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Sexual Abuse of Children

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Essay title: Sexual Abuse of Children

Sexual Abuse of Children

Throughout history child sexual abuse has been a major problem plaguing many societies.

Child sexual Abuse has been defined by the text Human Sexuality, as, an adult engaging in sexual contact of any kind with a child- inappropriate touching, oral-genital stimulation, coitus and the like.

*Child sexual abuse is an abuse of power that encompasses many forms of sexual activity between a child or adolescent (most often a girl) and an older person, most often a man or older boy known to the victim.

Even if no overt violence or threats of violence occur, such interaction is considered coercive and illegal because a child is not considered mature enough to provide in formed consent to sexual involvement. Informed consent implies the possession of adequate intellectual and emotional maturity to understand fully both the meaning and possible consequences of a particular action.

Researchers has made a distinction between non-relative & relative child sexual abuse. The first is Pedophilia or child molestation, which is sexual contact between adult and a child who are not related and incest, which is sexual contact between people who are related(one of whom is a child) .

Incest includes sexual contact between siblings, as well as between children and their parents, grandparents, uncles, or aunts. It may occur to related adults, however more commonly it involves a child and an adult relative (or older sibling) perpetrator. Incest is said to be one of the world’s most prohibited sexual behaviour and its definition may vary from culture to culture.

Incest occurs at all socioeconomic levels and is illegal regardless of the ages of the participants. However, an incestuous relationship between consenting adult relatives is less likely to precipitate legal action than the one involving an adult and a child.

Coercive sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a parent often have a devastating impact on the child.

The incestuous involvement of a father (stepfather) often begins before the child understands its significance. It may start as playful activities involving kissing, tickling and touching. Over time the activities may expand to include touching of breasts and genitals, perhaps followed by oral or manual stimulation and intercourse. In most cases, the father relies on his position of authority or the pair’s emotional closeness, rather than physical force to fulfill his desires. He may pressure his daughter into sexual activity by reassuring her that he is “teaching” her something important, by offering rewards, or by exploiting her need for love. Sometimes the mother may aware of the incest but allows it to happen for reasons of her own- that may include shame, fear of reprisals, concern about having her family disrupted, or the fact that incestuous activity allow her to avoid her husbands demand for sex.

Characteristics of Child Sex Offenders

Research has found that non-incestuous child molesters engaged in more deviant behaviour, such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, and sadism that did incestuous ones.

• Child molesters cover the spectrum interms of social class, educational achievement, intelligence, occupation, religion, and race.

• Most pedophilie offenders tend to be shy, lonely, poorly informed about sexuality, and very moralistic or religious.

• Many are likely to have poor interpersonal and sexual relations with other adults and may feel socially inadequate or inferior.

• Pedophilies may be alcoholics, have severe marital

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