PAI & Female Sex Offenders

October 28, 2011

Presently, only one published study exists examining the PAI results of female sex offenders. Turner et al. (2008) researched the characteristics of 90 female sex offenders regarding offense and personality traits. Based on these author’s results, they found three distinct personality-based subtypes of female sex offenders by self-report PAI scores. The first subtype had subclinical psychopathology levels but had elevated scores on scales measuring substance abuse problems (n = 30, ALC M = 58.57, DRG M = 63.13). The second group of female sex offenders reported at-risk levels on several clinical scales, with the highest being on the Borderline Features scale (n = 39, BOR M = 68.73). The last subtype was a smaller group of more severely disturbed individuals (n = 10, DEP M = 87.39, SCZ M = 81.92, BOR M = 81.41). 


In addition to the above study, several researchers provided anecdotal information on psychopathology, rather than specifically related to PAI results. Based on case studies and descriptive reports Nathan and Ward (2002) reported that the most prevalent psychological disturbances for female sex offenders include personality disorders, depression, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and poor coping skills. Additionally, Carlstedt, Innala, Brimise, & Soderstrom Anckarsater, (2005) conducted a study of 182 male sex offenders and 3 female sex offenders in Sweden. This study revealed that 57 % of the sample was diagnosed with a personality disorder, 30% with a mood disorder, 28% with a substance use disorder, 18% with an anxiety disorder, and 17% with a psychotic disorder. Further, Abracen, Looman, and Anderson (2000) reported that rapists and child molesters were likely to have a severe alcohol abuse problem. It should be noted that these authors did not separate out the results for the three female sex offenders.

Return to Blog Main Page