Menstuff® has compiled information, books and resources on the issue of sexual abuse.
I'm a Man
Reports of sexual assaults spike at
What about when MOM is the abuser?: Female Sex Offenders - Oprah Show
Mother-Son sexual abuse
Double-Standard Treatment for Child Abusers
Incest & Molestation
Child Molestation - Next Door - Our Ad
Myths Surrounding the Sexual Abuse of Males
Sexual Abuse of Boys
About Male Sexual Victimization
Genital Mutilation (Circumcision)
Campus Rape Prevention Program Targets Men's Restrooms
Wrongful Rape Convictions
Every 5 Minutes a Man is Forcibly Raped in the U.S. - The Other Side of Rape
Fraternities Speak Out Against Sexual Abuse
Only "Yes" Means Yes
Snippets on Sexual Abuse
and the Facts of Life
Bibliography on Female Offenders
Related Issues: Talking With Kids About Tough Issues, Abuse - Ritual, Incest/Molestation, Circumcision, Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, Women's' Violence and Prisons.
Books - Abuse - Boys, Abuse - Children, Abuse - MPD, Abuse - Ritual, Abuse - Sexual
Books on Related Topics of Circumcision, Anger, Forgiveness, Violence, Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Women's' Violence
Journals - on Sexual Abuse and Trauma
Bumper Sticker - Make the World Safe for Children
Bibliography on Boundaries
She washes my penis
Rolling it around in her hands.
I feel aroused.
She puts her lips on it
kissing, gently sucking.
I feel it growing.
After all, "I'm a man."
I should be enjoying this.
Does it matter that
I haven't turned two yet?
This was my first poem, written while attending a gathering of poets and writers who had been sexually abused as children. With April being the month for national awareness on sexual abuse, and my belief that all of us, and particularly men, must come out of the closet around the ways we have been abused to help put an end to these problems, I have chosen Sexual/Ritual abuse as the focus here. I won't focus on the atrocities but concentrate on a different perspective.
Definitions of Sexual Abuse:
Let's look at the definition of sexual abuse derived primarily from within the Recovery community.
It is said that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys (over 2 out of 3 boys if we include circumcision) will be sexually victimized before their 18th birthday, 85% of the perpetrators are individuals the child already knows-blood relatives, extended family members, neighbors, baby-sitters, etc. (Lear's Magazine, Feb, 1992). (See More Detail at the end of this page.)
If the truth be known, I think those numbers are on the low side
and that it is such a horrendous thing for the adult mind to
consider, that the inner child gets pushed even deeper from the
surface of freedom, denying anything that bad could have ever
happened to them. (In The Janus Report on Sexual Behavior, 1993, only
11% of men and 23% of women reported having been sexually molested as
children.) When the nightmares come, or a flash of memory, or a
negative body reaction to a sexual activity, it may be a sign that
your inner child is ready to talk. Are you listening?
Cultural Denial & Fear
We all probably have one or more experiences of sexual abuse in our lives. What I will talk about here is a little different perspective. I want to focus on some of the effects of living in the largest sex-negative country in the world, where puritanical thought still wants us to think of sex as a tool for procreation only, not for joy. We're taught to be ashamed of masturbation, especially in marriage, not to touch children, not to hug and touch other adults unless it's sexual, simply because it will be taken as a sexual advance by most. It's a country where men touch other human beings 6-8 times a day, 4-6 of those touches are sexual yet Spanish men touch other human beings over 100 times a day, 6-8 of them sexual. Where two men could be beaten to death for walking hand-in-hand, though this is a common sight in Australia, Africa, Indonesia and many of the Soviet Block countries. Where people like Russ Limbaugh ridicule Bill Clinton and Al Gore for hugging in public, implying they must be some kind of perverts. There's something wrong with this picture where the power of a Limbaugh or the Christian Right can get a law passed in Colorado and almost in Oregon against gay and lesbians doing what the medical and psychological communities and many religious denominations have taken as a natural, god-given gift. (The Janus Report shows that 22% of men and 17% of women have had at least one homosexual experience.) It's the repression of what is natural that causes some people to do things that are not natural. Pedophiles are notoriously very "religious" people and, also reported in The Janus Report, three times as many ultraconservatives, compared to either independents or ultraliberals, rated sadomasochism as an acceptable practice.
In a country that claims to want to take responsibility to teach
our children about sex, fewer than 20% of the parents actually do any
form of sex education with their children. This has to be a
contributor to the fact that there are 2 million teen pregnancies
every year and that the heterosexual teen segment is one of the
fastest growing segments when it comes to AIDS and other sexually
transmitted diseases. So, what do we think we're doing as adults and
parents. Protecting our children by not telling them? Know that under
one of the definitions of "sexual abuse" above, the teaching of
inappropriate information or the lack of teaching appropriate sex
information is sexual abuse of children. We, have a responsibility as
parents to get beyond our own fears and uncomfortableness, to insure
that our children get information that will help them develop healthy
and safe attitudes about sex.
Effect on Fathers
One of the travesties of this culture is the training fathers receive that causes them to withdraw as their teen-age daughters begin to develop. And, because most men are afraid to reveal our feelings to anyone, even other men or a therapist, we think that having these feelings makes us perverted. We often withdraw from our daughters at this very important time in their lives when they really need our positive reflection of their budding sexuality. If we would read, we would find out that the sexual energy is natural, and it comes from the daughter too. It shouldn't nor does it need to be acted out. But, don't turn or move away from your daughters hugs, either. It's often experienced by the daughter as a rejection of her as a sexual being, from the first and most important man in her life. This can be very damaging.
Phyllis Chesler writes in Mothers on Trial, that a custody battle constitutes male violence against women and that anti-mother brainwashing (among other things) by custodial fathers is child abuse. I think it's psychologically, if not sexually, abusive to keep fathers from shared joint physical custody of their children, making them a visitor at best in their children's lives. This includes fathers who decide not to be part of their children's lives. One of the reasons for this is that it denies the children the experience of their father, which is part of them and they'll never have the opportunity to see the masculine part of him as well as his feminine side. It is when the father is not allowed to acknowledge that feminine side in himself, in the presences of his children, and the acknowledgment of that in his children, that distorts those parts in his children.
Another area is around not informing the father of the birth and subsequent adoption of his child. Having talked to many adoptees about not knowing their father, nor being provided the information as a adult on how to find their father, has damaged them for a lifetime. Making it legal to keep this information from both the father and child is at least psychological abuse and can easily border on sexual abuse in many cases. "It is possible that the non-availability of a father...can be a predisposing factor in the development of gender identity disorders in their childhood" (DSM-III-R 302.60). Without the father's presence in his children's lives, the important lessons he was meant to teach don't get taught, not by a loving step-father, a loving mother, or anyone else.
Abusive messages surround us. Safeway, the grocery chain that's supposed to nourish us, is running a commercial aired last year. It shows a mother with two children and claims that she is a mother and a father, thereby removing any need of the father in the upbringing of balanced children. In essence, they have chosen to support the raising of more dysfunctional children.
Then there are the extreme cases where the father is charged with sexual abuse in a custody case. This is all too often used to get back at the husband and keep the children's love. In the long run what often happens is that the mother is the one who is rejected by the adult children for getting in between the children and their father, and it only destroys what could have been a very healthy up-bringing of the children by two parents in separate households.
While some of these accusations have been made that are false and
tear divorcing families apart, it is important not to deny what is a
horrid reality: sexual abuse happens, it happens to a great many
children and some adults, it happens primarily by men but women also
sexually abuse, and it is psychologically abusive to deny, minimize
or keep the secret about the level of sexual abuse against boys and
the impact it has on their lives.
What to do?
After all is said and done, I really wonder if anyone, boys or girls, escape from some form of sexual abuse present in our culture today. The point is that we must take action now to break the chain of what happened to us, so we won't be multiplying this effect over the number of children we have and expect all of them to break the chain for their children. It takes one person at a time.
What's important is to listen to the stories, no matter how horrid
they may sound. Stories of childhood sexual abuse, of orgies, of
torture, of murder and sacrifice. It's important to talk about your
own experience, if you had one that you remember, and join together
with others to stop the perpetration of abuse wherever we find it -
in our own homes, next door, at the grocery store, in church or
school, no matter who's doing it or what their excuse may be. Abuse
must be stopped, NOW! Think about it! - Gordon Clay
Reports of sexual assaults spike at
A senior defense official says the sharp increases were due largely to students' growing confidence in the reporting system and expanded awareness programs that over the past several years have included training, videos and information sessions for both students and leaders. The programs have been aimed at making victims more aware of the reporting process and more comfortable seeking help.
But the dramatic increases raise nagging questions about whether criminal assaults and harassment are on the rise or if the numbers actually reflect a growing willingness of victims to come forward.
