Adult women groomed by child molesters' heteronormative dating scripts

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    Abstract

    Understanding the paradox of heteronormative power in which women are forced into subjectivity and simultaneously constructed with agency as they take up available discourses is critical for breaking women's silence and for responding to child safety concerns. This paper draws from multiple interviews with fourteen women who partnered with men they later knew were sexually abusing children. Transcripts were analyzed by applying feminist interpretations of Foucauldian discourse theory that searched for repetitions of discourse in the language that women used to describe the heteronormative dating scripts used by their partners. The women indicated, once child sexual abuse became known, that the same heteronormative discourses operated to shame, blame and silence them. These discursive pressures compelled the women to maintain facades that represented heteronormative relationship ideals, which served to increase the men's control over them and strengthen the men's ability to keep their sexual abuse of children secret.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)66-73
    Number of pages8
    JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
    Volume56
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

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