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An International Perspective on Sexual Assault  

Author:  Chad Posick.

Source: Volume 11, Number 01, Summer 2018 , pp.37-42(6)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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Although estimates of prevalence rates differ across studies, there is no doubt that child sexual abuse is a serious problem not just in the U.S., but also across much of the world. There is, however, a good deal of variability as far as the acceptability and rate of reporting of these incidents in different countries. Those differences are the subject of this article. Here, Chad Posick examines sexual assault rates in 60 countries through the lens of Institutional Anomie Theory (IAT). IAT proposes that an imbalance in the power and influence afforded to different societal institutions—the economy holding sway over educational institutions and the family, for example—can negatively impact a given society. The author’s study suggests that countries with greater levels of prosperity are more likely to report higher levels of sexual assault; however, this could reflect a high rate of sexual assault or, alternatively, that the country has better sexual assault reporting mechanisms in place.

Keywords: Sexual Assault Prevalence Rates; Institutional Anomie Theory

Affiliations:  1: Georgia Southern University.

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