“I Don’t Know What the Hell You’d Call It”: A Qualitative Thematic Synthesis of Men’s Experiences With Sexual Violence in Adulthood as Contextualized by Hegemonic Masculinity

Morgan E. PettyJohn, Taylor A. Reid, Kyla M. Cary, Kirsten M. Greer, Jacob A. Nason, Juan C. Agundez, Carin Graves, Heather L. McCauley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Men’s experiences with sexual violence (SV) remain underrecognized in advocacy work, public discourse, academic research, and clinical practice, largely because SV is gendered as a feminine experience. To increase our understanding of this topic, the present thematic synthesis of qualitative studies sought to explore how socially constructed tenets of hegemonic masculinity contextualize men’s experiences with SV in adulthood. Relevant materials for the thematic synthesis were identified via a search of literature published in nine databases up to August 2021 following Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Of the 2,815 works identified, 41 studies were analyzed based on our inclusion criteria (i.e., empirical study using qualitative methods, examining men’s first-person experiences with SV in adulthood, references masculinity, based on Westernized countries). Four overarching themes were identified which help capture the influence of masculinity on men’s gendered experiences with SV: (a) sexual victimization tactics used against men, (b) men’s cognitive and emotional processing of SV experiences, (c) men’s behavioral responses after SV, and (d) influence of masculinity constructs on help-seeking. Codes were stratified by gender of perpetrator (man or woman) and sample population (military, college, men who have sex with men, and general population) to better understand unique experiences of survivors in different contexts. Our findings are discussed using the gender role strain paradigm to situate men’s experiences with SV within conceptual frameworks used in the broader field of masculinity studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-–290
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2022

Keywords

  • masculinity
  • men
  • men’s victimization
  • qualitative evidence synthesis
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“I Don’t Know What the Hell You’d Call It”: A Qualitative Thematic Synthesis of Men’s Experiences With Sexual Violence in Adulthood as Contextualized by Hegemonic Masculinity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this