Can Men be Sexually Assaulted by Women?

Can men be raped? Let’s look at the data.

When asked about experiences in the last 12 months, men reported being “made to penetrate”—either by physical force or due to intoxication—at virtually the same rates as women reported rape (both 1.1 percent in 2010, and 1.7 and 1.6 respectively in 2011).

That doesn’t make any sense. How can it be possible that within recent years male rape has increased exponentially? Researchers think that is a combination of gender norms being deconstructed and the fact that the definitions of rape and sexual assault are changing. This is backed up by studies like this one, in which 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator. There are also studies that are showing a slow transition away from the acceptance of male rape myths, like men can’t be sexually assaulted and men are not traumatized by the event.

The definition of rape is changing. For years, the FBI defined forcible rape, for data collecting purposes, as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” This definition made it impossible for men to identify themselves as rape victims for data collecting. With the rise of male victims in independent studies, localities started to change the definition of rape to a more broad category that can be applicable to men and women. Finally, in 2012, the FBI revised its definition and focused on penetration, with no mention of female or force.

If you watch the video above, you will hear me recount being a victim of sexual assault by a female aggressor. As I explain in the video, I was not raped at gun point nor was it a violent act. Some of the decisions that I made leading up to the event were not the wisest I have ever made, however, I was still victimized. I am aware that there are varying degrees of sexual assault, but sex without mutual consent is never acceptable.


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