BETTE L. BOTTOMS is Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She received her B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and her Ph.D. in social psychology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research has focused on issues of psychological and legal interest, including the reliability of children's eyewitness testimony and jurors' perceptions of child sexual assault victims. She is co-editor, with Gail S. Goodman, of the book Child Victims, Child Witnesses (Guilford Press, 1993).
In the Name of God: A Profile of Religion-Related Child Abuse
Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
1995 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Journal of Social Issues
Volume 51, Issue 2, pages 85–111, Summer 1995
How to Cite
Bottoms, B. L., Shaver, P. R., Goodman, G. S. and Qin, J. (1995), In the Name of God: A Profile of Religion-Related Child Abuse. Journal of Social Issues, 51: 85–111. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.1995.tb01325.x
- Issue published online: 14 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 14 APR 2010
Religious beliefs can foster, encourage, and justify child abuse, yet religious motivations for child abuse and neglect have been virtually ignored in social science research. In this article, we examine cases of religion-related child abuse reported to mental health professionals nationwide. In particular, we describe in statistical detail cases involving the withholding of medical care for religious reasons, abuse related to attempts to rid a child of evil, and abuse perpetrated by persons with religious authority such as ministers and priests. We argue that society should protect children's rights and welfare whenever these are threatened by religious beliefs and practices.