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Epidemiology of child sexual abuse

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Based on a literature review of 23 studies, Goldman & Padayachi found that the prevalence of child sexual abuse varied between 7-62% for girls and 4-30% for boys.[1] A meta-analytic study by Rind, Tromovitch, and Bauserman found that reported prevalence of abuse for males ranged from 3% to 37%, and for females from 8% to 71% with mean rates of 17% and 28% respectively.[2] Berl Kutchinsky argues that most prevalence rates are overexaggerated and claim that the real prevalence of child sexual abuse may be as low as 1-2%.[3] A study on incest in Finland between fathers and daughters found prevalence rates of 0.2% for biological fathers and 0.5% for step-fathers.[4] Others argue that prevalence rates are much higher, and that many cases of child abuse are never reported. One study found that professionals failed to report approximately 40% of the child sexual abuse cases they encountered[5] A study by Lawson & Chaffin indicated that many children who were sexually abused were "identified solely by a physical complaint that was later diagnosed as a veneral disease...Only 43% of the children who were diagnosed with verneral disease made a verbal disclosure of sexual abuse during the initial interview."[6]

In US schools, according to the US Department of Education.[7], "nearly 9.6% of students are targets of educator sexual misconduct sometime during their school career." In studies of student sex abuse by male and female educators, male students were reported as targets in ranges from 23% to 44%.[7] In U.S. school settings same-sex (female and male) sexual misconduct against students by educators "ranges from 18-28% or reported cases, depending on the study"[8]

Significant underreporting of sexual abuse of boys by both women and men is believed to occur due to sex steoreotyping, social denial, the minimization of male victimization, and the relative lack of research on sexual abuse of boys.[9] Sexual victimization of boys by their mothers or other female relatives is especially rarely researched or reported. Sexual abuse of girls by their mothers, and other related and/or unrelated adult females is beginning to be researched and reported despite the highly taboo nature of female-female child sex abuse. In studies where students are asked about sex offenses, they report higher levels of female sex offenders than found in adult reports.[10] This under-reporting has been attributed to cultural denial of female-perpetrated child sex abuse[11], because "males have been socialized to believe they should be flattered or appreciative of sexual interest from a female"[12] and because female sexual abuse of males is often seen as 'desirable' and/or beneficial by judges, mass media pundits and other authorities.[13]



See alsoEdit

References & BibliographyEdit

  1. Juliette D. G. Goldman and Usha, K. Padayachi, "Some Methodological Problems in Estimating Incidence and Prevalence in Child Sexual Abuse Research". Journal of Sex Research, Nov, 2000[1]
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rind
  3. Kutchinsky, B. (1992). The Child Sexual Abuse Panic. Nordisk Sexologi 10 (1) 30, 1992.
  4. Sariola, H. & Uutela, A. (1996). The prevalence and context of incest abuse in Finland. Child Abuse & Neglect, Volume 20, Issue 9, September 1996, Pages 843-850.
  5. Keuhnle, K., Assessing Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse, Professional Resources Press, Sarastota, FL, 1996
  6. pg7., In. Keuhnle, K., Assessing Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse, Professional Resources Press, Sarastota, FL, 1996
  7. 7.0 7.1 Shakeshaft, C, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature", U.S. Department of Education, 2004
  8. Shakeshaft, C, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature", U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p26.
  9. Watkins, B. & Bentovim, A. (1992). The sexual abuse of male children and adolescents: a review of current research. Journal of Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry, 33(10), 197-248 [2]
  10. Shakeshaft, C, "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature", U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p22.
  11. Denov, Myriam S. (2004) "Perspectives on Female Sex Offending: A Culture of Denial"
  12. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Shakeshaft25
  13. Young, Kathy, "Double Standards: The Bias Against Male Victims of Sexual Abuse", 2002, Reasononline

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