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
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.
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 © 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.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Child abuse and neglect prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/childabuseandneglect/index.html.
Coles, J., Lee, A., Taft, A., Mazza, D., & Loxton, D. (2015). Childhood sexual abuse and its association with adult physical and mental health: Results from a national cohort of young Australian women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(11), 1929-1944.
Barnes, J. E., Noll, J. G., Putnam, F. W., & Trickett, P. K. (2009). Sexual and physical revictimization among victims of severe childhood sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33(7), 412-420.
Stephenson, K. R., Pulverman, C. S., & Meston, C. M. (2014). Assessing the association between childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual experiences in women with sexual difficulties. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27(3), 274-282.
Stoltenborgh, M., Van Ijzendoorn, M. H., Euser, E. M., & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M. J. (2011). A global perspective on child sexual abuse: meta-analysis of prevalence around the world. Child Maltreatment, 16(2), 79-101.
Pereda, N., Guilera, G., Forns, M., & Gómez-Benito, J. (2009). The prevalence of child sexual abuse in community and student samples: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 29(4), 328-338.
Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A. A. (2013). Estimating a Child Sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners. Retrieved from https://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/PREVALENCE-RATE-WHITE-PAPER-D2L.pdf.
Easton, S. D., Saltzman, L. Y., & Willis, D. G. (2014). “Would you tell under circumstances like that?”: Barriers to disclosure of child sexual abuse for men. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 15(4), 460-469.
Arreola, S. G., Neilands, T. B., & Díaz, R. (2009). Childhood sexual abuse and the sociocultural context of sexual risk among adult Latino gay and bisexual men. American Journal of Public Health, 99(2), S432–S438.
Arreola, S. G., Neilands, T. B., Pollack, L. M., Paul, J. P., & Catania, J. A. (2005). Higher prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among Latino men who have sex with men than non-Latino men who have sex with men: Data from the Urban Men's Health Study. Child Abuse & Neglect, 29(3), 285-290.
Paul, J. P., Catania, J., Pollack, L., & Stall, R. (2001). Understanding childhood sexual abuse as a predictor of sexual risk-taking among men who have sex with men: The Urban Men’s Health Study 1. Child Abuse & Neglect, 25(4), 557-584.
Xu, Y., & Zheng, Y. (2017). Does sexual orientation precede childhood sexual abuse? Childhood gender nonconformity as a risk factor and instrumental variable analysis. Sexual Abuse, 29(8), 786-802.
Greenfield, E. A. (2010). Child abuse as a life-course social determinant of adult health. Maturitas, 66(1), 51-55.
Boroughs, M. S., Valentine, S. E., Ironson, G. H., Shipherd, J. C., Safren, S. A., Taylor, S. W., & O’Cleirigh, C. (2015). Complexity of childhood sexual abuse: predictors of current post-traumatic stress disorder, mood disorders, substance use, and sexual risk behavior among adult men who have sex with men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44(7), 1891-1902.
Kalichman, S. C., Gore-Felton, C., Benotsch, E., Cage, M., & Rompa, D. (2004). Trauma symptoms, sexual behaviors, and substance abuse: correlates of childhood sexual abuse and HIV risks among men who have sex with men. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 13(1), 1-15.
Roosa, M. W., Reinholtz, C., & Angelini, P. J. (1999). The relation of child sexual abuse and depression in young women: Comparison across four ethnic groups. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 27(1), 65-76.
Wyatt, G. E., & Peters, S. D. (1986). Issues in the definition of child sexual abuse in prevalence research. Child Abuse & Neglect, 10(2), 231-240.
Newcomb, M. D., Munoz, D. T., & Carmona, J. V. (2009). Child sexual abuse consequences in community samples of Latino and European American adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 33(8), 533-544.
Sartor, C. E., Grant, J. D., Duncan, A. E., McCutcheon, V. V., Nelson, E. C., Calvert, W. J., ... & Bucholz, K. K. (2016). Childhood sexual abuse and two stages of cigarette smoking in African-American and European-American young women. Addictive Behaviors, 60, 131-136.
Ullman, S. E., & Filipas, H. H. (2005). Ethnicity and child sexual abuse experiences of female college students. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 14(3), 67-89.
DiIorio, C., Hartwell, T., & Hansen, N. (2002). Childhood sexual abuse and risk behaviors among men at high risk for HIV infection. American Journal of Public Health, 92(2), 214-219.
Fontes, L. A. (2007). Sin vergüenza: Addressing shame with Latino victims of child sexual abuse and their families. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 16(1), 61-83.
Payne, J. S., Galvan, F. H., Williams, J. K., Prusinski, M., Zhang, M., Wyatt, G. E., & Myers, H. F. (2014). Impact of childhood sexual abuse on the emotions and behaviours of adult men from three ethnic groups in the USA. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 16(3), 231-245.
