Introduction

The bibliography provides information on writings dealing with the history of rape, including sexual child abuse, sexual harassment, sexual molestation, child prostitution, forced prostitution, sexual slavery, sexual(ized) violence. The blog informs about calls for papers, forthcoming events and new literature in this field.

February 2, 2013

THESIS: Sex and violence: the meanings and gendering of sex acts in the treatment groups for intimately violent heterosexual men

Author: Maria Sundqvist
Title: Sex and violence
Subtitle: The meanings and gendering of sex acts in the treatment groups for intimately violent heterosexual men
Thesis: Master Thesis, University of Jyväskylä
Year: 2012
Pages: 34pp.
Language: English
Full Text: Jyväskylä University Digital Archive [Free Access]

Abstract:
»This study aims to find out how men who are violent towards their intimate partner perceive sex acts in the context of heterosexual, monogamous relationships. The meanings of sex, the separation or connecting of sex and violence and the ways of gendering in the therapy group were studied. This study is placed in the theoretical framework of postmodern feminism regarding the understanding of gender and sexuality. The data were analyzed by using critical discourse analysis and feminist reading.
The data consisted of eight treatment groups for men violent towards their intimate partners from 1996 to 2000. The sessions of the therapy groups were previously transcribed and 18 sessions from the eight groups constituted the data for analyzing. There were a total of 53 men in these groups. These therapy groups in Jyväskylä are a part of Finnish prevention and treatment program of violence. The Jyväskylä program is carried out as a collaboration between crisis center Mobile and the Jyväskylä University Psychotherapy Training and Research Centre.
The talk of sex acts in the context of intimate relationships were gendered throughout the data. The sexual and intimate partner was always defined as female either directly or indirectly. Sex acts were perceived as expressions of love and intimacy in the context of a relationship. In these cases the men also often described an ideal relationship where the woman was seen as a partner or a companion. The men also connected sex acts to the meanings of power and self-determination in the relationship context. In those discussions the men stated how a woman has the right to say no and has self-determination. Then again, refusing sexual relations was also seen as a way for a woman to use power over a man. Even though all the participants in the treatment groups have acted physically violent towards their spouses, sexual violence, mainly understood as rape, was clearly condemned. The meaning of rape charges was different in the data when they were directed to the man himself. In that case women were seen as wrongfully exploiting the legal system.
In therapeutic work, it is important to notice how the notions of sexuality and gender affect the understanding of what violence is. Considering intimate partner violence, it is necessary to identify what kind of meanings sex acts have in a relationship and in what ways they are gendered. This is important for recognizing sexual violence and also for recognizing what aspects of the relationship support the positive change during treatment.« [Source: Thesis]