Unique Challenges Male Victims of Sexual Harassment Face
What comes to mind when you think of sexual harassment? Chances are, you imagine a male perpetrator and a female victim. While this is an accurate representation of most cases, there are countless examples where men are the victims of this form of abuse as well.
Statistics show that one out of every sex men have experienced sexual abuse or assault, though researches believe those numbers could be higher. While women experience several difficulties in these abusive scenarios, there are unique challenges that mmale victims of sexual harassment face.
Not Being Taken Seriously
It’s a common tactic for abusers to cast a shadow of doubt on their victims, and female victims often struggle to have their voices heard. Men face this same issue, but in a slightly different way. This remains the primary challenge victims face and it remains in place due to several stereotypes.
Society’s view of sexual harassment is one that immediately imagines a female victim. When a man does come forward with a claim, they are rarely taken seriously for a number of reasons. They are incorrectly viewed as always wanting sex, making the idea of an unwanted advance seem impossible.
“What man doesn’t want sexual attention from women?” many ask. This is similar to the “she was asking for it” argument female victims often receive. Just because someone is a man does not mean they want sexual advances from every woman around them.
Men are often considered stronger than females, which makes society think they could have protected themselves. It also makes it tougher to imagine a female using her position of power over a male to become a sexual abuser.
Film and TV
Finally, pop culture sometimes uses male sexual abuse and physical violence toward men as a punchline. Many believe this desensitizes the public to sexual crimes where men are the victims, making it harder for claims to be taken seriously.
Internalized Ideas of Manhood
Another factor that stops men from coming forward about their unfortunate experiences with sexual harassment is an idealized version of manhood, or what a man should be. Many think being a man means being tough, never showing weakness, and always being in control.
None of this defines what a man is, though. Men can be as tough as they want and still become victims with no control over the situation. Being a victim does not make someone weak, either. Unfortunately, these false ideals often stop male victims from speaking up about sexual abuse when it happens.
When You Are the Victim
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse, it’s imperative that you speak with a legal expert as soon possible. Professionals like this San Francisco sexual harassment attorney work diligently to ensure the law applies equally to all victims regardless of their gender.
While there are stereotypes that work against men in these cases, the facts revolving around sexual crime laws remain the same. No one should be subjected to harassment, abuse, or rape. You have the right to seek compensation and should get the process started immediately.