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Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal

Published Online Wed, 11 Nov 2011 22:46:00 Tonight Penn State Board of Trustees made a “rush to judgment“ according to some media sources regarding the ongoing sex abuse scandal at the university.  Coach Paterno was removed and dismissed as athletic director due to a reported moral lapse of judgment in not pursuing the suspected child abuse reporting himself despite his reports to his superiors of what he knew of the alleged sex abuse of a child by his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.  According to many students and faculty, the Board of Trustees appears to be using this opportunity to “scapegoat” Coach Paterno while apparently taking the focus off of those who legally failed to report the alleged child abuse perpetrated by Jerry Sandusky to the police. A report of a KDKA-TV News Poll Conducted By Survey USA of a survey of Penn State alumni is consistent with the recent Grand Jury findings in not condemning or invoking consequences for Coach Paterno.  Consequences are apparently due with the lack of action by Penn State University and administrators in not reporting the alleged abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky. The same survey placed the responsibility with President Spanier and his lack of action in not having reported the child sexual abuse to the police as mandated by Pennsylvania law for professionals such as teachers and faculty.  See Pennsylvania’s legal reporting laws:...

Child abuse, neglect can trigger permanent brain damage

December 14, 2000 Web posted at: 3:41 PM EST (2041 GMT) By Troy Goodman CNN.com Health Writer (CNN) — Child abuse and neglect can “rewire” the nascent brain, scientists have found, which may lead to psychological problems throughout adulthood. “These changes are permanent,” said Dr. Martin Teicher of Mclean Hospital, a psychiatric center affiliated with Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “This is not something people can just get over with and get on with their lives.” In a report published in the journal Cerebrum, Teicher analyzed the largest and most detailed study on how childhood experiences affect brain development. He used high-tech brain imaging on several hundred children and adults to identify four types of brain abnormalities — all of which were linked to child abuse and neglect. The abuse-related brain damage appears to foster such problems as adult aggressiveness, depression, anxiety and even memory and attention impairment. The report confirms smaller studies showing that the brain “rewires” itself in response to trauma. “A child’s interactions with the outside environment causes connections to form between brain cells,” said Teicher, who heads McLean’s Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program. “These connections are pruned during puberty and adulthood. So whatever a child experiences, for good or bad, helps determine how his brain is wired.” Previous experiments with monkeys raised without their mothers have already linked depression, schizophrenia, autism and attention deficit disorders to childhood maltreatment, according to other experts. There is even a growing body of evidence concerning “a history of childhood abuse among adolescents who later commit violent crimes,” according to Teicher’s report. Other doctors were quick to point out that...

Child Sexual Abuse: Evaluation and Outcomes

Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Outcomes of Child Sexual Abuse Jessica Smith  Penn State College of Medicine March 2002   Definition: “Sexual abuse of children refers to sexual behavior between a child and an adult or between two children when one of them is significantly older or uses coercion. The perpetrator and the victim may be of the same sex of the opposite sex.     The sexual behaviors include touching breasts, buttocks, and genitals whether the victim is dressed or undressed; exhibitionism; fellatio; cunnilingus; and penetration of the vagina or anus with sexual organs or with objects. Pornographic photography is usually included in the definition of sexual abuse. It is important to consider developmental factors in assessing whether sexual behaviors between two children is abusive or normative.”5 Epidemiology1: Women: 16.8% , Men: 7.9% Number of substantiated or indicated cases has decreased by 41% in the time period of 1992 to 2000. Risk Factors4: Age: incidence of child sexual abuse increases with age 0-3 y/o: 10% of victims 4-7 y/o: 28.4% of victims 8-11 y/o: 25% of victims 12 and older: 35.9% of victims Gender: 2.5-3:1 female predominance 25% of victims are male Disabilities: Risk increased for those with physical disabilities, especially those that impair the child’s perceived credibility: blindness, deafness, and mental retardation Gender effect: boys are over represented among sexually abused children when compared to sexually abused children without disabilities Family Constellation: Absence of one or both parents is a risk factor Presence of stepfather in home doubles the risk for girls Parental impairments are also associated with increased risk Socioeconomic status: More important for physical abuse and neglect...