Gender Role Socialization and Male-on-Male
vs. Fem ale-on-Male Ch ild Sexual Abuse
Lau ren E. Du ncan
Lin da M. William s
Most im ages of sexual abu se in con temporary society involve ad ult m ale
perpetrators and female victim s. In this paper, we consider the effects of child
sexual abuse on the adu lt male gender roles of boyhood survivors of abu se.
Specifically, we exam ine the effects of coerced male-on-m ale (CM), coerced
female-on -m ale (CF), an d non-coerced female-on-m ale (NF) sexual contact
on attitudes toward and beh avior in adu lt heterosexual relation ships. Using
longitu dinal data from 105 predom inantly African Am erican, workin g class
men, we first docum ent the prevalence of all 3 types of abuse within ou r
sam ple. Consistent with gender socialization hypotheses, we fou nd that relative
to non-abu sed men , CM and CF survivors were more likely to report violen ce
toward intim ate partn ers. Compared to CF and NF survivors, CM survivors
repo rted bein g kin der to wom en . CF su rvivors were mo re likely to have
com mitted sex offenses relative to CM an d NF survivors.
Many social scie ntists share the belie f that society is stratifie d along several
dime nsions and that this stratification refle cts and maintains diffe rence s in
powe r (Apfelbaum & Lube k, 1979; Becke r, 1963; Domhoff, 1983; Hare-
Sex Roles, Vol. 39, Nos. 9/10, 1998
1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation
This research was supported by NIMH Family V iolence Training Grant No. 5-T32-MH15161
and Th e Nation al Ce n te r on Child Abuse and Ne gle ct Grant Nos. 90 -CA -14 95 and
90-CA-1552 to the se cond author. We would like to thank Jane Siege l of the Joseph J. Pe ters
Institute for he r work as project director. W e appre ciate the he lpful comme nts of the
members of the Family Re search Se minar on an earlier draft of this article.
D e p a r t m e n t o f P s yc h o l og y, S m i th C o l le ge , No r t h a m p to n , MA 0 10 63 ; e - m ail :
lduncan@ science.smith.edu .
The Stone Cente r, Wellesley Centers for Women, Welle sle y College, 106 Central Street,
Wellesley, MA 02181; e-mail: Lwilliams@ we llesley.edu