In terms of frequency of initiation, the boys reported that the older person had initiated the contact in 91% of the encounters, only slightly (and nonsignificantly) less than in the case of girls, where 98% of the experiences had been initiated by the older person. [...]
In terms of the negative effect, the findings from the college survey were less straightforward. The boys did indeed rate their experiences as being less negative than did the girls: 38% of the boys opposed to 66% of the girls said they were negative experiences. Moreover, the boys were more likely than girls to cite interest and pleasure as reactions they had to experiences at the time. However, when we looked at long-term effects of the experience as measured by impact on sexual self-esteem, the boys seem to have been effected as much, if not more, than the girls (see Chapter 12).
[p.153:] ... or have quite small samples of men (Bell & Weinberg, 1978; Finkelhor, 1979).
[indeed, there are only 17 "abused" boys.]
[p.154:]My survey on sexual abuse among college students (Finkelhor, 1979) also reported figures for the prevalence of sexual abuse among boys. In that survey, I gave self-administrated questionaires to whole classes of students at seven New England colleges and universities.
The main figure reported in the student survey was that 8.7% of the boys had had either an experience under 13 with a partner five or more years older or an experience between 13 and 16 with a partner at least 10 years older. Once again, for comparison with Bell and Weinberg, I have included in Table 10-1 only the experiences of boys under 13 with partners who were actual adults. The result was 4.1% of the boys.
Using some of my own data from a collegue student study of child sexual victimization (Finkelhor, 1979), it is possible to take still another look at the question of long-term effects. In one particularly important way my data constitute an improvement over other studies such as Gagnon's and Tsai, Feldman-Summers, and Edgar's. This study could compare 121 victims to 685 nonvictims within the same population. Moreover, while the college students questioned were not necessarily representative of the population at large, nonetheless, whole classes filled out the questionaire and the participation rate was 92%; it was not a highly self-selected population of either victims or controls.
Also there were opportunities to exert other controls not present in previous attempts to estimate the effect of sexual abuse. Enough background information on the students in the sample was gathered to statistically control for a wealth of background variables, making sure that any difference between victims and nonvictims was not spurious.
[See also some other results of this study.]
[Remark: "any" in the last sentence seems not correct, because some of the Sandfort's subjects have started their relations before age 12, but the criticism of Finkelhor's questionaire remains nonetheless valid. Mike.]
[p.102] Similar, if less overt, examples of the sort of ideologically bias found in Russell's work can be found in the work of Finkelhor. For example, in the instructions presented to respondents in his study of childhood sexual experinences among a sample of college students (1979), Finkelhor describes the experiences being studied in the following manner:
"Some of these [childhood sexual experiences] are very upsetting and painful and some not."
This statement seems to set the stage for the expected negative reports. One might well imagine Finkelhor's critical response should some other investigator have instructed her or his respondents, "Some of these experineces are very delightful and pleasurable and some are not." It should be emphasized that Finkelhor's study was ostensibly designed to examine childhood sexual experiences in general, not sexual abuse in particular. The use of "very upsetting and painful" to refer by implication to the larger portion of these experiences is therefore quite revealing of the investigator's bias.
A further infaltion of negative reports in this study results from the fact that sexual experiences about which Finkelhor's respondents reported having felt "neutral" - a designation that may include mixed as well as truly neutral feelings - were graded by coders as constituting negative experiences if an age discrepancy of more than five years existed between the participants (1981, p.141). The rationale for this apparent disregard of the subject's sense of her or his own reality is simply the investigator's personal moral belief that any and all sexual contacts between minors and those more than five years older (including older children) are abusive (1984, pp.14-21).