Sexual Abuse Of Boys

Resources, information and statistics of the often forgotten survivor of child sexual abuse, the boys.

A subject often ignored by the rape hotlines, survivor books, talk shows and magazine articles is the child sexual abuse of boys.

After dealing with my own sexual abuse and recovery for the better part of nine years, I have a rather extensive library on the subject. Everything from what I consider the survivor's Bible, "The Courage To Heal" by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis to personal accounts, poetry and even some meant specifically for therapists. In all but the Courage to Heal, there is no mention of the effects sexual abuse has upon the male survivor. Even in this fine book the mention of male sexual abuse is in passing.

A trip to my local bookstore turned up the five books that will be listed at the end of the article.

Searching online is almost as discouraging. By typing in "male sexual abuse" it will pull up literally hundreds of sites dealing with women and girls who have been sexually abused but for the guys, there are only a handful. To me this is outrageous.

So is the attitude so many have about the abuse of boys. If a thirty-five year old man went and seduced a twelve or fourteen year old girl, you can bet the majority of people asked their opinion of it would call it flat out rape. On the other hand, if a thirty-five year old woman seduced the same age boy next door, the most common reaction would be "WOW! Did that kid get lucky!" This would then be followed by a percentage of men asking where was this woman when they were fourteen.

A young boy who is seduced, fondled or even kissed by a much older woman isn't lucky. He isn't going through a special "rite of passage" or some incredible fantasy come true but being sexually assaulted by an older female. This older female may be a sister, cousin, neighbor, employer, teacher or even his mother. It isn't making love: it is exploitation.

What he got was a woman who raped him. Regardless of what many would want to believe, a woman can indeed rape a boy or man. As many female survivors feel guilt every day over their body responding against their will to an abuser, so can a boy's.

Actually it doesn't matter if the abuser was male or female, with enough stimulation the body will respond regardless and the issues that boys have to deal with over their abuse is just as important as those of a girl. In fact, they will often have additional insecurities and hang ups that a girl wouldn't normally have.

Hopefully any victim of sexual abuse will get loving support from his or her family as soon as the abuse is discovered. With girls the response is often more supportive and appropriate than for boys.

They aren't patted on the back and given a "That's MY boy" for having a babysitter or an adult of the opposite sex make lewd suggestions, attempt to engage in oral sex, intercourse or any other type of abuse. If the abuser is of the same sex, girls usually don't have the stigma attached to it that boys do.

They don't have the fear and wonder of homosexuality to deal with. Nor do they have the idea, often a reality, in which their parents and friends are wondering about the same question. Society likes to look at girls and women as being vulnerable and feminine but boys are to be in control at all times and masculine.

This image needs to change and see that both boys and girls are vulnerable to sexual abuse and each deserve the best aftercare that they can possibly receive. They both deserve equal support, sympathy and a chance to prosecute their abusers. Information and facts for both sexes need to be readily available and schools should cover both sexes whenever discussing abuse.

Teachers, counslors, parents and social services need to all be aware of the following:

1. Sexual abuse of boys occurs in all race, socio-economic classes, and religions.

2. Boys who are abused are more likely than girls to be abused by middle-class family members.

3. Boys are more likely than girls to be from poorer families when the abuse is from someone outside of the family.

4. The average age for the onset of sexual abuse in boys usually falls between eight and twelve.

5. Boys are four times more likely to be abused outside of the family than girls.

6. Some studies show that non-family sexual abuse accounts for 83% of the sexual abuse of boys.

7. Boys are less likely to be the only abused child in the home.

8. Men make up the largest majority of perpetrators of child sexual abuse for both boys and girls.

9. When the perpetrator is female, boys are 10 times more likely to be abused than girls. Some studies even go so far as to report 1 in 3 incidents of sexual abuse against boys are done by female abusers.

10. The largest number of abusers for boys is usually in a caretaker role to the child. Caretakers are often in the form of coach, babysitter, teacher, pastor/priest or mother's boyfriend.

Book Resources:

1 In My Father's Arms : A True Story of Incest (Living Out) by Walter De Milly

2.Leaping upon the Mountains : Men Proclaiming Victory over Sexual Child Abuse by Mike Lew

3.The Male Survivor : The Impact of Sexual Abuse by Matthew Parynik Mendel

4.Speaking Our Truth : Voices of Courage and Healing for Male Survivors of Chilhood Sexual Abuse by Neal King

5.When the Other Woman Is His Mother : Book One/Boys As Incest Victims and Male Multiple Personality Disorder/for Partners and Professionals by Faith Brodie

Internet Resources:

1.Menweb - Men's Voices

This is a site for male survivors with information, book reviews and personal survivor articles.

2. Sexual Abuse of Males: Prevalence, Lasting Effects, and Resources

This site has personal articles as well as information about finding therapists, groups and organizations to help in recovery, healing relationships and struggles with masculinity.


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