Reframing the Non-Offending Pedophile to Combat Child Sexual Abuse: A Content Analysis of Public Response to Luke Malone’s “Help Wanted”
Theaker, Elizabeth A.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the existing discourse on prevention of child sexual abuse, determine where the pedophile is situated in the discourse, and examine the potential in reframing primary prevention to include the non-offending pedophile. To identify the terminology, themes, and overall sentiments that emerged in public response to Luke Malone’s This American Life segment titled “Help Wanted,” a Content Analysis of 643 public comments was conducted. Analysis of these comments revealed the presence of sentiments not traditionally associated with pedophilia, including sympathy and the critical distinction between the terms “pedophile” and “child molester.” Results suggest that the non-offending pedophile may eventually make a lateral move on Ingram’s matrix of Social Construction, moving him or her further away from the negative status of deviant and toward the more positive status of dependent. This study may help policymakers and researchers anticipate the spectrum of public response to future legislation that incorporates intervention resources for pedophiles in the fight against child sexual abuse.
- MA in Policy Studies