Differentiating hypererotic states in the evaluation of sexual abuse

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1991 Sep;30(5):791-5.


When young children behave in a sexual manner, they may be suspected of having been sexually abused. However, this behavior may or may not indicate sexual abuse. Case studies suggest that nonsexually abused children can manifest an increase in erotic behavior on the basis of unusually intense but nonabusive sexual experiences or as part of a compulsion. When the sexual behavior is secondary to abuse, it can be related to posttraumatic stress disorder or intense and prolonged sexual experience.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis*
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Psychosexual Development*
  • Sexual Behavior*