Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dissertation on shame. Chapter 2.2.1 Prevalence in special groups

2.2.1 Prevalence in special groups

Studies carried out by Wurr and Partridge (1995) show that all groups of psychiatric patients and especially female “swing-door” patients have a high occurrence of sexual abuse in childhood. This is also documented by the Norwegian researchers Boe and Christie (1991). Read (1998) argues that patients who have been sexually abused as children are more often suicidal and stay longer in psychiatric hospitals than those that have not experienced such childhood trauma. Miller (1996), Hernandez (1995), and Felliti (1991) all conclude in their studies of the connection between sexual abuse and eating disorders, that there are high occurrences of youth and adults that have been sexually abused as children among psychiatric inpatients with eating disorders and particularly with bulimia, compared with the normal population. Scott (1992) has estimated that approximately eight percent of all psychiatric cases within the population at large can be attributed to child sexual abuse. Finkelhor and Dziuba-Leatherman (1994) argue that children suffer more victimization than adults, including more often being the victims of conventional crimes, of family violence, and of some forms of victimization that are virtually unique to children, such as family abduction. They argue that sexually victimized children are four times more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder during their lifetime and three times more likely of falling into substance abuse than non-victims.

A Norwegian study carried out by Tjersland (1995) concludes that there is a considerable occurrence of child sexual abuse among individuals that receive therapy for addiction and amongst prostitutes. Borchgrevinch and Christie (1991) have come to the same conclusion. Mason, Zimmerman and Evans (1998) and Fondacard, Holt and Powel (1999) have carried out studies of sexual abuse among incarcerated youth and conclude that there is also here a considerable occurrence of child sexual abuse among those serving time in prison.

Studies carried out by Watkins and Bentovim (1992) and Bentovim and Watkins (1998) conclude that there the majority of those that have committed child sexual abuse, especially among young perpetrators, have themselves experienced being victimized by child sexual abuse. This meaning that there seems to be a statistical connection between being a sexual abuse offender and being a victim of child sexual abuse oneself. It does not mean that there is the same statistical connection between being a victim of child sexual abuse and later becoming a perpetrator. But these studies show that some victims of child sexual abuse later in life themselves commit sexual abuse towards children, and that it is common to find a victimized childhood amongst perpetrators. 

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