Also referred to as Sexually Abusive Youth, a juvenile with sexually problematic behavior is a male or female youth who commits a sexual offense against a person either of the same age or younger. Sometimes sexually abusive youth act out on older people. The youth with sexually problematic behavior is typically older than the sexually reactive child (13 or older).
Although there may be some overlap in the characteristics that distinguish a sexually reactive child from a child with sexual behavior issues, significant differences between the two include the level of aggression demonstrated and the premeditated nature of the offense by the youth with sexually problematic behavior. Similar to the sexually reactive child, he or she may commit a wide range of sexual behaviors, both “hands-on” and “hands-off”.
A comprehensive evaluation of the youth is completed in the initial phase of the youth’s treatment (5-10 sessions) to determine the client’s strengths and weaknesses, the level of risk the youth poses, the development of a safety plan and specific treatment recommendations for the youth.
The length of treatment for the sexually abusive youth is typically 18 months to two years and involves weekly individual and group sessions. Whenever possible the youth’s family is also involved in the treatment. The main goal of treatment for the youth is to eliminate the sexually problematic behavior and to teach the skills to prevent a re-offense.