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This introduction to the second edition of the Cambridge Handbook of Forensic Psychology discusses phases of development in the field and distinguishes between this and practice as an accredited forensic psychologist. The status of Forensic Psychology as an autonomous discipline is evaluated and found to be a 'rendezvous' subject, meaning it stands at the crossroads between psychology, criminology and law. Definitions of forensic psychology remain 'fuzzy', and this volume adopts a broad usage in that it is taken to cover a wide range of psychological theories and methods and applied to problems, processes and personnel across the spectrum of criminal and civil justice systems. Analysis is presented of recent topics covered in the key journals, and it is noted that there is a dearth of coverage of diversity issues and research addressing victims needs which gaps the Handbook’s chapters attempt to address.
In the decade since the publication of the first edition of The Cambridge Handbook of Forensic Psychology, the field has expanded into areas such as social work and education, while maintaining the interest of criminal justice researchers and policy makers. This new edition provides cutting-edge and comprehensive coverage of the key theoretical perspectives, assessment methods, and interventions in forensic psychology. The chapters address substantive topics such as acquisitive crime, domestic violence, mass murder, and sexual violence, while also exploring emerging areas of research such as the expansion of cybercrime, particularly child sexual exploitation, as well as aspects of terrorism and radicalisation. Reflecting the global reach of forensic psychology and its wide range of perspectives, the international team of contributors emphasise diversity and cross-reference between adults, adolescents, and children to deliver a contemporary picture of the discipline.
This chapter investigates gendered dynamics and sexual norms, with particular attention to how young peoples' consumption of sexualized popular culture and use of porn might be linked to their ideas about, and experiences of, sexual expectations and sexual coercion. The authors use the concept of "sexualized sexism" to draw attention to the fact that "sexualization" usually refers to a "(hetero)sexualization of women's and girl's bodies." They analyze survey data and reviews of existing literature to reveal gender differences in how and why young people access porn. They identify a dominant theme in young peoples' stories about porn: young people describe being influenced by gendered hierarchies in porn, in which men sexually objectify women. To address this issue, they call for sexuality education that addresses consent, privilege, and the social structures that shape young peoples' thinking about sex.
Childhood sexual abuse has been shown to be a significant risk factor for many mental health disorders and problems, and a substantial proportion of children who are victims of sexual abuse develop serious emotional and behavioural difficulties. The literature on child sexual abuse has described almost every psychological problem as being experienced by victims. This bleak picture highlights the critical need for effective interventions for preventing and managing these outcomes. This chapter provides an overview of the interventions currently available. It discusses three broad groupings of treatments in more depth: cognitive-behavioural approaches, individual treatment and group treatment. Cognitive-behavioural approaches are often individual. Perhaps the most widely recognized form of individual treatment is individual psychotherapy. The key elements of abuse-focused psychotherapy are respect, positive regard and an assumption of growth; it takes a phenomenological perspective that focuses on the functionality of symptoms and defences.
This chapter provides a snapshot of the vast body of research available about the assessment of child victims of sexual abuse. It also analyzes how the suspicions come to light and the effects of disclosing on children. There are two main reasons why a child suspected of being a victim of sexual abuse will be assessed: for investigative and for treatment purposes. Physical trauma is the most obvious sign of sexual abuse but actually it is often not present in child sexual abuse. Checklists provide a useful tool for the assessment of child victims of sexual abuse, but they should not be used in isolation or without the appropriate reliability and validity tests. Anatomically correct dolls are very widely used. They help children provide details about genital contacts, and they can elicit sensitive information over and above the information provided by simple recall.