By Adele D., Jemmott, Ena Trotman, Maharaj, Priya E., Br Jones
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Additional info for An Integrated Systems Model for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse: Perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean
The public health approach Proponents of public health argue that its concern with preventing child sexual abuse is justified because although societies have generally looked towards the criminal justice system to punish offenders, criminogenic responses deal with a tiny percentage of cases and do little to prevent CSA in the first place or support its victims (Mercy et al. 1993). Epidemiology, the underpinning science to the public health approach, involves incidence and prevalence measures to assess the health of populations, the identification of the causes of health problems and strategies to improve health outcomes (Gostin 2008; Schneider 2000).
The multiple etiological trajectories for people who sexually abuse children include internal (individual) and external (situational) factors. Psychological studies refer to these as distal factors, constituents of pre-dispositional causal factors that arise out of developmental experiences, and proximal factors, which are precipitating and situational factors (Ward and Siegert 2002). In the same article, Ward and Siegert argue that predisposing factors may increase risk of sexual offending when the capacity to self-regulate destructive cognitions or deviant sexual fantasies is compromised because of precipitating events.
Breaks down social cohesion, challenges value systems and raises deeply rooted and sensitive gender inequalities. Is fuelled by persistent social taboos about discussion of sex and sexuality with young people, strong homophobia, growing sex tourism, commercial sex work, especially among young girls, and macho behaviour associated with poor partner communication. Some of the sociocultural dynamics that fuel the epidemic include early initiation of sexual activity, multiple sex partners for both men and women.