Social and Professional Attitudes in the Prevention of Sexual Abuse

  • Craig A. HarperEmail author
Part of the Sexual Crime book series (SEXCR)


The stigmatisation of people with paedophilic sexual interests is a widespread societal issue. However, only a small number of researchers have empirically examined the sources, nature, and effects of such stigmatising views. This chapter first defines the notions of ‘attitudes’ and ‘stigmatisation’, before presenting a critical review of the literature about the stigmatisation in the prevention of sexual abuse. In this review, the sources and effects of stigmatisation are discussed, as are their effects in primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention domains. Opportunities for developing more effective communication strategies about the topic of paedophilia are outlined, with the aim here being to identify opportunities for promoting the primary prevention of child sexual abuse and exploitation. Such topics discussed here include the idea that stigmatisation of people with paedophilic sexual interests could be subsumed into existing human rights legislation, and the growing literature around the rehumanisation of such individuals.


Attitudes Paedophilia Sexual orientation Sexual abuse prevention Stigmatisation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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