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"The kind of person who would mess with a kid": Cultural Fantasies of Stranger-Danger and AM Homes' "Looking for Johnny"

"The kind of person who would mess with a kid": Cultural Fantasies of Stranger-Danger and AM... Mica Hilson “e k Th ind of person who would mess with a kid” Cultural Fantasies of Stranger- Danger and AM Homes’ “Looking for Johnny” The 1979 kidnapping of 6- year-o ld Etan Patz helped kick off a nationwide panic about the threat of child abductions (Rosin). A few years later, in 1983, the M - cMar tin Preschool in California made headlines when staff were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of children as part of Satanic rituals conducted in hidden tun- nels beneath the school (Wyatt 30). Though such accusations may seem like the stuff of ludicrous fantasy—and indeed, later investigations found that the Satanic abuse claims were derived from the fantasies of small children responding to leading questions from the psychologists hired to interview them—a slew of high- profile sexual abuse accusations at other preschools and day cares soon followed. American parents in the 1980s had only to watch the news or to pick up the paper to know that their child was in grave danger as soon as he or she was outside of the home and no longer under the protection of a parent’s watchful eye. In reality, however, the home is a far http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

"The kind of person who would mess with a kid": Cultural Fantasies of Stranger-Danger and AM Homes' "Looking for Johnny"

The Comparatist , Volume 45 – Nov 11, 2021

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Copyright © Society for Comparative Literature and the Arts
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

Mica Hilson “e k Th ind of person who would mess with a kid” Cultural Fantasies of Stranger- Danger and AM Homes’ “Looking for Johnny” The 1979 kidnapping of 6- year-o ld Etan Patz helped kick off a nationwide panic about the threat of child abductions (Rosin). A few years later, in 1983, the M - cMar tin Preschool in California made headlines when staff were accused of engaging in sexual abuse of children as part of Satanic rituals conducted in hidden tun- nels beneath the school (Wyatt 30). Though such accusations may seem like the stuff of ludicrous fantasy—and indeed, later investigations found that the Satanic abuse claims were derived from the fantasies of small children responding to leading questions from the psychologists hired to interview them—a slew of high- profile sexual abuse accusations at other preschools and day cares soon followed. American parents in the 1980s had only to watch the news or to pick up the paper to know that their child was in grave danger as soon as he or she was outside of the home and no longer under the protection of a parent’s watchful eye. In reality, however, the home is a far

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Nov 11, 2021

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