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9. The problem of child sexual abuse: Response.
Science (2005)
  • Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon
  • Frank W. Putnam
  • Thomas D. Lyon, University of Southern California
  • Kathryn A. Becker-Blease, Washington State University
  • Ross E. Cheit, Brown University
  • Nancy B. Siegel
  • Kathy Pezdek, Claremont Graduate University
THE POLICY FORUM “THE SCIENCE OF CHILD sexual abuse” by J. J. Freyd et al. (22 Apr., p. 501) provides an extremely important call to action to the scientific community.  In 1999, James Mercy, Senior Scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted the importance of viewing child sexual abuse with “new eyes” (1).  The implementation of Freyd et al.’s policy recommendations would help us to do this.  For too long, the fact that the topic makes us uneasy has caused too many of us to avert our eyes. But what if child sexual abuse were a newly discovered disease—a disease that affects up to 20% of women and 10% of men, a disease that forms a potent risk factor for developing a host of mental and physical problems, a disease that, according to a conservative estimate by the U.S. Department of Justice, costs society over $24 billion each year (2)? Imagine what we as concerned scientists would do if we discovered such a disease decimating the lives of our young people?
  • child abuse,
  • child witness,
  • the problem,
  • child sexual abuse,
  • child neglect
Publication Date
December, 2005
Citation Information
Freyd, J. J., Putnam, F. W., Lyon, T. D., Becker-Blease, K. A., Cheit, R. E., Siegel, N. B., & Pezdek, K. (2005). The problem of child sexual abuse: Response. Science, 309, 1183-1184.