Long-Term Mental and Physical Health Outcomes for Male Victims of Unwanted Sexual Violence: A Systematic Review
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. College of Nursing Honors Theses; 2016
Sexual violence (SV) victimization is a public health concern however knowledge about male victims of SV lags behind that of female victims. Studies have explored mental and physical health outcomes related to sexual victimization in females, but a paucity of literature has focused on male victimization. The goal of this project was to systematically review published literature that focused on male SV victims and critically examine associations between SV victimization and longer-term mental and physical health outcomes. Thirty-eight studies were systematically reviewed between September and December 2015. CINAHL, PsycInfo, and PubMed were searched with pre-determined terms. Inclusion criteria were: full-text articles published in English between the years 1996-2015; male participants with adulthood and/or lifetime sexual victimization; findings for male gender reported; and mental or physical health outcomes included. Review bias is possible due to intra-rater reliability. Of the thirty-eight studies included in this review, five were comprehensive reviews, thirty-two were cross-sectional studies, and two were longitudinal studies. Seven studies included only mental health outcomes and eleven studies included only physical health outcomes. Twenty studies focused on both mental and physical health outcomes. Depression (n=17), suicidal ideation (n=10), and suicidal attempts and/or self-harm (n=10) were mental health outcomes positively related to a history of sexual victimization. Alcohol abuse (n=12), somatic symptoms (n=9), and drug use (n=8) were physical health outcomes positively related to a history of sexual victimization. The strength of the evidence includes studies from interdisciplinary journals and inclusion of various male populations including the incarcerated, those in clinical settings, and those residing in community dwellings. A noted limitation was the lack of consistency in defining SV. Other limitations were small sample sizes, cross-sectional designs, and retrospective studies. Sexual victimization impacts both mental health and physical health outcomes for some men at the time of victimization and later in life.
Academic Major: Nursing
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