Jayne Walker’s Article Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis pointed out how “research on effects of post-rape trauma has focused on female victims.” I went ahead and did some research on the definition of rape, and was surprised how many different definitions came up. According to Sue Rochman, In Georgia during the 1990’s, rape was classified as Forcible penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.(Rochman 1991) As you can tell, traditionally rape was only seen involving a penis and a vagina, and not the mouth or anus. Instead of acknowledging male rape, terms such as child abuse, sodomy, and prison rape have been used instead. Besides Georgia, Some states actually acknowledge male rape as an issue (during the early 1990’s), one of them being New Jersey. Their law involved all sex crimes regardless of the victim being male or female. In 1994, the Sexual Offenses act was altered, making male rape an equal crime to female rape.
Going back to Walker’s article, it is mentioned that since the 1970’s (Sexual Revolution), there has been a copious amount of research and literature on the effects of rape on women. There was very few studies on the effects of male rape, but it was in its infancy. Walker and her team gathered 40 male rape survivors in Britain to investigate their psychological health by comparing to the health to a control group. These volunteers completed a questionnaires, which measured psychological health, perspective about the world, and self-esteem. The results were something I had expected; the male rape survivors had poor psychological health and self esteem when compared to the control group. Walker mentions “As predicted, the majority suffered from intrusive re-experiencing of the rape: 58% reported experiencing intrusive thoughts often…” (Walker, 5) After reading this, I think of how many rape victims do not seek help (professional or not). Rape survivors can have serious long lasting psychological/health issues, and treatment services can really help
In Ruth Graham’s article Male Rape And The Careful Construction Of The Male Victim she mentions “Conceptualizing men as offenders and women as victims assumes that a clear distinction can be made between victims and perpetrators of crime. This distinction makes male victimization difficult to understand, as the existence of male victims directly challenges dominant understanding of victimization that often problematize men’ sexuality.” (Graham 3) I remember in class watching the video “Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence”, and noticing how the men (including myself) didn’t consciously think about sexual violence, perhaps because it would directly conflict with their masculinity? In other words, men don’t view themselves as victims to the extent that women do, and only see themselves vulnerable in prisons. According to Graham, there is a small amount of research on male rape that expose the traditional belief that a male body is impenetrable to sexual assault. There is also research on why male rape is considered a vulgar/horrific form of rape. These types of research, in my opinion, are important for male victimization and male rape to come out of the shadows.
Graham, Ruth. “Male Rape And The Careful Construction Of The Male Victim.” Sage Publications, 2006. Web.
Rochman, Sue. “Silent Victims: Bringing Male Rape Victims Out of the Closet.” The Advocate, Issue 582, 30 July 1991. Web.
Walker, Jayne, John Archer, and Michelle Davies. “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis.” The British Psychological Society (2005): 1-8. Print.