Toxic Masculinity, Male Childhood Sexual Trauma, and the Challenges to How Young Men Heal
Morrison, Colin James
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This study critically examined impacts of toxic masculine culture on males who experience childhood sexual trauma and explored how myths surrounding dominant masculinity serve to impact healing. Through the perspectives of twelve mental health therapists, this work explored gaps in current research in understanding needs of survivors, and highlighted the importance of engaging with social constructs of masculinity and healing through a gendered lens. Data was analyzed through a narrative inquiry approach, utilizing thematic and discourse analysis. Findings were consistent with current literature that described strong adherence to traditional masculine norms as having negative impacts on male survivors. Stigma related to homophobia and misogyny within a heteronormative, patriarchal society were problematic and impeded disclosure. Gendered male approaches are arguably non-existent in mental health systems in Nova Scotia, yet this study demonstrated how clinical service providers are poised to intervene in important gender specific ways with young male survivors.