There is a new study from UCLA that has some interesting results. The study is:
Stemple, L., & Meyer, I. H. (2014). The sexual victimization of men in america: New data challenge old assumptions. American Journal of Public Health, E1-E8. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2014.301946.
In an article discussing this study it is stated that this study should be used ” to facilitate better societal understanding” and “When that happens, victims of either gender will feel more empowered to seek help and shed the burden of shame they shouldn’t be feeling in the first place.” I could not agree more.
Here are a few quotes:
Her journey to this remarkable discovery that could change how we talk about sexual assault in America began with combing over a recent National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS).
In it, she noticed that 38 percent of sexual assault cases in a survey of more than 40,000 households involved men as the victims. In previous years, the stats were between five and 14 percent, indicating that the crime is grossly underreported.
When the term “being made to penetrate” is included as part of the general definition of rape, it turns out that women rape men nearly equally to how often they’re victimized by them.
“This definition includes victims who were forced to penetrate someone else with their own body parts, either by physical force or coercion, or when the victim was drunk or high or otherwise unable to consent,” Rosin explains.
We have said for years that we need to get away from gender stereotypes and assumptions and look for the truth, whatever that truth might be. With no one ever thinking to even look for this problem it has always been assumed there was no problem. More and more research is showing how wrong this is. Female sex offenders are much more common than anyone once thought.
If we ever want to make more progress than we already have with abuse. all types, we need to move towards an understanding that abuse is abuse and all types can be equally harmful. We need to be open and willing to help anyone who has been abused regardless of their gender.
For those who are curious here is the abstract from the study:
We assessed 12-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 2010 through 2012. 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 identified factors that perpetuate misperceptions about men’s sexual victimization: reliance on traditional gender stereotypes, outdated and inconsistent definitions, and methodological sampling biases that exclude inmates. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men.