Chapter 4: RESULTS4.1 The participants and interviewsThe inclusion criteria for participants in this research was male gender and age at least sixteen years, who had been raped or sexually assaulted at any point in their life, and subsequently accessed counselling. Six males volunteered to participate, and all interviews were undertaken between July 2007 and August 2007. I transcribed each interview immediately afterwards. The interview with one participant, Jonathan, failed to record, but I did take notes. Jonathan later read these and confirmed and approved the information. The decision had to be made whether or not to include this interview in the data.
Based on Glaser’s de-emphasis of tape-recordings and verbatim transcripts, it was decided to do so. The interview yielded valuable insights and acted to confirm the findings of the other interviews. The interviews were semi-structured to allow the exploration of common themes while also allowing unique material to emerge in each case. I asked participants about their feelings and thoughts regarding what barriers had existed for them when they wanted to access counselling. The uniqueness of each interview was highlighted in my interview with Simon, who had struggled to find any counselling support for males, so he set up his own organisation.
Interviewing him therefore gave a slightly different kind of information from that in the other interviews. 4.2 Demographic InformationThree participants classed themselves as British, one British White, one English and one British American. Members of other ethnic or race groups were not interviewed because the sample was a convenience one and all participants were volunteers. Table 4.1 below shows their demographic characteristics. Of the six participants, one described his assault as rape, two described theirs as rape and sexual abuse, one described his assault as rape plus physical and abusive violence, and one described it as date rape. Participant Age at time of researchSexual orientationAge at rape / sexual assault Age when accessed counsellingDelay in accessing counselling* 1 (Karl)33straight2828 or 296 to 9 months2 (Andi)43gay21 to 30 + 3716 years3 (Jay)36straight4 or 532 (+ 3 months after flashback started27 or 28 years4 (Mark)33straight7 to 103121 years5 (Simon)39straight10 and 15Tried when he was in his 20s, unsuccessfully.
Set up MRSA. Finally had counselling himself 2.5 months prior to the research, aged 3929 years6 (Jonathan)49gay4747 ½6 monthsTable 4.1: Demographics of research participantsOf the three participants who were assaulted as adults, one accessed counselling 16 years following the first rape, which had occurred in the context of an abusive relationship lasting 9 year.
The other two men had delayed between 6 and 9 months before accessing counselling. It is interesting to note the apparent trend towards a longer delay before accessing counselling when the assault happens in childhood. 4.3 Emerging themes4.3.1 Lack of knowledgeThe first interview I conducted was with Karl, who was raped as an adult and took several months to access counselling.
I attempted to identify a core variable in his concerns. Even though Karl quickly found out about MRSA, his knowledge was initially inadequate as he did not think either that he needed counselling or that it would help. His parents made some phone calls to get help for him, and thereby put him in touch with the group. One is left wondering what male rape victims do if they are unable to turn to family members or friends. Karl said, “I knew about the support group, MRSA and I’d sort of been a couple of times but I was a bit iffy about it first of all….
Simon… found it sort of a bit difficult getting counsellors at the time… we had… people coming in towards the group… but it was sort of a bit shaky ground at the time. ”