• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This book critically reviews research into child sexual abuse (CSA), and provides a concise and clear guide to current knowledge. The topics covered include: the prevalence of CSA; who molests children; the effects of such abuse, both immediate and long term; the risk factors for abuse; and the influences and interventions that may amplify or ameliorate the impact of CSA on the victim. Areas of debate, such as the false memory syndrome, are approached in terms of the research data relevant to their resolution.

Conclusions, Current Controversies, and Future Directions
Conclusions, current controversies, and future directions

The preceding chapters have given an overview of a number of key issues in the area of CSA, including the prevalence of CSA, the social context within which CSA occurs, the characteristics of perpetrators, and the consequences of CSA for adjustment in children and adults. The major conclusions that follow from this analysis may be summarized by the following propositions:

  • Prevalence: Exposure to some form of unwanted sexual experience during childhood is by no means uncommon. Although there is considerable unexplained variability in prevalence estimates, the accumulated evidence suggests that in the region of 15% to 30% of females and 5% to 15% of males report some form of exposure to CSA. However, the prevalence ...
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