Child Sexual Abuse

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate December 2001

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"Children are at risk of being sexually abused from the time they are born through adolescence, with the greatest risk occurring between the ages of seven and thirteen...children are never responsible for their sexual abuse, adults are the ones responsible" (McClendon, page 1). There are many questions that researchers are attempting to investigate concerning the controversial topic of child sexual abuse. Researchers explore various questions and dimensions. This paper will investigate the controversial conclusions and results to these questions. What is the concrete definition of child sexual abuse? Is there more than one meaning of child sexual abuse? What are the short term affects of child abuse? What are the long-term affects? This paper will discuss the answers to these questions, and please keep in mind that the topic of child sexual abuse covers the time span from birth until pre-adolescence.

There are many arguments concerning the exact concrete meaning of child sexual abuse.

That is why there is no definite answer to the meaning of those words. There are many theories, in the various meanings of child sexual abuse also. My first impression was that the meaning of child sexual abuse was a parent hitting or sexually hurting a child...who would most likely be a young girl, around six years old or younger. Then I realized that a boy can just as easily be sexually abused too, also typically around the age of six years old or younger. But what was the exact term and/or meaning of child sexual abuse? To that extent was where my research came in. Clarification was needed at that point. According to Patricia McClendon, who published an article on Incest and Sexual Abuse, the definition is "The imposition of sexually inappropriate acts, or acts with sexual one or more persons who derive authority...