Running head: PSYCHOLOGISTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD MALE SURVIVORS
Psychologists' Attitudes Toward
Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
University of Dayton
University of Kentucky
Psychologists' attitudes toward adult male sexual abuse survivors were explored. Psychologists (n = 154) read vignettes describing the sexual abuse of a male victim then completed the Male Role Norm Scale, the Jackson Incest Blame Scale, a vignette response sheet, and a personal data sheet. Stepwise regression was used to analyze the data. Variables included characteristics of the psychologists, the perpetrator, and the victim. The psychologists' attitudes toward men, rather than the sex of the psychologists, predicted blaming attitudes. Victim responses, sexual abuse treatment experience, and the severity of abuse also were predictors. Practical suggestions for treatment are also noted.
Psychologists' Attitudes Toward
Adult Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Current prevalence rates suggest that from 2.5% (Urquiza & Keating, 1990) to approximately 30% (Badgley, et. al, 1984; Finkelhor, 1993) of all males have been sexually abused as boys. Because of current societal attitudes, including the expectations that they be self reliant, physically tough, and able to defend themselves (e.g., David & Brannon, 1979; O'Neil, 1981), males often are not perceived to be victims of sexual abuse (Courtois, 1988; Lew, 1988; Maltz & Holman, 1987). In particular, because therapists are most likely to hear of incidents of sexual abuse from male clients, the attitudes of therapists toward male sexual abuse survivors is a topic relevant to the counseling process, one that has not been addressed adequately in the literature. Understanding the characteristics of sexual abuse as it impacts male victims is an important step to effective treatment of male sexual abuse survivors.
Some common characteristics of sexual abuse have been reported, to a degree, in the current professional literature (e.g., Courtois, 1988), but have tended to include, primarily, the experiences of female victims. The characteristics of sexual abuse, in some respects, may be similar for female and male survivors. Some characteristics of male victimization, however, may be different because of the influence of their socialization process as males. For example, male victims are more likely than female victims to be abused by someone outside the immediate family (e.g., Gordon, 1990; Risin & Koss, 1987; Urquiza, 1988) or to be abused outside their homes (e.g., Byers, 1990; Kendall-Tackett & Simon, 1987) because boys traditionally are allowed more freedom than girls to explore their environments. Boy victims are less likely than girl victims to disclose the abuse because they are taught that they should be self-reliant (e.g., Fritz, Stoll, & Wagner, 1981; Gordon, 1990), because some parents only talk to their girls about sexual abuse (Gordon, 1990), or because some boy victims fear being labeled as gay as a result of their abuse (e.g., Bolton, Morris, & MacEachron, 1989; Maltz & Holman, 1987; Monaco & Gaier, 1988).
Understanding the long-term effects of sexual abuse on male survivors is another important step toward effective treatment of male survivors. For example, males may be more likely than females to express their anger externally (e.g., Bruckner & Johnson, 1987; Elliot & Briere, 1992; Urquiza & Capra, 1990), not to recognize their abuse as abuse, especially if the perpetrator was a female, (Fritz et al., 1981; Maltz & Holman, 1987), or to participate in daring, high-risk behaviors (Elliot & Briere, 1992).
Psychologists' responses to male survivors are influenced by societal expectations of men, as well as their own attitudes toward men and their own life experiences (e.g., Betz & Fitzgerald, 1987; Carlson, 1987; Ipsaro, 1986). Because they are members of the same culture that denies and minimizes the sexual abuse of males (e.g., Robertson & Fitzgerald, 1990), some psychologists may deny, minimize, or fail to recognize important signs that may be evidence of sexual abuse in their male clients. Also, they may expect male clients to conform to traditional male sex roles (e.g., Betz & Fitzgerald, 1987). As such, they may have negative reactions to male survivors who did not respond to the abuse or do not respond in therapy in a manner consistent with traditional male sex roles. Finally, some psychologists' own life experiences may influence their responses to male survivor clients (e.g., Carlson, 1987; Ipsaro, 1986). As such, their responses may range from blaming and judgmental, if their own issues have not been resolved, to supportive and empathic, if the issues have.
In some research, the impact of socialization on mental health professionals' attitudes toward men have been studied. Some have found that the socialization of therapists has had little or no effect on the therapeutic process (e.g., Brems & Schlottmann, 1987; Gomes & Abramowitz, 1976; St. Lawrence, Hansen, Cutts, Tisdelle, & Irish, 1985). Others have found therapists' attitudes toward men affect their judgments about what is good mental health for men (Marwit, 1981), what is acceptable behavior for men (Robertson & Fitzgerald, 1990), and what career choices men should make (Gilbert, 1981; O'Neil, 1981; Packer, 1983).