According to report documents reviewed by the AP, there were 91 reported sexual assaults over the last school year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado compared to 59 during the 2013-14 school year.
Reports of assaults went up at all three of the schools, but the number nearly doubled at the Air Force Academy, jumping from 25 to 49.
At the same time, the number of sexual harassment complaints spiked by 40 percent, to a total of 28 during the last school year. According to the documents, the most sexual harassment complaints were at the Naval Academy, with 13. There were seven at West Point and eight at the Air Force Academy.
Asked about the Air Force increases, officials said the decrease in assaults during the 2013-14 school year may have been an anomaly, and the latest totals were closer to the norm in previous years. Air Force cadets, they said, also seem to be much more aware of the sexual assault prevention and response coordinators on campus and may be more willing to file reports.
The Air Force, however, has seen a number of public sexual assault scandals in recent years, including incidents involving members of academy sports teams.
Senior defense officials said a key recommendation this year is for the academies to put more emphasis on sexual harassment prevention and training, because often harassment leads to assault. Discussions with focus groups and other studies found that while students are very familiar with how to report sexual assaults and how to treat victims, they didn't know as much about what makes up sexual harassment and what to do about it.
One problem is that sexual harassment is handled by the various military Equal Opportunity offices, while sexual assault issues are handled by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Offices.
The improved emphasis on harassment should eventually lead to reductions in assault, said officials, who were not authorized to discuss the issue ahead of the report's release Friday and thus spoke on condition of anonymity.
Senior Pentagon leaders have consistently argued for years that increased reporting is a good thing, because it suggests that victims are now more willing to come forward. Sexual assault in civilian and military society have historically been a vastly under-reported crime because victims often fear reprisals or stigma, or they worry that they won't be believed or don't want to go through the emotional turmoil of a court case.
But officials acknowledged Thursday that it is often difficult to tell how much of the increase in numbers stems from more crime or more reporting.
An anonymous survey of military academy students during the 2013-14 school year showed that fewer students said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact than in previous years. Unwanted contact ranges from inappropriate touching to rape. The surveys are done every other year, so there wasn't one accompanying this latest report. One will be done this spring for inclusion in the next report.
Officials also said that the increased training and education on sexual assault prevention has led more students to come forward to report assaults that happened before they joined the academies. Of the 91 reports for the last school year, eight were for assaults that happened before the student entered the military service.
As part of the report, there were 10 focus group sessions in March and April seven with students and three with faculty and staff. Almost 200 students and nearly 100 faculty and staff took part.
Officials said that the discussions with students, faculty and staff in focus groups revealed some progress in attitudes about harassment, including an increasing number of students who talk about taking a more active role in preventing or objecting to harassing comments, including those in online social media sites.
The 2013 anonymous survey revealed a broad culture of bad behavior
and disrespect among athletes at the military academies, including
widespread complaints that students often feel they need to put up
with sexist and offensive behavior as part of their school life.
Officials said similar complaints about sports teams were voiced
during the focus groups, but it was unclear how current the problems
What about when MOM is the abuser?: Female
Sex Offenders - Oprah Show
In preparation for the Oprah show on Monday 2/15/10 I wanted to do a quick post of some information and hopefully the show will touch on some of this:
Dr. Christine Hatchard of MDSA states the following on her site:
In our society, mothers are automatically given special status, and certain characteristics, such as nurturing, caring, protective are attributed to them. The truth is, at her core, a mother is a woman and a human being, and like any other human being, is capable of the same range of violence, hate and autonomous behavior. To view women or mothers any differently, is to not realize their full potential as human beings, for better or for worse.
Those are just a few pieces of information that show this problem is not so "rare" as some claim. Finally for those interested there is a documentary that was done in 2002 titled "When Girls Do It":
When Girls Do It Directed by Glynis Whiting, Produced by Maureen Prentice and Glynis Whiting, Whiting Communications, 46 minutes 2001 Available on DVD and VHS
When Girls Do It takes an unflinching look at the
motivations of female sexual predators and the devastating effects on
their victims. This documentary reveals the human reality behind
sexual abuse by women; healing those who have survived abuse,
treating female offenders and preventing countless other children
from becoming victims. Featuring powerful interviews and compelling
testimony, it shows how important it is to acknowledge the enormity
of female sexual offenses, and encourages victims to speak out
against this devastating crime.
This is the follow up to the Mother-Daughter sexual abuse post. I started off doing these because of a communication I had with a reader. In talking he gave me permission to print (he read it before it appeared here) some of his story in hopes that other men will benefit from his speaking out. So I am summarizing and paraphrasing some of what he has told me. I am calling him Joe though that is not his name:
Joe was raised by a single mother and never knew who his biological father was or is. For most of his childhood things seemed to be "normal" to him. His mother appeared to have a lot of short term boyfriends but other than that things seemed fine. The sexual abuse by his mother did not begin until he was about 12 years old and started to enter puberty. That is when his life changed and his life became a nightmare of abuse and secrecy.
Joe told me that he felt trapped with no one to turn to for help. Joe did not think anyone would believe him even if he did tell someone and he was full of shame and guilt and secretly thought that this was all his fault and he had somehow caused his mother to be this way towards him.
Joe talked about hating himself and feeling horrible guilt around the fact that he felt hurt and betrayed by his mother but at the same time felt a close bond and love for his mother. Joe said that he felt like he must be crazy, that he must not really be a "man" because of the way he felt. Joe then added something that he said he has only told his wife. Joe stated what made it even more difficult was that when his mother would do sexual things with him his body responded and some of the things they did physically felt very good. He said that this was one of the most painful aspects still to try to come to terms with. How could I enjoy being sexual with my own mother he says he often asked himself and berated himself mentally about. Joe said that this part was "proof" to him that it was his doing and his fault. At least that is how he thought for many years and he admits to still thinking that sometimes.
Another issue that Joe described as being a very painful part of his abuse was his friends. Mainly his male friends. As a teen boy with teen friends he said he felt tormented anytime his mother was mentioned or appeared and so he tried to make sure no one ever saw her or knew she was his mother. Why? Because Joe said his mother was very attractive. Model attractive is how he described her. Joe said when his teen friends would see her they would make comments about how attractive she was and how "lucky" Joe was to have so a good looking mother and then the sexual comments would sometimes start along with teasing Joe. Little did they know that Joe was being sexually abused by his mother.
Joe also described the effect that his mothers looks had on people. He said that because she was so attractive she was able to use this to her advantage. She had numerous "boyfriends" as she would use them up and toss them away. She also did the same with her female friends and Joe related that she had as many "girlfriends" as she did boyfriends. Other people were just objects to be used by her to obtain what she wanted. This included Joe. Joe was able to escape from her when he moved out at 20 and he felt guilty for leaving and guilty for staying so long. Nothing he did seemed to be the right thing to do in his mind. That was over 3 decades ago. Joe was able to come to terms and seek help later in his life. Joe says he still is haunted by the memory and has to fight the guilt he feels over cutting off all contact with his mother, to the point where he does not know where she is or if she is even alive or dead.
There was a lot more I could have posted but what is there serves as a good example for this topic. Joe waited over 30 years before finally being able to seek help. Joe is not an isolated case as the rest of this post will show.
I found a recent article from the Vancouver Sun, Gerry Bellett , Canwest News Service, Tuesday, May 27, 2008 that I think very much needs reposting here:
3 in 4 B.C. boys on street sexually exploited by women
Canada's largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be - with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
"Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female," said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver's McCreary Centre Society.
"I must admit it wasn't something we were expecting."
The results were drawn from interviews with 1,845 youth - some as young as 12 - in surveys taken across the province between 2000 and 2006.
The stereotypical model of the child being abused - a teenage female being sexually abused by a male - was wrong, said Saewyc.
Sexual exploitation is defined as youth under 19 trading sexual activities for money, drugs, gifts, food, services, shelter, transportation or anything similar.
This can include work in brothels, escort services, pornography and Internet sex but it also includes what's described as "survival sex," where a child provides sex in exchange for a place to sleep, a meal or a ride.
It found one in every three of children living on the street have been sexually abused although many didn't seem aware that they had been exploited, said Saewyc.
"It's a shocking number. The law is clear: any adult who has sex with children for any form of consideration is exploiting them and it's illegal," she said.
The study found 94 per cent of females reported they had been sexually exploited by men.
But the study found that young males were being preyed upon by sexual predators of both sexes, yet the social systems in place to deter and prevent sexual predation were only designed to help females and the criminal justice system wasn't concerned with what was happening to young males.
"Women seeking young men and boys offer transportation or other things and some go to nightclubs and bars where they can pick up under-age youth. And a certain percentage have been picked up by couples," she said.
Saewyc said it was indicative of the prevailing myths about sexual abuse that the rehabilitation program for persons arrested by police for attempting to buy sexual favours on the street was called "John School".
