Violence perpetrated on males is far more common than most people realize. Throughout our culture sexual assault and intimate partner violence are two of the most misunderstood of all violent crimes. When the victim is male these misconceptions are dramatically compounded. The following are many of the myths and important facts about male victimization.
- Myth: Far more females are abused as children than males.
- Fact: Until the age of twelve, rates of sexual abuse of male and female children are approximately equal.
- Myth: It is unusual for men to be sexually assaulted as adults.
- Fact: Studies indicate that one in six men (excluding the prison population) are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
- Myth: Men cannot be victims of intimate partner violence, especially in heterosexual relationships.
- Fact: Although it is much less likely for a man to be a victim and a woman to be an abuser, anyone can be a victim of intimate partner violence. Abuse is about power and control, not size or strength. Men can fall victim to abuse for the same reasons that women do.
- Myth: Men who sexually abuse or rape boys or men are generally homosexual.
- Fact: The vast majority of male sexual predators who assault men or boys are heterosexual. In fact, homosexual men are far less likely than heterosexual men to engage in sexual assault. Sexual assault has far more to do with power and control than sexuality. Over 50% of predators choose victims of either gender.
- Myth: Women never sexually abuse men or boys.
- Fact: Although far less common, women can be sexual perpetrators to both young boys and adult males.
- Myth: Most male survivors of childhood abuse were assaulted by a family member or relative.
- Fact: Although many men are survivors of childhood sexual abuse by a family member or relative, research indicates that adolescent boys are more likely to be abused by strangers or authority figures in an organization, such as school, youth group, athletic team, scouting, or church-related groups.
- Myth: Males who are sexually assaulted are more likely to "become" homosexual.
- Fact: Male perpetrators attack and abuse both heterosexual and homosexual boys and men. Studies have shown that male childhood sexual abuse has little to no affect on the development of the survivor's sexual orientation.
- Myth: Male survivors are likely to become sexual predators themselves.
- Fact: Although most predators are survivors of sexual abuse, the vast majority of male survivors do not become predators.
Myths & Facts about Female Victimization:
Rape is About Power, Control, and Anger. Think about the unthinkable. Don't mask the facts about rape with myths and stereotypes. The Truth Is...
- Myth: Rape is about sex and passion
- Fact: Rape is an act of violence. It is an attempt to control and degrade using sex as a weapon.
- Myth: Most rapes are committed by strangers.
- Fact: It is estimated that 80% of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows.
- Myth: Most rapes occur when women are out alone at night.
- Fact: Nearly 6 out of 10 rapes occur in the victim's home or in some other private residence.
- Myth: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification.
- Fact: Most rapes are planned. Studies have shown that between 60 percent to 75 percent of rapes are planned in advance.
- Myth: Only young, beautiful women get raped.
- Fact: Rapists attack women of all races, all ages, without regard to physical appearance.
- Myth: Women enjoy being raped. Women secretly want to be raped.
- Fact: Rape is a violent, often brutal, terrifying crime. No one wants to be raped.
- Myth: Women who are raped were asking for it.
- Fact: No one asks to be raped. A victim should never be blamed for someone else's violent behavior.
- Myth: Women frequently cry "rape." There is a high rate of false reporting.
- Fact: Studies show that less than 2% of rapes are falsely reported.
- Myth: Women who say "No" really mean "Yes".
- Fact: When a woman says no, the answer is No.
- Myth: I don’t know anyone who’s ever been raped.
- Fact: Rape victims are doctors, teachers, nurses, students, social workers, engineers. It can be anyone. Chances are you do know someone that has been raped. However, the person usually keeps such information private.
- Myth: Women owe men sex under some circumstances. If he bought dinner she "owes" him sex.
- Fact: No one "owes" sex for anything, as human beings we should have the freedom to make sexual choices regardless of the circumstances
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