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One sex offender treatment specialist defined child sexual abuse as “a sexual act imposed upon a child who lacks emotional, maturational, and cognitive development. Authority and power enable the perpetrator, implicitly or directly, to coerce the child into sexual compliance. The ability to lure a child into a sexual relationship is based upon the all-powerful and dominant position of the adult or older adolescent perpetrator, which is in sharp contrast to the child's age, dependency, and subordinate position.” [xxii] The abuse can be intrafamilial—between a child and a family member or person in the role of a family member—or extrafamilial—between a child and someone outside the family. Incest is a specific term for sexual contacts between persons who are prohibited to marry by virtue of their familial relationship.
Sexual abusive behaviors range from nudity, disrobing, exhibitionism, to oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Child sexual abuse can include:
- Touching a child's breasts, genitals, and anus.
- Having any type of intercourse with a child.
- Encouraging a child to watch or hear adult sexual acts.
- Using an object, instrument, or body part to penetrate a child's genitals or anus.
- Having a child touch another's genitals.
- Using a child in erotica.
- Showing erotic or pornographic materials to a child.
- Photographing a child in sexual poses.