“We Have a Cultural Blind Spot” About Male Rape Problem–Expert


Even years after the disclosure of the still-unfolding child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the arrest of a former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach accused of sexually abusing boys, male rape victimization it is rarely discussed — virtually taboo, experts say, because of societal notions about masculinity and the idea that men are invulnerable and can take care of themselves, says the New York Times. “We have a cultural blind spot about this,” said David Lisak, a clinical psychologist who has done research on interpersonal violence and sexual abuse and is a founder of 1in6, an organization that offers information and services to men who had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences as children.

Until just a few weeks ago, national crime statistics on rape included only assaults against women and girls committed by men under a narrow set of circumstances. Now they will also include male victims. One Justice Department report found that 3 percent of men, or one in 33, had been raped. Some experts believe that one in six men have experienced unwanted sexual contact of some kind as minors. Male rape victims “have high rates of P.T.S.D. and depression — but the majority don't get help,” said Dr. Saba Masho, the lead author of a Virginia study on the subject and an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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