This study explores both sexual abuse experienced by boys, including sexual exploitation, and harmful sexual behaviour of boys; these are referred to collectively in the report as sexual violence.
Why consider both?
By considering both in this study the aim is not to imply that one leads to the other.
Boys who have experienced sexual abuse and boys who have been actors in harmful sexual behaviour share a number of indicators, such as sexualised behaviour and using sexual language, as well as risk and resilience factors.
Many of the interventions to address child sexual abuse and harmful sexual behaviour of children are delivered by the same service providers, although requiring different approaches.
Problematic sexual behaviour
Harmful Sexual Behaviour
Harmful sexual behaviour of children is sexual activity where one individual has not consented, or where their relationship includes an imbalance of power, for example due to age, intellectual ability, physical ability or impairment (disability), or physical strength.
Problematic sexual behaviour is behaviour that is a cause for concern in terms of the child’s age or developmental stage, according to the context; for instance, knowledge of sexual acts, or use of sexually explicit words or acts. Children’s sexual behaviour may be problematic, even if it is not yet causing harm to others. Children’s behaviour may be seen as problematic if the behaviour is recurrent.