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Books, Journals, New Media
February 24, 1999

ChildrenErotic Innocence: The Culture of Child Molesting

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

Not Available

 

by James R. Kincaid, 352 pp, with illus, $24.95, ISBN 0-8223-2177-7, Durham, NC, Duke University Press, 1998.

JAMA. 1999;281(8):764-765. doi:10.1001/jama.281.8.764-JBK0224-2-1

In Erotic Innocence, James R. Kincaid, Aerol Arnold Professor of English at the University of Southern California, maintains that the stories that achieve currency within a culture (or society) determine that culture's construction of reality to a considerable extent. Those stories thereby influence the behavior of the society's individuals, institutions, and media in ways that reinforce individuals' participation in the central tenets of the underlying story. A particular story prescribes particular roles and interactions. Kincaid explains that although roles may be exchanged, and the directions of interactions reversed, there is no escape from the overall narrative, which is, "in short, cagily baited, self-perpetuating, inescapable." Changing elements does nothing to undo the circularity or momentum of the narrative, nor to attenuate its influence in shaping thought, and therefore the components that will be selected in that narrative process called memory, within that culture.

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