skip navigation


Abstract Database

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

To download this abstract, check the box next to the NCJ number then click the "Back To Search Results" link. Then, click the "Download" button on the Search Results page. Also see the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 205560 Find in a Library
Title: Relationship Between the Transverse Hymenal Orifice Diameter by the Separation Technique and Other Possible Markers of Sexual Abuse
Journal: Child Abuse & Neglect  Volume:25  Issue:8  Dated:August 2001  Pages:1109-1120
Author(s): Daniel M. Ingram; V. D. Everett; David L. Ingram
Date Published: August 2001
Page Count: 12
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the ability of the transverse diameter of the hymenal orifice (THOD), as measured by separation technique, to distinguish between three groups of girls: one including those with a history of vaginal penetration; one composed of those who had a high risk of sexual contact based on the history, physical examination, and laboratory studies; and a group thought to be at low risk for sexual contact.
Abstract: The study population consisted of 1,975 of the 2,058 consecutive girls evaluated for sexual abuse by the WakeMed Child Sexual Abuse Team (CSAT) in Raleigh, NC, over the 10-year period from May 1988 through May 1998. The method used to measure the THOD was the separation technique with enough labial traction to maximize the hymenal orifice. Linear regression was performed to assess how well the THOD, as measured by the separation technique, distinguished between the three risk groups. The study found that the size of the THOD did not distinguish between the three risk groups, nor did it correlate with any potential or established markers of sexual abuse other than three potential markers of hymenal trauma, namely, the narrowing of the posterior hymenal rim, hymenal tears and lacerations, and hymenal cleft between 5 and 7 o'clock in the supine position. Since this study used one method for measuring the THOD, the authors state that they do not mean to imply that some other method of measuring the THOD would produce the same findings. Some other method of measurement might prove to be associated with established markers of sexual abuse and thus prove useful in determining whether a child had been sexually abused. This study simply rules out the separation technique as a useful means for determining whether sexual abuse of a child has occurred. 5 tables and 22 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse detection; Child abuse investigations; Child Sexual Abuse; Female victims; Investigative techniques
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.