Childhood sexual abuse: a reference handbook by Karen L. Kinnear

By Karen L. Kinnear

This quantity deals an summary of kid sexual abuse, summarizing present medical wisdom and historic perspectives in regards to the topic.

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Example text

Over time, the attitude that children were responsible for any sexual abuse they experienced changed to the realization that the adults involved were responsible, not the children. The extent and seriousness of the effects of sexual abuse have also been recognized and studied, from earlier attitudes that little damage was done to a child who was fondled or Page xii otherwise abused to the current understanding that the effects of this abuse can be manifested in many ways and can indeed be serious.

Myth 1: Children often lie about being sexually abused. Many people believe that children make up stories about someone abusing them, arguing that children have vivid imaginations and cannot always tell the difference between fact and fiction. However, several studies have thoroughly dispelled this myth. For example, in 1979, H. B. Cantwell studied approximately 290 cases of alleged sexual abuse in Denver, Colorado, and discovered that only 26 (9 percent) of the cases could not be substantiated (Cantwell 1981).

They study research that has already been conducted, annual surveys, statistics from agencies that receive reports of child abuse, including sexual abuse, and other sources of information to determine whether or not certain specific characteristics or environmental circumstances are consistently present when a child is abused. They attempt to determine a set of characteristics that will help predict the type of child and the environment in which he or she lives that is most conducive to abuse. These risk factors help professionals in their attempts to prevent childhood sexual abuse.

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