The current study of the specialist police response to male rape survivors focused on Sexual Offenses Investigative Technique (SOIT) officers to explore whether a differential level of service is influenced by an officer's and/or victim's gender. Data on both police and male and female rape survivors were comparatively analyzed using the qualitative method of thematic analysis. Key issues that emerged included: (1) Rape victims reported a lack of confidence in the judicial system; this was more apparent in male survivors' responses and was one of the factors that informed their decision whether or not to report their victimization. (2) Both male and female rape victims demonstrate a gender preference for female SOIT officers, which reinforces the historical approach within the police force to encourage females to apply for such positions. Tis practice suggests a reliance on gender stereotypes as heuristics to assess the likelihood of the empathy and sensitivity of the SOIT officer's response. (3) Finally, few male rape victims reported their victimization, and those who did frequently experienced a gendered response that was often negative and could delay their recovery process. Recommendations are also made regarding best practice in SOIT officer training.
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