n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - The mediating effect of social myths and stereotypes on perceptions of child sexual abuse

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



This study investigated how social understandings influence, and often obscure, individual perceptions. The aim of the research was to investigate the relationship between social myths and stereotypes and perceptions/interpretations of child sexual abuse in a sample of university students. Participants were presented with a picture designed to represent child sexual abuse and were asked to provide a written interpretation of the picture. Respondents also completed the 15-item Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale. Consistent with findings from previous research, 29% of respondents did not identify child sexual abuse in the picture, with a failure to identify child sexual abuse being associated with significantly higher scores on the Denial of Abusiveness and Restrictive Stereotypes subscales of the Child Sexual Abuse Myth Scale. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for practice and for social policy.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error