Are men victimized by sexual assault?

Unfortunately, yes, men are victimized by sexual assault. At least 10% of American men have suffered from sexual assault. Like women, they may suffer from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other emotional problems as a result. Their emotional symptoms differ from women because of life experiences linked to gender roles.

Men absolutely can be sexually assaulted or abused by women and other men. Being a man is no guarantee against unwanted sexual behavior from light flirtation to rape. Oprah Winfrey did an amazing show for men who were sexually abused and had not previously admitted that the abuse had happened. The news has reported several instances of sexual abuse of boys by priests, coaches, teachers, etc. The difficulty is that boys, men are socially seen as tough he-men who can take care of themselves and protect their families. That leaves men little permission to say, 'Someone hurt me and I couldn't stop them'. Left untreated, sexual assault takes a psychological and social toll. It can also take a physical toll if the assailant caused damage or transmitted an infectious disease during the assault. Society is now starting to acknowledge that male sexual assault occurs and that being a male victim is not something to which shame and blame is attached.

Howard Fradkin, PhD

Absolutely men can be victims of sexual assault. It is unfortunately a misconception that men are always perpetrators and women are their only victims. The truth is that men and boys can be sexually assaulted by other males and also by females. The best respected statistics are that 1 in 6 men have been sexually assaulted by the age of 16, and one in every 8 adult rape survivors are men. Men suffer many of the same effects of sexual assault as do women, but men tend to keep silent much longer due to profound effects of shame. 

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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.