Survivors of male rape: the emergence of a social and legal issue.

Abdullah-Khan, Noreen (2002) Survivors of male rape: the emergence of a social and legal issue. PhD thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

Little is known about the crime of adult male-on-male rape. The present study aims to explore the nature and impact of male rape on men's lives using statistics from SurvivorsUK (1344 cases) and a victimisation survey of 16 men to generate qualitative data for this purpose. The reluctance of men to report rape is explored using this data, as are men's needs in terms of service provision. Semi structured interviews with seven male rape counsellors are used to further examine these points. A newspaper content analysis over a 13-year period documents the emergence of male rape as a social and legal issue and also illustrates that male rape myths are perpetuated by coverage of this phenomenon. A questionnaire of 93 police officers across seven divisions of the Metropolitan Police Service considers police responses to, and attitudes towards, male rape, and demonstrates that such myths are manifest within the police service. The findings demonstrate that the impact of rape on men's lives is severe and that men experience rape trauma syndrome as identified in female rape victims. This trauma is intensified by rape myths rooted within society, perpetuated by newspapers, and manifest within the police service. An acute information gap in police training on male rape is identified and the research illustrates a strong need for multi-agency support systems for male survivors. The Male Victims of Sexual Abuse Steering Group is a multi-agency group chaired by the Metropolitan Police and established to draw information from different agencies to develop research and awareness of male rape and sexual abuse. Current initiatives from this group are presented. The research explores the theoretical positions of positivism, feminism and masculinities and examines the importance of these in understanding the male survivor of rape. In focusing on the experiences of male survivors the study identifies the need for social and cultural change to validate these experiences. It is suggested that these be supported with changes in legislation to include oral and object penetration under existing rape law so as to give legal recognition to these experiences. It is evident that policy changes are therefore needed to reflect the needs and demands for survivors of a very real social and legal issue. The research demonstrates a clear contribution to the theoretical debates in criminology which provide an understanding of rape, and which underpin the empirical work. The empirical work is a contribution to research in terms of understanding the phenomenon of male rape and the findings demonstrate the wider policy implications of that work. As such, the thesis is an advancement of knowledge and research and provides for future policy directions to support

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to Middlesex University in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Research Areas:School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Theses
ID Code:6720
Deposited On:18 Nov 2010 09:09
Last Modified:18 Jul 2014 20:51

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