"I think it's time we had a Jane School. There should be an equal opportunity school for women predators," she said.
"Part of the challenge is that young males are not seen as being exploited because they are not coming to the attention of the police and the police aren't out there picking up the perpetrators. The system is set up to handle the sexual exploitation of young women, not young men," she said.
Community research associate Jayson Anderson said most of the programs to deal with sexual exploitation were designed by women for women. "There's really nothing out there for males. So we need programs for young boys," he said.
I wanted to post that article because it is recent. A lot of the materials I have found on this subject are often older, from the 80's and 90's. It also was a study that was not looking at or for female abusers specifically.
Kali Munro in her article Male Sexual Abuse Victims of Female Perpetrators: Society's Betrayal of Boys states this:
The reality that boys are sexually abused by women is not widely accepted. Some people view it as an impossible act - that a male cant be sexually assaulted by a female - and others view it as sexually titillating. The existence of female perpetrators and male victims confronts many of our most firmly held beliefs about women, men, sexuality, power, and sexual assault. It challenges our very notions about what sex is.
It is common to see/hear people make comments like "he was lucky" or "I wish I had that happen to me when I was his age" and various other ones that run along the same sexist line. A 30 year old woman who is with a 14 year old boy is called "having sex" or an "affair" by many, even the media. Yet if it is a 30 year old man with a 14 year old girl he is called a child molester, pervert, pedophile etc. This double standard makes it all that much harder for male victims to speak up.
As Kali further states in her article:
If a female initiates sexual contact with a male, this is viewed as a rare and exciting opportunity that no man should let pass by; he should be grateful.
Given these commonly held beliefs, many people see nothing wrong with a woman pursuing a boy sexually. In fact, in some circles it is considered a good way to introduce boys to heterosexuality. Some fathers take their young sons to prostitutes with the mistaken belief that it is good for them. A number of movies, stories, jokes, and fantasies portray older women sexually seducing young boys in positive terms.
That is how it is viewed by many people. Want to get a lively discussion going ask someone what they think about a 14 year old girl being with a 30 year old male and then switch it. I am always amazed at how many people have no issue with the double standard. Things are slowly starting to change, very slowly, on this issue. We see more and more female teachers who have been caught abusing their students.
Most of what was said in the Mother-Daughter Sexual Abuse posting can be applied here as well and because of that I am not going to re-post all the material from that post but rather urge people to read it as well.
I must say that I find the article that Kali Munro did to be well done. In the article Male Sexual Abuse Victims of Female Perpetrators: Society's Betrayal of Boys she goes on to relate this:
Sadly, many men who were sexually abused by women are locked in silence, shame, and self-loathing. Society tells them that not only was their experience not abuse, but that they should have enjoyed it, and if they didnt there must be something terribly wrong with them.
Even when their experiences are recognized as abuse, they may be viewed as having been weak or not man enough because they were unable to stop it, defend themselves, or put it behind them.
The myth that men cant be victimized particularly by women is firmly entrenched in many cultures. Many men who dare acknowledge that they were sexually abused by women are cruelly laughed at and humiliated. Most do not dare say a word about it for fear of feeling any more ashamed than they already feel.
Many men who were sexually abused by women feel deeply ashamed of themselves, their sexuality, and their gender. Sadly and mistakenly, they believe that there must be something profoundly wrong with them that they were abused in this way. Some men defend against feeling this way by being in a constant state of anger or rage - one of the few emotions that are socially acceptable for men. Many male survivors cope with the abuse by drinking, using drugs, living recklessly, avoiding intimate relationships, numbing their feelings, dissociating, and becoming depressed, anxious or angry.
And consider this from the Canadian Children's Rights Council:
Finally, there is an alarmingly high rate of sexual abuse by females in the backgrounds of rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men - 59% (Petrovich and Templer, 1984), 66% (Groth, 1979) and 80% (Briere and Smiljanich, 1993).
There is another older article that people can download and distribute. It is called "The Invisible Boy:Revisioning the Victimization of Male Children and Teens" From Health Canada, National Clearinghouse on Family Violence and if you click the link you can get the .PDF file. Here are some portions of that article:
Despite the fact that over 300 books and articles on male victims have been published in the last 25 to 30 years, boys and teen males remain on the periphery of the discourse on child abuse. Few workshops about males can be found at most child abuse conferences and there are no specialized training programs for clinicians. Male-centred assessment is all but non-existent and treatment programs are rare. If we are talking about adult males, the problem is even greater. A sad example of this was witnessed recently in Toronto. After a broadcast of The Boys of St. Vincent, a film about the abuse of boys in a church-run orphanage, the Kids' Help Phone received over 1 000 calls from distraught adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. It is tragic in a way no words can capture that these men had no place to turn to other than a children's crisis line.
This is still true more than a decade later. If you are a man call a domestic violence shelter and ask them for help see what kind of resources are available for you and what kind of response you get from them. Call an abuse hot line and ask for specialized help for a man who has been abused by a woman. In many places in this country there is no help and no resources to deal with this.
The language we use in the current discourse on violence and abuse masks, minimizes or renders invisible certain realities for male victims. Terms such as "family violence" have become co-terminus with "violence toward women," particularly on the part of husbands, fathers or other adult male figures. Male teens, boys, male seniors, male victims of sibling-on-sibling violence and female abusers disappear in this term.
This still occurs a decade later and reflects what I was discussing earlier. A 14 year old boy is having "sex" with a 30 year old woman and it was "consensual". For example this sentence from a newspaper report about a 40 year old woman convicted of sexually abusing a 15 year old boy she was hired to babysit "The almost year-long relationship continued even after Ms. Collins and her family moved to Moncton in September 2004." Relationship? The woman was given a 2 year sentence and served it in the community. Do you think a male offender who was babysitting a 15 year old girl and had sexually abused her in excess of 100 times would have gotten such a sentence? The stereotypes about women and mothers creeps into almost every aspect of how we perceive this issue.
Now this next part is a piece that I have talked about and is something I have not only witnessed but experienced:
Male victims report great pain, frustration and some anger at not seeing their stories reflected in the public discourse on violence and abuse. Several large-scale Canadian studies about interpersonal violence conducted in the past several years have reported the findings pertaining to only female victims. Many academic papers written about victims of violence purport to be "balanced," yet typically bring only a faint male "voice" to the analysis. From a conceptual standpoint, many also make the mistake of accepting and using, uncritically, a woman-centred-only model of victimization. Male victims also find much of this work dehumanizing and dismissive of their experiences. They feel many writers and thinkers in the field have delineated the boundaries of the discourse on violence and abuse - boundaries that leave males out.
Male victims frequently find that therapists, counsellors or other types of caregivers trained with female-centred models of victimization are unable to help them. Consequently, they are likely to simply abandon therapy, leaving unexplored many of the issues relating to their victimization experience and to their deeper healing.
Male victims, like female victims before them, have encountered their share of critics and detractors, people who refuse to believe them, ignore prevalence statistics, minimize the impact of abuse, appropriate and deny males a voice, or dismiss male victimization as a "red herring." When prevalence statistics are given for male victimization, it is common to hear the response that the vast majority of abusers of males are other males, a belief which is simply not true. This comment is usually intended to frame male victimization as a "male problem." It is also insensitive and perceived by male survivors as being victim-blaming. While challenges and criticisms to concepts and theories are valid, and an important part of the evolution and development of any field, denial, minimization and silencing is harmful, abusive and damaging to any victim.
I can say that this is the part that upsets me as much as anything else that happened and it still upsets me to this day.
Male victims walk a fine line between wanting to be heard and validated, to be supportive of female victims and to be pro-woman, while challenging assumptions they feel are biased stereotypes. Their challenges to some of these stereotypes are often met with accusations that they are misogynists, part of a "backlash" against feminism, or have a hidden agenda to undermine women's gains. If any of these accusations are true, they must be confronted by all of us. But if they are based only on the fear that recognition of males as victims will threaten women's gains, then that is the issue we should be discussing right up front, not minimizing male victims' experiences in a competition to prove who has been harmed the most. Nonetheless, it is important for all of us to recognize that it may be difficult for many women to listen to male victims' stories until they feel safe in this regard.
Sadly, male victims and their advocates risk a lot to challenge the status quo and experience much pressure to remain silent. It is ironic that the pressure males feel to remain silent replicates, at a social level, the same patterns of silencing, denial and minimization they experienced at the hands of their offenders. If we do not face the fact that we need to heal the "gendered wounds" of both women and men, then we will compromise the search for gender peace.