Little research has been done on societal attitudes toward sexual abuse. In a small body of research of attitudes toward sexual abuse, undergraduates expected male victims to resist the abuse and blamed them more for the abuse if they did not resist (Broussard, Wagner, & Kazelskis, 1991; Krulewitz, 1981; Smith, Pine, & Hawley, 1988). In one study, male attorneys tended to blame incest victims more than female attorneys (Jackson & Sanberg, 1985).
Specifically, concerning therapists' attitudes toward sexual abuse, males were found to view sexual abuse as less serious than females (Attias & Goodwin, 1985) and to blame sexual abuse victims more (Doughty & Schneider, 1987). Wagner, Aucoin, and Johnson (1993) found that the degree of victim blaming by therapists was influenced by the sex of the perpetrator, the age of the victim, and the victim's response to the abuse. Adams and Betz (1993) and Wagner et al., however, found that the sex of the victim did not influence the degree of victim blaming by therapists.
Some factors were found to mediate the degree of victim blaming by therapists. The education level of therapists (Doughty & Schneider, 1987; Jackson & Ferguson, 1983) and their years of experience in the mental health field (Adams & Betz, 1993; Doughty & Schneider, 1987) were associated with less blame of the victim. Therapists who had a personal history of sexual abuse were more likely to believe abuse victims (Jackson & Nuttall, 1993). Therapists who were female and/or who held more liberal social attitudes tended to believe the victim more (Adams & Betz, 1993; Jackson & Nuttall, 1993). Resnick and Jackson (1981) found that women, more than men, blamed current societal values rather than the victim for the occurrence of rape.
Finally, some research has examined how sex-role attitudes affect therapists' victim blaming (Adams, 1985; Adams & Betz, 1993). Those studies tended to focus on how attitudes toward women influenced attitudes toward sexual abuse. No study to date has examined how therapists' expectations of male sex roles affect their attitudes toward male clients who identify themselves as sexual abuse survivors.
Our purpose in this study was to identify some of the factors that influence a psychologists' attitudes toward adult male survivors of sexual abuse. First, we considered characteristics of the psychologists, including their attitudes toward men, their sex, their own history of sexual abuse, and their experience treating sexual abuse victims. Next, we considered characteristics of the abuse event, including the response of the victim to the abuse, (i.e., passive, resistant, or acceding), the sex of the perpetrator and the severity of the abuse (i.e., whether or not it included physical contact between the victim and the perpetrator). Finally, we examined how successfully those characteristics would predict the psychologist's attribution of blame toward the victim, the perpetrator, and society, the psychologist's perception of how severe an impact the abuse had on the male victim, and to what degree the psychologist believed the event was sexually abusive.
We conducted this exploratory study to determine which variables contribute to psychologists' attribution of blame in situations involving adult male survivors of sexual abuse. By determining the significant predictors of blaming, we hoped to be able to posit a structural model that can be validated in future research. The dependent variables examined were: 1) Sex of Psychologist (SEXP), 2) Experience as a Psychologist (EXP), 3) Psychologist's Victimization (VICP), 4) Attitudes Toward Men (MRNS), 5) Number of Sexual Abuse Survivors Treated (Male or Female) (THER), 6) Sex of the Perpetrator (SEXO) , 7) Victim Response (Acceding, Passive or Resistant) (VRES). the independent variables explored were: 1) Severity of Abuse (Oral Sex or Exposure) (SEVA), 2) Victim Blame (VICB), 3) Perpetrator Blame (PERB), 4) Societal Blame (SOCB), 5) Severity of Impact (SEVI), and 6) Definition of Abuse (DEFA).
Participants were 400 Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) psychologists. They were cluster sampled by choosing every seventh name from the public SEPA membership list after randomly identifying the initial selectee.
The final sample consisted of 154 (82 female, 72 male) usable returns, 38.5% of those sampled. Of the female psychologists, 15% (n = 12) reported being sexually abused as a child, 12% (n = 10) reported being physically abused as child, and 12% (n = 10) reported being sexually assaulted as an adult. Of the male psychologists, 6% (n = 4) reported being sexually abused as a child, 7% (n= 5) reported being physically abused as a child, and <1% (n = 1) reported being sexually assaulted as an adult.
