A commentary and resource on Law and Sexuality by Professor Chris Ashford and guests
I’ve previously mentioned that I’m opening up my blog to guest spots, and alongside these posts I’m starting a series called ‘Introducing…’ This is a series of posts in which academics, students and activists introduce themselves and their work. We begin with a post from York Sociology PhD student Aliraza Javaid:
I am a sociologist who’s research interests are centred around criminal and social justice; male victims and offending; gender patterns and risks to crime and victimisation; gender, crime and justice; crime victims and public policy; hate crime; homophobic violence; and sociology of evil. I have conducted comprehensive research in relation to a range of issues surrounding rape, sexual violence, explanations for violence, and gendered approaches (particularly focusing on violent men) to understanding crime.
I am a full-time PhD student at the University of York, and I also teach sociology, criminology, and psychology to undergraduate students. My PhD, which is in sociology, looks at state and voluntary agencies’ responses to, and attitudes toward, male rape. Rather than pragmatically researching male rape victims, which would be difficult to do in terms of getting access, I am researching professionals who deal with such victims. I am now going into my 2nd year of my PhD, with the expectation that I submit my thesis by the end of 3rd year. In the meantime, I have managed to publish 3 journal articles in reputable journals, two of which are theoretical/conceptual papers both derived from my PhD, whilst one is an empirical paper.
My first paper was published in the Journal of Gender Studies in 2014, entitled: “Feminism, Masculinity and Male Rape: Bringing Male Rape ‘Out of the Closet’” (here is the link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09589236.2014.959479#.VD-gFJ1waUk). This theoretical/conceptual paper critically examines feminism, masculinity and male rape collectively. It argues that, although feminist explanations of rape are robust and comprehensive, male victims of rape have largely been excluded from this field of research. As a result, it contributes to current knowledge through critically evaluating the social constructions, stigma and phenomenological realities associated with male rape (by both men and women), arguing that there has been neglect in this area that functions to support, maintain and reinforce patriarchal power relations and hegemonic masculinities.
My second paper was published in the Web Journal of Current Legal Issues in 2014, entitled: ‘Male Rape in Law and the Courtroom’ (here is the link: http://t.co/vafLGmQhw3) and is a theoretical/conceptual paper that critically examines how male rape is placed in law and the courts. It focuses particularly on the jurisdiction in England and Wales, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The paper fundamentally argues that such an Act does not fully reflect male rape victims’ experiences, and also argues that the defence counsels’ expectations of how a male rape victim is supposed to have suffered contradicts the male rape literature.
My third paper, which is published in the British Journal of Community Justice, will be out in January 2015. This empirical paper took about 2 years to formulate, from producing the idea, sketching out the research design, approach and pragmatically carrying out the primary research, to going through the peer-review process and acceptance for publication. This empirical article sets out to explore the relationship between alcohol and intimate partner violence. This research explores the role that alcohol contributes to intimate partner violence and how it influences such a phenomenon. The empirical research is based on twelve semi-structured interviews with professionals who deal with or have dealt with victims and/or offenders of intimate partner violence. The professionals range from academics to social workers in the North East region within the United Kingdom. By adopting a qualitative approach, this research found that alcohol was used as an excuse in intimate partner violence cases. This research stipulates that alcohol is not causal in relation to intimate partner violence but it does offer the offender a ‘shield’, which allows them to identify themselves not as a ‘violent abuser’ but rather as someone whose drinking can lead them to do things they otherwise would not do. I will update my profiles as soon as this paper comes out, so please keep checking my social media for the reference:
PhD Student Profile Page:
I am currently working on 3 other papers, all of which are derived from my PhD, and are in the making or in the peer-review process. One of these is on the police responses to, and attitudes toward, male rape victims. This paper critically examines the social construction of male rape in certain cultural and social contexts; this includes how male rape is dealt with in the police force and whether or not the police subculture influences how the police respond to male rape victims.
The main thread of my arguments throughout my research, which correlates very well with the late Foucault’s theoretical paradigm, is that men are constantly surveillanced not just by other men, but also by ourselves to ensure that we are constantly behaving in a heterosexual and masculine fashion. If we are not, we are labeled as ‘deviant’ and/or ‘abnormal’. Men are expected, arguably, to be strong, powerful, invulnerable, unemotional, insensitive, heterosexual, macho, aggressive, violent, and self-reliant. Again, if we are none of these things and do not subscribe to nor fulfill these gender expectations, we are seen as ‘abnormal’ and/or ‘deviant’.
I welcome enquiries from potential collaborators in the fields of gender, crime, social and criminal justice, masculinities, and sexualities, broadly conceived. My email: email@example.com