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Concept: Child sexual abuse


Criminal investigations often use photographic evidence to identify suspects. Here we combined robust face perception and high-resolution photography to mine face photographs for hidden information. By zooming in on high-resolution face photographs, we were able to recover images of unseen bystanders from reflections in the subjects' eyes. To establish whether these bystanders could be identified from the reflection images, we presented them as stimuli in a face matching task (Experiment 1). Accuracy in the face matching task was well above chance (50%), despite the unpromising source of the stimuli. Participants who were unfamiliar with the bystanders' faces (n = 16) performed at 71% accuracy [t(15) = 7.64, p<.0001, d = 1.91], and participants who were familiar with the faces (n = 16) performed at 84% accuracy [t(15) = 11.15, p<.0001, d = 2.79]. In a test of spontaneous recognition (Experiment 2), observers could reliably name a familiar face from an eye reflection image. For crimes in which the victims are photographed (e.g., hostage taking, child sex abuse), reflections in the eyes of the photographic subject could help to identify perpetrators.

Concepts: Eye, Computer graphics, Child sexual abuse, Face, Faces, Photography, Photograph


Sexual interest toward prepubescents and pubescents (pedophilia and hebephilia) constitutes a major risk factor for child sexual abuse (CSA) and viewing of child abusive images, i.e., child pornography offenses (CPO). Most child sexual exploitation involving CSA and CPO are undetected and unprosecuted in the “Dunkelfeld” (German: “dark field”).

Concepts: Child sexual abuse, Child pornography, Child abuse, Rape, Pedophilia, Commercial sexual exploitation of children, Hebephilia, Ephebophilia


Although there has been much speculation about the relationship between cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, little research on the subject is available. The authors conducted secondary analyses on existing data sets to further examine the degree of association between various measures of cognitive distortions and denial/minimization among child molesters (Sample 1, n = 73; Sample 2, n = 42; Sample 3, n = 38) and rapists (Sample 1, n = 41; Sample 3, n = 14). Meta-analysis of the findings from Samples 1, 2, and 3 indicated that greater endorsement of cognitive distortions about sex offending in general was significantly associated with greater denial/minimization of one’s own guilt and deviance (r = .24), harm to one’s own victims (r = .32), one’s need for treatment (r = .21), and responsibility for one’s sex offenses (r = .16). Although correlated, cognitive distortions and denial/minimization, at least as typically measured, are distinct constructs.

Concepts: Psychology, Subject, Sex offender, Child sexual abuse, Sexual abuse, Statutory rape, Rape, Age of consent


Child sexual abuse has gained public attention and has become 1 of the most high-profile crimes. This study aimed to determine the demographic and medicolegal aspects of child sexual abuse in greater Cairo, Egypt. This is a retrospective study from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2011. Data were collected from a Cairo medicolegal department and were statistically analyzed. The total number of cases was 1832 victims; 57.9% were males and 42.1% were females. Most assaults occurred in 2010 (16.2%) and 2011 (17.5%). The age group 6 to 12 years accounted for higher rate (49%), mostly in males (71.8%). A total of 83.3% of the victims belonged to low social class, and 72.3% of the victims were out of school. Only 1.9% of the victims had a mental disability. The crime scene was an unknown place in 78.1%. All offenders were males; most cases had 1 offender (82.5 %); and most offenders were extrafamilial (94.2%), of low social level, illiterate, unemployed, and between 18 and 30 years old. The unmarried offenders assaulted the females more than the males, whereas the married assaulted the males more than the females. A total of 5.8% were intrafamilial offenders; 62.7% of these cases were incest against girls and 37.3% were sodomy against boys. Clothes were normal in 48.8%. Anal assault (52.3%) and incomplete vaginal penetration (32%) were the commonest types. There was no significant relation between findings, investigations, and time. In conclusion, child sexual abuse in greater Cairo represents a problem. Therefore,forensic medicine should be a part of a multidisciplinary approach to prevent, investigate, and treat the problem.

Concepts: Sociology, Crime, Child sexual abuse, Child abuse, Rape, Boy, Crimes, Assault


Consistent evidence exists for sexual interest in children in nonclinical/nonforensic male populations. However, prevalences for community men’s self-reported sexual interest in children have been based on indiscriminate definitions including postpubescent individuals, age-restricted samples, and/or small convenience samples. The present research assessed men’s self-reported sexual interest in children (including child prostitution and child sex tourism) on the community level and examined the link between strictly defined sexual fantasies and behaviors involving prepubescent children. In an online survey of 8,718 German men, 4.1% reported sexual fantasies involving prepubescent children, 3.2% reported sexual offending against prepubescent children, and 0.1% reported a pedophilic sexual preference. Sexual fantasies involving prepubescent children were positively related to sexual offending against prepubescent children. Sexual interest in children was associated with subjectively perceived need for therapeutic help. In contrast to findings from forensic samples, men who reported child pornography use exclusively were identified as a subgroup differing from contact sexual offenders against prepubescent children and men who reported both child pornography use and contact sexual offenses against prepubescent children. The empirical link between child-related sexual fantasies and sexual victimization of prepubescent children and high levels of subjective distress from this inclination underscore the importance of evidence-based child sexual abuse prevention approaches in the community. Findings are discussed in terms of their relation to pedophilic disorder.