Four instruments were employed to collect data.
Male Role Norms Scale
The Male Role Norms Scale (MRNS) was developed by Thompson and Pleck (1987) to measure endorsement of a male sex role ideology. It is an adaptation of the 57 item Brannon Masculinity Scale Abbreviated Form (Brannon & Juni, 1984). Twenty six of the original 57 items loaded on the three factors at weights of .40 or above and were retained for use in the MRNS.
The items retained include 11 items for the Status scale, 8 items for the Toughness scale, and 7 items for the Anti femininity scale. They are presented in a self report, seven point Likert like scale format (1 = very strongly disagree to 7 = very strongly agree). Higher scores represent a more traditional attitude toward men.
Reliabilities for the three scales are moderate to good. Thompson and Pleck (1987) found coefficient alphas of .81 for the Status scale, .74 for the Toughness scale, and .76 for the Anti-femininity scale. Internal consistency was found to be .91 for the entire instrument (Thompson, 1990).
Construct validity of the MRNS has been supported in a number of studies. Stark (1991) found that the MRNS predicted lower same sex intimacy and greater homophobia better than did attitudes about equality between men and women. Thompson (1990) found that the MRNS correlated positively (r = .44 .55) with the Attitude Toward Women Scale which indirectly measures attitudes toward men.
In discriminate analysis, Thompson (1990) found that the MRNS successfully predicted men's psychologically coercive behavior with intimate partners. He also found the MRNS did not correlate with the M scale of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (r = .07). Gradman (1990) found that the MRNS was unrelated to the M scale of the Personal Attributes Questionnaire (PAQ).
Jackson Incest Blame Scale
The Jackson Incest Blame Scale (Jackson & Ferguson, 1983), a 20 item self report measure of the attribution of blame for incest. The scale measures four constructs: Victim Blame, Offender Blame, Situational Blame, and Societal Blame.
Items are scored on a scale of 1 to 6 (1 = strong disagreement to 6 = strong agreement). Mean factor scores for each factor are used to determine the relative extent to which each factor is endorsed. Higher scores represented a greater attribution of blame.
Jackson and Ferguson (1983) found an acceptable level of internal consistency for their scale, reporting an alpha of .71. Adams and Betz (1993) reported an alpha of .63 for the entire scale. The alphas for Society Blame was .72, for Offender Blame was .44, for Victim Blame was .75, and for Situation Blame was .51. Low reliabilities for each subscale, compared to the total scale, was expected due to the restricted range of counselor responses.
Jackson and Sandberg (1985) found some evidence for construct validity with a sample of 216 attorneys. The offender blame subscale of the Jackson Incest Blame Scale (JIBS) correlated positively with the attorneys' desire for increased prison sentences for incest offenders (r = .36, p < .0002). The JIBS (victim blame) correlated negatively with the desire for stricter prison sentences (r = .26, p<.0005).
Vignette Response Sheet
The vignette response sheet, developed specifically for this study along with the sexual abuse vignettes, was used to survey respondents' reactions to the following statements about the vignettes:
1. The victim is totally responsible for the abuse.
2. The perpetrator is totally responsible for the abuse.
3. The victim's response to the perpetrator was realistic.
4. The abuse has a great impact on the victim today.
5. The survivor will overcome the effects of the abuse.
6. The vignette represents an incidence of sexual abuse.
All were scored on a five point Likert-scale (1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree). The victim response sheet was developed in accordance with other sexual abuse studies in which vignettes were used (e.g., Adams & Betz, 1993; Wagner et al., 1993).
Personal Data Sheet
The personal data sheet was comprised of 10 items surveying participants about demographic information, their theoretical orientations, their experience as a therapist, and their own victimization. Sex of Psychologist (SEXP), Experience as a Psychologist (EXP), Psychologist's Victimization (VICP), and Number of Sexual Abuse Survivors Treated (Male or Female) (THER) were used as predictor variables in this study.
Vignettes were developed using a 2 x 2 x 3 design, incorporating: the sex of the perpetrator (male or female), the severity of the abuse (contact or noncontact abuse), and response of the victim (passive, acceding, or resistant). Twelve different versions of the vignette were produced to account for all variable combinations.
The construction of the vignettes was consistent with male victimization literature and with the guidelines of the analogue literature to make them as "real" as possible. For example, vignette descriptions were very specific and concrete (e.g., embarrassment is depicted as a reddened face) (Heverly, Fitt & Newman, 1984).
