Sexual Assault: Focus on the Male Victims, part 2

My purpose in these posts is to help dispel some fallacious beliefs that have developed over time. Similar to beliefs about female victims, there are some very harmful ideas out there; for instance, the idea that if a woman was raped, she was probably asking for it.  Good grief.  Does anyone really believe that—-that rape is something you “ask for”?  In any case, there are similar myths out there about male victims that need to be addressed.

Many male sexual assault victims feel intense guilt and confusion  if they were aroused at any point, or even enjoyed the attention they were getting at first. Typically, the predator will win the boy’s trust and affection with a lot of attention, gifts, and long intimate conversations. The boy will begin to respond when touching starts, not realizing the ultimate goal of the predator. If the boy shows any sign of enjoyment or arousal, the predator can say, “See, you wanted it; you liked it.”  And because the boy is inexperienced, he is confused and feels shame and guilt.

Fact:  Men’s bodies and brains react differently than women’s do. It is possible for a boy to experience some arousal without wanting or enjoying being manipulated into the experience.

It is absolutely possible for a boy or man to be raped. That doesn’t mean he wanted or liked it.

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