REVIEW OF 63 ACADEMIC STUDIES ON SEXUAL ABUSE OF BOYS
Graham Fitzpatrick 2005
a)Miller (1976) - Of 3,185 adolescents in the state of Illinois in the U.S., 8% of the males said they had been sexually abused as children. This study excluded non-contact sexual abuse from its definition of sexual abuse.
b)Keckley Market Research (1983) - In a random phone sample of 603 adult males and females within Davidson County in Nashville area in the U.S., 7% of the males said they had been asked to participate or did participate in something sexually as a child which they did not want to do or felt uncomfortable about, excluding playing among peers and dates.
c)Los Angeles Epidemiologic Catchment Area Project (1983-1984) - Of 1,480 men, 3.8% stated they had been sexually assaulted as children. Sexual assault here was defined as forced or pressured sexual contact before age 16 years. Most offenders against boys were males, of which:
(i)0% were parents
(ii)12.2% were other relatives.
(iii)87.8% were non-relatives
The average age of the boys when sexually assaulted was 9.5 years.
d)Kerscher-McShane (1984) - Of 461 males in a systematic random sample survey in Texas, 3.03% stated they were sexually abused as children.
e)Finklehor (1984) - Of 185 fathers from Boston in the U.S., 9.2% previously had physical contact as a boy with an older person which the fathers now would label sexual abuse.
f)The Los Angeles Times Poll of 1985 - Of 1,145 males aged 18 years and over who were surveyed, 16% said they had been sexually abused by contact or non-contact means as children. Of these sex abuse cases, 80% occurred when the boys were 0-13 years. Of the offenders, none were natural parents or grandparents, 1% were biological or step brothers and sisters, 5% were uncles/aunts, 5% were cousins, 13% were friends, 31% were known acquaintances, 40% were strangers and 5% were others.
g)Murphy (1987) - Of 357 adult males, 2.8% said they had been sexually abused as children 17 years or younger and this involved unwanted sexual contact such as sexual touching of the person's body or sexual intercourse.
h)Murphy (1989) - Of 777 men surveyed in central Minnesota in the U.S., 11% said that they had been sexually abused as a child aged 17 years or younger. The definition of sexual abuse was broader than in Murphy's 1987 survey.
i)Bagley (1989) - Of 935 adult males, 8.2% stated they had experienced unwanted touching of bodily sexual areas or unwanted attempted or achieved sexual intercourse prior to turning 17 years of age. Of the offenders who sexually assaulted these boys, only 3% were close family members.
j)The Ontario Health Supplement Survey (1990-1991) - Of a random sample of 9,953 residents aged 15 years and older of the province of Ontario, Canada, 4.3% of the males and 12.8% of the females said they had been sexually abused as children through actual or attempted sexual assaults, unwanted sexual touching, being threatened with sex and/or having someone expose themselves to them more than once against their will.
k)Doll, Joy et al (1992) - Of 1001 homosexual and bisexual men surveyed, 34.7% had been raped or seduced as boys or teenagers by adult men, 1% by males and females together and 5% by females alone. The median age when these boys were raped or seduced was 10 years old.
l)Jinich et al (1992) - In their population-based samples of 1,941 homosexual and bisexual men from the cities of Portland and Tucson in the U.S., 35% said that when they were under 16 years, they had one or more sexual experiences with someone at least 5 years older. Of the offenders, 96% were male and 4% were female.
m)Wolf (1992) - In a probability sample of 283 men in the state of Kentucky in the U.S., 9% said that before the age of 16 they had been sexually abused through rape or other unwanted means or through activities which they agreed to at the time but now regard as sexual abuse.
n)Janus and Janus (1993) - Of 1,318 men aged 18 years and older surveyed in the U.S., 11% answered "Yes" to the statement: "I was sexually molested as a child." Of the offenders, 33% were adult strangers, 44% were relatives and 23% were in an authority position over the boys.
