To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Transgender sex offenders: gender dysphoria and sexual offending

Kirpal Kaur Sahota (Gender Identity Clinic, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Article publication date: 19 June 2020

Issue publication date: 15 September 2020




Transgender sex offenders are a small, complex and atypical group. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the issues in relationship to the assessment of gender dysphoria in transgender sex offenders and approaches to risk management.


Clinical and research experience as a Gender Specialist and Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist who has managed sex offender populations has informed this publication.


Little is known about the relationship between gender dysphoria and criminality. More research is required to develop a typology of transgender sex offenders and develop actuarial risk instruments. Protective factors in relation to gender affirmative care are also important to understand.

Research limitations/implications

There is little empirical research to guide gender specialists and criminal justice professionals in the management of gender dysphoria and address risk and recidivism in transgender offender populations. The treatment of gender dysphoria could result in improved well-being and better psychosocial adjustment but cannot be relied to reduce future recidivism.

Practical implications

There is no evidence that treatment of gender dysphoria reduces risk and recidivism in transgender sex offenders and that research is required to identify specific gender related dynamic risk factors.

Social implications

Recommendations are directly relevant to the work of prison and probation staff, community supervisors and gender identity specialists.


As far as the author is aware it is the first paper on the assessment and management of gender diverse sex offenders integrating approaches to gender dysphoria assessment and treatment and risk management. It has implication for gender identity specialists, criminal justice professionals, research and policy.



Declaration: There has been no external research funding for this paper. The views expressed in this paper are the authors own. They may not be the views of the Clinic or the NHS Trust. The author is grateful to Dr A. Davies, Consultant Psychiatrist and Gender Specialist at the GIC (London) for comments on an earlier draft.


Sahota, K.K. (2020), "Transgender sex offenders: gender dysphoria and sexual offending", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 255-267.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles