11 years ago when I was a lawyer for abused and neglected children, the statistics about abuse of young boys was resoundedly missing. This has always bothered me. I am also infuriated when people smirk when they hear of a young boy being sexually abused by an older woman and they say that the boy got “lucky.”
Here are a few facts, many of which I have taken from researcher and therapist, Jim Hopper, Ph.D. Hopper teaches at the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School reports that in the United States 1 in 6 boys before the age of sixteen are sexually abused. Hopper goes on to say that the methodology and the population from which these studies are derived widely differ.
With that being said here are a few facts to consider:
1. Boys who live with a single parent or no parent or whose parents abuse alcohol or engage in illegal or criminal behavior are at greater risk of being sexually abused.
2. 50-75% of the male perpetrators tend to be men who consider themselves heterosexual. They are likely to be known to the boy, but unrelated to the boy.
3. 80% of the boys who are sexually abused will never become abusers.
80% of sexual abusers have themselves been sexually abused.
4. A boy being sexually penetrated by a man does not change the boy’s sexual orientation.
The average age that boys are abused is age ten. The elements that exacerbate the abuse are how young the boy is when the abuse occurs, whether violence was used and whether the boy told anyone and if the person they told shamed, blamed or disbelieved them.
The effects of sexual abuse on boys include, anger, fear, helplessness, isolation, alienation or shame. These boys display symptoms of anxiety, depression, disassociation, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, sexual identity issues and suicidal ideation and behaviors.
Most of this blog has been about males sexually abusing boys. There are woman who force boys to perform sexual acts against the boy’s will. The consequences, outcomes, symptoms are the same as when men sexually abuse boys. The last word on female abusers is that while the boys may become aroused they are at the same time repulsed.
I sigh deeply here, once again reflecting upon the number of boys in my immediate family who were abused by men.
None of these young men sought therapy, my hope is that they will.
My last ugly fact is that childhood sexual abuse of boys (and girls) is worsened by whether or not the abuser is a parent, a step parent or an adult in a position of authority. In my opinion and personal experience is the worst consequence of childhood sexual abuse is that it makes the victim more vulnerable to desperately and niavly put trust in the wrong people and being betrayed again.
The Addict Writes