||This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (April 2014)|
|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. Research from the UK suggests that almost 3% of men reported a non-consensual sexual experience as adults and over 5% of men reported sexual abuse as a child.
- 1 General views on male rape
- 2 Research and statistics
- 3 Myths and facts
- 4 Effects
- 5 Prevalence
- 6 International law
- 7 Notes
- 8 See also
- 9 Reference
- 10 External links
- 11 Education videos
General views on male rape
Although several major rape cases against men have been exposed in the media, rape is still widely thought of as a crime against women. According to Dr Maeve Eogan, medical director of the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) at the Rotunda Hospital, and Deirdra Richardson, a sexual assault forensic examiner, male rape is rarely spoken about. Internationally, male rape and sexual assault is still a taboo subject. Male rape has 'negative connotations with regard to heterosexual and homosexual behaviour'.
Davies (2002) shows that community and services providers' reactions to male sexual assault victims are often dependent on the victim's sexual orientation and the perpetrator's gender. Numerous reports suggest that male sexual assault victims (both adult and child) are far less likely to report their victimization than are female victims. It is not uncommon, especially for victims who do not have serious physical injuries, for male sexual assault victims to deny victimization. Or when seeking medical or mental health services, victims may do so and be very vague in explaining injuries and requests for services.
Research and statistics
Research addressing sexual assault/ rape of men did not appear until less than 30 years ago (and most of early literature focuses on male children rather than adults). Although a few studies addressing sexual assault correctional facilities were available prior to 1980, it was not until the early 1980s that any research specifically addressing the consequences of male rape in the community appeared. Most of the sexual assault/ rape literature that is available focuses on female victims/ survivors.
Male-on-male rape has historically been shrouded in secrecy due to the stigma associated with males being raped by other males. 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. The rape of men by men has been documented as a weapon of terror in warfare. In the case of Syrian Civil War (2011-present), the male detainees experiences sexual abuse like forced to sat on a glass bottle with a broken top, got his genital tied with a heavy bag of water, or forced to watch the rape of another detainee by the officials.
A study done by the CDC found that 1 in 21 men (4.8%) 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 made 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 sexually assaulting 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. Cases like this one are often described as "unusual" or "uncommon." 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.
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.)
Myths and facts
Two myths that men are not able to be raped by women include: Men always want sex, so women do not have to force themselves on men, and men must be aroused to have an erection. There are some other myths about male rape.
Males are not vulnerable
Instilled through masculine gender socialization, there is a myth that declares that males, even young boys, are not supposed to be victims or even vulnerable. Boys, even at a young age, are taught that it is unmanly to cry and that males should be able to protect themselves.
In truth, boys are children -weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators- who cannot really fight back, because the perpetrator has greater size, strength, and knowledge. This power is exercised from a position of authority, using resources such as money or other bribes, or outright threats -whatever advantage can be taken to use a child for sexual purposes.
Male always want sex
People tends to believe that sexual arousal or orgasm shows the male victim's willingness or enjoyed. In an article in the Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine, Roy J. Levin and Willy Van Berlo found that even in men who have not consented to sex, slight stimulation of the genitals or an increase in stress can create erections "even though no speciﬁc sexual stimulation is present."
Much like female erectile response, male erectile response is involuntary, meaning that a man need not be aroused for his penis to become erect and be placed in a woman's vagina; 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 one, especially if the person is older or an authority.
In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. Physical (and visual or auditory) stimulation is likely to happen in a sexual situation. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.
Males are less traumatized
It is believed that males are less traumatized by the abuse experience than females. While some studies have found males to be less negatively affected, more studies show that long term effects are quite damaging for either sex. Males may be more damaged by society's refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization. Dr Eogan and Ms Richardson noted that while men and women go through similar feelings of distress following a rape, feelings of intense anger tend to be more common in men.
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 ...". Bairds explains that they do this in order to feel as if they had some power and say.
According to Henry Leak, chairman of the Survivors organisation, male rape is not confined to the homosexual community and, like female rape, it has more to do with power than sexuality. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual.
Male victims in general fear that they will not be believed or that people will think that he asked for it, that he must be gay, or weak, unable to defend himself. Many boys who have been abused by males erroneously believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. Experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation. While it is true that most perpetrators have histories of sexual abuse, it is not true that most victims go on to become perpetrators. Again, the majority of victims do not go on to become adolescent or adult perpetrators.
Male victims must be lucky
Nicole Pietsch, Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres coordinator, stated the myth that sexual violence is something the (male) victim wants when the perpetrator is a female. In this case, people may say that he (the victim) is lucky; Pietsch said that something like this is a positive thing when it was not said.
