The Silent Male Victims of Rape

Whilst researching various sociological topics on Twitter, I was reminded how insensitive and ignorant people can be. This was a re-tweet from a so-called “holy” person. The initial tweet was also by a person who describes himself as “a child of God” in one of his subsequent tweets.

Almost every day, there are reports in the news of rape, or rape convictions. Indeed, recent reports reveal a 53% rise in recorded rape in London over the last four years, and whilst perusing through the Irish news the other day, I also discovered an article that reported on an increase of almost 18% in first-time callers to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre last year. A few weeks earlier, I had also read about the reported rape of a 14-year-old boy in the toilets of Debenhams in Manchester.

Most women in society are indoctrinated to be cautious of unfamiliar men, and to fear rape. From childhood, females are taught to be afraid of, and to never talk to any ‘strange men’. Women are warned to remain cautious: never be alone, keep all doors locked, and do not behave in a manner that may encourage a sexual assault. However, living in a patriarchal society, how often do we hear of such guidance provided for males?

Males, by contrast, are brought up from a young age to be “strong”, masculine, and “in-charge”; and indeed, feminists use our expectations and perception of what a male should be, to base many of their misandrical arguments, using their infamous male-female rape theories. Society so often perceives men as being the perpetrators, whilst women are the victims. Consider the following examples of despicable feminist misandrical misnomers:

“All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” Catherine MacKinnon

“In a patriarchal society all heterosexual intercourse is rape because women, as a group, are not strong enough to give meaningful consent.” Catherine MacKinnon in Professing Feminism: Cautionary Tales from the Strange World of Women’s Studies, p. 129.

“Most perpetrators are male and most victims are female. It is both a consequence and cause of gender inequality.”UK Rape Crisis Charity

“All men are rapists and that’s all they are” — Marilyn French Author, “The Women’s Room” (a metaphor in a novel to suggest male lust for power and domination.)

Ladies: Bear in mind that if, according to Marylin French, “All men are rapists”, this must mean that your dear baby boys are rapists, as are your fathers, and your grandfathers – and let us not forget your brothers, too! If there is any logic in the above feminist assertions, that must be the reason as to why your baby boys suckle upon your breast when they are breast fed, and why your baby girls must surely need to have your breast forced upon them – right? Furthermore, if such blatant misandric feminist arguments stand any validity, this would suggest that your sons will rape your daughters, and even you. Logic alone should tell us how absurd such statements are, and should surely reveal much about feminist theory.

Yet, with such preconceptions that rape exists only within the context of a male perpetrator – female victim model, very few people will consider how males are also victims of sexual assault. Yet, male-male rape is often shrouded in secrecy due to the social stigma that many men associate with rape, which annihilates everything that our patriarchal society dictates men should be. But, you might find the results of recent research to be quite shocking.

Statistics of Male Rape

The British Crime Survey estimates that up to 15% of the adult population of the UK have been sexually abused in childhood, and this includes 11% of young men. A 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18. Furthermore, Metropolitan Police figures reveal that on average, in London, a man is the victim of a sexual crime every hour, and the British government estimates that 11% of male victims report being attacked. Based upon such research, it is believed that the 945 assaults recorded by the Met in 2009-10, actually suggest a true figure closer to 8,500 in London.

Baroness Stern acknowledged in her 2011 rape report, The Stern Review, that the vast majority of male victims of sexual violence do not report their crimes because of the common view that men “should be able to fight off an attacker”. The review recognised that men do not report rape for the fear of being regarded “less of a man”. They fear being ridiculed, fear that they may be considered gay, or fear that they will not believed.

Several studies argue that male-male prisoner rape, as well as female-female prisoner rape, might be the most common and least-reported forms of rape, with some studies suggesting such rapes are substantially more common in both per-capita and raw-number totals than male-female rapes in the general population.

The claim in the following n+1 piece, suggests that more men are victims of rape in the US, than women, as a result of prison rape:

“In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.

No doubt, many will sneer at this finding, believing that it is a justified act for “undesirables” who deserve punishment, and need putting in their place. This is perhaps one reason as to why there appears to be so little interest as to the extent of prison rape, and so few reports. With such possible reason in mind, we must not forget about the number of innocent men who are wrongly convicted and imprisoned, and who are subsequently made victims of rape – a crime inflicted on them perhaps, in a cruel twist of irony, as a result of a false rape allegation for which they were wrongly imprisoned. How could such inhumanity ever be considered fair?

