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Gender Differences in Silencing Following Childhood Sexual Abuse

NCJ Number
Journal of Child Sexual Abuse Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Dated: 2008 Pages: 133-143
Patrick J. O'Leary; James Barber
Date Published
11 pages
This study examined gender differences in disclosure rates in childhood sexual abuse and time taken to discuss the experience.
The study supports the hypothesis that males are more likely to feel silenced following childhood sexual abuse than are females. Males were significantly less likely than females to disclose at or around the time that sexual abuse occurred. The study also confirmed the prediction that males would take significantly longer to discuss experiences of sexual abuse. It should be noted that respondents in the study had experienced childhood sexual abuse in many case over 20 years ago when the issue of male sexual victimization was rarely acknowledged. Clinical literature commonly asserts that males are less likely than females to disclose child sexual abuse at the time it occurs and take longer to discuss their experiences. These hypotheses were tested in this study and included 145 men and 151 women. Participants were asked about disclosure at the time of the abuse and the length of time it took for them to discuss the experience. Tables, references