What is a Child Abuser?

A study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture examines the past 2 decades of mainstream magazine coverage of child abuse in American magazines, connects it to a broader historical and social context, and theorizes that analyzing these stories is a useful way to understand the causes and consequences of the historic and persistent hysteria and irrationality about this issue. The first part of this article describes how child protection efforts emerge from the telling of sensational stories about abused children and abusive adults, transmitted in ways that support American cultural beliefs about individual responsibility for personal behavior and economic circumstances. This second part examines how this narrative persists in high-circulation, popular magazines, by examining the content and frequency of stories about child abuse during the past 2 decades. This article seeks to show how such a narrative regarding the behaviors of evil and immoral people creates and maintains misguided and ineffective approach to child protection, in the structural realms of American social welfare, criminal, and legislative policies and also influences adult and child interaction at the individual level.

For the abstract.


Related Stories

  • Secondary Trauma in Child Protection Workers
  • Caring for High-Risk Children
  • Should Attempting Suicide Be a Criminal Offense?


The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Total votes: 3979