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Research on Men Sexually Abused or Assaulted

For over 30 years, researchers have been working hard to understand issues surrounding male survivors of sexual abuse and assault.

In the past, most researchers have focused on girls and women, not the experiences and needs of men – which can be very different, in many ways.

Fortunately, especially over the past 20 years, more and more researchers have focused on the effects of unwanted and abusive sexual experiences on men – and on how to help them deal with those effects and lead increasingly happy and healthy lives.

The following sections are designed to give you an insight into the current research being conducted, some of which you may be able to participate, a list of completed research studies, and reports from 1in6 and our partners.

Research Opportunities

The following is a list of opportunities to participate in ongoing research around the issue of male sexual abuse and assault.

If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please click the study and follow the directions listed by the researcher.

How we have vetted these studies:

  • When a request is made to 1in6 to post a research study, we have a couple of criteria that must be met before we move forward.
  • If the request is from a graduate student, we ensure that the student has a thesis or dissertation chair to guide and mentor them through the process of research.
  • All studies must have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. The IRB reviews and approves all research for the safety and well being of participants.
  • We must have the IRB letter of approval on file.
  • If you would like information on listing your research please email [email protected]

Please note: While we have listed these research studies, they are merely opportunities for you to participate; there is no obligation for you to participate. 1in6 makes no claim to the benefit of these studies and by agreeing to participate, you are entering into an agreement with the researcher alone; 1in6 takes no responsibility.

If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please click the study and follow the directions listed by the researcher.

Surveys

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Research Study on Adult Survivors of Incest-related Childhood Sexual Abuse

This survey is for survivors of incest-related childhood sexual abuse. For the purposes of this survey, incest-related childhood sexual abuse is defined as a type of abuse between a child (less than 18 years old) and a blood relative, non-blood related family member or someone who assumes a family related role (i.e. stepparents, foster siblings, “aunt” or “uncle” figure) and includes any of the following:

• sexually inappropriate acts or behaviors
• sexual intercourse
• deliberately exposing a child to sexual activities (i.e. showing a child pornography, a child watching others have sex, masturbating in front of a child)

To participate, please visit: https://goo.gl/forms/qWMiQ1cmQCKjMpvj1

Social Support Systems of Male Survivors

A researcher at the University of Dallas is studying the social support systems of male survivors of sexual violence in order to learn more about them, and use the findings to inform resource providers. If you are a man who has experienced sexual violence (assault, rape, harassment, etc.) please consider participating in the following brief survey, which should take about 10-15 minutes. The results will be completely anonymous.

Please visit: https://udallas.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9Z91yLxQvqvUlvL

For Men in the US and Canada: The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on the Meaning Attributed to Masculinity Across the Life-Span in a Population of Adult Male Victims of CSA and Implications for Practice (University of Pennsylvania)

Male victims of child sexual abuse often do not speak of their abuse or seek help. They are frequently alone with their experiences and feel deep shame. If you are a man, over the age of 18, who was the victim of child sexual abuse prior to age 13, you can help us help the many boys and men who sit alone with their victimization.

You are invited to participate in a study that seeks to understand the male experience of child sexual abuse and its impact on masculinity. We are recruiting 15 men who are interested in sharing their personal experiences through taking part in a 2 to 3 hour interview and completing a brief trauma scale. You would meet (or speak over the phone) individually and privately with the interviewer. Your information would be kept confidential.

If you are interested in participating or have questions, please contact Rick Azzaro at [email protected] to set up a confidential phone call about the “Men’s Gender Study”

Impact of Distressing Sexual Experiences

Researchers from the University of Missouri – St. Louis are conducting a research project examining the impact of men’s distressing sexual experiences in adolescence or adulthood. Gathering more information about men’s distressing sexual experiences may help improve therapeutic protocols to better serve the concerns of men.

Men age 18 and older who have had a past distressing sexual experience that occurred at or after the age of 14 are invited to participate in this study by completing a brief (30 minute) survey about their experiences. No identifying information will be collected.

For your participation, a $5 donation will be made to a charity of your choice (selected from a list of charities), which includes 1in6.org.