Finally, and perhaps the most important reason to re-vision our understanding, is because men and teen males are not, in any substantial way, joining women in the struggle to end all forms of interpersonal-violence. Part of the reason for this may be because males do not see their own stories reflected in public discussions about violence and abuse. If one were to rely solely on the media to convey the male experience, few stories would be known beyond the more sensational cases involving several church-run orphanages or provincial training schools. It is not uncommon to hear male students express resentment toward high school anti-violence curricula that presumes them to be abusers, harassers, rapists and sexual assaulters in waiting. Indeed, it is difficult to feel part of a collective social movement against violence when one's own experiences are dismissed, excluded or minimized. It is evident from even a casual review of this material that much of it contains biased stereotypes and unchallenged assumptions about "male anger," "male aggression" and "male sexuality." All too often, these writers take as a starting point a caricature of the worst imaginable elements of "masculinity" and assume it applies to all male persons.
I concur fully with the above statement. I remember feeling this way myself when I was younger. I vividly remember being quite upset about the whole domestic violence/sexual abuse trainings and seminars I attended when I was younger. I could not understand why the double standard existed. Why minimize or discount one group's pain and suffering while teaching about another groups pain and suffering? I also have seen something that is not mentioned much but I will mention it here. I have experienced men and women who are bitter against the opposite sex because of their experiences and this colors their every interaction.
This is even more of an issue for male victims. When boys are victimized, they tend to be seen as less in need of care and support (Watkins and Bentovim, 1992). They are also blamed more for their abuse (Burgess, 1985; Broussard and Wagner, 1988; Whatley and Riggio, 1993) and their offenders are held less accountable (Burgess, 1985). In one of the most troubling studies, Pierce and Pierce (1985) found that male victims, despite being subjected to more invasive types of abuse and more types of sexual acts than female victims, were 5 times less likely to be removed from their homes.
This piece from that article will hopefully shock some people. We in no way should deny or minimize what has happened to millions of women and girls. But we do need to also focus on male victims and give them the same respect and treatment options.
Males, generally, have more permission to be sexual persons in our society. A double standard of morality has been applied to males and female for centuries. The fact that there are no "positive" or flattering terms such as "sowing his wild oats," "boys will be boys" or "ladies man" for females gives vivid illustration to this point. It is generally assumed that having "licence" to be a sexual person is an advantage. Males are seen to get power from obtaining or taking sex, women from withholding sex.
However, sexual licence has serious consequences for male victims. It increases a boy's susceptibility to sexual abuse by promoting or encouraging participation in sexual activities. It promotes secrecy because boys are afraid to report sexual experiences that go wrong for fear they are responsible and blameworthy. It affects our perceptions as professional caregivers, encourages victim blaming and supports minimization of the impact on victims of male-on-male sexual assault or female-perpetrated sexual assault. It causes males to expect female sexual contact. It promotes risk-taking sexual behaviour and creates expectations for males that they must be the initiators of sex and have sexual knowledge and experience.
When I write these posts I generally have one idea in mind and almost always end up rambling on and hopefully not losing people to much. I want to look at a few more pieces from that publication. It is an older publiciation but much of what is in it is still very much true today. If noting else in this post made sense I hope that the folllowing will. I wholeheartedly agree with what they have to say:
Our minimization and denial of male victimization so permeates our culture that it is in evidence everywhere from nursery rhymes, comic strips, comedy films, television programs and newspaper stories to academic research. We give male victims a message every day of their lives that they risk much by complaining.
Stated succinctly, if a male is victimized he deserved it, asked for it, or is lying. If he is injured, it is his own fault. If he cries or complains, we will not take him seriously or condone his "whining" because he is supposed to "take it like a man." We will laugh at him. We will support him in the minimization of its impact. We will encourage him to accept responsibility for being victimized and teach him to ignore any feelings associated with his abuse. We will guilt and shame him to keep a stiff upper lip so he can "get on with it."
When we give a message to boys and young men in any shape or form that their experience of violence and victimization is less important than that of girls and young women, we are teaching them a lesson about their value as persons. We also teach them that the use of violence toward males is legitimate. When we dismiss their pain, we do little to encourage boys and young men to listen to, and take seriously, women's concerns about violence and victimization. When we diminish their experience or fail to hold their male and female abusers fully accountable, we support their continued victimization.
How Would Things Be Different if We Acknowledged Male
How would our society be different if we recognized and supported male victims? We would have to acknowledge how gender role conditioning denies boys a rich emotional life and cuts them off from whole parts of their essential selves. We would begin to understand how child-rearing practices in the form of emotional and physical withdrawal from sons "to toughen them up" early in their lives compromises their ability to form secure and nurturing attachments. We would begin to see how male gender itself is a risk factor that can magnify the effects of all forms of abuse and channel it in violent, aggressive and reckless acts directed toward the self or others. We would finally acknowledge the overwhelming research evidence concerning the amount of physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological maltreatment, neglect and corporal punishment of male children and teens by females, without minimization.
We would have to recognize that if there is a male gender dimension to many forms of overtly expressed violence, its causes need to be linked to the routine and normalized violence toward males prevalent in our society, violence in the form of child abuse and neglect, psychological maltreatment, corporal punishment and male-gender role socialization. We would finally realize that all the forms of violence toward boys and teen males discussed in this document are the common everyday lived experience of most males rather than the exception. We would no longer tolerate humorous or entertaining media images of males or females as victims of violence or biased journalism that fails to report the whole picture of child abuse and neglect and interpersonal, family and community violence.
We would recognize that regardless of our own theoretical starting points, male victims have their own voice, their own meanings for their experiences. If we remain ignorant of, overlook or fail to explore their stories, we will miss much of what we need to engage them in therapy and healing. We will construct for them the origins and courses of their difficulties. We will shape and mold them to the limitations of our own personal and professional world views. We will, through the use of our professional practices, reproduce the same dysfunctional and disempowering patterns of communication and relationship many of these males found in their families of origin or the environments in which they grew up.
We would recognize that solving the complex problem of violence in our society will never be achieved until all the stories and voices of victims of violence are heard, until men and women of good will begin to work side by side, and until the means of our collective struggle toward peace reflect respect, compassion and inclusion as our minimum standard. We will recognize, finally, that means are ends. It is in the selection of our means where we are most conscious and able to make inclusive decisions about our future direction. From a postmodernist perspective, in any inclusive process of consensus building toward some goal, one cannot see the end from the starting point. Thus, if the means we choose toward the creation of a more just society are anything but, we can only arrive back where we started.
Beginning with Ourselves as Adults
Perhaps, the greatest responsibility for the plight of boys and young men lies with adults. We are the ones who conduct single-gender and biased research. We are the ones who present to the media more political opinions about male victimization than provide objective, empirically-based information. We are the ones who help maintain biased stereotypes about boys and young men that keep them trapped in their silence. We are the ones who help reinforce in the public mind an image of strong and resilient male victims who are, in truth, human beings suffering in much pain, isolation and loneliness.
Adults, especially those who work in the child abuse field, are the eyes of Canadian society in this area of human suffering. It is up to us to speak against abuse and injustice, and for compassion and inclusion. If we do not open ourselves to self-criticism, conscientiously and continually reflect on our assumptions, methods and standards of practice, or allow ourselves to become trapped in rhetoric, then it is we who will become the ones who will pose the greatest threat to the credibility of the field.
So back to Joe. Another thing he mentioned was that he was reluctant to talk to anyone about this because one of the reactions he has gotten was to be blamed and called a pervert. Because he described his abuser as "attractive" it had to be his sick fantasy or his fault. Would he have gotten the same response had he been a girl?
Lets look at this article from ABC News 20/20 called Double Standard When It Comes to Underage Sex?
Movies and television often portray having sex with an older woman as an exciting conquest. The Comedy Central show "South Park" shows police officers impressed that an elementary school student slept with an attractive teacher. One cop jokes to the another, "The crime is she isn't doing it with me!"
When one of ABC's "Desperate Housewives" slept with a high school student, all season the student was shown as a lucky guy, never as someone who Eva Longoria's character Gabrielle was sexually exploiting.
"There's definitely a double standard," said child psychologist Lisa Boesky. "Parents tend to see their girls as fragile, vulnerable, more in need of protection When it comes to their boys, there's kind of this message of, 'Be careful out there.' They may even purchase some condoms for them, or basically tell them to be safe and don't get anybody pregnant."
But this double standard is a mistake, say many researchers, because boys are vulnerable too.
Although most boys who had sex with older women said the experience was positive, those same boys are also more likely to have emotional and sexual problems later.
"They may drink a lot, they may get into drugs, they may start seeing prostitutes, they may gamble they may be sexually dysfunctional," said New York psychologist Dr. Richard Garner, who treats victims of sex abuse. "A whole string of things like that, none of which seem in their own mind to be related to the idea that they were sexual victims, which is very hard for a boy to say he was."
And that, he says, is why many boys say the experience was positive.
"To say I was sexually victimized is to say, 'I'm not male' and boys aren't likely to do that."
