Article summary

With evidence suggesting that females are more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse (CSA), much of the literature – including that on disclosure – focuses on females. Thus, male victims remain “under-studied”. Given this, the aim here is to contribute to the scant knowledge base on the sexual abuse of males and disclosure by focusing on males whose voices are even more rarely heard than those in the general male popula- tion: those who have perpetrated CSA. The men whose stories are told here had been convicted of, and imprisoned for, CSA in the United Kingdom (UK). They were part of a sample of 101 incarcerated males, 40 of whom reported at interview that they had been sexually abused in childhood. Eighteen of those 40 men are focused on here as they provided some detail as to whether they had disclosed that abuse in childhood or adult- hood, the responses they had received, and also why they had not disclosed. Their narratives shed some much-needed light on the nature of sexual abuse experienced by males, its onset and duration, sexual re-victimization, relationships with perpetra- tors, the diverse nature of disclosure, the extent to which victims disclose and when, the responses received, and why they do not tell. Little is known of these aspects of male CSA. The implica- tions of the findings are considered together with future research directions.

Author: Susan Roberts
Nov 2020