If you have any further questions about this study, please contact the researchers at (314) 516-6739. If you would like to participate, please click the link to be taken to the survey: https://bit.ly/2r632q3

Interpersonal Poly-Victimization and Trauma in Males

This study will examine the thoughts, feelings and emotions of men resident in the USA, aged 18 years or older and who have been victims of interpersonal trauma and victimization prior to the last 6 months. These experiences include, but are not limited to, being a victim of childhood abuse and neglect; bullying; assault; intimate partner violence and domestic abuse; rape; stalking; elder abuse; and coercive control by another person. We refer to this as the ‘victimization experience’. You will be asked to take 5 minutes to think about and reflect on how your experiences of victimization have made you feel and think about who you are, how you see yourself in relation to other people, and what problems you feel have directly impacted on your thoughts and feeling about yourself. The study is available in both English and Spanish. If you would like to help with this research, the study can be accessed via this link https://ulsterhealth.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0pQYHEAoRlbDitv

Case study on men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse

Justin Spiehs is a doctoral student in Kansas State University’s Lifespan Human Development Ph.D. program. He is conducting dissertation research on how men who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse have coped with this experience.

This exploratory case study employs a standard structured interview to ascertain self-reported losses in psychological and material resources experienced by adult males in the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse. More specifically, the study looks to ascertain whether/how these men deal/dealt with these losses.

If you are an adult (over age 18) male survivor of childhood sexual abuse and are willing to share part of your survivorship story, please contact Justin at [email protected] to set up a confidential interview. The interview will be conducted via phone and last approximately one hour.

You will receive a full explanation of your rights as a participant and of the protections in place to safeguard confidentiality, as well as benefits and risks associated with participation.

This study has been reviewed and approved by the KSU Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

The Citadel: Volunteer research opportunity for victims/survivors of sexual/partner violence

Be part of an important research study.

– Are you at least 18 years of age?
– Have you experienced sexual/partner violence from a current or former romantic partner?

If so, you may be eligible to participate in a research study.

The purpose of this study is to better understand the experiences of victims/survivors, particularly in terms of the use of technology, responses to victimization, obstacles faced, and coping strategies used. Benefits of participating include being able to discussion your victimization experiences and helping us gain a better understanding of this type of violence.

Participation in the study is completely voluntary. Any information you provide will be kept confidential. The study is being conducted by professors at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. Please contact Dr. Kristen Hefner ([email protected] or 843-953-6061) or Dr. Jordana Navarro ([email protected]) if you have questions. To access more information about the study including the survey, please visit: https://citadel.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aWe5kEnJefgWDI1

Stanford University Medical Center and Palo Alto University Psychological Research Study for Men

We are recruiting participants for a study focusing on adult men who have had unwanted sexual experiences prior to the age of 18. We want to better understand the emotional and psychological response and outcomes to such experiences, both as children and as adults.

To be eligible:

  • Men ages 21-65 years old
  • History of unwanted sexual experiences prior to the age of 18

The study is at Stanford University Medical Center and consists of:

  1. a brief telephone interview;
  2. an in-person interview; and
  3. questionnaires

At the conclusion of participation, you will receive a $50 gift card. You can withdraw your participation at any time. Due to the sensitive nature of the study, community referrals will be made available to all participants.

For more information, contact (650) 382-2087 or [email protected]. For Participant’s rights questions, contact (866) 680-2906.

All calls/contacts are confidential.

Study for Abuse Survivors, University of Exeter, UK

Researchers from the University of Exeter are conducting an international survey on emotion processing in adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and would like to invite adults who are interested in taking part.

Find out more about this anonymous and confidential study here:
http://survey.ex.ac.uk/index.php/survey/index/sid/822763/newtest/Y/lang/en

Revictimisation Study – Dr Nadia Wager – Reader in Psychology, University of Bedfordshire

I am seeking volunteers to take part in an interview study exploring peoples’ experiences of unwanted sexual experiences across the life-span. The objective of the study is to understand why some individuals who have experienced sexual violations during childhood are subsequently sexually assaulted in later-life, by different offenders. This phenomenon is known as sexual revictimisation. The overall aim of the study is to help inform the development of more effective interventions to prevent the reoccurrence of repeated incidents of unwanted sexual experiences.

Read more about the study here: Revictimisation Study

If you think you might be interested in taking part, please email Nadia ([email protected]) for further information or to arrange to chat further about the study on the telephone.

To see a brief overview of Dr. Wager’s research, visit her blog at https://researchingsexualrevictimisation.wordpress.com

Research and Reports from 1in6 and Our Partners

1in6 is dedicated to furthering the understanding of male sexual abuse and assault. As we conduct research and publish our findings, we will add them to the list below. In addition, we will include publications from our partners and allies.

