C Childhood sexuality
DOI link for C Childhood sexuality
C Childhood sexuality book
Concern about child sex abuse and the early Sexualization of young people has focused attention as rarely before in most Western countries on the nature of childhood sexuality. Hovering over the whole issue has been the spectre of predatory Paedophilia, sexually exploiting children for adult ends, and even worse involving possible abduction and murder. On a global scale, the exploitation of young people through human Trafficking has aroused particular anxiety, and produced significant international mobilization against it. Perhaps not surprisingly, issues around childhood sexuality have been an especially fertile cause of Moral panic, and have universally given rise amongst public moralists and politicians to calls for preserving childhood sexual innocence (though, it has to be said, with little material effect). The major paradox of such concerns is that as young people in highly developed countries do indeed sexually mature earlier than ever before, as a result of better health and nutrition, and are exposed to an ever-increasing array of sexually explicit images and speech, so assertions of their sexual innocence and need for protection get stronger. As children have become the focus of meaning in family life, and as the dependence of young people on their parents has increased in many ways through prolonged education and youth unemployment, so concerns about the differences between adults and children have become more acute. The sexuality of the young has become a fraught site of social anxiety.