Consistency of children's sexualized or avoidant reactions to anatomical dolls: A pilot study

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Anatomical dolls are a common but controversial tool in the assessment of suspected child sexual abuse. The present pilot study was conducted to explore the consistency of behaviors of 10 young children who had demonstrated clear intercourse positionings with anatomical dolls (Demonstrators) and 10 children who had avoided any contact with the unclothed dolls (Avoiders) during a prior normative study. These children, along with matched controls from the original sample, were re-interviewed 16 months later to determine whether their interactions with the dolls changed over time. Items of interest included the frequency of the childrens' sexualized and avoidant behaviors with the dolls as well as their knowledge of the mechanics of intercourse and possible sources of such knowledge. Findings revealed that changes over time occurred in all groups. Changes in the children's behaviors may be explained by cultural, maturational and socialization factors. Implications for interviewing young children are discussed. © 1996, by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Boat, BW; Everson, MD; Amaya-Jackson, L

Published Date

  • August 2, 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 89 - 104

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1547-0679

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1053-8712

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1300/J070v05n01_05

Citation Source

  • Scopus