Everything is child abuse

McKee, Alan (2010) Everything is child abuse. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy, 2010(135), pp. 131-140.

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In 2008, the Australian federal Senate held an Inquiry into the Sexualisation of Children in the Contemporary Media Environment. I made a submission to this Inquiry, noting that in public debate about this topic a number of quite distinct issues, with distinct aetiologies, were collapsed together. These included: child pornography; children being targeted by any form of marketing; young people becoming sexually active; sexual abuse of children; raunch culture; protecting children from any sexualised material in the media; and body image disorders. I suggested that commentators had collapsed these issues together because the image of the helpless child is a powerful one for critics to challenge undesirable aspects of contemporary culture. The result of many different ideological viewpoints all using the same argument - that the forms of culture they didn't like were damaging children - gives the impression that there is no element of culture today that isn't (somebody claims) causing harm to children: everything is child abuse. The danger of such discourses is that they draw attention away from the real harm that is being caused to children by sexual and other forms of maltreatment - which overwhelmingly occur within families, and for reasons ignored in these debates.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 41859
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Sexualisation of Children, aetiologies, child pornography, sexual abuse, raunch culture
ISSN: 1329-878X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 University of Queensland
Deposited On: 01 Jun 2011 21:45
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 03:42

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