Rape as a weapon of terror in warfare

Male rape is also used as a weapon of terror in warfare, and the Syrian regime is regularly reporting that rape is used as a tool of war against male opposition forces, as is the situation in Congo. Feminists and the media regularly report of the horrendous cases of female rape in Congo, but there are very fer reports of the horrific physical and psychological damage suffered by the victims of male rape in Congo. I would highly recommend a read of this article from The Observer.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has reported that 22% of Congolese men (and 30% of women) have experienced sexual violence as a weapon of war. Male victims have also had genitalia amputated, raped with screwdrivers, circumcised, or castrated in cases where they were spared amputation. Yet, under Congolese law, it is the male rape victims who are the ones considered guilty of a crime, and can face severe punishment for the so-called crime of homosexuality. Male survivors will, therefore, almost never speak of their experiences to anyone. Taking this into consideration, the rate of non-reporting amongst male victims is likely to be high, thus, the real statistics of men victim to sexual violence before being killed by their rapists, cannot be accurately determined. The statistic is more than likely greater than 22%, and no charities or agencies providing funding to male victims of rape, to help them get them back on their feet, as there are for female rape victims.

Furthermore, these men will typically hide their experience from their family, due to fears of abandonment. According to an employee of the Refugee Law Project, it is common for a woman to take the children and leave her husband, upon discovering that he has been raped. The view being, “If he can be raped, who is protecting me?” The cruel, ironic, hypocrisy is that despite the patriarchal social view of women needing a “strong, protective man”; women are, in fact, “strong” enough to be the aggressors of male sexual assault.

Female-Male Rape

A study on male rape in Congo published by the Journal of the American Medical Association defies the cultural narrative of patriarchy surrounding male rape in Congo: 40% of sexual violence against women in Congo, and 10% of that against men, was perpetrated by women.

Only a few days ago, the BBC reported that three women in Zimbabwe who were arrested in connection with a series of male rapes, had their rape charges dropped, and were instead charged with 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault – merely because Zimbabwean law does not recognise the act of a woman raping a man. It is believed that there is a nationwide syndicate of women raping men in Zimbabwe, possibly to use their semen for use in “wealth” rituals. The three Zimbabwean women were charged after being found in possession of 33 condoms containing semen, obtained after a string of sex attacks whereby women targeted male hitchhikers.

Feminists argue that women are “more maternal” and “less aggressive”, and have been often speculated that if a woman were in charge, there would be no violence or wars. Yet, when Adam Jones examined the activities of five of the “female architects of the Rwandan genocide”, he noted the women not only participated in the selecting of thousands of Tutsi men and boys to be killed, but it was the women who were so often the ones perpetrating their murders. Accordingly, author Tim Goldich has stated:

“These cases of female leaders represent only a small part of the story of women’s participation in the genocide. At the grassroots, “very often, groups of women ululated their men into the ‘action’ that would result in the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children, many of them their own neighbours.”

“Their role was dominant in the post-massacre looting and stripping of bodies, which often involved climbing over corpses (and those still alive and moaning in agony) piled thigh-high in the confined spaces in which many Tutsis met their end. Frequently these women assisted in administering the coup de grâce to those clinging to life.”

Another report currently in the news, is the alleged rape and murder of a wealthy Nigerian man, Uroko Onoja, by his six wives; and let us not forget the female aggressors of male rape in the West: Only a few days ago, Oklahoma teacher, Michelle McCutchan, was convicted of raping two 16-year-old male students, and also Keyvette Gamble for sexually abusing her friend’s 14 year old son. In the later cases, however, both female perpetrators have been sentenced to 15 years in prison. There have been several widely publicised cases of female-on-male statutory rape in the United States involving school teachers raping their underage students, such as the cases that lead to the convictions of Mary Kay Letourneau and Debra Lafave.

Misconceptions and Ignorance

When a boy is sexually abused by a woman, people often do not recognise the harm. Take for example the recent case of, Zakiya Gaskins, a woman from Washington, who was charged with assaulting her neighbour’s 13-year-old son. Authorities had to relocate the teenage victim and his family, because neighbours harassed the boy when he reported the assault. It is reported that neighbours referred to him as a “punk” and quizzed if there was “something wrong with him”, because he “didn’t like it”. Another recent Washington case reveals how 18 year old Heaven Wright, gave her 13-year-old male rape victim a sexually transmitted disease.

