Incidence reports on juvenile sex offenders may underestimate the extent of the problem for female offenders because of a societal reluctance to acknowledge that girls are capable of committing sex offenses.1
These studies documented the following findings:
- Of the girls who had sexually offended, 94% of the girls had experienced multiple types of abuse including sexual, physical, emotional, and/or neglect.
- Most adolescent girls who sexually victimized children under age 12 or younger frequently did so while engaged in a childcare situation.
- In regard to their sex-offending behavior, girls reported the following:
- They typically victimized younger children,
- Their victims most frequently were strangers, and
- They had fantasies about deviant sexual behavior.
Psychiatric diagnoses included:
- Conduct disorders,
- Oppositional-defined disorder,
- Major depression,
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),
- Adjustment disorder, and
- Chemical dependency.
Anger control problems were described as common, as well as low self-concepts. Peer relations were strained and a large number were socially isolated. A significant number of girls offending were described as sexually promiscuous having had many sexual relationships with older males. In general, their families were described as dysfunctional and chaotic. Their family environments usually appeared detrimental for the development of healthy attachments and a positive sense of self.
The girls’ offending behaviors were similar to the boys’ in terms of offense types and styles of victim selection. For example, both girls and boys committed the following types of offenses: fondling, oral sex, and vaginal or anal intercourse. Also, like boys, the girls tended to victimize young children of the opposite gender. In contrast to the boys, the girls typically had more severe victimization experiences themselves. Girls were three times more likely than boys to have been victimized by female perpetrators.
 “Juveniles Who Have Sexually Offended,” A Review of the Literature, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention 2001