The more realistic an analogue study is, the more it can be generalized (Kazdin, 1978). The vignettes were designed accordingly. The scenario took place outside of the victim's house (Bolton et al., 1989; Byers, 1990; Finkelhor, 1984; Pierce & Pierce, 1985). Two types of abusive acts were described: noncontact abuse was represented by sexualized exposure and contact abuse was represented by oral sex. The boy victim did not disclose the abuse (e.g., Byers, 1990; Faller, 1989; Gordon, 1990; Kendall Tackett, 1991). Finally, the perpetrator was a respected friend of the family (Risin & Koss, 1987; Urquiza, 1988).
Courtois (1988) lists quasi-relatives as one category of incest perpetrators. She defines a quasi-relative as one who may not have blood or contractual ties, but who may be "related" because of his or her level of involvement in the family and because of the family roles taken on by him or her. The perpetrator in the vignettes may be described as a quasi-relative because he or she was a next door neighbor and a close friend of the victim's parents who took on the caretaker role when the parents were away. The abuse may, thus, be labeled as incest since the victim trusted the perpetrator as a surrogate caretaker and experienced sexual abuse by this trusted quasi-relative.
Choosing a word to describe the response of the victim who, at the time of the abuse thought he enjoyed the abuse, was a difficult. Some researchers (e.g., Broussard et al., 1991; Wagner et al., 1993) used the word "encouraging" to describe such a response. The word "encouraging", however, may imply a degree of blame or responsibility assigned to the victim for the abuse, an implication we wanted to avoid. Other words we considered were "assent", "cooperate", and "accede." Although each word may imply some degree of responsibility on the victim's part, the word "accede" came closest to the meaning we intended to convey - to indicate the victim's cooperation with the perpetrator at the time of the abuse and to indicate the victim's lack of responsibility in the abuse.
The vignettes were validated by field testing them with people similar in occupation to the respondents (Heverly et al., 1984; Lanza & Carifio, 1992). Twenty-two Counseling Psychology students at the University of Kentucky read three vignettes to determine the victim's behavior in the vignettes as passive, acceding, or resistant. Ninety one percent of the students correctly identified the vignette as passive, acceding, or resistant.
A packet of materials was first-class mailed to each selected psychologist. Included were: 1) a cover letter explaining the nature of the project, 2) the Male Role Norms Scale, 3) one vignette and one vignette response sheet, 4) the Jackson Incest Blame Scale, 5) a personal data sheet, and 6) a handwritten, addressed, and stamped envelope for the respondent to return the questionnaire. Two weeks after the initial mailing, a follow up post card was sent to each psychologist, encouraging her or him to mail the completed research questionnaire.
Although the study was exploratory, some relationships were posited in a particular direction based on previous findings. Sex of Psychologist was hypothsized to be positively related to definition of abuse (Adams & Betz, 1993; Doughty & Schneider, 1987; Jackson & Nuttall, 1993) and negatively related to societal blame (Resnick & Jackson, 1981), and severity of impact (Attias & Goodwin, 1985). History of vitimization was hypothesized to be positively related to deifinition of abuse (Jackson & Nuttall, 1993).
The criterion variables were continuous and the predictor variables were a combination of continuous and dichotomous variables. Tests of correlation were performed on all predictor variables and on all criterion variables to determine whether or not any variables were highly inter correlated. Also, the predictor and criterion variables were correlated to determine to what degree they were linearly related. A Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was employed when all variables were continuous and a point biserial coefficient when one of the variables was dichotomous.
An analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on each combination of the independent vignette variables (Sex of the Perpetrator X Degree of Contact X Victim Response) to determine whether or not any interaction effects existed. Any significant interaction would have been treated as another predictor variable to be entered into the stepwise regression analysis. Two variables, Sex of the Perpetrator (male or female) and Degree of Contact (contact and noncontact) were entered into the regression equation as dichotomous variables. Victim Responses (passive, acceding, and resistant), were dummy coded and entered into the equation as nominal variables.
A standard forward stepwise regression analysis was used to determine the least number of predictor variables that accounted for the greatest amount of the variance. An alpha = .05 was applied as the criterion for inclusion into the regression hypothesis. The first significant variable that was entered into the regression equation produced a zero order beta weight. The weights of all other variables that entered the equation are to be understood as partial beta weights.
