Reports of repetitive penile-genital penetration often have no definitive evidence of penetration

Jim Anderst, Nancy Kellogg, Inkyung Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The goals were to evaluate the association of definitive hymenal findings with the number of reported episodes of penile-genital penetration, pain, bleeding, dysuria, and time since assault for girls presenting for nonacute, sexual assault examinations. METHODS: Charts of all girls 5 to 17 of age who provided a history of nonacute, penile-genital, penetrative abuse were reviewed. Interviews and examinations occurred over a 4-year period at a children's advocacy center. Characteristics of the histories provided by the subjects were examined for associations with definitive findings of penetrative trauma. RESULTS: Five hundred six patients were included in the study. Of the 56 children with definitive examination results, 52 had no history of consensual penile-vaginal intercourse and all were ≥10 years of age. Analysis was unable to detect an association between the number of reported penile-genital penetrative events and definitive genital findings. Eightyseven percent of victims who provided a history of >10 penetrative events had no definitive evidence of penetration. A history of bleeding with abuse was more than twice as likely for subjects with definitive findings. Children <10 years of age were twice as likely to report >10 penetrative events, although none had definitive findings on examination. CONCLUSIONS: Most victims who reported repetitive penile-genital contact that involved some degree of perceived penetration had no definitive evidence of penetration on examination of the hymen. Similar results were seen for victims of repetitive assaults involving perceived penetration over long periods of time, as well as victims with a history of consensual sex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e403-e409
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Rape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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