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Running head: CHILD SEX ABUSE

A 5 Pages Term Paper on Child Sex Abuse

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Child Sex Abuse

     Child sex abuse is one of the most hate able crimes in the human history, because this perpetration   not only gives birth to ever lasting suffering and pain to the victim personally but his/her families are also the victim and they have to bear the impacts of the disaster through out their lives. The most fatal consequence of abusing a child is that the child himself doesn’t know how to describe what has happened to him and this confusion results in the shape of frustration and violence. Specially when these victims enter the phase of adolescence and realize what had happened to them in the past, they feel insult and humiliation, many of the suicide attempts undertaken by the college students are found out to be victims of sex abuse in their childhood, regardless by their teachers of carers or even by stepfathers and mothers.

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What Is Child Sex Abuse

     Different researchers have given different view in defining the term and this resulted in the difference in the statistics also. There are basically four factors (Juliette,2000) which have to be to considered before sexual experience can be regarded as sexual abuse. These include how sexual contact is defined; whether noncontact sexual events such as exhibitionism, pornography, or sexual invitation is included; whether all wanted and unwanted sexual experiences or just unwanted sexual experiences are included; and whether an age differential is employed between the victim and the perpetrator.

     But some researchers did not include sexual abuse by their peers (e.g., Finkelhor, 1979, 1984; Fromuth, 1983)while other writers did include this form of activity in their definition(Russell, 1984; Siegel et al, 1987; Wyatt, 1985). A group of researchers only enlisted the cases of contact sexual abuse (Bagley & Ramsay, 1986; Briere & Runtz, 1988;)but other writers also concentrated on noncontact abuse (Badgley et al., 1984; Goldman & Padayachi, 1997; Kinsey et al., 1953).Basically there are five to six levels of definitions. There are five categories in the five-level definitions given, no sexual abuse, contact molestation, coercion, attempted rape, and rape.  The six-level definition included the additional category of noncontact molestation, and broadened the definition of contact molestation.

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Definition of a Child

     Now the word child is used in a variety of perspectives in different parts of the world but when considering the United States the term is normally used for all the youngsters who are younger than 18 years but here also different researchers have different perspectives. Some researchers (Juliette, 2000) have stated that the victim needs to be younger than 18 years of age, since 18 is often the age of legal consent in the United States (e.g. Badgley et al., 1984; Russell, 1984; Wyatt, 1985). While other writers who have used younger age demarcations for their research which relatively is one of the rare cases and effected occurrence rate.

Psychological Effects of Child Sex Abuse

     When a child is abused sexually it is the most distressing event of his early childhood and deprives him/her from the golden days of innocence and freedom which is the natural right of every child in the world, but a callous person got involved and robbed every thing away which indeed is a hateful crime. The Psychological effect is much profound then imagined as a little girl abused by her step father when asked whether he hurt her or not she replied softly ”Yes, in my heart.” Many of the victims often develop shocking and traumatic reactions and exhibit depression and anxiety and well as their potential of social relatedness are seriously disturbed. (Briere  and Runtz, 1993). Over time, the experience of early childhood trauma may correlate with lasting emotional problems and a variety of dysfunctional behaviors (Boudewyn and Liem, 1995). These problems can result into emotional problems and conduct of dysfunctional activities and some times victims may hurt themselves or others physically, the most dangerous of which is the attempt of sex abuse on their youngsters, murder, and suicide(Bryant and Range, 1995; Peters and Range, 1995). A persistent theme (William, 2001) of research on college students focuses on the traumas that lead to victimization and self destructive behavior (Bryant and Range, 1995). There is a vast literature on suicide among college students. Most of the studies describe the epidemiology of suicide (Schwartz, 1990; and Silverman, 1993). In addition to studying the incidence and distribution of suicide, psychologists place their emphasis upon cognitions (Briere and Runtz, 1993) and related emotional states (Yama et al., 1995). Social research has found suicide connected with disturbed social relationships (Conte and Schuerman, 1987).

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     Many violence making persons can be traced out as the victims of abuse in their childhood and this experience enhances the feeling of insecurity among them and they setout for revenge doesn’t matter who the victim is . Provokes them they often impersonate their abusers and start doing the same job of which they were once a victim. We cannot blame them for their cruelty because every child is born innocent and if not disturbed then it is very rare that with out any motive he will decide to become an abuser. So when the abused child grows up he becomes aware the injustice he had suffered and learns to act unjustly with others in any shape and form, by misbehaving, theft, robbery, murder etc. But fortunately if he manages to surmount the pain than the reaction is strong hatred against injustice and starts his personal and social crusade against social injustice.

Child Sex Abuse by Parents

     The most devious incident for a child is to be by his own parents because these cases were very rare in the middle of the 20th century that’s why many writers didn’t concerned on this matter but the recent studies have given us frequent examples of these activities. Sexually abused children often starts sensitively disturbed marriage, while other start believing that love means sex and as a result their marriages are failed in the beginning. They not only treat each other as sex satisfaction objects but start treating their own children in the same manner. Many child sex abusers are found to be sexually abused by their parents. It is really a devious circle. Some times neglect or deprivation of parents love compels these youngsters to other man or woman where they can be easily abused sexually.

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Lower Rate of Sexually Abused Boys<

     The results and statistics in the clinical studies show that the rate of male children reported to be sexually abused is relatively low. The majority of the researcher reported that sexual abuse of boys is fewer than 16%.exept Landis, 1956 who reported a predominating rate of 30%. But there is thinking that only small ratios of actually abused boys have reported resulting the confusion that boys sex abuse rate is considerably less than that of girls (Finkelhor, 1981, 1984; Pierce & Pierce, 1985).