Not only do male rape victims report a lack of services and support, but many legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime. Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and leading to rape statistics which are unreliable, and do not represent the full picture. Even though Britain has, more male rape awareness campaigns and crisis centres available per head of the population than in most other Western countries, under British Law, the crime of male rape was only legally recognised in 1994. Unlike most countries, British society is beginning to open their minds, and recognise that men are also vulnerable, and men have hope through Male Rights activist groups. Yet, even Britain still has a long way to go with regards public awareness of male rape.

A hard-hitting poster campaign by male rape charity Survivors UK, targeted this year’s Six Nations to urge victims to speak out, using the high profile at Twickenham. The masculine image of rugby was used to convey the message that male rape does not make a victim any less of a man.

There are still many misconceptions that male rape will only happen to a “weak” man, and that only gay men are raped. In reality, many victims are heterosexual. One example that might go some way in dispersing the “weak” theory is the story of a male US soldier who was a victim of female-male rape, and has since suffered Military Sexual Trauma (MST) after being raped by his female supervisor, who was a First Sergeant, and reported “used her higher rank and position to get what she wanted”. The US Attorney Shana Dunn, has reported that at least 27 percent of men serving in the military are estimated to have suffered “Military Sexual Trauma” either as a result of sexual assault, or repeated harassment and threatened assault. Whist the figure for females is 60 percent, the 27 percent figure for men is, nevertheless, 27 percent too many. So is the figure of 60 percent.

How can a man have an erection, or ejaculation, during a sexual assault unless he wanted it?

There is also much ignorance regarding the biological aspect of male rape, with statements such as, “a man cannot have an erection or ejaculation during a sexual assault, unless he wanted it”. However, an article by Philip M. Sarrel and William H. Masters entitled “Sexual molestation of men by women” (Archives of Sexual Behavior 11 (2): 82–88), states that male erectile response is involuntary. Any physical contact or extreme stress can cause an erection and ejaculation, and does not imply desire or enjoyment. Women can initiate penetrative sex through stimulation of external male genitalia or the anus, and can force penetration of the anus with the use of foreign objects such as dildos, or even force oral sex. As some abusers and rapists are aware of this biological process, and how it can confuse a victim of sexual assault, Survivors UK – a male rape charity, has reported that it motivates some attackers to “manipulate their victims to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to discourage people from telling their story”.

Although more research on male-male and female-male is beginning to emerge, almost no research has been conducted on female-female rape, although there have been cases reported, thus further dispersing many feminist theories and social misconceptions about men only being perpetrators, and females the victims. Perhaps there are fewer female-female rapes because of size restrictions: female victims are more likely to fight off a female aggressor, whereas men are often taught not to hit a women back. Certainly, as a female, I can testify to having been the recipient of far more aggression in my lifetime from fellow females, than I have from males. Memories spring to mind of being pushed down stairs, hit with a hockey stick, and pushed onto the road in front of a travelling lorry – all by fellow female schoolmates. Very little aggression was ever perpetrated by boys towards girls, yet, the girls were certainly known to hit a few boys. However, this is only an observation from my own personal experience as a Caucasian female living in Britain, and is by no means an official statistic. This is not to say that women are not victim to male abuse, as the domestic violence and rape figures reveal otherwise. Nevertheless, research on female aggression has revealed that women can be more violent than men, and let us not forget that rape is a crime of control and aggression, and not a random act of passion.

Given the extent of the social stigma towards male rape, and the level of patriarchy in society, it is understandable as to why so many male-male sex crimes are believed to go unreported. Even if the numbers are smaller – so what? Men are human beings, just like women; and no human being deserves such pain and suffering. Nor do men, as fellow human beings, deserve the psychological terror male rape victims experience of being judged, abandoned, ridiculed, and not to mention the fear or actuality of contracting HIV. In certain non-Western countries men are left with no access to healthcare or surgery, leaving them incontinent from their injuries, and unable seek help for fear of homosexual conviction. Many men end up doubting their sexuality, fearing sex, and many have difficulty forming relationships as a result of rape. Male rape can cause severe disability or disorder, and whilst the crime is undoubtedly a real threat for women, it is also so for men. It a heinous crime, no matter who the victim may be, and is not something to joke about, or judge a genuine victim for. Male rape victims need to know they have nothing to feel ashamed of – it is not their fault, and they need to be able to speak out.

Every single one of us could potentially be a victim of a sexual attack, irrespective of whether we are male or female. It is high time that the draconian views of society accepted this, and provided men with the same level of benevolence and protection as females.

