Sexual harassment is a term and series of acts of sexual violence that are used in almost every part of the world. The term gives a deeply militant effect, based on the belief that it is something that only a man can do to a woman. But the term is not limited only to the rape of a ‘woman’, but also includes the rape of a ‘man’.
Male sexual harassment is partly defined as “… an unconstitutional act committed by a man or woman by a force upon a male”… Here the man is a victim of forced violent and unwanted sexual activity. Another way, rape through same-sex sex is to enter the world known as “homosexuality”. The more popular media term these days is “gay”. Yet male-to-male sex can be found in early writings and arts of all cultures.
Such male-to-male sex has historically been considered to be more wealthy, more educated, more culturally sophisticated, and more powerful than the elite of a particular state or empire. Because of the wealth and power of these elites, sexual practices had wider boundaries and tastes for them than for the lower classes. This is the reason why male-to-male sex work continues to be dedicated today.
Yet there are times when even wider boundaries are overcome and even in the case of male to male sexual activity, violent, forced rape can occur. Namely, there can be no consent agreement between two men to have sex, just violent coercion. Or the agreement was withdrawn if the sexual activity was too hurt for one of the sexual partners.
The USA National Crime Victimization Survey report on incidents of sexual violence stated that 38% of the victims were male. In the survey, Dr. Erika Herald and Dr. Rachel Morgan, statisticians, began investigating: Was sexual violence among men and against men more common than before?
Male sexual harassment also has to be understood in context. For example, rapist men are imprisoned in prison or at a workplace in which they are powerless and not “homosexual” to obey them. They have no other choice and cannot help themselves.
There are a lot of myths surrounding male molestation, which is why many men will not report abuse. Common myths are
- Sexual harassment by another man or woman does not affect men;
- A male being a sexual assault victim destroys the victim’s masculinity;
- That woman can sexually exploit men by forcing them to do sexual acts;
- Once sexually abused, a man becomes “same-sex love” for life
- Sexual abuse only happens to the victim.
Much research is now going on about male sexual abuse. It has been found that men who suffer from violent sexual exploitation suffer from the effects of an assault similar to that of female harassment rape. “Rap Trauma Syndrome” and post-traumatic stress disorder are common psychological manifestations of sexual assault.
Along with social constructions of men’s emotional strength and stereotypes, there are additional concerns for men who have been sexually harassed.
Questions on masculinity, fear of sexual attraction to men only after the rape, fear of being named and shamed. Therefore, it is important to address the issues of both male and female survivors. Ultimately, the struggle to overcome the myths that weaken the rape victim may actually strengthen the man (and woman) who have been raped and survived.
A male sexual abuse victim needs to be strong in overcoming the effects of rape. Male sexual harassment is “not a girl .”