We Are Survivors 

This blog is dedicated to the tens of millions of adult survivors of child abuse and neglect who get up every day and try to work and function in a world that seems to not care about us.

Aftereffects for Men Abused as Children

Men, just like women, normally don’t disclose that they were abused as children. Men, however, have an additional burden placed on them because of the stereotypes placed on them by society that they must be “manly” and hide their feelings. All this does is to reinforce the old messages that they are to deny their reality of what happened to them.

Research shows a range of ways that the victimization of boys differs from those of girls.1

  • Boys experience both intra-familial and extra-familial abuse, yet they are more frequently molested by someone outside the family.
  • The onset of abuse tends to occur at a younger age for boys than girls, and tends to end earlier for boys.
  • Physical force is used more frequently against male victims than their female counterparts.
  • Both women and men are perpetrators, but boys are more frequently abused by someone of their own sex, while girls are more frequently abused by someone of the opposite sex.
  • Males tend to minimize their victimization or view it less negatively than do females despite studies indicating equivalent levels of psychological damage to both sexes.
  • Males show a greater reluctance to disclose their abuse history, which makes them more susceptible to a number of somatic (physical) and emotional disorders years later.
  • Most studies show that more females than males are sexually victimized as children; however, due to males’ reluctance to disclose, some believe the numbers could be equal.
  • For men, sexual dysfunction may take the form of compulsive masturbation, decreased sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and or anorgasmia (inability to experience and orgasm). Confusion about sexuality is very common among male survivors. Sexual victimization of males can carry with it a hidden implication of reduced manhood.

Molested boys may be more prone to externalize sexual and aggressive behavior, report having school problems, have trouble involving the police, have fantasies of aggression, have sexual preoccupation, and excessive masturbation. These issues are among the reasons that bring men into the healthcare setting.

[1] Elliott, D M, Briere, J:  The Sexually Abused BoyProblems in Manhood. Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality 26:68-71, 1992.

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