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Sexual abuse and the Christian congregation: The role of gender in pastoral care for victims

Journal article
Authors Lisa Rudolfsson
Inga Tidefors
Leif Strömwall
Published in Pastoral Psychology
Volume 61
Pages 375-388
ISSN 0031-2789
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 375-388
Language en
Keywords Victims of sexual abuse; Pastoral care; Gender differences; Questionnaire study; Anchoring vignettes
Subject categories Psychology, Gender Studies, Psychology of religion


This study investigated the role of gender in the care for victims of sexual abuse within three Swedish Christian denominations. Questionnaires anchored by vignettes illustrating different abuse situations were answered by 421 clerics. The main findings were that female respondents apprehended the described situations as more likely to occur than male respondents did, and that levels of preparedness to offer pastoral care and belief in the likelihood of the situations to occur were higher when a female was the victim or a male was the perpetrator. Denominational differences were found concerning level of personal discomfort when hearing about the abuse.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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