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#229596 - 06/07/08 10:03 PM is rape harder for men than women
mara Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 18
I feel I must start a thread on the family side in response to what was posted on the survivor side about male vs. female rape victims.
One respondent said:"First, getting raped is a very unnatural sexual act for the hetero younger male victim."
Why is it very unnatural??? Is it a more natural act for women or gay male victims??? Is it because hetero men are supposed to be the rapists??? Is it not equally disgusting, equally unnatural no matter who is abused?

The respondent continued:
"Second, for the younger male victim, their rape comes when they are at some point in their sexual development where they are not yet comfortable with adult sexuality"
Does it happen at a better time for women???

The repondent then says:
"Third, rape stymies or destroys the development of the average younger male's fragile ego."
Is not anyone's ego, male or female, shattered by this experience???

I personally do believe that there are special difficulties for men. For example, society in general still refuses to acknowledge the existence of a male victim or a female perpetrator. Even some of the books about CSA and rape deny or minimize this fact. Also, men are conditioned in our world to deny and suppress feelings, and are conditioned to believe that their masculinity is in question if they can't save themselves even as very young children.

It may well be harder for men, but not for any of the 3 reasons listed above.
Sorry, but I felt I had to speak on this


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#229641 - 06/08/08 03:04 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: mara]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Hi Mara,

I completely agree with you. Rape is devastating for any child, boy or girl. One of my main qualms with this website is that it excludes female victims of childhood sexual abuse.

When first dealing with my abuse, I began listening obsessively to the albums of Suzanne Vega. Though she never said outright that she was abused, songs like "Bad Wisdom," "Men in a War," and "Those Whole Girls," spoke to me in ways no one else had.

The only thing I take issue with in your post is your seemingly combative attitude. Not all men claim that their sexual abuse was worse because they were male. I believe sexual abuse is equally abominable and equally destructive for a girl.

The greatest difference I find is the cynicism men are often met with, as if we were not true victims. But the ignorant opinions of others pale in comparison with the actual psychological damage of rape. I can relate to a sexually abused female much better than I can to the average male.

I, like you, don't agree with the argument you quote from. Yet, you make it sound as if we are trying to exaggerate our pain, or dismiss the trauma of female survivors.

This is not the case. All of us here simply want to heal. Any survivor would understand that.


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#229701 - 06/08/08 11:23 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Bewlayb1]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1242
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
There's about 1000 sites for women survivors...there's one for men: here. So that's why there's a Male Survivor site.

I agree that rape is hard no matter what gender you are.

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#229756 - 06/08/08 07:12 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: AndyJB2005]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1934
Loc: durham, north england
I deffinately agree with you Mara, as with most things, I don't think there's a gender biasfor the sort of damage rape does.

there is however as has been said a social, medical, and even academic bias against the idea that men can be victims and even more against the idea that women can be perpetrators.

On one occasion during a module I was taking on ethics in my degree, the lecturer, ----- admittedly an extreme and outspoken feminist, on this topic spent an hour stating that %70 of men would rape a woman if they could, and how it was everyone's duty to protect women from these evil creatures. On rare occasions a man could rape a man, (just proving how evil they were).

this was supposed to be a none-biased review of the subject, ---- and she made these claimes? I had to physically restrain myself from getting up and screaming, ---- and in the end actually had to drown the lecturer out with a personal sterrio.

This is also why there is so much support for female victims. If all the websites catered for both genders, fair enough, but unfortunately they don't. this is also a shame.

There is also one other thing. Even speaking as someone who reguards being male as roughly having the same significance as being five feet nine, who believes all! gender sterriotype views are incredibly bad and should be forgotten, someone who, ---- when challenged "your like a girl" can simply turn round and say "yes, ----- a sterriotypical one anyway, and your points is?"

Even admitting all of that, there was one thing about being raped as a man which strikes me as highly specific.

My physical response. One of the worst things for me is whatever was happening, wherever my mind was, however I was humiliated or insulted, I couldn't stop my body responding to what was happening, ----- on several occasions my response actively triggered what went on.

that's why anything to do with S sends me into a panic now.

I don't know enough about the hole area to say whether this is the same in female rape. One artical on the front of the site suggested that there is sometimes a physical response in women, I simply don't know, ----- and frankly I'd rather not even think about it, but that was a major component in what I experienced, and I'm not sure how genda specific, ----- or at least body specific that is.


