Sexual Abuse is a term conceived and popularised by groups including Feminists and Psychiatrists in the Post-Modern era. It refers explicitly to "sexual" acts that are deemed to be abusive. Its usage relies on the belief that sexual acts constitute a special area of interest in the larger study of abusive acts, be it for reasons of morality, utilitarian victimology or both.
Perceptions of sexual abuse
A survey conducted by the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children found that, for a hypothetical scenario involving a 15-year-old boy and a 23-year-old woman, current legal definitions of sexual abuse were rejected by 88% of minor respondents. Dave Riegel reports that, in a study of an Internet sample presented with a series of hypothetical scenarios involving males of varying ages, perception of sexual abuse among respondents shows a modest but significant negative correlation with perception of consent, suggesting that popular perception of sexual abuse may be inconsistent with certain legal and scientific definitions that do not take consent into account.
Since its conception, sexual abuse has been assimilated into the legal codes of many modern, western democracies.
- Schools 'not advising on abuse'. BBC News. 4 June 2006.
- Riegel, David L. Perception of Harm in Hypothetical Sexual Experiences of Boys with Peer and Older Males. SafeHaven Foundation Research Institute.