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Requiem for a Blue-Balled Predator

63 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2010  

Date Written: January 1, 2010


This working manuscript examines Dateline NBC's installments of To Catch a Predator for a critique of the Anglo-American rubric of child sexual abuse, especially its fate in the apparent televisual “reality turn” of perversion. It uses work by Jean Baudrillard and René Girard in arguing that the medicolegal concept of the pedophile was launched as a ritualistic scapegoating but assumed what is theorized as a “fatal” escalation at the scene of its mass mediation.

Keywords: child sexual abuse, incest theory, Dateline NBC To Catch a Predator, Jean Baudrillard, René Girard, pedophilia, queer theory, scapegoat theory

Suggested Citation

Janssen, Diederik F., Requiem for a Blue-Balled Predator (January 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Diederik Janssen (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )


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