Skip to main content Accessibility help

Father-son incest: case report and review of the literature

  • Kieran C Murphy and Rory K Shelley (a1)


A case report of father-son incest is described. A review of the literature suggests that father-son incest may be significantly under-reported. We suggest that this may be because it is seldom sought after and even less readily recognised. The possibility of the male incest victim should be considered in males who present with depression, severe anxiety, low self-esteem and difficulties with sexual orientation.



Hide All
1.DHSS. Child abuse – working together for the protection of children. London: DHSS, 1986.
2.Finkelhor, D. A sourcebook on child sexual abuse. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1986.
3.Baker, AW, Duncan, SP. Child sexual abuse: a study of prevalence in Great Britain. Child Abuse Negl 1985; 9: 457–67.
4.Market Research Bureau of Ireland. Child sexual abuse in Dublin – pilot study report 1987. Dublin: Market Research Bureau of Ireland, 1987.
5.Watkins, B, Bentovim, A. The sexual abuse of male children and adolescents: a review of current research. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 1992; 33, 1: 197248.
6.Faller, KC. Characteristics of a clinical sample of sexually abused children: how boy and girl victims differ. Child Abuse Negl 1989; 13: 281–91.
7.Hobbs, CJ, Wynne, JM. Child sexual abuse: an increasing rate of diagnosis. Lancet 1987; 11: 837–42.
8.Pierce, R. Pierce, LH. The sexually abused child: the comparison of male and female victims. Child Abuse Negl 1987; 11: 229–35.
9.Reinhart, MA. Sexually abused-boys. Child Abuse Negl 1987; 11: 229–35.
10.Spencer, NJ, Dunklee, P. Sexual abuse of boys. Paediatrics 1986; 78: 133–8.
11.Vander Mey, BJ. Sexual victimisation of male children: a review of previous research. Child Abuse Negl 1988; 12: 6172.
12.Langsley, DC, Schwartz, MN, Fairbairn, RH. Father-son incest. Comprehensive Psychiatry 1968;9:219–9.
13.Raybin, JB. Homosexual incest. J Nerv Ment Dis 1969; 148: 105–9.
14.Steele, BF, Alexander, H. Longterm effects of sexual abuse in childhood. In: Mrazek, PB, Kempe, Ch, editors. Sexually abused children and their families. Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981.
15.Dixon, KN, Arnold, LE, Calestro, K. Father-son incest; under-reported psychiatric problem? Am J Psychiatry 1978; 135: 835–8.
16.Justice, B, Justice, R. The broken taboo. New York: Human Sciences Press, 1979.
17.Awad, GA. Father-son incest – a case report. J Nerv Ment Dis 1976; 162: 135–6.
18.Berry, GW. Incest: some clinical variation on a classical theme. J Am Acad of Psychoanal 1975; 3: 151–1.
19.Bender, L, Blau, A. The reaction of children to sexual relations with adults. Am J Orthopsychiatry 1932; 7: 500–1.
20.Rona, E, Moya, G. General and psychopathologic aspects of sexual abuse in children. Revista Chilena de Pediatria 1989; 62(2): 71–5.
21.Machotka, P, Pittman, FS, Flomenhaft, K. Incest as a family affair. Family Process 1967; 6: 98100.
22.Mrazek, PB, Kempe, CH. Sexually abused children and their families. Denver: Pergamon Press, 1989.
23.Sedney, MA, Brooks, B. Factors associated with a history of childhood sexual experience in a non-clinical female population. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 1984; 23: 215–8.
24.McCormack, A, Janus, M, Burgess, AW. Runaway youths and sexual victimisation: gender differences in an adolescent runaway population. Child Abuse Negl 1986; 10: 387–95.
25.Singer, MI, Petchers, MK, Hussey, D. A relationship between sexual abuse and substance abuse amongst psychiatrically hospitalised adolescents. Child Abuse Negl 1989; 13: 133–8.
26.Briere, J, Evans, D, Runtz, M, Wall, T. Symptomatology in men who were abused as children: a comparison study. Am J Orthopsychiatry 1988; 58: 457–61.
27.Swett, C, Surrey, J, Cohen, C. Sexual and physical abuse histories and psychiatric symptoms among male psychiatric patients. Psychiatry 1990; 147: 632–6.
28.Cavaiola, AA, Schiff, M. Self-esteem in abused chemically dependent adolescents. Child Abuse Negl 1989; 13: 327–34.
29.Meiselman, KC. Incest: a psychological study of causes and effects with treatment recommendations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1978.
30.Gundlach, RH. Sexual molestation and rape reported by homosexual and heterosexual women. J Homosex 1978; 2: 367–9.
31.Bell, A, Weinberg, M. Sexual preference: its development among men and women. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.
32.Pierce, LH. Father-son incest: using the literature to guide practice. Social Casework 1987; 68:6774.
33.Bruckner, DF, Johnson, P E. Treatment for adult male victims of childhood sexual abuse. Social Casework 1987; 68: 81–7.
34.Dimock, PT. Adult males sexually abused as children. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 1988; 3: 203–21.
35.Krug, RS. Adult male report of childhood sexual abuse by mothers: case descriptions, motivations and long term consequences. Child Abuse Negl 1989; 13: 111–9.
36.Johnson, RL, Shrier, D. Past sexual victimisation by females or male patients in an adolescent medicine clinic population. Am J Psychiatry 1987; 144: 650–2.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed