Power of consequences

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The power of consequences refers to a certain type of power, often (but not always) held by the younger partner in adult-minor relationships.

Here, it is held that society itself invests said power in the child or minor by giving them the ability to effectively ruin the life of the older partner by initiating legal proceedings.[1][2] Social shame is another, not unrelated consequence.

However, an older partner may be able to argue that negative consequences for the minor exist to counteract those he or she is exposed to. Such consequences might involve social shame, exposure to predatory mental health professionals and legals, and perhaps even ostracism from the family unit (in some nonwestern cultures, honor is an important consideration).

See also


  1. Leclerc, B., & Wortley, R. (2015). Predictors of victim disclosure in child sexual abuse: additional evidence from a sample of incarcerated adult sex offenders. Child Abuse and Neglect, 43, 104–111.
  2. Leclerc, B., Wortley, R., & Smallbone, S. (2011). Victim resistance in child sexual abuse: a look into the efficacy of self-protection strategies based on the offender’s experience. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1868–1883.