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The Witch-Hunt Narrative – Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children

Ross E. Cheit


Child sexual abuse became part of the public discourse in 1984 with a series of high-profile criminal cases involving day-care centers. Epitomized by the McMartin Preschool case, this one and dozens of others were eventually seen as “witch-hunts.” Under this view, the charges were the result of suggestive interviewing, overzealous prosecutors, and a gullible press. This is the first scholarly book to challenge that view. Based on fifteen years of original trial court research, it argues that the evidence for the witch-hunt narrative is weak at best, in many cases ignoring significant evidence ... More

Keywords: child sexual abuse, criminal justice, child suggestibility, media coverage, witch-hunt

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199931224
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931224.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ross E. Cheit, author
Brown University

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