Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 75–90 | Cite as

On the Iatrogenic Nature of the Child Sexual Abuse Discourse

  • Agustín MalónEmail author


In the last decades of the twentieth century there was an unprecedented surge of anxieties and alarm over erotic experiences involving minors and adults, which has continued as a social and scientific discourse in which these relationships invariably are seen as abusive, harmful, and criminal. In this paper, the fundamental characteristics of this discourse, whose basis and pertinence are questioned, are analyzed for their possible iatrogenic effects; i.e., those induced by professional intervention, in four key areas of social reality: the erotic dimension of human beings, individual responsibility, the use of penal law as a mechanism of social control, and fostering better relations between the sexes and generations. Critical reflection on the social and professional handling of the problem includes the undesirable effects which such treatment may be producing.


Sexual abuse Social discourse Iatrogenic Child Generation 


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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human Sciences and EducationUniversity of ZaragozaHuescaSpain

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