Attitudes toward victims of child sexual abuse among adults from four ethnic/cultural groups

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Abstract

Attitudes toward a teen victim of sexual abuse were assessed among adults living in New York City representing four ethnic/cultural groups: Cuban Americans (n = 40); Puerto Ricans (n = 46); African Americans (n = 40); and Anglo-Americans (n = 91). Respondents read a vignette describing the teenage female victim, the perpetrator, and the nature of the abuse. Then they completed on a semantic-differential consisting of 10 bipolar adjective rating scales. Factor analysis of the ratings indicated that the respondents conceptualized the victim in terms of a negative evaluation dimension and an assertiveness dimension. A multivariate analysis of variance indicated that the Cuban American group evaluated the victim more negatively than the Puerto Rican group. The ratings assigned to the victim on the assertiveness factor were significantly lower among female respondents than among male respondents. Results were interpreted as supporting the position that victims of child sexual abuse may be stigmatized as a result of their experience, and that the likelihood that this will occur may vary from one cultural group to another. Clinicians working with victims should routinely assess the culturally related attitudes of a victim's family toward the victim, the perpetrator, and the meaning of the sexual abuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Child Sexual Abuse
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Dec 1999

Keywords

  • Cultural differences
  • Depression
  • Psychosocial outcomes
  • Self-esteem
  • Semantic-differential
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Victimization

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