Male-on-male rape culture and male survivor experiences of sexual violence
Adult male-on-male sexual assault has been studied minimally. Male rape survivors often face isolation, stigmatization of their perceived loss of masculinity, and questioning of their sexuality. Examining institutional reactions to male sexual assault cases, specifically in universities, hazing organizations, and the military, provides insight into the cultural perception of male sexual assault. This project also assesses fictional media, particularly Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The show’s portrayals of male-on-male sexual violence both reinforce and counteract male rape myths. Finally, semi-structured interviews with three male rape survivors are used to observe the relationship between these individuals’ experiences and common male rape myths. When institutions or the media accept male rape myths, it can have an effect on male sexual assault survivors. The stigma and shame survivors may feel develops from societies’ views of the victims. If the culture represents male sexual assault experiences as shameful or refuses to take male rape seriously, male rape survivors may internalize those feelings.