Offender-victim interaction and crime event outcomes: Modus operandi and victim effects on the risk of intrusive sexual offenses against children
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Criminological research has shown the relevance of examining offender-victim interaction and related factors to understand crime event outcomes. In sexual offenses against children, an obvious lack of knowledge exists regarding this issue. From a criminological perspective, we seek to improve our understanding of the offender-victim interaction in sexual offenses against children and, in particular, what factors might increase the risk of a more intrusive offense. We argue that modus operandi strategies play a central role in crime event outcomes and examine this hypothesis with data obtained from a semistructured interview conducted with offenders. As expected, modus operandi was found to have a strong effect on crime event outcomes, especially victim participation during sexual episodes. Victim effects also emerged from the analyses. Specifically, a strong interaction effect between age and gender of the victim was found for victim participation, which suggests that as the victim gets older, offenders are more likely to make their victim participate in sexual episodes when abusing a male victim but are less likely to do so when abusing a female victim.
Copyright 2009 American Society of Criminology. Published by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Self-archiving of the author-manuscript version is not yet supported by the American Society of Criminology. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version or contact the authors for more information.
Causes and Prevention of Crime