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Male sexual assault and rape is a topic new to the research world. What can be estimated from the Uniform Crime Report rape statistics is that rape of males, by both genders, represents a minimum of about 10% of all rapes.

Rape of males by malesEdit

It is less well-known that many men and boys have been raped by other males. Male on male rape is common in incest, incestuous rape, and other situations, (such as prison or other similar settings) where men and boys are dependent on elder males and/or are unable to escape stronger males. There are few reliable statistics on male-male rape. Since there is no known uniform gender-neutral data on all forms of rape it impossible to distinguish how many males were raped by males versus those males raped by females.

Men, young men and boys suffer rape-related trauma by rape and sexual assault just as female victims do. In addition, due to male socialization to consider all male-male sexual contact to be shameful, to 'be tough and take it like a man' and to eschew victimhood in all its forms, many males who were survivors of male rape choose to suffer in silence rather than risk reporting the crime. These victims consider the shame of disclosure and their likely shunning by other males, as worse than the crime itself; a form of double-bind shame similar to the double-bind blame that male-female rape victims often face. Incest by fathers or incestuous rape of male children by adult men in responsible roles is an especially traumatic form of sexual crime against males that has gained widespread national attention in the United States due to the recent Roman Catholic sex abuse cases. Male-male rape often does deep damage to or destroys the survivor's image of himself as a man which may cause him to feel helpless and alone among other men.

When a male is raped (by a male or female) the involuntary physiological response of erection or orgasm cannot be taken to imply that the act was welcomed by the victim. A capable assailant, male or female, can induce these involuntary physical responses in the majority of males with force and/or with deception. Likewise, in incest or incestuous male-male rape, 'voluntary' initiation, 'voluntary' participation, and involuntary enjoyment by the victim, do not imply that the sexual assault is consensual, less loathsome, or less traumatic to the victim. Many people mistake these involuntary physiological effects, falsely, as indications of consent, when in fact the male rape victims have no more control over his involuntary physiological responses than do female rape victims.

Male-on-male rape does not imply homosexuality. This is a common misperception. People often view the male aggressor as a homosexual, and may think of the recipient as having homosexual tendencies too, especially if he shows signs of sexual stimulation during the experience. Research indicates that the most common form of male-male rape is group rape by other males who rape males who are considered less than 'real' men or latent homosexuals; therefore it is a mistake to perceive the rapists as homosexuals in these cases too. A male rape victim will often experience involuntary erection when forcibly penetrated by rapists of either gender but that does not mean that he is homosexual or that he enjoys the rape. To falsely label a male rape victim 'homosexual' just because his rapist was male can cause the rape victim double-bind shame in cultures where discrimination against homosexuals is rampant.

Rape of males by femalesEdit

Women also can commit an act of rape with force or deception to make a man (or adolescent) engage in a non-consensual penetrative sexual act.

Statutory rape of males by femalesEdit

Further information: Female on male statutory rape

According to Court TV's Crime Library, women commit about 10% of all sexual offenses and their abuse often involves their own child or children which is incest.

Many reported cases are consensual and are statutory rape - several widely publicized cases in the United States involved school teachers raping their teenage male students under their consent. A recent example of this is that of Debra Lafave of Greco Middle School and her teenage student. The controversial case questioned the mindset that teenagers are too innocent to give consent to sex.

Non statutory rape of males by femalesEdit

For more details on this topic, see Non statutory female on male rape.

Non statutory female on male rape is widely, but incorrectly, considered impossible because male erectile response is seen as voluntary, when, in fact, it is involuntary.[1] Therefore, male victims of rape by females often face social, political, and legal double-standards [1]. Female rapists are usually seen as much less culpable than male rapists by the courts. In addition, male victims of female rape often endure a double-bind because men are considered to always want sex with a woman which means that female-on-male rape can be seen, by others, as consensual when in fact the female sexual predator usually uses covert psychological or emotional coercion to commit the crime. In addition, since rape by females is much less well known than male-female rape, male victims of female rapists often find little support from rape crisis centers (many of which do not welcome any adult males, including rape victims). Finally, since the incidence of female-on-male rape is on record at much higher rates (31% compared to 10%) in Canada, it is likely being substantially under-reported in the US.