Or this article from the Seattle Times: Female sex offenders reveal cultural double standard
The decadelong wave of sexual offenses committed by women teachers in particular have exposed a cultural double standard: The public is more willing to accept the female abuser's claim that she had a "relationship" with the victim. And in cases in which the male is a teenager, the sexual abuse is more likely to be dismissed as a rite of passage. The questionable, yet overriding assumption, is that women predators are somehow different from men.
"Men are demonized, women are diagnosed. Men are beasts, but women are troubled or mentally ill," said media scholar Matthew Felling in an interview with Fox News. In fact, accounts of women sexual offenders are often more titillating than harsh. Felling calls the news coverage of young, attractive teachers involved with their students "part crime drama, part Penthouse letter."
And if you truly want to see where our society is consider this next piece from that article (and note how the paper even says she began a "sexual relationship"):
The current awareness of women predators began with Mary K. Letourneau, a 34-year-old elementary-school teacher and a married mother of four, who in 1996 began a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old former student, Vili Fualaau. Letourneau eventually had two children with him and served more than seven years in prison. She resumed contact with Fualaau, by then an adult, after she was released. While a male offender might have been publicly shunned, Letourneau's 2005 wedding to Fualaau was covered by "Entertainment Tonight."
Think about what the reaction would be if a television show would air this if the roles were switched and it was a 34 year old male and 12 year old girl.
Female predators' crimes are often attributed to marital problems, depression, loneliness, immaturity or self-esteem issues. Letourneau was reported to have "a loveless marriage" and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Not only do we look at female offenders differently, so do the offenders themselves. Women predators are more likely to see the abuse as a romantic relationship. Letourneau told CNN's Larry King that she and Fualaau had a "deep spiritual oneness" before they were ever sexual, and that she did not consider herself a sexual predator.
Go speak with a few pedophiles and they will say the same thing. They do not see themselves as a sexual predator and they "love" the children and feel they have a deep bond with them. they have a "deep bond" with them only in their own minds because they refuse to see past themselves.
Dr. Leigh Baker, a clinical psychologist in Colorado, interviewed hundreds of male and female predators for her book "Protecting Your Children From Sexual Predators." All were incarcerated at the time, and their stories help form her theory that there are four types of predators: inadequate, narcissistic, anti-social and pedophile.
An inadequate adult (and predator) has trouble forming attachments with other adults and is most comfortable with children, she says. A narcissist loves him- or herself to the detriment of others; someone who's anti-social doesn't abide by society's rules; and a pedophile is sexually aroused by children.
While some women are pedophiles and some men do profess their love for the children they sexually abuse, women are more likely to "couch it as a relationship," according to Baker. Men are more likely to be serial pedophiles; women seek that "deep spiritual oneness" that Letourneau says she found.
The traits women predators exhibit seeing themselves as a victim, low self-esteem, a sense of inadequacy, needing to be the center of attention, putting their own need for a connection before common sense probably place most women predators into two of Baker's four categories.
"My suspicion is if you took a large enough number of female predators, they would fall into all four types. But, we know women are less anti-social than men, and there are fewer female pedophiles, so I think most women are narcissistic or inadequate types of predators."
There are signs of the inadequate, the narcissist and the anti-social predator in Letourneau. She formed an inappropriate bond with a 12-year old, ignoring society's mores and the well-being of her own four children.
While I may not fully agree with Dr. Baker on everything, she does raise some good points. The article goes on to make some other good points:
To watch NBC's "To Catch A Predator" you'd think all predators are men. The series uses decoys on the Internet to lure men hoping to hook up with underage teens. Robert Weiss, executive director and founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles, who provided his expertise in one of the episodes, says sexual compulsions on the Internet are male-dominated.
I wanted to make a comment on this. By not discussing or showing female offenders these type of shows only further reinforce the myths and stereotypes. Not to mention that the "predators" that are being caught are the stupid ones or the compulsive ones. The article then goes on to say this:
Then there is the ultimate double standard: The wink wink, nudge nudge, of boys getting their sexual initiation from grown women.
"Society sees it as they got 'lucky' " to receive a sexual initiation from a woman, according to Dr. Keith Kaufman, chairman of the department of psychology at Portland State University. "But their brain maturation isn't complete. Boys aren't in a position to give consent to a sexual relationship. Girls see it as abusive much more quickly. Boys won't want to see themselves as a victim."
There is a prevailing sense that boys are not harmed by sexual liaisons with older women. It's called the "Mrs. Robinson Syndrome," after the character in the 1967 film "The Graduate." But Benjamin, Mrs. Robinson's target, wasn't a child; he was in his 20s, had just graduated from college and was contemplating that career in plastics.
"We tend to see the female teacher-male student relationship as less abusive and less harmful psychologically," according to Dr. Susan G. Kornstein, a psychiatrist and director of the Institute for Women's Health and the Mood Disorders Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. "But in fact, a sexual relationship between a female teacher and a male student can be just as harmful and can have both short- and long-term consequences on the child's emotional stability and psychological and sexual development."
Boys who have sex with grown women are anything but "lucky." "It is always abuse," says Dr. Kaufman.
My final point is that we in no way should deny or minimize what
has happened to millions of women and girls. But we also need to
focus on male victims and give them the same respect and treatment
Current Feed Content
Woman sentenced for torture murder
While I frequently post about sexual assault cases by females I still want to post about other abuse cases. The one below is an example of just how awful a human being can act:
An Illinois judge sentenced a woman to 45 years in prison in the torture slaying of a pregnant, developmentally impaired mother, saying the beatings, scalds and gunshot wounds she suffered were unacceptible.
Females in Authority Emerging as Child Predators
I find it good to see more and more articles showing up that look at these issues: Child predators can be anywhere, and now we are learning child predators can be anyone."The conversation has come up lately because we have charged more than normal in the last several years."About a half dozen women- all in authority positions- accused of molesting the kids who trust them.
Most recently sentenced, Female Sexual Abusers not so
The article talks about female sexual abusers not being as rare as some might think. One of the sad things about this is that research has been going on for decades on this issue and it has been known that they are not so rare:WINDSOR, Ont. She gave him life and was the only parent he ever knew. In the way she snapped photos of him sleeping and playing happily, she was like any other Oprah Show - Women who molest
Posted: 2010-02-21 05:24:11 UTC-05:00
On 2/15/10 Oprah ran a show about a mother who raped her children. I thought it was good that she started off by saying that we don't hear much about this but that does not mean it does not go on. As for the rest of the interview I think each person would have to decide for themselves what they thought of the show.I think the interview showed some information thatMother rapes 12 year old hundreds of times
Posted: 2010-02-19 03:27:00 UTC-05:00
This case is about a 36 year old mother who raped a 12 year old boy hundreds of times. What is even worst is that she kept a diary about each event. The reporting done on the story is awful as well and I wish they would just call it what it is, rape:U.K. - A single mother had sex with a 12-year-old boy almost 200 times - marking each encounter with a star in a sordid diary.Angela Sullivan, 36, Ex-teacher gets 7 year sentence
Posted: 2010-02-16 03:06:00 UTC-05:00
Thsi is a case of a former day care worker and teacher at a christian school. For those that think that private schools or religious schools are a safe haven think again:Missouri - A former day care worker and teacher was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday after she pleaded guilty to statutory rape and sodomy."Everyone was pleased with the outcome -- everyone on our side," said Jill Female Sex Offenders - Oprah Show
Posted: 2010-02-14 00:13:40 UTC-05:00
In preparation for the Oprah show on Monday 2/15/10 I wanted to do a quick post of some information and hopefully the show will touch on some of this:Approximately 95% of all youth reporting staff sexual misconduct said they had been victimized by female staff. In 2008, 42% of staff in state juvenile facilities were female. (Bureau of Justice Report)One in six adult men reported being sexually Oprah Show - Women who molest
Posted: 2010-02-13 03:52:58 UTC-05:00
On Monday 2/15/10 the Oprah Show has the following:Tune InIt's the side of child molestation that's rarely talked about. For years, he was raped by his own mother. What happens when women are the molesters. I am very much hoping that the show looks at this issue in an honest factual way rather than how many media stories do. Dr. Christine Hatchard of MDSA (Making Daughters Safe Again) has the Woman sentenced for rape of child
Posted: 2010-02-12 02:59:00 UTC-05:00
This case has a heading on the story that I wish more papers would use. It states "Woman who raped boy..." and that is how it should read. Sadly in the first sentence it then says "A Wheatfield woman who had a sexual relationship with an adolescent boy...". The comments from the victims mother and the assisstant DA are interesting and I am happy they printed them:LOCKPORT A Wheatfield woman Oprah Show looking for people who had been sexually abused by a Female
