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|Effects and motivations|
Male rape is a form of rape in which a male is the victim. This male sexual victimization includes both rape or sexual violence in general. It has been reported in UK that some adult males (<3%) experience non-consensual sexual activity and more male children (<5%) experience sexual abuse.
- 1 General views on male rape
- 2 Research and statistics
- 3 Stigma against male rape victims
- 4 Effects
- 5 Prevalence
- 6 International law
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
General views on male rape
Generally, rape is still thought to be a crime against women specifically (and historically was defined this way), although many cases of male rape have become subject of public discussion recently. Dr. Maeve Eogan and Deirdra Richardson, respectively the medical director of the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) of Rotunda Hospital and a sexual assault forensic examiner, said that male rape is still taboo to be spoken about and has heterosexual-homosexual's negative connotation.
Community and service providers often react to the sexual orientation of male victims and the gender of his perpetrator. Mostly, male victims try to hide, and deny their victimization, unlike the female victims, unless they have serious physical injuries. Eventually, the male victims may be very vague in explaining their injuries when they're seeking medical or mental health services. It is difficult for a male victim, heterosexual or homosexual, to report the sexual assault that was experienced by him, especially in a society with a strong masculine custom. An Indian counselor named Ajay Sathyan said "They don't have a platform to speak out. Even families don't want to acknowledge it publicly." They are afraid that people will doubt their sexual orientation and label them as homosexuals. A perception of being homosexual is also alleged to be the motive in many cases.
Research and statistics
The research about male rape only appeared less than 30 years ago, mostly focused on male children. The studies of sexual assault in correctional facilities focusing specifically on the consequences of male rape was available in the early of 1980s, but nothing was available during the previous years. But still, most of the literature of rape and sexual assault focuses on female victims.
Male-on-male rape has been heavily stigmatized. According to psychologist Dr. Sarah Crome, fewer than 1 in 10 male-male rapes are reported. As a group, male rape victims reported a lack of services and support, and legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime.
Several studies argue that male-male prisoner rape, as well as female-female prisoner rape, are common types of rape which go unreported even more frequently than rape in the general population.[note 1][note 2][note 3] The rape of men by men has been documented as a weapon of terror in warfare (see also War rape). In the case of the Syrian Civil War (2011–present), the male detainees experienced sexual abuse like being forced to sit on a broken glass bottle, getting their genitals tied to a heavy bag of water, or being forced to watch the rape of another detainee by the officials.
A study done by the CDC found that 1 in 20 men (5.3%)  reported that they had been forced to penetrate someone else, usually a woman, had been the victim of an attempt to force penetration, or had been made to receive oral sex.
Male victims of sexual abuse by females often face social, political, and legal double standards. Some cases in the United States have received increased attention and sparked awareness within the population. Sometimes referred to as "made to penetrate" cases, male rape victims are forced to engage in penetration of the female without proper consent. Many times the male victims are under the influence of drugs or alcohol or being held in life-threatening positions. The case of Cierra Ross' sexual assault of a man in Chicago gained national headlines and Ross was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and armed robbery with a bail set at $75,000. In the case of a female being a victim of sexual assault, the male criminal could face up to a life sentence in prison, whereas the punishment for a female rapist is far less severe. A similar case includes James Landrith, who was made to penetrate a female acquaintance in a hotel room while incapacitated from drinking, while his rapist cited the fact that she was pregnant to advise him not to struggle, as this might hurt the baby.
Several widely publicized cases of female-on-male statutory rape in the United States involved school teachers raping their underage students. Federal law states that the age of consent in the United States is 18 nationally, but may range from 16-18 within differing states. Under federal law, any sexual encounters between adults and minors under the age of consent is considered sexual assault (see Mary Kay Letourneau and Debra Lafave).
Stigma against male rape victims
Males are not vulnerable
By masculine gender socialization, it is thought that males, even the young, cannot be victims of rape, nor even that they are vulnerable. It is shameful and unmanly if a male child cries; they are strong and can protect themselves. But people seem to forget that young boys are weaker and vulnerable to their perpetrators, who are stronger and have more knowledge. The perpetrators can use whatever they have to abuse the child, including money or other bribes. An adult male may also be helpless to fight back, or fearful of doing so.
