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Who Are You Kidding? Children, Power and the Struggle Against Sexual Abuse

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... For example, in her study of childhood sexual abuse, Kitzinger (2015) acknowledges the added complexity of power over children, which is taken for granted and routine -like a current running through the family and educational system. She argues that it is invisible to children struggling to recognize their experience as abusive. ...
... It is difficult for children to acknowledge inequity in their own lives due to their social positions, dependency, and lack of available narrative. As Kitzinger (2015) explains, "Children are systematically denied a language of power and their experiences of powerlessness are obscured" (p. 160). ...
... Their sense of power in the world is further undermined by deference to parents and caregivers within the educational system and culture. As Kitzinger (2015) argues, "children are sometimes hopeless because there is no hope, helpless because there is not help, and compliant because there is no alternative" (p. 158). ...
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Trauma sensitive approaches are being adopted in schools across the U.S. While responding to children’s trauma is imperative, this analysis points to significant limitations posed by individual pathology-focused science and neoliberal influences, including an outline of fundamental contradictions. This is followed by a conceptualization of trauma which illustrates alignment with and the necessity of critical pedagogy as a means for developing critical knowledge and world views that are resistant to domination and may counter the effects of trauma.
... Closely tied to this idea is the concept of ignorance, which entails the assumption that a child is innocent if the child does not know what adults do not want the child to know (Kitzinger, 1997: 169). This was illustrated in the way some mothers placed their children in an unknowledgeable position -a position that was disputed by the staff, who This can prevent children from gaining knowledge that is necessary for them in order to understand and express their own emotions and make informed decisions about their lives (Kitzinger, 1997). In this way, the protective power that adults assert over children can render children powerless. ...
... Taken together, the blanket construction of innocence and vulnerability surrounding childhood and sexuality legitimizes the adults' intervention in children's sexual engagement, while this adult-centric intervention, in turn, reinforces the constitution of childhood as innocent and vulnerable, which may create a danger for children and possibly make them more vulnerable. To solve this problem, some scholars have suggested to re-construct childhood sexuality (Kitzinger, 1997), providing children a more participatory context supported by a positive rights agenda (Moore and Reynolds, 2017;Scraton, 1997). ...
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Childhood sexuality is a culturally constructed notion, which has constantly been subjected to change. Various constructions of childhood sexuality represent different attitudes toward children's engagement in sex. As a substantial factor in regulating children's sexuality, a country's age of consent legislation is an important indicator of the national legislator's attitudes toward childhood sexuality. This study summarizes four main discourses around child sexuality, ranging from traditional constructions that solely focus on protecting the child's “innocence” to modern notions that provide more leeway for children to explore their sexuality. By juxtaposing these discourses against the current age of consent laws in 57 European jurisdictions, it appears that national law makers in Europe are still mainly influenced by the traditional construction of childhood sexuality, which results in various negative consequences. To avoid the disconnect between academic discussions about childhood sexuality and legislatos' rationales for their actions, it is recommended that legislators take the latest findings in academia into account and reflect on the rationales behind their legislation.
... Feminist sosyolojik yaklaşım, çocukların kendilerine özgü özellikleri ve deneyimleri olan bir grup olduğu anlayışını gündeme getirmiştir. Böylelikle söz konusu yaklaşım, eşitsiz konumlarına göndermede bulunarak çocukların cinsel istismar, aile içi şiddet, yoksulluk, hak gibi toplumsal sorunlar açısından ele alınmasına katkıda bulunmuştur (Oakley, 2003;Mullender ve diğerleri, 2002;Kitzinger, 2005). Bu çalışmalara örnek olarak Ann Oakley'in, "İlk ve Son Olarak Kadın ve Çocuklar: Çocuk ve Kadın Çalışmaları Arasında Paralellikler ve Farklılıklar (Women and Children First and Last: Parallels and Differences Between Children's and Women's Studies, 2003)" adlı çalışması verilebilir. ...