Distribution of Return Rate by Vignette Variable
Returns resulted in 154 usable questionnaires. These were even distributed between male/female offender conditions (SEXO) and contact/noncontact (SEVA -severity of assault) conditions. Victim Response (VRES) distrubution was 54 passive (p), 45 resistant (r) and 55 acceding (a). Descriptive statistics for the sample can be found in Table 1.
Correlations of Variables
Preliminary correlation analyses indicated various degrees of association between research variables. Because of significant correlations between EXP and other predictor variables, and because of missing data for EXP, the variable THER was substituted for EXP.
Correlations were computed to determine if any predictor variables were highly inter-correlated. Vignette variables were excluded because the correlations between them and other predictor variables were not relevant (i.e., an interpretation of the correlation between SEVA and SEXP was meaningless in this study). Correlations were also computed to determine if any criterion variables were highly inter-correlated. As indicated in Table 2, a number of statistically significant correlations were obtained. None, however, indicted more than 14% shared variance (MRNS x SEXP, r =.38).
Finally, correlation were computed to determine the degree to which predictor variables and criterion variables were linear related. Most notably, MRNS (r2 = .23, r = .48) was significantly correlated with VICB. Other significant correlations ranged from r = .15 to .32, so none accounted for much more than 10 % of the variance in any dependent variable.
Step-wise Regression Analyses
Before conducting the step-wise regressions, a preliminary ANOVA procedure was done for each dependent variable to check for any interaction effects between the independent vignette variables (SEVA, SEXO, and VRES). As indicated by the ANOVA procedure summarized in Table 3, no effects of the vignette variables were evidenced on any of the dependent vaiables: VICB, PERB, SOCB, SEVI, or DEFA.
SEXP, THER, VICP, MRNS, SEXO, VRES, and SEVA were posited as significant predictors of each dependent variable. In some instances directionality was posited based on either previous research findings or theory.
In the case of VICB, SEXP and VICP were expected to produce positive ß-weights. One iteration was performed before the designated alpha level (.05) was exceeded. As indicated in Table 4, MRNS was entered in the first iteration, resulting in an equation with a multiple R2 of .23. A higher score on the MRNS indicated a more traditional attitude toward men. Those respondents who scored higher on MRNS (ß = .48) tended to blame the victim more for sexual abuse.
For PERB two iterations were performed before the designated alpha level (.05) was exceeded. As indicated in Table 4, THER was entered in the first iteration, resulting in an equation with a multiple R2 of .03. In the second iteration, VRES (passive) was entered into the equation, which increased the multiple R2 to .05. Respondents tended to blame the perpetrator more for sexual abuse when the victim response was not passive (VRESp ß = -.16) than when the victim response was passive. Those respondents who had treated more sexual abuse victims (THER ß = .08) tended to blame perpetrators more for sexual abuse.
In the case of SOCB, SEXP was expected to produce a negative ß-weight. Two iterations were performed before the designated alpha level (.05) was exceeded. As indicated in Table 4, MRNS was entered in the first iteration, resulting in an equation with a multiple R2 of .06. In the second iteration, SEXP was entered into the equation, which increased the multiple R2 to .11. Those respondents who scored higher on the MRNS (ß = .34) tended to blame society more. Male psychologists (SEXP ß = -.25) tended to blame society less than female psychologists.
SEXP was expected to contribute a negative ß-weight in predicting SEVI. As indicated in Table 2, no significant correlation existed between the criterion variable SEVI and any predictor variable used in this study.
Four iterations were performed in the prediction of DEFA before the designated alpha level (.05) was exceeded. As indicated in Table 4, SEVA was entered in the first iteration, resulting in an equation with a multiple R2 of .10. In the second iteration, MRNS was entered into the equation, which increased the multiple R2 to .15. In the third iteration, THER was entered into the equation, which increased the multiple R2 to .18. The last iteration, VRES (acceding) was entered into the equation, which increased the multiple R2 to .20. The vignette was described less definitely as an incident of sexual abuse by those respondents who scored higher on MRNS (ß = -.20). The vignette was described more definitely as an incident of sexual abuse by the respondents when there was physical contact between the perpetrator and the victim (SEVA, ß = .28), when the victim's response was not acceding (VRESa ß = -.16). In addition, the more victims the respondents had treated (THER), the more likely they were to describe the vignette as an incident of sexual abuse (ß = .18).
