Myths Associated With Male Sexual Assault
Males Cannot be Forced to Have Sex Against Their Will
Throughout society, many believe that males cannot be the victim of a sexual assault. Despite this belief, some research has shown that males are more likely to be the victim of a sexual assault while incarcerated. However, determining the exact prevalence of sexual assault in society and correctional facilities is difficult. Sexual assault in both males and females is an underreported crime plaguing society. In exploring why males are less likely to report sexual assaults, the norms present in society assume that men are masculine and cannot be victimized. Many men fear retaliation, ridicule, lack of faith in police officers, and doubts about their claim, when they consider reporting a sexual assault. As a result of these factors, many men are deterred from reporting being the victim of a sexual assault.
In further addressing why males are statistically less likely to report being the victim of a sexual assault, some research has shown that there are biases present in sentencing patterns. Society is more inclined to perceive females as victims verses males. As a result, males that have been sexually assaulted fail to receive the same sympathies as females that have been the victim of a sexual assault. Male sexual assault victims in finding males who have been sexually assaulted by other males or females tend to have their offender receive less time in prison when compared to females who were sexually assaulted. In applying these findings, it could be argued that males are at a disadvantage when they are sexually victimized.
Despite the American legal system being able to change with certain times and societal needs, there has been little progress in the treatment of male sexual assault victims. There are flaws in these legal interventions and custody assessments because of limited understanding of the female’s propensity to commit sexual assault. Women were twice as likely as men to perpetrate severe violence. Despite this finding, fewer women are likely to be charged and sentenced as sexual offenders. Statistical data from the National Violence Against Women Survey further supports this prospect in finding that female sexual assault perpetrators are less likely to be arrested.
Females cannot physically or sexually dominate males
Another myth in the area of sexual assault is the belief that females are unable to physically or sexually dominate males. This tends to come again from the societal beliefs that are passed on from generation to generation; it is a western myth perpetuated by the remaining shreds of Victorian prudishness regarding human sexuality. However, these norms also depict males as being strong, masculine, and aggressive. The conflicting societal norms present in the way society perceives males and females directly contributes to whom society believes can be victimized. However, experts have widely agreed that females are capable of committing an act of sexual assault.
Sexual Assault Does Not Occur Among Homosexual Groups
Homosexual males are equally as likely to be the victim of a sexual assault as their heterosexual counterparts. Sexual abuse does occur among homosexuals, whether male or female. There are other myths that coincide with believing that sexual assault does not occur amongst homosexuals. One such myth is that male victims are usually more feminine in nature, which would suggest that this is the reason they would become the victim of such a terrible crime. Another myth is the belief that males who experience an erection during a sexual assault are not actually the victims of a sexual assault. Bullock further argues that a double precedence exists in the legal system pertaining to how homosexual victims of sexual assault are perceived, which inevitably affects whether or not this population gets justice.