Adult male rape myths in England since 1994: a systemic mixed methods review

Kambashi, N, Rechdan, J, Noon, E and Wilson, A.D (2023) 'Adult male rape myths in England since 1994: a systemic mixed methods review.' Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 29 (4). pp. 497-511. ISSN 1076-8971

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Adult male rape, defined as a man sexually assaulting another man, became legally recognized by English law through the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994). However, the rate of reporting male rape in England remains low compared to female rape and other nonsexual intimate partner violence. Scholars suggest that the low reporting rate could be partly attributed to the persistence of male rape myths (MRM) in society. For this reason, this article reviews the literature on MRM in England and Wales since 1994. This period is significant as it marks the time when erroneous beliefs began to be recognized as myths. Using a mixed-methods approach within a systematic review framework, we identified, evaluated, and synthesized empirical evidence from 11 studies to address our research question. The thematic synthesis of these studies revealed the persistence of certain MRM in England, often tied to stereotypical gender roles and endorsement of homophobic beliefs. However, the review identified limitations, such as the type of rape the studies focused on and their limited applicability, given that most employed student samples. Future research should explore perceptions of male rape using qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches with professionals, male survivors, and community samples. Additionally, future research should challenge the acceptance of MRM and raise awareness of male rape in England.

Item Type: Article
UN SDGs: Goal 5: Gender Equality
Keywords: male rape, rape myths, rape scripts, rape disclosure, Sexual Offences Act
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions: School of Sciences
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Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2023 16:38
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2023 16:38
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