Graham, L. M., Lanier, P., & Johnson-Motoyama, M. (2016). National profile of Latino/Latina children reported to the child welfare system for sexual abuse. Children and Youth Services Review, 66, 18-27.
Quinn, K. G., Kelly, J. A., DiFranceisco, W. J., Tarima, S. S., Petroll, A. E., Sanders, C., ... & Amirkhanian, Y. A. (2016). The health and sociocultural correlates of AIDS genocidal beliefs and medical mistrust among African American MSM. AIDS and Behavior, 22(6), 1-12.
Simon, V. A., Smith, E., Fava, N., & Feiring, C. (2015). Positive and negative posttraumatic change following childhood sexual abuse are associated with youths’ adjustment. Child Maltreatment, 20(4), 278-290.
Hannan, S. M., Orcutt, H. K., Miron, L. R., & Thompson, K. L. (2017). Childhood sexual abuse and later alcohol-related problems: Investigating the roles of revictimization, PTSD, and drinking motivations among college women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 32(14), 2118-2138.
Scheidell, J. D., Kumar, P. C., Campion, T., Quinn, K., Beharie, N., McGorray, S. P., & Khan, M. R. (2017). Child sexual abuse and HIV-related substance use and sexual risk across the life course among males and females. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 26(5), 519-534.
Batchelder, A. W., Ehlinger, P. P., Boroughs, M. S., Shipherd, J. C., Safren, S. A., Ironson, G. H., & O’Cleirigh, C. (2017). Psychological and behavioral moderators of the relationship between trauma severity and HIV transmission risk behavior among MSM with a history of childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 40(5), 794-802.
Hudson, K. (2018). Preventing child sexual abuse through education: The work of Stop it Now! Wales. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 24(1), 99-113.
Rohde, P., Ichikawa, L., Simon, G. E., Ludman, E. J., Linde, J. A., Jeffery, R. W., & Operskalski, B. H. (2008). Associations of child sexual and physical abuse with obesity and depression in middle-aged women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 32(9), 878-887.
Ullman, S. E. (2002). Social reactions to child sexual abuse disclosures: A critical review. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 12(1), 89-121.
Finkelhor, D. (1979). What's wrong with sex between adults and children? Ethics and the problem of sexual abuse. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 49(4), 692-697.
Merrill, L. L., Guimond, J. M., Thomsen, C. J., & Milner, J. S. (2003). Child sexual abuse and number of sexual partners in young women: the role of abuse severity, coping style, and sexual functioning. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71(6), 987-996.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Suggested practices for journalists reporting on child abuse and neglect. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/childmaltreatment/journalists-guide.pdf Messman
Messman-Moore, T. L., & Long, P. J. (2000). Child sexual abuse and revictimization in the form of adult sexual abuse, adult physical abuse, and adult psychological maltreatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(5), 489-502.
Wyatt, G. E. (1985). The sexual abuse of Afro-American and White-American women in childhood. Child Abuse & Neglect, 9(4), 507-519.
Berliner, L. (2011). CSA: Definitions, prevalence, and consequences. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Anda, R. F., Felitti, V. J., Bremner, J. D., Walker, J. D., Whitfield, C. H., Perry, B. D., ... & Giles, W. H. (2006). The enduring effects of abuse and related adverse experiences in childhood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 256(3), 174-186
Finkelhor, D., Ormrod, R. K., & Turner, H. A. (2007). Poly-victimization: A neglected component in child victimization. Child Abuse & Neglect, 31(1), 7-26.
Walsh, K., Fortier, M. A., & DiLillo, D. (2010). Adult coping with childhood sexual abuse: A theoretical and empirical review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15(1), 1-13.
Lemieux, S. R., & Byers, E. S. (2008). The sexual well‐being of women who have experienced child sexual abuse. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32(2), 126-144.
Slep, A. M. S., Heyman, R. E., & Foran, H. M. (2015). Child maltreatment in DSM‐5 and ICD‐11. Family Process, 54(1), 17-32.
Lev-Wiesel, R., & First, M. (2018). Willingness to disclose child maltreatment: CSA vs other forms of child abuse in relation to gender. Child Abuse & Neglect, 79, 183-191.
Najman, J. M., Dunne, M. P., Purdie, D. M., Boyle, F. M., & Coxeter, P. D. (2005). Sexual abuse in childhood and sexual dysfunction in adulthood: An Australian population-based study. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 34(5), 517-526.
Olafson, E. (2011). Child sexual abuse: Demography, impact, and interventions. Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma, 4(1), 8-21.
Pérez-Fuentes, G., Olfson, M., Villegas, L., Morcillo, C., Wang, S., & Blanco, C. (2013). Prevalence and correlates of child sexual abuse: a national study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 54(1), 16-27.
Browse journals by subject