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June 16, 1999

Interpretation of Research on Sexual Abuse of Boys—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;281(23):2185. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-281-23-jac90005

In Reply: We agree with the conjecture made by Dr Rind and colleagues that sequelae rates differ by sample type. Clinical samples probably demonstrate more adverse health states following sexual abuse than nonclinical samples. In fact, repeat perusal of the studies informing the sequelae section of our article indicates that base rates of outcomes do differ by sample type. However, the rate increases we reported (comparing abused with nonabused boys within sample type) do not. We avoided meta-analytic assessment of studies on male sexual abuse due to the wide variability in design rigor, abuse definitions, and data collection and analytic methods. Meta-analysis is not appropriate when methodological rigor, let alone the question asked, is so varied.