Influence of Concept, Definitions, Assessments Methods, and Sources of Data on Prevalence of Sexual Abuse

Influence of Concept, Definitions, Assessments Methods, and Sources of Data on Prevalence of Sexual Abuse

Rejani Thudalikunnil Gopalan (Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3958-2.ch001

Abstract

The focus of this chapter is to examine how the conceptual differences influence the definition and prevalence of sexual abuse among children, adolescence and adults. Attempting to understand measures, sources of data and special groups influences on prevalence rates is a challenge. It was observed that the prevalence of sexual abuse varies according to the type of concept and definitions, legal criteria, method of data collection, like interview methods, questionnaires, or self reports, and the source of data such as general population or specific groups such as prisoners, and individuals with disabilities are used for the study. In some studies, the rates are exaggerated because of the definitions. The chapter concludes that is important to evaluate prevalence studies of sexual abuse on different dimensions and criteria to make final conclusions.
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Introduction

Sexual abuse occurs all over the world and it is actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. The word sex is considered taboo in many culture, hence the occurrence of sexual violations, especially towards children and women were always underestimated. The stigma associated with sex is equally or more applied to sexual abuses, and it always considered to be an isolated incident even it is reported, and many societies denied the presence of sexual assaults and it is considered to be an insult to their cultural beliefs. Until 1970’s, active research on sexual abuse did not happen among scientific community. Focus of this paper is to examine how conceptual differences influence the definition and prevalence of sexual abuse among children, adolescence and adults. Also attempted to understand measures, sources of data and special groups influence on prevalence rates.

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