Effects Of Early Childhood Sexual Abuse And Involvement In Prostitution



Millions of children around the globe are sexually abused or exploited. This paper includes several descriptions of studies that relate sexual abuse during childhood to delinquency later in life. There are several difficulties with methodology and definitions that are inherent in the mentioned studies. These challenges make it somewhat difficult to compare and interpret the findings of the study. A framework is however provided to help in the understanding of how child abuse is correlated to delinquency later in life. This framework can also help to guide future studies into the issue. Two research tools were utilized for this study. They are questionnaires and interviews. The interviewers selected to help with the research were members of the Delancey Street Foundation -- a self-help group that is widely known for its work with drug addicts, criminals and sex workers. All the interviewers themselves had at one time been sex workers or juvenile. All of interviewers were taken through a 3-week comprehensive training program, which covered the fundamentals of the research methodology and interviewing. A new specific tool, the aptly named Sexual Assault Experiences Questionnaire, was made to achieve the objectives of the study. Repeated interview methodology was utilized to help remove eliminate social desirability bias and also to look for any inconsistencies in the statements made by the subjects. A total of 200 current and former prostitutes in San Francisco were the subjects of the study. Some of the major methods of recruitment were public announcements and the distribution of leaflets. Results revealed that over 60% of the women who were interviewed had been sexually abused as children by a mean of 2 men each. In 81% of the cases, some form of coercion was used. Some of the forms of coercion utilized during sexual assault included: physical force, emotional force, and both physical and emotional force. Similar to previous data, substance abuse was common among the subjects studied. Many of the subjects tested positive for marijuana, heroin, and crack cocaine. About half of the sex workers claimed the used drugs so as to cope. One of the best ways to address the issue of child sexual exploitation and drug use in sex trade is through strengthening the national childcare protection framework so that it targets and deals with childhood sexual exploitation and its effects more effectively. The framework should encompass the following intervention pillars: prevention; protection; policy and legislation; and Coordination and monitoring; rehabilitation and support services (MacWilliams, 2003; Silbert and Pines, 1983; Sinha, 2015; Prince, 2008).





I. Introduction #

Statement of the Problem #

Purpose of the Study #

Significance of the Study #


Historical Perspective #

Afrocentric Perspective #

Theoretical Framework #


Methods of the Study #

Limitations of the Study #

IV. Title #

V. Conclusion #

Summary of the Study #

Implications for Social Work #


Chapter 1:


Sexual abuse of children is a widespread, disturbing aspect not only in the U.S., but across the world. In the U.S., reported child sexual abuse incidents depicted an increase by 322% in the 80s; the reported sexual attacks on kids were 1.3 million in the year 1995 alone. The U.S. population currently comprises around 60 million victims of child sexual assault. Globally, 150 million females and 73 million males aged below 18 years were, in 2002, subjected to coerced sexual subjugation and other forms of sexual violence (Sanders, 2006). What aggravates the issue is that in the vast majority (95%) of cases, victims are acquainted with the perpetrators, causing most cases to go unreported. Perpetrators who sexually abuse kids include members of the family, neighbors, friends, coaches, teachers, older youth, and clergy (Dove & Miller, 2007).

The stated fact about abusers indicates that those authorized with childcare (and whom society trusts) do not, always, respond to the faith entrusted in them. While the above statistics...


Society's realization can be viewed in the latest attempts by multiple law enforcement organizations (such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children), mental/physical health firms (like American Psychological Association and American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry), educational groups (such as Child Help USA and Kidscape) and child services companies (like National Juvenile Online Victimization Survey Publications and Child Welfare Information Gateway), towards creating awareness regarding the issue and coming up with strategies that may be employed by children, their parents, their educators, and other concerned parties for averting and effectively responding to instances of child sexual abuse (Dove & Miller, 2007; Beeks & Amir, 2006).
The most common, potential long-term behavioral repercussion, of suffering sexual abuse as a child manifests in the form of delinquency, according to common perception. The existence of a causal relationship appears naturally reasonable. Children who are victims of power-assertive aggression may, willingly embrace, an unsociable and violent mode via displaced anger or modeling as they grow up. Unfortunately, a majority of the large number of empirical efforts aiming to prove this causal linkage have mostly restricted themselves to retrospective research of delinquents, in addition to follow-up research on abused children. These researches hint at a link between delinquency and child abuse, but fail to shed light on causal relations and sequences involved. Therefore, they fail at determining whether abuse lead to delinquency, or vice versa, or whether there is another element or series of elements responsible for delinquency as well as abuse. There has been no prospective, large-scale, longitudinal research to set up a causal relationship. The question of whether delinquency, especially aggressive delinquency, arises due to physical abuse during childhood is an unanswered question and domain in most studies attempted (Howing, Wodarski, Kurtz, Gaudin & Herbst, 1990; Knight, 2002).

