child sexual abuse

Topics: Child abuse, Human sexual behavior, Sexual intercourse, Rape, Sexual abuse / Pages: 5 (1673 words) / Published: Apr 20th, 2014
Child Sexual Abuse
Siping Chen
Laney College
Psych 7A
April 10, 2014

Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse does not have a universal definition. However, a central characteristic of any abuse is the dominant position of an adult that allows him or her to force or coerce a child into sexual activity (American Psychological Association). Yet all offences that involve sexually touching a child, as well as non-touching offenses and sexual exploitation, are just as harmful and devastating to a child’s well-being. Touching sexual offenses, such as fondling; making a child touch an adult’s sexual organs; and penetrating a child’s vagina or anus no matter how slight with a penis or any object that doesn’t have a valid medical purpose. Non-touching sexual offenses include Engaging in indecent exposure or exhibitionism; exposing children to pornographic material; deliberately exposing a child to the act of sexual intercourse; and masturbating in front of a child. Sexual exploitation can include engaging a child or soliciting a child for the purposes of prostitution; and using a child to film, photograph or model pornography (American Humane Association). Irrespective of how childhood sexual abuse is defined it generally has significant negative and pervasive psychological impact on its victims. (p. 33)
The majority of sexual abuse happens in childhood, with incest being the most common form (Courtois, 1996, as cited in Maltz, 2002). Accurate statistics on the prevalence of child and adolescent sexual abuse are difficult to collect because of problems of underreporting and the lack of one definition of what constitutes such abuse. However, there is general agreement among mental health and child protection professionals that child sexual abuse is not uncommon and is a serious problem in the United States. Studies by David Finkelhor (Nursery Crimes, 1988), Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, show that, 1 in 5



References: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics Youth Villages, April 13, 2012

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