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About Rape

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

What is male rape?

Men and boys who are sexually violated, by anal or oral penetration, are victims of male rape. Attacks, mostly perpetrated by heterosexual men, often involve high levels of violence. You – a man or boy – may be beaten and will most likely be threatened with a weapon such as a knife or a gun.

Most male rapes, as with rape of women and girls, are perpetrated by someone you know – a father, a brother, a neighbour, a friend, a teacher. The rape can happen at your home, at school, in a public toilet, at any time of day or night, regardless of how tall or strong you are, what you look like or what you do, your age, your race or your sexual orientation.

You can be raped in prison, or forced to engage in incest by a member of your family. You can be raped during a robbery, or gang raped in anti-gay violence by men who judge you to be a “latent homosexual” and thus less than a “real man”. Male rape is far more common than most people imagine.

Can a woman rape a man?

The reality is that women too, not only men, are capable of male rape. A woman can use coercion, threats, and violence, to force you – a man or boy – to have sex with her, or to penetrate you with an object. A woman who has power over you can abuse her power by using emotional blackmail. For example, if you are a male student, a female professor might threaten to fail you; or if you are a boy-child, your stepmother might hold back your allowance unless you have sex with her. As a man or boy, if you have been violated, either by a man or a woman, you will suffer from rape-related trauma just as female victims do.