Child Sex Offenders
In Canada, child sex offenders must be two years older than the victim in order for sexual abuse to have legally taken place.
What makes a child sexually offend another child?
Children who molest children are almost always acting out their own sexual victimization. Children who molest not only have a history of sexual abuse, they also have experienced physical and emotional abuse.
Typically, child offenders have witnessed extreme physical violence between their caregivers in their home environment. Often times, these violent episodes are marked by a "honeymoon" period of sexual stimulation between the caregivers, sending the message that violence and sexual activity go hand in hand.
FACT: When a child has been sexually used, abused, or overly exposed to adult sexuality, disruptions in multiple areas of the child's sexual development may occur (Cavanagh Johnson & Friend, 1995, p. 501).
The difference between normal sexual exploration between children and child sex offenders:
Normal sexual activity in children involves:
FACT: It is expected that 40% to 75% of children will engage in some sort of sexual behaviour before reaching 13 years of age (Cavanagh, Johnson & Friend, 1995, p. 552). In these situations, children are exploring each other's bodies while also exploring gender roles and behaviours; it does not mean these children are child sex offenders.
The following table shows some guidelines that differentiate between normal sex play and sexual behaviours that cause concern.
Some Statistics on Child Sex Offenders:
72% of child sex offenders who began molesting between 4-6 years of age had documented histories of sexual abuse, whereas 42% of children 7-10 years of age and 35% of children 11-12 years had documented histories of sexual abuse (Cavanagh Johnson, 1993, p. 74; Araji, 19975).
Children who are sexually abused by child sex offenders suffer the same severity of negative consequences as children sexually abused by adults (Kikuchi, 1995, p. 1116).
Among adults convicted of sex crimes, 30% began offending before they were 9 years old (Cantwell, 1995, p. 917).
Child sex offenders are immature and tend to act impulsively. Many find it hard to make friends, have poor self-esteem and view themselves as social outcasts (Gil, 19958). Child sex offenders provides an interesting article by Judith Levine on children who molest other children.
|Sex Offenders||Adolescent Offenders||Female Offenders|
|Male Offenders||Incestuous Offenders||Internet Offenders|
|Sexual Abuse||Sexual Abuse Victims|
|Sexual Abuse Definition||Male Victims|
|Sexual Abuse Signs||Female Victims|
|Sexual Abuse Effects||Victims with Disability|
|Sexual Abuse Statistics||Sexual Abuse Disclosures|
|Abuse Headlines||History of Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Signs||Child Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Effects||Emotional Abuse|
|Sexual Abuse Stats||Emotional Abuse Types|
|Sexual Abuse Victims||Emotional Abuse Signs|
|Male Victims||Emotional Abuse Effects|
|Victims w/ Disability||Emotional Abuse Stats|
|Sexual Abuse Disclosures||Physical Abuse|
|Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Signs|
|Male Sex Offenders||Abuse & Discipline|
|Female Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Effects|
|Child Sex Offenders||Physical Abuse Stats|
|Adolescent Sex Offenders||Child Neglect|
|Incestuous Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Signs|
|Internet Sex Offenders||Child Neglect Effects|
|Child Abuse Law||Child Neglect Stats|
|Age of Majority||Poverty & Neglect|
|Duty to Report||Sexual Abuse|
|Abuse Intervention||Sexual Abuse Defined|
Child Sex Offenders
NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the Canadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.
1, 2 & 3 Cavanagh Johnson, T. & Friend, C. (1995). Assessing young children's sexual behaviours in the context of child sexual abuse evaluations. In T. Ney (Ed.), True and False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse: Assessment and Case Management (49-72). New York: Brunner/Mazel.
4 Snyder, H. (2000, July), Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: Victim, incident, and offender characteristics. Retrived December, 2002, American Bureau of Justice Statistics Clearinghouse, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/ 312-314.
5 Araji, S. (1997). Sexually aggressive children: Coming to understand them. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
6 Kikuchi, J. (1995). When the offender is a child: Identifying and responding to juvenile sexual abuse offenders. In M. Hunter, (Ed). Child Survivors and Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Innovations. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
7 Cantwell, H. (1995). Sexually aggressive children and societal response. In M. Hunter, (Ed). Child Survivors and Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse: Treatment Innovations. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc
8 Gil, E. (1995). A guide for parents of children who molest. Rockville, MD: Launch Press.