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Psychology and Law

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (online): 2222-5196

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/psylaw

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2011

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Social perception of sexual violence against children

Dvoryanchikov N.V., Ph.D. in Psychology, associate professor, dean, faculty of legal psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, dvorian@gmail.com
Gutnik A.D., Student, Department of Legal Psychology, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education., Moscow, Russia
Abstract
As a result of associations analysis the perception structure of each group of testees was identified and described. In total the testees proposed 124 associations in case of perception of pedophile in the male group and 125 associations in the female group, 123 – in case of perception of victim in the male group and 125 – in the female group. The result of the research shows that “pedophile” object provokes strong emotional reactions among both men and women. The image of a pedophile is insufficiently developed among men, which is shown by the number of elements in the core zone on the presented stimulus. It must be noted that 90% of the core zone is occupied by obscenities. Women’s image of a pedophile is a man, obsessed, provoking such emotional reaction as fear, whose actions are accompanied by cruelty. The image of a pedophile among women is precise and balanced. Interviewed men count themselves more masculine than pedophiles, while the latter, according to the respondents, have for the most part feminine characteristics. Thus, there is a defensive reaction “I am not a pedophile”, which is accompanied by lack of precision and sufficient formation of perceptions of pedophile. Women identify a pedophile with a man, attributing both objects with more masculine characteristics, which is also visible in presentation of associative field. It is important that women attribute masculine characteristics to both themselves and the child, while attributing the victim with feminine characteristics. At the same time there are no significant differences between the objects “myself” and “child”.

Keywords: paraphilias, social perceptions, pedophile, victim, psychological defense

Column: Psychology of Deviant and Criminal Behavior

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