A Literary Analysis Of The Effects Of Sexual Abuse On The Male Child (A Case Study Of Tunde Babalola’s Movie, ’October 1’)

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A Literary Analysis Of The Effects Of Sexual Abuse On The Male Child (A Case Study Of Tunde Babalola’s Movie, ’October 1’)


Abstract


The study examined a literary analysis of the effects of sexual abuse on the male child, A case study of Tunde Babalola’s Movie, ’October 1’.

The objectives identifies and examine the psychological effects of sexual abuse on the male child and how it affects his adult life in the selected movie, to view the myth or stereotype of the male child and how this stereotype affects their ability to speak up when abused, to examine the effect of poor treatment of the victim on the society as explored in the movie and finally to highlight the solution the movie proffers to curb this kind of abuse.

October 1 by Tunde Babalola was the movie selected for the study. Looking at the movie, sexual abuse is a terrible menace and its even worse when it is meted out on the gender that is perceived to be the perpetrator. The two boys are molested sexually by a man(homosexuality) which is even worse as it is not the God given way of companionship or sex. The society is also to blame as the children are given out to a stranger, they do not check up on

The theory psychoanalysis and narratology was used for the study, which helped understand how sexual abuse affects the man and woman. However the study specifically pointed how the patriarchy society we live in do not believe in sexual abuse and sees it as the male in question being weak. The theory of narratology helped to understand the different was a story can be narrated. It could be oral and written language ,gestures, sounds, music etc. the selected movie is narrated in sound, music, oral language and gestures. All were tells the story.

The study revealed that sexual abuse comes in different forms and occurs in both male and female. It also points out the stereotypes that makes the male child keep silent after being abused as well as how it affects him.

The study concluded that sexual abuse is a terrible act and it also affects the male child. It also points out the effects kit has on that male child as it diminishes him and makes him become violent, aggressive and wicked to the very society that does not allow him to show any form of weakness or try to protect them because of the belief that they are ‘boys or men’.

The study further recommends that; Male children should be seen as humans, people that should also be protected and loved equally and not put on a very high pedestal or given so much responsibilities that we forget they have feelings and can be vulnerable too;. The society or parents should also learn to study their children;. Awareness and more research work on male sexual abuse should also be done.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Sexual abuse remains one of the vices that has not been solved totally in the society. Every day, terrible tales of sexual abuse are told ranging from a 60 year old man raping a 3 months old child, a father abusing his daughter, a mother raping her son, eight girls raping a gateman, a male teacher raping his male student to young girls kidnapped and forced into prostitution. Even the religious leaders are not left out as clergy men carry out this terrible menace too. Most of the perpetrators go scot free with their act and the victims are left to suffer the trauma or forced to keep silent about it for fear of being killed. This victim ends up being a danger to the society and themselves. They either continue abusing innocent victims as a way of dealing with the pain or they end up hating the opposite sex and the society that has not fought for them. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter the age, gender identity, class, race or level of Education.

Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent and it has been linked to the development of psychotic symptoms in abused children.

It can also be defined, also referred to as molestation, as undesired sexual behaviour by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. Sexual abuse is a truly democratic issue. It affects children and adults across ethnic, socioeconomic, educational, religious, and regional lines. 3 times children are three times as likely to be victims of rape than adults.

Sexual abuse is most rampant with the female child and as such male children rarely experience it or are the perpetrators of it when they become adults. Males face additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.

The movie ‘October 1’ is a 2014 Nigerian dark Psychological thriller film written by Tunde Babalola, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan. The movie talks about sexual abuse, its effect on its victims and its consequences on the society. It tells a story of how two boys are assaulted by a paedophile who hides under the cloak of religion (a bishop) and how it affects their adulthood and the society. This movie tells us the consequences of repressing the pain of sexual abuse and also points out the injustice the victims face. The prince destroys himself and kills innocent victims, the whole community is in uproar and an innocent man is accused and killed for a crime he did not commit. At the end the case is covered by the colonial government and an innocent Hausa man (who is killed by one of the dead girl’s father) is blamed because the prince is royalty and it was a bishop (a white man like them) that started this vicious circle.

