University of Leicester
2009jamelphd.pdf (3.83 MB)

An investigation of the prevalence, response to, and representation of male rape

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posted on 2010-01-15, 12:32 authored by Joanna Jamel
The aim of this thesis is to examine the under-researched subject of male rape from a social constructionist perspective across a variety of contexts. First, the three studies which were conducted are contextualised by providing a critical review of the available literature on male rape; from the embryonic stages of male rape research within penal institutions through to its evolution from clinical to community- based studies. Second, the findings of the study on the specialist police response, (particularly that of the Sexual Offences Investigative Technique Officers) to male and female rape victims is explored using a thematic analysis. Few male rape cases were reported to the police but those that were suggested that more training is required about the complexities of male rape in relation to the psychological sequelae; and its impact on the survivors’ masculinity. These factors may influence the male survivor’s behaviour on reporting, and affect the police response received. It was also noted that male and female rape myths were pervasive in the police responses and influenced survivors’ decision to report. Third, the incidence of client-perpetrated rape of male sex workers is investigated by employing an adapted form of grounded theory. It was found that in contrast with female sex work, sexual violence within the commercial male sex industry is reported to be rare. Fourth, whether the print media provided a gender-biased representation of rape victims as identified by the journalistic tone and the influence of the gender of the journalist and/or rape victim were investigated. It was found that contrary to the historical myth-laden and victim-blaming portrayal of female rape victims in the press (circa thirty years ago which would parallel the current time frame regarding the awareness of male rape), a sympathetic tone is evidenced in the male rape cases reported.



Bull, R.

Date of award


Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD


Appendices available on CD in the print copy held at the David Wilson Library, University of Leicester.



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