Nav: Home

The perpetrator in one-quarter of child sexual abuse cases is a stranger

October 22, 2012

Child sexual abuse is committed by strangers more than one-quarter of the time. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden reviewed the records of 196 men who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in Western Sweden. The study also found that only 8% of the perpetrators had been referred to a major forensic investigation.

The typical victim is a girl age 15 or younger who has been abused by a relative or acquaintance. Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy reviewed the records of 196 people who had been convicted of child sexual abuse in Västra Götaland County in Western Sweden.

Anita Carlstedt and her team studied the relationship between the perpetrator and victim in each case. In order to generate sociodemographic, offender characteristic and mental disease data, the researchers also reviewed the records of 185 people who had been examined by a forensic psychiatrist after being convicted of child sexual abuse during the same period.

The studies found that the perpetrator in 27 percent of the cases was a stranger to the child.

"The majority of these cases did not involve physical contact," says Anita Carlstedt. "Among the most common offenses were indecent exposure, masturbation and sexual harassment."

Other results shows that:
  • Eighty-five percent of the victims were girls, 12 percent boys and 3 percent girls and boys at the same time
  • Most of the offenses were violent, penetration being the most frequent act
  • Only 8 percent of the perpetrators were examined by a forensic psychiatrist before or during the trial
  • The sentences were generally mild
  • Perpetrators born abroad received stiffer sentences for the same offenses
  • Between 10 and 14 percent of perpetrators went on to become recidivists
"One key conclusion is that the risk of recidivism is generally low," says Anita Carlstedt. "But the risk was somewhat higher when the perpetrator was not a relative or acquaintance of the child."

The reason for the study is that previous research on child sexual abuse has suffered from major defects, primarily because so many cases go unreported and it is often difficult to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The purpose of the thesis was to contribute to our knowledge about sex offenders, the nature of the offenses they commit and the types of sentences they receive.

"Learning more about sex offenders is vitally important if we are to treat them in a constructive manner and improve the results of forensic psychiatrists," says Anita Carlstedt.
-end-
Link to thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/29705

Contact:

Anita Carlstedt, Centre for Ethics, Law and Mental Health at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg
Phone: +46 31 343 87 32
anita.carlstedt @neuro.gu.se

University of Gothenburg

Related Anita Carlstedt Articles:

Diet has rapid effects on sperm quality
Sperm are influenced by diet, and the effects arise rapidly.
New principle for activation of cancer genes discovered
Researchers have long known that some genes can cause cancer when overactive, but exactly what happens inside the cell nucleus when the cancer grows has so far remained enigmatic.
Octapharma USA sponsors ASA Symposium on fibrinogen supplementation in surgical patients
Octapharma USA sponsored a scientific symposium, 'Fibrinogen Supplementation in Surgical Patients - New Perspectives in Acquired Fibrinogen Deficiency,' at the recent American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting.The clinical trials discussed at ASA include: FORMA-05: Fibrinogen Concentrate vs.
Computer kidney could provide safer tests for new medications
A University of Waterloo researcher has spearheaded the development of the first computational model of the human kidney.
Discovery of the first common genetic risk factors for ADHD
A global team of researchers has found the first common genetic risk factors associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a complex condition affecting around one in 20 children.
Your severe eczema may best be treated by allergy shots
A medically-challenging case found that allergy shots provided significant benefits to the eczema symptoms suffered by a 48-year-old man.
Dental research shows that smoking weakens immune systems
Researchers at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine found that smoking weakens the ability for pulp in teeth to fight illness and disease.
'AGameOfClones': Identification of transgenic organisms
Researchers at Goethe University Frankfurt have developed a concept called 'AGameOfClones,' which allows to distinguish easily whether transgenic organisms carry an inserted foreign gene on one or on both chromosomes.
Researchers discover efficient and sustainable way to filter salt and metal ions from water
With two billion people worldwide lacking access to clean and safe drinking water, joint research by Monash University, CSIRO and the University of Texas at Austin published today in Sciences Advances may offer a breakthrough new solution.
Scientists identify breast cancer patients who may develop incurable secondary cancers
Scientists from King's College London, funded by Breast Cancer Now, believe they have found a way to identify lymph-node positive breast cancer patients who are most likely to develop incurable secondary tumors (metastases) and those who are less at risk.
More Anita Carlstedt News and Anita Carlstedt Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Climate Mindset
In the past few months, human beings have come together to fight a global threat. This hour, TED speakers explore how our response can be the catalyst to fight another global crisis: climate change. Guests include political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac, diplomat Christiana Figueres, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida, and writer, illustrator, and artist Oliver Jeffers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Speedy Beet
There are few musical moments more well-worn than the first four notes of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. But in this short, we find out that Beethoven might have made a last-ditch effort to keep his music from ever feeling familiar, to keep pushing his listeners to a kind of psychological limit. Big thanks to our Brooklyn Philharmonic musicians: Deborah Buck and Suzy Perelman on violin, Arash Amini on cello, and Ah Ling Neu on viola. And check out The First Four Notes, Matthew Guerrieri's book on Beethoven's Fifth. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.