Types of sibling sexual abuse

Written by melanie williamson
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Types of sibling sexual abuse
Sibling sexual abuse is any form of sexual abuse that happens between siblings. (Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Sibling sexual abuse can happen between full, half or step siblings. Statistically, sexual abusers are typically male, but female siblings can also be sexual abusers, and the gender of the victim could be either male or female, regardless of the gender of the abuser. Sibling sexual abuse is often a result of parents putting too much trust and responsibility onto one sibling.


Rape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape also includes forced, unwanted oral sex. In regards to sibling sexual abuse, this would include forced sexual intercourse between full siblings, half siblings or step siblings. Rape is about one sibling demonstrating power and control over another sibling, usually a younger sibling. Physical signs of rape may include bruising or bleeding around private areas.


Molestation is unwanted and sexually motivated touching. This can include touching under or through clothes. Similarly to rape, sibling molestation can happen within any sort of sibling relationship, and it is based on a need for power by the abuser. Molestation is often hard to determine. However, there are signs that children will often exhibit after they have been molested. These include, but are not limited to, bed wetting, extreme mood swings, acting out sexual behaviour, sudden acts of aggression, changes in toilet training or sudden behavioural problems in school.


Watching is one of the hardest forms of sibling sexual abuse to identify and prove because there is no actual contact between the siblings. However, the warning signs are similar, and the negative effects on the victim are still present. Watching includes the abuser watching the victim dress, bathe or use the bathroom. It can also include forcing the victim to watch the abuser dress, bathe, use the bathroom or masturbate. Finally, in some cases, the abuser will force the victim to watch or look at pornographic material.

Controlling Sexual Activity

Controlling sexual activity is when the abuser will force the victim to participate in sexual activity with another person while the abuser watches. This can include another sibling or friend of the abuser. The third party may be a second abuser or a second victim. This type of sibling sexual abuse includes each of the other forms of sibling sexual abuse.

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