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The wide-ranging impact of child sexual abuse: Utilising neurobiology to provide scientific evidence
journal contributionposted on 03.05.2018, 00:00 by Marika Guggisberg
Child sexual abuse (CSA) is an inherently difficult issue to study. In recent years, not only men’s rights groups, but also academics stated that harmful effects have been overstated in the literature and that so-called ‘adult-child sex’ was much less harmful than previously portrayed. It is openly argued that CSA might even be beneficial for children. Research methodology is commonly criticised in an attempt to advocate for paedophilic and hebephilic tendencies to be viewed as normal sexual orientation. This article provides evidence contrary to claims that ‘adult-child sex’ is harmless using neurobiological insight. Neurobiological and neuropsychological impacts of CSA victimisation have been found to be extensive. Recent scientific evidence suggests that gene activation and silencing is influenced in relation to physical and mental health implications along with health behaviour responses that transcend generations. Neurobiological research provides evidence that CSA is related to pathways associated with physical and mental health problems in adulthood as well as behavioural maladaptive coping. Therapy implications are discussed that may reverse the longterm negative impact of CSA over generations.