• Maria Møller Risgaard Andersen
  • Ane Thuren Rydborg
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
International studies shows that male survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) are underrepresented in statistic prevalence and incident rates on reported CSA. Meanwhile in the later years, sparse research on male survivors of CSA show that men on average wait 15-20 years before first disclosing, which seems to be a gender specific problem for male CSA survivors (Romano, Moorman, Ressel & Lyons, 2019). This master thesis investigated 5 Danish CSA survivors' outlook on sociocultural norms regarding gender and their experience with disclosing a history of CSA. The thesis aimed at answering the research question; How can perceived normative views on gender influence disclosure of CSA: A case study of 5 Danish men. The research question was investigated through 5 semi-structured interviews using Foucauldian informed discourse analysis, resulting in three mutually inclusive discursive focus areas: a) gender and society, b) disclosure and c) meaning making. The findings indicated that affects, such as guilt and shame, were described as significant barriers for not disclosing. In addition, accountability was identified as part of non-disclosure and as a sub-element of guilt and shame. This implied that non-disclosure can be considered as a desire for conformity to the sociocultural structures, this due to the experiences of tabooing and stigmatization regarding male CSA survivors. The informants here mentioned experiencing stigma by, for example, not being believed, by having their experiences minimized or normalized as well as losing friendships, due to disclosure of CSA. Furthermore, when investigating the described normative views on gender, discursive constructions and meaning making were found to indicate a possible barrier for men to disclose CSA, as perceived sociocultural expectations of being a man are challenged. Additionally, a cultural psychological perspective was discussed in terms of self-evaluation through action potential and social feedback on identified discursive constructions (Boesch, 2013). This led to an argument that the 5 informants' multifaceted process of disclosure could be influenced by normative perceptions of gender, which indicated an embedded paradox as a possible disclosure could lead to social judgment and stigma. While sociocultural change and breaking with taboo, at the same time, only occurs though breaking the silence. In conclusion the thesis found that the prolonged time-gap for men regarding disclosure is an overlooked societal issue. This, as discursive constructions of gender embedded in sociocultural structures, could be seen as socially categorized boxes of meaning making which in the case of male CSA survivors figurates as a barrier for disclosure in the process of self-evaluation. Finally, the thesis recognizes the need for further studies within this sparse area of research.
Publication date20 May 2021
Number of pages85
ID: 412235532