According to structuralist theories in sociology, the family social system has an internal order, which is based on the sexual law of “no sexual relations with relatives”. However, during the process of evolution and transformation, this cultural order turns against itself and, in some cases, leads to the suppression of personal identity, expulsion and isolation, sexual abuse, honor killings, and so on. Despite being considered as a main social institution, the family in its various forms is not immune to unpleasant events, especially violence against children in various forms. Intrafamily sexual abuse, abuse of power and dominance, and exerting violence on those who lack the power to enforce their sexual demands in the form of physical and psychological violation of the individual’s integrity are among them. Depending on the prevailing culture and beliefs of each society, the physical, psychological consequences, and deep traumas of this act will vary based on the type of imposed sexual activity, the nature of family relationships and kinship, as well as the age and gender of the parties involved.
FAQ About Incest
- What behaviors are considered sexual violence against children? Sexual violence against children encompasses a wide range of acts such as physical contact like sexual penetration (rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts like masturbation, kissing, touching, and fondling a child’s body. It also includes non-contact activities like involving children in the production or viewing of sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to engage in inappropriate sexual behaviors, and grooming children for abuse.
- Do perpetrators of incest have specific behavioral characteristics? Some personal characteristics of perpetrators of incest and victims can accelerate violence. In terms of the characteristics of perpetrators, it includes factors such as low tolerance for failure, difficulty in controlling anger, lack of empathy towards family members, verbal and physical aggression, substance abuse, anxiety during sexual intercourse with adults, pedophilia or attraction to children, history of childhood sexual abuse, extreme suspicion of family members, anti-social, bordering and paranoid tendencies, sexual impulsivity, loneliness, and stereotyping of gender roles, low self-esteem, emotional convergence, inhibition and prevention, self-regulatory problems, impulsivity, and psychological health problems. Some social and personal characteristics of victims, such as being immigrants, being at certain ages (childhood and adolescence), women who have experienced unwanted pregnancy, individuals with mental disabilities, children with learning disabilities, illiterate women and those with low awareness, are more likely to experience sexual violence. This group of people is more likely to be expelled first and less capable of defending themselves, making them more likely to experience sexual violence.
- Do victims of sexual abuse by family members have any specific characteristics? Victims of sexual abuse by family members may have specific characteristics such as guilt, shame, depression, anxiety, self-blame, suicidal ideation, and substance abuse. They may also have difficulty in trusting others, maintaining relationships, or having a positive body image. It is important to note that every victim is unique and may experience different symptoms or behaviors as a result of the abuse they have suffered.
- What are the long-term effects of sexual abuse on children? The long-term effects of sexual abuse on children can be severe and long-lasting. Victims may experience symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), sleep disturbances, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts. They may also have difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships, trust issues, and a negative self-image. Additionally, sexual abuse can affect their educational and professional lives, resulting in poor academic performance, difficulty holding a job, and financial instability.
- How can society prevent sexual abuse against children? Preventing sexual abuse against children requires a multi-faceted approach. Society can take steps such as educating children on body safety and consent, promoting healthy relationships and communication, and providing support and resources for victims. Adults can be trained to recognize the signs of sexual abuse and how to report it. Communities can work to create safe environments for children by implementing policies and practices that prioritize child protection. Additionally, laws and policies can be put in place to punish perpetrators and hold them accountable for their actions.