelles au Missouri, au Minnesota et au Kentucky.

DÉSINTÉRESSEMENT GÉNÉRAL À L'ÉGARD DES INFRACTIONS SEXUELLES COMMISES PAR DES FEMMES

Pour diverses raisons sociales, les mauvais traitements sexuels infligés par les femmes demeurent généralement cachés. Certains chercheurs ont découvert que l'incidence des contacts sexuels entre des femmes et des garçons est beaucoup plus élevée que ne l'estime la documentation clinique (Condy, Templer Brown et Veaco, 1987). En dépit du fait que la société se préoccupe de plus en plus de l'agression sexuelle, plusieurs raisons pourraient faire que l'on parle moins des cas de mauvais traitements sexuels infligés par des femmes à des enfants ou à des adultes. La société a toujours perçu les femmes comme des nourricières non violentes. Les femmes en général, et surtout les mères, ont plus de latitude pour toucher les enfants que les hommes (Marvasti, 1986). Par conséquent, un homme qui touche un enfant de la même manière que le fait une femme peut être plus facilement perçu comme un agresseur (Plummer, 1981). En outre, les infractions sexuelles commises par des femmes sont souvent de nature incestueuse et les enfants peuvent hésiter à dénoncer un contact sexuel avec un parent dont ils dépendent (Groth, 1979). Les travailleurs du domaine de la santé sont souvent incapables de déceler les cas d'inceste entre l'enfant et la mère car cette dernière accompagne souvent l'enfant au bureau du médecin. Cela peut empêcher de dépister les mauvais traitements sexuels infligés à l'enfant (Elliott et Peterson, 1993). La profession médicale prend à contrecoeur conscience du fait que les femmes peuvent en fait infliger de mauvais traitements sexuels. (Wilkins, 1990; Krug, 1989). Read More ...