chapter  4
34 Pages

Child Sexual Abuse

American history. • Describe child sexual-abuser typologies. • Identify the medical, psychological, and legal consequences of child sex-

ual abuse for victims.

Child sexual abuse refers to a broad spectrum of behaviors in which an adult (and sometimes an older adolescent) engages in inappropriate sex acts with a child. All crimes that involve sexually touching a child, as well as non-contact offenses and sexual exploitation, constitute child sexual abuse. Forms of child sexual abuse include child molestation, child rape/sexual assault, child incestuous abuse, child sexual exploitation (including engaging minor children in child prostitution and child pornography), and indecent exposure to a child (see Focus Box 4.1). Similar to rape, the sexual exploitation of children and young people appears to be a universal phenomenon. Evidence shows that any child or adolescent can be a victim of child sexual abuse (Lalor & McElvaney, 2010). Child sexual abuse often co-occurs with other forms of child maltreatment, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect (Vachon, Krueger, Rogosch, & Cicchetti, 2015).