Sport and the Sexually Abused Male Child

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Through feminist research in the study of sport, the issue of child sexual abuse has been driven onto the agenda of sports organisations, resulting in considerable practical reform (Brackenridge, 2001). However, the flip-side to this development is that the experience of sexually abused males has been largely ignored. In 1990, Struve claimed, "a growing number of clinicians who work with sexual abuse are discovering that males probably are sexually victimized just as frequently as females" (p. 3). Despite research on the "sexually victimized" male reaching back over the last 15 to 20 years, researchers in sport have, so far, largely ignored the issue of the sexual abuse of males. Certainly, there has been no in-depth treatment of the abuse of males and sport researchers, to date, have been driven by the "male perpetrator-female victim" paradigm. This focus has influenced the type of research that has been conducted and has inadvertently contributed to the further silencing of the sexually abused male. This paper focuses upon the absence of sexually abused male children in empirical research and theoretical analyses of sport. It notes issues, previously ignored within sport, surrounding the sexual abuse of males, particularly the under-identification of this group, as well as recognition of female perpetrators. Through reviewing literature from social work and therapeutic disciplines, this paper brings the sexually abused male into focus and facilitates a discussion of issues, distinct from the sexual abuse of females that have much relevance for sport. It concludes that if sport is to attempt to safeguard all children from sexual abuse, research in, and analyses of, sport, must reflect the highly complex nature of child sexual abuse, including the experience of male children.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2004
    EventInternational Conference on Leisure, Tourism & Sport - Education, Innovation, Integration - Cologne, Germany
    Duration: 18 Mar 200420 Mar 2004


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Leisure, Tourism & Sport - Education, Innovation, Integration


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