The Sexual Victimization of Men in Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Institutionen för psykologi

Abstract: This study examined the sexual victimization experienced by men in Sweden. All types of sexual acts that were done against the true will of the person (regardless if the person explicitly said no or not) were regarded as sexual victimization. Areas of investigation were: common characteristics of male sexual victimization in Sweden, how men define their experiences, what effects sexual victimization have on men and how men with a history of sexual victimization feel treated in Swedish society. Four professionals who met sexually abused men in their daily work were interviewed to gather preliminary data. This data (together with other established surveys on sexual abuse) formed the basis of a questionnaire about men’s experiences of sexual victimization. The questionnaire was then published online and answered by 136 men (between 18 and 75 years old) who had at least one experience of sexual victimization. The results indicated that the majority of perpetrators of male sexual victimization were women (69.4 %). Experiences of helplessness and not being seen as a valid victim in society due to one’s gender was a dominant theme in the gathered accounts. Men reported varying degrees of effects of the victimization on their personal lives, where some experienced little to no effect and others reported serious symptoms of PTSD. Less serious events of sexual victimization could also yield profound negative effects on the victims. Only 14.0 % had received professional help after their experiences.

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