     But now a growing numbers of writers have started to recognize that the sexual abusing cases of boys are underreported (Briggs & Hawkins, 1995).These writers has given several reasons for the justification of this low rate. Some say that boys are different than that of girls, they are socialized to be strong and independent and do not express their feelings to others. They are also afraid of being exposed to others of their weaknesses and feel humiliated. This could be a possible reason why males do not report their sexual experiences to others. While another known barrier for the males to report is the fear that they will be called homosexuals.

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Predominance of Male Perpetrator

     The majority of cases detected have male adults performing the job of abusing their under-age partners sexually and they have preponderated in the issue. Whatever methodology employed, research studies of different authors show that the majority of the abusers are males(NCCAN, 1981). This male dominion has aroused questions about the motives and fact behind this communal attitude of males. There are several explanations given to solve this problem by different writers (Finkelhor & Russell, 1984; Gilgun, 1991; Goldman & Goldman, 1988a; Goldman & Padayachi, 1997).Gilgun explains that sex role socialization is the major factor that contributes in the development of sexually abusing attitude and behavior towards children. Because men are socialized to be forceful and insistent, they think that their masculinity cannot be accomplished unless they have some sexual conquest and have assertiveness (Gilgun, 1991). Gilgun has interrogated with 45 subjects during her research out of which 36 were males. She reported that out of 36 males 15 were involved in perpetrating children sexually, many of them were those who were themselves abuses in their childhood. Gilgun says that none of the convicted criminals admitted that they shared their emotions to any one. Men are always reluctant to disclose their emotions because they try to imitate their annoyance, dissatisfaction, and unresolved emotions physically and sexually.

Female Perpetrators

     In the near past it was considered that women generally does not abuse children sexually, but recent studies in the topic has disclosed that there is a considerable existence of female abusers of the children. (Goldman & Goldman, 1988a; Goldman & Padayachi, 1997).  According to Russell and Finkelhor (1984), the available data in the United States reveals that 24% of female victims and 13% of male victims were sexually abused by females, as well as their self-report studies depicts different statistics, it reveals that nearly 27% of male victims were abused by women in their childhood, but on the contrary Fritz et al. (1981) has says that 60% of boys were abused by female perpetrators. But Russell and Finkelhor rejected this report and declared it as a misconception or error in calculation.

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     Speaking about the female victims only 10% of the total of the self-reported victims admitted that they were abused by women leaving one exceptional case in which Bell and Weinberg,(1981)reported that 22% of the interrogated lesbians reported that they were sexually abused by other women in early childhood but this is significantly higher as  compared to other studies with heterosexual samples. Another study conducted by Finkelhor, Williams, Burns, and Kalinowski (1988) indicated high incidence of female perpetrators. They studies levels of sexual abuse in a day care setting and they came to know that 40% of the abusers were females. Possibly this was due to low presence of male workers in day care centers (Juliette, 2000). These outputs of recent research are completely converse to long-held misconception that women do not sexually abuse children.

How to Prevent Child Sex Abuse

     Today in the United States every body is concerned about the safety and security of the children, every researcher on the psychology of child abusers have given some suggestions to counter the problem and prevent happening further incidents, but unfortunately we do not the tangible results of these efforts taken by the government or social organizations. Any child does not know legal problems; he/she only knows that he cannot trust any body in his whole life. This is the mental and Psychological homicide of our new generation so serious efforts should be taken to check this crime. Given are some of the suggestions.

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     The sexual abuse of children is a crime and perpetrators should be treated as criminals and should not given any mercy unless mental disorder is authentically proved.   The first, primary and predominant priority in cases of child sexual abuse is protection of the child because he is the direct victim of the crime and may also be physically wounded and in some cases these wounds could be fatal and result in the death of the victim. All issues of "family unit treatment" must be resolved in favor of the child's emotional, psychological, and physical safety because if these problems are not resolve yet than they will generate profound effects on the future of the child and he/she may react violently in the form of suicide. A social worker charged with protection of the child and simultaneous rehabilitation of the offender is a professional schizophrenic. Professionals must begin to distinguish between abusers who simply never learned to be parents and those who exploit a power relationship with their own children for personal sexual gratification and/or profit, just because these people doesn’t keep their responsibilities despite being an indulgent father or mother they abuse and destroy their children for an their own pleasure . Sexual abuse has profound consequences for its victims. And untreated child sexual abuse has a predicable range of fallout including delinquency, drug abuse, suicide, and mental illness. Identification, treatment, and follow up of cases of child sexual abuse cannot be limited to a single agency. All agencies, from day care centers to schools to social services to probation to mental health, must participate jointly in a consortium model to provide services (Andrew Vachss, 1985).

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In the Case Of Failure

     Failure to implement these (and other) recommendations for specific change means business as usual. And business as usual in the child protective field means that the production lines will keep punching out the horribly impaired products of child sexual abuse: children who act out in delinquency and violence, children who act in with suicide, drug abuse, and kiddies prostitution, and children who act crazy by fleeing into the dark realm of insanity or multiple personality. Each undiagnosed and untreated child victim of sexual abuse is nothing more than a self-destruct mechanism masquerading as a human being. And when they implode or explode, they not only injure themselves and others, they pass judgment on us all.

     Many (perhaps well meaning, perhaps not) individuals have stated that the current emphasis on child sexual abuse may degenerate into a "Salem Witch Hunt." That's not very likely. In Salem, there were no witches (Andrew Vachss, 1985).

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Andrew Vachss (1985) Crimes against Children Practical Applications of a Moral Imperative, on-line article http://www.vachss.com/av_dispatches/disp_8500_a.html

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