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Child Abuse Negl. 1995 Dec;19(12):1457-68.

Unwanted and illegal sexual experiences in childhood and adolescence.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX 78284-7808, USA.

Abstract

Three hundred forty-two anonymous surveys regarding unwanted sexual experiences (USE) were filled out in three clinic sites: a pediatric sexual abuse clinic, family practice clinic, and family planning clinic. In the latter two clinics, 40% of females and 16% of males had at least one unwanted sexual experience prior to turning 18 years old. Only 91% of the sexual abuse clinic patients indicated their experience was unwanted. In addition, 27% of the subjects had wanted sexual experiences that were illegal and underreported: These experiences involved a partner at least 4 years older or younger. While feelings of victimization were most common, self-blame and naivete about the abuse were also frequently reported, especially in those who had an USE with a peer. Ambivalence, self-blame, and peer pressure were associated with a lower tendency to disclose one's USE. Although unwanted and illegal sexual experiences were less common in Hispanic females, feelings of self-blame and ambivalence regarding their USE were more frequent in comparison with White females. These findings have important investigative and therapeutic implications for professionals who encounter victims of sexual abuse.

PMID:
8777696
DOI:
10.1016/0145-2134(95)00094-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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