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In the battle against family sexual abuse, most studies and research findings have examined the problem on a national level--but what about the studies that have been done at the local level? With contributions from practitioners and researchers, Family Sexual Abuse deftly explores the results of eleven research projects covering such issues as sibling incest, the background of sexual offenders, effects of sexual abuse on children, effects of offender removal from the home, effects of reunification, and the prognosis for incest offenders after treatment. While large, national studies provide information on major trends in family sexual abuse, this five-year look at Minnesota studies reflects the real impact of interventions in the context of local practitioners dealing with local problems. As such, these studies clearly demonstrate ...

Taking Sibling Incest Seriously
Taking sibling incest seriously
Michael J.O'Brien

There has been an explosion of publications over the past two decades on the subject of family sexual abuse, reflecting society's awareness and recognition of a problem previously hidden behind a cultural veil of denial, secrecy, and disbelief. While the literature has focused most attention on father-daughter incest, there is general agreement that the most prevalent type of incestuous behavior occurs between siblings (Finkelhor, 1980; Lindzey, 1967). Despite its prevalence, however, sexual behavior between siblings is often regarded as mere “sex play” that is exploratory, mutually consenting, mutually enjoyable, and benign in its effects on later psychological, social, or sexual development. Consequently, the research literature on family sexual abuse has largely ignored sibling incest, dismissing it as ...

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