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June 1975

Sexual Abuse of Children: An Epidemiologic Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics (Drs. Jaffe and ten Bensel) and School of Public Health (Dr. ten Bensel), University of Minnesota; Hennepin County Medical Center (Dr. Jaffe); and St. Olaf-Fairview School of Nursing, Minneapolis (Ms. Dynneson).

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(6):689-692. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120430029008

An epidemiologic study of sexual abuse of children was made by reviewing Minneapolis Police Department records. Children were involved in 33% of all cases reported. Eighty-five percent of cases involved exposure or indecent liberties. Half of the cases occurred in the summer; half of the cases occurred from 2 to 6 pm. The mean age of victims was 10.7 years, and 88% were girls. All reported offenders were men; their "mean estimated age" was 28 years. The method of study did not allow determination of social relationships between victims and the offenders. Little information regarding the magnitude of the problems of medical, psychological, and social sequelae of sexual abuse of children is available in the literature.

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