Objective: Referral of sexually abused children and adolescents to the Forensic Medicine Council showed that sexual abuse of children and adolescents is prevalent in Turkey. Unfortunately, very few studies have examined the characteristics of sexual offenders against children and adolescents in Turkey. This study examined the socio-cultural features of sexual offenders against children and adolescents from Western Black Sea, Mediterranean, Marmara and East Anatolia regions of Turkey. Methods: The sex offenders against children and adolescents referred for forensic psychiatric examination to the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry outpatient clinics of University of Zonguldak Karaelmas Hospital, Elazig Mental Health Hospital, Adana Ekrem Tok Mental Health Hospital, Bursa Dörtçelik Childrens Hospital were recruited for the study. Data for sex offenders were obtained from the medical and legal documents of children and adolescents. The sex offenders were assessed for demographic and legal characteristics: age, gender, marital status, education level, substance and alcohol use history and use of child pornography/ computer. Results: All of the sexual offenders against children and adolescents were male. In most of the cases the child knows the offender (e.g. neighbor, relative, family friend, or local individual with authority). Females were the most commonly abused, with the percentage of abused females increasing with age. In addition, most of the sex offenders was not married and had low level of education, substance and alcohol use history. Conclusion: Most of the sex offenders against children and adolescents were male and not married. They had high rates of substance use history, low level of education. Further research is needed to better identify clinically significant differences among the different types of sex offenders against children and adolescents in Turkey.
Key words: child, adolescent, sexual abuse, pedophilia
Article Language: Turkish English