What (usually) constitutes child molestation?

I’ve traditionally thought of child molestation as an adult doing sexual things to a minor. (Consensual sex that turns out to be statutory rape is, to me, something entirely different and a topic best suited for GD.) But what are the specifics of molestation?

I have a cousin who was forced by an older cousin to perform oral sex, but that’s the only case I’m personally aware of. Is that actually what most cases are: unwanted touching and oral sex? Is penetrative sex common? I’d imagine not, do to the sheer size difference in adult and child genitalia, but perhaps forced penetration makes up the worst cases due not only to emotional issues, but also to severe physical pain and damage.

Any statistics would be welcome (I haven’t the foggiest on how to google this), as would personal accounts if you feel you can share them.

Anecdotally, I can say penetrative and/or forcible sexual offenses against children isn’t rare enough to be considered uncommon by law enforcement.

If it’s physically possible, it happens, probably more often than we think. If it’s not physically possible, some perv tries it anyway and tearing and bleeding is the result. You read the news stories about arrests for kiddie porn, and some pictures involve very small children.

I suspect since it’s not talked about and people don’t want to discuss their experiences in detail unless they are very very close friends, that it happens far more often than we suspect. OTOH, where do you draw the line between kids “playing” and predatory behaviour? I suspect too that many kids have bullying tendencies, and getting off with being in a situation of power and larger size can lead to all sorts of inappropriate behaviour.

Here is a Court case (from Pakistan) which described Child Molestation as

Was a spoken order apparently.

I’m afraid to look it up because this entire topic makes me sort of queasy… but I’m sure someone else will see this post and remember who I’m talking about. But there was a guy who was caught on Livejournal (was he actually caught on Livejournal, or was his Livejournal just basically attacked once news broke?) who had molested an infant and he, uh…
(You don’t want to look under the spoiler.)

… used a knife to help make room.

If anyone remembers what I’m talking about, I could use a memory-jogging. If I remembered his name I’d look it up, but I’m not just going to type that into google. I’m really afraid of what I’ll wind up seeing. :frowning:

You were right about not wanting to read the spoiler.

BTW, the Pakistani reference is pretty interesting. I assume most countries with law derived from the English would be pretty similar, right? (Different specifics, but but the same general outline.)

In New York, sex offenses are defined in Part 130 of the Penal Law. The definitions section includes the following:

  1. “Sexual intercourse” has its ordinary meaning and occurs upon any penetration, however slight.
  2. “Deviate sexual intercourse” means sexual conduct between persons not married to each other consisting of contact between the penis and the anus, the mouth and penis, or the mouth and the vulva.
  3. “Sexual contact” means any touching of the sexual or other intimate parts of a person not married to the actor for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire of either party. It includes the touching of the actor by the victim, as well as the touching of the victim by the actor, whether directly or through clothing. . . .
  4. “Foreign object” means any instrument or article which, when inserted in the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum, is capable of causing physical injury.
  5. “Sexual conduct” means sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated sexual contact, or sexual contact.
  6. “Aggravated sexual contact” means inserting, other than for a valid medical purpose, a foreign object in the vagina, urethra, penis or rectum of a child, thereby causing physical injury to such child.
    The rest of Part 130 essentially makes non-consensually engaging in any of these acts criminal in various degrees, depending on such factors as the age of the victim, the reason for the absence of consent (e.g. forcible compulsion, mental incapacity, etc.), whether the conduct is repeated, and other factors.

One additional crime that doesn’t quite fit into those definitions is:
A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person:

  1. for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or
  2. for the purpose of gratifying the actors sexual desire. For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes the squeezing, grabbing or pinching of such other persons sexual or other intimate parts.

If you’re looking for a definition of child molestation, I would say that anything that fits into any of the categories above qualifies.

Edited prior comment as inappropriate for from.