Posted: 2010-02-11 07:36:16 UTC-05:00
It looks like the Oprah show may finally do a show about Female Sex Offenders and their victims. The Oprah show is looking for:When you were a child, were you sexually abused by an adult female? The Oprah Show is looking for adults who are willing to discuss the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a mother, aunt, family friend or other female in your life. How did the sexual abuse start Woman sentenced for sexually abusing her 2 year old
Posted: 2010-02-09 02:48:01 UTC-05:00
This article is about a woman sentenced to prison for sexually abusing her 2 year old son and broadcasting it live on the internet while doing so. A horrible case:Canada - A Windsor-area mother who sexually assaulted her two-year-old son live on the Internet was sentenced to more than three years in prison yesterday after an Ontario court judge took the rare step of rejecting a shorter sentence Teacher sentenced
Posted: 2010-02-05 05:44:00 UTC-05:00
The article below is about a teacher that was sentenced to 20 years for her actions against a 13 year old student. What really irks me is the title of the article where it says "sentenced to 20 years for seducing 13-year old student". Why is it so hard for these places to just label it what it is and that is sexual assault.BOISE, Idaho - (CBS) Ashley Jo Beach expressed her remorse and apologized Follow up on torture case
Posted: 2010-02-02 05:35:00 UTC-05:00
Previously I posted about a case where a mother was accused of torturing her son. You can read the previous post HERE.Some of the excerpts from that previous post are:Investigators allege she put her 2-and-a-half-year-old son Zachary in boiling water on Oct. 20, according to court papers, causing second- and third-degree burns on his buttocks and scrotum. Those burns prompted the child abuse and Bureau of Justice Report - Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities
Posted: 2010-01-29 04:07:00 UTC-05:00
The Bureau of Justice has released a special report on sexual victimization in juvenile facilities. When many people think prisons or correctional facilities and inmates being sexually victimized they think of inmates being the main cause as well as males being the ones doing so. Two key points from the report are these:That the majority of sexual victimization reported by youth in juvenile Female Sex Offenders and their victims- Reference materials and scholarly papers
Posted: 2010-02-27 02:46:59 UTC-05:00
Below is a listing of various research studies, articles, and publications about the issue of female offenders and their victims. I am hoping to maintain this list and add to it as I find more studies. I would ask ask that if anyone has some material that is not listed to please feel free to send it to me or post it in the comments section of this post and I will add it.PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TOMother gets 8 years for sexually abusing son's
Posted: 2010-01-15 09:58:00 UTC-05:00
This article below demonstrates not just that this happens but also the horrible mindset of the offender when she comments " it wasnt forced. It was consensual":Mother who sexually abused sons gets 8 years in prisonBeersheba District Court finds 40-year-old woman guilty of sexually abusing two of her eight children; says 'acts were grave and enough to leave a permanent scar on a child's Female Sex Offender - victim story
Posted: 2010-01-12 06:01:00 UTC-05:00
The article below highlights many of the issues that victims of female offenders go through:Campaigner reveals how she was sexually abused by her own motherArticle from The Sun (UK)But for Susannah Faithfull it also brought back horrific memories of abuse she herself suffered - at the hands of her own MOTHER.Mum-of-two Susannah, 54, who was subjected to years of depraved attacks, runs a therapy Girl offenders
Posted: 2010-01-08 01:58:00 UTC-05:00
While most of the articles on here are about women it does not mean that girls are not also abusers. This story below is one such example:Judge sentences teenage girls, calls them 'child monsters'By SARAH BURGETwo teenage girls convicted of murdering a Lake Elsinore mother so they could steal her car and go to Knott's Berry Farm received lengthy prison sentences Friday along with harsh words fromFemale Offenders online
Posted: 2010-01-05 01:09:00 UTC-05:00
This article below talks about an another area that is almost never talked about when the discussion comes around to the internet and sexual predators:Women go online to share child sex-abuse fantasiesBy Nina LakhaniDays before three women are to be sentenced, an IoS investigation suggests thousands may share their interestsThousands of women appear to be using the internet to share sexual Female Pedophile Sentenced
Posted: 2010-01-01 02:37:00 UTC-05:00
In the article below we get to read some of the comments from the convicted and from the victims families:Sheila Granger, 33, of Henryville and a New Albany hair dresser, was sentenced on Thursday to a total of 60 years in prison for molesting two juvenile boys from August 2007 to August 2008. (victims were age 11).Clark County Superior Court No. 1 Judge Vicki Carmichael handed down the verdict Moral Courage
Posted: 2009-12-29 01:31:00 UTC-05:00
I recently had an experience that I wanted to blog about for my last post of this year. The experience got me to thinking about Moral Courage and how rare it often is. I try not to comment to much as my lack of writing skills becomes glaringly obvious when I do. But I think if more people would stand up and show moral courage in the new year we would have much less of the issues this blog has Video - Female Sexual Abuse of Children
Posted: 2009-12-27 08:06:43 UTC-05:00
This is part 4 of the BBC program Panorama:Video - Female Sexual Abuse of Children
Posted: 2009-12-27 08:06:24 UTC-05:00
This is part 3 of the BBC program Panorama:Video - Female Sexual Abuse of Children
Posted: 2009-12-27 08:06:04 UTC-05:00
This is part 2 of the BBC program Panorama:Video - BBC program
Posted: 2010-02-27 06:27:18 UTC-05:00
This is the start of a 4 part series of videos of the BBC program Panorama from 1997. The written transcripts of this program are else where on this blog and I wanted to add the videosPart 1 -
For the record: Est. annual newly diagnosed cases of STDs in the
U.S. Chlamydia 4 million, human papilloma virus 500M-1 mil, gonorrhea
800M, genital herpes 200M-500M, syphilis 100M, AIDS 90M, hepatitis B
53M. SOURCE: Federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,
How Often Does Child Sexual Abuse Get
In an attempt to cope with the confusing reality of what has happened to them, many children develop survival skills or behaviors that will help them to cover up what they are really feeling. Families, friends and society sometimes see and judge the problem behavior when it is actually a symptom of the internal pain which has never been addressed.
The number of reports is rising each year due to mandatory reporting laws, better public education and greater public awareness of the problem. Over the last 30 years many key developments in law enforcement have made it easier to deal with victims and their families with greater understanding, making it easier for them to come forward and ask for help.
In the Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls, they found that of sexually abused children in grades five through twelve, 48% of the boys and 29% of the girls had told no one about the abusenot even a friend or sibling. If indeed, sexual abuse happens to one in four children, yet only 1.8 cases are reported per 1,000 children you have to wonder why.
The most common reasons given by victims for not reporting these crimes to authorities:
1. They feel no one will believe them, as the perpetrator has told them repeatedly.
2. They are so consumed with self-blame and shame that it happened to them.
3. A parent or another adult believes them, but doesnt want to involve outside parties. They feel it is a private matter and they will just keep the child away from the individual who was hurting them, so as not to disturb the family unit or community.
4. The child or the family is afraid of reprisal from the assailant.
There is always hope and assistance for recovery:
Even if your child or you made a decision to not report it at the time abuse happened, there are so many different methods and techniques to help you heal and gain greater understanding of what has happened to you or your child. No one deserves to suffer from painful memories. Healing is possible no matter how long ago the abuse took place. There is help, guidance and tools available to assist both victims and perpetrators overcome painful pasts and look forward to a future full of hope and promise.
Every state has a child-protection agency that is responsible for investigating sexual-abuse complaints. Any incident, or suspected incident, should be reported to this agency and to the police. Go with the child and then refrain from talking about the incident in front of people who really dont need to know. When you report it to the police, ask for an officer trained in dealing with children and ask for a private place to discuss the situation. Children are usually a little bit more open with someone who does not remind them of the perpetrator. Stay with your child and support him/her as they answer questions.
What should a parent do:
Tell them again and again, that they are not at fault. Reiterate
that it is the job of adults to protect children, not hurt them.
Reassure them that you believe them and will support their efforts
and those of the police in seeing this never happens to another
child. Most offenders molest more than one child; especially in cases
of incest. Breaking the silence and reporting the perpetrator to the
authorities or a trusted adult will protect other children. Be sure
to tell your child it takes courage to speak out when things are
wrong, and you are proud of them for stepping forward.
Source: By Judy H. Wright, ezinearticles.com/?expert=Judy_H._Wright
FBI Discounts Male Rape
From the State Police's bureau of research and development we know that nearly 10 percent of the more than 3,000 reported victims of rape in 1999 were male. Most were under 18; 90 were 10 and younger.
Adolescent boys. Vulnerable boys. Boys who likely will drag the scars of that experience with them as they stumble toward adulthood, just as surely as their unfortunate sisters who were sexually assaulted. Rape isn't about sex. It's about the dehumanizing abuse of power and privacy.
Except in the eyes of the FBI.
For reasons both sexist and bureaucratic, the FBI continues to employ a narrow, anachronistic definition of rape in what is known as the Uniform Crime Report (UCR), the annual compilation of national crime statistics. Rape simply is "the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will."
