More than 300 patients who presented consecutively to a sexual abuse clinic, a family planning clinic, and a family practice clinic filled out an anonymous survey regarding unwanted sexual experiences. In the family planning and family practice clinics, 40% of females and 16% of males reported having at least one unwanted sexual experience prior to their 18th birthday. Although 85% had disclosed their unwanted sexual experience, time to disclosure was prolonged (mean 2.3 years, median 5 to 6 months). Fear and embarrassment were the most common reasons for delay or lack of disclosure. The most common reasons for disclosure reflected internal rather than external or environmental influences. Increased awareness of unwanted sexual experiences and patterns of disclosure may enhance detection and treatment in children and adolescents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health