Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Page: 1-4
A Needed Uniform Criteria for Defining Childhood Sexual Abuse
Roberta Ezinma Emetu, Department of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge, United States
Received: Aug. 25, 2018;       Accepted: Dec. 26, 2018;       Published: Jan. 21, 2019
DOI: 10.11648/j.sjph.20190701.11      View  36      Downloads  29
Abstract
Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) has serious public health consequences and implications. Variables such as gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, and other socioeconomic factors in relation to CSA could be better understood. However, a consistent definition of CSA among research, governmental, and regional sectors in the United States does not exist. Differences in the operationalization of CSA have contributed to the fluctuation of prevalence and incidence rates. The literature varies with respect to age requirements for CSA and types of sexual behaviors. The Department of Justice lacks a detailed definition of CSA, and the definition also differs from state to state. At times different types of child abuse are aggregated, or lacks differentiation from child maltreatment, molestation, or other types of abuse. This report is a call to action to standardize the definition of CSA at the local, state, and federal levels. A definition is needed that is inclusive of different subsets of CSA, given that more aggressive abusive episodes can elicit more adverse outcomes. Without consistency and uniformity in how CSA and subtypes of CSA are defined, discrepancies in occurrences, research outcomes, and preventative and interventional efforts could hinder the progress made in this field of study.
Keywords
Childhood Sexual Abuse, Definition, Standardization
To cite this article
Roberta Ezinma Emetu, A Needed Uniform Criteria for Defining Childhood Sexual Abuse, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2019, pp. 1-4. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20190701.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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