o)Bagley, Wood and Young (1994) - Of 750 males surveyed in a stratified random sample from Calgary in Canada, 15.5% stated they "had experienced unwanted sexual contact involving at least the touching of the respondent's genitals or anus before the age of 17". Of 52 men who had multiple occurrences of unwanted sexual contact in childhood, 84.6% did not report these acts to anyone, 11.5% have a current sexual interest in male children aged younger than 13 years, 23.1% have a current sexual interest in boys aged 13-15 years and 19.2% have had sexual contact as adults with boys aged 13-15 years.
p)Finklehor, Moore, Hamby and Strauss (1995) - In a random sample digit dialing national telephone survey of 1,000 parents, 9% of the male parents reported they were forced to have sex against their will when 0 to 17 years old and 6.1% of parents said their son had been sexually abused at some time in the past. Of the parents' sons who had been sexually abused in the last year, 90% of the boys were 0 to 14 years.
q)The 1998 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect - Of alleged victims of sexual abuse in childhood, there were 4,519 boys and 9,813 girls of alleged offenders, 20% were fathers and mothers, 11% were step parents, 4% were foster family/adoptive parents, 28% were other relatives, 2% were strangers, 28% were known others and 7% were unknown.
r)Coxell, King, Mezey and Gordon (1999) - Of 2,474 male subjects from 18 general medical practices throughout England, 5.3% reported having unwanted sexual experiences as children. Of the offenders, 81% were males and 21% were females. In two cases, male and females worked together.
s)Edwards et al (2003) - Of 3,869 adult male members of a Health Maintenance organisation, 17.5% said they had been sexually abused as children through fondling or attempted or actual sexual intercourse.
t)Briere and Elliott (2003) - Of 464 male subjects in a geographically stratified random sample, 14.2% reported having been sexually abused as children. Of the sex offenders against the boys, 69.7% were males and 39.4% were females, with obviously some cases involving male and female offenders together.
Note: Boys are dramatically underrepresented in clinical cases.
a)Shah, Holloway and Valkil (1982) - In Toronto, Canada, 843 clinical cases of sexual abuse of children in 1962, 1967 and 1970-1978 were studied. Of these cases, girls comprised 89.4% and boys 10.6% of cases.
b)De Jong, Hervada and Emmett (1983) - 142 boys visited the Rape Crisis Center of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, U.S.A. from October 1976 to September 1980 after being molested by 162 male and 2 female offenders. In 18 cases, there were multiple offenders. Of the offenders, 21% were relatives, 38% were acquaintances, 37% were strangers and 4% were unknown. More than half the boy victims were between 5 to 9 years of age when sexually abused.
c)Farler, Showers, Johnson, Joseph and Oshins (1984) - Of 81 sexually abused boys who reported to a teaching hospital in the Midwest in the U.S. between September 1979 to August 1982, 92% had been abused by males acting alone, 2% by females alone and 6% by males and females working together. Of the offenders, 39.5% were family members, 38.2% were known non-family members, 19.8% strangers and 2.4% unknown.
d)Kohan et al (1987). In their study of 1,074 boys aged 0 to 12 years who had been admitted as inpatients to 63 public and 47 private child psychiatric units in the U.S., Kohan et al found 16% of the boys reported a history of sexual abuse. Of the offenders, 72% were biological or step family members and 35% were non-relatives. Some cases included offenders from both relatives and non-relatives.
e)Reinhardt (1987) - Of 189 sexually abused boys in California, 62% were abused by non-relatives, 96% by males alone, 2% by females alone and 2% by males and females working together.
f)Faller (1989) - The offenders who sexually abused 87 boys were in 63.2% of cases males working alone, in 28.7% of cases males working together with female offenders and in 8% of cases females alone.
The cycle of sexual abuse
Many sexually abused boys do not sexually abuse others, but a high percentage do.
a)Longo (1982) - Out of 17 males aged 16 to 19 years who had been criminally convicted for sexually assaulting males or females, 35.2% had been sexually abused previously as a child by a man.
b)Urquiza-Crowley (1986) - Out of the male students they surveyed who had been sexually abused, 25% had sexual fantasies involving children and 13% said they had a desire to fondle or engage in sexual activities with children.
c)Chandy, Blum and Resnick (1996) - Of 370 male teenagers who had been sexually abused, 14.1% said they later raped someone.
d)McClellan et al (1997). Out of 125 male youths who had been sexually abused, 39.2% did the same to others. Out of 189 non-sexually abused youths, a much lower figure of 7.4% sexually abused others.
a)Janus, Burgess and McCormack - Of 89 young runaway males aged 15 to 20 at a refuge for homeless youth, 38.2% reported being sexually abused as children.
