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Life-Course Persistent Offenders and the Propensity to Commit Sexual Assault

Brian B. Boutwell, J. C. Barnes & Kevin M. Beaver.

Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment; February 2013, vol. 25, no. 1, 69-81.



Moffitt's (1993) developmental theory has garnered an extensive amount of attention from scholars across a range of disciplines, and the results generated from this body of literature have been consistently supportive. Specifically, the segment of the population predicted by Moffitt to be chronically aggressive—called life-course persistent offenders—has been found to account for a disproportionate number of serious crimes. What remains less certain, however, is whether this same group of offenders are also responsible for perpetrating acts of forced sex. The authors examined the tendency for life-course persisters to sexually assault using a nationally representative sample of individuals. Our findings suggest that life-course persisters are disproportionately more likely to be sexually coercive compared to other individuals.



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