SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN MALES

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Sociology

Document 1

Nonetheless, Lennon’s mental scars were the biggest problem because as Daubney explains in his article, “the society does not care about male rape” (Daubney, 2015). Interestingly, Lennon, like other male survivors of rape, did not know what to do or where to run for help-he called a Rape crisis helpline, but was turned away because the service is only meant for women. This is because rape is largely thought to be a woman’s problem and thus there is a scarcity of rape support systems dedicated toward male victims. Survivors UK, the largest male-only support group for male victims in the country, reports that less than 3% of male rape victims report their ordeals or seek help (SurvivorsUK). This implies that thousands of male-rape victims are silently suffering because of the associated stigma and shame associated with this significant “male taboo”. Approximately 1. million adults in the United Kingdom are survivors of sexual abuse incidents that took place in their childhood (SurvivorsUK). Sexual abuse inflicted on male children makes up about 70% of sexual assault cases. Recent events that support the notion that male rape as a substantial challenge facing the society includes the fact that in response to statistics that indicated that cases male rape had significantly increased in London ( about 300 men reported to the Metropolitan Police that they had been raped, and more than 500 reported having experienced serious sexual assault), the Mayor allocated funds for the provision of specialized assistance to rape victims but less than 3% of this money was directed toward supporting male victims (SurvivorsUK).

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Interestingly, only about 32,000 Sterling pounds out of close to 1. The documentary Male Rape: Breaking the Silence attempts to provide answers as to why the society largely ignores male rape (Youtube). The documentary also exposes the reluctant attitude of the society on matters to do with male mental health. The victims Alex, Neil and Tanaka, narrate on how the society expects men to “toughen up” and other stereotypes which act as a lens through which the society expects men to deal with problems including male rape ordeals, and thus silence men victims. The documentary also mentions that when an anonymous man sought help after being assaulted by a woman, those he opened up to did not believe that a woman could be guilty of sexual violence against a woman. The documentary also features a senior man who opens up on an ordeal that occurred 55 years prior to his seeking of help, and is visibly still shaken by the incident thus showing just how traumatic male rape can be.

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According to the gender order theory by Connell, there exists multiple masculinities vary with the individual, culture and time (Connell & Messerschmidt,2005). Hegemonic masculinity is described as the collection of practices that legitimize male domination over women, or that defend the man’s dominant societal position in contrast to the woman who is treated as a subordinate. Moreover, the concept of hegemonic masculinity attempts to the rationale and methods used by men to maintain dominance over women and other gender identities which are viewed, in a given society, to be “feminine. ” Furthermore, the theory of cultural hegemony by Antonio Gramsci, a Marxist theorist, provides an analysis of the relations between different classes of the society in the context of power (Connell & Messerschmidt,2005). The hegemonic characteristic of hegemonic masculinity, as a concept of sociology, can thus be attributed to Gramsci’s cultural hegemony.

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This concept also puts the woman underneath the man regarding social hierarchy and power and thus supports the notion that a woman cannot rape a man, or should not be expected to. Moreover, hegemonic masculinity shapes the male mind into believing that a man should not open up and call out for help after a rape ordeal. A man, according to this concept, should not show weakness, or negative emotions associated with pain, sadness, and fear that are associated with male victims of rape and sexual assault. Furthermore, the ideals of “what a real man is” as sold by hegemonic masculinity as the standard masculine scripts of behavior are in stark contrast to what male survivors of rape experience. The characteristics espoused by the dominant masculinity include emotional restraint, aggression, violence, physical strength, toughness, courage, competitiveness and thrill-seeking behavior (Connell & Messerschmidt,2005).

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It is also interesting to note that many victims of male rape carry the belief that if they come out and admit that they were raped, they would be perceived as a promiscuous, bi-sexual, closet homosexual and thus be seen to have deserved the sexual ordeal. Because many victims who report rape experiences are treated to social stigma, many male victims suffer in silence thus fuelling post-rape trauma and underreporting of male rape and sexual assault (Sleath & Bull,2010). Many studies have examined the interpretations of different members of the society and have conducted measurements on attitudes directed toward male rape (Doherty & Anderson, 2004). Typical causal attribution studies involve both male and female participants where the sample is put to the task of reading a description of a scenario involving a rape incident in which their thoughts on the issue are influenced by variables such as familiarity with the perpetrator, social status, and gender of the victim.

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The next step usually is to ask participants to show their depth of agreement or disagreement with a number of statements to assess issues such as the amount of trauma or pleasure the victim experienced, attributions of causality, the fault of responsibility, and apportionment of blame. Therefore, rape myths provide a platform on which rape is exonerated and justified (Suarez & Gadalla, 2010). Also, traditional beliefs on gender and stereotypes accepted in the society drive heterosexual males to portray a significantly higher level of negativity toward homosexual males and thus put more blame on the victim when male rape involves a homosexual man (Davies, M. Boden, S. J. Also, a common theme in the experience of male victims of rape is the loss of a sense of manliness. Because hegemonic masculinity encourages the adoption of guidelines towards “real manliness” that include the Mexican “machismo” and an extreme unwillingness to accept dependence or weakness and thus seek help or open up during moments of pain, such an understanding of masculinity (Connell & Messerschmidt,2005).

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The subordination of masculinities other than that of the male heterosexual and thus associating other forms of masculinity as having “femininity” –this includes homosexuals and men who portray qualities that may be considered as feminine (Connell & Messerschmidt, 2005). The understanding of what a “real man’ is should not be described by television or other forms of mass communication. Parents and teachers have a big responsibility to make sure young males should not be ashamed of rape incidences and that it is not their fault that they were raped (Sleath & Bull, 2010). Concepts such as hegemonic masculinity can be fought in learning institutions especially in college where the male rape culture is a part of the daily life of the institutions. R. Roth, M. Eds.  Transforming a rape culture. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions. telegraph.

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co. uk/men/thinking-man/11587324/Why-doesnt-society-care-about-male-rape. html. Accessed on 13 April,2018. Anderson, I. Making sense of male rape: Constructions of gender, sexuality and experience of rape victims.  Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 14(2), 85-103. Hammond, L. Ioannou, M. R. Kothari, C. Mazurek, C. J. Hegeman, K. Stop blaming the victim: A meta-analysis on rape myths.  Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(11), 2010-2035. SurvivorsUK. Available online at : https://www. survivorsuk.

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