During the past decade, interest in the medical diagnosis of the sexually abused child has dramatically increased. Sexual abuse of children is not a recent phenomenon, but in a society reluctant to believe that children are abused, medical professionals have often been placed in the position of being asked to validate the disclosure from the child solely on the basis of medical evidence.

In response to this pressure, physicians have attempted to establish standards of diagnosis by developing objective medical criteria. The legal system, accustomed to a general increase in medical knowledge and technology, has come to expect medical evidence to support an increasing number of cases of sexual abuse.

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