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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97310 Find in a Library
Title: Sexual Victimization of Adolescents (From Rape and Sexual Assault, P 123-138, 1985, Ann Burgess, ed. - See NCJ-97300)
Author(s): A W Burgess
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Statistics
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses the incidence and the psychosocial effects of the sexual victimization of adolescents within the following types of offender-victim relationships: a stranger relationship, a nonstranger relationship, and an incestuous relationship.
Abstract: In recognition that damage may result from all forms of victimization, the concept of sexual assault has been expanded by defining coercion to include many subtle forms of sexual pressuring. Strangers account for many rapes, but children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault by a person known to them. Incest is also now known to occur much more frequently than previously believed and most commonly involves a daughter and a male in a caretaking role. Sexual victimization occurs at a rate of 2.5 cases per 1,000 females aged 12 to 15 and 5.7 cases per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19. The rates for males are far lower. Incest rates have also been studied and reported to be 0.7 per 1,000. These crimes are seldom reported. Sexual assaults affect adolescent victims according to where they are in the stages of psychosocial development. The victim's sense of identity and stress response pattern are crucial factors in assessing the impact. When the assailant is known to the victim, reactions tend to be more variable than when a stranger is involved. Characteristic reactions of children and adolescents to incest are gradual social and psychological withdrawal, particularly when the victim has kept a pledge to secrecy. Older adolescents may have strong psychological reactions to sexual victimization, which may be masked by somatic symptoms and behavioral problems. The framework that relates the developmental tasks of adolescence and the reactions of adolescents to sexual assault can be used when considering the implications of empirical findings pertaining to such victimization. Sixty-eight references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse; Incest; Psychological victimization effects; Rape statistics; Sexual assault victims; Sexually abused adolescents; Victim-offender relationships
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