Child sexual abuse

Child sexual abuse, also called child molestation, is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.[1][2] Forms of child sexual abuse include engaging in sexual activities with a child (whether by asking or pressuring, or by other means), indecent exposure (of the genitals, female nipples, etc.), child grooming, and child sexual exploitation,[3][4][5] including using a child to produce child pornography.[1][6][7]

Child sexual abuse can occur in a variety of settings, including home, school, or work (in places where child labor is common). Child marriage is one of the main forms of child sexual abuse; UNICEF has stated that child marriage "represents perhaps the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls".[8] The effects of child sexual abuse can include depression,[9] post-traumatic stress disorder,[10] anxiety,[11] complex post-traumatic stress disorder,[12] propensity to further victimization in adulthood,[13] and physical injury to the child, among other problems.[14] Sexual abuse by a family member is a form of incest and can result in more serious and long-term psychological trauma, especially in the case of parental incest.[15]

The global prevalence of child sexual abuse has been estimated at 19.7% for females and 7.9% for males.[16] Most sexual abuse offenders are acquainted with their victims; approximately 30% are relatives of the child, most often brothers, fathers, uncles, or cousins;[17] around 60% are other acquaintances, such as "friends" of the family, babysitters, or neighbors; strangers are the offenders in approximately 10% of child sexual abuse cases.[18] Most child sexual abuse is committed by men; studies on female child molesters show that women commit 14% to 40% of offenses reported against boys and 6% of offenses reported against girls.[18][19][20]

The word pedophile is commonly applied indiscriminately to anyone who sexually abuses a child,[21] but child sexual offenders are not pedophiles unless they have a strong sexual interest in prepubescent children.[22][23] Under the law, child sexual abuse is often used as an umbrella term describing criminal and civil offenses in which an adult engages in sexual activity with a minor or exploits a minor for the purpose of sexual gratification.[7][24] The American Psychological Association states that "children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults", and condemns any such action by an adult: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior."[25]

  1. ^ a b "Child Sexual Abuse". Medline Plus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. 2008-04-02.
  2. ^ "Guidelines for psychological evaluations in child protection matters. Committee on Professional Practice and Standards, APA Board of Professional Affairs". The American Psychologist. 54 (8): 586–593. August 1999. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.8.586. PMID 10453704. 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.
  3. ^ Williams, Mike (2019). "The NSPCC's Protect & Respect child sexual exploitation programme: a discussion of the key findings from programme implementation and service use" (PDF). National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 March 2019. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  4. ^ Williams, Mike (March 2019). "Evaluation of the NSPCC's Protect & Respect child sexual exploitation one-to-one work" (PDF). National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  5. ^ Williams, Mike (March 2019). "Evaluation of the NSPCC's Protect & Respect Child Sexual Exploitation Group Work Service" (PDF). National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  6. ^ Martin J, Anderson J, Romans S, Mullen P, O'Shea M (1993). "Asking about child sexual abuse: methodological implications of a two stage survey". Child Abuse & Neglect. 17 (3): 383–92. doi:10.1016/0145-2134(93)90061-9. PMID 8330225.
  7. ^ a b "What is sexual abuse?". NSPCC. Archived from the original on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  8. ^ "UNICEF" (PDF). unicef.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2019-10-10. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  9. ^ Cite error: The named reference Roosa was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  10. ^ Cite error: The named reference widom was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference levitan was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  12. ^ Roth, Susan; Newman, Elana; Pelcovitz, David; Van Der Kolk, Bessel; Mandel, Francine S. (1997). "Complex PTSD in victims exposed to sexual and physical abuse: Results from the DSM-IV field trial for posttraumatic stress disorder". Journal of Traumatic Stress. 10 (4): 539–55. doi:10.1002/jts.2490100403. PMID 9391940.
  13. ^ Cite error: The named reference Messman-Moore was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  14. ^ Cite error: The named reference dinw was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  15. ^ Courtois, Christine A. (1988). Healing the incest wound: adult survivors in therapy. New York: Norton. p. 208. ISBN 978-0-393-31356-7.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference pereda was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ "Raising Awareness About Sexual Abuse: Facts and Statistics". NSOPW. Archived from the original on 2019-03-10. Retrieved 18 October 2017.
  18. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Whealin was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  19. ^ Cite error: The named reference Finkelhor1994 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  20. ^ Dube SR, Anda RF, Whitfield CL, et al. (June 2005). "Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim". American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 28 (5): 430–438. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.189.5033. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.01.015. PMID 15894146.
  21. ^ Cite error: The named reference ames was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  22. ^ Cite error: The named reference barbaree-seto was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ The Sexual Exploitation of Children Archived November 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Chart 1: Definitions of Terms Associated With the Sexual Exploitation (SEC) and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) (p. 4), University of Pennsylvania Center for Youth Policy Studies, U.S. National Institute of Justice, August 2001.
  25. ^ "APA Letter to the Honorable Rep. DeLay (R-Tx)" (Press release). American Psychological Association. June 9, 1999. Archived from the original on October 10, 1999. Retrieved 2009-03-08.