Sexual abuse inflicts severe emotional, and often times physical, trauma. Among victims raped since their 18th birthdays, 31.5 percent of the women, and 16.1 percent of the men, said they incurred an injury other than the rape itself during their most recent rape.
Some research indicates that male sexual assault is more violent with more corollary injuries and weapons (such as handgun and knife) tend to be involved when the perpetrator is a stranger. Injuries may also come from being restrained during the assault. Tension headaches, ulcers, nausea, colitis, abrasions to the throat, black eyes and broken bones are other frequently cited physical effects. In one Canadian study, Stermac and colleagues (2004) found that 45% of male survivors in an urban centre who accessed sexual assault centre at a hospital had some type of physical injury (e.g. 25% had a soft tissue injury, 20% had lacerations).
Data drawn from male rape survivors seen in hospital emergency rooms report men who are sexually assaulted are more likely than women to have nongenital injuries. However, they also conclude that men who are sexually assaulted are not likely to seek medical attention, unless they suffer significant physical injuries. Hodge and Canter (1998) reporting on cases in the community report that gay male sexual assault victims are more likely than heterosexual male victims to sustain serious injuries. There is also evidence in the literature of the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases as the result of male rape. However, it occurs infrequent and involved a very small portion of sexually assaulted men.
Reporting a rape or sexual assault is difficult for both sexes, males or females. The myth of boys who are sexually abused go on to sexually abuse others is especially dangerous because it can create a terrible stigma for the child, that he is destined to become an offender. Boys might be treated as potential perpetrators rather than victims who need help. 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 males 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.
Therapists who work with sexual offenders know that one way a perpetrator can maintain secrecy is to label the child's sexual response as an indication of his willingness to participate. Many survivors feel guilt and shame because they experienced physical arousal while being abused.
Long term effects
Men who’ve had such experiences are at much greater risk than those who haven’t for serious 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.
- Underachievement at school and at work.
Below is a list of problems that men who have been subjected to sexual violence often confront and relate to the gender expectations of what a man 'should do or be'. Child sexual abuse or sexual assault can lead to:
- Pressure to prove his manhood physically (becoming bigger, stronger and meaner, engaging in dangerous or violent behavior) and sexually (having multiple female sexual partners, always appearing 'up for it' and sexually in control).
- Confusion over gender and sexual identity.
- Sense of being inadequate as a man.
- Sense of lost power, control, and confidence in relation to manhood.
- Problems with closeness and intimacy.
- Sexual problems.
- Fear that the sexual abuse has caused or will cause him to become 'homosexual' or 'gay'.
- Homophobia –fear or intolerance of any form of homosexuality.
Rape victims were 4.1 times more likely than non-crime victims to have contemplated suicide and 13 times more likely to have made a suicide attempt. Suicide rates among sexually abused males were from 15 to 14 times higher than among other males. Research by McDonald and Tijerino found that some participants were occasions in which they felt so bad that they engaged in self-harming behaviours, including suicide attempts, and/or had suicidal thoughts.
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.
Experts say any sexual assault victim requires extensive emotional and psychological healing after the incident, but male survivors have a harder time putting words to what happened. "Males have the added burden of facing a society that doesn't believe rape can happen to them ... at all," says psychotherapist Elizabeth Donovan.
According to a 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States have been raped. The actual number is likely higher, as incidents of sexual violence are severely underreported in the United States, particularly among male victims.
If include sexual abuse in prisons, more men are raped in the U.S. than woman. Department of Justice figures in 2008 was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time. In recent studies, 4.5 per cent of 16 and 17-year-olds in adult prison and 4.7 per cent of those in jail reported being the victims of sexual abuse.
A trauma recovery counselor, Stephanie Baird citated the "teacher or babysitter complex" that is a popular motif in modern American culture. Because of this culture, it can be much more difficult for a male to even recognize that the action is abusive or without consent. She added 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." Baird stated that children cannot consent.
An estimated 78,000 people in the UK are victims of rape or attempted rape each year, of which around 9,000 are thought to be men, according to the most recent government statistics. But sexual crime has a notoriously low report rate, and research suggests that this is particularly true among male victims. In 2011-2012, just 1,250 incidents of male rape were reported to the police. In February 2014, the ministry of justice set aside £500,000 exclusively to provide counselling and support for men who have been affected by sexual abuse.
