Stop the Hurt

The exploitation of a child or adolescent under the age of seventeen by an adult or another child at least two years older than the victim for the purpose of the offender\'s own sexual gratification is defined as child sexual abuse. It is a problem that society is faced with every day. Sexual abuse of children can be physical or non-physical. Non-physical sexual abuse includes exhibitionism, voyeurism, and child pornography. Physical sexual abuse can be non-violent or violent and includes fondling of a child\'s genitals, non-violent sexual intercourse, incest, and violent acts, such as rape. The individuals that commit these acts are better known as pedophiles. As defined on the website Myths and Facts about Sex Offenders, (Identify web site in introductory phrase when no author or title available to cite at the end) "Pedophilia is a psychosexual disorder characterized by a sexual desire for and sexual acts with prepubescent children." This disorder occurs predominantly in males, although it can also occur in women. Studies show that females commit approximately twenty percent of sex offenses against children (Myths). Sexual abuse of children is one of the most heinous crimes committed that can have extreme adverse effects on a child. Unfortunately, too often offenders are convicted of this crime, serve a sentence of a few years and then are released, in many cases repeating the crime on other children. Child abuse laws are not strict enough (Reach Me Inc.) (Thesis Sentence without listed reasons; shorter essays usually list reasons).

How can an individual perform such indecent acts on children? (Transitional Sentence) No one knows for certain what makes a person become a pedophile. (Topic Sentence) Many convicted sex offenders have been asked what they think happened in their lives to make them commit such terrible offenses. Most of them respond that they were raised by decent families and have no idea what could have triggered this aberrant behavior. Some researchers agree that "[. . . ] (Use square brackets when you begin your quote in the middle of the sentence) bad parenting is not the cause of pedophile tendencies" (Gardener 28). Some pedophiles say they wish they could stop and are sorry while others brag about their actions and look forward to repeating their crimes (Gado). Past sexual victimization can increase the likelihood of sexually aggressive behavior. Among adult sex offenders, approximately thirty percent have been sexually abused (Myths). (Subsequent references to web site may be shortened and cited either within the sentence or at the end, as here) Clearly, sexual abuse of children has roots in the past and becomes a vicious circle difficult to break. That is one reason for making laws against this crime more severe. (Concluding statement(s) summing up evidence, main points and referring to the thesis. Do this for every major paragraph)

Regardless of the cause (Transitional Phrase), the beastly nature of this crime and its effects on children argue for stricter laws. (Topic Sentence) When the majority of people think of children, they like to imagine that children are happy, safe, and well provided for. Children trust adults to care for them in a proper and loving manner. According to an article published in Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, if that trust is betrayed, in such a way as sexual abuse, it could result in damaging, lasting effects on the child. Some of the effects in very young children may include isolation, anger, depression, anxiety, and low self esteem (Ray 49). (Page listed because of one-page online article) All of these effects have a high chance of carrying into adulthood. Additional effects in adults can be distant relationships with men and women and suicidal feelings (Pillay and Schoubben). (Page NOT listed because of multi-page online article, so it\'s not clear which page information came from) In some cases when individuals are victims of child sexual abuse, they may develop a behavior known as "cutting." These victims cut themselves due to low self-esteem and inner pain. Cutting is a way of coping with painful feelings or administering self-punishment ("The Unkindest"). In many of cases, if the children endure such an ordeal, they stay silent, possibly because they are frightened, or they simply lose their trust in adults. In this case, they may continue to be abused, which allows the abuser