Beyond the individual: child sexual abuse and society
As discussed earlier, research into the nature and extent of childhood sexual abuse has had a dif®cult beginning and does not have an especially long pedigree compared to many other areas of social research. Firstly, there may well have been great resistance to the shocking picture that early studies began to reveal. Secondly, the methods used to gather information have varied in quality and this has made it dif®cult to compare ®ndings across studies and across different populations. It is equally dif®cult to attempt reliable comparisons across time, although these methods are constantly being re®ned.