English 8th grade Friday, March 1st, 2013 Child Sexual Abuse and its Effects Child maltreatment, which includes child sexual, physical, social abuse and child neglect, is a major social problem. According to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) an estimated amount of 80 thousand children in the United States experience sexual abuse every year, but the number of unreported and undetected cases is believed to be far greater. This is because children are afraid to tell anyone what is happening to them and the legal procedure, to confirm that what appened to the child was sexual abuse, is difficult.
It’s not only that they are abused but also the impact it has on the victim. The child who is a victim of sexual abuse usually develops low self-esteem, a feeling of worthlessness and an abnormal view of sex. They can also acquire seductiveness, unusual interest or avoidance of all things of a sexual nature, sleep problems, depression, the thought that they have dirty or damaged bodies, fear that there’s something wrong with their genital area, conduct problems, aggressiveness and refusal to go to school.
The victim can also develop serious problems when they reach their adolescence and even their adulthood but everyone develops different effects depending on how much it affected them as a person. Teen pregnancy, criminal behavior, alcohol and drug abuse are some of these effects. When someone suffers sexual abuse as a child, there’s an increased like-hood of teen pregnancy. A study conducted by the University of Southern California and the National Institute of Mental Health stated that girls who were sexually abused as a child are far more disposed to early sexual activity.
These hildren have an early initiation with the sexual nature and their lives might emphasis on sexuality, therefore, they start having sex at an early age. As a result, they have more sexual enter counters, and as the study done by the NCANDS stated, they are more likely to practice unsafe sex. This can expose them to having STDs and becoming a teenage parent. In the study done by the NCANDS, it was also found that men who were sexually abused as a child were eighty percent more likely than non- abused men to later impregnate a teen girl.
This can also be linked to how they begin o be involved in the sexual nature starting from a young age. Victims of child abuse are also more likely to exchange sex for money, drugs, or a place to stay. Having sex for these things necessary in life can also put them in a major risk of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV. Teenage pregnancy is not the only child sexual abuse consequence that can lead to other worst effects; there are many more of them. Another seeming effect of child sexual abuse is criminal behavior. It is one of the most socially costly potential outcomes of altreatment” (Currie, Tekin). A study conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) stated that 14% of all men in prison in the USA were abused as children. Abused children may develop aggressiveness at a young age resulting them to have criminal behavior as a teen or adult. Maltreated children also start to feel apart from their family and feeling that they are alone in life causing tnem to leave nome at a young age.
I ney mlgnt also Tina causing crlmes a way 0T escaping from their lives. The same study also revealed that 36% of all women in rison were abused as children. This might be linked to how the primary effects of child abuse can lead to serious consequences like delinquency. Abused children might also fail in school having no other choice that committing crime to get some source of income. Children can also initiate this behavior by imitating abusers starting a young age. “Crime can start for reasons connected with the abuse and later becomes a way of life” (Garsden).
The OJJDP also found that children who experience child abuse & neglect are 59% more likely to be arrested as a Juvenile, 28% more ikely to be arrested as an adult, and 30% more likely to commit violent crime. Criminal behavior increases not only with the incidence of maltreatment but also with the severity of the case. “Being maltreated approximately doubles the probability of engaging in many types of crime. ” (Currie, Tekin. ) There is no definite answer of why sexually abused children develop a criminal behavior but what is definite is that it’s the most socially costly effect.
Another very important and common effect of child sexual maltreatment is drug and alcohol abuse. Research indicates hat repeated sexual abuse causes physical and mental changes that may lead to drug and alcohol abuse later in life. The symptoms of sexual abuse include depression; the victim might find that his only way out is by consuming alcohol or drugs. The NCANDS’s study indicated that as many as two-thirds of the people in treatment for drug abuse reported being abused or neglected as children. The cause of substance abuse initiated by sexual abuse maltreatment also is imitation and influence. One- third to two-thirds of child maltreatment cases involve substance se to some degree” (Doris, Meguid, Thomas, Blatt, & Eckenrode). If children are abused and in that moment, there is some kind of substance abuse, it is more likely they might be influenced starting from a young age, which leads to substance abuse as a teen and adult. It is not only how harmful the alcohol and drug abuse is to the victim’s body, but also what it might lead to. Crime, drunk driving, abuse and long term diseases like cancer are only a few of the actual effects of substance abuse.
As said before, teen pregnancy, criminal behavior, alcohol and drug abuse are some of he effects victims of child sexual abuse might go through. Not everybody goes through the same consequences but every victim suffers in some way. The early initiation with sexual activity might cause unprotected sex, which can lead to teen pregnancy and STD’s. Sexually abused children might imitate their aggressor causing them to later aggressive behavior that might lead to criminal behavior. Sexually abused children who had an alcohol or drug abusing aggressor or suffered from depression are more likely to also abuse of these substances as a teenage.
There is o definite answer of why these effects happen to sexually maltreated children but studies and statistics have proven that teen pregnancy, criminal behavior, alcohol and drug overuse are consequences of the abuse. It is unfair to any child to have to experience any form of abuse, because it leaves nothing but negative effects that can last a lifetime. “Causes of Child Abuse. ” Family Center. National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. “Child Sexual Abuse. ” American Humane Association. National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 013.. Conklin, Kurt. “Child Sexual Abuse l: An Overview. ” Advocates for Youth. N. p. , Feb. 2012. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. Currie, Janet, and Erdal Tekin. “Does Child Abuse Cause Crime? ” IZA, Apr. 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. Garsden, Peter. “Does Child Abuse Cause Crime? ” – Inside Time Newspaper. N. p. , June 2012. Web. 01 Mar. 2013.. “Impact of Child Abuse and Maltreatment on Delinquency, Arrest and Victimization. ” National Institute of Justice. N. p. , n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. Logan, Cassandra, Emily Holcombe, Suzanne Ryan, Jennifer Manlove, and Kristin Moore. “Child Sexual Abuse and Teen Pregnancy.
Nationa Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, Sept. 2011. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. “National Child Abuse Statistics. ” Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse. Child Help, n. d. Web. 01 Mar. 2013.. “Parental Substance Abuse. ” Child Welfare Information Gateway. N. p. , 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.. “Preventing Child Sexual Abuse. ” Preventing Child Abuse America, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013.. “Understanding Child Sexual Abuse: Education, Prevention, and Recovery. ” Understanding Child Sexual Abuse: Education, Prevention, and Recovery. American Psychological Association, n. d. Web. 23 Feb. 2013..