Sexual harassment is a common issue that happens through ethnic and socio-economic classes, gender, caste, colour, and religion. Sexual violence causes severe stress and mental problems that cause significant psychological and behavioural problems in the short and long term. Among children between 11 and 18 years of age, 81.53 percent of the total incidence of child sexual exploitation was recorded. The pre-adolescent child seems to be most at risk. Child sexual abuse is known as Peters Type I (contact abuse) Type II (non-contact abuse). Sexual exploitation of children could have a significant effect on various facets of mental health such as depression, tolerance of stress, emotional intelligence, endurance, self-esteem and psychological well-being. The sex ratio is nearly equivalent in children, but adolescent females are twice as likely as adolescent males to be raped, largely because of the prevalence of sexual assault. The present research aims to understand the influence of sexual assault on adolescent girls’ mental health correlations. A sample of 177 adolescent girls aged 18 years from two districts of Kerala, India’s southernmost state, was studied for this research. For the research, 57 sexually exploited girls from the children’s home of the government, 66 non-abused girls from a destitute home and 54 non-abused girls staying with parents were chosen. In terms of socio-economic status and age, those groups fit. Beck’s Depression Inventory, Stress Resistance Measure, Emotional Intelligence Inventory, Brief Resilience, Self-Esteem Scale and Psychological Well-being Scale are the instruments used for this analysis. A One-Way ANOVA and Post Hoc Test were used to analyse results. The findings suggest that there is a substantial difference in the six variables under review between the three classes. Sexually exploited girls exhibit moderate levels of depression, while mild depression is seen in the other two categories. All three groups display a high degree of stress tolerance, but girls who are sexually assaulted show relatively low stress tolerance. The emotional maturity of sexually abused children in schools is very low and varies greatly from that of the other two classes of non-abused children. In contrast to the other two categories, sexually exploited children have poor endurance, low self-esteem and low psychological well-being. Compared to safe controls, sexually abused teenage girls have dramatically high levels of depression and low levels of stress tolerance, emotional maturity, endurance, self-esteem and psychological well-being. This research therefore illustrates the significant negative effect of sexual violence on teenage girls’ mental health correlations.
John Jacob Mundukottackal
Department of Psychology, Bharathiar University, Tamil Nadu, India.
Department of Psychology, Union Christian College, Mahatma Gandhi University, India.
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