The Sexual Abuse of Boys

Prevalence and Descriptive Characteristics of Childhood Victimizations

Leslie I. Risin, Mary P Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent clinical reports reveal that a sizable proportion of referrals involve boys. But because child sexual abuse is a problem that is often concealed, studies of reported cases represent only a fraction of the total cases that actually occur. A small number of studies have examined the prevalence of unreported sexual abuse among nonclinical samples. The goal of the present study was to extend this previous work to a national basis. Self-reports of childhood sexual experiences were obtained from 2,972 men in an approximately representative national sample of students in higher education. Although the results are limited in generalizability to other students, this group represents 26% of all persons in the United States aged 18-24. In the present sample, 7.3% of the men reported a childhood experience that met at least one of the following three criteria for sexual abuse: (1) existence of age discrepancy between the child and perpetrator, (2) use of some form of coercion to obtain participation by the victim, and/or (3) a perpetrator who was a care giver or authority figure. The descriptive characteristics of the abusive incidents are briefly reviewed and those characteristics that differentiated among three levels of sexual abuse (exhibition, fondling, and penetration) are presented. Operational definitions of sexual abuse and the behavioral specificity of sexual abuse screening questions for use in future research on men and boys are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-323
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume2
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Crime Victims
Sex Offenses
Students
Coercion
Sexual Child Abuse
Self Report
Caregivers
Referral and Consultation
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

The Sexual Abuse of Boys : Prevalence and Descriptive Characteristics of Childhood Victimizations. / Risin, Leslie I.; Koss, Mary P.

In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1987, p. 309-323.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b039c5e9c24c4b09b754331c514ca4e5,
title = "The Sexual Abuse of Boys: Prevalence and Descriptive Characteristics of Childhood Victimizations",
abstract = "Recent clinical reports reveal that a sizable proportion of referrals involve boys. But because child sexual abuse is a problem that is often concealed, studies of reported cases represent only a fraction of the total cases that actually occur. A small number of studies have examined the prevalence of unreported sexual abuse among nonclinical samples. The goal of the present study was to extend this previous work to a national basis. Self-reports of childhood sexual experiences were obtained from 2,972 men in an approximately representative national sample of students in higher education. Although the results are limited in generalizability to other students, this group represents 26{\%} of all persons in the United States aged 18-24. In the present sample, 7.3{\%} of the men reported a childhood experience that met at least one of the following three criteria for sexual abuse: (1) existence of age discrepancy between the child and perpetrator, (2) use of some form of coercion to obtain participation by the victim, and/or (3) a perpetrator who was a care giver or authority figure. The descriptive characteristics of the abusive incidents are briefly reviewed and those characteristics that differentiated among three levels of sexual abuse (exhibition, fondling, and penetration) are presented. Operational definitions of sexual abuse and the behavioral specificity of sexual abuse screening questions for use in future research on men and boys are discussed.",
author = "Risin, {Leslie I.} and Koss, {Mary P}",
year = "1987",
doi = "10.1177/088626087002003006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "2",
pages = "309--323",
journal = "Journal of Interpersonal Violence",
issn = "0886-2605",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The Sexual Abuse of Boys

T2 - Prevalence and Descriptive Characteristics of Childhood Victimizations

AU - Risin, Leslie I.

AU - Koss, Mary P

PY - 1987

Y1 - 1987

N2 - Recent clinical reports reveal that a sizable proportion of referrals involve boys. But because child sexual abuse is a problem that is often concealed, studies of reported cases represent only a fraction of the total cases that actually occur. A small number of studies have examined the prevalence of unreported sexual abuse among nonclinical samples. The goal of the present study was to extend this previous work to a national basis. Self-reports of childhood sexual experiences were obtained from 2,972 men in an approximately representative national sample of students in higher education. Although the results are limited in generalizability to other students, this group represents 26% of all persons in the United States aged 18-24. In the present sample, 7.3% of the men reported a childhood experience that met at least one of the following three criteria for sexual abuse: (1) existence of age discrepancy between the child and perpetrator, (2) use of some form of coercion to obtain participation by the victim, and/or (3) a perpetrator who was a care giver or authority figure. The descriptive characteristics of the abusive incidents are briefly reviewed and those characteristics that differentiated among three levels of sexual abuse (exhibition, fondling, and penetration) are presented. Operational definitions of sexual abuse and the behavioral specificity of sexual abuse screening questions for use in future research on men and boys are discussed.

AB - Recent clinical reports reveal that a sizable proportion of referrals involve boys. But because child sexual abuse is a problem that is often concealed, studies of reported cases represent only a fraction of the total cases that actually occur. A small number of studies have examined the prevalence of unreported sexual abuse among nonclinical samples. The goal of the present study was to extend this previous work to a national basis. Self-reports of childhood sexual experiences were obtained from 2,972 men in an approximately representative national sample of students in higher education. Although the results are limited in generalizability to other students, this group represents 26% of all persons in the United States aged 18-24. In the present sample, 7.3% of the men reported a childhood experience that met at least one of the following three criteria for sexual abuse: (1) existence of age discrepancy between the child and perpetrator, (2) use of some form of coercion to obtain participation by the victim, and/or (3) a perpetrator who was a care giver or authority figure. The descriptive characteristics of the abusive incidents are briefly reviewed and those characteristics that differentiated among three levels of sexual abuse (exhibition, fondling, and penetration) are presented. Operational definitions of sexual abuse and the behavioral specificity of sexual abuse screening questions for use in future research on men and boys are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84965634009&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84965634009&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/088626087002003006

DO - 10.1177/088626087002003006

M3 - Article

VL - 2

SP - 309

EP - 323

JO - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

JF - Journal of Interpersonal Violence

SN - 0886-2605

IS - 3

ER -