Originally posted on October 12, 2014 – TS
Lynne MacDonell spoke to a college audience about sexual violence against men and boys. Her lecture provides an insight to some of the issues that males face when they come forward.
MacDonell makes special note of the currently accepted statistics on sexual violence against men and boys. She mentions that college-age men report nearly the same rate of sexual violence against their female counterparts. She also mentions that more men and boys are coming forward than ever before. That revelation leads her to suspect that more boys are sexually abused than girls.
I am inclined to agree with MacDonell. Males face a host of stigmas that females do not. The desire to blame males for their abuse is much higher. It even exists in the abuse support community. Concepts like “rape culture” engage in victim-blaming men and boys by implying they are complicit in and benefit from the social structures that led to their abuse. Likewise, the support community, particularly organizations run by feminists, treat males not as victims but as potential abusers.
Added to this are the social stigmas that assume males abused by other males are gay or invited the abuse, that male abused by females wanted it, are lucky, or only disliked it because they are gay, and that any male whose body responds to the abuse was not actually abused.
This is not to say that no female experience these attitudes. It is only that they are more commonly directed at men and boys and are deemed acceptable to the point that people feel free to make comedy films about the rape of boys.
Another aspect of MacDonell’s lecture is her focus on the way shame affects abused men. It festers and infiltrates every part of one’s life, to the point that many men will see unrelated events, such as the death of a child, as punishment for having been raped as a child themselves.
These are the insights people need to know and understand, as they are key to helping male victims and preventing further abuse.