Women who sexually abuse children can be of any age, social class, intellectual ability and marital status, and can be involved in any type of employment. They can perpetrate any form of sexual act and can behave seductively or sadistically towards their victims. Some women behave both seductively and sadistically. (Saradjian 1996, 146)

We have analysed some of the diffi culties and dilemmas experienced by both child-protection workers and child victims concerning women who sexually abuse. Now I want to consider the female perpetrators themselves.