1in6 organization in partnership with Rainn. Organization states that men and boys who have been sexually abused or assaulted may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity. They feel shame or self- doubt believing that they should have been ‘strong enough’ to fight off the perpetrator. It also states that men who were sexually abused as boys or teens may also respond differently than men who were sexually assaulted as adults. They begin feeling like ‘less of a man’ or that they no longer have control of their bodies because they sometimes experience an erection or ejaculation during the assault.

Culturally, society sees it as abnormal for the male child or man to be sexually abused rather he is seen as the one who is the perpetrator. That is not false though as most child sexual abuse is committed by men; women commit approximately fourteen per cent of offenses reported against boys. We live in a patriarchal society in which the males dominate and the females are submissive so it is a big Taboo for a man to come out to say he was abused. He will either be accused of being the predator himself or ridiculed for allowing a ‘woman’ or a man like himself’ abuse him. The society has placed a lot of expectation on the male child, as the ultimate defender of his family; a fortress where the weak come and they are defended. His might/strength makes him an aggressor. So he is seen as being weak when he fails to live up to this stereotyped image. This makes it difficult for the male child to openly report that he had been raped. Unlike the female, who is often sympathised with but later scorned, he is scorned and listed among the weak in the society.

The genesis of this patriarchal system can be traced to the bible which also recognizes men as the head of the home. Adam was created first and giving authority over all the animals on earth. He was also giving the job of tilling the earth and giving instructions to multiply and fill the earth. Eve was created as his help mate- to keep him company as well as support and procreate and further affirms the fact that the man is the protector and pillar of the home or family.

This research states the problem of the biased thought of the society which thinks that because a man is the head or is termed as the stronger vessel, he cannot be taken advantage of or does not have his weakness and troubles. He is made to feel ‘less than a man’ and ashamed for allowing a ‘woman’ or ‘a man’ to molest him. It also talks about the psychotic effect on the male child after hiding so much pain and self-doubt and how it affects his adulthood. They completely shut the world out or try to repress it which leads to terrible consequences when they become adults. It also looks at the problem of societal norms that preach the notion that men are the strong ones and as such should have the will power to fight their perpetrators who abuse them if at all society believes they are abused.

This research will focus on sexual abuse on the male child and its psychological effects using the movie ‘October 1’.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This study has investigated sexual abuse in general with more attention to the male victims. Most literature on this study appear to focus mostly on the sexual abuse of females. Many of the studies conducted on domestic violence and sexual abuse have analysed literary texts. It appears only cursory attention has been paid to the sexual abuse of male victims. It also appears that not much attention has been paid to the study of the sexual abuse of males in the film genre. Therefore, this study has analysed the traumatic effects of sexual abuse of male victims in Tunde Babalola’s movie ‘October 1’


1.3 Aims and Objectives

The aim of this study is to undertake a literary analysis of the effects of Sexual abuse on the male child using Tunde Babalola’s movie, ’October 1’as a case study.

Specific objectives are;

  1. To identify and examine the psychological effects of sexual abuse on the male child and how it affects his adult life in ‘October 1’.
  2. To view the stereotype of the male child and how this stereotype affects their ability to speak up when abused as depicted in ‘October 1’
  3. To examine the effect of poor treatment of the victim on the society as presented in ‘October 1’
  4. To highlight the solution and coping strategies the movie proffers to curb this kind of abuse.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What psychological effects does sexual abuse have on its victims in ‘October 1’?
  2. What are the stereotypes of the male child and how do these stereotypes affect their ability to speak up as depicted in the ‘October 1’?
  3. How does the poor treatment of the victims of sexual abuse affect the society as showcased in ‘October 1’?
  4. What are the possible solutions and coping strategies to curb this kind of abuse as proffered in ‘October 1’?

1.5 Significance of the study

The relevance of this study is to point out the fact that male children are also sexual victims of abuse and when it is not voiced out or treated accordingly, it can affect their psychological and social development as well as affect the society.. The study tries to point out the danger of the cultural notion that men are stronger and are predators too and are not likely to be victims or prey and to help us understand how this notion affects the victims. The value of this study will help to broaden our knowledge on sexual abuse and psychoanalysis and how actions and events affect our growth and development.


