The focus of this topic surrounds the sexual abuse of boys and men. Boys can also be sexually abused and it has nothing to do with how masculine they are. There are some myths that we believe to be true but their effects are negative. These myths place a hindrance of getting heal from the experience. These myths are as follows:
1. Boys can’t be sexually abused
It is a belief in our society that a male cannot be sexually abused. If one gets sexually abused, he can never be a real man. It is a center of masculine gender socialization. Boys pick up on it at a very early stage of their life. Our society expects male to be able to protect themselves. Effective men are expected as never being vulnerable either physically or emotionally.
2. Sexual abuse is less harmful to males
Research have shown that sexual abuse can leave long term effects on males as they do on women. The damage done by sexual abuse also depends on other things other than gender which are the identity of the abuser and the duration of the abuse whether the boy told anyone about it, and whether he was believed and helped or not.
3. Males abused by females “got lucky”
Not only that males cannot be sexually abused, but also if a boy gets molested by any female, he is considered as lucky. Our society does not consider the shame of the victim. They consider it as a sign of masculinity. Being sexually abused can cause a variety of other problems such as emotional and psychological distress. To be used as such can break you apart and can cause a lasting harm whether you’re a male or a female.
4. It was his fault
We don’t understand this, in any female case, even when the situation is made clear, why would we get this in male’s case. In a land where men are accused of being sexually hungry, this myth is accepted as a fact. “Losing Control” is how we cover this up, which is wrong.
5. Only gay men sexually abuse
Any thing comes in handy, specially, in the region like our sub-continent. So, the blame is pinned on homosexuality. But, it’s not true.
6. Being a male survivor means you are gay
That’s a little dark little fact because that males are also mostly abused by males, but that never makes them gay. Being gay is about your sexual preference which is an entirely different thing.
7. Male survivors will abuse others
It’s believed that those who were abused as children will do the same to others. It’s only rare that we that happen. It’s not a fact!
These are myths that everyone absorbs growing up and continue to hear it even as adults without thinking about any of it for a moment. So as long as our society will believe these myths, people will continue to suffer and will not get the recognition and help they need.