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Dancing With the Patriarchy: The Politics of Sexual Abuse (From The Sexually Abused Male: Prevalence, Impact, and Treatment, V 1, P 3-45, 1990, Mic Hunter, ed. -- See NCJ-128859)

NCJ Number
128860
Author(s)
J Struve
Date Published
1990
Length
43 pages
Annotation
The sexual abuse of children cannot be adequately addressed without acknowledging the fundamental political and social dimensions of patriarchy which conditions family interactions and the larger societal view of the family within the United States.
Abstract
Patriarchy, in its wider definition, is the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children in the family and the extension of this dominance into the larger society. The basic norms that create a context for child sexual abuse are the view that parents own their children (chattel property), learned helplessness in relation to those defined as more dominant, sexual entitlement as a privilege for the dominant person in a relationship, and a shroud of secrecy over all aspects of sexuality. All of these factors are present in a patriarchal society. The social norm that prescribes males as dominant not only creates a climate for the victimization of females; it also encourages male victims of sexual abuse to internalize their sexual victimization in ways that are dysfunctional. Many men who were victimized as children learn to overcompensate for the vulnerability and shame they feel by adopting hypermasculine roles. This chapter includes a discussion of how to address issues in the interrelationship of patriarchy and sexual abuse. 56 references