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Open AccessArticle

Media Coverage of Pedophilia: Benefits and Risks from Healthcare Practitioners’ Point of View

1
Institute of Sexology and Sexual Medicine, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
2
Institute for Media and Communication Studies, Freie Universität Berlin, 14195 Berlin, Germany
3
Department of Psychology, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, 07743 Jena, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5739; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165739
Received: 30 June 2020 / Revised: 1 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 8 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stigma, Health and Wellbeing)
The fierce stigma associated with pedophilia may interfere with attempts to prevent sexual offending. Prior research on the effects of media reports about pedophilia mostly focused on their role in perpetuating stigma in the general population. In order to better understand potential benefits and risks of the media coverage on people with pedophilia and specialized prevention and treatment efforts, we conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews with 11 healthcare practitioners of the German Prevention Network “Don’t offend”. Healthcare practitioners described positive (e.g., raising awareness for prevention offers) as well as negative (e.g., perpetuating the existing public stigma) effects of the media coverage and estimated that only about one-third of media coverage portrays pedophilia realistically. To destigmatize pedophilia and benefit the prevention of child sexual abuse, a fact box for journalists was developed based on practitioners’ expert knowledge. View Full-Text
Keywords: pedophilia; stigma; media coverage; prevention; media effects; qualitative interviews pedophilia; stigma; media coverage; prevention; media effects; qualitative interviews
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Stelzmann, D.; Jahnke, S.; Kuhle, L.F. Media Coverage of Pedophilia: Benefits and Risks from Healthcare Practitioners’ Point of View. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5739.

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