Still not convinced? Question how you might feel if the victim of male rape were your son, or your father. Perhaps that concluding thought will provoke a few to open their minds, and hopefully their hearts.

13 thoughts on “The Silent Male Victims of Rape

  1. Dark Puss says:

    Powerfully argued, timely and important. Excellent writing on a difficult subject.

  2. A stunningly thought out and written piece. Bravo! Such is the strength of stereotyping about male perpetrators against women that since about the age of 12 I have avoided walking too close or behind women for fear that it might scare them and I know it isn’t in my head as on countless occasions when meeting a woman coming in the opposite direction it’s almost impossible not to notice the anxiety.

    Relax, I’m not going to hurt you. I never did when I was 15 and I certainly have no intention now I am happily married in my 30’s. I should have the right to walk in the community at any time amongst anyone without worrying about intimidating people.

    The statistics you cover are horrifying but it is not hard to imagine the problems such men have to endure. If a man is socially conditioned not to confide in someone if he has a slight health problem then he is certainly not going to risk ridicule or in-compassionate treatment on such an issue.

    As for the suggestions that boys or men must have something wrong with them if they don’t enjoy being assaulted, I can only think these are the idiotic men that were the target of the the equally insulting statement that all men are rapists.

  3. Anonymous age 70 says:

    Before I retired in 1997, I had learned that most rape victims in the US were male prisoners. Several times, when female fellow workers commented about the poor women who are rape victims, I would tell them that fact.

    Universally, the response was a woman who sat for a moment, as if contemplating what I said, then burst out into laughter. Laugh and laugh until tears ran down their cheeks as if it were the funniest thing they had ever heard.

    While I am not proud of the fact, this nonsense has caused me to not care at all when women are raped, unless I know them personally. They were excellent teachers.

  4. It is the intolerance that you admit to, and the lack of acceptance from both genders, which creates even more division – and also hatred, between the two genders. Whilst I do not condone misogyny/misandry, I can see where it stems from sometimes. Women laugh at the men because they believe the rapists are men (because the person they know may have been raped by a man), and therefore feel resentment and insensitivity towards the subject of male rape, because they feel violated at that particular moment in time. This might result in male resentment (such as yours) that male rape has just been laughed at, and will make men feel angry about only ever being portrayed as the perpetrators. As a result, women will subsequently feel that men do not care about female rape, and cry misogyny, because of equally unsympathetic attitudes such as yours – which stemmed initially from the women’s lack of acceptance. And so the cycle continues…

    In your case, your timing was probably more than just a little off. Mentioning that male rape incidences are higher, just after a woman has been raped, and emotions are running high, is quite possibly the worst time to point out the fact. I’m not really surprised the women laughed. It was probably a jerk response to the feelings of upset that they were experiencing, themselves.

    One problem in society is that everyone believes that they are the *real* victims. In reality, we are all victims, but we are often also antagonists to the other (in some shape or form), as well. We can all be insensitive without realising it, or intending it, sometimes. Yet, just one careless statement, or action, is enough to create an astronomical amount of hurt for another, and subsequent resentment or hatred.

    If we want to change peoples’ attitudes towards us, then we all need to change our attitudes towards others. The same could be said for acceptance of rape.

  5. origimi says:

    Just a quick correction, about this quote:

    “All men are rapists and that’s all they are” — Marilyn French Author, “The Women’s Room” (quoted in People Magazine)

    Marilyn French never said this, it was a character in one of her books.

    • I was aware from my research that it was from Marilyn French’s novel, ‘The Women’s Room’, but it appears that I only mentioned the source of where the quote was cited, and did not also include the book title itself. I have now amended it, so thanks for bringing my attention to it. Most appreciated. 

      You are absolutely correct in that the quotation is merely the words of a fictitious character (the mother of a rape victiml), and not an actual statement made by Marilyn French, herself. 

      French, also a feminist, stated at the time of publication in 1977 that, “The book is about women’s lives today”. Thus, the words of the fictitious character provide an interesting insight into the mind of radical feminists. 

      The use of the word “rapist”, as I understand it, was used quite loosely. It is a misandric metaphor, and was not used to mean sex, per se. As the psychology of rape is generally about a lust for control, the term “rapist” in the quotation, was used to convey French’s belief that men wanted only to empower and dominate society, especially women. 

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  7. yepirategunn says:

    A remarkably well-researched posting, with real insight. Thank you very much. Many I am sure have experiences similar to those covered. Rare is it that reading a piece affects me both intellectually and emotionally so strongly. Thank you – very much.

