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Child Sexual Abuse - Prevalent and Destructive
There is a need for further research in order to establish the most appropriate age group to target with CSA education. In addition to this, future research involving males needs to be conducted. Many studies conducted have only included women, completely ignoring male CSA victims. This underrepresentation also happens in studies involving males, especially older boys who may be reluctant to disclose information due to social pressures (Putnam, 2003).
The studies have shown that sexual abuse is prevalent and has extremely damaging effects. Compared with other psychiatric patients, those who experienced physical CSA not only are more likely to commit suicide, but also have earlier first admissions and longer and more frequent hospitalizations, spend more time in seclusion and exhibit higher symptom severity (Levitan et al., 1998).
The significant impact of childhood abuse is unquestionable. This impact, however, speaks not only to the individual child victim of the crime, but also to the mental health community. Despite the magnitude of the child abuse problem in general, and its contribution to serious public health issues such as major depression, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder, research support is still lacking.
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