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Number 4, Article 5

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5. Resilience Strategies of Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and their Female Partners: A Phenomenological Inquiry (Pages 341-354)

Gerald K. Crete and Anneliese A. Singh

This phenomenological study explored the lived experience of male survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) who identified as resilient in their current relationships with female partners. The study was grounded in Relational-Cultural Theory (Jordan, 2004; Miller, 1976) in order to examine the relational movements within participants’ relationships with their female partners. The findings identified seven relational movements that corresponded with growth in resilience. Resilient male survivors moved from past abuse to therapeutic processing and from isolation to finding a purpose. Personal and relational challenges to resilience were self-hatred, insecurity, restricted emotionality, masculine identity crisis, and negative coping strategies. Resilient male survivors developed mutual empathy, greater trust, and deeper connections; reprocessed their masculine identity; and developed a positive vision for the future. Implications for future research and practice and study limitations are discussed.