One of the over 500+ studies/reports on our bibliography page is a report from 2010 titled:
It is an interesting paper and looks at, among other things, how gender notions by society, professionals, and the offenders themselves play out in her sample.
She has a quote from Denov that bears repeating:
each time a female sex offender raises her “voice,” she is reopening the space within which new knowledge and discourse can be produced about women who sexually offend. However, research…has shown that each time a female sex offender “speaks,” there are explicit attempts by criminal justice and mental health professionals to mute her voice, actions, and responsibility and once again rely upon the “known truths” about women. The criminal justice responses to female offending which result in a lack of formal sanctions may, at times, be advantageous to women. However, there is a cost and it is a price that arguably all women pay. Women are relegated to limiting, narrow frames of reference. They lack agency and responsibility for their actions. If women’s voices are to be heard, it would be beneficial if they could be heard in all possible forms, whether in compassion, in protest, or in violence.
In the findings section of the paper she states:
These findings align with Denov’s (2003) findings that traditional gender roles function to uphold myths concerning female sexual perpetration…Significantly, all of the offenders constructed themselves as characteristically female- maternal, passive, victimised and innately virtuous
I think Denov is 100% correct when she said:
If women’s voices are to be heard, it would be beneficial if they could be heard in all possible forms, whether in compassion, in protest, or in violence.
All women’s voices (I would add all victims voices) need to be heard. For me that means listening to the victims and the offenders without the preconceived notions of gender and crime. Ignoring or minimizing the issue of female perpetrated sexual violence harms everyone. Until we address sexual violence as a human rights issue we are only going to make partial progress and will continue to cause harm to the women and men who have suffered and continue to suffer.
You can (at the time of this writing) access the entire paper in a .pdf format at the link.