Differentiating Individuals Convicted of Sexual Offenses: A Two-Country Latent Class Analysis

Pascalle Spaan*, Arjan Blokland, Rembert De Blander, Luc Robert, Eric Maes, Martine Blom, Bouke Wartna

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sexual offenses are often part of a larger criminal career also encompassing nonsexual crimes. However, most sexual offending typologies focus on an individual’s most recent sexual offense. We compare data from Belgian and Dutch national conviction cohorts and use latent class analysis to distinguish groups of individuals based on their history of sexual and nonsexual offenses, considering continuity and variety. The resulting classification is compared between individuals convicted of sexual offenses and individuals convicted of nonsexual offenses. Results show that four latent classes can be distinguished based on continuity and variety in criminal histories of individuals convicted of sexual offenses, and that some of these classes resemble those distinguished among individuals convicted of nonsexual offenses. We find limited overlap between these latent classes and typologies based solely on the index offense. Results show marked similarities across countries. These results challenge theories of sexual offending to incorporate patterns of nonsexual offending.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-451
Number of pages29
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


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