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NCJ Number: 190743 Find in a Library
Title: Impact of the Abuse of Males on Intimate Relationships (From Abuse of Men: Trauma Begets Trauma, P 29-39, 2001, Barbara Jo Brothers, ed., -- See NCJ-190740)
Author(s): Aphrodite Matsakis
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Haworth Press, Inc
Binghamton, NY 13904
Sale Source: Haworth Press, Inc
10 Alice Street
Binghamton, NY 13904
United States of America
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews literature and the author’s experience as a professional clinician to explore the ways in which being a male survivor of child abuse or abuse as part of a military or paramilitary experience creates conflict in later intimate relationships and yet sometimes helps bind a couple together.
Abstract: The analysis also considers identification with the aggressor and other special dynamics of being a male child abuse survivor in an intimate relationship. The discussion rests on the author’s 24 years of private clinical work with adult male survivors of childhood abuse and individual and couple counseling with combat veterans at a Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Readjustment Counseling Center. About half of the veterans reported a history of significant child abuse. The analysis revealed that a history of emotional and physical abuse, either in childhood or as part of a military or paramilitary experience, can profoundly affect a man’s desire and capacity for intimacy and negotiation in long-term relationships. Common consequences of abuse include observational learning of abusive behavior, identification with the aggressor, and fear of acting like the aggressor. These consequences can affect intimate relationships in different ways. The male who has come to identify with the aggressor may turn the adult home environment into a replica of his original abuse environment. In contrast, some veterans developed such an aversion to criticizing or regulating others that they had great difficulty setting boundaries or disciplining children. Men who identify with the victim rather than the aggressor are vulnerable to clinical depression, feelings of low self-worth, and exploitation by employers and friends due to unwillingness to asking to have needs met. Frustrations of this latter group sometimes accumulate and erupt in verbal or physical outbursts against loved ones or even professionals. 18 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Abused children; Domestic violence causes; Male survivors; Marital problems; Psychological victimization effects; Spouse abuse causes; Victims of violent crime
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