What are the Signs of a Sexually Abused Man?
by Le’Marqunita Lowe
Society carries a stigma that only women can be sexually abused. This stigma is reinforced through television shows, newspaper articles, and documentaries that we watch. Women are known to report more sexual abuse cases, which is why this stigma continues to exist. However, sexual abuse also happens to men. Men can be sexually abused as children or adults. Men are less likely to report sexual abuse, so they repress the horrible experience in their mind. Repression leads to the traumatic event turning into deeper issues. Below are a few warning signs of a man who has been sexually abused.
Lack of Sexual Desires
Sexual abuse as a child or adult can lead to a man becoming completely disinterested in sex. Since “sex” was involved in the horrifying act, the man begins to associate sex with sexual abuse. Maybe you will notice that your husband does not want to touch you, or he doesn’t get aroused from any sexual attempt you make toward him. A lack of sexual desire can be a coping technique for sexually abused men because it convinces their mind to not think about the tragic event. The man might become timid if someone hugs or touches him without permission.
The opposite of lacking sexual desire is being sexually impulsive. Instead of a guy withdrawing from his emotions and having no interest in sex, he develops a sexual addiction. Men who have been sexually abused find an unhealthy way to deal with their abuse. They might have sex with random partners, become addicted to pornography, always want to have sex with their current spouse, and have extreme fetishes.
Men who have been sexually abused portray signs of fear, frustration, irritability, and agitation. Since their ability to trust people was betrayed by the sexual abuser, they start to fear the same thing happening again. Men who are overprotective of their children want to protect the abuse from happening to them. In order to prevent this from happening to his children, the man becomes paranoid in most situations. The man might hinder his children from attending birthday events, or hanging around trusted adults by themselves.
Lack of Emotion
Most cases of male sexual abuse happen by someone the man knew as a child or trusted. If sexual abuse occurred from someone the male knew, then this will make attachment difficult in the future. Men who have been sexually abused by a loved one will detach from people. He will begin to view intimacy, emotions, and attachment as a dangerous encounter. The man might come off as nonchalant, heartless, and cold-hearted. It is difficult for them to talk about their feelings because someone betrayed them.
If you believe that a man you know has been sexually abused, then encourage him to talk about the traumatic experience with you. Most men probably will not want to seek professional help in the beginning. They will be more open to discussing the abuse with someone they trust. Explain to them how repressing the abuse will only make things more difficult in their life. It will also affect having positive relationships with the people they love. When the man is finally able to receive recovery steps, encourage him to seek support from outside help.
“YOU ARE NOT ALONE”