Prevalencia del abuso sexual masculino en el extremo norte de Chile : secuelas a largo plazo, factores de protección y de riesgo

Thumbnail Image
Official URL
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
In this research the prevalence of child sexual abuse in Chile is studied, specifically in the male population in the far north of the country. The reason for doing this arises from the need in Latin America in general and Chile in particular to develop this type of work, addressing the importance of incorporating the gender variable in the field of research on sexual abuse. In this context, the following objectives were also established: (1) To determine the long-term effects of child sexual abuse (2) To identify risk and protective factors, specifically the moderating role of resilience, and (3) To analyze the factors derived from gender socialization that influence the silencing of male victims. To meet the established objectives, a retrospective study was conducted which utilized a quasi-experimental research plan with comparative groups (victims and non-victims). 464 young adult men between 18 and 42 years of age living in the city of Arica participated in the study. Personal interviews were conducted to obtain information about sexual abuse experiences in childhood, and these were applied together with the BSI Brief Symptom Inventory (Derogatis & Melisaratos, 1983), SV-RES Resilience Scale (Saavedra & Villalta, 2007) and the Brief Sexual Function Inventory BSFI (O'Leary, Fowler, Lenderking, Barber & Sagnier, 1995). The data analysis found that the prevalence of sexual abuse is 8.7%, which coincides with the range established in most international studies on the prevalence of sexual abuse among men. Regarding the long-term effects, it was found that victims have a higher severity of obsessive-compulsive, depressive and psychosomatic symptoms. Problems surrounding sexual performance, sex drive, erection and ejaculation are also frequent in victims. In relation to risk and protective factors, it was found that sexual abuse is associated with an increased severity of psychological symptoms and sexual difficulties in adulthood. However, the severity of sexual abuse more accurately predicts that the sexual abuse itself will influence the severity of psychological symptoms resulting from the abuse. Intra-family sexual abuse was associated with an increased presence of sexual difficulties in victims. Regarding protective factors, the buffer effect of resilience between the severity of sexual abuse and the severity of psychological symptoms was found, as well as the relation between intra-family sexual abuse and sexual difficulties. It was identified that victims were more likely to come from overcrowded households and which had received other types of abuse by the father. In the analysis of the perception of male sexual abuse, it was found that male victims coincide in showing that there are factors arising from gender socialization that interfere with the revealing of male sexual abuse. Specifically, they refer to feelings of fear or shame, related to the stigma that is associated with male victims of sexual abuse, such as being judged as potential sex offenders or that their sexuality is put into question. Also, it is noted that women reveal sexual assault more frequently than men. The victims agree that men who are abused in childhood live in a "dual silence”, the silence over the abusive experience caused by the dynamics of the 'secret' element of the sexual abuse itself, and also silence as a response to the social context loaded with mistaken myths and beliefs bout male sexual abuse. The results of the study may be useful in designing prevention and intervention programs in child sexual abuse. With regard to prevention there is a need to develop programs to raise awareness about the existence of male sexual abuse and the proportion of males that it affects, as well as, of the long-term effects and the misconceptions that are associated with the subject. In terms of intervention as a way to enhance resilient resources, programs specializing in the care of victims could incorporate work objectives aimed at the different contexts that make up the surroundings of a victimized child. In summary, at a theoretical level the results support most of the studies generated more than two decades ago on prevalence data, long-term effects, risk factors in general and sexual abuse in men in particular. While they continue this trend in the relatively new area of research that is the incorporation of a victim's point of view through through and protective factors and salutogenic elements, something that is strengthened against the moderating effect of resilience in situations of child sexual victimization. In conclusion, the results encourage us to continue the study of child sexual abuse, increasingly specifying the objectives so as to achieve a greater understanding of the phenomenon, thus increasing the tools that professionals and social operators will have to deal with this scourge that harms children, adolescents and families around the world.
Tesis inédita de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Facultad de Psicología, Departamento de Psicología Social, leída el 19-07-2013