Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors

Finkelhor, D.,
Ormrod, R.,
Chaffin, M.
Paper/Research Report
Year Published: 2009
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In this Bulletin, the authors draw on data from the FBI's National Incident-Based Reporting System for 2004 to provide population-based epidemiological information on juvenile sex offending. The data show that juveniles account for more than one-third (35.6 percent) of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors. Juveniles who commit sex offenses against other children are more likely than adult sex offenders to offend in groups and at schools, and to have more male victims and younger victims. The number of youth coming to the attention of police for sex offenses increases sharply at age 12 and plateaus after age 14. Although most juvenile sex offenders are teenagers, about 16 percent of those who come to police attention are younger than age 12. While females constitute only 7 percent of juveniles who commit sex offenses, they are more likely to be younger, to offend in conjunction with others, and to be involved in incidents with multiple victims compared with male offenders. The authors conclude with a discussion of the implications for policy and practice.

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