Male and Female Single-Victim Sexual Homicide Offenders: Distinguishing the Types of Weapons Used in Killing Their Victims

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Male and Female Single-Victim Sexual Homicide Offenders: Distinguishing the Types of Weapons Used in Killing Their Victims

Category: Homicide, Men, Women|Journal: Sexual Abuse (full text)|Author: E Beauregard, H Chan, K Heide|Year: 2019

Most studies have focused on male sexual homicide offenders (SHOs) without testing whether sex differences exist. Accordingly, little is known about the distinctions between male and female SHOs, particularly with respect to their use of weapons in killing their victims. This study used a sample of 3,160 single-victim sexual homicide cases (3,009 male and 151 female offenders) from the U.S. Supplementary Homicide Reports database to explore sex differences in the types of murder weapons used by offenders in killing victims over the 37-year period 1976 to 2012. Findings indicated that significantly more male SHOs used personal weapons (43%) and more female SHOs used firearms (63%) in their offense commission. In general, female offenders predominantly used weapons that were physically less demanding (e.g., firearms and edged and other weapons; 89%). Different trends in the murder weapons used by male and female SHOs from different age groups were observed. Interestingly, findings showed that the type of weapon used by SHOs was in part influenced by the victims and their characteristics.

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