How are boys and men affected by sexual assault?

Dr. Howard Fradkin, PhD
Psychology Specialist

Boys and men generally suffer very significant effects of sexual assault. These effects can occur from one such abuse experience as well as those with multiple abuses in their histories. Examples of problems include depression-including serious depression, suicidal ideation and suicide attempts; anxiety disorders; compulsive behaviors, addictions-including alcohol, drug, sex, and gambling; eating disorders; significant relationship problems including difficulties with trusting partners; sexual orientation confusion; sexual functioning issues-including the difficulty of combining sex and love and sexual performance issues; flashbacks and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

One thing I always want male survivors to know is that healing and recovery and even thriving are absolutely possible. You can start your recovery today, no matter what age you are, no matter how long ago you were betrayed, no matter how messed up you believe you are. is an excellent resource to find psychotherapists and support groups, and they also offer online support and bulletin boards where you post questions and read other men's stories.

One thing to know is that your healing is best done with support from others. I invite you to read my book, as well as a number of other books you will find on the subject that will help you know you are not alone and there is help available.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted are more likely to suffer from PTSD, other anxiety disorders, and depression than those who have never been abused sexually.

Men who have been sexually assaulted have a high incidence of alcohol and drug use. For example, the probability for alcohol problems in adulthood is about 80% for men who have experienced sexual abuse, as compared to 11% for men who have never been sexually abused.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.