Males always want sex
People often think that a male must be aroused if he gets an erection or has an orgasm, and so that means that they are willing and enjoying any sexual activity. Roy J. Levin and Willy Van Berlo wrote in an article in the Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine that slight genital stimulation or stress can create erections "even though no speciﬁc sexual stimulation is present." An erection does not mean that the men consents to sex. Males can get erections even in traumatic or painful sexual situations, and this does not indicate consent.
Much like female erectile response, male erectile response is involuntary, meaning that a man need not be aroused for his penis to become erect; mechanical stimulation is all that is necessary. Arousal and stimulation are not the same thing. Stimulation is a physical response to a stimulus. Men can be physically stimulated without feeling aroused and thus causing an erection. Men can be scared and intimidated into an erection, especially if the person is older or an authority.
Males are less traumatized
It is believed that males are less traumatized by the abuse experience than females.[note 4] Some studies have found males less negatively affected, but more studies show that the long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Especially for males, they may be more damaged by social stigma and disbelief of their victimization. It is noted by Dr. Eogan and Ms. Richardson that male victims tend to feel more intense anger than female victims, while both go through similar feelings of distress after the rape. Frazier (1993) studied 74 male and 1,380 female rape victims. She found that the depression and hostility are more profound on male victims immediately post-rape than female victims.
Trauma recovery counselor Stephanie Baird says men who experience sexual attention as children often explain it to themselves as "I'm a stud, I got laid by ...". Baird explains that they do this in order to feel as if they had some power and say. Carpenter (2009, citing Mezey, 1987) finds that the "male coping strategy characterized by denial and control renders them more prone to later psychiatric problems and reduces the likelihood of seeking help."
Henry Leak, the chairman of the Survivors organization, noted that male rape, just like female rape, has more to do with power than sexuality, and does not only happen inside the homosexual community. Sexual orientation is a complex issue, and the majority of male perpetrators who seek out boys are not homosexual.
Male sexual assault victims often fear being seen as gay or weak, or believe that their assault may be due to their appearance being effeminate or homosexual so as to attract other males. Experts do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in later sexual orientation. Research by Jane Gilgun, Judith Becker and John Hunter states that while many perpetrators may have experienced sexual abuse of their own, most sexual assault victims will not go on to become adolescent perpetrators.
Male victims must be lucky
Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres coordinator Nicole Pietsch stated that male victims face hurdles like the myth that sexual violence is something the male victim wants when the perpetrator is a female. In this case, people may say that the victim is lucky, characterizing the experience as a positive thing when it really was not.
Severe emotional and often physical trauma are inflicted by sexual abuse. 31.5% of female and 16.1% of male sexual assault victims since their 18th birthdays said that they incurred non-genital injury during their most recent rape.
Male victims indicated to get more corollary injuries and more likely threatened with a weapon (such as handgun and knife) by their perpetrators. The recorded frequently physical injuries are tension headaches, ulcers, nausea, colitis, abrasions to the throat, black eyes and broken bones. The study by Stermac and colleagues (2004) noted that 45% of male survivors who accessed hospital sexual assault centre had some type of physical injury (25% soft tissue injury, 20% lacerations).
The data from hospital emergency rooms shows that male rape victims are more often to have non-genital injuries than females, save that they are more likely to neglected medical attention if the injuries are not significant. It is reported by Hodge and Canter (1998) that the homosexual male victims are more often to sustain serious injuries than heterosexual male victims. It is also being proofed that some victims suffers the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases as the result of male rape, but it is infrequent and included very small portion of male victims.
Rape victims, males and females, may find it difficult to report the sexual assault against them. There is a myth that a male sexual assault victim will become a perpetrator themselves. This myth is very damaging to victims, both to their mental states and to how people treat them. Elizabeth Donovan, a psychotherapist, stated that males have the added burden of facing a society that doesn't believe rape can happen to them at all.
Since most studies have found that people tend to blame the victim of rape for the incident, a study called Gender Differences in Attributions of Blame for Male Rape Victims in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence focused on where the blame lies in rape cases. In cases of female rape victims, a higher proportion of males than females tend to blame the victim for the sexual assault. In order to show whether male or female respondents blamed the rape victim at a higher rate, this study utilized a story of a man being raped to see if the blame was placed on the victim or the assaulter. After performing the experiment, researchers found that a statistically significant proportion of males tend to blame the victim, even when the rape victim is a male. This study implies that even in cases of male sexual victimization, the male victims are held responsible for the assault by the majority of the uninvolved population.
