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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 199839 Find in a Library
Title: Providing Sexual Education to Victims of Child Sexual Abuse: What Is a Clinician to Do?
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:2002  Pages:1-26
Author(s): Samuel A. Rubenzahl; Brenda O. Gilbert
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 26
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines how sexual education is presented to sexually abused children as part of their treatment and whether the predominant educational method is effective in improving knowledge, changing behavior, and decreasing negative feelings about sexuality.
Abstract: Although there is a large body of knowledge regarding childhood sexual abuse and the treatments available to aid in recovery, there is scant information about how sexual education should be presented to sexually abused children. Despite this lack of knowledge about appropriate educational methods, most agencies specializing in the treatment of sexually abused children incorporate sexual education as part of the treatment process. Furthermore, previous research has indicated that sexual education is of vital importance in the recovery process because child victims of sexual abuse often develop negative emotional associations with sexual activity. As such, the authors designed a nationwide survey of agencies who treat sexually abused children to determine first, how they present sexual education and second, whether the sexual education of sexually abused children is effectively improving knowledge and changing negative emotional associations about sexual activity. Utilizing the Total Design Method, 70 agencies nationwide completed mailed questionnaires regarding their treatment and sexual education of sexually abused victims. Results indicate that all 70 agencies believe that sexual education is an important aspect of the recovery process and offer this education as a component of their treatment. A variety of educational methods are employed by the agencies, including written materials, videos, and illustrations. In terms of its’ effectiveness, none of the 70 agencies reported negative or harmful consequences of their sexual education and most agencies reported that their educational process was “somewhat effective” to “moderately effective.” Limitations of the study include the fact that there was no objective study of the effectiveness of the sexual education. Rather, the authors collected agency opinions of their effectiveness. Future research should objectively examine the effectiveness of different types of sexual education in reducing negative associations with sexual activity. References, appendix
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Education; Sexually abused adolescents; Treatment effectiveness
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