Psychology, Department of

 

Date of this Version

2007

Comments

Published in Encyclopedia of Psychology and Law, ed. Brian L. Cutler (Newbury Park, CA: SAGE Publications, 2008). Copyright © 2007 SAGE Publications. Used by permission. http://www.sage-ereference.com/psychologylaw/Article_n35.html

Abstract

Although definitions can vary across legal, clinical, and research contexts, sexual abuse is commonly defined as sexual acts between a youth and an older person (e.g., by 5 years or more) in which the dominance of the older person is used to exploit or coerce the youth. Behaviors may include noncontact (e.g., exposure) and contact (e.g., intercourse) offenses.