“Lucky Boy!”; Public perceptions of child sexual offending committed by women

Bradbury, Paula ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7837-7233 and Martellozzo, Elena ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1249-7611 (2021) “Lucky Boy!”; Public perceptions of child sexual offending committed by women. Journal of Victimology and Victim Justice, 4 (2) . pp. 160-178. ISSN 2516-6069 [Article] (doi:10.1177/25166069211060091)

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This exploratory study addresses the existing gaps on the public perceptions of child sexual offending committed by women. Using thematic analysis, the study extracted, coded and analysed the comments (N=1651) made by the general public to nine Daily Mail online newspaper articles published from 2018 – 2019, reporting the sentencing decisions of female sex offenders, who have been charged and found guilty with the offence of sexual activity with a child. From those comments, 170 coded themes were identified, and this amounted to 3394 coded incidences. Unlike previous research, this study cross examines public responses to different typologies of offending behaviour; teachers, mothers, same sex offenders, co-offenders and finally those who offended for financial gain. The impact of these typologies was analysed through key descriptive case variables, which were quantitively evaluated against the prominent themes that emerged. It found that while people demand equal sentencing decisions between male and female child sex offenders, this is limited by public perception when the abuser is an attractive female and, as a result, perceived as less harmful to the child, who is not seen no longer as a victim but as a ‘Lucky Boy’. Such preconceptions fuel shame, social stigma and stereotyping towards sexual exposure and prevents victims to disclose their abuse and achieve closure and justice.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 34159
Notes on copyright: © 2021 National Law University Delhi
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
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Depositing User: Elena Martellozzo
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2021 17:33
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2023 20:20
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/34159

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