43 Canadian J. Criminology 303 (2001)
A Culture of Denial: Exploring Professional Perspectives on Female Sex Offending

handle is hein.journals/cjccj43 and id is 315 raw text is: A culture of denial: Exploring professional
perspectives on female sex offending
Myriam S. Denov(I'
Criminology
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario
Meme si les agressions sexuelles contre les enfants ont &6 beaucoup
ctudi4es, on a port6 peu d'attention aux agressions sexuelles commises
par les femmes. Tout d'abord, peu de recherches sont consacrdes el la
ddcouverte des points de vue des professionnel(le) sur la ddlinquance
sexuelle des femmes. La prdsente 6tude tente de combler ce vide en
examinant comment un ochantillon de policiers et de psychiatres cana-
diens comprennent et reprdsentent les agressions sexuelles commises
par des femmes. Les donndes recueillies dans cette recherche ont &6
obtenues en cours d'entrevues avec des policiers et des psychiatres et,
dans le cas des policiers, au moyen d'une observation directe des com-
portements policiers et d'une analyse de leurs rapports sur les cas
d'agressions. L'auteure a note comment le refus de voir les femmes
comme agresseures sexuelles fait partie intdgrante du discours des
profess ionnel(le)s sur la ddlinquance sexuelle des femmes. Pour ces
professionnel(le)s le sexe du ddlinquant semble 4tre le principal facteur
qui ddtermine le sens du delit sexuel et, ainsi, ne peut Etre con(u sans ce
contexte. Comme la ddlinquance sexuelle des femmes contredit le dis-
cours traditionnel sur le comportement appropri6 des femmes, it sem-
ble qu'on tente, consciemment ou non, de transformer la ddlinquante et
son dclit en les alignant & des iddes du comportement frminin
culturellement plus acceptables, menant 6ventuellement et un refus de
voir le probl~me.
Although child sexual abuse has been studied extensively, minimal at-
tention has been paid to sexual abuse by females. In particular, there is
a dearth of research dedicated to exploring professional perspectives on
female sex offending. Filling the critical gaps in the empirical literature,
this exploratory study traces the ways in which a sample of Canadian
police officers, and psychiatrists understood, and portrayed sexual abuse
by female perpetrators. The data from this study were derived from
semi-structured interviews with police officers and psychiatrists, and, in
the case of police officers, direct observation, and an analysis of police
Canadian Journal of Criminology  303 to 329
Revue canadienne de criminologie  July/juillet 2001

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