Sex-role orientation and attachment styles of sex Offenders1

Mary M. Schneck, Thomas G. Bowers, Maria A. Turkson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Given the increase of individuals who have a history of sexual offenses, there has been an increase in research on the etiology of sex-offending behavior. The present purpose was to evaluate the relationship between sex-role orientation and attachment styles of males who were sex offenders. Analysis yielded statistically significant differences between comparison (n=22) and clinical groups (n=21) in gender roles, with little sign of the androgynous gender type for sex offenders. The offender group showed significantly lower frequency of androgyny scores and significantly higher scores on feminine and undifferentiated orientations, supporting the theoretical view of sex offenders as being "cross-sex-typed." In addition, the sex offender group had a significantly higher mean score on anxious-avoidant relationship attachment. Based on the present findings, there appears to be a need to help sex offenders explore how their gender roles may relate to their sex-offending behavior and assist sex offenders in the development of adaptive relationships with reduced anxiety and ambivalence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)624-638
Number of pages15
JournalPsychological reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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