Social Issues

1 in 10 Australian men have sexually abused minors, says study

Sydney, Australia, Nov 20 (EFE).- One in ten Australian men surveyed in a report released Monday admitted to have committed sexually offensive behavior against children, either in person or online.

The report, titled “Identifying and understanding child sexual offending behaviors and attitudes among Australian men” was made by the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and Jesuit Social Services (JSS).

“This study brings unprecedented visibility to the numbers of undetected child sex offenders in the Australian community,” said lead investigator Associate Professor Michael Salter in the report.

The study surveyed 1,945 people between 18 and 65 years from November 2022 to January 2023.

Of the participants, 64.8 percent were white, 3.4 percent indigenous, 71.3 percent had a job and 38.9 percent had a university degree.

It found that one in six Australian men surveyed, or 15.1 percent, reported having sexual feelings towards children.

Nearly half of the men who had sexually abused the children admitted to having sexual feelings towards them.

“The men who abused them were well connected and relatively wealthy, and whose behavior is secretive and easily overlooked,” Salter said.

The study found that these men were more likely to be married, suffer from anxiety and depression, have binge drinking behaviors, and consume violent pornography.

Men with sexual feelings toward children were also found to be active online, including social media and encrypted apps.

The report also found that 29.6 percent of men with sexual feelings towards children – 4.5 percent of the sample size – wanted help.

“By shining a light on the characteristics of individual perpetrators and the broader social and technological patterns that enable their abuse, it is our hope that this research can be the catalyst for change to ultimately keep children safe,” Salter said.

The study recommended having safeguards inbuilt in online dating sites, investments from the government and private sector to prevent child sexual abuse, and early intervention to help men with sexual feelings towards children.

In April, another study, based on a survey of more than 8,500 people, revealed that 23.7 percent of Australians reported having suffered sexual abuse when they were minors. EFE


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