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#229774 - 06/08/08 09:00 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: mara]
Liv2124 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 159
Loc: New Jersey
Mara,
I have to disagree with you, having been through years of conversations with my SO over his belief that "rape only happens to women." This is why it is under-reported. I am in no way inferring that women do not feel the affects of rape, but men often do so in silence because they can't even bring themselves to admit that it happened.
I have to say that I agree with all the reasons posted in response to this question, and there are, I'm sure, many more that haven't been brought up. I say this without hesitation, because I live with this. I see it and deal with it every day. There are aspects specific to men that, and this is only my opinion, are far more profound overall.
Always,
Liv


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#229785 - 06/08/08 09:56 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Liv2124]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Rape is rape, be it a man or a woman, girl or boy. It is degrading and humiliating and wrecks the future of the victim. There are specifics to each gender regarding the affects just as there are specifics for each individual person, but the overall disaster remains the same.

I don't think something like this should even be debated. It's like comparing the four corners of hell.

ROCK ON.........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#229825 - 06/09/08 08:03 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: mara]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I've got a weird idea:

Instead of lambasting laypeople/survivors for trying to help why don't you get on there and tell him why after 29 years of suffering that his situation isn't any different than a female victim's situation?

According to the US Veterans Administration 1/8th of all rape victims are male. The average age of a male victim is 17 years old. Yet female victims have 100 times as much support as male victims. When was the last time that you told a female and she ridiculed you for enjoying it or called you a lesbian since you didn't fight it, or because you didn't fight it that you can't be believed? When was the last time that one of your friends or family dumped you because you told them that you were raped? When was the last time that a female victim looked for rape support and there wasn't anything to turn to? Did you know that male victims are much more likely to suffer gang rape than females are? Did you know that male victims are much more likely to be seriously injured than female victims are? Did you know that male victims are far more likely to suffer lifelong unresolved consequences than female victims are? Did you know that a much higher percentage of male victims are forced at the point of a weapon than female victims are? Did you know that male victims are much more likely to suffer sexual torture as a part of their assault than female victims are?

This is mainly a male-issues survivor's support site. On Google there are over one million support sites for female victims.

How would you answer his gender-specific question without appearing insensitive to him or the few female victims on the site?

Just wondered. Check out the site: Mencanstoprape.org and look-up their links.

Trucker Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#229833 - 06/09/08 10:01 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Trucker51]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Trucker,

Mara wasn't minimizing a male survivor's perspective, just disagreeing with the reasons for differences between the suffering of the sexes she read in another post.

I don't see this particular thread as comparing what support is available. Without question, women have way more support than men do, I don't think anyone would dispute that. This site is primarily for men and their partners trying to stand by them. Sadly, it's something rather unique to the web, although more are realizing that men need help too.

Like I said in a previous post, there are differences to how men and women, boys and girls deal with being raped. Each person experiences those differences in very distinct ways, making the whole violent happening individual to each.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#230264 - 06/11/08 02:37 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Trish4850]
Nyjah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 610
Quote:
For me, the difference isn't if it's a guy or a girl but rather who is doing the abuse. It's hard when you fee like you're the only one it happens to or the only one who is being abused by your mom or dad. Girls getting abused by their mom is not talked about at all. I've been to tons of different forums and haven't found many who have been SA'ed by their mom.



Quote:
I still haven't gotten registered with student disability 'cause I know they're going to look at my records for verification about the PTSD and all of that and see what BJ did to me. It's tough on anyone. But I also think it's one of those things that isn't gender, race, or age biased. Abuse doesn't know those things...it's just evil. Pure evil.



Some email responses I've had from my cousin Jaime about this topic. She's a girl and was hurt by her adoptive mom. She might be joining.


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#230302 - 06/11/08 09:58 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Nyjah]
JasonSmalls Offline
Guest

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 142
Loc: NJ
I don't know what more difficult, Mara. I know that for me, a guy, being molested/raped as a child was and is very hard for me to understand and to recover from. I think any kind of sexual or physical assault is like an invasion of my body, which is supposed to be my own personal space, but someone force their way into that space. I don't really think it matters much what sex you are. I think rape is rape, whether you are male or female, and I think it affects people differently.

