Facts About Men & Rape

January 1, 2000

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that men, as well as women, may be sexually assaulted. Many people also wrongly believe that only gay men get raped, and that assaults against men are committed by gay men. Such misconceptions about rape may affect the way males rape survivors are treated, both by peers and professionals. It can be especially difficult for male survivors to seek support, medical services, or to report the crime to law enforcement if they fear not being believed or being ridiculed. As a result, many male survivors may feel isolated and alone, and that they have no one to whom they can turn.

  • Men get raped by other men. Men can also be raped by women.
  • Male rapists who rape men are heterosexual in 98% of the cases.
  • Both gay men and heterosexual men get raped.
  • Men from all parts of society are raped (not just in prisons).
  • Men are less likely to report rape.

Societal support for myths may also affect how male survivors of rape feel
about the assault and themselves in the aftermath of the rape. Male
survivors may experience many of the same feelings that female rape
survivors feel including:

  • Guilt
  • Powerlessness
  • Concern regarding their safety
  • Denial
  • Shock
  • Anger

However, there are many issues that may be different for men such as:

  • Concerns about sexuality and/ or masculinity
  • Medical procedures
  • Reporting to law enforcement
  • Telling others
  • Finding resources and support

No matter what was said, done, or worn, no one asks for or deserves to be
assaulted. Sexual assault has nothing to do with someone’s present or
future sexual orientation. Sexual assault is a crime of violence and power,
not of lust or passion. Strong or weak, outgoing or shy, gay or straight, old
or young, male or female – no one does anything that justifies rape.

Myths About Male Sexual Assault

Myth: Sexual abuse of males is a rare occurrence. The Badgley Royal Commission report on “Sexual Offences against
Youth and Children” states that approximately one in three males experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetime
Myth: Males who are sexually abused do not suffer to the same extent as female victims.
Sexual abuse is a crime of violence and all victims suffer. Male victims experience the same reactions to the crime as female victims do. Some of these reactions include self-blame, fear, anger, relationship problems, questions about sexuality, addictions and trust issues. Not everyone will experience all of these reactions, nor will they experience them to the same extent.
Myth: Males are only abused by homosexual men.
The majority of sexual offenders are heterosexual males. Females can
also assault males, most often as young children and teens and/or in
dating relationships using coercion or threats to enforce compliance.
Myth: Males assaulted by another male are, or become,
Sexual abuse is not an act of sex, passion or desire; it is a crime of
violence. The sexual orientation of the victim is not changed by such an
Myth: Male victims of sexual abuse can never be normal. They are
permanently damaged
Although sexual abuse is a very traumatic experience, with help, victims
do recover.

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