The Science of Child Sexual Abuse

  title={The Science of Child Sexual Abuse},
  author={Jennifer J. Freyd and Frank W Putnam and Thomas D. Lyon and Kathryn A. Becker-Blease and Ross E. Cheit and Nancy B. Siegel and Kathy Pezdek},
  pages={501 - 501}
Child sexual abuse (CSA) involving sexual contact between an adult and a child has been reported by approximately 20% of women and 5 to 10% of men worldwide. A history of CSA leads to serious mental and physical health problems, substance abuse, and criminality in adulthood. Scientific study of CSA is currently underfunded, obscured by contentious forensic controversy, and fragmented by discipline. From public health, economic, ethical, and scientific perspectives, the authors of this Policy… 

Emotional Disturbances and Child Sexual Abuse: A Psychosocial Perspective

Child abuse has many forms: physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, and exploitation. Any of these that are potentially or actually harmful to a child's health, survival, dignity and development are

Preventing Sexual Abuse of Children in the Twenty-First Century: Preparing for Challenges and Opportunities

The scope and consequences of child sexual abuse are described and child-focused personal safety educational programs designed to prevent sexual victimization are critiques.

Clinical investigation of child sexual abuse

For younger victims, the time interval from attack to hospital visitis was more prolonged, and the absence of physical findings and laboratory findings was more common in younger children than in those in adolescence.

Veracity for children in pediatric forensics

The role of the sexual assault nurse examiner, and the challenges in applying the ethical concept of veracity when caring for these young victims is examined, using vignettes based on actual situations.

Testing the “Sexually Abused-Abuser Hypothesis” in Adolescents: A Population-Based Study

Reducing exposure to non-contact sexual abuse (like Internet-based sexual exploitation) should become a new area of sexual violence prevention in youths.

Update on child physical abuse, sexual abuse, and prevention

Current clinician training in child maltreatment is inadequate and research into effective education of clinicians and program effectiveness is plainly needed, and should be supported by increased funding.

Child sexual abuse: Raising awareness and empathy is essential to promote new public health responses

Using an ecological model comprising individual, institutional, and societal dimensions, it is proposed that two preconditions for progress are the enhancement of awareness of child sexual abuse and of empathic responses towards its victims.

Understanding the Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Women's Sexuality

The relationship between child sexual abuse and adult sexual functioning is well-established. Given the documented high incidence of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and negative consequences for adult...

Attachment and Adolescent Offending: An Examination of the Links between Sexually Abusive Behavior and the Level of Attachment to Parents and Peers

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is recognized as a public health problem with consequences affecting all levels of the ecological model. In recent years it has been recognized that up to 40% of reported

Child Sexual Abuse Myths: Attitudes, Beliefs, and Individual Differences

Child sexual abuse myths comprise incorrect beliefs regarding sexual abuse, victims, and perpetrators. Relations among myth acceptance, responses to disclosure, legal decisions, and victims'



Methodological issues in the study of sexual abuse effects.

  • J. Briere
  • Psychology
    Journal of consulting and clinical psychology
  • 1992
The findings have been helpful in informing social policy and guiding mental health practice, but many of these studies have used correlational designs and retrospective reports of abuse.

Current information on the scope and nature of child sexual abuse.

Overall, there is little evidence to suggest that either the child welfare system or the criminal justice system abandons its usual standards of operation and acts hysterically when confronted with sexual abuse.

Criminal consequences of childhood sexual victimization.

Child sexual abuse and subsequent psychopathology: results from the National Comorbidity Survey.

CSA, whether alone or in a larger adversity cluster, is associated with substantial increased risk of subsequent psychopathology, and this study examined the relationship between child sexual abuse and subsequent onset of psychiatric disorders.

Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse: A Corrective Metanalysis

The results suggested that child sexual abuse is a problem of epidemic proportions in North American populations and the number of screen questions, the size of the sample, and the year in which the prevalence study was done significantly affect the stated prevalence.

Ten-year research update review: child sexual abuse.

  • F. Putnam
  • Psychology
    Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • 2003
Preliminary research indicates that CBT is effective for some symptoms, but longitudinal follow-up and large-scale "effectiveness" studies are needed, as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy of the child and a nonoffending parent.

A Prospective Study of Memory for Child Sexual Abuse

Failure to report CSA should not necessarily be interpreted as evidence that the abuse is inaccessible to memory, although inaccessibility or forgetting cannot be ruled out in a subset of cases.

Association between self-reported childhood sexual abuse and adverse psychosocial outcomes: results from a twin study.

Self-reported CSA was associated with increased risk for adverse outcomes, controlling for family background, and Discordant pair analysis seems to provide an effective means of controlling forfamily background risk factors.

Early sexual abuse and lifetime psychopathology: a co-twin–control study

The association between CSA and psychopathology arises at least in part through the influence of shared familial factors on both risk of victimization and risk of psychopathology.

Revictimization and Self-Harm in Females Who Experienced Childhood Sexual Abuse

Lifetime trauma histories were ascertained for females with confirmed histories of childhood sexual abuse and comparison females participating in a longitudinal, prospective study, finding sexual revictimization was positively correlated with posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms (PTSD), peritraumatic dissociation, and sexual preoccupation.