Memories of Sexual Abuse Essay by serendipity

Memories of Sexual Abuse
A discussion of the validity of sexual abuse memories and the differing attitudes towards these in the field of psychology.
# 51282 | 897 words | 12 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on May 23, 2004 in Psychology (Theory) , Psychology (Memory)

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This paper discusses how, even though it is believed that some cases of sexual abuse are true and actually took place, others may have just been implanted in the minds of the traumatized victims by their psychiatrist or psychotherapist. It explains how opponents of this view maintain that recovered memories are actually accurate because it is impossible for the medical practitioner to implant false memories. The paper studies both views closely to reach an objective conclusion.

From the Paper:

"When a woman comes forth with delayed memories of sexual abuse, her credibility is usually at stake since people doubt delayed recovery of some traumatic experience. The proponents of "false memory syndrome" maintain that children who have been sexually abuses cannot forget such a traumatic experience and therefore those who come up with delayed memories are victims of FMS (Lego, 1996). FMS or false memory syndrome refers to the case whereby a medical practitioner usually a psychiatrist or psychologist is accused of implanting false memories in the minds of their patients (Kardiner, 1941). This group maintains that memories are very delicate and sensitive to impression and any influence can alter their original form. Contamination of memory occurs when a patient with signs of trauma visits a psychiatrist and during the treatment, the patient is subjected to memory recovery procedures, which can lead to recovery of some kind of trauma that never existed. It is believed this happens because of suggestions made by the psychiatrist during the memory recovery procedure. This is the viewpoint of skeptics who "argue that the notion of repression is purely hypothetical and essentially untestable, based as it is on unsubstantiated speculation and anecdotes that are impossible to confirm or deny."

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