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Military Sexual Trauma Among Men: Gendered Experiences, Clinical Considerations, and Treatment Options
Yahalom J, Hamilton AB, Lang A, Holliday R, Monteith L. Military Sexual Trauma Among Men: Gendered Experiences, Clinical Considerations, and Treatment Options. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry. 2023 Jan 27; 10(2023):21-34.
Purpose of review
Military sexual trauma (MST) refers to repeated sexual harassment and/or sexual assault that occurs during military service. MST can have significant impact on one's psychological, interpersonal, and medical well-being. In this article, we review research specific to MST among men, and how gender-related experiences may uniquely impact this population.
Identity-based characteristics may further influence MST sequelae, such as the experience of shame when stereotypes regarding masculinity are violated, as well as other types of identity-based stress (e.g., racism) which may interact with men's experiences of MST. We discuss clinical considerations for providing mental health treatment to men who have experienced MST, including evidence-based treatments that have been studied among men MST survivors (Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy), as well as integrative group therapy approaches, which aim to address the transdiagnostic needs of this subset of the veteran population.
As there has been limited research on treatment options for this population, we conclude by discussing future research directions for MST-focused intervention among men.