Important Facts about Male Survivors

  • Sexual assault is not uncommon for males.
  • Male survivors have many of the same reactions to sexual assault that women do.
  • Ideas in our society prevent male survivors from speaking out about sexual assault.
  • Homophobia causes men who have experienced a male-on-male rape to fear telling their stories or reporting the incident to police.
  • By denying that males can be sexually assaulted, male survivors are made to feel that they are alone or abnormal.

Myths and Facts about Male Survivors

  • Myth: Men can’t be sexually assaulted.
    • Fact: Men are sexually assaulted. Any man can be sexually assaulted regardless of size, strength, or sexual orientation.
  • Myth:Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
    • Fact: Heterosexual, gay, and bisexual men are equally likely to be sexually assaulted. Being sexually assaulted has nothing to do with your sexual orientation.
  • Myth: Only gay men sexually assault other men.
    • Fact: Most men who sexually assault other men identify themselves as heterosexual. Sexual assault is about violence, anger, and control over another person, not lust or sexual attraction.
  • Myth: Men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.
    • Fact: Although the majority of perpetrators are male, men can also be sexually assaulted by women.
  • Myth: Erection or ejaculation during a sexual assault means you “really wanted it”or consented to it.
    • Fact: Erection and ejaculation are physiological responses that may result from mere physical contact or even extreme stress. These responses do not imply that you wanted or enjoyed the assault and do not indicate anything about your sexual orientation. Some rapists are aware how erection and ejaculation can confuse a victim of sexual assault — this motivates them to manipulate their victims to the point of erection or ejaculation to increase their feelings of control and to discourage reporting of the crime.

Believing these myths is dangerous and damaging. So long as society believes these myths, and teaches them to children, male survivors will be unlikely to get the recognition and help they need. The Violence Prevention and Action Center is available to provide support, information, and additional resources to any survivor, including males.