Strengths and Limitations of Forensic Child Sexual Abuse Interviews with Anatomical Dolls: An Empirical Review

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A comprehensive review of the use of anatomical dolls reveals three areas of research: (1) normative studies (with no known history of sexual abuse) of children's interactions with anatomical dolls; (2) comparative studies of children suspected of being victims of sexual abuse, and those believed not to be; and (3) the role anatomical dolls play in the identification of a child who has been sexually abused. The results of empirical studies in each area are mixed and inconsistent. However, there is general clinical support for the use of the anatomical doll as a demonstration aid during forensic interviewing with children over 3 years of age.

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