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Women As Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse: Recognition Barriers (From Incest Perpetrator: A Family Member No One Wants To Treat, P 99-107, Anne L. Horton, Barry L. Johnson, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-121328)

NCJ Number
121336
Author(s)
C M Allen
Date Published
1990
Length
9 pages
Annotation
Although the rates of sexual abuse of children by females appear to be substantially lower than the rates of abuse by males, the barriers to the recognition of this abuse may lead to distorted perceptions about the occurrence of such behavior and contribute to underreporting of even the relatively low levels that occur.
Abstract
One major barrier is the overestimation of the strength of the incest taboo, which anthropologists consider to be the foundation of all kinship structures. A second barrier is the overextension of feminist explanations of child sexual abuse. These explanations focus on socialization processes and the role of male dominance and the sexual exploitation of women and children. The third barrier is the overgeneralization of the observation that female child sexual abuse is rare. Nevertheless, increasing recognition of sexual abuse by females is coming from male victimization studies, studies of adolescent sex offenders, studies of adult sex offenders, and recent clinical studies. Recognizing and addressing this problem is crucial if its victims are to be recognized and treated adequately. 56 references.