Young men living through and with child sexual abuse : a practitioner research study

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Durham, Andrew
  • Subject: HQ | HV

Using an anti-oppressive life-story methodology, this research analyses\ud the experience and impact of child sexual abuse on the lives of seven\ud young men aged between 15 and 23. In recognising the sensitivity of the\ud study, and that the young men's experiences are recent, particular\ud attention is paid to the impact of the research and the relevance of social\ud work practitioner research. The study advances an analytical framework,\ud which draws on the tensions between structuralism and poststructuralism\ud Theoretical connections are made between the centrality\ud of sexuality and power in post-structuralism, and the nature of\ud experiences of child sexual abuse. This framework has a wide\ud application for future studies, and has particular implications for future\ud non-pathologising social work practice with sexually abused young men.\ud Asymmetrical power relationships are shown to be characteristic of child\ud sexual abuse. The thesis argues that it is important to understand the\ud diversity, and socially contextualised nature of the young men's\ud experiences, in surviving the impact and aftermath of child sexual abuse.\ud The thesis recognises the importance of understanding the resistance of\ud the young men, and identifies some of the survival strategies they\ud employed, in the extreme and adverse circumstances in which they\ud became immersed. An oppressive context of patriarchal relations,\ud characterised by compulsory heterosexism and homophobia has shaped\ud and exacerbated the young men's harmful experiences. Internalised\ud oppression and power relationships generate beliefs and subsequent\ud responses which affirm and perpetuate oppressive social constructions,\ud and consequent marginalisation.\ud Through its anti-oppressive methodology, its analytical framework, and\ud its use of prior substantive knowledge and experience, the study\ud presents a strong and fresh link between research, social work practice\ud and future research. In making this link, the study explicates the role and\ud skills of the practitioner researcher, and thereby strengthens the\ud academic discipline of social work.
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