Joey


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#230308 - 06/11/08 10:24 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: JasonSmalls]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Nyjah,

Your cousin is welcome to join and be a support for you. It sounds like she's had a really rough time of life. But Nyjah, please be sure that Jaime understands that this is a site dedicated to helping men. Yes, woman are here, but it's in a supportive posture, not to deal with their own issues.

If you want to talk to me more about this, please feel free to pm.

ROCK ON..........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#230312 - 06/11/08 10:52 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Trish4850]
Nyjah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/14/07
Posts: 610
Yeah, she knows. She'd be here for support for me and to help others as well 'cause she wants to be a counselor and help other people who have been hurt.


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#230317 - 06/11/08 11:02 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Nyjah]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Excellent Nyjah. I look forward to meeting her.

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#232002 - 06/19/08 09:31 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: JasonSmalls]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
The complexity of the shame element is more unique for the male csa survivor. As females, we don't have the complication of a physically equivalent response-- usually for a female, rape is more obviously violence- the most horrid part I feel for the men is the insidiuousness of the betrayal- it's what makes the wound so much deeper than the physical and it being NOT understood by others- male or female and the feeling of utter abandonment of the world understanding,- well, the loneliness cuts a hole in the soul.

The confusion is greater for guys, esp. in the past, and thus the path to recovery long and winding- the female survivor rarely has to feel that her own body "actively" betrayed her, there's sooo many layers here and I just hope there can be more and more understanding.

the paradox of this whole post thread, is the very thing that began it is why it is harder- and that's the assumption that it is the same- like joey said it's individual- there are some male experiences that are similar to a females and the reverse, but the vast majority of men, it is a seduction rather than a violence experience initially and that's what is sometimes, but not as frequently true for most female rapes.
to me , it's like saying well if a parent dies from cancer or if a parent shoots himself in front of you, they're both dead parents so why would your loss feel any different? Don't know if that makes sense but it's how I see the logic of this question even being asked. the response to the parent's death would be quite different because the meaning assigned to each experience is so different. Women who are raped much less often felt they loved or were attached to their perpetrators- it makes a huge difference emotionally and has implications then for healing.

My support and recognition goes out to ALL survivors but I see the men's challenges as more layered, both because of societal aka "norms" and yes, their developmental vulnerability is usually greater. I think the statitics may be found to be such an underestimate in time- I would not be surprised to find the # of males equal or greater to females when it is all truly known.

part of me said just stay out of this debate, but i felt it was important as a female to say I do very much see the guys as having what I'll euphemistically call special challenges/hurdles- just huge spectrums of confusion and pain to deal with.......not that assaulted women don't have that- it's like being compared to being stabbed in the front vs stabbed in the back. both very painful but different effects on the body most times, different remedies - - i'm a little scared to post this as I'm not one for conflict but just felt it was Too important to say even as a female, I agree with what the guy's said a lot! Hope and healing to all- An


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#232021 - 06/19/08 10:24 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: An]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
An,

I hear most of what you're saying but it seems like you're comparisons are more about adults than children. This statement really bothers me:

Quote:
Women who are raped much less often felt they loved or were attached to their perpetrators- it makes a huge difference emotionally and has implications then for healing.


If you're talking about kids, which the rest of us are, this statement fails miserably! Boys and girls are raped by their parents, other family, close friends, etc. - the people who are supposed to love them. Are you saying the boys feel loved more than the girls by these people?

As for the violence against boys v. girls. I don't see what you're saying at all. The perp who assaults a child will run the gammit from master manipulator to the stranger who kidnaps and one can morph into the other at the drop of a hat, leaving the child to deal with even more confusion and upset than was caused by the initial assault. Either child can be the victim of pretend love or violent rape or both.

The trauma is as individual as the person experiencing it.

ROCK ON.........Trish


ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#232024 - 06/19/08 10:33 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: Trish4850]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
it would be impossible to know, now wouldn't it?

inarguably there are fewer resources for male sexual abuse survivors. but otherwise, trust and betrayal and fear and on and on seem to be so much the same for all survivors.

not to mention that to my thinking this question is about as productive as:

"is rape harder for black people than white people"
"is rape harder for jewish people than daoists"

point being that talking about gender (or for that matter race, class, sexual orientation, profession, etc) is great. but perhaps it would be kinder to phrase the question in a way that, when answered yes or no, is not bound to be hurtful.

ie: how are the experiences of men and women who are raped similar or different?

love TW

ps: i know this might sound dogmatic or what some people think of as language policing, but its not meant to be - the title genuinely felt shitty to me personally...



