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Genital injuries in boys and abuse
  1. C J Hobbs1,
  2. J Osman2
  1. 1Department of Community Paediatrics, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, England, UK
  2. 2Department of Accident and Emergency Medicine, Hull Royal Infirmary, Hull, England, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr C J Hobbs
    Department of Community Paediatrics, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK;chris.hobbs{at}


Aims: To describe a cohort of boys with genital injuries in whom child abuse was suspected.

Methods: Boys with genital injury (penile and/or scrotal) and referred to paediatricians in Leeds, population 750 000, with concerns regarding possible abuse from 1983 to 2003 were identified from medical reports.

Results: 86 boys (average age 62.7 months, median age 48 months) were referred between 1983 and 2003. The injury was judged inflicted in 63, unexplained, suspicious or inconsistent with the history given in 17 and accidental in six. The number of discrete injuries ranged from one in 57, two in 15, three in 12, to more than three in two cases. Genital injuries included burns in seven boys, bruises in 27, incised wounds, lacerations or scars in 39, and other traumatic lesions in 27. Non-genital findings included anal findings in 28, >10 bruises in 17, fractures in three, burns in 12, mouth injuries in four, brain and retinal haemorrhages in one, and poor nourishment or underweight in 14. The categories of abuse were physical (eight), sexual (19), both physical and sexual (eight), physical and neglect (four), and physical, sexual and neglect (one). The category of abuse was unspecified in 39 children.

Conclusions: Genital injury in boys may be the result of abuse which may be physical or sexual in nature.

  • boys
  • genital injury
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse

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