U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Characteristics and Typologies of Sex Offenders (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 2-1 - 1-33, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
Barbara K. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Date Published
33 pages
Following an overview of the prevalence of sex offenses in the United States, this chapter presents statistics on the gender of sex offenders, and other sections of the chapter discuss typologies of sex offenders in general, pedophiles, and rapists, concluding with a section on "escalators and non-escalators" in sexual offending patterns.
Data on the prevalence of sex offenses in the United States focus on rape and victim age groups and gender. Statistics on perpetrators pertain to gender and age, with attention to children who sexually assault other children. The chapter's section on the characteristics of sex offenders considers the following factor domains: physiology; age; cognitive skills; lifestyle; marital status and sexuality; mental illness, alcoholism, and personality disorder; sexual abuse; and parental relationships. An introduction to the chapter's discussion on the typologies of sex offender's notes that typologies can be useful in understanding clusters of dynamics and in selecting appropriate treatment; however, they must not be used to make generalizations or obscure individual differences. The section on typologies of pedophiles is divided into early studies; Groth's typology (1979); the FBI typology (Lanning, 1986), which is designed for criminal investigations; Meiselman's typology of pedophiles (1978); and Knight and Prentky's typologies (1990). The chapter's section on typologies of rapists presents overviews of Groth's typology (1979), Selkin's typology (1975), the FBI typology, Nagayama-Hall's typology, the Massachusetts Treatment Center's typology, and the self-regulation (pathways) model (Yates and Kingston, 2006). The concluding section on "escalators and non-escalators" compares the characteristics of serial and "solo" rapists and escalation in the degree of violence used. In a concluding comment, the chapter advises that sex offenders have been identified as having distinctive needs. The current task is to classify them into meaningful subgroups and devise appropriate interventions that include evaluations of treatment effectiveness. 2 figures, 2 tables, and approximately 154 references


No download available