Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Proceedings of the North American Correctional & Criminal Justice Psychology Conference


Public Safety Canada

Publication Date


First Page


Last Page



The sexual victimization of women remains an endemic social, criminal, and public health problem. Much research has sought to identify risk and protective factors related to the sexual victimization of women so that prevention and intervention strategies can be more informed and targeted. Modern criminology has recognized the heterogeneous nature of many criminal behaviors in terms of their etiology, offender-, offense-, and victim-related characteristics. Such an approach has been labeled criminal profiling or criminal investigative analysis and yields richer information about the nature of crime than reliance on aggregate statistics (Hazelwood & Burgess, 2001). Knight (1999, p. 304) stated that understanding the taxometric structure of a deviant population is the ‘keystone to theory building and the cornerstone of intervention’. One area where our understanding of the heterogeneity of criminal behavior is lacking is the offenderoffense- victim triad in cases of sexual victimization. Marshall (1997) identified the reduction of heterogeneity among sexual offenders into manageable proportions as a priority research area. Unfortunately, this challenge has largely been met with little to no empirical effort.