Age of onset is an important indicator of criminal career research because it marks the origins of offending. Age of onset literature, focusing on general offending, has been based largely on official data. Little is known about sex offending initiation or cost avoidance. The present study aimed to describe actual and official onset and the gap between in a sample of first-time convicted adult male sex offenders (N = 332). The study aimed to examine the gap between actual and official onset as an indicator of cost avoidance. Actual onset, cost avoidance, and official onset were included in successive nested regression models. The findings revealed an adult onset with substantial heterogeneity in cost avoidance. On average, offenders avoided costs for 7.5 years. Early onset offenders targeting children within the family were the best able to avoid costs. Results will be discussed in terms of the criminal career and criminal achievement.
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Thesis advisor: Lussier, Patrick
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