Monday, July 12, 2010

Male Child Abuse and Fatalities - The Numbers

Sexual abuse of Children

I found these links at The Spearhead, a site that I read regularly and often disagree with either in part or in whole. The contributors are often very angry (perhaps some of the stats below are WHY they are angry) and extremely anti-feminist. But they do seem to care about men, their health, their rights as fathers, and some of cultural bias against men (although they focus on the biases and injustices perceived to come from women far more than others).

A recent post (linked to above) focused on the fact that boys of all ages die more frequently than girls as a result of abuse. Based on what I know of child abuse, this makes sense - but we seldom here about male children being killed (far more often by mothers than by fathers). When the media covers such a story, it is usually about a female child.
Age and Sex of Child Fatalities, 2006

This table compares the age and gender of children who died from maltreatment for only those States that reported fatalities in the Child File. The first column lists the single-year ages ranging from birth to 3 years. Then the ages are grouped together: 4–7, 8–11, and 12–17. Next the population, number of victims, and rate of fatalities per 100,000 are presented for boys and for girls. Then the boys and girls are added together for total fatality victims. A total of 1,129 children died as a result of abuse or neglect, as reported by States in the Child File only.

<1> 1,462,500 215 14.7
1 1,457,529 61 4.2
2 1,458,173 58 4.0
3 1,437,652 30 2.1
4-7 5,647,666 43 0.8
8-11 5,603,650 25 0.4
12-17 8,983,687 22 0.2
Total 26,050,857 454 Blank Cell
Rate Blank Cell Blank Cell 1.7

Total27,289,773675Blank Cell
RateBlank CellBlank Cell2.5

The numbers for who is the abuser generally do not reflect what we see in the media or in the popular culture. If it's a family member, we seem to assume it must be the father, but it's not - when it's a parent it is more often the mother.

Figure 4-2 Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

This pie chart indicates that 27.4 percent of child fatalities were perpetrated by the mother acting alone. Such nonparental perpetrators as daycare providers, foster parents, or residential facility staff were responsible for 14.6 percent of fatalities.

The numbers are no better from 2008:

Figure 4-2 Report Sources, 2008

Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2008
Child Maltreatment 2008

Relationship to Child Child Fatalities
Number Percent

Mother 358 26.6
Mother and Other 119 8.9
Father 170 12.6
Father and Other 19 1.4
Mother and Father 289 21.5

Daycare Staff 25 1.9
Foster Parent (Female Relative) 1 0.1
Foster Parent (Male Relative) 1 0.1
Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 2 0.1
Foster Parent (Unknown Relationship) 3 0.2
Friend or Neighbor 3 0.2
Legal Guardian (Female) 1 0.1
Legal Guardian (Male) Blank Cell Blank Cell
More than One Nonparental Perpetrator 28 2.1
Other Professional 1 0.1
Partner of Parent (Female) 4 0.3
Partner of Parent (Male) 36 2.7
Relative (Female) 32 2.4
Relative (Male) 18 1.3
Staff Group Home 2 0.1
Unknown or Missing 232 17.3
Total 1,344 Blank Cell
Percent Blank Cell 100.0

Based on data from 41 States.

It bothers me that we generally assume men are the perpetrators and girls are more often the victims. NO CHILD should be abused - but there is some not too subtle sexism involved here - against boys and men.

When was the last time you saw a male child on Nancy Grace or one of those other shows that make celebrities out of missing children (always white, generally blond and blue eyed)? Surprisingly, however, more missing boys are mentioned on network news than missing girls - I wouldn't have believed it before reading the study linked to.

Bu then there is this commentary that comes from Sociological Images:
Commenter eruvande pointed out that when discussing the case of an 11-year-old boy, Shawn Hornbeck, who was kidnapped, beaten, and sexually abused for 4 years, Bill O’Reilly implies that he must have liked the situation or wanted to be there, because otherwise he could have escaped:

When Van Susteren points out the case of Elizabeth Smart, who also seemed to have opportunities to escape and didn’t “choose” to take them, O’Reilly refers to her as a “little girl,” although she was 14 when she was kidnapped.

I am trying to imagine a similar response to a girl. Although we often still blame women for being raped, it seems to go the other way when it comes to childhood sexual abuse/kidnapping: girls might get to be innocent victims, but boys ought to have been tough enough to get away. If they didn’t, they must have liked it.

Unbelievable, really.

No, really, it's fucking unconscionable.


Anonymous said...

My children are being abused by the non-custodial parent and HHS will not put a stop to it and CPS offers no protection at all. The kids have to continue visits with the non-custodial parent or I compromise losing full custody. The non-custodial parent is buddy-buddy with law enforcement and they keep covering the abuse, and therefore nobody believes the kids. The children have no rights. It's all about parents rights. I am worried sick about my children. What can I possibly do? Who can help my children? My attorney is fighting a losing battle. Nobody will step up to the plate for my kids. We're talking bombs, housefires, machine guns, nudity, broken blood vessels, mental abuse, rejection, alienation, and I could go on and on. We have gone to physicians, counselors, local law enforcement, state patrol as well as the attorney general with no help at all. Please offer advice...thanks for your help and time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you I love "Heart" image. I am a survivor
of Male CSA. I just recently made this no secret to
everyone on the internet and will be going farther
than this.

Keep up the awesome work, I will be linking your
site back to mine.

Jim Abercromby