Title: The Relationship Experiences of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: A Qualitative Analysis

Although the experience of sexual abuse is quite common among men, particularly among those in clinical populations, relatively little research has been done specifically with male survivors and the impact of abuse in their lives. More specifically, the impact of sexual abuse on male survivors’ relationship dynamics has been underdeveloped in the research literature. Untapped online data can help illuminate these relationship dynamics, providing insight to clinicians for improved couple and family treatment. Through qualitative analysis of data from online discussion boards at MaleSurvivor.org, the present study examined the ways in which male survivors of sexual abuse described dynamics of their interpersonal relationships. Findings revealed impacts from the abuse on male survivors’ relationships as well as impacts of their relationships on abuse recovery. Significant others of male survivors were influential, both positively and negatively, in regard to disclosure, companionship, conversation, modeling relationships, and help-seeking and recovery behaviors. Impacts of the abuse on relationships were reported in emotional, sexual, and relational domains. Further, results gave preliminary insight into how online forums themselves provide opportunities for support-seeking in online relationships and how male sexual abuse survivors approach these online relationships.

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by Jordan Grant Gibby
School of Family Life, Brigham Young University Master of Science
20/07/2021