Negative Responses to Child Sexual Abuse: A Manifestation of Intolerance

Published date01 October 2023
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/25166069231184978
AuthorMelissa S. de Roos,Tara Ryan,Jessie C. H. Chang
Date01 October 2023
Subject MatterOriginal Articles
Negative Responses
to Child Sexual Abuse:
A Manifestation of
Intolerance
Melissa S. de Roos1, Tara Ryan2 and Jessie C. H. Chang1
Abstract
Recently, there has been an increased societal focus on the boundaries of sexual
behaviours. During a time when victims and survivors of unwanted sexual expe-
riences are encouraged to come forward, it is vital to understand what makes
people respond negatively to such disclosures. This study aimed to examine how
endorsement of stereotypical ideas of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) and response
to CSA disclosures are related to various forms of attitudinal intolerance
(i.e., racism, sexism and sexual prejudice). We used a survey and vignette meth-
odology with a sample (N = 160) of undergraduate students. Results indicated
that endorsement of CSA myths was positively related to all other variables of
attitudinal intolerance. With regards to a response to a CSA disclosure, belief
in the disclosure decreased as attitudinal intolerance increased. Similar to rape
myth endorsement, endorsement of CSA myths may represent another form
of intolerance, which only partially translates into a negative response to a CSA
disclosure. Implications for intervention are discussed.
Keywords
Child sexual abuse, disclosure, prejudice, intolerance
Introduction
In the past few years, conversations about sexual harassment and violence
have increased. Movements such as #MeToo and #Timesup have highlighted the
Original Article
Journal of Victimology
and Victim Justice
6(2) 146–159, 2023
2023 National Law
University Delhi
Article reuse guidelines:
in.sagepub.com/journals-permissions-india
DOI: 10.1177/25166069231184978
journals.sagepub.com/home/vvj
1 Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam,
The Netherlands
2 University of Roehampton, London, United Kingdom
Corresponding author:
Melissa S. de Roos, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50,
3062 PA, Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
E-mail: deroos@essb.eur.nl

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