Psychological Affects Sexual Abuse Has on Teens Who Are Most Likely to Commit These Crimes Research Paper

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Psychological Affects Sexual Abuse Has on Teens: Who Are Most Likely to Commit These Crimes

A situation where an adult, an older child or a youth uses a child or youth for his or her own sexual gratification is referred to as sexual abuse. In the case where the abuse is committed by a family member, like a parent, parent figure, older sibling, other relative or a person with a significant relationship with the child's family, it is referred to as incest. Sexual abuse is either contact or non-contact. Non-contact sexual abuse occurs where the child is forced to watch sexual acts, listen to sexual talk, look at sexual parts of the body like breasts and genitalia or asked sexually intrusive questions or comments either verbally or in written form. Contact sexual abuse involves being touched and fondled in sexual areas, kissed, forced to touch someone's sexual areas, forced to perform oral sex or forced into sexual intercourse either vaginally, anally or orally. In this case, penetration must occur either with body parts or with objects.

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Research Paper on Psychological Affects Sexual Abuse Has on Teens Who Are Most Likely to Commit These Crimes Assignment

Sex offenders can be men, women or teenagers. All sex offenders vary and as a result they all have differences in traits and behavioral progression varies from one to the next. Some factors that are important include the gender of the offenders being male. Sex offenders are found in every socioeconomic class, with every racial, ethnic, religious and cultural group. Juvenile sex offenders are sex offenders who are between five and nineteen years of age with the average being between the ages of fourteen and fifteen years of age and a majority of them being male. Juvenile sex offenders tend to have experienced some form of abuse whether physical, emotional or sexual. Since juvenile sex offenders are frequently isolated from their peers, it has been concluded that juvenile sex offenders are usually isolated and lack social skills necessary to have normal and meaningful relationships. They are also very shy, timid and withdrawn more than the case of other delinquents who commit non-sexual crimes. Offenders also lack social skills making them have or lack intimate relationships with other peers and have fewer female friends if any.

Juvenile sexual offenders may come from dysfunctional families. This can mean that they may have a lack of age appropriate contact in the family. According to CSOM (1999), they may also experience some form of abuse from home, physical, emotional or sexual in nature. Their families may have isolated themselves from the rest of the community and viewing the rest of the world as hostile. These families may also have family secrets that span generations and years and are perverse in nature, such as incest or murder in the family. The juvenile sex offenders are likely to have experienced sexual victimization themselves which brings about a cycle of abuse. Juvenile delinquents may have other non-sexual crimes prior to becoming sexual offenders. Their behavior should be viewed as a part of a large pattern of their acting out. Juvenile sex offenders may have a history of prior high rates of sexual offences. It is found that those who molest children have less sexual offenses history than sexual assaulters.

Molesters are more likely to have committed their previous offences against a single victim and with assaulters having many victims. Adult and juvenile sexual offenders minimize the extent of their misconduct. The Center for Sex Offender Management (1999) listed the sex offenders as having high rates of learning disabilities and academic dysfunction, having mental illness or psychiatric disorder, having difficulty with impulse control or judgment, a few having deviant sexual arousal and interest patterns that are recurrent and intense and relating directly to the nature of the sexual behavior problem. There is also presence of other behavioral health problems including substance abuse and disorders of conduct with a majority have psychiatric disorder.

Patterns of juvenile sex offenders

There are characteristics and generalities characterizing the nature of juvenile sex offenders. First of all, majority of the victims are young children under the age of twelve. Secondly, the majority of victims are females, which is understandable due to the majority of offenders being male. Thirdly, most of the victims have sex offenses have known their offenders. Finally, a good number of the sex offenders use verbal threats in order to help them complete their acts. Verbal coercion is used when threatening or actually using violence or using weapons (Hunter, 2000).

Juvenile sex offenders who assault their peers and/or adults predominantly assault females and strangers or casual acquaintances. These assaults are more likely to take place in the course of committing another crime, like burglary. They are more likely to have prior history of committing non-sexual crimes and appear generally delinquent. Their offences take place in public areas as opposed to private ones. There is a general display of violence and aggression as they commit the crime and also the use of weapons is evident and more likely.

On the other hand, the actions of child molesters tend to occur in secretive covert fashion than those committed by their assaulter counterparts. Many of their victims are siblings or relatives and they have at least one male gender. They suffer from deficits in self-esteem and social competency and also show evidence of depression. They display severe levels of personality and psychosexual disturbances like sexual sadism. Prior sexual victimization and a past history of physical abuse are two factors that may consistently and dramatically influence their behavior Hunter (2000). The type of abuse has been shown to be a common event in the offenders' lives which may mean that child victims may become abusers of other children. There are former victims of sex offenders who do not harm others in the same way as they were abused, but there are others who bring about the cycle of abuse by recreating their trauma and passing on the harm to others.

The effect of sexual abuse on adolescent teens

According to Ward (1988) victims of long-term, acute sexual assault or abuse develop feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, anger, sadness and self blame, which might lead to contemplation of suicide. Another psychological effect of sexual abuse is the difficulty in sleep due to constant nightmares, usually rape related, and development of social phobias like fear of men. Another psychological effect is difficulty in psycho-sexual adjustments and having difficulty in male-female sexual relations. Victims also develop low self-esteem usually thinking that they are unlikable and as a result, they were abused in the first place. There is possibility of the victims developing depression and post traumatic stress disorder which are more likely in the case of an injury occurring during the rape. One is also susceptible if they have a history of depression or alcohol abuse.

There is a possibility of the victim developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol and even start smoking. Victims are also likely to turn to truancy and aggressive behavior like theft. Another effect of sexual abuse is that the victim might develop isolation whereby they feel like they are being judged or that no one understands them therefore becoming withdrawn and anti-social. Some victims develop psychosexual dysfunction, like frequent, indiscriminate sexual activity due to them looking down upon themselves, sexual dysfunction, adolescent pregnancy and re-victimization. They may become prostitutes because they believe that they can numb their emotional pain. They may also start sleeping with random people without committing to a relationship due to the same problem. There is also a possibility of developing issues of control, anger, shame, trust, dependency and vulnerability (Beitchman 1992, Berkowitz 1998, Dickinson 1999, Koverola 2000, Molnar 2001). They develop increased arousal, that is, they become easily startled and have difficulty with concentrating. Victims can also become extremely aggressive when threatened as a result of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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