Statistics of childhood sexual abuse and adult sexual assault
This module provides an overview of statistical and research data on the prevalence and characteristics of sexual abuse and sexual assault of males. The module content is designed to increase general awareness of the extent of the problem of child sexual abuse and adult sexual assault. It is proposed that increased knowledge and understanding of the different circumstances and contexts in which males can be sexually victimised will support preventative action and improve the quality of individual and service responses.
Research over the past 40 years has highlighted that there are gendered patterns in the prevalence and characteristics of child sexual abuse and sexual assault. Although most early studies of child sexual abuse and sexual assault focused on females, there is now a developing body of literature examining and addressing the sexual victimisation of males. In focusing on males, a gender analysis is utilised that supports the inclusion of information relating to the sexual abuse of females, as a means to better understanding how gender influences the prevalence, characteristics, particular contexts and experience of sexual abuse or sexual assault, and how best to respond (Briere & Scott 2015). This gender analysis recognises that:
“There are both similarities and differences in men’s and women’s experiences of sexual violence and that there is a need to create responsive, evidence-based policy initiatives and service provision that recognises, but does not amplify these” (Foster, Boyd & O’Leary, 2012).
In seeking to develop a picture of the extent and circumstances of childhood sexual abuse and male sexual victimisation, it is noted up front that evidence suggests males are particularly reluctant to report childhood sexual abuse, both as a child and an adult (see Disclosure and Masculinity modules), and hence what is presented here is a developing body of knowledge and understanding.
Part One: Child Sexual Abuse of Males
- Working definitions of childhood sexual abuse
- Prevalence of childhood sexual abuse
- Characteristics of sexual abuse of males
Part Two: Sexual Assault of Adult MenComing soon