Children's use of anatomically detailed dolls to report genital touching in a medical examination: Developmental and gender comparisons

Maggie Bruck, Stephen J. Ceci, Emmett Francoeur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The influence of anatomically detailed dolls on 3- and 4-year-old children's reports of a routine medical exam was examined. During the exam, half the children received a genital examination and half the children did not. Immediately after the exam, all children were asked to demonstrate various events on an anatomically detailed doll and on their own bodies. Although there were age differences in the number of accurate demonstrations of how the doctor used different instruments, there were no age differences on measures that assessed reports of genital touching. Among girls, commission errors were more frequent when dolls were used because some children falsely showed insertions into the anal or genital cavity. The authors conclude that dolls should not be used in interviews with children below the age of 5 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-83
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Applied
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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