The Child Sexual Abuser: Perceptions of College Students and Professionals

The Child Sexual Abuser: Perceptions of College Students and Professionals College students and members of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) were compared as to their beliefs and attitudes concerning perpetrators of child sexual abuse. Analyses of a 44-item inventory (assessing beliefs about an abuser's demographics and attitudes concerning an abuser's cognitions and behaviors) indicated that the groups differed on perceived demographic descriptors (e.g., students believed perpetrators to be older when they first begin offending, more educated, and more likely to be gay than the professionals) and behaviors (e.g., students believed that the perpetrator was more likely to use force to gain the child's compliance). In addition, 2 subscales (Cognitive Distortions and Perceived Social Functioning) were identified. Compared to professionals, students were less likely to believe perpetrators use cognitive distortions and were more likely to believe perpetrators function at a lower interpersonal level. Results are discussed in terms of the efforts to educate the public about the characteristics of child sexual abusers. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Springer Journals

The Child Sexual Abuser: Perceptions of College Students and Professionals

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2002 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Psychiatry; Clinical Psychology; Criminology and Criminal Justice, general
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