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NCJ Number: 201435 Find in a Library
Title: Victimization of Female Children (From Sourcebook on Violence Against Women, P 101-113, 2001, Claire M. Renzetti, Jeffrey L. Edleson, and Raquel K. Bergen, eds. -- See NCJ-201429)
Author(s): Kathleen A. Kendall-Tackett
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter discusses the victimization of female children from a cross-cultural perspective.
Abstract: The chapter begins with a discussion of the sexual abuse of girls in the United States. It notes that the Third National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect found that in the United States, girls' risk of abuse was 33 percent higher than that of boys. The difference was due to girls' increased risk of sexual abuse (more than three times the rate of boys). This is followed by a section on the effects of sexual abuse. Short-term effects for preschoolers include anxiety, nightmares, and inappropriate sexual behavior; for school-age girls they include fear, mental illness, aggression, nightmares, school problems, hyperactivity, and regressive behavior; and for adolescents they include depression, physical complaints, illegal acts, running away, substance abuse, and suicidal or self-injurious behavior. Long-term effects of sexual abuse include posttraumatic stress disorder, cognitive distortions, emotional distress, an impaired sense of self, avoidance, interpersonal difficulties, and physical health problems. Generally, abuse will be more harmful to a child's mental and physical states if the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts and the abuse violates that trust. Another important component related to symptoms is the severity of the sexual acts, i.e., whether the abuse includes penetration. Also, abuse that occurs often and lasts for years will typically be more harmful than abuse that happens only sporadically and over less time. The overall rates of sexual abuse are lowest for Asian women but high for Hispanic women, when reported retrospectively. In the United States, boys and girls experience physical abuse and neglect, in contrast to sexual abuse, in about equal number; however, this is not true in other countries. In the concluding section of this chapter, the author describes two cultures, India and China, in which life-and-death decisions are made on the basis of a baby's gender. The root of female infanticide is different in the two countries. In China it is related to government mandates that limit the number of children a family can have, coupled with the cultural preference for male children. In India, the constraint is mostly economic, in that daughters require a sizable financial dowry from the family to marry. 39 references
Main Term(s): Female victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse; Child Sexual Abuse; China; Cultural influences; India; Infanticide; Long term health effects of child abuse; Psychological victimization effects; Victims of violent crime; Violence causes
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