Via UK men’s activists Glen Poole, I was recently put in contact with researcher Hannah Clements. Hannah is doing a study on people who, as minors aged 15 and under, were sexually abused by a woman or multiple women, and their experiences in telling (or not-telling) about it. I have corresponded with her extensively and, while I’m not normally so self-revealing in public about such matters, this seems important: I wound up being one of her study subjects. No, I don’t particularly want to discuss the particulars of my case, but, I will say that in addition to extensive correspondence with Hannah Clements, I also had a two hour phone interview which was personally both wrenching and liberating, and she was the soul of sensitivity and compassion as I related my experiences.
She’s had a hard time getting men to participate in this research. I believe this has much to do with the sexual shaming of males that is the norm in British as well as American culture. And the bizarre but common belief that if you have the penis, you cannot have been preyed upon by a woman. To quote recent correspondence I’ve had with Clements:
…I am really trying to reach people, particularly men to speak with, so if you could spread awareness of my study that would be most appreciated…
…Most research exploring survivors of sexual abuse focuses on male abusers, and a hidden and growing number of people abused by females seem to be over-looked in research. This study hopes to offer this silenced group a voice, and it hopes to inform the clinical care and support healthcare professionals offer when they seek help; to raise awareness, and make the process of sharing as sensitive and supportive as it can be.
I am looking to invite people to consider taking part via online supportive communities such as this. If you are interested in reading more please go Survivors of female perpetrated sexual abuse and their experiences of disclosure where you can read more on my blog, about me and my study. Or…follow me on Twitter on @FPSA_research.
If you would like to take part, speak with me or learn more, please go to the ‘contact me’ section of my website and leave your number, and I will arrange a relaxed telephone interview. The sensitivity of this area is not underestimated, and you will be supported throughout, including with the telephone interview which can be at your pace, and when you choose it to be.
Your potential contribution is hugely valuable, and thank you for taking the time to consider being involved. Please do visit my blog above if you want to ask me anything, or to learn more,
Thank you very much, and with my warmest wishes,
Although I don’t generally go about blathering my personal life on the front page of A Voice For Men, I figured if I let you guys know that this is something that happened to me as a kid, and that I thoroughly checked out Hannah and her credentials, and was one of her interview subjcts, then you’d be less worried about talking to her yourself. So I encourage anyone at A Voice For Men who was sexually molested or abused by a woman at the age of 15 or under contact Hannah Clements right away. She needs subjects, but she’s got to close out her study in the next week or two.
It bothers me that researchers have rarely seemed interested in us men who have experienced such things, or to have any interest in female perpetrators–and by the way, I’m particular sick of people who think it’s funny, like if you’re a 15 year old boy seduced by a 30 year old woman you won some kind of lottery. Yeah, fuck you. Hannah doesn’t think it’s funny, she thinks it is serious and needs more attention, and she was very compassionate and let me talk at my own pace, but very thorough and professional. If you qualify, if you have a real story to tell her, I urge you to contact her right away. All your information will be kept confidential and your name will not be released to the public.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: she’ll talk to anyone in any part of the world. I told her Americans, Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis, and others read this site, and she says that would be wonderful, she will make arrangements to contact you, at her university’s expense, all you have to do is set up a time that works for you (and her). I live in the United States, she’s in England, but that did not matter. Our interview was lengthy and thorough and taken at my pace not hers.
Please note: while anyone who wishes to discuss this topic in the comments here on A Voice For Men is perfectly free to do so, the point is not to get you to disclose information in the comments here. The point is to get you to contact Hannah Clements to take part in the confidential study, or forward this on to someone you know who might want to be a part. I don’t plan on divulging any further personal details here on AVFM on my particular case history, not because I am ashamed but because I simply don’t want to. That said I’m certain no one here will look down on you if you choose to discuss it here. And if they do give you grief they can expect a shit-kicking because if that happened to you and you want to talk about it here, you damn well can.
But seriously, if you qualify, contact Hannah right away, because that’s the priority. She needs more men but she has to close out her study in the next week. All you need is the ability to speak English, access to a phone, and a willingness to participate. Contact her by Friday if you can.
Astoundingly, within a few hours of this going up, Hannah, who has been looking for men for months, suddenly has more than she can handle. Makes me want to cry. She has to carefully evaluate everybody to make sure they match the needs for her study (encounters must have been age 15 and under, for example) and so she can give each person the attention they deserve, the interview typically takes 1-2 hours!
She may as a result of this posting start having to turn people away!
What I suggest therefore is that if you haven’t already contacted her but still want to, you let her know up front you understand that she may be full up but you’re available if she winds up needing someone after all. Some candidates she’s already gotten may not turn up (i.e. it’s not too uncommon for someone to volunteer and then disappear), or for someone to come forward but turns out to have an unusable story (because they perhaps did not carefully read–for example if you were older than 15, it doesn’t make your case undeserving of attention but you do not fit *this* study).
So if you contact her and she turns you away *do not* feel rejected. Just let her know you’re available anyway. And otherwise if this has gotten you thinking about stuff from the past, it’s not a bad idea to find a therapist to talk to about it. I know it led me to some dark places that needed healing and I will be talking to a professional about it–I’ve kept this locked away in my head for decades.