Majority of child sex abuse cases are incestous with the perpetrators often being the victim's adolescent brother hailing from broken families, an Austalian research suggests.
"It is still not widely appreciated that much of that offending is actually perpetrated by adolescents and, in particular, brothers of victims," a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) said.
The AIC researchers said that estimating the extent of the abuse was difficult.
"However, estimates of the proportion of intrafamilial abuse which occurs between people from the same generation range from 40 to 90 per cent," AAP qouted the report.
"It is clear that sexual abuse of children by other children or adolescents constitutes a significant proportion of sexual offending against children."
The report said around half of intrafamilial adolescent sex offenders were themselves victims of sex abuse. Families where sibling incest occurred were frequently dysfunctional with evidence of drug use, sexual abuse by an adult care giver and neglect.
"Almost three in every four offenders had either no contact or minimal contact with at least one biological parent," it said.
AIC research general manager Peg Putt said that there is a need to understand adolescent sex offence as a health issue, rather than a moral one to end the intergenerational transmission of abuse.