It is hard to get solid statistical evidence to support just how often it happens because so many victims abused by women tell much less than those abused by men. Many victims don’t think people will believe them. Many don’t realize they were being abused until they are older.

Although limited research exists, it is suggested that for many cases involving female perpetrators, the motivation is not primarily sexual, but emotional needs (loneliness, low self-esteem, depression), and that women offenders are more likely to have experienced or be in abusive relationships (sexual, physical, and/or psychological) than male offenders.


Evidence would also suggest that female perpetrators are less “predatory” and lean more toward being “opportunistic” offenders.

Practical Aspects of Rape Investigation, offered the following types of female perpetrators:

  • Facilitators – Women who intentionally aid men in gaining access to children for sexual purposes.
  • Reluctant – Female partners in long term relationships who go along with sexual exploitation of a minor out of fear of being abandoned.
  • Initiating – Female partners who want to sexually offend a child and who may do it themselves or get a man or another woman to do it while they watch.
  • Seducers and lovers – Women who direct their sexual interest against adolescents and develop an intense attachment.
  • Pedophiles – Women who desire an exclusive and sustained sexual relationship with a child (a very rare occurrence).
  • Psychotic – Women who suffer from a mental illness and who have inappropriate sexual contact with children as a result.

Sadly, most of these women are sentenced much less-severely than men who commit the same types of crimes. What is considered the rape of a young girl by an adult male is considered to others as a “fantasy” for a boy to engage in sexual acts with an adult female. Just like male predators, there is no stereotype to look for when trying to identify a female sexual abuser, despite how well the media portrays what many would consider, the most “attractive” female perpetrators – which, most likely, only continues the public’s perception that sexual offenses by women are less abusive – which is far from the truth.

Sections on this page have been adapted from TheMamaBearEffect.



By providing your email you agree to receive
periodic emails from the JCW Website