Successful risk management within child protection is problematic and in many cases is a delicate balancing act between parental and children’s rights. Reversing the expected gender roles creates a dynamic that may increase the difficulties of risk assessment even further. This paper focuses on women who sexually abuse children and discusses the particular problems relating to the assessment of risk in professional practice. The data was gathered in the UK and drawn from a series of qualitative interviews with child protection professionals, including 3 police officers, 2 lawyers, 15 social workers, 6 probation officers, 8 health workers and 11 counsellors. The interview data have identified some links between the gendered assumptions and the rationales used by professionals to explain the abusive behaviour.