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Against the wind: male victimization and the ideal of manliness                 

Author(s)Andersen, Torbjorn Herlof
Title Against the wind: male victimization and the ideal of manliness
Source Journal of Social Work, May 2013, Vol 13, No. 3, pp 231-247
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Coverage Norway

The major aim of this study was to broaden understanding, particularly of health and social services, of how males who were sexually abused as a child describe and construe their situation. Narrative interviews were conducted with 15 Nordic men who had been sexually abused in childhood by a male perpetrator. The author examines the feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and submission experienced by young boys when they are sexual abused compared to a gender role socialisation requiring a boy to be powerful, self-reliant, and resolute. Generally men as victims are not recognised as a social problem, but there are some signs that this changing, with the author giving examples of increased services for male victims, including several incest centres in Norway now accepting men as clients and employing male counsellors. The author suggests that the lack of recognition of men as victims of sexual abuse is a social problem and therefore needs the attention of social workers.

Keywords Manliness; gender; men; sexual abuse; social work; support
Topic Male victims