Prior research has suggested that men may be particularly reticent to disclose their sexual assault status due to fears of subsequent stigmatization from peers. In particular, men disclosing sexual assault have reported being called “closet homosexuals” or being stigmatized for not being “strong enough” to fight off an attacker. The present study examined how beliefs about masculine honor, which center around men being viewed as strong, fearless, and antifeminine may lead to heightened stigmatization of men who have been sexually assaulted. Participants (N = 425) were recruited using an online data collection platform and completed measures about sexual assault stigma, attitudes about concealing sexual assault status, and perceptions of how sexual assault would damage a man’s masculinity. Furthermore, men completed measures regarding how they themselves would respond if they were sexually assaulted. Results indicated that masculine honor endorsement was linked to higher levels of stigma, greater belief that men’s masculine identity would be damaged by sexual assault, and higher support for assault concealment—these results were found in both men and women. Masculine honor-endorsing men in the sample also reported they would conceal their sexual assault and personally seek revenge due to their own beliefs about masculinity damage and anticipated shame they would feel having been assaulted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies