Childhood Sexual Assault Summary

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Rind, Bauserman, and Tromovitch’s (1998) meta-analysis of childhood sexual abuse was controversial and challenging to read. The article challenged many of my preconceived notions about how trauma is manifested in children who have been sexually assaulted. There is a very wide range of incidents that could fall under the umbrella that is considered childhood sexual assault. This wide range could potentially cause a large margin of error in findings of research on effects of childhood sexual assault. However, I would disagree with Rind et al. (1998) when they say that abuse to a child is not always harmful. A child could internalize their emotional responses to abuse or could be provided with adequate mental health treatment, which could ease…show more content…
(1998) stated “Legal samples are also likely to contain the more serious cases, limiting their generalizability” (p. 24). I believe there is no validity to this statement. As a reader, I am questioning what Rind and colleagues consider to be “serious” cases of child sexual assault and which cases are “not serious.” The statement is a matter of subjective opinion rather than fact. Individuals all perceive their assault differently; it is not up to Rind to determine what is a serious and what not a serious sexual assault of a child is. An individual, who might have experienced a “less severe” sexual assault in Rind’s opinion, might experience more mental health effects than a different individual who Rind considers to have had a “more severe” assault experience. Arguing that a case of childhood sexual assault is more severe on the basis that it was tried in a courtroom, has no standing on how traumatic the event actually was to the individual who experienced the…show more content…
Ondersma et al. (2001) makes a counter argument toward Rind, stating “Most child abuse researchers have long believed that CSA, like other forms of maltreatment, is associated with a wide range of reactions and outcomes (from devastation to no detectable harm), may or may not be traumatic, and may or may not lead to mental health problems in the short of long term” (p. 708). As I mentioned before, childhood sexual abuse is an umbrella under which many experiences for various individuals may fall. For example, a 7 year old boy being molested multiple times over a 2 year period by his uncle would be considered childhood sexual assault. Also, a 14 year old girl who was coerced into having a sexual relationship with a 30 year old man would also be considered childhood sexual assault. In these cases, both experiences can be very traumatizing for the victims of the assault. It is not fair to tell the young girl that she cannot possibly feel as traumatized as the young boy because her assault was not as
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