Terms and definitions

  • Celia Doyle
Part of the Therapy in Practice Series book series (TPS, volume 44)


A local authority spokeswoman, commenting in 1989 on the difficulties of helping Asian boys who had been sexually abused by a white, HIV-positive male in London, noted that there was no word for ‘sexual abuse’ in the Bengali language. Similarly, in the English language there is no single word for the exploitation of children encompassed by the phrase ‘child sexual abuse’, and this term has only been coined in the last quarter of the twentieth century. There are a number of words relating to specific forms of abuse, such as incest, derived from Latin, and paederasty and paedophilia, derived from Greek, whose usage reaches back into the misty haze of antiquity. Such words indicate that sexual exploitation of children has been recognized in society for many centuries, but these terms were not ones in common parlance and were only applied to what was regarded as a small, deviant minority.


Defend Doyle Sonal Corwin Pedophilia 


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Copyright information

© Celia Doyle 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Doyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Nene CollegeNorthamptonUK

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