Claimsmakers in the Child Sexual Abuse "Wars": Who Are They and What Do They Want?
Author: Mildred J.
Source: Social Work, Volume 48, Number 4, October 2003 , pp. 492-503(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:The research findings described in this article are based on in-depth interviews with 40 people who helped bring concerns about child sexual abuse to audiences in the Western world. The results of this study suggest that significant differences of opinion and perspective exist both within and between the two widely recognized camps of opinion that have developed around this issue. From respondents' descriptions of their own and others' viewpoints, a continuum model of eight positions on issues related to child sexual abuse was developed and is described in this article. Using a social constructionist framework, the author suggests that debates about child sexual abuse, although framed primarily as empirical issues, may reflect moral and political, as well as scientific, disagreements. Debates about issues related to child sexual abuse take place in larger social and political contexts that include concerns about the family, gender relations, sexuality and sexual behavior, the "science wars," and the role of government. Conflicting claims about practice issues related to child sexual abuse require that social work practitioners be taught to critically examine how the moral and political beliefs of researchers might influence the kinds of questions they ask and how they interpret and frame their research findings.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2003-10-01
- Social Work is the premiere journal of the social work profession. Widely read by practitioners, faculty, and students, it is the official journal of NASW and is provided to all members as a membership benefit. Social Work is dedicated to improving practice and advancing knowledge in social work and social welfare. Its articles yield new insights into established practices, evaluate new techniques and research, examine current social problems, and bring serious critical analysis to bear on problems in the profession. Major emphasis is placed on social policy and the solutions to serious human problems.
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