Sexual and Dating Violence Prevention Programs for Male Youth: A Systematic Review of Program Characteristics, Intended Psychosexual Outcomes, and Effectiveness

Mirthe Verbeek*, Joyce Weeland, Maartje Luijk, Daphne van de Bongardt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Sexual and dating violence (SDV) by male youth (<= 25 years)-including sexual harassment, emotional partner violence, and rape-is a worldwide problem. The goal of this preregistered (PROSPERO, ID: CRD42022281220) systematic review was to map existing SDV prevention programs aimed at male youth, including their characteristics (e.g., content, intensity), intended psychosexual outcomes, and empirically demonstrated effectiveness, guided by the principles of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). We conducted searches in six online databases for published, peer-reviewed quantitative effectiveness studies on multi-session, group focused, and interaction based SDV prevention programs for male youth ending March 2022. After screening of 21,156 hits using PRISMA guidelines, 15 studies on 13 different programs, from four continents were included. Narrative analysis showed, first, broad ranges in program intensity (2-48 h total), and few program curricula included explicit discussion of relevant aspects of the TPB. Second, programs' main intended psychosexual outcomes were to change SDV experiences, or related attitudes, or norms. Third, significant effects were found mostly on longer term behaviors and short-term attitudes. Other theoretical proxies of SDV experiences, such as social norms and perceived behavioral control, were sparsely investigated; thus, program effectiveness on these outcomes remains largely unknown. Assessed with the Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool, moderate to serious risk of bias arose in all studies. We present concrete suggestions for program content, such as explicit attention to victimization and masculinity and discuss best practices for evaluation research, including assessments of program integrity, and examining relevant theoretical proxies of SDV.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2899-2935
Number of pages37
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Volume52
Issue number7
Early online dateMay 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2023, The Author(s).

Research programs

  • ESSB PED

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