Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 387–402 | Cite as

Child sexual abuse: An undermining of the polis

  • Thomas J. Hoffman


This paper explores the sexual abuse literature and the political participation literature for possible linkages. Research on political participation indicates low levels of political trust and damaged self-esteem have important impacts on style and level of political involvement. The literature on child sexual abuse indicates potential root causes for lowered trust and self-esteem which have implications for adult participation in the civic arena. Sexual abuse has negative effects on individual victims and also undermines the foundations of democratic societies.

Key Words

Abuse politics sex 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abramson, P. R. (1983).Political attitudes in America. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Company.Google Scholar
  2. Abuse linked to combat stress. (1992, May 5)San Antonio Light.Google Scholar
  3. Almond, G. & Verba, S. (1965),The civic culture. Boston: Little, Brown & Company.Google Scholar
  4. Bennett, S. E. (1986).Apathy in America. Dobbs Ferry, New York: Transnational Publishers, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Berry, J. (1992).Lead us not into temptation. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  6. Bolton, Jr., F. G., Morris, L. A., & MacEachron, A. E. (1989).Males at risk. Newbury Park, Calif. Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Bradshaw, J. (1990).Homecoming. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  8. Briere, J. et al. (1988). Symptomology in men who were molested as children: A comparison study.American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 58, 457–61.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, M. (1990). From victim to survivor: The treatment of adults who have been sexually abused as children. In S. J. Rossetti (Ed.),Slayer of the soul (pp. 83–97). Mystic, CT.: Twenty-Third Publications.Google Scholar
  10. Cohen, F. S. & Densen-Gerber, J. (1982). A study of the relationship between child abuse and drug addiction in 178 patients: Preliminary results.Child Abuse and Neglect, 6, 363–377.Google Scholar
  11. Conway, M. M. (1985).Political participation in the United States. Washington, DC: C. Q. Press.Google Scholar
  12. Crenshaw, M. (1986). The psychology of political terrorism. In M. G. Hermann (Ed.),Political Psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  13. Ellison, C. G. & London, B. (1992). The social and political participation of Black Americans: Compensatory and ethnic community perspectives revisited.Social Forces 70, 681–701.Google Scholar
  14. Finkelhor, D. (1979).Sexually victimized children. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  15. Finley, N. J. (1991). Political activism and feminist spirituality.Sociological Analysis 52, 349–362.Google Scholar
  16. Greeley, A. M. (1993, March 20). How serious is the problem of sexual abuse by clergy?America, pp. 6–10.Google Scholar
  17. Goleman, D. (1990, December 6). Women's depression rate is higher.New York Times.Google Scholar
  18. Grubman-Black, S. D. (1990).Broken boys/Mending men. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Tab Books.Google Scholar
  19. Hayward, J. & Carlyle, D. (1991).Too close for comfort. Wisbech, Cambs, England: LDA.Google Scholar
  20. Incest Survivors Anonymous. (1983).I.S.A. talks to friends, survivors, and professionals! Long Beach, CA: Author.Google Scholar
  21. Inglehart, R. (1979). Value priorities and socioeconomic change. In S. H. Barnes, M. Kaase et al. (Eds.),Political action (pp. 305–342). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  22. James, J. & Meyerding, J. (1977). Early sexual experiences as a factor in prostitution.Archives of Sexual Behavior 7, 1.Google Scholar
  23. Jones, D. R. & Johnston, M. W. (1989).Child abuse and neglect. Austin: Joint Study Committee on Treatment of Child Abuse, 71st Legislature.Google Scholar
  24. Jones, R. J., Gruber, K. J., & Timbers, G. D. (1981). Incidence and situational factors surrounding sexual assault against delinquent youth.Child Abuse and Neglect 5, 431–440.Google Scholar
  25. Kilpatrick, A. C. (1992).Long-range effects of child and adolescent sexual experiences. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  26. Kohn, A. (1987, February). Shattered innocence.Psychology Today, pp. 54–58.Google Scholar
  27. LaFontaine, J. (1990).Child sexual abuse. Cambridge, England: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  28. Lew, M. (1988).Victims no longer. New York: Nevraumont Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  29. Lothstein, L. M. (1990). Psychological theories of pedophilia and ephebophilia. In S. J. Rossetti (Ed.),Slayer of the soul (pp. 19–43), Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.Google Scholar
  30. Merelman, R. M. (1986). Revitalizing political socialization. In M. G. Hermann (Ed.),Political psychology (pp. 279–319), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  31. Montero, M. (1986). Political psychology in Latin America. In M. G. Hermann (Ed.),Political psychology (pp. 414–433), San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  32. Milbraith, L. W. & Goel, M. L. (1977).Political participation. Chicago: Rand McNally College Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  33. Moran, P. A. (1990). Children as victims of sexual abuse. In S. J. Rossetti (Ed.),Slayer of the soul (pp. 67–82). Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.Google Scholar
  34. Muller, E. N. (1979).Aggressive political participation. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Muller, E. N. (1977). Mass politics.American Behavioral Scientist 21, 63–86.Google Scholar
  36. Nie, N. H., Verba, S., & Petrocik, J. R. (1976).The changing American voter. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Niemi, R. et al. (1991). Measuring internal political efficacy in the 1988 national election study.American Political Science Review 85, 1407–1413.Google Scholar
  38. O'Hagan, K. (1989).Working with child sexual abuse. Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Osborn, J. (1990).Psychological effects of child sex abuse in women. Norwich, England: Social Work Monographs, University of East Anglia.Google Scholar
  40. Parks, P. (1990).Rescuing the ‘inner child’. London: Souvenir Press.Google Scholar
  41. Peters, S. D. (1988). Child sexual abuse and later psychological problems. In G. E. Wyatt & G. Johnson Powell (Eds.),Lasting effects of child sexual abuse (pp. 101–117). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Rossetti, S. J. (1990). Introduction. In S. J. Rossetti (Ed.),Slayer of the Soul (pp. 1–8). Mystic, CT: Twenty-Third Publications.Google Scholar
  43. Search, G. (1988).The last taboo: Sexual abuse of children. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  44. Silbert, M. & Pines, A. (1983). Early sexual exploitation as an influence in prostitution.Social Work 28, 285–287.Google Scholar
  45. Sniderman, P. M. (1975).Personality and democratic politics Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  46. Somit, A. & Peterson, S. (1986). Biological correlates of political behavior. In M. G. Hermann (Ed.),Political psychology (pp. 11–38). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  47. Verba, S. & Nie, N. H. (1972).Participation in America. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.Google Scholar
  48. Wild, N. J. (1989). Prevalence of child sex rings.Pediatrics 83, 553–8.Google Scholar
  49. Wollman, N. & Stouder, R. (1991). Believed efficacy and political activity: a test of the specificity hypothesis.The Journal of Social Psychology 131, 557–566.Google Scholar
  50. Wright, J. D. (1976).The dissent of the governed. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  51. Zellman, G. L. & Sears, D. O. (1971). Childhood origins of tolerance for dissent.Journal of Social Issues 27, 109–136.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas J. Hoffman
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Political ScienceSt. Mary's UniversitySan Antonio

Personalised recommendations