Very few studies have taken a specific interest in the various sexual dimensions, beyond delinquent sexual behavior, of adolescents who have engaged in sexual abuse (AESA). Those that went beyond delinquent sexual behavior have report mixed results, suggesting they are a heterogeneous group.
The current study used cluster analysis to examine the sexuality profiles of AESA, which included information on several sexual dimensions (atypical and normative fantasies and experiences, drive, body image, pornography, first masturbation, onset of sexual interest and first exposure to sex). Participants (N = 136) are adolescents who have engaged in sexual abuse involving physical contact, for which at least one parent also participated in the study. They were recruited from six specialized treatment centers and three youth centers in Quebec (Canada). Cluster analyses were performed to identify specific sexual profiles. Results suggest three clusters of AESA: 1- Discordant sexuality pertaining to adolescents who show mostly normative sexual interests, 2- Constrictive sexuality, characterizing adolescents who seem to be less invested/interested in their sexuality and 3- Overinvested sexuality for adolescents showing an exacerbated sexuality, including atypical sexual interest
Additional analyses (ANOVAs and Chi-square tests) reveal that five delinquency and offense characteristics were significantly more likely to be present in the Overinvested than the Constrictive cluster: non-sexual offenses, three or more victims, peer victims and alcohol and drug consumption. Advancing our knowledge on this topic can provide relevant data for clinicians to better target interventions.
Spearson-Goulet, J-A. and Tardif, M. (2018). Exploring sexuality profiles of adolescents who have engaged in sexual and their link to delinquency and offense characteristics. Child Sexual Abuse & Neglect. DOI: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2018.05.023.
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