Long term effects
Male sexual assault victims have a far greater risk of having mental health problems, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression; alcoholism and drug abuse; suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts; problems in intimate relationships; and underachievement at school and at work.
Because of gender expectations, being a male child victim of sexual abuse can lead to:
- Pressure to prove his manhood physically and sexually (becoming stronger and engaging in dangerous or violent behavior; having multiple female sexual partners).
- Confusion over gender and sexual identity.
- Sense of being an inadequate man.
- Sense of lost power, control, and confidence to his manhood.
- Problems with closeness and intimacy.
- Sexual problems.[note 5]
- Fear of becoming 'homosexual' or 'gay'.
The suicide rate for sexually abused males is 15 to 14 times higher than for other males. McDonald and Tijerino found in their research that some participants state that there were occasions on which they felt so bad that they engaged in self-harming behaviors, including suicide attempts, and/or had suicidal thoughts. There is also a study that shows that rape victims are 4.1 times more likely to contemplate suicide and 13 times more likely to attempt suicide attempt than non-crime victims.
Males have a much higher rate of completed suicide than females. One common explanation relies on the social constructions of hegemonic masculinity and femininity. In a review of the literature on gender and suicide, male suicide rates were explained in terms of traditional gender roles. Male gender roles tend to emphasize greater levels of strength, independence, and risk-taking behavior. Reinforcement of this gender role often prevents males from seeking help for suicidal feelings and depression.
Sexual assault victims need extensive emotional and psychological healing after the raping, but male survivors are not likely to speak out their cases. Elizabeth Donovan, a psychotherapist, said; "Males have the added burden of facing a society that doesn't believe rape can happen to them ... at all."
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports in 2010 stated that nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men of United States have been raped. Incidents of sexual violence in US are severely underreported, especially among male victims, that lead to an assumption that the actual number is likely higher.
The Department of Justice's report (2008) leads to a conclusion that in the U.S. more men are raped than women. About 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time. In recent studies 4.5% of 16 and 17-year-olds in adult prison and 4.7% of those in jail reported being the victims of sexual abuse.
Stephanie Baird, a trauma recovery counselor, cited the "teacher or babysitter complex" that is a popular motif in modern American culture. The culture makes a male to be much more difficult to even recognize that he's being abused. She explained that consent means "being of age, mind, sound body to make an informed decision about whether one would like to become sexually intimate with the other person", while children cannot consent.
The most recent UK government statistics estimated about 78,000 people in the UK have become rape or attempted rape victims, and about 9,000 are men. Research suggests that the notoriously low report rate is particularly true among male victims. About 1,250 incidents of male rape were reported to the police in 2011-2012. In February 2014, the ministry of justice set aside £500,000 to provide counseling and support for sexual abused males.
In 1978 in the UK, Joyce McKinney was sentenced to 12 months in prison for forcing a man to have sex with her while chained up. The first successful prosecution for attempted male on male rape in the UK was not until 1995.
According to research by the University of Hong Kong and UBS Optimus Foundation, the sexual assault rates of boys are 2.7% higher than girls. A 2013 monitoring report by the Guangdong provincial center for disease control and prevention shows that 2-3% boys had been raped, while for girls it is only 1%. Nowadays many Chinese have realized the incidence of these crimes, and that they are intolerable.
Taiwan counted 12,066 victims of reported sexual assault in 2012-1,335 victims were men. The Ministry of Interior showed that 7,608 minors were rape or sexual assault victims, with 1,063 of them being boys. To prevent the increasing number of these crimes, Taiwan's Ministry of Education had released a short film on sexual education. The netizens (internet users) and students of Taiwan are treating it as a subject of jokes. However, National Academy of Educational Research Secretary-General Kuo Kung-pin stated that the video has achieved its purpose to get attention from the youth to remind them that men can be raped as well.
