THE PREVALENCE OF UNWANTED SEXUAL EXPERIENCES AMONG BELGIAN AND SOUTH AFRICAN STUDENTS

  • Arlynn Tracy Revell Instituut voor Familiale en Seksuologische Wetenschappen, Faculteit Geneeskunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Alfons Vansteenwegen Instituut voor Familiale en Seksuologische Wetenschappen, Faculteit Geneeskunde, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Lionel John Nicholas Department of Psychology, University of Fort Hare, South Africa.

Abstract

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a global problem and South Africa has been identified as a high-CSA incidence country (Jewkes, 2002; Meier, 2002; New York Times, 2002 cited in Women’sInternational Network, 2002). Belgium is a low-CSA incidence country (Finkelhor, 1994) andthe comparison of two similar populations from these countries would elucidate differences inunwanted sexual experiences of these two settings, reflecting social and cultural variables thatmay affect the problem. Back, Jackson, Fitzgerald, Shaffer, Salstrom and Osman (2003),contend that very few studies have compared individuals of different nationalities and alsothose residing in their own countries, which limits the understanding of potential culturaldifferences regarding CSA. In their study of 65 North American and 88 Singaporean womencollege students they found 15,4% of North American respondents had been exposed to CSAcompared to 4,5% of Singaporean respondents, the majority of whom did not considerthemselves as being abused. Miller, Johnson and Johnson (1991) contend that self-reportbiases and definitional problems permeate CSA research and they developed an Early SexualExperience Checklist (ESEC) which seeks to avoid such problems. They argued that, becausethe ESEC assesses an explicit variety of non-coital responses and provides a non-restrictiveresponse format, a high incidence of unwanted sexual experiences may be reported as is thecase in their study.

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Published
2014-06-30
Section
Articles