Childhood Experiences of Perpetrators of Child Sexual Abuse

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study explored the childhood experiences of perpetrators of child sexual abuse.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

A blend of narrative inquiry and phenomenology was employed. Interviews were conducted with 23 community-dwelling perpetrators (21 males, 2 females). The education of participants ranged from GED to PhD.

FINDINGS:

There were four types of narratives: There Was No Love; Love Left; Love Was Conflated With Sex; and a Pretty Good Childhood. Chronic sorrow for a painful childhood was evident in most participants.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS:

Cognitive-behavioral treatment may not be optimal for all perpetrators because it is not designed to facilitate recovery from early trauma and loss.

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