Journal Article

Young Men Living Through and with Child Sexual Abuse: A Practitioner Research Study

Andrew Durham

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 33, issue 3, pages 309-323
Published in print April 2003 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2003 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Young Men Living Through and with Child Sexual Abuse: A Practitioner Research Study

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This paper uses a post‐structural framework to examine the experience and impact of child sexual abuse on the lives of seven young men aged between 15 and 24. The study highlights the importance of survivors' perspectives and of allowing children and young people to speak for themselves and theorize their own experiences. The study's sensitive methodology allowed the young men to be supported throughout the research and feel able to impart hidden feelings and anxieties which they had held on to for significant periods of time. The research showed how the perpetrators took extensive measures in targeting and gaining access to and silencing the boys they sexually abused. Through purposefully constructed relationships, the boys were made to feel responsible and guilty about being abused and therefore found it extremely difficult to tell. A social context of patriarchal relations, with gender constructions characterized by compulsory heterosexism and homophobia significantly exacerbated the experiences of the young men. This context was shown to create circumstances and ‘normal’ power relationships that allowed the abuse to happen, creating many opportunities for the abusers to justify their actions and further silence their victims.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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