    • Thank you for your lovely comment. I always really appreciate it when people take the time to leave feedback, and it is also nice to discover that my writing is appreciated by others.

  8. Losing Faith says:

    It can be extremely discouraging at times learning the vast issues facing men and seeing the complete apathy of most women, or even in many cases attacks for the simple fact of mentioning it. I think you covered this topic beautifully and this man is grateful for your work. Best wishes.

  9. Rev Dorothy Mackey USAF Capt & Commander STAAAMP Exec Dir says:

    Historically rape has been done by warring conquering nations. Kings & Queens allowed these crimes under feudal systems as the rights of their nobles to continue for centuries even against their own peoples. And We all understand both leaders and church were the ruling systems, one did not move without the others blessing. Rape of own children within the Catholic Church/Vatican has been known since the 3rd century, YET, late 1970’s testimony by US Catholic Church priests visa vie the Vatican has stated girls can’t be raped/abused, “theirs is curiosity.” [DVD Deliver Us from Evil]. Sadly, the same Vatican Catholic Church once stated in their 1809 Catholic Educator that NO Catholic could belong to secret societies such as the Free Masons because THEY the Masons were involved in toppling legitimate governments. Since it was the Catholic Church/Vatican thru many European Kings & Queens who via ships settled America…they the church at least appeared to want a more stable nation free from secret societies, except for their own. The problem according to UTube’s The Third Secret of Fatima which documents under and since Pope John XXIII, every Pope is a Free Mason, NOW not every Free Mason is bad….but when a Pope can get 38 yrs of cover ups for the rapes of girls, boys, no mention was made of the nuns, or women raped by clergy and their associates by US President Bush in approx. 2005 WE have a problem. The Hitler, Himmler and Eikmann study of Germany allowing for the rape of kids below age of 3 would develop photographic memory as well as a host of benefits believed to make a superior fighting force, didn’t take into consideration the global impact of good humane people/ Rape is the 1st step of the multiple trillion dollar sex slavery industry which sexual criminal networks target and abuse victims on an ongoing ways. Imagine someone you love, being raped, their mind shattered, to be nothing but property for criminals. Nothing they do that is good or positive matters, because they have been used often under drugs, tortured, brutalized to be hundreds of criminals (men & women’s) Cum Receptacles part of a Whore Corps (the US Military’s Sexual Slavery Ring. Imagine, these people never stop and everyone one you love can be a target, and are. Drugged and brutalized for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time….or wanting to do some thing great with your life….and it all being taken away from you and instead YOUR loved one was used and thrown away, denied work, or even safety for the rest of their lives….is it a dream, a hoax, NO ….Welcome to my life and I witnessed it done to dozens of others, men, women and children 2-12; I witnessed as these great people were brutalized by the VA’s trying to drive them to kill themselves to bury forever the TRUTH of what they went through, and I have witnessed as vets having a bad day are targeted to be set up to be labeled or killed by police agencies ….who since 2009 place all vets on rape victims to combat survivors as potential terrorists for simply wanting to heal, for simply wanting to know what happened. None of this is a lie…it’s all true. It is called modern day slavery and it is happening all around you. I have been wrongly labeled for recalling criminal abuses of group rapes against me, I had a partner murdered in 1999 when I was still too shattered to understand and told stop talking about military rapes. I studied law enforcement for the police in college and worked with law enforcement ……WHY have I been repeatedly threatened just 5 weeks ago by a USAF officer I didn’t see but 22 yrs ago who told me in criminal vernacular we can get you any time and we know you were sexually in slavery in Germany…I never told him these things. So, WHY are these criminal networks allowed to operate in secrecy? WHY? Why are they destroying everything this nation once was….safe, loving, kind, great and good, compassionate. WHY have there been so many laws on the books about these crimes–yet the False Memory Syndrome Foundation established in the 1970’s to SWIFT boat deny survivors of these crimes, sadly even murder victims who have been raped during the crimes that killed them are being stated — their deaths were suicides. Hello…this is NOT simple crimes but criminal sexual slavery networks abusing, setting up more children and people as prey….and the networks that silence them are every where. Even the real numbers are falsified… In 1960 -1998 1 out of 4 girls raped by 18, NOW 3 out of 4 girls raped by 18, 50% boys…Rape Crisis Center of America.

    I support my nation, I support crime free troops, and I support real ethics and integrity…violence is not the way to a better [violence] is the destruction of a world who refused to be held accountable to its own laws. I pray we can work together peacefully for all of humanity.

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