It is common knowledge that many societies around the globe have some form of denial concerning the fact that even men can be victims of sexual assault. Some have never even heard about the issue of sexual assault among males. This might be because men are thought to be immune to victimisation and should have the ability to fend off attackers if they can be termed to be “real men”. Another misconception that is tossed around is that men can never be forced into having sex if they are not willing. These and many other beliefs of similar nature contribute to making men have a sense of invulnerability and safety, and also that sexual assault is only a thing for women.
Unfortunately, you find that such beliefs can take a toll on the male sexual assault survivors and increase their pain after such an ordeal has happened. They make them have feelings of isolation, shame and also being “less of a man”. The result – very few male victims seek assistance after having a sexual assault encounter due to the above and many more problems.
Below are some in-depth insights into the unique concerns and problems which could follow male sexual assault survivors:
Development of Sexual Difficulties
After being a victim of sexual assault, it is common to find the male survivors of these ordeals developing diverse forms of sexual difficulties. It becomes quite hard to go back to sexual relationships or even start on new ones due to flashbacks of the sexual assault by sexual contact. It is important to know that healing emotionally and physically could take quite some time and these male victims should not pressure themselves to resume sexual activities prior to being ready for it.
Questioning of One’s Sexuality for Heterosexual Men
For the heterosexual men, a sexual assault experience triggers a lot of questioning and confusion concerning their sexuality. Since it’s widely believed that gay men are the only ones that stand the chance of being sexually assaulted, heterosexual survivors could begin to wonder if they will end up being gay or even form the notion that they are gay. To add onto this, you frequently find the perpetrators of these sexual assaults accusing their victims of having enjoyed the sexual assault. This leaves some of the survivors with many questions regarding their experiences and cements their fears concerning their sexuality. However, the truth of the matter is that sexual assaults have little to do with the past, present or even the future sexual orientation of a person. It is also important to note that people are not made gay in the aftermath of being assaulted sexually.
Development of Feelings of Self-loath and Self-blame for Gay Men
For the homosexual men, there is a tendency for development of self-loath and self-blame feelings that are strung to their gay sexuality. There already lies homophobic sentiments in the society that makes most gay men have internal conflicts concerning their sexuality, even though it’s the lifestyle that they’ve chosen. After they’ve been sexually assaulted, the gay men are likely to be lead into believing that they deserve the ordeal and that it is the price that should be paid for their sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, you find that these spells of self-blame are cemented further by the intolerance and ignorance of the people who end up blaming the victim for the sexual assault. They tend to pin the ordeal on the victims and claim that they provoked the occurrence of the assault, or even that they were harmed much less because of their gay orientation. This and many more factors lead to gay men hesitating to make reports of their sexual assaults because of fearing the blame shifting to them and intolerance by medical personnel or police. This could result in gay men being denied legal protection or even the necessary medical follow up and care following the assault.
Engagement in Destructive Behaviour
Following their shame, guilt, and anger, it is common to find some men winding up punishing themselves for what has occurred. They do so by engaging in self-destructive habits and for most of them, this involves drug and alcohol abuse. For a good number of others, it results in increased levels of aggression such as arguing with co-workers, friends or even picking up fights with random strangers. Many men end up pulling back from close relationships and end up feeling more isolated, leading to the development of depression.
Sexual assault is one of the most horrific encounters that could happen to anyone. As we’ve seen, sexual assault is not fixated on women as the sole victims. Having male victims of sexual assault is indeed also a possibility. The male victims of such ordeals normally have some unique experiences and reactions in the aftermath of sexual assaults and this article has shed light onto some of these unique things. Has this article been of assistance to you?