Psychological perspectives on sexual violence: generating a general theory

Authored by: Jennifer Brown

Handbook on Sexual Violence

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  October  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415670715
eBook ISBN: 9780203802434
Adobe ISBN: 9781136626753


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This chapter takes a psychological perspective on sexual violence. In particular it looks at theoretical levels of analysis against the background provided by Kelly's (1988) conceptualisation of the continuum of violence. The chapter will argue that Kelly's formulation, which is articulated in terms of quantum, i.e. a prevalence continuum, is helpful at the descriptive stage of theorising but is limited in terms of explanation and predictive requirements of theory. The present chapter offers a qualitative addition to Kelly's thinking as a way to develop our understanding of the different types of sexual violence; and, further, challenges Kelly's conceptualisation of sexual violence as being solely normalised rather than pathologised.

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