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The Causes of Sexual Abuse

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Why do adults sexually abuse children? The answer proposed here will necessarily be incomplete because a great deal still needs to be learned about the causes of sexual abuse. In most cases the dynamics are complex and multiple factors lead to sexual abuse. However, perpetrators appear to share important characteristics that are prerequisites for sexual abuse. These are sexual attraction to children and the willingness to act upon that attraction. The probability of sexual abuse is increased by cultural, environmental, individual, and family factors. See figure 4.1 for a diagram of the conceptual model.

Model of the dynamics of sexual abuse.

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© 1988 Columbia University Press

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Faller, K.C. (1988). The Causes of Sexual Abuse. In: Child Sexual Abuse. Palgrave, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-333-49890-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-11047-6