Although the majority of sexual abuse is committed by adult male perpetrators, it is now recognised that a significant number of these offences are committed by youth. For example, it is estimated that between 25% and 35% of child sexual abuse in New Zealand is committed by adolescents. Further, worldwide prevalence rates suggest that women are responsible for between 4% – 5% of all sexual offences committed.
Dr Tess Patterson, Department of Psychological Medicine, currently has research projects examining judicial processes and outcomes for sex-related offence cases of male and female sexual offenders. Patterson also has ongoing collaborative research with Dr Nadine McKillop and Assoc Prof Kelley Burton, at the University of Sunshine Coast, Australia, in relation to female sexual offending.