Altuism in Society Campaign and Presentation- Child Abuse
Christina Perdue, Christina Shappard, Tabitha Lansing
March 19, 2013
Dr. Monica Gauna
Nature and History of Child Abuse
Lloyd DeMause (1998) calls child abuse “humanity’s most powerful and most successful ritual.” Collections of historical records show that child abuse has been prevalent throughout all of documented history. Ancient rituals of the Bimin-Kuskusmin of New Guinea included the regular practice of infanticidal and incestuous activities. These activities included intercourse with caregivers and other sexual activities. These practices were also performed in India and other western countries. In India, ...view middle of the document...
It was believed that children were “poison containers”. It was believed that the children had to absorb the anger and depression of the parents in order to cleanse the parents. This was accomplished through physical and sexual abuse. Children were also expected to be seen, not heard. If a child would cry, it was beaten. In Christian societies, crying children were believed to be possessed by an evil spirit that would only escape when the child was beaten. This was expected practice in most cultures until the 17th century (DeMause, 1998).
Around the 17th century, England, America, and France began to see children as cleansed. They no longer viewed children as a full of bad projections from the parents. Although physical abuse continued, it lessened and was replaced with emotional and psychological punishment techniques. For instance, parents would lock their child in a dark closet for hours instead of beating him.
Effects of Child Abuse on Society
By looking at statistical studies and research, we can conclude that physical, sexual, and psychological abuse is still very common in today’s society. What we must examine is just how child abuse effects society. Floyd DeMause believes that all social violence is a direct result of child abuse. The Child Welfare Information Gateway (2008) reports that adolescents who were abused show lower academic achievement, a higher occurrence of drug or alcohol use, and a higher likelihood of having a mental health problem. In a National Institute of Justice study, abused or neglected children are 11 times more likely to be arrested as juveniles and 2.7 times more likely to be arrested for a violent crime as an adult. In addition, one-third of abused and neglected children will eventually abuse their own children (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2008).
Child abuse also results in enormous economic effects on society. A 2001 report completed by Prevent Child Abuse America estimated $24 billion a year is spent...