When Men are Raped

The trauma that women who have been sexually victimized is well-known, both in terms of the emotional consequences of the assault itself as well as the pain associated with trying to obtain justice afterward.   While men are usualy the perpetrators of sexual violence and women are usually the victims, that is not always the case however.  

Actual incidence of sexual assault involving adult male victims has always been difficult to estimate. Victim surveys of British and American males have shown that 3 to 8 per cent of males reported at least one adulthood incidence of sexual assault in their lifetimes with at least 5 to 10 per cent of all rape victims being male (Pino & Meier, 1990;   Coxell & King, 1999).    These numbers can be substantially higher for non-heterosexual males though.  One 2005 study reported that 13.2 per cent of bisexual males and 11.2 per cent of gay men reported at least one instance of sexual assault as adults.   Still, those numbers are almost certainly underestimate the reality considering most male victims are reluctant to report their sexual assault to the police.   While the majority of these crimes are committed by male offenders, an estimated 6 to 15 per cent of these sexual assaults can involve female perpetrators (either working independently or in association with male co-offenders).   

But why has male sexual assault been so often marginalized in many societies?   To read more, see my latest post ay Psychology Today blog.

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