The Facts Behind The #MeToo Movement: A National Study on Sexual Harassment and Assault

by Stop Street Harassment, Raliance, and the UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health. 1in6 was on the advisory committee.

Millions of people have shared #MeToo stories about sexual harassment and assault. Now, the facts behind the movement are available in a landmark study by the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment (SSH). The study was conducted in partnership with Raliance, a national collaborative committed to ending sexual violence in one generation, and the UC San Diego Center on Gender Equity and Health. GfK conducted the 2,000-person nationally representative survey in January 2018.

Read the report here

Stories of Strength: Report on Child Sexual Abuse & Community Recommendations for Prevention

by 1in6 & Peace Over Violence

Stories of Strength: Report on Child Sexual Abuse and Community Recommendations for Prevention is a collaboration between Peace Over Violence, a sexual, domestic, and children and youth violence prevention center and 1in6 an organization dedicated to helping male survivors of sexual abuse. We are grateful for this opportunity to join forces in the Ms. Foundation for Women’s Ending Child Sexual Abuse National Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to inspire and ignite a national movement to prevent and ultimately end child sexual abuse.

Read the report here

1in6 Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Agency Survey

by 1in6

Our survey of more than 400 Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Coalitions and programs across the country revealed a deep interest in providing services to men who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences in childhood. Half cited a need for more clinicians and mental health professionals specifically trained to serve male survivors as a critical need. Nearly two-thirds said they were looking for resources for men and family members and nearly as many felt resources for staff was critically important. Not surprisingly, increased funding for services for male survivors was a need expressed almost universally.

Read the report here

1in6 Stanton Fellowship Findings Report

by 1in6

In December 2009 1in6, received a Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation. The purpose of the Fellowship was to support 1in6 and other social service agencies as their staff researched and developed solutions to intractable social problems. The early experience of 1in6 staff and board members had suggested that while they had created excellent information and support resources for male survivors, their loved ones and service providers, society’s collective ignorance of male childhood sexual abuse as well as the tremendous shame and stigma imposed on its survivors continue to present major challenges to making progress on this issue. Over the two years of this Fellowship, 1in6 Executive Director Steve LePore spent time each quarter conducting research on this topic. The research consisted of readings by and interviews with the leaders of a diverse set of social movements and organizations, each of which succeeded in the past in overcoming the challenges posed by the sometimes difficult and unconventional nature of their issues.

Read the report here

References for Research on Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The following is a list of references for research that has been conducted on and around the issue of men sexually abused as boys.  It is not meant to be a complete list, and some references are not directly related to research on men abused as boys, but rather set the context for much of the research that has taken place.

If you are interested in reading any of these articles, you can contact the journal directly or search Google Scholar.

Bachmann, K. M., Moggi, F., and Stirnemann-Lewis, F. (1994). Mother-son incest and its long-term consequences: A neglected phenomenon in psychiatric practice. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 182, 723-725.

Banning, Ann. (1989). “Mother-Son Incest: Confronting A Prejudice,”Child Abuse & Neglect, 13 (4), 563-570.

Benoit, Jeffrey, Kennedy, Wallace. (1992). “The Abuse History of Male Adolescent Sex Offenders,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 7 (4), 543-548.

Black, C., and DeBlassie, R. (1993). Sexual abuse in male children and adolescents: Indicators, effects, and treatments. Adolescence, 28, 123-133.

Bolton, F.G., Morris, L.A. & MacEachron, A.E. (1989). Males at risk: The other side of sexual abuse. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Boudewyn, A.C. & Liem, J.H. (1995). Childhood sexual abuse as a precursor to depression and self-destructive behavior in adulthood. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 8, 445-459.

Briere, J. & Elliott, D.M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 1205-1222.

Briere, J., Evans, D., Runtz, M., & Wall, T. (1988). Symptomology in men who were molested as children: A comparison study.Am. J. of Orthopsychiatry, 58(3): 457-461.

Chandy, J.M., Blum, R.W., & Resnick, M.D. (1996). Gender-specific outcomes for sexually abused adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, Vol. 20, 1219-1231.

Chandy, J., Blum, R., and Resnick, M. (1997). Sexually abused male adolescents: How vulnerable are they? Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 6, 1-16.

Collings, S. J. (1995). The long-term effects of contact and noncontact forms of child sexual abuse in a sample of university men. Child Abuse and Neglect, 19, 1-6.

