Child sexual abuse

form of child abuse

Child sexual abuse is a kind of child abuse when an adult or someone else with power (can also be a minor of any age) makes a child do any kind of sexual activities.[1] In most cases, the position of power is important. The child is either unwilling or unable to consent. Children below the age of consent are unable to consent. In some cases activities such as kissing and hugging may be included.[2]

A young boy who was sexually abused and murdered, image from about 1910
Drawing showing the sexual abuse of children, from 1909

Sexual abuse does emotional harm to children. Some of the effects do not show right away, and appear when the child has grown up. These effects can include depression,[3] post-traumatic stress disorder,[4] anxiety,[5] borderline personality disorder, a higher chance of later abuse,[6] and physical injury.[7] Suicide is one of the effects with victims being six times more likely to commit suicide and eight times more likely to attempt suicide over and over again throughout their lives.

There are different types of offenders. When a child is sexually abused by a family member, it is called "incest," and causes even more serious long-term psychological trauma than abuse by a stranger, especially when the incest is done by a parent.[8] Child sexual abuse may be committed by pedophiles (adults who are sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children) or by people who are not pedophiles; there are different reports on the number who are or are not pedophiles.[9][10][11]

Child sexual abuse is not rare. Around a quarter of all women and a tenth of all men were sexually abused when they were children.[12][13][14][15] Different places in the world have different rates of child sexual abuse. Disabled children are more likely to be sexually abused than non-disabled children. For most children who are sexually abused, the person who abused them is somebody that they know. Around a third of child sexual abuse is by a relative of the child, most often fathers, uncles or cousins. Only around a tenth of child sexual abuse cases were abused by strangers, and the rest are other people whom the child knows such as friends of the family, babysitters, or neighbors. Men are the offenders in most child sexual abuse; women are the offenders in around 10% of the cases.[12]

References change

  1. Schwartz, Jeffrey H.; Maresca, Bruno (December 2006). "Do Molecular Clocks Run at All? A Critique of Molecular Systematics". Biological Theory. 1 (4): 357–371. doi:10.1162/biot.2006.1.4.357. ISSN 1555-5542. S2CID 28166727. Abuse, sexual (child): generally defined as contacts between a child and an adult or other person significantly older or in a position of power or control over the child, where the child is being used for sexual stimulation of the adult or other person.
  2. Martin, J., Anderson, J., Romans, S., et al. (1993). "Asking about child sexual abuse: methodological implications of a two-stage survey," Child Abuse and Neglect, 17, 383-392.
  3. Roosa M.W., Reinholtz C., Angelini P.J. (1999). "The relation of child sexual abuse and depression in young women: comparisons across four ethnic groups," Archived 2016-01-13 at the Wayback Machine Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 27(1):65-76.
  4. Widom, S. (2007). "A Prospective Investigation of Major Depressive Disorder and Comorbidity in Abused and Neglected Children Grown Up". Archives of General Psychiatry. 64 (1). Dumont K., Czaja, S.: 49–56. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.64.1.49. PMID 17199054.; lay summary
  5. Levitan, R. D., N. A. Rector, Sheldon, T., & Goering, P. (2003). "Childhood adversities associated with major depression and/or anxiety disorders in a community sample of Ontario: Issues of co-morbidity and specificity Archived 2020-03-05 at the Wayback Machine," Depression & Anxiety; 17, 34-42.
  6. Terri L. Messman-Moore & Patricia J. Long, "Child Sexual Abuse and Revictimization in the Form of Adult Sexual Abuse, Adult Physical Abuse, and Adult Psychological Maltreatment Archived 2010-01-11 at the Wayback Machine," 15 Journal of Interpersonal Violence 489 (2000).
  7. Dinwiddie S, Heath AC, Dunne MP, et al. (2000). "Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin-control study." Psychological Medicine, 30:41–52
  8. Courtois, Christine A. (1988). Healing the Incest Wound: Adult Survivors in Therapy. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 208. ISBN 0393313565.
  9. Feelgood S, Hoyer J (2008). "Child molester or paedophile? Sociolegal versus psychopathological classification of sexual offenders against children". Journal of Sexual Aggression. 14 (1): 33–43. doi:10.1080/13552600802133860. S2CID 145471750.
  10. Seto, Michael (2008). Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. p. vii.
  11. Blaney, Paul H.; Millon, Theodore (2009). Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology (Oxford Series in Clinical Psychology) (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press, USA. p. 528. ISBN 978-0-19-537421-6. Some cases of child molestation, especially those involving incest, are committed in the absence of any identifiable deviant erotic age preference.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Julia Whealin, Ph.D. (May 22, 2007). "Child Sexual Abuse". National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, US Department of Veterans Affairs. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved June 5, 2008.
  13. David Finkelhor (Summer–Fall 1994). "Current Information on the Scope and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse" (PDF). The Future of Children. (1994) 4(2): 31-53.
  14. "Family Research Laboratory". Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2008-06-05.
  15. Gorey, Kevin M.; Leslie, Donald R. (April 1997). "The prevalence of child sexual abuse: Integrative review adjustment for potential response and measurement biases". Child Abuse & Neglect. 21 (4): 391–398. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(96)00180-9. PMID 9134267.

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