Myth and Reality
Let's take a look at some mistaken beliefs about male sexual assault and
uncover the realities behind the myths...
can't be sexually assaulted.
Reality: Men are sexually assaulted.
Any man can be sexually assaulted regardless of size, strength, appearance or
Myth: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
Reality: Heterosexual, gay and bisexual men
are equally likely to be sexually assaulted. Being sexually assaulted has
nothing to do with your current or future sexual orientation. Your sexuality
has no more to do with being raped than being robbed. There is no evidence that
men are "turned gay" by being raped or sexually assaulted in their
childhood or teens.
Myth: Only gay men sexually assault other
Reality: Most men who sexually assault
other men identify themselves as heterosexual. This fact helps to highlight
another reality -- that sexual assault is about violence, anger, and control
over another person, not lust or sexual attraction.
Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by
Reality: Although the majority of
perpetrators are male, men are also sexually assaulted by women. Many men who
have found themselves in this situation find it particularly difficult to come
forward for support. At Mpower, we don't make any judgement about you and we
acknowledge that men of any sexual orientation can be sexually assaulted
against their will by women and by other men of any sexual orientation. This
stems from the statement in the previous myth, that rape and sexual assault is
about power, domination and control; the gender and sexual orientation of the
victim is of incidental interest to the perpetrator.
Myth: Erection or ejaculation during a
sexual assault means you "really wanted it" or consented to it.
Reality: Erection and ejaculation are
physiological responses that may result from mere physical contact or even
extreme stress. These responses do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the
assault and do not indicate anything about your sexual orientation. Some
rapists are aware how erection and ejaculation can confuse a victim of sexual
assault -- this motivates them to manipulate their victims to the point of
erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to discourage
reporting of the crime.
No-one deserves to
No survivor deserves the blame.
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