Response patterns on the questionnaire on attitudes consistent with sexual offending in groups of sex offenders with intellectual disabilities

William R. Lindsay*, Amanda M. Michie, Elaine Whitefield, Victoria Martin, Alan Grieve, Derek Carson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Background This report employs a recently developed assessment on attitudes consistent with sexual offending [Questionnaire on Attitudes Consistent with Sexual Offences (QACSO)] to compare different groups of sex offenders with intellectual disability. Method Two studies are reported each from a different region and each conducted by different individuals. Study 1 compared 12 sex offenders against adults with 12 offenders against children. The six-scale version of the QACSO was administered including rape and attitudes to women, voyeurism, exhibitionism, dating abuse, homosexual assault and offences against children. Study 2 employed three groups of 10 participants each: offenders against adults, exhibitionists and offenders against children. The seven scale version of the QACSO (stalking added) was used. All questionnaires were administered individually. Results In both studies, the offenders against adults reported higher levels of attitudes consistent with sexual offending in the area of rape and attitudes to women with medium to large effect sizes and a significant difference in study 1. In both studies, offenders against children reported significantly higher levels of cognitive distortions (large effect sizes) in the area of offences against children. Both differences were in the predicted direction and there were no other significant differences on other sections. In general, all three groups reported higher levels of cognitive distortions than non-offenders. Conclusions There would appear to be some specificity particularly for the rape and attitudes to women scale, and the offenders against children scale. The same specificity does not emerge from other scales of the QACSO. The study also lends support to the inclusion of techniques which explore and challenge attitudes consistent with offending both generally and in relation to specific offences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


Cite this