Male Survivors

Myths

Myth: Men and boys cannot be victims of sexual assault.

Myth: Men and boys can always protect themselves and stop abuse from occurring.

Myth: All child sexual abuse involves touching. Being sexually suggestive or demonstrating inappropriate sexual boundaries around boys is okay because there is no physical contact involved.

Myth: Men’s erections and orgasms are always voluntary. If a man responds physically during an assault, it is because he liked it.

Myth: Men and boys always enjoy sex.

Myth: Boys are less traumatized by abuse than girls.

Myth: It is not possible for a woman to sexually assault a man or boy.

Myth: Not enjoying sex with a woman makes a man gay.

Myth: Only gay men rape boys, and boys who are raped by men will grow up to be gay.

Myth: Boys who are sexually assaulted will become rapists.

Facts

A 2005 study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control found that 16% of males (about 1 in 6) were sexually abused before age 18.

Although statistics vary, a majority of male victims are assaulted by other males. Many sources (Men Can Stop Rape, National Center for PTSD) cite a report that found 86% of males were sexually abused by other men. Other research indicates that up to 40% of male victims were assaulted by women.

Women who have sex with young boys are not “initiating” them or “teaching” them – they are sexually abusing them. Sex with a minor is illegal, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender. Likewise, it is illegal for a woman to force sexual contact on an adult male. Sex without consent is rape.

Erections and ejaculation are involuntary physiological responses. They do not mean a man enjoyed an assault.

Being sexually abused by someone of the same sex does not “make” you gay.

Most sex offenders are heterosexual. Research has shown that approximately 98% of child molesters identify as heterosexual.

Abused boys do not inevitably grow up to become sex offenders. Only one in five abused boys goes on to become an abuser.

A majority of boys and men are sexually assaulted by non-family members.

It is okay to feel angry, hurt, sad, or confused about being sexually abused. These emotions do not make you less of a man. You are not alone, and help is available.