Incest and Other Sexual Contacts between Adults and Children

  • Noel R. Larson
  • James W. Maddock
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


A sizable minority of children—perhaps 25–30% of girls and 15–20% of boys—have inappropriate sexual contact with an adult prior to adolescence (Kinsey et al., 1953; Rossman, 1976). “Inappropriate” here refers to an explicit, genitally focused contact whose major purpose is erotic gratification of the adult regardless of the child’s feelings. These contacts are exploitive of children, because they largely ignore the feelings of the child in favor of adult gratification and because they reflect (overtly or covertly) the dynamics of coercion (i.e., “big” overpowering “little”). This contrasts with the natural, sexually tinged touching, which is a normal part of growing up—being bathed by a parent, being examined by a physician, being discovered during masturbation or sex play, even the hugging, kissing, and stroking that are part of the sensual and erotic fabric of everyday family life.


Sexual Abuse Sexual Contact Compulsive Sexual Behavior Defense Pattern Foster Father 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noel R. Larson
    • 1
  • James W. Maddock
    • 2
  1. 1.Meta ResourcesPsychotherapy and Training InstituteSt. PaulUSA
  2. 2.Department of Family Social ScienceUniversity of Minnesota, and Meta ResourcesSt. PaulUSA

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