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Tue Jul 15, 2014, 01:28 AM

1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18 [View all]

Researchers have found that 1 in 6 men have experienced abusive sexual experiences before age 18. And this is probably a low estimate, since it doesn’t include noncontact experiences, which can also have lasting negative effects.

If you’ve had such an experience, or think you might have, you are not alone.

If you wonder whether such an experience may be connected to some difficulties or challenges in your life now, you are not alone

https://1in6.org/the-1-in-6-statistic/


Myths & Facts

Here we address some myths that everyone absorbs to some extent, especially boys and men who’ve had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences. These myths are big obstacles to understanding and healing, so it’s really important to know just how wrong they are.
Before addressing the myths, let’s review some key facts:

Boys and men can be sexually used or abused, and it has nothing to do with how masculine they are.
If a boy liked the attention he was getting, or got sexually aroused during abuse, or even sometimes wanted the attention or sexual contact, this does not mean he wanted or liked being manipulated or abused, or that any part of what happened, in any way, was his responsibility or fault.
Sexual abuse harms boys and girls in ways that are similar and different, but equally harmful.
Boys can be sexually abused by both straight men and gay men. Sexual abuse is the result of abusive behavior that takes advantage of a child’s vulnerability and is in no way related to the sexual orientation of the abusive person.
Whether he is gay, straight or bisexual, a boy’s sexual orientation is neither the cause or the result of sexual abuse. By focusing on the abusive nature of sexual abuse rather than the sexual aspects of the interaction, it becomes easier to understand that sexual abuse has nothing to do with a boy’s sexual orientation.
Girls and women can sexually abuse boys. The boys are not “lucky,” but exploited and harmed.
Most boys who are sexually abused will not go on to sexually abuse others.

Myth 1 — The myth that boys can’t be sexually used or abused, and if one is, he can never be a “real man.”

Everyone absorbs the myth that males aren’t victims, to some extent. It’s central to masculine gender socialization, and boys pick up on it very early in life. This myth implies that a boy or man who has been sexually used or abused will never be a “real man.” Our society expects males to be able to protect themselves. Successful men are depicted as never being vulnerable, either physically or emotionally. (See How It Can Be Different for Men and How Being Male Can Make It Hard to Heal.)

Whether you agree with that definition of masculinity or not, boys are not men. They are children. They are weaker and more vulnerable than those who sexually abuse or exploit them – who use their greater size, strength and knowledge to manipulate or coerce boys into unwanted sexual experiences and staying silent. This is usually done from a position of authority (e.g., coach, teacher, religious leader) or status (e.g. older cousin, admired athlete, social leader), using whatever means are available to reduce resistance, such as attention, special privileges, money or other gifts, promises or bribes, even outright threats.

What happens to any of us as children does not need to define us as adults or men. It is important to remember that that 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18 (see The 1 in 6 Statistic), and that those boys can grow up to be strong, powerful, courageous and healthy men. Examples are found on our website (see Other Guys Like Me), and there are many others out there.

https://1in6.org/men/myths/


This can be a difficult and emotional topic. My friend, one_voice, posted this in another group and I am reposting because I feel this is something men do need to discuss, without shame, prejudice, and blame. What was interesting for me was upon reading this I remembered an assault I endured during my high school years. It was odd how I had not thought about it, even in the years I was a rape crisis counselor. I guess it is one of those things some men do in order to not think about the situation.

The other issue is being able to talk to male children about this in a way that doesn't make them fearful or feel ashamed. In my estimation, most people don't really think to consider boys as potential victims, yet, as the above shows, it is more common than most think.

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