Sexaul Assault Program
MALE SEXUAL ASSAULT
The Facts Are...
... IT DOES HAPPEN!
Sexual victimization has been seen primarily as a female problem for many years. No one knows for sure how
many males are abused each year, but it is estimated that one out of seven boys will be sexually
assaulted by the time they reach age 18.
Most males are sexually assaulted by other males, but the number of males reporting abuse by women is increasing.
Females abuse males in slightly different ways than male abusers. Women may be more subtle and disguise
the abuse through caretakeing bahavior. Examples are applying medication to the penis, sexual touching
while bathing, or seductively exposing herself to him.
Sexually abused males are often viewed as potential abusers. While perpetrators of sexual abuse
have often been abused themselves, many more sexually abused males do not become perpetrators.
It is important that intervention take place so that he does not go on to perpetrate against another
person. Intervention can include but is not limited to counseling, support groups, or some form of education.
Frequency of Male Assaults
The actual frequency of adult male sexual assault can not be reliably estimated for two reasons:
our reluctance to recognize these crimes, and the victims reluctance to report them. In our society, males are socialized to be
"strong" and to "take care of themselves." Because of these attitudes, often times male victims feel they have
more to lose than female victims in roporting a sexual assault. Victimization not only violates the male ethic
of self reliance, it raises the inference of homosexuality.
When someone is sexually assaulted, being "strong" or "able to take care of yourself" is not the issue. Sexual assault is a crime of violence
motivated by a need for power and control. Sex is used as a weapon to humiliate and degrade the victim. Anyone, regardless of their
strength or ability to take care of themselves, can be assaulted (Males at Risk, Bolton,
Morris, and MacEachron, 1989).
Impact of Sexual Assault
Sexual assault against males, whether as children or as adults can have devastating results, such as:
(Abused Boys, Hunter, 1990)
- Physical injuries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Low self esteem
- Feelings of helplessness
- Wanting to die
- Self abuse
- Confusion about roles/identity/sexuality
- Escape into addictions
- Fear that everyone is a potential attacker
- Fear of intimacy
- Fear of being blamed
- Fear of trusting others
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