All the variations of rape outside that definition - rape of males, rape committed against the victim's will but without force, statutory rape - are downgraded in the UCR to a lesser, less-reported category of crime. As a result, says Carol E. Tracy of the Women's Law Project in Philadelphia, "the public at large really doesn't have any idea of the extent of sex crimes in this country."
Tracy and the Law Project have begun campaigning to broaden this definition. This week, they sent draft letters to sexual-assault coalitions across the country, outlining the consequences of the problem. They hope to garner signatures and support before presenting a final argument to the FBI in mid-June.
Although she doesn't hold out much hope that the FBI will act quickly, criminologist Jane Siegel says many of her peers consider the UCR definition woefully inadequate. "This is not just semantics, it's a significant issue," says Siegel, assistant professor of criminal justice at Rutgers University in Camden.
"It continues to reinforce the image of rape as that specific act defined in the UCR," she says. "If the police don't believe a woman was raped if she wasn't beaten, it makes the task of sensitizing the police all the more difficult."
It has also created anomalies within the UCR. Rape data from Illinois are not included in the UCR, for instance, because that state refuses to adhere to the FBI's narrow definition and reports all rapes as rapes.
Let it be said that this is an issue of reporting, not prosecution. In Pennsylvania and most other states, rape is more broadly defined and gender-neutral - which is why Harrisburg records both male and female victims. But Tracy argues that the narrower FBI definition sends a dampening message to police departments: These other sorts of rape aren't as significant. They're not worth quick responses or aggressive investigation.
Maybe they're not really rape.
The injustice of this message is staggering. A recent federal report found that 31 percent of victims of sexual assault under age 6 were male. Yet the FBI would count sexual assaults on those boy-victims as Other Sex Crimes, a less important category reported only when an arrest has been made.
The UCR also lumps rapes committed by blood relatives in that lesser category, and rapes in which there is no evidence of physical force. Do we really expect that the most vulnerable of victims - children, and the mentally or physically disabled - are able to resist sexual assault? Why should the crimes against them be discounted simply because these victims have no physical bruises?
This is hardly the first time the UCR has been criticized. In the 1980s, the FBI included a broader, more realistic definition of rape in a new system for gathering crime data called the National Incident- Based Reporting System. But the new system is so detailed and complex that now, more than 15 years later, it is used only in small communities. "For a department of our size," says Philadelphia Deputy Police Commissioner Charles Brennan, "it will take millions of dollars and years of time to move in that direction."
The much more sensible option, one that Brennan advocates, is to expand the UCR's definition of rape to make it more consistent with state and local law enforcement standards. Keep the old definition, too, if that helps to track trends and comparisons. But for the sake of accuracy and fairness, the UCR, now more than 70 years old, must be brought into the 21st century.
Centuries ago, rape was defined not as a crime against a person, but as a crime against property. The underlying message was clear: Women were property, to be protected from defilement from those outside the family, and men were, well, never raped.
Our concepts of sexuality, privacy and personhood have advanced since then. Time for the FBI to catch up.
About Male Sexual Victimization,
To be identified as a sexual victim makes many boys and men question their masculinity and/or sexual orientation. The shame that accompanies such doubts silences many boys about their experiences. Yet if abuse remains unacknowledged and untreated, it may lead to such personal and societal consequences as depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems, in addition to self-destructive behaviors, substance abuse, and family dysfunction.
Prevailing myths about the sexual abuse of boys often interfere with recognizing and treating the problem. A prime example is the preconception that all abused boys become perpetrators of abuse, when in fact about three quarters of these boys never become sexual offenders. Because of the widespread belief in the myth, however, many men and boys are afraid they will become abusive and/or will be thought to be offenders should they talk about their victimization.
Another complicating myth is that boys sexually abused by men become homosexual. In fact, boys who are sexually abused may grow up to be heterosexual, gay, or bisexual. Most researchers believe that sexual orientation is rooted in factors having nothing to do with sexual victimization, and in most cases has already been well established before a boy is abused. But, while sexual abuse does not determine sexual orientation, many sexually abused boys and men become very confused or feel negatively about both their sexual orientation and their sexual functioning in general.
The aim of the National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization (NOMSV) is to educate about, advocate for, and insure proper treatment is available to sexually victimized boys and men. It is the only non-profit national organization that specifically addresses male sexual victimization. Its mission statement is: Dedicated to a safe world, we are an organization of diverse individuals, committed through research, education, advocacy and activism to the prevention, treatment and elimination of all forms of sexual victimization of boys and men.
Since 1988, NOMSV has held national conferences for male survivors, their significant others, and professionals who work with them. These biennial conferences include both educational and healing workshops. The next conference will be held in New York City on October, 2001.
In 1998, NOMSV also began to organize and support regional healing retreats for sexually abused men. Both the conferences and the retreats are needed resources to share practical information and ask questions as well as safe places for some men to acknowledge their own sexual victimization.
In addition, NOMSV maintains a web site www.malesurvivor.org to inform and educate about male sexual victimization. It includes bibliographies, first-person accounts, and articles about male sexual victimization.
Incorporated as a non-profit in 1995, NOMSV was granted Federal tax-exempt status in 1996. Richard B. Gartner, Ph.D, 27 West 72nd Street #708 New York, NY 10023-3498, 212-533-0345 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.richardgartner.com
Campus Rape Prevention Program Targets Men's Restrooms
Wrongful Rape Convictions
A former Sunday school teacher who spent 2 1/2 years in jail before being acquitted of molestation charges is seeking $110 million in damages from the San Diego County.
A man who spent three years in prison on a wrongful rape conviction is suing the state of California, Los Angeles County, and several other groups. The man, a nurse, was sentenced to eight years on a charge of raping a mental patient at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk. He was freed after DNA testing proved him innocent. He says he has gone bankrupt and lost his home and many possessions.
The state of Maryland is giving $300,000 to a Cambridge man for
the nine years he spent in prison before genetic evidence cleared him
of a rape-murder charge.
The Other Side of Rape - Every
Five Minutes a Man is Forcibly Rape in the U.S.
Fraternities Speak Out Against
The following is the essence of the Statement of Position on Sexual Abuse: "The members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity believe that the attitudes and behavior exhibited by members of the collegiate population have direct bearing on the quality of their present and future life and that there is an increased consciousness of sexual exploitation and violence and incidences thereof not just on the nation's college campuses but in society and the Greek community has stated its responsibility in leadership, scholarship, community services, human dignity and respect, Pi Kappa Phi is committed to excellence in the Greek community, and this requires us to identify and solve serious problems that prevent the growth and development of our brothers, and strives to foster an atmosphere of healthy and proper attitudes and behavior towards sex and the sex roles, and wishes that the incidences of sexual abuse (mental and physical abuse - coercion, manipulation, harassment) between the men and women of the collegiate community be halted. Therefore, be it resolved that Pi Kappa Phi fraternity will not tolerate or condone any form of sexually-abusive behavior (either physically, mentally or emotionally) on the part of any of its members, and encourages educational programming involving social and communication skills, interpersonal relationships, social problem awareness, etiquette and sex-role expectations; and will develop a reward system to recognize chapters and individuals that lead in fostering a healthy attitude towards the opposite sex."
How do you know when "Yes" means "Yes"?
According to the group, Coalition Against Sexual Assault, if we think you're guilty, you're guilty. This small group of the self appointed "politically correct" activist students and teachers from CASA (which stands for "home" in Spanish - not a very safe one if you disagree with them) obviously aren't interested in the truth. Because they believe that they hold the moral position and they shout down anyone who disagrees with them. And, in this segment, when that didn't work, they pulled the cord on 20/20s recording equipment. Their music teachers agrees. He claims the background to state that this student is a lepor to this college campus.
Does this seem familiar? Some in this group say that anyone accused doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt. Brings back images of Salem, doesn't it?. It's obvious that the Brown University campus has a dictatorship of the politically correct. The "victim" who would speak at rallies, didn't want her name used and it wasn't used in public, on television or in the campus newspaper. The same rights weren't afford the male involved. But, this isn't unusual nor the first time the Brown University campus has been a hot bed of political tourney. In the future, they'll probably blame it on the water.
How can we ever expect to bring up our girls to take responsibility for their lives when we make sure that they know that they don't have to be. Nothing is their fault. What they do when they're drunk, or depressed, or on PMS or break up with their boyfriend, whatever they do they cannot be held responsible for. What a far cry from the many cultures who bring up their daughters as responsible adults by 13, who start and maintain healthy families at 13. Who, at 13, raise their children to become responsible adults. But, at Brown University, 21 year olds aren't responsible and so blame others for their actions. And, get away with it.
The result is that men must really be aware if you're in any kind of a relationship with a woman - whether lover or spouse - No means No and only yes means yes and then only if she hasn't had anything to drink. And, even when sober, be sure she's on top. It's much more difficult to be falsely accused of rape, that way.