1.6 Justification of the Study

The movie ‘October 1’,a 2014 Nigerian dark Psychological thriller film written by Tunde Babalola, produced and directed by Kunle Afolayan talks about sexual abuse, its effect on its victims and its consequences on the society. The major characters in the movie are victims of sexual abuse and they show the consequences of repressing the pain of sexual abuse, the psychotic effects that it causes the victims and also points out the injustice that is displayed by society in some cases of sexual abuse.

This movie was purposively selected because it portrays the main aim of this research which states that male children are also abused as well as shows us the consequences of this menace if not dealt with properly. The movie also talks about the injustice and stereotype of the society as regards to gender.


1.7 Scope and Delimitation

This study focused on the issue of sexual abuse, its effects as well as coping strategies as depicted in the movie ‘October 1’. It did not foreground the experiences of female child especially where necessary, it rather paid more attention to the experiences of the male characters.

This study is limited to literature contents using the movie ‘October 1’ as its primary source of findings for carrying out the psychoanalytical analysis. It also limits itself to the psychoanalytic theory and narratology as tools of analysis.


1.8 Methodology

This study portrays sexual abuse and its effects on the victim and the society in the movie ‘October 1’ .to achieve this aim, the research adopted a qualitative approach. The selected movie was watched closely and subjected to descriptive analysis using selected scenes purposively.

All the male characters affected by sexual abuse in the movie were evaluated and assessed. Effects of sexual abuse on the male child as well as coping strategies(including social, cognitive, behavioural and psychological effects) in the movie were analysed using various tools and concepts in post traumatic stress disorder such as memory, symptoms of trauma and mannerisms of the traumatized. The study adopted narratology and psychoanalysis in analysing the different narratives used to tell the story(oral and written language, gestures, sound, music e.t.c) in selected scenes in the movie. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) on the other hand was the Psychoanalytic variant used to interpret characters traumatic experiences or trauma inspire actions/behaviours borne out of exposure to sexual abuse as shown in the movie.

While the secondary sources consist of critical writings, previous research, journals and magazines with relevant novels and text books that are related to this topic. The world web was also used extensively to enrich the study.


1.9 Theoretical Framework

Two Theories: Psychoanalysis (PTSD variant) and narratology were adopted for this study.

This study will use PTSD as a means of analysing the effects of the trauma of sexual abuse on its victim and society because it is one of the major contemporary sociological theories which analyse the mental state of men who have been abused in the society. The theory ‘Psychoanalysis’ was developed by Sigmund Freud in the late 19th century. Psychoanalysis is defined as: ‘A therapeutic method, originated by Sigmund Freud for treating mental disorders by investigating the interaction of conscious and unconscious elements in the patient’s mind and bring repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind’

According to Dobie, Ann. 2005. 36, Psychoanalysis theory explains defence mechanism and why every individual reacts to situations in different way. For example, a rape victim may develop a hatred for the gender that raped him or her and another rape victim will want to be in a group or try to find attention, love or assurance of their self worth with the gender that abused him or her.

Historically, psychoanalysis has its origins that focuses on treating mental disorders by recognizing the relationship between the conscious and unconscious mind. Psychoanalysis was introduced in the 19th century. Psychoanalysis was stumbled upon when a patient had developed unexplainable symptoms and was diagnosed with hysteria and hallucination. Freud realized that when hypnotized, the patient could vividly recall the painful repressed memories that caused her symptoms. Freud findings revealed that the emotions linked to traumatic life experiences do not manifest openly themselves but are hidden in the unconscious mind.

These repressed memories, fears and desire struck in the unconscious must be brought up to the conscious so that they no longer need to manifest themselves through symptoms. Psychoanalysis was founded by Sigmund Freud (1856-1939). Freud believed that people could be cured by making conscious their unconscious thoughts and motivations, thus gaining insight.

The aim of psychoanalysis therapy is to release repressed emotions and experiences- make the unconscious conscious. It is only having a cathartic (healing) experience can the person be helped and cured.

