Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins

Child Sexual Assault

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_28-1

The World Health Organization (1999) defines child sexual assault as the involvement of a child in sexual activity that he or she does not fully comprehend; is unable to give informed consent for, for which the child is not developmentally prepared and cannot give consent; or violates the laws or social taboos of society. Specifically, the expression “sexual assault” refers to a series of unwanted sexual behaviors, activities, or contact – including penetration – to which an individual does not or cannot give his or her consent (e.g., the victim is underage or under the influence of drugs). Sexual assault also involves the use or threat of physical strength and can affect individuals of all ages, both male and female. When sexual assault involves a child, we refer to it as child sexual assault, and it is considered a serious form of child maltreatment and abuse. Often, the term sexual assault is used instead as a term that encompasses and describes many situations such as rape, child...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human and Social Science“Kore” University of EnnaEnnaItaly
  2. 2.Accademia di Psicologia Sociale e GiuridicaRomeItaly