Introduction

Child abuse and neglect violate some of our most cherished views of human relationships. Parents are expected to nurture and care for their offspring, providing the foundation for families and societies. Nevertheless, child abuse and neglect have occurred throughout history and across cultures. Child maltreatment became a concerted field of inquiry and a matter of public and professional attention in the United States in the early 1960s (Kempe, Silverman, Droegmueller, & Silver, 1962). Many nations had similar experiences of first denying the existence of child maltreatment within their boundaries, only to later "discover" its existence. This stimulated interest in the broader cross-cultural record (Hrdy, 1999; Korbin, 1981; Levinson, 1989; Scheper-Hughes, 1987; Scheper-Hughes & Sargent, 1998).

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