Condy, S. R., Templer, D. I., Brown, R., and Veaco, L. (1987). Parameters of sexual contact of boys with women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 16, 379-394.

Davis, J.L. & Petretic-Jackson, P.A. (2000). The impact of child sexual abuse on adult interpersonal functioning: a review and synthesis of the empirical literature. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 5, 291–328.

De Jong, A.R., Emmett, G.A. & Hervada, A.A. (1982). Epidemiologic factors in sexual abuse of boys. Am. J. of the Diseases of Children, 136: 990-993.

Dimock, P. T. (1988). Adult males sexually abused as children: Characteristics and implications for treatment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3(2): 203-221.

Dodge, K.A., Bates, J.E., and Pettit, G.S. (1990). Mechanisms in the cycle of violence. Science, 250, 1678-1683.

Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., Brown, D.W. , Felitti, V.J., Dong, M. & Giles, W.H. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438.

Etherington, K. (1995). Adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 8, 233-241.

Finkelhor, D., Hoteling, G., Lewis, I.A. and Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors. Child Abuse and Neglect, 14, 19-28.

Finkelhor, D., Hoteling, G., Lewis, I.A. and Smith, C. (1989). Sexual abuse and its relationship to later sexual satisfaction, marital status, religion, and attitudes. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 4, 379-399.

Finkelhor, David. (1980). “Sex Among Siblings: A Survey On Prevalence, Variety, & Effects”, Archives of Sexual Behavior, 9, 171-194.

Finkelhor, D. (1981). The sexual abuse of boys. Victimology, 6, 76-84.

Freeman-Longo, R.E. (1986). The impact of sexual victimization on males. Child Abuse & Neglect, 10, 411-414.

Friedrich, W.N., Berliner, L., Urquiza, A.J., & Beilke, R.L. (1988). Brief diagnostic group treatment of sexually abused boys. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 3, 331-343.

Friedrich, W., Beilke, R., and Urquiza, A. (1987). Children from sexually abusive families: A behavioral comparison. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2, 391-402.

Friedrich, W., Beilke, R., and Urquiza, A. (1988). Behavior problems in young sexually abused boys. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 3, 21-28.

Holmes, W., and Slap, G. (1998). Sexual abuse of boys: Definition, prevalence, correlates, sequelae, and management. Journal of the American Medical Association, 280, 1855-1862.

Hopper JW, Frewen PA, van der Kolk BA, Lanius RA. Neural correlates of reexperiencing, avoidance, and dissociation in PTSD: Symptom dimensions and emotion dysregulation in responses to script-driven trauma imagery. J Trauma Stress 2007; ;22:713-725.

Hopper JW, Frewen PA, Sack M, Lanius RA, van der Kolk BA. The Responses to Script-Driven Imagery Scale (RSDI): Assessment of state posttraumatic symptoms for psychobiological and treatment research. J Psychopathol Behav Assess 2007; 20:713-725.

Hopper JW, Pitman RK,… Elman IE. Probing reward function in posttraumatic stress disorder: Expectancy and satisfaction with monetary gains and losses. J Psychiatry Res 2008; 42:802-807.

Hopper JW, van der Kolk BA. Retrieving, assessing, and classifying traumatic memories: A preliminary report on three case studies of a new standardized method. J Aggression, Maltreatment, Trauma 2001; 4:33-71.

Hopper JW, Spinazzola J, Simpson WB, van der Kolk BA. Preliminary evidence for parasympathetic influence on basal heart rate in posttraumatic stress disorder. J Psychosom Res 2006; 60:83-90.

Hopper JW, Su Z, Looby AR, Ryan ET, Penetar DM, Palmer CM, Lukas SE. Incidence and patterns of polydrug use and craving for ecstasy in regular ecstasy users: An ecological momentary assessment study. Drug Alcohol Depend 2006; 85:221-235.

Hunter, Mic. (1990a). Abused Boys: The Neglected Victims Of Sexual Abuse. New York: Lexington Books.

Hunter, Mic. (1990b). The First Step For People in Relationships With Sex Addicts: A Workbook For Recovery. Minneapolis, MN: Compcare Publishers.

Hunter, Mic (Ed.). (1990c). The Sexually Abused Male, Vol. 1: Prevalence, Impact & Treatment. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Hunter, Mic (Ed.). (1990d). The Sexually Abused Male, Vol. 2: Application Of Treatment Strategies. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Lanius RA, Hopper JW, Menon RS. Individual differences in a husband and wife who developed PTSD after a motor vehicle accident: A functional MRI case study. Am J Psychiat 2003; 160:667-669.

