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NCJ Number: 151633 Find in a Library
Title: Mental Retardation and Adult Women's Perceptions of Adolescent Sexual Abuse
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:18  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1994)  Pages:809-819
Author(s): D M Podell; J Kastner; S Kastner
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data from 288 women ages 18-33 formed the basis of the effect of mental retardation and an adolescent female's behavior on adult women's perceptions of adolescent sexual abuse and the victim's responsibility.
Abstract: The participants were randomly assigned vignettes describing a sexual encounter between an adolescent female and a male of the same age. The vignettes varied with respect to whether the participants were mentally retarded or nonretarded and whether the female's behavior was encouraging, passive, or resisting. The responses were analyzed by means of factor analysis. Results revealed three factors: the female's responsibility, the male's abusiveness, and the parents' responsibility. Results indicated that the adult women viewed the adolescent female's responsibility differently among those with and without mental retardation. Regardless of her behavior, participants perceived the adolescent female as bearing little responsibility when she is retarded. However, when she is nonretarded, she bears more responsibility when she is encouraging than when she is passive or resisting; she also bears more responsibility when she is passive than when she is resisting. Also, when the female is encouraging, the male's perceived sexual abusiveness is less when he is mentally retarded than when he is nonretarded. Finally, parents are assigned greatest responsibility when the female is passive, regardless of whether she is retarded or nonretarded. Tables, figures, and 14 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Juvenile Delinquents with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities; Parental influence; Public Opinion of Juveniles; Victim resistance to attack; Victim-offender relationships
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