Date of Award

Summer 6-30-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lesley Reid

Second Advisor

Don Reitzes

Third Advisor

Wendy Simonds

Fourth Advisor

Chet Meeks


This research examines the effect of gender on perpetration characteristics and empathy in a sample of juvenile sex offenders in Massachusetts using feminist criminological and gendered theory perspectives. Through the use of ordered logistic regression, I evaluate whether or not a perpetrator’s gender has an impact on the characteristics of the offense (such as the use of penetration, fellatio, genital touching, or masturbation) or the levels of empathy and remorse experienced by the offender. The results show that gender only has a significant effect on penetrative acts and remains non-significant for the remaining variables. I have concluded that the non-significance of gender lessens the dissimilarities between juvenile male and female offenders, suggesting that the female offenders are less influenced by gendered socialization. Future research should focus less on the differences between boys and girls and more on those variables that are significant: prior victimization, behavior problems, and problems in school.


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