We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

An Examination of Media Accounts of Child Abductions in the United States

Fall 2011 National:

The media tends to portray a distorted image of crime to the public, and child abduction incidents are no exception. Though abduction incidents perpetrated by nonfamily members (nonfamily abductions) and strangers (stereotypical kidnappings) are the rarest type of abduction offenses, they receive the most media attention.

Consequently, a moral panic has resulted in which society believes that children are routinely abducted by individuals unrelated or unknown to them. Lawmakers have responded to this fear by enacting legislation that addresses these types of incidents, but they have largely ignored the most common type of abduction: the family abduction.

The current study seeks to examine disparities between media depictions and actual incidences of child abductions by conducting a content analysis of newspaper articles drawn from LexisNexis Academic (N= 66). These accounts are then compared to data from the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2).

The results revealed that the media was more likely to report on incidents in which children were abducted by nonfamily members (nonfamily abductions) and strangers (stereotypical kidnappings) than would be expected given their actual frequency of occurrence. Policy implications of these findings are discussed. ..Source.. by Justine Taylor, Danielle Boisvert, Barbara Sims & Carl Garver

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