Male Survivors of Sexual Assault: To tell or not to tell?

Prof Doc Thesis

Pitfield, Catherine 2013. Male Survivors of Sexual Assault: To tell or not to tell? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsPitfield, Catherine
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Male rape is an underreported and under-researched crime that has serious consequences for survivors. This thesis presents a thematic analysis of interview transcripts with six survivors of male rape and sexual assault. The data collected from interviews was divided into four themes: ‘Difficult to talk’, ‘Isolation’, ‘Reporting Rape’ and ‘Identity’. These themes all sat within a wider discourse of masculinity.
The analysis indicated that participants struggled to construct and understand their rape experiences. The silence surrounding male rape in society seemed to leave participants without a frame of reference or the words to describe what had happened to them. Their rape appeared to dismantle a previously held internal image of self and participants seemed to have to negotiate the consequences of the rape into new, reconstructed identities. Constructions of masculinity appeared to affect the decision to disclose the rape to others, including reporting to the police. Taking control with the police and other services seemed to be one way for participants to reclaim the masculinity they perceived themselves to have lost in the rape. Throughout participants’ talk, anger was a central pervasive theme; a sense that it simmered constantly within the men and would be more acute at times they deemed themselves to have lost control.
This thesis ends with recommendations to services for supporting male rape survivors and suggestions for future research.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintMay 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jan 2014
Publisher's version
Permalink -

Download files

  • 565
    total views
  • 1189
    total downloads
  • 23
    views this month
  • 31
    downloads this month

Export as