High school student samples
a)Goldman and Goldman (1988) - Of 338 male students from post-secondary school educational institutions in urban and rural areas of the state of Victoria in Australia, 9% of the males said they had had sexual experiences as children with adults. Of the offenders, 48% were males.
b)1993 Oregon Youth Risk Behavior Survey - This study involved 2,332 students from grades 9 to 12 from 25 high schools from the American state of Oregon. Of the male students, 8.1% stated they had been sexually abused as boys.
c)Nagy, Adcock and Nagy (1994) - Of 1,321 grade 8 and 10 boy students, 7.3% said they had been previously sexually abused.
College or University student samples
a)Finklehor (1979) - Of 266 male college students from New Hampshire in the U.S., 6.3% revealed they had been sexually abused as children by adults and an extra 2-3% by adolescents who were at least 5 years older at the time. Of these two groups of sexually abused boys, just under 54% said their abuser used force or threats to get the boys to comply. Of the offenders, 17% were relatives, 53% were acquaintances and 30% were strangers. In 91% of cases, the older partners initiated the sexual contacts. In 84% of cases, the offenders were males. Also 73% of the boys never previously told anyone of their sexual abuse.
b)Finklehor (1980) - Of 796 social science students from colleges and universities in New England in the U.S., 9% of the men said they had been sexually abused by adults 18 years and over.
c)Fritz, Stoll and Wagner (1981) - The researchers did a study of 952 male and female college students at the University of Washington. Of the male students, 7.7% stated they had been molested as pre-adolescents by an adult. In 40% of cases, the offenders were males.
d)Seidner and Calhoun (1984) - Of 490 male college from Georgia in the U.S., 5% said they had experienced contact and non-contact sexual abuse by older partners.
e)Risin and Koss (1987) - Of 2,972 adult male students from 32 U.S. institutions of higher education, 7.3% reported contact or non-contact sexual abuse as boys from 1 to 13 years old with an average age of 9.8 years. Of all incidences of sexual abuse, 30.7% involved attempted or actual sexual penetration, 34.7% involved sexual fondling and 34.7% involved sexual exhibitionism. Of the offenders, 60.9% were males, 37.7% were females and 1.4% were males and females working together. Of offenders who sexually penetrated the boys, 9.6% were biological family members, 79% known others and 11.3% strangers. Of the female offenders, 47.8% were babysitters. In 81.2% of cases, the boys never told anyone of their sexual abuse experiences.
f)Urquiza (1988) - Of 2,016 male undergraduate students, 17.3% said that they had been sexually abused through direct sexual contact, including physical contact, with the victims and/or offenders' genitals when the offender was an adult or a child at least 5 years older than the victim.
g)Briere and Runtz (1989) - Of 193 male undergraduate students, 9% admitted having fantasies about having sex with a child, 5% masturbated while having fantasies about having sex with a child and 7% of male subjects said it was likely that they would have sex with a child sometime in the future.
h)Fromuth and Burkhart (1989) - Of 582 male university students, about 14% reported being sexually abused as boys. In this sample, 72% of offenders were female and 28% were male.
i)Fischer (1991) - Of 327 male college students in the U.S., 9% reported being sexually abused as children prior to puberty. Of the offenders, 60% were males and 40% were females.
j)Zierler et al (1991) - Of 85 male students aged 18 years and over, 9.4% said they had been raped or forced to have sex previously as little children prior to teenage years and 4.7% had experienced either of these atrocities previously as teenagers. One-third of these men became male prostitutes.
k)Priest (1992) - Of 356 male American college students, 12% reported being sexually abused as boys.
