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Male rape, masculinities, and sexualities

This paper critically engages with the different layers and dynamics of discourse pertaining to sexual violence, hegemonic masculinity, and male rape in the UK. This is achieved through the use of empirical data surrounding police officers, male rape therapists, counsellors, and voluntary agency cas...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Javaid, Aliraza
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2018
In:International journal of law, crime and justice
Year: 2018, Volume: 52, Pages: 199-210
Online Access: Resolving-System
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
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Summary:This paper critically engages with the different layers and dynamics of discourse pertaining to sexual violence, hegemonic masculinity, and male rape in the UK. This is achieved through the use of empirical data surrounding police officers, male rape therapists, counsellors, and voluntary agency caseworkers' attitudes toward, and responses to male rape victims (N=70). The data were collected using interviews and questionnaires. The primary data not only give suggestions of how male rape is perceived and responded to by societies, state and voluntary agencies, but also give suggestions of how male rape victims may embody their ‘broken' masculinities, considering that male sexual victimisation is embedded within destructive and painful taboo and stigma. Perhaps the most severely under-reported and under-recorded, male rape is one of several forms of sexual violence that goes unrecognised and unnoticed in academia and in western society. This paper, therefore, critically explores male rape discourse. It critically examines male rape from a masculinities and sexualities perspective, explaining how male rape is closely connected to hegemonic masculinity. The paper argues that taboos and stigmas of homosexuality and male rape challenge and contradict hegemonic masculinity. It also argues that prevailing and powerful discourses relating to hegemonic masculinity make male rape invisible, denying its existence and worth, whilst maintaining and supporting heterosexuality, patriarchy and harmful gender expectations of men. Male rape, then, is actively ‘forgotten'.