Saturday, September 12, 2015

Rationally Irrational: The Case of Sexual Burglary

The present study investigated rationality in sexually motivated burglaries. Specifically, we analyzed the situational cues identified by sexual burglars in their target selection. The research project investigated 224 individual incidents of residential burglary with apparent sexual motivations. Situational characteristics of the incidents were recorded and analyzed using forward sequential regressions. 

Results indicated that most sexually motivated burglaries occurred in occupied residences with deficient physical guardianship, when the victim was alone. Violence, theft, penetration, and fetishism were found to be committed in circumstances that increased the benefits and lowered the risks. Results showed that sexual burglary is rational in nature-sexual burglars chose residences that were easy to break into. We found little support for the premise that such opportunities arose while carrying out regular burglaries. Instead, the data indicated that sexual burglars acted opportunistically on situational cues that are markedly dissimilar to those of regular burglars.


By: Pedneault A1Beauregard E2Harris DA3Knight RA4.
  • 1Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.
  • 3San Jose State University, CA, USA.
  • 4Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA.

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