Sexual Predators Exposed How They Prey on Our Children_The “Wow” Factor – Journalist Heroes in opposition to Sexual Monsters_Weekly Issue_ 2-8 April 2015

Sexual Predators Exposed How They Prey on Our Children_The “Wow” Factor – Journalist Heroes in opposition to Sexual Monsters_Weekly Issue_ 2-8 April 2015

Date: April 2, 2015
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Name of article: Sexual Predators Exposed How They Prey on Our Children

Name of publication: Weekly Issue

Date: 2-8 April 2015

country: Mauritius

Theme: Child Abuse

GEM Classification: Gender Awareness

Genre: News

Skill: Language

In the article, two main headline titles can be seen:

Already it is clear that the article will prioritize the sexual offenders’ testimonies and journalists’ work rather than the targeted victims. Both headlines dehumanize the perpetrators by naming them “predators” which recalls to a bestial connotation and simplifies the complexities pushing a man to commit such crimes. The second headline places emphasis on the journalists who “confront” the sex offenders, therefore adding particular importance to their role.

This only serves to add excitement to the story which unfolds with anecdotes of Weekly’s journalists’ online conversation with the men willing to sleep with under-aged children. The language is often crude “do you know what sperm is girl”, “a penis (…) is like a big ice cream” which serves a certain purpose in demonstrating what the men want (which is often anal or oral sex), yet also and more likely serves mainly to shock the reader with the many phrases repeating the same needs with different words.

The following various testimonies retrieved by the men who were willing to talk when taken by surprise by the journalists is rather flat, with quotes such as “Ok I made a mistake. I can’t turn back the clock and change what I did”, or “I’m very sad about the immoral things that I wrote but I really just wanted to help someone”. All testimonies rest mainly on lies and there is no attempt at trying to understand further what was said. What is interesting however is to see the men’s profiles: police officer, company director, assistant manager in retail industry – which again, should be analysed to comprehend why those who prey the most on children through the internet seem to be men who are already rather well placed in society.

What’s more, in all testimonies, the role of the journalist is also never forgotten and even emphasized – reminding each time the surprise effect quoting the same phrase: “Hi. I’m a journalist at Weekly magazine and so it the woman sitting next to you. I’m writing a story about adults who contact children online wanting to buy sex from them. Can you tell me what you did?”. This is again, exciting – but serves no particular purpose, only to value the work of the journalist.

There are very little facts about the children who are victim to sexual abuse via the internet. The first side resume argues that “girls with strict parents (are) more likely victims”. The very short paragraph argues that girls who are not allowed to take part in outdoor activities, or who hold back when their extroverted friends speak to boys, are more likely to log on the internet and find men to meet.

Yet again, this analysis should be furthered, if not be the main focus of the article. Issues such as sex disaggregated schools could be discussed; which age group is more at risk; in which social class they belong to (seeing as these young girls would already have access to a computer which is not given to all those living in Mauritius); if they go to school; how many young girls in 2014 is estimated to have being abused through the internet; …etc. This is crucial to comprehend the problem at its root causes.

The second side resume targets parents, informing them on the five signs indicating that their child could be a victim of online sex crimes. This is a useful tool to raise awareness amongst the parents and is a definite added value to the article. However more information on who to call should be detailed. Again, the information given is interesting but what are the concrete actions to be taken. It says “child” and yet only spoke of girls as victims, what about little boys? Are they also targeted through the internet? This is an issue that also needs to be tackled and analyzed further in order to have a fair gender analysis.

All in all, this Case Study argues that this is an interesting topic that needs urgent attention and action, to see the roots causes and not only transform it into a Hollywood sensation story.




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