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The Truth About Child Sexual Abuse

Some common misconceptions

(HealthDayNews) -- Much so-called "common knowledge" about child sexual abuse is, actually, incorrect. Among many misconceptions on the subject:

  • Most pedophiles are homosexuals.
    False: The vast majority of child sexual abusers are heterosexual.
  • Boys are sexually abused more often than girls.
    False: Studies indicate that girls are three times more likely to be sexually abused than boys.
  • Child sexual abuse is rampant in the Roman Catholic Church.
    False: Child abuse is not specific to any religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.

Furthermore, according to the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), it is estimated that 77 percent of reported abusers are parents and 16 percent are other relatives.

"It is imperative that parents and caregivers establish open communication with their children and be willing to teach them how to protect themselves against sexual abuse, says SIECUS President Tamara Kreinin. "Informed youth are better equipped to protect themselves and are more likely to report sexually abusive and coercive relationships," she says.

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