Differences between journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse in Australia

McKee, Alan & Birnie, Amelia (2009) Differences between journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse in Australia. Australian Journal of Communication, 36(3), pp. 93-110.

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The paper uses qualitative textual analysis to compare journalistic and academic accounts of child sexual abuse. There are seven main differences. Academic accounts suggest higher levels of neglect, emotional abuse, and physical abuse than sexual abuse in Australia, by contrast, journalistic accounts highlight sexual abuse. Academic accounts suggest that child sexual abuse in Australia is decreasing; journalistic accounts suggest that it is increasing. Academic accounts suggest that the majority of cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by family members; journalistic accounts focus on abuse by institutional figures (teachers, priests) or by strangers. Academic accounts have shown that innocent sexual play is a normal part of childhood development; journalistic accounts suggest that any sexual play is either a sign of abuse, or in itself constitutes sexual abuse. Academic accounts suggest that one of the best ways to prevent sexual abuse is for children to receive sex education; journalistic accounts suggest that children finding out about sex leads to sexual abuse. Academic accounts can gather data from the victims; journalistic accounts are excluded from doing so. Academic researchers talk to abusers in order to understand how child sexual abuse can be prevented; journalistic accounts exclude the voices of child sexual abusers.

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ID Code: 28520
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: child abuse, sexual abuse, representation, knowledge paradigms
ISSN: 0811-6202
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > JOURNALISM AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING (190300) > Journalism Studies (190301)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Disciplines > Film & Television
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the author.
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2009 02:57
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:07

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