The Emotional Experience behind Sexually Offending in Context: Affective States before, during, and after Crime Events

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Objectives: The current study focused on the role of affective states in adult
sexual offending. We look at the prevalence of a range of affective states
throughout sexual crime events. We break down the crime event into
three stages—immediately before, during, and after the offense. We examine
transitions of affective states—stage by stage—but also across victims.
Finally, we investigate the impact of situational factors on affective states.
Method: The sample consisted of a total of 553 adult males who had been
convicted of a sexual offense. Self-report data on sexual crime events were
collected from these offenders. Apart from descriptive and bivariate analysis,
“affective state-switching patterns” are investigated through transition
1 School of Criminology and Criminal Justice and Griffith Criminology Institute, Griffith University,
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
2Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), Amsterdam, the
3 Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen K, Denmark
Corresponding Author:
Benoit Leclerc, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Mt Gravatt
Campus, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, Australia.
Journal of Research in Crime and
ª The Author(s) 2017
Reprints and permission:
DOI: 10.1177/0022427817743783
matrices. Results: Findings show large variations in affective states before,
during, and after the offense but show little variation across victims. Alcohol
usage and offender–victim relationship were related to affective states of
offenders. Conclusions: We conclude that the found association between
affective states and decision-making of sexual offenders calls for more
research on within crime event variations especially, and future research
should focus on causal mechanisms related to affective states
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)242-277
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - sexual offending, affective states, sexual crime events, offender decisionmaking, emotions

ID: 222753431