In this paper I will discuss the social problem of sexual abuse against female children. I will discuss child sexual abuse definitions and what is considered sexual abuse and by whom. I will then over the demographics associated with child sexual abuse. I will then go over risk factors as well as the affects the environment can have on a victim. Finally, I will go over the relationship of child sexual abuse and social justice. I will conclude by going over possible interventions.
Keywords: child sexual abuse, female, affects
Sexual Abuse against Female Children In this paper I will be discussing sexual abuse against female children. I will start off by giving two definitions of sexual abuse and then comparing them to Schriver. I will then give demographics about child sexual abuse including the number of cases per year and statistics dealing with, but not limited to, race and gender. I will then discuses the different risk factors that may increase the likely hood of child sexual abuse. Then, I will compare how the environment and society affect a child who has been sexually abused. Finally, I will discuss the ethics behind child sexual abuse. I will conclude by going over possible future intervention needs that can help prevent sexual abuse and help children who have been victims cope.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS, 2010) defines sexual abuse as “sexual acts, sexually motivated behaviors, or sexual exploitation involving children” (DHHS, 2010, para 1). Child sexual abuse can occur in a variety of ways; oral, anal, or genital penile penetration, anal or genital digital or other penetration, genital contact with no intrusion, fondling of a child’s breast or buttocks, indecent exposure, inadequate or inappropriate supervision of a child’s voluntary sexual activities, and use of a child in a prostitution, pornography, internet crimes, or other sexually exploitative activities (DHHS, 2010). According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affair (DVA, 2010), child sexual abuse is defined as “a wide range of sexual behaviors that take place between a child and an older person. These behaviors are meant to arouse the older person in a sexual way” (DVA, 2010, para 1).
Although Schriver does not specifically define child sexual abuse, he does state that sexual abuse against women is strongly correlated to society and it is difficult to live life feeling free from fear (Schriver, 2011). Comparing the definitions from DHHS and DVA to Schriver, it is evident to see that a child having unwanted sexual contact can leave them traumatized and cause them to have the feeling of not being free. I agree with both the definitions given but for two different reasons. The DHHS definition goes in to detail in regards to the different forms of child sexual abuse. This is useful because there is more then one way a child can be sexually abused and knowing all of them is important in order to be aware of a child who may be a victim. On the other hand the DVA discuses who sexually abuses a child and why. This is also important because sexual abuse can be done by anyone, including a parent or a relative. Like the DHHS definition, this too is important in order to spot who is a perpetrator.
The Children’s Bureau (2007) reported that “every year more than six million children are reported to authorities as abused or neglected” (as cited in Wiley, 2009, p. 267). Although child sexual abuse does occur to both boys and girls, most of the time it occurs to girls. Botash (1997) estimated that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have experienced an episode of sexual abuse (as cited in The National Center for Victims of Crime, 2010). The Child Maltreatment (2006) estimated that 905,000 children in the United States were found to be victims of child abuse and neglect. Out of those children 51.5% of the victims were girls. Looking at race, out