Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Male sexual abuse myths and facts

Please read the full article on www.malesurvivor.org.

Myth #1 - Boys and men can't be victims.

Fact: Boys are children - weaker and more vulnerable than their perpetrators - who cannot really fight back.

Myth #2 - Most sexual abuse of boys is perpetrated by homosexual males.

Fact: Pedophiles who molest boys are not expressing a homosexual orientation any more than pedophiles who molest girls are practicing heterosexual behaviors.

Myth #3 - If a boy experiences sexual arousal or orgasm from abuse, this means he was a willing participant or enjoyed it.

Fact: In reality, males can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations.

Myth #4 - Boys are less traumatized by the abuse experience than girls.

Fact: Males may be more damaged by society's refusal or reluctance to accept their victimization, and by their resultant belief that they must "tough it out" in silence.

Myth #5 - Boys abused by males are or will become homosexual.

Fact: While there are different theories about how the sexual orientation develops, experts in the human sexuality field do not believe that premature sexual experiences play a significant role in late adolescent or adult sexual orientation.

Myth #6 - The "Vampire Syndrome" that is, boys who are sexually abused, like the victims of Count Dracula, go on to "bite" or sexually abuse others.

Fact: This is not true. This myth is especially dangerous because it can create a terrible stigma for the child, that he is destined to become an offender. Boys might be treated as potential perpetrators rather than victims who need help.

Myth #7 - If the perpetrator is female, the boy or adolescent should consider himself fortunate to have been initiated into heterosexual activity.

Fact: In reality, premature or coerced sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, causes confusion at best, and rage, depression or other problems in more negative circumstances.

For any male who has been sexually abused, becoming free of these myths is an essential part of the recovery process.

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