October 1980

Child Abuse

Author Affiliations

Division of General Pediatrics
Outpatient Department and Emergency Services Child Protection Committee Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(10):1001-1002. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130220077036

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Sir.—We find interesting comparisons between the data of Ellerstein and Canavan (Journal 134:255-257, 1980) and the experience of our institution's Child Protection Committee. The committee reviews cases of all patients seen at Oklahoma Children's Memorial Hospital, Oklahoma City, who are suspected of being abused, regardless of their initial complaint. Thus, in contrast to the study population of Ellerstein and Canavan, ours includes patients first seen with complaints often entirely unrelated to sexual abuse.

Our overall proportional experience with cases of male sexual abuse is similar to theirs. From January 1977 through February 1980, the committee reviewed 59 cases of suspected sexual abuse, 13.6% of which were boys with a mean age of 7.4 years (range, 3 months to 13 years). However, none of the perpetrators were strangers to the male victims and only 12.5% of the males demonstrated any injuries on physical examination. This contrasts with values of 56%