Male Military Rape

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Researchers O’Brien, Keith and Shoemaker who conducted the study on male military sexual assault victims overwhelmingly found that those victims felt the need to “tough it out” and remain stoic after experiencing their assault. The military reinforces denial and repression of emotional distress, which mirrors the larger society and cultural expectation for men. Despite many male and female victims experiencing “rape trauma syndrome, which includes phobic anxiety, depression, somatic complaints, behavioral changes and PTSD” (King, 1990), the norm set by the culture is that men should not show any signs of such distress or impairment. Other men masked their emotion in anger and had trouble during therapy sessions tapping into other emotions…show more content…
Common among rape cases regardless of the gender of the victim is the disconnect between the psychological response and the physiological response. Men who are the victims of male perpetrated sexual assault may experience arousal despite the attack and actions being unwanted, which may lead them to question their sexuality. They equate an erection, or sexual arousal, with desire and attraction because that is what they have been taught through societal and cultural expectations for men to always be ready and always desire sex. Male victims may also feel “special” or like they were purposefully selected by their assailant which can further perpetuate their likelihood to internalize their shame and self-blame. Overwhelmingly, males are raped or sexually assaulted by someone they know and they are more likely to use their “position of trust to gain a psychological advantage” (King, 1990). This use of coercion and manipulation can increase the victim to blame himself for their…show more content…
In a culture that normalizes “locker room talk” that encourages males to “grab women by the pussy,” and in a culture that perpetuates a rape culture in which any victim of sexual assault or rape will be silenced, judged, and not believed and in a culture that allows perpetrators of sexual assault or rape to receive punishments that amount to nothing more than a firm scolding, there is no space for men to talk about their emotions or to recognize and support their vulnerability. In such a culture, male victims will continue to be silenced, mocked, and shamed and the effects of that will remain toxic and make it extremely difficult to create a culture in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity – a society in which no one has to live in fear of a rape culture. The voices of male victims are screaming to be heard and we have to throw away the current model of what it means to be a man, and

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