AskDefine | Define molestation

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of subjecting someone to unwanted or improper sexual advances or activity (especially women or children)
2 the act of tormenting by continued persistent attacks and criticism [syn: harassment]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (UK): /mɒlɪˈsteɪʃən/, /mQlIˈsteISən/ or /ˌməʊlɪˈsteɪʃən/, /%m@UlI"steISən/
  • (US): , /ˌmoʊlɪˈsteɪʃən/, /%moUlI"steISən/


  1. the act of molesting
  2. the state of being molested

Extensive Definition

Sexual abuse (also referred to as molestation) is defined as the forcing of undesired sexual acts by one person to another. Child sexual abuse refers to situations when the person this is done to is a child.
Different types of sexual abuse involve:
  • Non-consensual, forced physical sexual behavior such as rape or sexual assault
  • Psychological forms of abuse, such as verbal sexual behavior or stalking.
  • The use of a position of trust for sexual purposes.
  • Incest, when it is coerced by force or emotional manipulation; the euphemism "bad touch" is sometimes used to describe such abuse.

Spousal sexual abuse

Spousal abuse is the term applied to the specific form of domestic violence, where physical or sexual abuse is perpetrated by one spouse upon another. Frequently this involves forced sex (spousal rape) upon a spouse without his or her consent.

Sexual abuse of children/minors

Child sexual abuse refers to sexual abuse of a child (see also: minor) by an adult, or some other person significantly older or in a position of power or control over the child, where the child is used for sexual stimulation of another person. Studies of the effects of child sexual abuse often define it as including invitations or requests in addition to actual actions, with regard to any sexual interactions between adult and child, from kissing or hugging to completed intercourse, and all other related activities.
The American Psychiatric Association states that "children cannot consent to sexual activity with adults", and condemns the action of the adult in strong terms: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act which never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior." .


Further reading

  • Bass, Ellen and Laura Davis, 1988 (3rd ed. 1994). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. Harper Collins Publishers.
  • Aba, C. (1992). Sexual Assaults on Students. London: Harper and Row.
  • Billie Wright Dzeich and Linda Weiner, 1984 (2nd ed. 1990). The Lecherous Professor: Sexual Harassment on Campus. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Cotheffe, James Gay Men and Childhood Sexual Trauma: Integrating the Shattered Self.
  • Doris Van Stone, (1990). No Place to Cry: The Hurt and Healing of Sexual Abuse. Moody Publishers.
  • Haines, Staci The Survivors Guide to Sex: How to Have an Empowered Sex Life after Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Haines, Staci Healing Sex (DVD) A diverse cast of men and women explore peace, healing and intimacy post-abuse.
  • Lew, Mike. Victime No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse.
  • Wishart, G.D. (2003) The Sexual Abuse of People with Learning Difficulties: Do We Need A Social Model Approach To Vulnerability?, Journal of Adult Protection, Volume 5 (Issue 3)

External links

molestation in German: Sexueller Missbrauch
molestation in Spanish: Abuso sexual
molestation in French: Agression sexuelle
molestation in Dutch: Seksueel geweld
molestation in Portuguese: Abuso sexual
molestation in Romanian: Abuz sexual
molestation in Russian: Сексуальное злоупотребление
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