Why don't kids tell? Gender and the disclosure of abuse.
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Boys are assumed to be more reluctant to disclose sexual abuse than girls but empirical evidence is lacking. Previous qualitative research by Alaggia (2005) suggests that typical nondisclosure reasons for women are related to confusion about who was responsible for the abuse and feelings that she will be blamed or not believed. Similarly boys are assumed to have gender-specific reasons for nondisclosure such as fear of being labeled as homosexual (Alaggia, 2005). We investigated gender differences in likelihood of disclosure and evaluated some reasons why males and females decided not to disclose their child sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Gender differences as well as gender similarities in reasons for nondisclosure of child sexual, emotional and physical abuse were found in responses to a questionnaire completed by a sample of college students.