The Peril of Vehemence

The Trauma Myth
The Truth about the Sexual Abuse of Children—and Its Aftermath
Susan A. Clancy
Basic Books, $25, 256 pp.

In her new book, Susan A. Clancy offers a powerful and unsettling message about childhood sexual abuse in the United States. The Trauma Myth is a scathing attack on the widely espoused “trauma model” of child sexual abuse, a model that characterizes most abuse as a physically coercive act perpetrated against a terrified victim. Clancy’s research proposes a different template: the seductive manipulation, by a trusted intimate, of a confused and compliant child. She argues that...

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About the Author

Jefferson A. Singer is a professor of psychology at Connecticut College and a clinical psychologist in private practice. He is the author of Memories that Matter (New Harbinger).