Information for Men
Did you know?
- 99% of persons arrested for or convicted of rape are men.
- In a survey of high school boys, 76% believed forced sex was acceptable under some circumstances.
- In a survey of college males, 35% anonymously admitted that, under certain circumstances, they would commit rape if they thought they could get away with it.
- Men can also be victims of sexual assault. One in six men will be sexually assaulted in his lifetime.
Most men don’t rape. But most rapists are men. While many of these men exhibit symptoms of sociopathy, others don't fit the profile of a sociopath and have acted more impulsively and in a less inhibited manner, often times as a result of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol because of misguided beliefs about what it means to be a "man".
Below are some commonly held, often unconscious, beliefs that men should consider:
What if I am being intimate with a woman and she then says “no” to sex? Isn’t that unfair?
A person has a right to change his or her mind at any point during an intimate encounter. NO means NO, and after she says NO, it’s rape! There is NO POINT at which a man cannot control himself during sexual arousal. He may not want to control himself, but he can stop.
Don’t some women make up stories about rape just to get attention or ruin a guy’s reputation?
No person in her right mind would fabricate a rape charge and go through all the horror, trauma, and fear of reporting it to the police, going through a physical exam at the hospital and exposing herself to the abuse and skepticism by friends, family, and the judicial system, unless something had occurred. It is estimated that 92% of the time, a woman reporting a rape is telling the truth.
If she doesn’t struggle or scream, how can that be rape?
Rape is sex without consent, whether or not there is a struggle. If a woman feels that she has no choice, or is incoherent or unconscious, it is rape.
She said “no,” but we had sex before and she was fine with it that time.
Her sexual history with you or anyone else is irrelevant. Prior consent is not necessarily consent for the current situation. Remember, NO means NO.
Aren’t women who wear sexy clothing and flirt with guys at parties inviting sex?
What a woman wears has nothing to do with the behavior of the rapist. Rape is about power and sexual desire, where the exertion of power becomes sexualized through the action of rape. A woman is never to blame for being raped. As one author says, “A woman is no more to blame for being raped because she was in a risky situation, than a deer is for wandering into the sights of the hunter.” The perpetrator is at fault, not the victim.
How can I protect myself from being accused of sexual assault?
- Become mindful of your sexual desire and level of arousal. Know that alcohol and other drugs can decrease your inhibition, and when accompanied with desire and arousal, can facilitate the conditions for rape.
- Be aware of social pressures and remember that women are not to be reduced to sexual objects for the purpose of your gratification. Become mindful of the significant suffering you will cause her, likely negatively impacting her wellbeing for the rest of her life, simply because in a single moment you placed instantaneous gratification and your own impulses above the happiness of another human being.
- Remember that being turned down is not a personal rejection. Women who say “No” to sex are not rejecting you; they are expressing their desire not to participate in a single act.
- Many thoughts, feelings, and desires will enter into your awareness without your intention, but you have power over the actions you choose.
- Accept the woman’s decision. “No” means “No.”
- Don’t continue after “No.” Don't try and think about whether or not the woman "means" what she says. If she says, "no", consider her assertion as being sincere.
- Don’t assume that just because a woman wears sexy clothes and flirts that she wants to have sex.
- Don’t assume that previous permission for sexual contact applies to the current situation.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs. Never have sex with someone who is intoxicated or passed out.
Can men be victims of sexual assault?
Yes, men can also be victims of sexual assault. One in six men will be sexually assaulted in his lifetime. Male survivors may experience fear and anger over the loss of control of their bodies. Men are often raised to believe that showing emotion is weak or wrong, which can make it even harder to deal with the overwhelming feelings resulting from an assault. It is important for any victim, female or male, to seek help.