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Hilmî Kıbrısî Efendi is a prominent 19th Century Divan poet of Cyprus. Born in 1783, he received an excellent education. Hilmî Kıbrısî Efendi, who was an honorable scholar proficient in both Arabic and Persian languages, served his people as a mufti, müderris, sheik Seba and a minister of the library. Upon joining Turks to the Muslim faith, mysticism was spread in Central Asia and then in Anatolia. After the conquest of Cyprus's island by the Turks in 1571, the Mevlevi Sheiks carried the idea of Sufism from Anatolia to the island. The Mevlevihane of Lefkoşa, which was built in 1593, is an important center that effectively contributed to mysticism in Cyprus. Sheiks had often read Mevlana's poems from Mathnawi in the Mevlevihane of Lefkoşa at special ceremonies of which Hilmî Kıbrısî Efendi was a regular attendant. Being deeply inspired by Mevlana's lyrics, he composed poems reflecting religion, mysticism, divine love, and sects' order, which are the main features of Divan poetry. In this article, we have studied the reflections of magic in Hilmî Kıbrısî Efendi's poems
... It places them in a passive position in which the mother is the 'trustee' of the child's best interests (Wyness et al., 2004: 84). This can prevent children from gaining knowledge that is necessary for them in order to understand and express their own emotions and make informed decisions about their lives (Kitzinger, 1997). In this way, the protective power that adults assert over children can render children powerless. ...
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Inspired by a central concept in the sociology of childhood – that of ‘place’ – this article explores how childhood is constructed and experienced in an atypical place for childhood to unfold. The place in question is a refuge for women and their children who have experienced violence in the intimate sphere. In this article, ‘place’ has a dual meaning as referring to both social positions and physical locations. Employing this dual concept to investigate an atypical place provides insight into the dynamics that shape childhood space. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews with children, the analysis shows how children negotiate children’s places in challenging circumstances in a semi-public setting. It uncovers the plurality of children’s places and how these are shaped by the children’s positions in a protective context. The plurality of children’s places becomes apparent by paying attention to the temporality of these places, which foregrounds the relational qualities and fields of power that contribute to the shaping of childhood space.
... Feminist sosyolojik yaklaşım, çocukların kendilerine özgü özellikleri ve deneyimleri olan bir grup olduğu anlayışını gündeme getirmiştir. Böylelikle söz konusu yaklaşım, eşitsiz konumlarına göndermede bulunarak çocukların cinsel istismar, aile içi şiddet, yoksulluk, hak gibi toplumsal sorunlar açısından ele alınmasına katkıda bulunmuştur (Oakley, 2003;Mullender ve diğerleri, 2002;Kitzinger, 2005). Bu çalışmalara örnek olarak Ann Oakley'in, "İlk ve Son Olarak Kadın ve Çocuklar: Çocuk ve Kadın Çalışmaları Arasında Paralellikler ve Farklılıklar (Women and Children First and Last: Parallels and Differences Between Children's and Women's Studies, 2003)" adlı çalışması verilebilir. ...
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Bu çalışma, “geleneksel” çocukluk sosyolojisinden “yeni” çocukluk sosyolojisine doğru evrilen çocukluk sosyolojisinin gelişme çizgisini, çocuğa yönelik yeni eğilimlerini ve kuramsal temellerinin nasıl biçimlendiğini tahlil etmeyi amaçlamaktadır. Literatür taramasına ve değerlendirmesine dayalı olarak gerçekleştirilen çalışma, amacı doğrultusunda kuramsal bir nitelik arz etmektedir. Çocuk ve çocukluk dönemine ilişkin çalışmalar yapan çocukluk sosyolojisi, sosyoloji disiplini içerisinde tarihsel, kültürel, politik vb. koşullar sebebiyle daha geç tarihsel bir dönemde gelişmiştir. Geleneksel çocukluk sosyolojisi “sosyalizasyon” paradigması üzerinden gelişirken, yeni çocukluk sosyolojisi, “toplumsal aktör/toplumsal inşa olarak çocuk” anlayışı çerçevesinde gelişmiştir. Feminist hareketler, çocuk haklarının gelişimi, çocuğa yönelik yeni sosyolojik yaklaşımlar, çocukluk sosyolojisi anlayışını yeniden biçimlendiren gelişmeler olmuştur.1990’lı yıllardan itibaren çocuklara yönelik sosyolojik çalışmaların artması, çocuk araştırma merkezlerinin kurulması ve çocukluk konusunun sosyoloji bölüm programlarında yer alması, yeni çocukluk sosyolojisi çalışmalarının gelişimini hızlandırmıştır. Sonuç olarak, söz konusu toplumsal gelişmelerin etkisinin yanı sıra çocukluk sosyolojisi alanındaki mevcut literatüre ilişkin değerlendirmeler, bu disiplinin olgunlaşma sürecini halen yaşamakta olduğunu göstermektedir. Çocukluk sosyolojisinin gerek konuları bakımından çok boyutlu ve derinlikli bir yapı arz etmesi, gerekse beslendiği inceleme alanının disiplinlerarası bir içerikte olması onun gelişim mecrasını belirlemede ve yönlendirmede etkili olmaktadır.
