11. Effects on boys of sexual interaction with men
Research on the effects of adult-minor sexual activity yields contradictory and surprising results. This is because it often fails to distinguish among very different types of experiences:41
- coerced activity and unwanted advances, vs. mutually desired interaction (both recreational sex and ongoing sexual relationships)
- various kinds of contact, from touching or kissing to genital stimulation to intercourse
- varieties of non-contact interaction, including exhibitionism, viewing of pornography, and verbal propositioning
Thus, results of studies vary widely depending on definitions used, as well as on the group of people studied, and on the extent to which other factors are considered:42
- Studies find some boys suffer from a wide range of serious social, psychological, sexual, and school problems.
- Studies that mix willing sexual activity and non-contact incidents with coerced contact tend to show less frequent harm.
- Studies of those identified by therapists or police as victims of sexual abuse (clinical and criminological studies) tend to show more extensive and serious harm.
- Many non-clinical studies find the majority of boys are unharmed.
Researchers seem to agree that there is no set of reactions that is a single inevitable outcome of adult-minor sexual interaction, such as some sort of personality disorder. Negative outcomes seem to be associated with the following:43
- coercion (particularly if the boy seems willing but is in fact not)
- negative feelings about the interaction
- invasiveness and duration
- sex-negative attitudes
- emotional, unsupportive, or judgmental adult reactions
For more information, see the section on this site about effects.
42. Beitchman et al., 1991; Beitchman et al., 1992; Bernard, 1981; Constantine, 1981; Fergusson & Mullen, 1999; Fromuth & Burkhart, 1989; Haugaard & Emery, 1989; Li, 1990a; Ney et al., 1994; Oellerich, 2001*; Rind et al., 1998; Rind & Tromovitch, 1997; West & Woodhouse, 1990.
43. Beitchman et al., 1992; Constantine, 1981; Fergusson & Mullen, 1999; Ingram, 1981; Kilpatrick, 1987; West & Woodhouse, 1990.
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