Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Marilyn Evans


Previous research regarding child sexual abuse (CSA) indicates significant gender differences in disclosure rates: specifically, males are less likely to disclose their child sexual abuse in comparison to females. CSA can have lasting impact on a child’s emotional, physical, and psychological wellbeing. Trauma studies show support and early intervention is necessary for CSA survivors to re-establish a sense of safety and to experience better quality of life. Service providers play a key role in providing care and support for male CSA survivors. However, little is known about service providers, who work with male CSA survivors, and their perceptions and attitudes of CSA disclosure. This qualitative descriptive study used thematic analysis to explore the issues surrounding disclosure of CSA amongst male CSA survivors from the health service providers’ perspective. The results show that disclosure is a complex process with multiple factors determining the male CSA survivor’s decision to disclose. Various barriers and facilitators play a role in the male CSA survivor’s decision to disclose and occur at personal, interpersonal, institutional, and societal levels. In addition, the study revealed multiple health service gaps that negatively affect service utilization among male CSA survivors.

The results of this study have implications for both practice and further research. Public awareness programs aimed at families, educators, and community leaders are imperative in promoting an environment in which conversations about male CSA can take place without shame or stigma. Additionally, the results indicate the need to evaluate currently available services for males who have disclosed their sexual abuse histories to ensure their needs are effectively met. Further research with male CSA survivors is necessary to address the service gaps associated with male CSA.

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