Home Truths about Child Sexual Abuse: Influencing Policy and Practice - A Reader

By Catherine Itzin | Go to book overview

5

Incest, 'paedophilia', pornography and prostitution

Conceptualising the connections

Catherine Itzin


Introduction

In this chapter I return to previously published work on pornography and child sexual abuse (Itzin 1996, 1997a, 1997b). I summarise the findings from the relevant literature and use this to highlight some of the limitations of current definitions and categories of child sexual abuse based on paedophile typologies and sex offender classifications. I am reproducing the two conceptual models developed in the earlier work (modified slightly) which illustrate graphically the organisation of child sexual abuse and the overlapping categories of intrafamilial and extrafamilial child sexual abuse and exploitation. In this paper I use those models as the basis for developing a typology which constructs the connections between incest, 'paedophilia', pornography and prostitution in a 'Continuum Typology of Child Sexual Abuse and Characteristics of Child Sexual Abusers' that captures the cross-over of victims and perpetrators, the overlapping contexts and the common characteristics of abuse and abusers as identified by survivor accounts and sex offender data. This in turn becomes the basis for constructing a 'Nosology of Child Sexual Abuse Classification' which genders the abusers and takes account both of the overlaps and of the dominant discourse currently of policing and policy in which 'paedophilia' and 'child sex offending' have become synonymous, and incest abusers have become invisible.


Identifying the connections

In 1996 I undertook a review of the clinical and research literature on pornography and child sexual abuse for a chapter in a book on organised abuse (Bibby 1996), and a paper for the 4th International Family Violence Conference, subsequently published with other papers from that conference (Kantor and Jasinski 1997) and in Child Abuse Review (1997b). In the absence of research on pornography and child sexual abuse, it was necessary then to draw on a range of knowledge and research from different sources and contexts to build up a picture of those relationships.

There was evidence from child pornography of child sexual abuse and serious sexual assault on children recorded on film and videotape (Tate 1992;

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