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  1. #1
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    Diagnosing Sexual Abuse

    Bill Salisbury at 2BWS has posted a very interesting article on the difficulties and dangers of diagnosing sexual abuse in children.


    http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume1/j1_3_1.htm

    Medical Examination for Sexual Abuse: Have We Been Misled?
    Lee Coleman*

    ABSTRACT: There are serious difficulties in diagnosing sexual abuse on the basis of an ano/genital examination. Nevertheless, medical conclusions are often used in court to provide evidence for abuse. The support for the alleged physical indicators of abuse has been based on opinions and claims unsupported by research data. Recent research by John McCann on the ano/genital anatomy in nonabused children has established that findings often attributed to sexual abuse are found in many normal children. McCann's findings were applied to 158 children who had been medically examined in cases of alleged sexual abuse. Nearly all the findings attributed to sexual abuse were present in McCann's sample of nonabused children. More baseline studies are needed, including those comparing nonabused children to children where there is convincing evidence of abuse. In the meantime, the courts need to modify their current practices concerning evidence from ano/genital examinations.

    []
    Dr. Robert ten Bensel, a physician long involved in the effort to increase awareness of child abuse, has commented on the difference between consensus and true scientific evidence. In response to a 1985 Los Angeles conference at which there was an attempt to reach consensus of positive findings among doctors doing these examinations, ten Bensel wrote, "I am not comfortable with the reported 'consensus of positive findings.' This is not the procedure of science; rather, it is simply an agreement among a select group of physicians invited ..." (1985).
    [...]

  2. #2
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    Tipper - any idea why on jameson's front page on the thread about patsy's cancer, it says that post #58 was made by you (Tipper). Yet when you open the thread, post #58 was made by BillSalisbury? There are 58 posts on that thread - no deleted posts which would result in missing post numbers.

    I thought BillSalisbury was HoraceMills.
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




    Together we can make a difference





    Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Member of Websleuths since April 2000

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayelles
    Tipper - any idea why on jameson's front page on the thread about patsy's cancer, it says that post #58 was made by you (Tipper). Yet when you open the thread, post #58 was made by BillSalisbury? There are 58 posts on that thread - no deleted posts which would result in missing post numbers.

    I thought BillSalisbury was HoraceMills.
    Jayelles-

    It says tipper's post was at 11:05am, but the last post is from 9:33am. It must be deleted or just hasn't shown up yet? It is a bit odd.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason
    Jayelles-

    It says tipper's post was at 11:05am, but the last post is from 9:33am. It must be deleted or just hasn't shown up yet? It is a bit odd.
    That was my fault. I managed to post something in the wrong thread and as soon as I realized it I posted asking that it be moved to the proper thread or deleted.

  5. #5
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    Well if it were deleted - that would make sense because at first it said there were 60 posts on that thread and that Tipper was the last to post. I clicked on the thread and couldn't see post #60 so I refreshed and still not. Then I went back to the main page and it said there were 59 posts and I refreshed the page and it said 58. I thought it was a glitch in the system but maybe the posts were deleted. If the next post shows up as #61 then we'll know.
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




    Together we can make a difference





    Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Member of Websleuths since April 2000

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tipper
    That was my fault. I managed to post something in the wrong thread and as soon as I realized it I posted asking that it be moved to the proper thread or deleted.
    OK sorry. That makes sense. I thought it was one of a) I imagined it b) a computer glitch or c) your post had been deleted. I didn't think it was the last option because (not being funny) your posts are always well received by jameson's crew.
    This is only my opinion

    Let the focus be on Madeleine




    Together we can make a difference





    Alert Viewer in Scotland

    Member of Websleuths since April 2000

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by tipper
    Bill Salisbury at 2BWS has posted a very interesting article on the difficulties and dangers of diagnosing sexual abuse in children.


    http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume1/j1_3_1.htm

    Medical Examination for Sexual Abuse: Have We Been Misled?
    Lee Coleman*

    ABSTRACT: There are serious difficulties in diagnosing sexual abuse on the basis of an ano/genital examination. Nevertheless, medical conclusions are often used in court to provide evidence for abuse. The support for the alleged physical indicators of abuse has been based on opinions and claims unsupported by research data. Recent research by John McCann on the ano/genital anatomy in nonabused children has established that findings often attributed to sexual abuse are found in many normal children. McCann's findings were applied to 158 children who had been medically examined in cases of alleged sexual abuse. Nearly all the findings attributed to sexual abuse were present in McCann's sample of nonabused children. More baseline studies are needed, including those comparing nonabused children to children where there is convincing evidence of abuse. In the meantime, the courts need to modify their current practices concerning evidence from ano/genital examinations.

    []
    Dr. Robert ten Bensel, a physician long involved in the effort to increase awareness of child abuse, has commented on the difference between consensus and true scientific evidence. In response to a 1985 Los Angeles conference at which there was an attempt to reach consensus of positive findings among doctors doing these examinations, ten Bensel wrote, "I am not comfortable with the reported 'consensus of positive findings.' This is not the procedure of science; rather, it is simply an agreement among a select group of physicians invited ..." (1985).
    [...]
    I am glad you posted this. This is something I have wondered about - is it not possible that the evidence of possible previous genital "violation" in JBR was actually evidence of a little girl digging around her own anatomy with her own fingers, out of simple, normal curiosity?

    I was a little girl once, and I blush as I state very frankly that I do recall doing my own digging around back then...has there ever been any expert speculation about that?

  8. #8
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    Dec 2003
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    I don't think that a little girl would injure herself enough to cause evidence in all vaginal tissue tests that were taken. Children would feel pain if inserting things into themselves and I don't agree that experts can't tell if a child has been abused. They can surely tell if a woman has, so why not a child?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    1,670
    Quote Originally Posted by tipper
    Bill Salisbury at 2BWS has posted a very interesting article on the difficulties and dangers of diagnosing sexual abuse in children.


    http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume1/j1_3_1.htm

    Recent research by John McCann on the ano/genital anatomy in nonabused children has established that findings often attributed to sexual abuse are found in many normal children. McCann's findings were applied to 158 children who had been medically examined in cases of alleged sexual abuse. Nearly all the findings attributed to sexual abuse were present in McCann's sample of nonabused children.
    [...]
    But still, Dr. McCann was of the opinion that JonBenet had suffered from chronic sexual abuse.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rashomon
    But still, Dr. McCann was of the opinion that JonBenet had suffered from chronic sexual abuse.

    Correct. It was relatively easy to spot during the autopsy.

    The main reason it can be difficult to diagnose chronic sexual abuse in small children, as compared to an adult, is because the doctor doesn't want to use a speculum on young children.




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