Sex Offenders

A Feminist Perspective
  • Judith Lewis Herman
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


In the past decade, feminist consciousness-raising and political action have transformed public awareness of sexual violence. The testimony of victims, first in consciousness-raising groups, then in public speakouts, and finally in formal survey research, has documented the high prevalence of all forms of sexual assault. The best currently available data indicate that for women, the risk of being raped is approximately one in four, and that for girls, the risk of sexual abuse by an adult is greater than one in three (Russell, 1984). Boys appear to be at lower, but still substantial, risk for sexual assault by older boys or men (Finkelhor, 1979). The findings that most victims are female and that the vast majority of offenders are male have been reproduced in every major study. They are not artifacts of reporting, which in any case is extremely low; probably less than 10% of all sexual assaults are reported to police, and less than 1% result in arrest, conviction, and imprisonment of the offender (Russell, 1984).


Sexual Assault Child Sexual Abuse Sexual Arousal Sexual Offense Sexual Aggression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Lewis Herman
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryHarvard Medical SchoolCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Women’s Mental Health CollectiveSomervilleUSA

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