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Assessing Gender Differences and Co-Offending Patterns of a Predominantly "Male-Oriented" Crime: A Comparison of a Cross-National Sample of Juvenile Boys and Girls Arrested for a Sexual Offense

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This study examines male–female differences of juveniles arrested for a sex offense. A cross-national sample of juvenile boys (n = 177) and a population of juvenile girls (n = 177) arrested for a sex offense are utilized for this analysis. It is hypothesized that (1) boys and girls differ substantially in their offending patterns. Based on Moffitt's social-amplification hypothesis, it is also hypothesized that (2) juveniles who act with a co-offender commit more serious offenses (i.e., more likely to be arrested for rape and have more victims) compared to those who act alone. The results show boys differ from girls: juvenile girls are slightly younger, more likely to be White, more likely to have a co-offender, less likely to commit rape, and be processed formally by law enforcement. The results yielded indicated social amplification appears to occur when girls offend with a co-offender, but not when boys acted with a co-offender.
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Keywords: CO-OFFENDERS; FEMALE SEX OFFENDER; MALE SEX OFFENDER; MOFFITT'S THEORY OF SOCIAL AMPLIFICATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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