In the past 20 years, the progressive uncovering of child sexual abuse in institutional settings has reverberated across the globe with simultaneous investigations across Europe and the English-speaking world. However, most books on child sexual abuse are narrowly focused and do not situate this most distressing of human behaviours within a social or historical context. Children, Sexuality, and Child Sexual Abuse examines child sexual abuse from a broader perspective in order to understand how and why child sexual abuse is perpetrated, by whom, under what circumstances, and with what societal consequences for victims and perpetrators. This book will be an essential reference for all those working in the field of child sexual abuse.
Beginning with histories of childhood and sex, and their intersections, the book goes on to analyze sexual development, sexuality, and sexualized behaviour in children and adolescents. This is followed by an examination of the extent of child sexual abuse in the English-speaking world, including its prevalence in the Indigenous communities of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and in once-trusted societal institutions including the Church, orphanages, and schools. The book focuses on issues of concern to all those who encounter the problem of child sexual abuse and addresses questions such as: How and when do children disclose child sexual abuse? What are the characteristics of memory that affect reporting? How are disclosure claims assessed? What are the effects of having experienced child sexual abuse? Finally, there is an examination of young people who offend sexually.