Incestuous Sex Offenders

Incestuous Sex Offenders:

Incestuous sex offenders use their family members to act out their sexual impulses.

Of sexual assaults on children and youth by their family members reported to Canadian police in 2000, 39% of the perpetrators were parents, 32% were siblings, 28% were members of the extended family, and 1% were spouses (Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 20021).

One woman in 8 is incestuously abused before age 14, and 1 in 6 before age 18 (Wiehe, 1998, p. 212).

Incestuous relationships include:

»  father-daughter incest
»  father-son incest
»  stepfather-daughter incest
»  mother-son/mother-daughter incest
»  sibling incest
»  grandfather-granddaughter incest
»  uncle-niece incest
»  first cousin incest

Did You KnowIn the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse & Neglect, 7% of sexual abuse investigations involved mothers as alleged perpetrators (Trocme, 2001, p. 493).

There's something about a mother. When you're small, she should be the first person you go to if you're hurt, the first person to cuddle, who gives you love and care. So when she abuses you, it leads to an even greater sense of despair than when your father does it. In my dreams I castrate my father and suffocate him. But I can't attack my mother. I'm torn between love and hate.

Elliott, 1993, p. 104

Sibling incest interactions may take the form of:

            »  brother-sister
            »  brother-brother
            »  sister-sister

Canadian studies show that sexual abuse of males by siblings ranges from 6% to 33% and in most cases, the victim was younger than the perpetrator (Matthews, 19965).

The table below is taken from interviews with incest perpetrators. WARNING: Some statements may be disturbing for some readers.

Similar belief systems among incestuous sex offenders:

Gilgun, 1995, pp. 270-2766

Incest was defined as love and care.

The sexual experience was described as extremely pleasurable, using words such as "blissful", "thrilling" and "exciting".

Some incestuous sex offenders actually saw themselves in love with the child.

About half claimed the love was mutual.

These incestuous sex offenders were unresponsive to the children's attempts to stop the incest.

Most perpetrators knew their behaviour was wrong.

Many did not view their sexual acts as incest.

Some not only manipulated and took advantage of their child's trust, but felt a sense of power from the trust.

Almost all the fathers expressed a sense of excitement that they "had special rights" as the father to have sex with their children.

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NOTE: Information pages on this site were based on material from the Canadian Red CrossCanadian Red Cross RespectED Training Program. Written permission was obtained to use their copyrighted material on this site.

1 Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2002). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile 2002. Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE. Ottawa: Government of Canada.

2 Wiehe, V (1998). Understanding family violence. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.

3 Trocme, N., & MacLauren, B. et al. (2001). Canadian incidence study of reported child abuse and neglect: Final report. Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, Health Canada.

4 Elliott, M. (Ed.). (1993). Female sexual abuse of children. New York: The Guildford Press.

5 Matthews, F. (1996). The invisible boy: Revisioning the victimization of male children and teens. Ottawa: National Clearinghouse on Family Violence.

6 Gilgun, J. (1995). We shared something special: The moral discourse of incest perpetrators. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 265-281.

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Incestuous Sex Offenders updated Feb 22, 2017

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