This paper covers short descriptions of research works linking child abuse with violent behaviors and subsequent delinquency. Major definition- and-approach- related problems are intrinsic to these studies and cause difficulties in making comparisons and interpreting research findings; and are hence addressed. A system for assisting with comprehension of child abuse's role in causing delinquency is created, which can drive further research into devising more in-depth, improved studies. The goal of the authors is exploring the present, tacitly-acknowledged model and identifying underlying myths, rather than proposing another model (Howing et al., 1990).

Statement of the problem

Scholars have discovered that children who suffered physical abuse, aim more violence at adults and peers (MacWilliams, 2003), and are more impulsive and considerably less compliant (Min Jung, Tajima, Herrenkohl & Bu, 2009) compared to children safe from abuse. Aggression has been observed even among those children abused at ages between 1 and 3 years, later in their lives; it is more common among kids exposed to more serious and frequent violence (Yancy, 2005). Inferring from the above and other parallel findings, one can presume that aggression develops in children suffering abuse irrespective of the age when the abuse occurred. The established correlation between aggression and child abuse should, however, be interpreted with caution. Several researchers have drawn attention to the fact that existing research work cannot establish firmly whether aggression triggers or arises out of abuse (Sorajjakool, 2003). Study outcomes reveal that not all children in a given family experience abuse (Farley, 2003) proposing thereby that possible child traits contribute to eliciting abuse. Numerous studies have proven that low-birth-weight, sick, and premature babies have greater risks of being abused compared to normal babies (Min Jung et al., 2009). Weak characteristics in a baby give rise to special demands for new parents, while furthering their stress of bringing another member into the family. Additionally, several abused children display difficult natures right from a very young age (Arcel & Kastrup, 2004); also, aversive-looking stimuli (like, infant crying) will more likely incite violence (Zapata, 2002). Lastly, evidence exists regarding the fact that, in case of older kids, aspects like looks, dispositions, behavioral patterns, and activity level may prompt maltreatment (Min Jung et al., 2009).

Retrospective research on delinquents reveals extremely divergent prior maltreatment rates, partially due to differences in methodology. For instance, many studies have made comparisons between medical and juvenile court records, and discovered that 9-15% researched delinquents had suffered abuse (Nandon, Koverola & Schludermann, 1998); another research that derived case-file data found a 26% abuse rate (Potterat Rothenberg, Muth, Darrow & Phillips-Plummer, 1998); and a couple of studies involving self-reports of delinquents on prior abuse revealed rates of 69% (Gutierres & Van Puymbroeck, 2006) and 51% (Fang, 2005). Conversely, a couple of follow-up researches on abused kids have revealed ensuing rates of delinquency at 20% and 14% (Luzadder, 2004). The significance of these figures (which are not supported in a majority of studies) hinges on maltreatment and delinquency incidence rates for an analogous population (Nadon et al., 1998; Potterat et al., 1998). Overall, delinquency and maltreatment prevalence estimations among the general society differ, but are positively well under 5% for both…

Sources Used in Documents:

Yancy, P. (January 2005). Back from the Brothel, Christianity Today.

Young, A. M., Boyd, C. & Hubbell, A. (2000). Prostitution, drug use, and coping with psychological distress. Journal of Drug Issues, 30(4):789-800. (Web of Science)

Zapata, T.Q. (October 2002). Journey to a 'Developed' Country to Be Exploited, Discussion Paper of the Expert Group Meeting on Trafficking in Women and Girls, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women..

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