New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Child Sexual Abuse

by: Lindsay Bellinger

Child Sexual Abuse PSYX 348

Lindsay Bellinger

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

This chapter covers the reasoning behind why children suffer from sexual abuse, key signs to spot when sexual abuse may be occurring and intervention factors to stop it occurring
Psychology of Family Violence
Laura Kirsch
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Psychology of Family Violence

Popular in Psychology (PSYC)

This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsay Bellinger on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYX 348 at University of Montana taught by Laura Kirsch in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Psychology of Family Violence in Psychology (PSYC) at University of Montana.


Reviews for Child Sexual Abuse


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 10/10/16
Psychology of Family Violence Chapter 6 – Child Sexual Abuse Engaging a child in sexual activity with an older person, or using a child for the sexual stimulation of an adult Includes a wide variety of acts: voyeurism (peeping, watching), exhibitionism (flashing), fondling, masturbation, oral sex, genital and anal intercourse, and involving children in pornography and prostitution. Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse Precise incidence and prevalence is unknown due to underreporting Official reports: - Child maltreatment 2014 = 58,000 substantiated cases o Rate of sex abuse of children = 1 per 1000 Victim surveys - National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) o Rate of sex abuse of 12-17 year olds = 1.9 per 1000 o 9-28% of adult women reported some form of sexual abuse in childhood Combined overall estimate = 8-12% of children - Girls: 11-17% - Boys: 4-5% Victims of Child Sexual Abuse - Kids make up 67% of all sex assault victims o Ages 12-17 are at highest risk (due to puberty) - Girls experience more abuse than boys - Risk Factors: o Race: either no differences, or minorities are slightly higher risk o Children from low income families are at higher risk o Children who are victims of other forms of crime, violence, and abuse are more at-risk o Family variables: live without one natural parent, unavailable mother, single parent families, perceive the family as unhappy - Multiple episodes are common o 50-75% of cases the abuse has happened more than once - Vast majority of victims know their offender Relationship to the offender Majority of child sex abuse victims are abused by someone known to the child or family - 60% of boys - 80% of girls Less likely to be parent figure or stranger - Father/step-fathers only 6-16% of cases More likely to be other relative (uncle, aunt, teacher, neighbor) - Use grooming tactics to develop a relationship with the child 1. Look for the victim 2. Gaining trust and access (buy you things) 3. Play a role in the child’s life (babysitting) 4. Start to isolate the child 5. Create secrecy around the relationship - ‘this is just us’ 6. Start to initiate sexual contact 7. Control the relationship (threats) Effects of child sexual abuse victimization Outcomes vary as a function of: - Frequency, severity, and duration of abuse - Childs relationship to the abuser - Lack of maternal/other support - Child variables (prior trauma or psychiatric disorder history) - Family variables (parent with physical illness or psychopathology, domestic violence) Long term effects: Girls: - Depression, suicide, PTSD, substance abuse, promiscuity, academic performance issues, self-harm Boys: - Suicide, externalizing behaviors, substance abuse, suicide, becoming abusers? Both: - PTSD, risk of future sexual/physical abuse, sexual behavior problems Treatment for victims - Trauma-Focused CBT (Cohen, Mannarino, & Deblinger, 2006) has the most empirical support o Includes treatment with the child and with the non-offending parent, it tends to focus on:  Psychoeducation  Relaxation Techniques  Parenting skills  Affective expression and modulation  Cognitive coping  Gradual exposure/reprocessing of trauma  Safety skills o Outcome studies show significant reductions in symptoms of depression, PTSD, anxiety and other internalizing/externalizing behaviors for children aged 3-16 What is a sex offender? - Anyone who is convicted of committing a sex offense What is a sex offense? - Varies on cultural norms and jurisdiction - Depends on: o The degree of consent of the partner o His/her age o Relationship to the offender o The nature of the act o The offender’s intention Classifying sex-offenders They are a heterogeneous group - Classified based on offender characteristics and victim preference Main subtypes: - Rapists - Child molesters (extra familial – outside of the home, intra familial – relative or someone living in the home) - Juvenile sex offenders - Cyber/internet offenders - Female offenders What is a pedophile? Pedophilic Disorder: a paraphilia in the DSM-5 - Recurrent, intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges or acts involving sexual activity with a pre-pubescent child - Must be over the age of 16, more than 5 years older than the child Characteristics of pedophiles - Male - Poor social skills - Low self esteem - Feeling of inadequacy - Difficulty with adult relationships - Emotional congruence with children - Distorted attitudes and beliefs about sex with children - Deviant sexual arousal/interests - Grooming their victims o Identify potential victims o Gain trust o Break down child’s defenses - Tend to have victim empathy deficits - Poor self-management skills - History of maltreatment - Drug and alcohol abuse Differences between subtypes Age: Other differences - Presence of paraphilia’s - Presence of anti-sociality psychopathy - Recidivism risk (reoffending) Risk of reoffending: - Only 24% of all sexual offenders reoffend after 15 years back in the community - Boy victim child molesters are most likely to reoffend - Rate of reoffending decreases with time - Extra -familial molesters of boys are most likely to reoffend ON THE TEST (followed by rapists of adults) Proportion of juvenile sex offenders who re-offended as adults (Caldwell 2015) - 4% had an adult sexual offense - 95.6% showed so adult sexual offense Etiology of sexual offending What causes child molestation? A combination of inter-related factors - Biological influences (brain function, biochemistry) - Developmental experiences (early childhood experiences) - Social learning/sociocultural influences - Cognitive schemas and distortions - Behavioral/conditioning mechanisms - Situational factors How do biological structures/systems lead to sex offending? - Brain abnormalities: o Frontal lobe, temporal lobe (controls sex drive) o Lower IQ (don’t understand boundaries as well) - Hormones: o Testosterone: regulates sexual function and aggression - Neurotransmitters: o Serotonin: regulates mood and sex drive Developmental Experiences Poor parental attachment in childhood - Anxious-ambivalent attachment: desire intimacy but fear rejection, so turn to children for love instead - Avoidant attachment: no desire for intimacy, anger and hostility toward others o Use others as sexual objects and/or act out anger in sexually aggressive ways (rapists) Social learning theory - Process through which individuals imitate the actions modeled by others - Abused-abuser hypothesis: some sexually abused children model the actions of their abusers and become sex offenders Cognitive theories - Cognitive schemas: mental models of our world o Impact interpretation of events, guide behavior and expectation o E.g. – may see children’s behavior as flirtatious - Cognitive distortions - Empathy deficits Behavioral mechanisms - The role of masturbatory conditioning o Classical conditioning: pairing of deviant stimulus with sexual arousal in childhood/ adolescence  Early abuse experiences  Accidental pairing/early experimentation o Operant conditioning: strengthens the sexually deviant association  Positive reinforcers: Orgasm  Negative reinforcers: Having sex to feel better  Punishment or fear of punishment weakens the association


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Steve Martinelli UC Los Angeles

"There's no way I would have passed my Organic Chemistry class this semester without the notes and study guides I got from StudySoup."

Jennifer McGill UCSF Med School

"Selling my MCAT study guides and notes has been a great source of side revenue while I'm in school. Some months I'm making over $500! Plus, it makes me happy knowing that I'm helping future med students with their MCAT."

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"


"Their 'Elite Notetakers' are making over $1,200/month in sales by creating high quality content that helps their classmates in a time of need."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.