December 1990

The Use of Anatomically Correct Dolls in the Evaluation of Sexually Abused Children

Author Affiliations

From the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(12):1334-1336. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150360060020

• There is confusion and controversy regarding the use of anatomically correct dolls in the evaluation of allegedly sexually abused children. Studies indicate that there is a significant difference between the play behavior of sexually abused children and that of nonabused children when using anatomically correct dolls. Other research suggests that nonabused children are not threatened, sexually stimulated, or excited to aggression by exposure to anatomically correct dolls. These dolls can be used by trained professionals to help make conclusions about a child's background. However, the dolls cannot be used to prove or disprove abuse.

(AJDC. 1990;144:1334-1336)