Sexual violence SV refers to sexual activity when consent in not obtained or not freely given. SV impacts every community and affects people of all genders, sexual orientations, and ages. Anyone can experience SV, but most victims are female. SV affects millions of people each year in the United States. The official numbers are likely an underestimate because many cases go unreported. Victims may be ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid to tell the police, friends, or family about the violence.
The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions
Stemple and I. Meyer contributed to the conceptualization of this article, the interpretation of data, and the drafting and revision of content. We assessed month prevalence and incidence data on sexual victimization in 5 federal surveys that the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted independently in through We used these data to examine the prevailing assumption that men rarely experience sexual victimization. We concluded that federal surveys detect a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men. The sexual victimization of women was ignored for centuries.
Very few men come forward after an assault. Many are ashamed to seek help because of the belief it could never happen to them or to any other man. Current research indicates, however, that 1 in 6 men have experienced child sexual abuse and 1 in 20 men will experience sexual assault.
In , a Ph. He sat by his phone, skeptical that it would ring. Smithyman, now 72 and a clinical psychologist in South Carolina. By the end of the summer, Dr. He concluded that few generalizations could be made.