Assessing the Continuity of Sex Offending Over the Life Course: Evidence From Two Large Birth Cohort Studies

Wesley G. Jennings, Alex R. Piquero, Franklin E. Zimring, Jennifer M. Reingle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter presents the research findings on the general recidivism, sexual recidivism, and sexual specialization of juvenile offenders who commit sex crimes. It provides with an application of the criminal career framework to examine sex offending over the life course, along with a discussion of the implications of these research issues for sex offender registration and community notification policies. Rapists have shown to have relatively low recidivism rates (2.5%), while child molesters recidivate more frequently (18-35%). These disparities in the continuity, frequency, and specialization among sex offending juveniles compared to nonsex offenders are discussed in the chapter. The idea of sex offender notification and registration originated from the brutal murders and sexual assaults of several young children beginning during the 1980s in Washington, Minnesota, and New Jersey by convicted sex offenders who had been released back into the community from prison.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex Offenders
Subtitle of host publicationA Criminal Career Approach
EditorsArjan Blokland, Patrick Lussier
Place of PublicationWest Sussex UK
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781118314630
ISBN (Print)9780470975459, 9780470975466
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Community notification policies
  • General recidivism
  • Sex offender notification
  • Sex offending continuity
  • Sex offending juveniles
  • Sexual recidivism
  • Sexual specialization

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