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We live in a world where men and boys aren't supposed to be victims. Like this, there are many other misconceptions and myths about the sexual abuse of boys. Very few men come forward to report the crimes that were committed against them. Few admit to themselves that their childhood experiences constituted abuse and exploitation - especially if the abuse was not forced or violent - and that they were hurt by it. Fortunately, as awareness grows, more boys and men are finding the courage to break the silence, heal themselves, and help others to find their inner strength, too.

On this page:
How can boys be victims?
Are boys less traumatised than girls?
How can a woman be an abuser?
If the boy gets aroused, why is it called abuse?
Do abused boys become abusers?
Does abuse make a boy homosexual?
Is it mostly homosexual men who abuse boys?

How can boys or men be victims?

Society declares that males, even young boys, are supposed to be able to protect themselves. But boys are children. And like all children, weaker and more vulnerable than their abusers, who have greater size, strength and knowledge. They cannot really fight back.

How can a woman be an abuser? Isn't that just an early "initiation"?

If the perpetrator is female, the act is still abuse, and not to be considered a fortunate "initiation" into sex. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is always abusive and damaging. Premature sex, whether by a mother, aunt, older sister, baby-sitter or other female in a position of power over a boy, can cause confusion, rage, depression or other problems, both in childhood and later in life.

Do abused boys become abusers?

Boys who are sexually abused do NOT go on to abuse others.While it is true that most abusers have histories of sexual abuse, it is NOT true that most victims go on to become abusers. Telling someone and getting support and help makes the difference.

Is it mostly homosexual men who abuse boys?

Most sexual abuse of boys is NOT done by male homosexual adults. While many child molesters have gender and/or age preferences, of those who seek out boys, the vast majority are not homosexual. They are pedophiles. (In fact, research shows that the vast majority of child abusers are what society would consider to be male heterosexual adults).

Websites for male survivors:

The text on this page is from

Male Survivor Issues and Resources


The Men's Project (Canada)

Men Against Violence & Abuse (India)

Ontario Association of Male Survivor Services

Survivors Swindon

Are boys less traumatised by abuse than girls?

The long term effects of abuse are damaging for either sex. Males may be also damaged by society's refusal or reluctance to accept their victimisation, and go on to believe that they must "tough it out" in silence.

If a boy gets aroused, why is it called abuse?

If a boy experienced arousal or orgasm during the abuse, this does not mean he was a willing participant. Boys can respond physically to stimulation (get an erection) even in traumatic or painful sexual situations. It does not mean that the child wanted the experience or understood what it meant at the time.

If the abuser is a man, does that make the boy homosexual?

If abused by a male, this does not mean that a boy is or will become homosexual. It is unlikely that someone can make another person a homosexual or heterosexual. Many boys who have been abused by males wrongly believe that something about them sexually attracts males, and think that this may mean they are homosexual or effeminate. But it is the pedophile's inability to develop and maintain a healthy adult sexual relationship that's the problem - not the physical features of a sexually immature boy.

Click the links below for further reading:

It Happened to Us - Men Talk About CSA

Messages about Masculinity and Sexuality

Sexual Abuse and Homophobia

Sexual Abuse of Boys

The Treatment Needs of Sexually Abused Men

Victims of Female Perpetrators: Society's Betrayal of Boys

Blogs by male survivors:

The Abuse Ends Now

Child Abuse Survivor

Finding Your Marbles

No Longer A Victim

Toy Soldiers