Has political correctness gone too far? Six year old boys are being trained not to try to kiss a girl. Nine year old brothers are taught not to poke their older sister in the butt or they'll be classified a sexual deviate. Connect this with a recent survey that showed that 35% of men 18-35 never plan to marry. With this trend growing, it's going to be interesting if the next generation of boys will have anything to do with women, romantically. But, I guess that's what sperms banks are for.
Snippets on the Sexual Abuse of
Source: The Future of Children, a publication of the Center for the Future of Children, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
Sexual Abuse Linked to Smoking in Women
Sex Trafficking of Minors
Child Sexual Abuse Cases Harder To Track,
Childhood Sexual Abuse of Boys Tied to
Psychological Problems when they become Men
Researchers found that of nearly 2,500 men attending 18 medical practices, those with a history of sexual abuse were more likely than other men to report mental health, sexual or substance abuse problems. Among the 150 men who said they'd been sexually abused as children, 62% reported at least one such problem, as did 56% of the 69 men who said they'd been molested in adulthood--considered to be after age 16.
Dr. Michael King of Royal Free and University College Medical School in London led the study. The findings appeared in a recent issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.
According to King's team, until recently there had been no data on how prevalent sexual abuse during adulthood is among European men, or on its psychological effects. In an earlier study, the researchers had found that nearly 3% of men in a sample of general practice patients reported being sexually molested as adults. The same was true of 18% of men seeking care at a clinic specializing in genital and urinary health.
In the current study, King's team found that, like men who'd been sexually abused as children, those who reported unwanted sexual contact in adulthood had a higher-than-average risk of sexual problems, substance abuse and "self-harm." Abuse in adulthood was particularly tied to self-harm, as was so-called consensual sexual contact with someone at least 5 years older before the age of 16--the legal age of consent in the UK.
Overall, childhood sex abuse showed the most widespread effect on long-term psychological health, with these men being twice as likely to report disorders like depression and anxiety and nearly four times as likely to have tried to kill or harm themselves.
Men who reported abuse in adulthood were about 2.5 times more likely to attempt to harm themselves compared with those with no abuse history. The risk was 70% higher than average among men who reported consensual sex with an older person before age 16.
"'Consensual' experiences in childhood and sexual molestation in adulthood are significant predictors of self-harm," according to King and his colleagues.
When men attempt to harm themselves, the researchers note, this
should alert doctors to the possibility of past sexual abuse.
Source: British Journal of Psychiatry 2002;181:153-157, www.abcnews.go.com/wire/Living/reuters20020926_204.html
Teacher had sex with boy, 13
Pamela Diehl-Moore, 43, pleaded guilty in January to sexual assault as part of an agreement to avoid a possible three-year prison sentence.
"I really don't see the harm that was done and certainly society doesn't need to be worried," the Hackensack, New Jersey Judge Bruce Gaeta said yesterday. He ordered Diehl-Moore to continue counselling for severe depression.
The boy had just completed Diehl-Moore's seventh-grade class at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Clifton when the six-month relationship began in the summer of 1999, authorities said.
Gaeta said the boy did not appear to suffer any psychological damage. "Maybe it was a way for him, once this happened, to satisfy his sexual needs. People mature at different ages," he said.
Diehl-Moore, a divorcee with two daughters, was suspended after her arrest last year. She has since lost her teaching licence.
He Didn't Ask for it Either
1 in 14 Women Worldwide Has Been Sexually
In what is being called landmark research, investigators from South Africa, England and the World Health Organization looked at 77 studies published from 1998 to 2011 that contained data about non-partner sexual violence against women aged 15 and older in 56 countries.
Non-partner sexual violence is committed by people such as strangers, friends, acquaintances, colleagues, teachers, neighbors and family members other than partners.
The researchers found that 7.2 percent of women reported such an incident at some point in their lives, according to the study, which was published Feb. 11 in the journal The Lancet.
The United States and Canada, however, had sexual-assault rates well above the global average, at 13 percent.
Rates varied widely by country, with the highest reported in
Africa. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 21 percent of women
reported sexual violence; the rate was 17.4 percent in Namibia, South
Africa and Zimbabwe. Australia and New Zealand also reported high
rates (16.4 percent).
Social Media and
Sexual Violence: How Twitter Contributes to Rape
Rape is one of the most traumatic and horrifying acts of violence that a person can endure. Although it doesnt seem possible, in recent years, rape has become even more painful and devastating for victims to survive.
In todays technological culture, rape has become even more insidious as rapists and their accomplices have begun posting pictures and videos of their disgusting acts.
The most infamous case that comes to mind is the recent travesty that occurred in Steubenville, Ohio. Just over a year ago, a 16-year-old high school attended a party with many classmates and people whom she thought were her friends. During the night, she consumed several alcoholic beverages. She passed out and became incapacitated. At that point, several of her male classmates undressed her and assaulted her, all while others stood by taking video and pictures. The students then went on to post the video online, bragging about their deeds on Twitter and mocking the rape victim, calling her a drunk whore and a slut.
Unfortunately, the Steubenville, Ohio case is not an isolated incident. Just this week an image of a young woman and a man engaged in a public sex act near Ohio University went viral on the Internet. However, the woman says that the act was not consensual and she went to the police station the next day to file charges. Meanwhile, 10 people are reported to have stood by and filmed the alleged rape, with many of them posting the video online and spreading it around on their social media.
Imagine the shock and horror these rape victims must feel when they see they log onto the computer and see the world laughing at their pain. Not only are they violated by the rapists, but they are violated again and again, every time someone reposts the video or likes the image of her being raped. The comments on the videos (You cant rape the willing and Thats what drunk girls get) are downright terrifying, especially for parents with young daughters.
How did we get to this point in society and what can we do to stop it?
I think the sad fact is that many of the people who were taping the incident in Steubeville, Ohio and at Ohio University did not realize that they were taping rape. Most people think that rape is something that happens in a dark alley with a masked man and a gun. They dont realize that most acts of sexual assault occur at the hands of someone who knows the victim, even someone whom the victim has dated or has had classes with. They especially do not seem to realize that a falling-down drunk person cannot consent to sex.
For some reason, these students looked a drunk girl being raped and instead saw a slut who drank too much and deserved what she got. Thats not only because we dont educate kids enough about rape, consent, and alcohol/drug abuse, but also because we live in a society in which women are devalued and dehumanized on a daily basis. Words like slut and whore arent just misogynist, they contribute to rape culture in which it is okay to violate, assault, and traumatize certain women in society. All a woman has to do is wear a short that people deem too short or have too many drinks and she goes from being a human being worthy of respect to someone who doesnt even deserve a helping hand when she is being raped in front of a crowd of people.
We have to become proactive and engaged if we want to turn society
around and stop this from happening again (which it most certainly
will at this rate). We have to talk to kids about respect, consent,
and bodily autonomy, and we have to teach them that rape isnt
just something that happens in dark alleys. It can happen right in
the middle of one of their parties, and when it does, they need to
know how to speak up and do the right thing. Instead of pulling out
their phones to make a video, they need to pull out their phones and
call the police, and only we can help guide our kids to make that
choice when it occurs.
Bibliography on Female Offenders
Below is a listing of various research studies, articles, and publications about the issue of female offenders and their victims. (Last updated 2/28/10)
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According to a major 2004 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education - In studies that ask students about offenders, sex differences are less than in adult reports. The 2000 AAUW data indicate that 57.2 percent of all students report a male offender and 42.4 percent a female offender with the Cameron et al. study reporting nearly identical proportions as the 2000 AAUW data (57 percent male offenders vs. 43 percent female offenders).. (Source .PDF Download)
Approximately 95% of all youth reporting staff sexual misconduct said they had been victimized by female staff. In 2008, 42% of staff in state juvenile facilities were female. (Bureau of Justice Report)
More women (58%) than men (42%) are perpetrators of all forms of child maltreatment. (Child Maltreatment: Facts at a Glance CDC)
One in six adult men reported being sexually molested as children, and -- in a surprise finding -- nearly 40 percent of the perpetrators were female, a new study found.
About 27 percent of women and 34 percent of men among the Dunedin study members reported they had been physically abused by their partner. About 37 percent of women and 22 percent of men said they had perpetrated the violence.
UBC Study Challenges Stereotypes of Sexually Exploited Youth: Boys as Likely as Girls to be Exploited
In a study of 17,337 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, 23% had a female-only perpetrator and 22% had both male and female perpetrators. ( Dube, Shanta R et al. Long-Term Consequences of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Gender of Victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (2005):28(5), p 430 438.)
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As CNNs Nancy Grace plaintively asks, Why is it when a
man rapes a little girl, he goes to jail, but when a woman rapes a
boy, she had a breakdown?