Perceptions of male adolescents regarding sexual abuse
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Individual factors that might influence the way sexual abuse is defined and perceived within a culture include gender, the extent to which one adheres to and internalizes traditional roles, and levels of acculturation. The underlying assumption in many studies regarding child sexual abuse is that there is a correlation between perception of abuse and abusive behaviour – a positive mind-set towards abuse may lead to abusive behaviour. The aim of this study was to explore what the perception of adolescent males were regarding sexual abuse in order for social workers to have a better understanding of the adolescent male regarding sexual abuse. Interviews were conducted with 20 adolescent males to gain a keener insight into their perception of sexual abuse. From the data received it was found that adolescent males do not have adequate knowledge regarding the broader definition of sexual abuse, and that misconceptions still persist. The respondents' main source of information regarding sex and sexual abuse was the school. The sex education focuses mainly on anatomical and physiological information and lacks information on sexual abuse and sexual values. From data received, it was also found that the majority of parents never spoke to the adolescent males about sex; the respondents received no education from their parents concerning sexual abuse. A holistic approach is necessary when educating the adolescent male, which entails a comprehensive sexual education that focuses on sexual abuse, sexual values and preventative behaviour. A holistic approach requires sexual education provided in the home, the school as well as the community. It should consist of an integration of informal and formal education. Other organisations in the community such as NGO's, counselling centres and medical support centres should also form part of this holistic approach as they can offer valuable assistance.
- Humanities