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NCJ Number: 199842 Find in a Library
Title: Women's Report of Unwanted Sexual Attention During Childhood
Journal: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:2002  Pages:75-93
Author(s): Julia M. Whealin
Date Published: 2002
Page Count: 19
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on a study about childhood Unwanted Sexual Attention (UWSA) and its relation to child sexual abuse.
Abstract: UWSA refers to unsolicited and non-physical attention toward another’s sexuality or physical appearance and includes such acts as verbal comments, gestures, and stares. In the current study, 315 undergraduate women completed the Exposure to Sexual Attention Scale, which is a 200-item questionnaire designed to assess forms of UWSA received before the age of 15. The findings revealed that a startling 98.7 percent of the female respondents reported UWSA during their childhood, suggesting that this is a pervasive problem. The author found links to child sexual abuse in the fact that those who were reported as the perpetrators of UWSA (other students, adult strangers, child strangers, and other children) were also the people most often identified as perpetrators of actual sexual abuse. Other findings revealed that negative emotional reactions were present in both victims of child sexual abuse and in those who reported UWSA. Furthermore, although both groups experienced similar levels of anger, the group who experienced child sexual abuse reported greater levels of fear than the group who reported UWSA. In conclusion, the author notes that because of the pervasive nature of UWSA, it is a public health issue that warrants further research and consideration. Future research should focus on whether UWSA poses a risk for negative developmental outcomes in girls and women. References, appendix
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Sexual behavior; Sexual harassment
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