Childhood Sexuality And Child Sexual Abuse Essay

3621 Words May 5th, 2015 15 Pages
This essay will posit that in contemporary Western societies a cultural contradiction is apparent. On the one hand there is anxiety surrounding child sexual abuse (CSA) particularly around the concept of ‘the paedophile’. Yet, this concern is situated within a socio-economic and cultural context that simultaneously constructs children as sexually desirable. This essay will argue that these should not be seen as separate issues but rather as interconnected. That is, it is only through seeing these two issues in conjunction with one another that any resolutions will be able to be reached. This essay will analyse the constructions of childhood, sexuality and in turn, childhood sexuality. It will evaluate the impacts these constructions have on attitudes surrounding CSA, paedophilia and the sexualisation of children. Then, a discussion about the complexity of defining paedophilia and the construction of the modern ‘paedophile’ will be assessed in conjunction with one another. The essay will examine Cohen’s (1972) concept of moral panics in relation to the construction of ‘the paedophile’. It will then outline how moral panics can be seen in terms of the work of Norbert Elias around civilising and de-civilising processes. The essay will examine the pedagogisation of children’s sex as outlined by Foucault (1976), as well as Gagnon & Simon’s (1973) ideas about sexual scripts. The main argument of this essay will be that the nature of the construction of the ‘paedophile’ in…

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