Male rape in India is commonly reported; some claim that this prevalence means male rape cannot be an anomaly. The view is opposed by some Indian feminists such as Flavia Agnes who has stated, "I oppose proposal to make rape laws gender-neutral. We had opposed it when the government made child rape laws gender-neutral. After the feminist wave of the 1980s, many countries in the West made rape laws gender-neutral. But, they have realized these laws are harming women more than men. There is physicality in the definition of rape, there is use of power and the victim has a stigma attached to her. If made gender-neutral, rape laws will not have the deterrence value and it will make it more complicated for judges in court." Delhi advocate Vrinda Grover said that there are no instances of women raping men, and women are more likely than men to face serious sexual violence, considering the brutality and intensity of sexual violence against women.
The news about male rape in Indonesia still arouses astonishment and/or jokes.[note 6] The Indonesian Child Protection Commission (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia -KPAI) records about 400 Indonesian children become victims of sexual assault per year, both by their families and other adults. According to the Secretary General of KPAI, Erlinda, "the majority of children who are victims of sexual violence are males, because boys are vulnerable to become the victims of sexual offenders because they are easily persuaded by the perpetrators who are pedophiles.
The cases of male rape which have appeared in the media were usually committed by adults towards teenage boys or kids. In 1996, a vagrant known as Robot Gedek (lit. "shaky robot") had sodomized and killed eight boys of 11–15 years old. In 2010, Baekuni (known as Babeh -betawi language- or "Dad"), a traumatized sodomy victim while he was young, was sentenced to death because he had sodomized 14 boys under age 12 and mutilated four of them. Emayartini (2013) became the first Indonesian woman to be sentenced to prison because she had raped six teenage boys. She almost escaped the law after she was considered to have a mental disorder. Unlike male rapists, she was subjected to the Law Number 23 Year 2002 about Child Protection, rather than the laws against rape.
A recent case regarding child abuse and sodomy happened at Jakarta International School, in which a 5-year old boy was brutally sodomized by 4 male school janitors. The issue of the involvement of JIS teachers and school principal is currently being investigated.
FBI's Uniform Crime Report in 2012 was redefining rape as: "The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim." The prior definition hadn't been changed since 1927 and gained the attention of sexual assault awareness groups because it had alienated the victims that didn't fit the definition -"the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will". The former definition of "forcible rape" focused on vaginal penetration, but the newer definition includes forcible anal or oral penetration. The old definition, "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will," did not include forcible oral or anal penetration, the rape of women with other objects, or the rape of a man.
This new definition encourages male rape victims to seek the help they need and concurrently include sexual assaults that previously were not covered by the definition of rape. The basis for changing this definition lies in the statistics provided by governmental institutions such as the United States Department of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A study done by the CDC found that 1 in 71 men had been raped or had been the target of attempted rape. This study included oral and anal penetration in its definition and did not include men in prison. Gender-neutral laws have combated the perception that rape rarely occurs to men, and other laws have eliminated the term rape altogether.[note 7]
British law doesn't include male rape as a criminal offense and it is recorded as non-consensual buggery. The convicted rapist can be imprisoned for life, stated Henry Leak, the chairman of Survivors organization, while buggery only carries 10 years maximum as a sentence (outdated). This is however no longer the case, The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s142 was the first to lead this development, The Sexual Offences Act 2003 states that penetration of the "mouth, anus or vagina" is sufficient for rape at s.1(1)(a), R v Ismail  All ER 216 further prevented distinction between "mouth, anus or vagina" when sentencing.
The current Criminal Law of China refers to rape as a crime against women only. It protects women's right to sexual autonomy but not men's. In 2011, the first-ever conviction for sexual assault on a man occurred with a Beijing security guard as the perpetrator, but he was convicted of intentional injury rather than rape, sentenced to one year in prison and to pay 20,000 yuan ($3,026) as compensation. A convicted rapist will get at least three years in prison.
The recent guidelines of China on child protection strengthen the punishments for sexual offenses against underage girls, but don't offer equal protection to underage boys. Molestation of both sexes is treated equally at present days, but the rapists of boys can only be charged with child molestation with 5 years in prison as a maximum sentence. In September 2013, 27 NGOs called for the law to give equal protection to boys below 18 years old in cases of sexual offences.
"Unnatural offences: Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation: Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offense described in this section."
