Sibling incest offenders as a subset of adolescent sex offenders

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Rayment-McHugh, S & Nisbet, IA 2003, 'Sibling incest offenders as a subset of adolescent sex offenders', in Child sexual abuse : justice response or alternative resolution: Proceedings of Australian Institute of Criminology Conference, Adelaide, SA, 1-2 May, Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra, ACT.

Paper is available online at http://www.aic.gov.au/events/aic%20upcoming%20events/2003/abuse.aspx


There is a growing body of literature on sibling incest offenders. Previous studies have shown that harm caused by sibling sexual abuse parallels that inflicted by fathers and step-fathers and that sibling incest offenders typically perpetrate greater numbers of offence incidents, over a longer period of time than other adolescent sexual offenders. However, despite such research highlighting the serious nature of sibling sexual abuse, sexual assault perpetrated by siblings is often viewed as somehow less serious than other forms of child sexual abuse. This study will compare a sample of Queensland sibling incest offenders with other adolescent sexual offenders on a number of dimensions including offence dynamics, family background and psychological profile. Discussion will focus on the implications of these research finding, including challenges for the professional systems in responding to sibling sexual abuse.