To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt Date: Sun, 4 Dec 94 21:34 EST (c) The Sunday Telegraph Limited, Nov.

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From: romulus.ehs.uiuc.edu!m-net.arbornet.org!aaron (Aaron Larson) To: MIT.EDU!witchhunt Date: Sun, 4 Dec 94 21:34 EST (c) The Sunday Telegraph Limited, Nov. 27, 1994, Pg. 1 Abuse theory is dismissed By Victoria Macdonald Health Correspondent The most serious doubts yet have been cast on so-called "recovered memory syndrome", in which adults undergoing therapy suddenly recall being sexually abused as children. A new study, funded by the Medical Research Council, has found that while people may not talk about their sexual abuse, they can usually remember it -- and without the aid of a therapist. The findings, to be released in the next few weeks, will re-open the controversy surrounding recovered memory syndrome -- known to its opponents as "false memory syndrome" -- and will renew calls for more control over therapists. Hundreds of allegations of abuse against parents in Britain and abroad have been made following sessions with psychotherapists, hypnotherapists and psychiatrists. But few cases have been proved in court. Concern has been growing over the part therapists have played in "producing" the memories. In order to study the effects of childhood abuse on adult depression in women, psychologists from the Royal Holloway College in north London looked at 300 working-class women in the area. It was not known whether they had been abused or suffered from depression. Results showed that nine per cent had been sexually abused and 20 per cent physically abused in their childhood. And significantly, not only were the women able to remember the abuse but two-thirds of the abusers were from outside the family. Supporters of recovered memory syndrome maintain that the abuser is generally the father. Roger Scotford, founder of the British False Memory Syndrome Society, said last night: "The evidence of the therapy victims does not fit the patterns of those poor people who really have been abused."

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