From Library Journal
Alarm over threats of child sexual abuse has not always been as widespread as it is today. Periods of heightened concern have been followed by troughs of neglect, as in the 1920s and 1960s. Jenkins (history and religious studies, Pennsylvania State Univ.; Pedophiles and Priests, Oxford Univ., 1996) discusses the social, political, and ideological factors that have influenced public opinion about sexual crimes, both real and imagined. Denying that any particular view of sex offenders reflects a static, objective reality, he concludes that "Pedophiles represent a very minor component of the real sexual issues faced by children." Observing the panicked responses to specific cases, such as the murders of Polly Klaas and Megan Kanka and the McMartin Preschool prosecution, Jenkins posits the paradox that children statistically have more to fear from family and neighbors than from strangers. His well-researched study of a controversial subject is recommended for scholarly collections on child abuse and sex offenders.?Gregor A. Preston, formerly with Univ. of California Lib., Davis
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