Led by Dr Carl Bonner-Thompson and Dr Kirsty McGregor, MUSE is speaking to some of the many men who have had unwanted sexual experiences at some point in their life, focusing initially on the London and south-east region – though there are plans to expand nationally.
A recent survey by the Male Survivor Partnership found 42% of men said they have experienced at least one form of unwanted sexual contact in their lives - yet rarely seek formal support. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, referrals to the ManKind UK male survivors’ support service have increased by 95%. However, there remains little documented research on the impact of these experiences on men’s lives in the UK.
The MUSE study aims to explore the reasons why men might not seek support, and the barriers men face when they do try to access support (both formal and informal) with regard to unwanted sexual experiences. The Brighton team is using a blend of interviews and arts based workshops.
The project is being funded internally by the university's Healthy Futures research and enterprise initiative, and is working in collaboration with ManKind UK and the Male Survivors Partnership. Full details plus a video introduction to the project on the MUSE website.