Summary of Results
Results of the step-wise regression analyses indicated significant predictors for some criterion variables. Results indicated that psychologists' attitudes toward men (MRNS) was a significant predictor of victim blaming (VICB), that psychologists' experience treating sexual abuse victim/survivors and the victim's response to the abuse were significant predictors of perpetrator blaming (PERB), that the sex of the psychologists (SEXP) and their attitudes toward men (MRNS) were significant predictors of societal blaming (SOCB),and that the severity of the abuse (SEVA), the psychologists' attitudes toward men (MRNS), the psychologists' experience treating sexual abuse victim/survivors, and the response of the victim were significant predictors of the psychologists' defining the incidents in the vignettes as sexually abusive (DEFA).
Results of this study suggest some variables that may predict psychologists' attitudes toward adult male survivors of sexual abuse. First, the attitudes of psychologists' toward men, rather than the sex of the psychologists, were more predictive of their degree of victim blaming. Psychologists who held more traditional attitudes toward men tended: 1) to blame male survivors more for the abuse, 2) to blame society more for sexual abuse, and 3) to describe sexual contact between a boy and an adult less definitely as sexual abuse. Traditional attitudes toward men were limited to anti-femininity, toughness, and status. Actually, other attitudes (e.g., homophobia, racism, religiosity, attitudes toward women) also may contribute to attitudes toward men. Future research should focus on identifying specific male role expectations which may contribute to male victim blaming.
Next, psychologists who had more experience treating sexual abuse survivors tended to attribute blame for the abuse to the perpetrator and tended to describe sexual contact between a boy and an adult more definitely as sexual abuse. Results of this study suggest that psychologists with less sexual abuse treatment experience should seek supervision before and during their work with male survivors. Supervision focused on male victimization issues would facilitate psychologists' exploration of their male sex role expectations that contribute to male victim blaming.
Third, the response of the victim to the abuse seemed to affect the manner in which psychologists viewed the abuse. Psychologists tended to be more definite that sexual abuse occurred when the victim responded either in a passive or a resisting manner to the perpetrator. Also, psychologists tended to blame the perpetrator less for the abuse if the victim responded to the abuse in a passive manner. These findings suggest that resisting the perpetrator may be the most acceptable response of the victim to the perpetrator, a response most congruent with traditional male role expectations. Other, more incongruent responses (i.e., passivity) may be met with more victim blaming attitudes. In this study we did not explore how victim responses interacted with other aspects of the abusive events (e.g., victims' or perpetrators' ages, physical appearance, sexual orientation, race). Future research should address these factors.
Finally, psychologists tended to view a sexual contact between boy and an adult more definitely as sexual abuse when some physical contact between the victim and perpetrator was involved. Descriptions of abuse were limited in this study to sexualized exposure and oral sex. Actually, a number of other abusive behaviors common to male victims were not included in this study (e.g., sexual intercourse with a female perpetrator; anal penetration). Future research is needed to identify the psychological impact of various contact and noncontact abusive behaviors on therapists' perceptions of the adult male survivor.
Several limitations for the interpretations of these findings should be noted. First, generalizability was limited due to the analogue methodology. Subsequent research should validate significant variables in the context of actual clinical settings. Second, the sample included only psychologists in a limited geographical area. Future research is needed to identify the impact of a variety of professional training programs and geographical influences on attitudes toward male sexual abuse survivors.
Finally, the research instruments were limited due to the relatively low reliabilities, to the restricted ranges, to the vagueness of several items (e.g., definition of societal attitudes in the JIBS) and to the possible affects of social desirability on respondents to the survey. That several significant variables were identified, in spite of the restricted ranges, is important to note. Clearly, the development of better instruments are needed to explore the areas of male sexual abuse and socialization.
In summary, the psychologists' responses were generally supportive of the male victims. That their responses varied on several factors (e.g., attitudes toward men, response of the victim, severity of the abuse) suggest that continued research and education focused on identifying the development of male victim-blaming attitudes may help mental health professionals identify their own male victim-blaming attitudes, information which should lead to more effective treatment of male survivors of sexual abuse.
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Descriptive Statistics for Research Variables (N = 154)
Victim Blame VICB 8.12 3.27
Perpetrator Blame PERB 21.82 3.54
Societal Blame SOCB 16.42 5.21
Severity of Impact SEVI 7.27 1.09
Definition of Abuse DEFA 4.53 0.78
Attitudes toward Men MRNS 74.10 20.33
Therapist Victim VICP 0.10 0.31
Number of Victims Treated THER 2.68 1.14
Years of Experience EXP 15.28 11.10
Selected Relevant Correlations: Independent and Dependent Variables