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Do American Ethnic Cultures Differ in Their Definitions of Child Sexual Abuse?

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This study investigated whether the three largest ethnic/cultural populations in the United States—white Americans, African Americans and Hispanic Americans—entertain different notions of what constitutes Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). The study also investigated the circumstances under which individuals of these cultures deem an offense sufficiently severe to warrant reporting it to law enforcement agencies. Findings are that there are no significant differences between the ethnic groups' recognition of, or willingness to report, CSA except at the lowest levels of severity, where the two ethnic American minorities are somewhat more likely to recognize or report CSA than are white Americans.
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Keywords: Child Sexual Abuse; abuse; cultural differences; sexual abuse

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA 2: Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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