The "cultural side" of some communities should be looked at in a bid to see why there are men who have a "completely unacceptable" view of women, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has said.
Mr Javid asked why there are men in modern British society who have "such a low value of women that they see them as commodities to be abused".
After hundreds of vulnerable young girls were groomed and abused by men in Rochdale, Rotherham and Oxford, the politician said it was important not to shy away from the fact that the perpetrators were "disproportionately Asian Muslim men".
"In order to get to the bottom of this we have to look at the cultural aspects of it, and we can no longer be held back in any sense by political correctness," he insisted.
A report last year claimed at least 1,400 children as young as 11 were sexually abused from 1997- 2013 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, while other widespread abuse has been uncovered in Oxford and Rochdale.
Javid's comments appeared to give weight to the accusations by some that some abusers "got away with it because they were not white."
"I know plenty of people, British Muslims, men and women, who would 100% agree with that, not only out of a sense of shame but also because of the fear of what else might be going on," said Javid.
"Some of the values that certain people in some communities have, in their attitudes to women or on the question of freedom of expression, are just totally unacceptable in British society; and we do no one any favours when we don't investigate or talk about them."
Mr Javid said a "misplaced sense of political correctness" prevented authorities "properly investigating" what was going on in the past.
He told the Daily Telegraph magazine: "Well, first of all the perpetrators were disproportionately Asian Muslim men, and I absolutely think there has been a misplaced sense of political correctness that prevented authorities, whether social workers or police, from properly investigating what was going on.
"If we are to learn proper lessons from this, we have to look at the cultural side of some communities in Britain and see why it is that in some communities there are men that have a view of women that is completely unacceptable in modern British society; why do they have such a low value of women that they see them as commodities to be abused?
"And these are just the cases we know about. But what about the women in their own communities? What might be going on that we don't know about, where girls are too frightened to report something?"