Sir.—We were delighted to see articles concerning the important issue of sexual child abuse in your February 1982 issue. Although both articles are generally consistent with current knowledge, we would like to present some concerns about the method or content in each.
The article "Sexual Abuse of Children: Sex-, Race-, and Age-Dependent Variations" by De Jong et al (Journal 1982;136:129-134) emphasized several important points from earlier studies, including the fact that boys, as well as girls, may be sexually abused and that the symptoms of abuse may be nonspecific physical, psychosocial, or behavioral complaints. However, we find three problems with the study. First, the nature of the study population is unclear. The authors state that their study population consisted of 416 children who were examined for complaints of alleged sexual assault. They never state how many of these complaints were confirmed. Reporting bias is known to be an
JASON J, KRAMER D. Sexual Child Abuse. Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(12):1097-1098. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970480063017