Child Sexual Abuse

Child Sexual Abuse

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Description

This challenging new study presents a reappraisal of the problem of child sexual abuse. Jean La Fontaine assesses the myths and realities surrounding the abuser as well as the abused. She shows how "explanations" such as the child's sexual behaviour, children's fantasies and the relationship between parents and children have been used to deny the occurrence of sexual abuse. By examining definitions of child sexual abuse in the law, definitions used by social workers, psychologists and by abused adults and children themselves, La Fontaine highlights the obstacles which abused children often face when trying to bring the abuse out into the open. The author looks at the consequences of abuse for family relations, the abused child and the child's future. Throughout the study she stresses how the burden of guilt is shifted on to the child by many of the agencies and people involved. In her conclusion, La Fontaine asks how we can determine and allocate responsibility in highly problematic circumstances. Finally she outlines strategies which will be of great interest to students and professionals in sociology, psychology, social work and all concerned with the protection of our children.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 138 x 216 x 19.05mm | 358g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 10 tables
  • 0745605613
  • 9780745605616

Table of contents

Introduction - the Cleveland affair; the nature of the problem; the extent of the problem; the victims; the offenders; natural and unnatural fathers - incest and the sexual abuse of children; brothers and sisters; what can be done?.show more

Review quote

a clear account both of statistical surveys of sexual abuse and the legal and theoretical background involved.' City Limits this wise book is ... a fascinating critique of the mythology of the family and its effects on child protection.' Social Work Today "La Fontaine importantly points out the variability of child sexual abuse, and the difficulty of getting a hold on what it is, who it involves, why it happens, and what can be done about it. This book will be of use in furthering the discourse related to sexuality and its boundaries." Social/Cultural Anthropology . "A clearly argued and jargonless summary of the phenomenon, sympathetically engaged without outraged moralising. It would be difficult to find a saner, more readable and balanced example of an anthropological contribution to issues of public policy." British Medical Anthropology .show more