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Authors

Shane A. Dunphy

Abstract

This paper analyses the phenomenon of mothers who sexually abuse their children, most specifically their sons. It defines the term Maternal Abuse, offers a review of the contemporary academic discourse on female sexual abusers, and presents a quantitative study of maternal abuse in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which appears to show that the existing statistics from Health Board and ISPCC reports (SEHB Section 8 Report, 1997; ISPCC National Report, 1997) significantly underestimate it's prevelence. It concludes by suggesting that though Ireland is considerably more aware of the phenomenon of sexual abuse than in the past, but that the incidence of this particular type of abuse is poorly recognised by the child protection and welfare authorities

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