An empirical analysis of conviction patterns, change over the life-course and external influences in relation to sexual offending behaviour

Kyle, Deborah (2019) An empirical analysis of conviction patterns, change over the life-course and external influences in relation to sexual offending behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[img] PDF
Download (3MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


This PhD uses statistical analysis and qualitative interviews to analyse behaviour patterns in the context of causal theories of sexual offending and desistance from it, with a particular emphasis on socio-cultural reasons why people offend, stop offending, or offend at different points in life. This research makes an original contribute to the literature in a number of ways.

There are six main findings from this research that contribute to the literature in this area. One of the key findings is that there is substantial heterogeneity of offending behaviour amongst sexual offenders, suggesting that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for prevention, intervention or management. There was support in the research for a link between sexual offending and prolific non-sexual offending, but this only appeared to be one of several different sexual offending pathways. Other groups of offenders displayed considerable specialism in their offending (in terms of type of sexual offence and the fact that they had often only been convicted of sexual offences). This was magnified by the finding that offending rates were generally lower for sexual convictions than for other convictions: in fact, the vast majority of people in the dataset only had convictions for one sexual offence.

There was evidence from the qualitative interviews that adverse life events were a contributory factor to sexual offending, and the thesis has found that there is support for both psychological and socio-cultural causes (including gender-based elements), as well as an interaction between the two. It also suggested that there is evidence that sexual offending is not stable over the life-course, and that situational factors appear to be important in terms of determining behavioural change. Implications for prevention, intervention and management of sexual offenders are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Sexual offences, Scottish Offenders' Index, causes of sexual offending, criminological theory, quantitative analysis.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Supervisor's Name: McNeill, Professor Fergus
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Ms Debbie Kyle
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41140
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2019 08:23
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2022 08:36
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41140
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year