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ERIC Number: ED381703
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Issues of Premature Indoctrination into Sexualized Behavior.
Rippens, Paula D.; Baldwin, Cynthia
One dynamic that is often neglected in treatment of child sexual abuse is that of how a child's premature indoctrination into sexualized behavior, and the behaviors themselves, may inadvertently contribute to the overall victimization process. Children are capable of experiencing physical and psychological pleasure from sexual stimulation and are entitled to safeguards and freedoms from which to explore these developmental behaviors. However, they can also be vulnerable to inappropriate manipulations and attentions. Children can recognize the various benefits and rewards from compliant sexual participation. They may even initiate sexual behaviors such as flirtation, which have been modeled or reinforced. Therefore, it is highly possible that sexually abused children have been inappropriately and prematurely indoctrinated to respond to their environments and significant others in a developmentally sexualized manner. If children are not injured or frightened, they may engage in a progression of sexualized behaviors and may even manipulate sexualized activities for perceived gain. The perpetrator may see this as evidence that the child is sexually provocative and willing to participate. Many victims of sexual abuse blame themselves for the experience. Counselors need to help these victims understand normal sexual feelings and sexuality development in children and how such childhood responses were natural given their situations. They also need to know that while children may exhibit or engage in sexually provocative behaviors in an attempt to garner attention and/or affection, they are developmentally unprepared to associate such behaviors with true "consent' as defined by adults. Contains 19 references. (JE)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A