This paper describes a case study involving two primary school age children and their sexual experience together. The young girl interpreted the experience as abuse, and the young boy defined the experience as exploration. The cultural, environmental and structural factors which may have contributed to this difference of interpretation are presented. The author discusses the criterion used to distinguish between sexual exploration and sexual abuse between two children and addresses the difficulty in applying these standards to the normal sexual behavior of children. A case study is presented using the constructionist paradigm to mediate the conflicting interpretation of events, so that both definitions of the situation are recognized as authentic. The case study presents a situation where it may be in the best interest of all involved to validate both childrens' perceptions of reality. Finally, the author concludes with a detailed discussion of the mediation methods used to resolve the intractable conflict and the ethical issues raised by their use.
Simonson, Lynnell J.
"Mediating Conflicting Constructions of Childhood Sexual Experience: A Case Study,"
Clinical Sociology Review:
1, Article 11.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol14/iss1/11