Sex offenders and sex offending in the Cambridge study in delinquent development: Prevalence, frequency, specialization, recidivism, and (dis)continuity over the life-course

Alex R. Piquero, David P. Farrington, Wesley G. Jennings, Brie Diamond, Jessica Craig

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


The study of criminal careers has resulted in important descriptive information about the longitudinal patterns of offending over the life-course. Much of this research has examined more common patterns of general offending, typically among street offenders. An under-explored question is the extent to which distinct types of offenders display similar patterns on key criminal career dimensions. The current study examines this particular issue with a focus on sex offenders using longitudinal data from a cohort of South London males participating in the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. Results show that, contrary to popular opinion, sex offending is quite rare, with less than 3% of the Cambridge males being convicted for 13 sex offenses through age 50. Further, there was no continuity in sex offending from the juvenile to adult periods and very few recidivist sex offenders. Directions for future research are addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovations and Advancements in Sex Offender Research
EditorsWesley Jennings
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781317587330
ISBN (Print)9781138822108
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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