Child sexual abuse: Professional and everyday constructions of women and sexuality.

REAVEY, Paula. (1998). Child sexual abuse: Professional and everyday constructions of women and sexuality. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

The thesis examines issues of sexuality and identity for women who have been sexually abused as children. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten professional clinicians, therapists and counsellors and five women survivors of child sexual abuse where constructions of child sexual abuse and sexuality in general were explored. In addition, five selected self-help texts aimed at women survivors of child sexual abuse were analysed in-depth with the specific aim of examining how women's sexuality and identity in relation to their past experience of sexual abuse was understood. A discourse analytic approach was used to examine how women survivors' 'sexuality' was 'situated' in wider discourses of sexuality, in order to locate the significance of gender when speaking of abuse and the effect it has on sexuality and sexual relationships into adulthood. The texts largely constructed survivors' sexuality as psychoanalytically driven towards powerlessness and further victimisation. This was achieved by drawing on individualised yet gendered representations of sexuality, sexual choices and stereotypical depictions of femininity and masculinity. The lack of distinction between 'professional and 'everyday' knowledges on sexual survival show how professional, psychological and everyday discourses are very much sedimented in 'ideological' representations of abuse and sexuality. To conclude, the implications for re-thinking how women survivors' lives and experiences are understood in professional settings and everyday life are discussed with reference to situating narratives of child sexual abuse, women and sexuality in wider representations of gender and heterosexuality.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1998.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 13:05
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20790

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