Sexual Abuse: Special Vulnerability in Adolescence
Ψ Childhood sexual abuse is broadly defined as any erotic activity that arouses and excites an adult and excites, shames, or confuses a young person - whether or not the victim protests and whether or not genital contact is involved. Under this definition sexual abuse is very common.
Ψ Childhood sexual abuse is narrowly defined as "forced to touch an adult or older child or forcibly touched by an older adult or older child in a sexual way". Under this definition; 30% of females & 9% of boys (Gallup poll 1995) had been abused.
Alcohol, Tobacco, & other Drugs
Ψ Drug abuse - alcohol
• Alcohol advertising is especially directed toward the 12-19 age group
• There are 8 million alcohol addicts in the U. S.
• A few studies show a genetic susceptibility to alcohol
• Recent studies and prosecution have shown that the tobacco companies were especially trying to entice the young.
• Multiple studies have shown tobacco to be associated with cancer and heart disease
• Repeated use of this drug produces a "mellowness"
characterized by a general lack of motivation & indifference to the future.
Ψ Other types of drug abuse
Ψ The trend since 1978 has been for fewer young people to experiment with drugs, but still over ten percent of them do.
• accident, injury
• unintended provocation of peace officer or citizen
• motor vehicle accident
• psychological dependence
• physical dependence
• resorting to theft to feed one’s habit
• loss of career opportunities
Ψ Gateway Drugs:
FYI: The gateway drug theory proposes
that the habitual use of less deleterious drugs may lead to a a future risk of using more dangerous hard drugs & crime. Some research suggests that some serious drug abusers have used other drugs before using cannabis or alcohol. Individual drug-abuse histories show that "hard drug" users do progress from one drug to another, but the research is not clear enough to confirm the gateway theory.
Curbing Adolescent Drug Use
Ψ As least partly effective measures follow.
• Harsher punishments for venders who sell tobacco & alcohol to minors
• Higher prices for tobacco & alcohol
• Drunk driving laws that are strictly enforced
• Better parent - child communication about drugs
Ψ Generational forgetting does not help.
Growth & Development|
Robert C. Gates