Adult Male Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Braving the Shame

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Watts, Suzanne
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Shame has been found to be an effect of child sexual abuse (CSA) in male and female survivors. This thesis explores the lived shame experiences of six adult males who were sexually abused as children by adult perpetrators. The participants completed semi-structured interviews and the verbatim transcripts were content analyzed to identify common themes. All of the participants reported that they believe CSA causes shame and that shame continued into their adulthood. Six major themes were identified: 1. internalized torment; 2. stigma and judgment from others; 3. withdrawal from social and intimate relationships; 4. abuse experiences; 5. devastating consequences; and 6. connection with self and others reduces shame. Although this qualitative study was limited by a small, convenient, and localized sample, the results supported the existing literature on shame and male CSA. Further research could explore the potential mediating role of shame on the adverse effects of CSA.
shame , survivors of childhood sexual abuse