Sexual Abuse

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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.

References

Schools 'not advising on abuse'. BBC News. 4 June 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5047120.stm

Riegel, David R. Perception of Harm in Hypothetical Sexual Experiences of Boys with Peer and Older Males. SafeHaven Foundation Research Institute. http://www.shfri.net/dlr/percept.htm