Post traumatic stress disorder has become an important field of study over the years because of its increasing levels of phobias and their effects on the individual psyche and is currently being pursued in numerous disciplines across the academia. Trauma is a term from the Greek word ‘traumatikos’ meaning wound or an external bodily injury) which first came to prominence in psychoanalytic studies in the late nineteenth century, though the works of three thinkers: Pierre Janet, Jean-Martin Charcot and Sigmund Freud. These figures studies the cause of hysteria in the society( Herman:9). The nineteenth century French neurologist Charcot was the first to venture into this subject. However, Freud later built on Charcot’s ideas, that hysteria was the result of traumatic experiences. Focusing his study on the cause of neurosis in hysterical women, Freud noted a number of symptoms in his patients which made him conclude that such symptoms must have psychological explanation.

As a field of study and literary theory, trauma was popularised in the last quarter of the twentieth century when a group of critics associated with Yale School of Deconstruction began to adapt medical ideas on psychic traumatic processes to the analysis of narrative texts, thereby inaugurating a recent field of trauma studies today(Pellicer- Ortin: 10). Amongst these critics, Cathy Caruth’s trauma: explorations in memory(1995) stands out as a landmark and constant point of reference in the development of trauma studies in the field of literary theory( toremans:336). In this work, Caruth bases her observations on her reading of Sigmund Freud’s Beyond the pleasure principle, Moses and Monotheism and Project for a Scientific Psychology. Her goal is to expand the understanding of literature through an analysis of a traumatic experience(Caruth:3). Caruth begins by pointing out the original meaning of trauma as ‘an injury inflicted in the body’ (Caruth:3) she then provides the general definition of trauma as ‘the response to an unexpected or overwhelming violent event or events that are not fully grasped as they occur, but return later in repeated flashbacks, nightmares and other repetitive phenomena’’(Caruth:91). What becomes clear when studying her work is her firm belief that literature is site where the process of knowing and not knowing the traumatic past can be represented and analysed by psychoanalytical methods( Pellicer-Ortin: 11). This study was emphasized within this traumatic discourse as traumatic experiences of male children who experience sexual abuse as portrayed in the movie analysed.

This study is also going to use the theory of narratology. Although it is not the main theory that will be used in this research, it will educate and broaden our knowledge extensively by helping to understand different narratives, most especially the one used in the movie.

Narratology is the study of structure in narratives. The theory of narrative or narratology was developed in the 1960s. Narratology is based on the idea of a common literary language. Narratives are found and told through oral and written language. Narratology has helped to make it easier to understand the how and why of narrative. The French term narratologie was coined by Todorov (1969: 10), who argued for a shift in focus from the surface level of text-based narrative (i.e. concrete discourse as realized in the form of letters, words and sentences) to the general logical and structural properties of narrative as a univers de représentations (9). Todorov thus called for a new type of generalizing theory that could be applied to all domains of narrative, and in fact for a hypothetical “science that does not exist yet; let’s call it narratology, or science of narrative.”

Narratology, in literary theory, is the study of narrative structure. Narratology looks at what narratives have in common and what makes one different from another.

Like structuralism and semiotics, from which it derived, narratology is based on the idea of a common literary language, or a universal pattern of codes that operates within the text of a work. Its theoretical starting point is the fact that narratives are found and communicated through a wide variety of media—such as oral and written language, gestures, and music—and that the “same” narrative can be seen in many different forms. The development of this body of theory, and its corresponding terminology, accelerated in the mid-20th century.

The foundations of narratology were laid in such books as Vladimir Propp’s Morfologiya skazki (1928; Morphology of the Folk Tale), which created a model for folktales based on seven “spheres of action” and 31 “functions” of narrative; Claude Lévi-Strauss’s Anthropologie structurale (1958; Structural Anthropology), which outlined a grammar of mythology; A.J. Greimas’s Sémantique structurale (1966; Structural Semantics), which proposed a system of six structural units called “actants”; and Tzvetan Todorov’s Grammaire du Décaméron (1969; The Grammar of the Decameron), which introduced the term narratologie. In Figures III (1972; partial translation, Narrative Discourse) and Nouveau Discours de récit (1983; Narrative Discourse Revisited), Gérard Genette codified a system of analysis that examined both the actual narration and the act of narrating as they existed apart from the story or the content. Other influential theorists in narratology were Roland Barthes, Claude Bremond, Gerald Prince, Seymour Chatman, and Mieke Bal.


A Literary Analysis Of The Effects Of Sexual Abuse On The Male Child (A Case Study Of Tunde Babalola’s Movie, ’October 1’)


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