By Jason Lee
During the 1980s, discourse concerning child sexual abuse became central to the US/UK media, and in the 1990s, popular culture frequently took child sexual abuse as a subject for representation. Numerous claims of child sexual abuse were made between 1984 and 1994, not all of which were real. Everyday news throughout the 1990s highlighted concerns concerning abduction by pedophiles and children being at risk from predatory pedophiles using the Internet. While the media continually made child sexual abuse a central concern of public debate, popular culture-particularly films-explored this issue in fiction and docudrama. Many of these films reproduced some of the central myths concerning child sexual abuse and pedophilia. Men abusing children, women abusing children, and children abusing other children, became staple fodder in mainstream feature films. Pervasive Perversions analyzes a range of media and popular culture texts concerned with child sexual abuse. With sections on new media, fiction, film, and celebrity culture, key questions are examined. Why did mass hysteria break out in the 1980s over sexual abuse and continue throughout the final decades of the twentieth century? What was the significance of this phenomenon? How have the constructions and representation of child sexual abuse in the media and popular culture altered? What do these images and narratives convey concerning the understanding of child sexual abuse in the public consciousness? What is the relationship between celebrity culture and child sexual abuse? The author examines these questions through an extensive evaluation of all forms of media and popular culture and comprehensively unearths and demystifies the key myths of child sexual abuse in contemporary media and popular culture.
Publication Date: 11/1/2005