The medical evaluation of child sexual abuse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter has presented a practical perspective on the medical approach to and evaluation of the sexually abused child. The physician has an important role in the validation of an allegation of sexual abuse. It is often the physician's opinion that gives credibility to a child's statements. Validation facilitates protection. An examination completed with sensitivity and empathy has considerable therapeutic value for the child. Anticipatory guidance concerning private parts offers valuable preventive information. Talking about private parts can serve as a natural transition to begin the genital examination. The genital examination should be a part of every health maintenance assessment. Examination of nonsexually abused children's genitals will also result in the physicians having: 1) improved expertise in doing an examination; 2) increased awareness of the spectrum of normal; and 3) better recognition of the sexually abused child.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChild Sexual Abuse
Subtitle of host publicationA Handbook For Health Care And Legal Professions
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781317772644
ISBN (Print)9781138009493
StatePublished - Jan 9 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Finkel, M. (2014). The medical evaluation of child sexual abuse. In Child Sexual Abuse: A Handbook For Health Care And Legal Professions (pp. 82-103). Taylor and Francis.