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Hello! I have just started C15 child protection and I am stuck on a question. The question is this:

Explain the influence of culture, racial or gender stereotyping on interpretation of signs and symptoms of possible abuse.

How can this be overcome?

I would be grateful for any help, thanks.

From DRG

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hi & welcome DRG.

I'm really surprised no one has got back to you on this one but I'm afriad I cant help either. ALthough I would certainly tackle this by trying to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse, defining what you are referring to in this way may help you with the nitty gritty of the question itself?

Good luck and I hope someone elsewill look in and help soon.

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Whoops - thanks for pulling this post back up the list Susan! :o


At the very least we should have welcomed you into the Forum DRG. Please feel welcome now, and many apologies for missing your first post! :)


I'll ask Helen to have a quick look at this later, and hopefully othes with expertise will now pick up on it as well.


Best wishes,


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Hi DRG, I didnt see this thread either. I'll get back to you, I've got a pretty good CP book somewhere.

Presumably you need first to look at different cultures and religions etc, and see how these conflict with how we would see abuse.

Off the top of my head, in some cultures it's considered rude for children to look at an adult while being spoken to, would we consider the child is bullied at home if they were to appear to us as being deferring? Not a good example but I promise I'll do better. Gotta go now :D


Oh and hello and welcome :D:D

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Actually Rea, I dont agree! I think its an excellent example and there's the touching head thing, how often do we allow children to touch one another on the heads when counting each other and the child who flinches away may be moving from the association (which I cant remember!) not the action because hes been hurt! Does that make sense?

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Firstly DRG, welcome to the forum. :) I'm feeling really guilty now because I did actually read this and thought I'd get back with an answer when I had a little more time to think about it, then completely forgot .......... :( Sorry! :o


Think about all the possible behavioural or emotional signs of abuse that you have learnt about. For instance, aggresive behaviour. Do we expect boys to show more aggresive behaviour anyway? Would we notice the change in behaviour or just write it off as 'boys will be boys'. What if a girl displays aggresive behaviour - do we jump to the conclusion that she is being abused because we don't expect a girl to display this behaviour? Showing a reluctance to undress - abuse or cultural? Rea and Susan's examples are very good too - don't be modest Rea. xD Will try to think of a few more too!

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I'm blushing now... :o

Anyway, i've found the book but instaed of being able to scan the relevent pages I'll have to give you a brief outline (scaner and computer are enemies)

Consider these:-

In western countries we punish children by isolating them in a seperate room, and we allow infants to cry themselves to sleep, this isnt aceptable to other cultures.

Social conditions are sometimes beyond the parents control, poverty, sanitation, poor housing. (Korbin 1977)


Should we ignore child labour from families where it is expected that children will contribute to the family income?

Older children from migrant families often look after younger siblings, this is seen as normal in their homelands.


Established cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, should it be tolerated in a multi cultural society? Some western medical practitioners have participated with the argument that better a surgeon does it than a family member. This has also been condemned by religious leaders from Islam, Christian groups, Shi'ite. 'All prophetic traditions which support this practice are fabricated (Ceresa 1995) Circumsision of boys is still permitted in western countries.


East African's sometimes scar their children's faces.

Should goverments allow adults to import child brides because it is acceptable in their birthplace?


The book is Child Protection - A guild for teachers and child care Professionals. Freda Briggs and Russell Hawkins 1997, Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd, Ausrtailia.

ISBN 1 86448 221 4


Hope that helps

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