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A Brief Profile of the Sample

As Table 1 reveals, a high proportion of the prisoners (60 per cent) had committed their sex offence or offences against children and, in two-thirds of these cases, the prisoners victimized solely children within their own family unit. In half of the child victim cases only one victim was named in the indictment. Of the one-third who committed at least one offence against a child outside of their family, only four had apparently victimized a complete stranger. Almost a quarter (27/116, 23 per cent) of offenders against children had assaulted, on the occasion leading to their current prison sentence, at least one male victim -- a group noted in the literature as especially prone to be reconvicted -- yet very few, only nine, had offended against only male victims. This profile largely matches those described in Grubin's (1998) review of the literature.  

Table 1
Classification of sex offenders by type of victim  


Characteristics of victim(s)

Any male victim(s)

Only female victim(s)




At least one adult stranger victim 0 39 39 20.3
Adult non-stranger victims only 0 37 37 19.3
Total adult victim(s) only 0 76 76 39.6
At least one extra familial child victim* 14 24 38 19.8
Intra-familial victim(s) only 13 65 78 40.6
Total any child victim(s)** 27 89 116 60.4
Total 27 165 192  

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