In many countries, male rape is legally classified under a different law or name. However, the nature of the incident, and its consequences, are similar. It is said that male rape is taken less seriously as a result of the stereotypical views held about males in many societies, including modern Western society. Men's rights lobbyists are pushing for tougher male rape laws, and have gained some success, but many still feel that more work is needed to be done.

Male rapist profilesEdit

Dr. A. Nicholas Groth, author of Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender, described four types of deliberate rapists, based on their motivations and behavior patterns. Forensic scientists, criminologists, and law enforcement agencies often use these profiles to analyze rapists, and prevent future rapes.

Since rapes are predominantly perpetrated by men, a male perpetrator is assumed in these profiles:

  • The power-assertive rapist: This is argued to be the most common type of rapist, accounting for about 40 percent of all reported rapes. Wishing to be an alpha male, he tends to value machismo and physical aggression, and often rapes victims that he meets in places like bars, where he may pose as, or be, an authority figure. Power-assertive rapists rarely target specific people for rape and, while not intending to kill their victims, often traumatize and humiliate them.
  • The power-reassurance rapist: Responsible for about 27.5% of reported rapes, this type of rapist has been described by law enforcers as the "gentleman rapist". He is usually:
    • of average intelligence;
    • not physically aggressive;
    • socially-deficient; and
    • unable to develop interpersonal or romantic relationships.
Usually, he will select and stalk a victim before committing the crime. The victim is usually someone whom he knows, eg. a neighbor or work acquaintance. Power-reassurance rapists often force the victim to emulate foreplay, and take "trophies" of the rape; they may even record the event in a personal journal. Power-reassurance rapists tend to be the least violent type of rapists, often fantasizing about consensual sexual relationships with women, rather than violent conquests.
  • Anger-retaliatory rapist: Responsible for about 28% of rapes, this type of rapist is often a substance abuser, with impulsive behavior and anger-related pathologies. He does not target specific victims, and often feels a general animosity toward the gender of his target. The anger-retaliatory rapist's attacks are usually spontaneous and brutal, and while he does not intend to kill the victim, he may beat her or him to death if she or he resists. This rapist usually has below-average intelligence, and is likely to leave more evidence than other types of rapists.
  • The anger-excitation rapist: This type of rapist, considered the most dangerous and elusive, accounts for about 4.5 percent of rapes. The anger-excitation rapist may or may not choose his victims selectively. Often sadistic, this type of rapist frequently murders his victim to prevent her or him from identifying him, or for his own self-gratification. FBI profilists lists the fourth type as "sexually sadistic rapists." These rapists are sexual sadists. Only a small percentage of sexual sadists are rapists.

According to John Douglas, the legendary FBI profilist, rapists tend to fall into four basic categories: "power-reassurance rapist" (driven by feelings of inadequacy), the "exploitive" rapist (impulsive driven and overtly macho), the "anger" rapist (who uses sex to displace his rage), and the "sadistic" rapist, who gets aroused from sexual sadism.

Further readingEdit

  • Anderson, Peter and Struckman-Johnson Cindy, Sexually Aggressive Women: Current Perspectives and Controversies, Guilford, 1998.

Male survivors

  • Dorais, Michel, Don't Tell: The Sexual Abuse of Boys, McGill-Queen Univ Press, 2002.
  • Mezey, Gillian, and King, Michael, Male Victims of Sexual Assault, Oxford, 2000.

External linksEdit

Male-male and female-male rape links

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer)


  1. (1997). Male Rape - Victims' Response. The National Center for Victims of Crime. URL accessed on 2007-2-27.
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