Myth: Men can’t be sexually assaulted

When we think of a victim of sexual assault, who do we picture?

Rarely do we think of a man.

However, 1 in 10 men [1] are sexually assaulted and 60% of males in secondary schools are sexually harassed [2].

Sexual violence can be experienced by any person of any gender. This means males can be sexually harassed and assaulted.

Males are not exempt from experiencing inappropriate workplace harassment, from being pressured into having sex when they don’t want to, or from being overpowered by other individuals. Coercion and manipulation are big players in male sexual assault.

Gender does not decrease the impact of sexual violence. Male sexual assault is a serious issue that is no less valid than sexual assault of other genders.

It may be more difficult for men to identify what happened as sexual assault and access supports. Imagine the barriers for males to recover from something that our culture says doesn’t apply to them.

[1] Statistics Canada. Sexual Assault in Canada. Ottawa: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics Profile Series, 2004.
[2] Lee, V. E., Croninger, R. G., Linn, E., & Chen, X. (1996). The Culture of Sexual Harassment in Secondary Schools. American Education Research Association, 33(2), 383-417.