This section penalizes both consensual and forced sodomy with 10 years minimum to life imprisonment. The Delhi HC stated that Section 377 of Indian Penal Code will continue to govern non-consensual penile, non-vaginal sex and penile non-vaginal sex involving minors. The section can be evoked to punish sodomites, pedophiles and zoophiles.
The rape definition in Section 375 of Indian Penal Code does not include male rape. The Indian government (2012) decided to change the definition of "rape" as forcible penetration to include male rape, but was criticized on the grounds that this would further harm the interests of female rape victims.
In the 2013 Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, rape and sexual harassment crimes were gender neutral. The term "rape" was removed and substituted with "sexual assault". But strong objections were raised by feminist groups that made the Indian government decided to restore the term rape and state that only men can be the rapists of women.
Based on Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana (Indonesian's Penal Code), males cannot be the victims of rape. In paragraph 285, rape is defined as a sexual violence against a female having a sentence of imprisonment for a maximum of 12 years, while in paragraph 289, the victim of "vulgar actions" is not defined as male or female and the punishment is a maximum of 9 years imprisonment. The commentary on paragraph 285 by R. Soesilo stated that the law makers didn't need to determine the punishment for a female perpetrator that forced males to have intercourse with her. This is not because such action is not possible, but the act is deemed to not do harm or result in something bad to male victims, such as pregnancy in females.
Male rape is not acknowledged in Singapore law. A male rape victim is not considered a rape victim under S375(1) of Penal Code, which defines rape as the act of a man penetrating a woman's vagina with his penis without her consent. Penetration of other body orifices is not rape but an unlawful sexual penetration (S376(1), Penal Code). Both are liable to the same penalty i.e. imprisonment for a term of up to 20 years plus fine or caning. (S375(2) and S376(4), Penal Code).
- Human Rights Watch No Escape: Male Rape In U.S. Prisons. Part VII. Anomaly or Epidemic: The Incidence of Prisoner-on-Prisoner Rape.; estimates that 100,000–140,000 violent male-male rapes occur in U.S. prisons annually; compare with FBI statistics that estimated 90,000 violent male-female rapes occur annually.
- Robert W. Dumond, "Ignominious Victims: Effective Treatment of Male Sexual Assault in Prison," August 15, 1995, p. 2; states that "evidence suggests that [male-male sexual assault in prison] may a staggering problem"). Quoted in Mariner, Joanne; (Organization), Human Rights Watch (2001-04-17). No escape: male rape in U.S. prisons. Human Rights Watch. p. 370. ISBN 978-1-56432-258-6. Retrieved 7 June 2010.
- Struckman-Johnson, Cindy; Struckman-Johnson, David (2006). "A Comparison of Sexual Coercion Experiences Reported by Men and Women in Prison". Journal of Interpersonal Violence 21 (12): 1591–1615. doi:10.1177/0886260506294240. ISSN 0886-2605. PMID 17065656.; reports that "Greater percentages of men (70%) than women (29%) reported that their incident resulted in oral, vaginal, or anal sex. More men (54%) than women (28%) reported an incident that was classified as rape."
- For example, Mumbai Advocate Flavia Agnes said, "The consequences of rape for a woman are far-reaching. She has to battle social stigma, social mindset. While fixing marriages, nobody asks a man if he is a virgin." (The Times of India. Jul 20, 2012. Activists oppose making rape gender-neutral.)
- William H. Masters in his study (1986) finds sexual dysfunction and disoreder to the men who have been raped by women. He may also been unable to respond his female partner physically, even to two years after the raping. They lost their "sense of personal dignity and confidence in [their] masculinity." ("Sexual dysfunction as an aftermath of sexual assault of men by women", Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 12, no. 1: 35-45. Cited from Jai Vipra. July 2013. CCS working Paper #286, A Case for Gender-Neutral Rape Laws in India.
- Compares with these headlines: "This man is fell helpless against five rapist women", "Duh! Rapes a man, 39 years old woman is on trial", "Wow .. this beautiful woman has raped 10 males", and "Nuts an Entrepreneur was Raped to Death by Five Women".
- See, for example, Michigan Statutes for the first degree felony, section 520b: "(1) A person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree if he or she engages in sexual penetration of another person."
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Sexual violence is one of the most horrific weapons of war, an instrument of terror used against women. Yet huge numbers of men are also victims.
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