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 jointly carried out by the University of Hong Kong and UBS Optimus Foundation, the percentage of boys who suffer sexual offences is 2.7 percent higher than girls. A monitoring report delivered by the Guangdong provincial center for disease control and prevention in 2013 shows that 2 percent to 3 percent of boys had been raped, as opposed to only 1 percent of girls. In light of rampant sexual offences against underage boys, many people in China have realized such crimes are intolerable and must be punished severely by law.
In 2012, Taiwan counted 12,066 victims of reported sexual assault, including 1,335 men. Ministry of Interior showed that 7,608 minors were the victims of rape or sexual assault, among them 1,063 were boys. Taiwan's Ministry of Education had released a video made to prevent male-on-male sexual assault has gone viral. The netizens (the users of internet) of Taiwan are treating the short film, if not the subject itself, as a joke. According to National Academy of Educational Research Secretary-General Kuo Kung-pin, the video has achieved its purpose-to become a topic of conversation among youth. It serves as a reminder that men can be raped as well.
In Indonesia, male rape is seen as surprisingly laughable. The headline news for male rape cases often denotes that the female perpetrators are either beauty or strong, while the male victims are weak (not always in physical term -probably because their rapists are female).[note 1]
The cases of male rape which were appeared in the media usually committed by adults towards teenage boys or kids. In 1996, a vagrant known as Robot Gedek (lit. "shaky robot") had been 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 dead because he had sodomized 14 boys under age 12 and mutilated four of them. Emayartini (2013) has become the first Indonesian woman who is sent to the jail because she had ravished 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.
In 2012, the FBI's Uniform Crime Report made a significant stride by 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 -"the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will" -hadn't been changed since 1927, and sexual assault awareness groups say it alienated victims that didn't fit the mold.
Recognition of male rape in law has historically been limited. The cultural stigma against the crime inhibits male victims from reporting cases and seeking help, but the federal government now includes a broader definition for rape. 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.
Male rape does not exist as a criminal offence under British law; the assaults are recorded as non-consensual buggery. Henry Leak, chairman of Survivors organisation, pointed to differences in the law -convicted rapists can be imprisoned for life, whereas buggery carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.
In China's current Criminal Law, the crime of rape refers only to having sexual intercourse with women without consent. In other words, the law only admits and protects women's right to sexual autonomy, but does not include men's. In 2011, a Beijing security guard has been convicted in China's first prosecution of a sexual assault on a man. The guard was convicted of intentional injury, sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay 20,000 yuan ($3,026) in compensation. He was convicted of intentional injury rather than rape. A lawyer said a rape conviction would have meant at least three years in prison.
Recent guidelines on child protection strengthen the punishments for sexual offences against underage girls in China, but the guidelines regrettably don't offer equal protection to underage boys. At present, molestation of both sexes is treated equally, but there is no separate charge of "rape" to cover more serious sexual assaults on boys, whereas there is for girls. The rapists of boys can only be charged with child molestation, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. In September 2013, 27 NGOs jointly submitted a piece of advisory legislation to the Standing Committee of Guangzhou Municipal People's Congress, calling for the law to give equal protection to boys below 18 years old in cases of sexual offences.
Based on Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Pidana (Indonesian's Book of Criminal Law), male cannot be the victims of raping, for if a male can penetrate in a sexual intercourse that is mean that he can feel the stimulus over his body which is responded by his genital. In paragraph 285, rape is defined as a sexual violence against female under sentence of imprisonment maximum 12 years. While in paragraph 289, the victim of "vulgar actions" is not defined as male or female and the punishment is maximum 9 years of imprisonment. The commentary on paragraph 285 by R. Soesilo stated that the law makers didn't need to determine the punishment for female perpetrator that force male to have an intercourse with her. This is not because such action is not possible, but the act is deemed won't do harm or result something bad to male victims, such as pregnancy on females.
- Some of the headline news are: "This man is fell helpless against five rapist women", "Duh! Rapes a man, 39 years old woman is on trial", and "Wow .. this beautiful woman has raped 10 males".
- 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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- Rabin, Roni Caryn (23 January 2012). "Men Struggle for Rape Awareness". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- Deborah Condon. April 4th 2014. Irish Health. Male rape 'still a taboo subject'. Comments of Dr Maeve Eogan and Deirdra Richardson in Modern Medicine, the Irish Journal of Clinical Medicine.
- Richard Tewksbury. Departement of Justice Administration, University of Louisville. Effects on Sexual Assaults on Men: Physical, Mental and Sexual Consequences. International Journal of Men's Health, Vol 6, No 1, Spring 2007.
- "Male rape victims left to suffer in silence". abc.net.au. February 9, 2001. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
- Human Rights WatchNo 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.
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