... Scholars have argued that the field of VaC has evolved without a thorough analysis of gender inequalities and power relationships (Horton, 2014;Houston, 2015). The focus on protection (as opposed to empowerment) tends to shift the lens towards interpersonal relationships within the family and community, rather than the larger macrostructures that might be influencing those relationships at the structural and institutional levels (see Kitzinger, 1990). However, more recent scholarship, led by partnerships of activists and researchers, is starting to explore VaC from a feminist perspective (Namy et al., 2017). ...
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Decades of collective and cumulative work by practitioners, activists and researchers have made violence prevention an important part of international development agendas. However, violence prevention and response work addressing women and children has historically been siloed. Those working at the intersection of violence against women (VaW) and violence against children (VaC) have wrestled with the age–gender divide. Addressing the historical and political influences that underpin this divide will likely enhance progress towards more integrated strategies. This paper examines the origins and development of this polarisation and potential strategies for a more coordinated and collaborative agenda. This paper draws on the insights gained from eleven (11) semi-structured interviews conducted with key violence prevention actors in VaW and VaC from across the globe, alongside relevant published literature. Informants were purposively sampled on the basis of their expertise in the field. Findings reveal key differences and tensions between the two fields, including in collection and use of research and evidence, core conceptual frameworks, and the development, funding and implementation of policy and practice. Potential opportunities for future synergies between the two fields are highlighted, particularly through a focus on the adolescent girl.
Chapter
This chapter will explore the consequence of accepting that adults are as vulnerable as children. It will argue this requires a rethinking of the nature of legal rights and responsibilities. The law needs to promote values of relationships and mutuality, rather than individualism and autonomy. It will also require a different response to vulnerability. Rather than seeing vulnerability as a state to be avoided or to escape from it will require the law to recognise our vulnerabilities and the responsibilities we owe to each other as a result.
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Airbnb has been portrayed as making neighborhoods significantly less safe where hosts are operating. However, the evidence has been mainly anecdotal. The present study developed a model of non-hosting residents' emotional solidarity with Airbnb visitors, their sense of feeling safe, and support for Airbnb hosts. Results indicated that non-hosting residents who had higher emotional solidarity with Airbnb visitors were more supportive of Airbnb hosts. Also, economic benefits and place attachment were significant antecedents to emotional solidarity. Considering the protection motivation theory, results of group modeling indicated the sense of feeling safe was an important factor for non-hosting residents with children living in their household, attributed to parental fear of visitors around children (i.e., “stranger danger”). The sense of feeling safe was a significant mediating factor influencing support for Airbnb hosts in the non-hosting residents group with children living in their households.
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This research reports on open-ended interviews with 20 sexually abused girls on their knowledge of sexuality and child sexual abuse. Most received little or no information from parents or the schools on these subjects. The few who received warnings about molestation were unable to connect the warnings to the perpetrator's behavior. Sex education and sex abuse education of children appear necessary. The results of this study suggest that children are likely to benefit if they are provided with concrete, specific information beginning at a very early age. Programs to prevent the development of sexually abusive behaviors in the first place are needed for a more complete preventive effort.
