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NCJ Number: 128040 Find in a Library
Title: Challenging the Orthodoxy: Towards a Feminist Theory and Practice
Journal: Feminist Review  Issue:28  Dated:special issue (Spring 1988)  Pages:16-55
Author(s): M MacLeod; E Saraga
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 40
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: The libertarian, psychoanalytic, and family dysfunction perspectives on child sexual abuse are critically examined from a feminist perspective, and a feminist approach to discussing child sexual abuse is presented.
Abstract: Although the definitions and incidence of child sexual abuse are sources of disagreement, researchers agree that most perpetrators are male. The libertarian viewpoint reflects the views of Kinsey and emphasizes that intervention rather than abuse causes trauma and that children can willingly take part in sexual activity with adults. Psychoanalytic ideas, which rest on a patriarchal ideology, have also strongly influenced the way that incest is viewed and treated. However, the dominant approach is the family dysfunction perspective which focuses on the entire family, views male sexuality as driven and uncontrollable, blames the mother for family dysfunction, and focuses on family therapy rather than punishment of perpetrators. In contrast, feminist theory focuses on gender and emphasizes problematic sexual and adult-child politics. Feminist practice rests on this theory and emphasizes protection of the child, empowerment of the nonabusing adult, emotional survival of the victim, and responses to the offender that reflect the seriousness of child sexual abuse. Drawings, notes, and 50 references
Main Term(s): Child Sexual Abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse causes; Crime causes theory; Feminism
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