FACT #1 – Boys and men can be victims of sexual abuse and rape.

It is clear that boys and men experience sexual victimization at much higher rates than is commonly presumed. According to research, at least 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused in childhood and 1 out of every 4 males will experience some form of sexual trauma in their lives :

  • According to estimates in the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey as many as 1 in 4 will experience some form of sexual victimization in their lifetime.[1] 
  • Being made to penetrate is a type of victimization experienced mostly by men – 6.7% (>7.6 million men) have been made to penetrate a perpetrator in their lifetimes.[1]
  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey reports approximately 1 in 6 males report being sexually abused in childhood.[2]
  • According recent research from Dr. David Finkelhor of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire approximately 7.8% of boys aged 10-17 (and caregivers of boys under 10 years of age) reported in a telephone survey that they had experienced some form of sexual victimization in their lifetime. Of boys ages 14-17, over 20% reported experiencing some form of sexual victimization.[3]
  • In its latest report on sexual assault, the Pentagon estimated that 26,300 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,300 in 2010. Of those cases, the Pentagon says, 53 percent involved attacks on men (13,780), mostly by other men. In addition, RAND Researchers estimate that, as of early fall 2014, approximately 20,000 of the U.S. Military’s 1.3 million active-duty members experienced one or more sexual assaults in the past year. [4] Many members of the military are young adults and ethnic minorities constitute a substantial percentage of military personnel. 
  • A 2007 report by Human Rights Watch cites statistics from US Justice Dept. that nearly 1 in 20 prisoners are raped or sexually assaulted. With a total national prison population of 1,570,861 that constitutes approximately 78,000. With an estimated 90% of prisoners being male, that means over 70,000 male prisoners have likely experienced sexual trauma. [5] 
  • “The John Jay College and the Center for Court Innovation study The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City in 2008 estimated that as high as 50% of the commercially sexually exploited children in the U.S. are boys.”[6]
  • “Men with disabilities are at a heightened risk for lifetime and current sexual violence victimization.” [7]


  1. Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  1. Felitti, Vincent J., et al. “Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults: The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study.” American journal of preventive medicine14.4 (1998): 245-258.
  1. Finkelhor, David, et al. “Violence, crime, and abuse exposure in a national sample of children and youth: an update.” JAMA pediatrics167.7 (2013): 614-621.
  1. Morral, Andrew R., Kristie L. Gore, Terry L. Schell, Barbara Bicksler, Coreen Farris, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Lisa H. Jaycox, Dean Kilpatrick, Stephan Kistler, Amy Street, Terri Tanielian and Kayla M. Williams. Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military: Annex to Volume 2. Tabular Results from the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study for Department of Defense Service Members. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2015. http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR870z3
  1. http://www.hrw.org/news/2007/12/15/us-federal-statistics-show-widespread-prison-rape (12/16/2007) 
  2. Friedman, S. “And boys too: An ECPAT-USA discussion paper about the lack of recognition of the commercial sexual exploitation of boys in the United States.” Brooklyn, NY: End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT-USA)(2013), p. 6
  3. Mitra, M., Mouradian, V. E., & Diamond, M. (2011). Sexual violence victimization against men with disabilities. American journal of preventive medicine, 41(5), 494-497.