l)Violato and Genuis (1993) - Of 200 male university students aged between 18 and 27 years in the U.S., 14% said they had been sexually abused as children.
m)Wellman (1993) - Of 167 male psychology students, 6% said they had been sexually abused once or more when they were little children or teenagers. Of the male students, 5% admitted feeling sexually excited when talking about sexual abuse.
n)Collings (1995) - Of 284 male South African undergraduate students, 20% had unwanted non-contact sexual encounters as children with male paedophiles and 9% had unwanted contact sexual encounters as children with male offenders.
o)Douglas (1995) - In the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, out of 2,051 male American college and university students, 3.9% reported being forced into having sexual intercourse in the past against their will.
p)Goldman and Padayachi (1997) - Of 140 male tertiary students in Queensland, Australia, 19% said they had experienced unwanted contact and non-contact sexual abuse experiences as children.
q)Tomeo et al (2001) - Of 205 heterosexual college and university male students, 6.7% had been sexually molested as children by men and 20% by women. Of 121 homosexual men from the homosexual pride fair, 46.7% had been sexually molested as children by men and 16.8% by women. The average age, which boys were sexually molested by men, was 11.
r)Bendixen, Muus and Schei - Of 486 male college and university students, 3.5% reported being sexually abused as children. Of the offenders, 86% were males and 14% were females.
Criminal offender samples
a)Abel et al (1987) - The 153 child molesters who targeted non-family member boys admitted having 22,981 boy victims in total. The 44 male child molesters who targeted their own family members, admitted having 75 boys victims in total.
b)Marshall, Barbaree and Eccles (1991) - 34 convicted child molesters against non-familial boys had 3.3 victims each.
c)Abel, Osborn and Twig (1993) - The average age which 195 male paedophiles began to practice paedophilia was 18.2 years old. The average number of non-family member boy victims which each paedophile by the age of 45 had sexually abused was 54. The average number of boy family members each paedophile by the age of 45 sexually abused was 12.
d)Greenberg, Bradford and Currey (1993) - Of 135 paedophiles who had sex with pre-adolescents, 42% stated they had been sexually abused as children. Of 43 paedophiles who had sex with adolescents, 44% had been sexually abused as children.
e)Elliott, Browne and Kilcoyne (1995) - Of 91 child sex offenders studied, 35% had professional jobs, 34% were juveniles when they committed their first sex offence against children and 8% had murdered or attempted to murder their victim.
f)Abel and Harlow (2002) - Of 3,952 male child molesters studied, 26.3% sexually molested boys and 47% said they had been sexually abused as children. The male offenders who had not been sexually abused as children averaged 7 child victims each but the male offenders who were sexually abused as children averaged 25 child victims each.
a)Jaffe, Dynneson and ten Bensel (1975) - In Minneapolis between 1964 to 1971, there were 291 reported cases of sexual abuse of children of which 12% were boys and 88% were girls. All offenders were males.
N.B. Boys are under-presented in police samples.
To understand the enormity of the of the problem of sexual abuse of boys in the world, consider the following:
a)If the rate is 5 to 10% of all males and the present world population is 6.5 billion, of which 3.25 billion are boys, this means 325 to 650 million males of the present world population have been sexually abused as boys.
b)If the rate is 5 to 10% in Australia and the number of males in Australia is about 10 million, this means 500,000 to 1 million Australian males have been sexually abused as boys by adults or much older children.
c)If the rate is 5 to 10% and the U.S. population is 296 million, of which half are boys, this means about 14.8 to 29.6 million males in the present American population have been sexually abused as boys.
d)If the rate is 5 to 10% and the European Union population is 457 million, of which half are boys, this means about 22.85 to 45.7 million males in the present European Union countries have been sexually abused as boys.
The above figures are so large, they are hard even to grasp or imagine. But they are no fantasy. This is one of the greatest catastrophes in human history. The real sex abuse figure of boys may be even higher than 5 to 10% in some or many countries.
Future additions to this study
This study is developing and ongoing. There will be many additions made to it in future.
Copyright…Graham Fitzpatrick 2005