Edited by testingWaters (06/19/08 10:36 PM)

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#232028 - 06/19/08 10:49 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women *DELETED* [Re: Trish4850]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Post deleted by An


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#232036 - 06/19/08 11:23 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: An]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
With all due respect, I know so many women who struggle very deeply precisely because their bodies responded to being raped (ie lubrication). And for that matter, I know a number of women who "enjoyed" and took pleasure from non-violent sexual abuse as a child. Including orgasms.

I am sorry to contest what you have written, in that I can tell you only mean well, but I am troubled by it. Whether or not you mean for it to be so, you make it out as though men play a more active role in their abuse (ie they find pleasure in it) while women (because they do not have an orgasm) are therefore passive recipients. Personally I think that plays into some learned stereotypes about gender that alot of people mistakenly think are natural.

Love tho, TW


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#232037 - 06/19/08 11:27 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: mara]
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
I respectfully have to disagree.

Where is the sense in comparing trauma and hurt? Rape is hard for everyone - men, women, female and male children.

_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#232067 - 06/20/08 02:00 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: evanescentjoy]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
first to evanescent i totally agree it is hard (understatement) for all, but I think it's different too just like men abused by women have some different healing issues to contend with with than abuse by men- not harder or easier but different in some ways,And the same in others, I think I really erred in not expressing that better- that it is the Differences not being understood, acknowledged, or appreciated, that I disagree it with- not that ome or the other is harder or worse but differences that need to be understood to hopefully be the best help we can to ourselves and each other..you're right it shouldn't be implied harder or worse, but i'd still advocate for different with different complexities (that if not understood/acknowledged, it then would be harder to heal- hopefully that's more clarifying?)

And to TW-Glad you contested as I most definitely didn't mean men were active participants and women passive, just that the physiological differences were real- men's sexual responsiveness is physically more externally manifested and obvious- just different again and there are general biological differences in speed and nature of arousal that make all sexual experience have some gender differences for sure (positive or abusive) and i wanted to acknowledge that ignoring those differences are a part of the healing challenge- it's societal differences too about male/female expectations and what we take on within ourselves because of that esp as children-
kids are by nature literal and so the visibility of response just factors in. thank you all- I do fear i didn't express myself well re differences to be understood , not harder or easier in themselves but if the differences are not understood & recognized , healing is harder.... and thanks for the love ! \:\)



Edited by An (06/20/08 02:04 AM)

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#232070 - 06/20/08 02:26 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: An]
An Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 151
Loc: usa
Tw- i couldn't get back to sleep with the thoughts that my first post could be taken that way so i just had to get up and delete it. It really bothered me that it could in anyway be taken that I meant males were active in intention more than females, it was too troubling and I am so glad you shared your reaction. I could have tired to modify it but I just wanted to step as far away as I could from that perception and so just completely deleted a post for the first time. thank you again for letting me know-


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#232073 - 06/20/08 02:43 AM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: An]
testingWaters Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/06
Posts: 508
oh no. i am so sorry. i was definitely "interpreting" it to point out that it could be read that way. but i was certainly not claiming (or feeling) any sort of malevolence on your part. its just that, in our culture, we are trained from day one to see male/female as so essentially different. and it becomes really natural to make comparisons about how and why we are different.

but please, get some sleep and understand that i meant no harm or hurt or anything. your posts were very honest and they shouldn't bring you any discomfort. much love, tw


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#232301 - 06/20/08 10:43 PM Re: is rape harder for men than women [Re: mara]
lostcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 797
Loc: North Texas
Hi all, I have been away for a while. I think that Rape is hard on anybody. CSA to me is very different than rape. I think that I was lucky that I did not experience CSA. I think that I was lucky that I was not raped by someone that I knew and loved. Yes I was lucky that I was raped by a stranger. I was lucky that it only happened once.
I had to make the decision do I continue to struggle and die, or do I stop struggling and live. When it was all done with, I knew I had made the wrong choose. Even today there are times when I am sure I made the wrong choose.

_________________________
"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend." - Albert Camus
Pretty much my life as I have posted so far. Triggers!

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