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Suggests that the current focus on what children can do to prevent child sexual abuse overlooks the power of the offender in determining whether abuse takes place. Offenders are most often male, a generation older than their victim, and notable for their disregard for the feelings of others. The ways in which social and family roles are related to the development of sexually abusive behaviors are described, and the need for abuser-focused prevention programs is emphasized. Because the suppression of sexual fantasies is the key to stopping the offender's obsessive behavior, some offenders may require treatment with a testosterone-suppressing drug (that also suppresses fantasies) and psychotherapy. In order to prevent the development of abusive behaviors in the first place, a model program should address the issues of self-esteem, human equality, caring, masturbation, and sexual thoughts and fantasies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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41 commercially available written materials on child sexual abuse prevention were evaluated to address questions on their nature, effectiveness, ability to identify victims of sexual abuse, and fairness and reasonability of implementation. Issues concerning the development, implementation, and evaluation of school-based prevention programs are also considered. It is recommended that programs should address issues concerning body knowledge, secrets, and use of a support network, and they should emphasize that sexual abuse is not the child's fault. It is recommended that programs not include concepts of assertiveness and empowerment for children; however, these may be applicable to adolescents. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The emergence of childhood as a social issue is barely a century old. The historical roots of current child advocacy movements can be found in an earlier period (1873–1914) characterized as the child-saving era. The emergence of this social issue during this period appears to be related to changing conceptualizations of the child, the developing “scientific” view of the child, as well as the influence of industrialization and urbanization. The child-saving era resulted in a number of problematic achievements regarding children's rights. The historical discussion points to the contributions which developmental and social psychology can make to the study of children's rights.
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This essay reflects upon a recurrent theme of observation and questioning in the social sciences - the relationship between children and adults. In some sociologies today we hear that we are discovering and redefining adult-child interaction, including those topical concerns which are based upon our understanding of that interaction: human development, socialization and family relations and the sociology of education. From the point of view of social science practitioners particularly ethnomethodologists, ethnographers and sociolinguists who have most recently observed and reported upon child-adult interaction (Cicoural et al., 1974; Glassner, 1976; Goode, 1979; Mackay, 1974; Sacks, 1974) as well as to the scientific community which comprises their audience - it would appear that these observers confront dominant concepts in these fields and, in that sense, produce 'new' ideas. In particular, the notions that children could have a separate culture (what I refer to below as 'kids' culture') generationally transmissed by children to other children, that they possess interpretive competence equal to (or even greater than) that of adults, that they are potentially, when adults avoid judging their behavior narrowly and
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The ideas to be presented in this paper emerge from a phenomenological approach to the sociological enterprise. In particular they derive from Husserl's directive to respect "the originary right of all data." Such respect entails setting aside belief and doubt in ontological and epistemological matters. There are some important advantages to be gained from adopting such a stance towards children and there is a serious practical problem. First, the advantages: Seeing children as "nothing special" but simply as actors in the social world makes it possible to draw on social science resources not usually applied to children. Routinely, in seeking to understand children, traditional sociology has either turned to psychological theorists (especially Freud, Erikson, and Piaget) or elaborated on sociological theories of socialization. As a consequence, the sociological study of children has neither benefited from nor contributed to sociological understanding in general but has for the most part been an independent sphere of study. I contend that taking children seriously as sociological subjects encourages the application of a wide range of sociological concepts and theories to children's activities and experiences (see, for example, my study of deviance in a kindergarten classroom, 1987, and Ardener's idea of muted voices, 1977) and the application of concepts developed in studying children to adult activities (consider, for example, adult instances of the Opies' notion of half-belief, 1959). In this way sociological knowledge about children and sociological understanding in general can be enhanced. Second, the disadvantage: To take children's ideas, beliefs, activities, and experiences seriously, as real and as embodying knowledge, is to risk being taken for a fool. When I as a sociologist
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In response to the alarmingly high incidence and negative consequences of child sexual abuse, an increasing number of prevention efforts have appeared. In this paper, primary and secondary prevention efforts aimed at low- and high-risk children via both direct and indirect approaches have been reviewed. While many creative and entertaining prevention programs are available for children, empirical validation of these programs has lagged behind their actual development and implementation. Our review also indicated that additional development and evaluation of adult-oriented programs are needed to aid in the indirect prevention of child sexual abuse. Several research questions need to be addressed before we can confidently say that such programs are effective in preventing the sexual exploitation of children.