Lanius RA, Williamson PC, Hopper JW, Boksman K, Densmore M, Gupta MA, Neufeld RWJ, Gati JS, Menon R. Recall of emotional states in posttraumatic stress disorder: An fMRI investigation. Biol Psychiatry 2003; 53:204-210.

Lanius RA, Hopper JW (2008). Reexperiencing/hyperaroused and dissociative states in posttraumatic stress disorder: Functional brain imaging research – and clinical implications. Psychiatric Times, Vol. 25, No. 13.

Lawson, Christine. (1993). “Mother-Son Sexual Abuse: Rare Or Underreported? A Critique Of The Research,” Child Abuse & Neglect, 17 (2), 261-269.

Lisak, D. (1994). The psychological consequences of childhood abuse: Content analysis of interviews with male survivors. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7, 525-548.

Lisak, D. & Luster, L. (1994). Educational, occupational and relationship histories of men who were sexually and/or physically abused as children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7, 507-523.

Lisak, D. (1995). Integrating a critique of gender in the treatment of male survivors of childhood abuse. Psychotherapy, 32, 258-269.

Lisak, D. & Beszterczey, S. K. (2007). The cycle of violence: The life histories of 43 death row inmates. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 8, 118-128.

Lisak, D. & Miller, P. M. (2003). Childhood abuse, PTSD, substance abuse and violence. In P.C. Ouimette & P. Brown (Eds.), PTSD and Substance Abuse Comorbidity. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, p. 73-88.

Lisak, D., Hopper, J., & Song, P. (1996). Factors in the cycle of violence: Gender rigidity and emotional constriction. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7, 507-523.

Martin, G., Bergen, H.A., Richardson, A.S., Roeger, L., & Allison, S. (2004). Sexual abuse and suicidality: Gender differences in a large community sample of adolescents. Child Abuse & Neglect, 28, 491–503.

Marvesti, J. (1986). Incestuous mothers. American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 7, 63-69.

Mendel, M.P. (1995). The male survivor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Mezey, G., and King, M. (Eds.). (1992). Male victims of sexual assault. Oxford. UK: Oxford University Press.

Miller, P. & Lisak, D. (1999). Associations between childhood abuse and personality disorder symptoms in college males. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 6, 642-656.

Morana, P.B., Vuchinich, S., & Hall, N.K. (2004). Associations between types of maltreatment and substance use during adolescence. Child Abuse & Neglect 28, 565–574.

Myers, M.F. (1989). Men sexually assaulted as adults and sexually abused as boys. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 18(3): 203-215.

Nasjleti, M. Suffering in silence: The male incest victim. Child Welfare, 59(3): 269-276.

Perez, C. M. & Widom, C.S. (1994). Childhood victimization and long-term intellectual and academic outcomes. Child Abuse and Neglect, 18, 617-633.

Pierce, R. and Pierce, L. H. (1985). The sexually abused child: A comparison of male and female victims. Child Abuse & Neglect, 9: 191-199.

Reinhart, M. A. (1987). Sexually abused boys. Child Abuse & Neglect, 11: 229-235.

Risin, L.I. & Koss, M.P. (1987). The sexual abuse of boys: Prevalence and descriptive characteristics of childhood victimizations. J. of Interpersonal Violence, 2(3): 309-323.

Sack M, Hopper JW, Lamprecht F. Low respiratory sinus arrhythmia and prolonged psychophysiological arousal in PTSD: Heart rate dynamics and individual differences in arousal regulation. Biol Psychiatry 2004; 55:284-290.

Steele, W. (2007). Trauma’s Impact on Learning and Behavior: A Case for Interventions in Schools. Reprinted from Trauma and Loss: Research and Interventions, 2, N2 2002.

Tyler, K.A. (2002). Social and emotional outcomes of childhood sexual abuse: A review of recent research. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 7, 567–589.

Watkins, B., & Bentovim, A. (1992). The sexual abuse of male children and adolescents: A review of current research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 33, 197-248.

Widom, C.S. & Morris, S. (1997). Accuracy of adult recollections of childhood victimization part 2. Childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Assessment, 9, 34-46.

Widom, C.S. (1989a). Does violence beget violence? A critical examination of the literature. Psychological Bulletin, 106, 3-28.