MenHealing Executive Director Jim Struve and Board Chair Joana Colrain have co-authored a chapter in the Springer Reference publication, Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan.
Within the past 40 years, there has been increased awareness that males, as well as females, experience sexual violation. Nonetheless, male sexual violation remains largely underreported, services for male survivors remain sparse, and too many male survivors continue to feel isolated and alone.— From the Introduction
Male victims and survivors of sexual violence are underrepresented in the literature. Research reveals that approximately 1 in 6 males will encounter at least one incident of sexual violence in his lifetime. However, gender bias continues to affect literature, clinical training, and social justice advocacy by focusing predominantly on females as victims and survivors of sexual violence. When males are included, the diversity and spectrum of male experiences are ignored or overlooked. This chapter will focus on a range of contemporary clinical issues that are impacted by considerations of gender and social justice, including: (1) integrating greater awareness about the range of diversity within the overall population of male survivors; (2) revealing the historical evolution and progress of identifying and working with male survivors; (3) illuminating the disguised realities of male survivors; (4) challenging how the prevailing mental health paradigms pathologize coping and survival strategies; (5) exploring the prevalence with which critical clinical issues – such as dissociation – are minimized in traditional assessment for male survivors; (6) expanding perspectives about sexuality and gender to be inclusive of nonbinary paradigms for male survivors; (7) incorporating emerging research that exposes the range of sexual and gender fluidity and how this impacts clinical interventions for healing; (8) examining the evolving knowledge base of clinical approaches for effective engagement with male survivors; and (9) advocating that effective healing from sexual violence for male survivors is only possible by addressing the realities of toxic masculinity, by overcoming gender bias, and by integrating considerations of social justice.