Physical and behavioral signs of sexual abuse in infants and toddlers

Lori D. Frasier, Virginia Barchman, Randell C. Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Approximately 2.7 million cases of child abuse are reported each year, 20% of which are cases of sexual abuse. This is probably a minimum estimate because many cases, particularly those involving tntrafamilial abuse, go unreported. Identification of sexual abuse depends upon a high index of suspicion. Occasionally a child spontaneously discloses the abuse. Others, especially young children, may manifest specific behaviors indicative of abuse, such as sexual acting-out, or less specific behaviors suggesting psychologic stress. Only a small proportion of children have genital findings or sexually transmitted diseases indicating sexual contact. The evaluation of such cases requires special skills of a number of professionals who understand the legal, social, psychologic, and medical ramifications of this informa­tion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-2
Number of pages2
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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