A look at the role of media.

One of the key moments in media coverage of child abuse in the UK came in October 1986 with the broadcast of a major BBC programme, Childwatch (Kitzinger, 2004: 35, Parton 1991: 91). The Childwatch programme was accompanied by a remarkable expansion in attention to child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, from other TV formats as well as the print media. Reporting of sexual abuse in The Times newspaper, for example, increased by 300 per cent between 1985 and 1987 (Kitzinger 2004). Moreover sexual abuse within families became the subject of a number of flagship UK documentary series, including Brass Tacks (BBC2 1987), Everyman (BBC1 1988) Antenna (BBC1 1989), and Horizon (BB2 1989). Kitzinger (2004:36) has also noted the importance of fictional genre in highlighting this issue. By the early 1990s child sexual abuse had begun to appear in British and American drama series and became the subject of ‘true crime’ features. It also featured in soap operas, most notably Brookside (Channel 4) which ran a two-year storyline on a family traumatised by an abusive father.

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Fred Powell and Margaret Scanlon — Discover Society

Trans and the contradictions of gender


Today’s needull looks at debates around transgender and tries to understand the issue better. Questions like “who counts as a ‘real’ woman?” is looked at.

The term transgender can be used to replace the earlier term ‘transsexual’, but can also cover a much wider set of phenomena including those who choose to inhabit an ambiguous gender position or who reject the gender binary altogether. As used by most trans activists a trans woman is anyone who was labeled as male at birth, but has come to identify as a woman regardless of whether they have been through a medical reassignment process. The term gender, in sociological usage, originally emerged in contradistinction to ‘sex’ – as defined through external anatomical characteristics, hormones and chromosomes. Gender refers to the cultural and social aspects of being male and female as well as to the distinction between them – the, so-called, binary divide.

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Stevi Jackson & Sue Scott — Discover Society

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