Concepts: Childhood, Child sexual abuse, Child pornography, Human sexuality, Prostitution, Commercial sexual exploitation of children, Child sex tourism, Prostitution of children


Although emotional congruence with children (ECWC) is a risk factor for sexual offending against children, its conceptual validity has hardly been researched. This study aims to explore the construct of ECWC by evaluating the factor structure of the Child Identification Scale (CIS-R) and its relation to facets of sexual preference and child sexual abuse behaviors. It was hypothesized that the measure comprises consistent subscales that are differently associated with aspects of sexual preference and sexual offending against children. CIS-R data of a sample of 217 adult male pedophiles from the community were used for an exploratory principal component analysis (PCA). Group comparisons and a multinomial logistic regression analysis were conducted after including a non-pedophilic control group of 22 adult men. PCA revealed a three-factor solution for the CIS-R accounting for 30% of variance. Group comparisons found differences in overall scores and the factor labeled “Attachment to Children” between subgroups of sexual age and gender preference, but not between contact, online, and non-offenders. The regression analysis showed a pedophile sexual preference and the interaction between a hebephile sexual age preference and the factor “Attachment to Children” being associated with past offending behavior. The results indicate a wish to attach to children as core feature of the CIS-R measure assessing ECWC. It is discussed whether this is an inherent feature of pedophilia or rather an independent aspect being differently distinct in pedophiles.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logistic regression, Principal component analysis, Child sexual abuse, Child pornography, Multinomial logit, Pedophilia, Hebephilia


Although repeated associations have been found between adversity exposure (particularly childhood sexual abuse), dissociation and auditory hallucinations in the context of psychosis, there is little comparable research examining hallucinations in other modalities. This study aimed to determine whether cumulative adversity exposure influences the likelihood of experiencing visual, tactile, olfactory and gustatory hallucinations amongst psychosis patients, and if measures of dissociation are significantly associated with non-auditory hallucinations when adjusting for exposure to childhood adversity, and psychological distress. Self-report measures and a retrospective case-control design were applied to assess non-auditory hallucinations, dissociation, psychological distress, and childhood adversity exposure in a sample of first-episode psychosis patients reporting non-auditory hallucinations (n = 36) and controls from the same clinical population without non-auditory hallucinations (n = 31). Case participants reported higher levels of dissociation, psychological distress, and exposure to childhood rape than the control group. Dissociation remained significantly associated with non-auditory hallucinations when adjusting for childhood sexual abuse, other types of childhood adversity, and a combined measure of emotional distress. Indication of a dose-response relationship was detected, in that total number of adversities was significantly associated with reporting more than one modality of non-auditory hallucination. Observed associations between auditory hallucinations and dissociation in psychosis may extend to other hallucination modalities. It is suggested that more research attention should be paid to the aetiology and impact of non-auditory hallucinations in psychosis samples.

Concepts: Child sexual abuse, Child abuse, Schizophrenia, Hallucination, Psychosis, Psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants, Hallucinations in the sane, Apparitional experience


The process of pregnancy and birth are profound events that can be particularly challenging for women with a history of childhood sexual abuse. The silence that surrounds childhood sexual abuse means that few women disclose it and those caring for them will often not be aware of their history. It is known from anecdotal accounts that distressing memories may be triggered by childbirth and maternity care but research data on the subject are rare. This paper explores aspects of a study on the maternity care experiences of women who were sexually abused in childhood that demonstrate ways that maternity care can be reminiscent of abuse. Its purpose is to inform those providing care for these women.

Concepts: Psychology, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Psychological trauma, Child sexual abuse, Human sexual behavior, Child abuse, Sexual abuse


Although child sexual abuse (CSA) is recognized as a serious violation of human well-being and of the law, no community has yet developed mechanisms that ensure that none of their youth will be sexually abused. CSA is, sadly, an international problem of great magnitude that can affect children of all ages, sexes, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic classes. Upon invitation, this current publication aims at providing a brief overview of a few lessons we have learned from CSA scholarly research as to heighten awareness of mental health professionals on this utmost important and widespread social problem. This overview will focus on the prevalence of CSA, the associated mental health outcomes, and the preventive strategies to prevent CSA from happening in the first place.

Concepts: Psychology, Sexual intercourse, Psychological trauma, Child sexual abuse, Human sexual behavior, Child abuse, Sexual abuse, Rape


Among individuals defined as having been sexually abused based on legal criteria, some will self-report having been abused and some will not. Yet, the empirical correlates of self-definition status are not well studied. Different definitions of abuse may lead to varying prevalence rates and contradictory findings regarding psychological outcomes. The present study examined whether, among legally defined sexual abuse survivors, identifying oneself as having experienced childhood sexual abuse (CSA) was associated with more severe abuse, negative emotional reactions toward the abuse, and current sexual reactions. A convenience sample of 1,021 French-speaking Canadians completed self-report questionnaires online. The prevalence of legally defined CSA was 21.3% in women and 19.6% in men, as compared to 7.1% in women and 3.8% in men for self-defined CSA. Among legally defined sexual abuse survivors, those who identified themselves as CSA survivors had been abused more frequently, were more likely to report a male aggressor, and more often described abuse by a parental figure than those who did not self-identify as abused. Further, self-defined CSA was associated with more negative postabuse reactions and sexual avoidance, whereas those not identifying as sexually abused were more likely to report sexual compulsion.

Concepts: Psychological trauma, Child sexual abuse, Human sexual behavior, Human sexuality, Child abuse, Sexual abuse, Rape, Dissociative identity disorder