Sexual Aggression Experiences Among Male Victims of Physical Partner Violence: Prevalence, Severity, and Health Correlates for Male Victims and Their Children
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Although research has documented the prevalence and health correlates of sexual aggression among women who have experienced severe partner violence (PV), no research has documented the parallel issues among male victims of severe PV. Research also suggests that children of female victims of both physical and sexual PV have worse mental health than children of female victims of physical PV only, but no research has assessed the mental health of children whose fathers experienced both physical and sexual PV. We surveyed 611 men who experienced physical PV from their female partners and sought help. We assessed the types and extent of various forms of PV, the men’s mental and physical health, and the mental health of their oldest child. Results showed that almost half of the men experienced sexual aggression in their relationship, and 28 % severe sexual aggression. Increasing levels of severity of sexual aggression victimization was associated with greater prevalence and types of other forms of PV. In addition, greater levels of severity of sexual aggression victimization among the men was significantly associated with depression symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, physical health symptoms, and poor health, and attention deficit and affective symptoms among their children. These associations held after controlling for demographics and other violence and trauma exposure. Discussion focused on the importance of broadening our conceptualization of PV against men by women to include sexual aggression as well.
KeywordsSexual aggression Male victims Partner violence Domestic violence Child witnesses
The project described was supported by Grant Number 1R15HD071635 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NICHD.
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