The Theory Of Child Sexual Abuse Essay

1597 Words Nov 28th, 2016 7 Pages
Child sexual abuse has been defined as “unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent.” (American Psychological Association, n. d., para 1). Child sexual abuse has been extensively studied and many models have been developed which attempt to provide a comprehensive context or framework to explain the reasoning behind these offences.
Ward, Polaschek and Beech (2006, pp.12) outline three main levels of theories. Level I theories, also referred to as multifactorial theories, aim to develop a rich and comprehensive account of sexual offending. Level II theories on the other hand have been developed to account for single factors which are thought to be of importance in the development of a sexual offence. A good example of this would be the importance of emotional congruence and how this can be applied to the development of an offence. The final level of theory, level III or descriptive models, aim to describe the offence and or relapse process. This level of theory tends to focus on specific factors which could explain how the offence occurs such as cognitive, behavioural, affective and social factors. Finkelhor’s (1984) precondition model is an example of a level I theory which attempts to provide a comprehensive theory of sexual offending taking in to account psychological, biological and sociological factors.
In 1984, David Finkelhor developed the first multifactorial theory looking at child…

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