Being as bold and jaded as I am, I went ahead and typed “infant knife rape” into Google. While there’s no way to determine which of several news stories was related to yours, one passage from an article titled Infant Rape in South Africa particularly stuck out: (spoilered for content)

[spoiler]Infant rapes seem to have several striking features. To penetrate the vagina of a small infant, the perpetrators first need to create a common channel between the vagina and the anal canal by forced insertion of an implement. This action is analogous to the most severe form of female genital mutilation practiced in parts of Africa, introcision, in which the perineum is split with a finger, knife, or similar object, presumably to facilitate penetrative intercourse in girls as young as 5 years old sold into early marriage.

Rape in this manner can be immediately life threatening. The tearing of the perineal body, rectovaginal septum, and anterior anal sphincter can cause infants to die from haemorrhage or abdominal sepsis despite medical care, especially in deprived rural communities.[/spoiler]
I couldn’t bear to read the rest. :frowning:

Yeah, that’s the kind of stuff I didn’t want to bump into. :frowning:

Ugh. Words fail. :frowning:

As for differences between jurisdictions, I found the similar laws for Indiana, my home state. Sections 3, 8, and 9 are the most relevant, and seem to match up with NY law. I couldn’t find the definition of “deviant sexual conduct,” but I’d imagine it to be much the same as NY and the Pakistani definition of “sexual molestation” in AK84’s cite.

IC 35-41-1-9
“Deviate sexual conduct” defined
Sec. 9. “Deviate sexual conduct” means an act involving:
(1) a sex organ of one person and the mouth or anus of another person; or
(2) the penetration of the sex organ or anus of a person by an object.
As added by P.L.311-1983, SEC.10. Amended by P.L.183-1984, SEC.1.

Similar to rape, most children who are molested are molested by a family member, friend of the family, caretaker, or otherwise someone who the victim knows and whom you would expect to be “safe”. Cases of strangers grabbing random women or children off the street to molest is rare.

Where they are different though is that, most likely, most cases of rape are more about asserting dominance or exacting revenge, while as child molesters are probably more seeking sexual satisfaction from someone they can control easily (and/or to whom they are sexually attracted). There is no need nor desire to be violent (ignoring the current problems in Africa). Most molesters start children off by having them view porn and getting them drunk. They might not do anything but kiss and fondle the child at first, slowly building up to other acts. A child who has been molested has probably had sex on multiple occasions, possibly daily. As such, you’ll probably get the full gamut of sex: Oral, vaginal (or anal), masturbation, etc. It will really depend on what the adult wants and what’s feasible.

It’s worth noting that, for instance, gay men usually don’t have penetrative sex. It’s a bit of a myth that anal/vaginal penetration is the only way for one person to please another (or so I gather). People can use their hands, mouths, between their thighs, or whatever else to get their partner off and many people restrict themselves to that for years on end. I imagine that an attacker will certainly at least try vaginal sex with a young girl, but I doubt that he’ll push the issue if she’s clearly too small–even if only because the experience isn’t pleasurable for the man. And of course she’ll still be there several years down the road when she has grown since like I said, child molestation is usually something that is ongoing for long periods of time. Anal sex already turns many off, so I imagine that boys probably mostly use their hands and mouths regardless of whether it would be feasible to do anything more.

I’m nearly certain that you’re referring to men who molest boys, but I’ve got to be sure: You aren’t saying that gay men in general don’t usually have penetrative sex, are you?

My sister works with pedophiles in the prison system, and I just asked her this question. She replied that if you include penetration with an object, then penetrative sex accounts for over half of the cases she deals with. She said that very few cases are just “unwanted touching.” In younger children, penetrative sex leaves physical evidence, and fondling or oral sex is a more difficult thing to prove in court. In older children (including teens), they are less likely to report non-penetrative sex.

She says that both our state (New York) and the Feds publish data on this, though frankly I don’t want to look for it.

They mostly just cuddle, as best I could tell. Not to say that they don’t have penetrative sex, just that by my reading it’s not part of their general day-to-day sexing. Obviously, I assume it varies by couple (and likely by age as well.)

I. I uh. I can’t believe this!

I’m off to the Batcave to ask my gay friends.