Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 375–388 | Cite as

Sexual Abuse and the Christian Congregation: The Role of Gender in Pastoral Care for Victims

  • Lisa Rudolfsson
  • Inga Tidefors
  • Leif A. Strömwall


This study investigated the role of gender in the care for victims of sexual abuse within three Swedish Christian denominations. Questionnaires anchored by vignettes illustrating different abuse situations were answered by 421 clerics. The main findings were that female respondents apprehended the described situations as more likely to occur than male respondents did, and that levels of preparedness to offer pastoral care and belief in the likelihood of the situations to occur were higher when a female was the victim or a male was the perpetrator. Denominational differences were found concerning level of personal discomfort when hearing about the abuse.


Victims of sexual abuse Pastoral care Gender differences Questionnaire study Anchoring vignettes 



This study was funded by the Swedish Research Council.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Rudolfsson
    • 1
  • Inga Tidefors
    • 1
  • Leif A. Strömwall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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