Professionals’ understanding of sexualised behaviour in children who have experienced sexual abuse: An analysis

Ellis, Gemma (2018) Professionals’ understanding of sexualised behaviour in children who have experienced sexual abuse: An analysis. Open Journal of Educational Psychology, 3 .

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Abstract

This paper examines professionals’ construction of their understanding of challenging sexualised behaviour in children who have themselves experienced sexual abuse. Seven experienced professionals, working directly with children under 16 who had been sexually abused, were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule that was based on four key themes identified from a review of literature (gender; labelling; choice, responsibility and agency, and, training). Complementing the use of the semi-structured interview, a vignette was used to apply the questions to a fictional case study where the gender of the central figure was altered between female and male. Following a feminist socialconstructionist perspective the transcripts were analysed using Foucauldian discourse analysis and discursive psychology. Analysis showed gendered discourse ran throughout the transcripts and intercepted with therapy discourse. The implications of these findings are to alert practitioners to the limitations of their own discourses and to highlight the shortcut in thinking that therapy discourse can create. The research illustrates the need to avoid identities and labels being given or assumed about a child which could then become increasingly entrenched as the child becomes older.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexualised Behaviour, Discourse Analysis, Gender
Subjects: Children, Young People and Developmental Pyschology > Child Sexual Abuse - Psychology
Sex Psychology > Sexuality
Sex Psychology > Sex Behaviour
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/2454

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