Male Sexual Assault & Rape: Let’s Talk About The Truth

According to the penal code 375, rape is defined as such it provides no space for the victimization of men who are raped and survivors of sexual abuse. 

“A man is said to commit “rape” who, except in the case hereinafter excepted, has sexual intercourse with a woman under circumstances falling under any of the following descriptions:

(a) against her will;

(b) without her consent;

(c) with her consent when that consent has been obtained by putting her in fear of death or hurt to herself or any other person or obtained under a misconception of fact and the man knows or has reason to believe that the consent was given in consequence of such misconception;

(d) with her consent when the man knows that he is not her husband, and her consent is given because she believes that he is another man to whom she is or believes herself to be, lawfully married or to whom she would give consent;

(e) with her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent;

(f) with her consent, when that consent is obtained by using his position of authority over her or because of a professional relationship or other relationship of trust in relation to her;

(g) with or without her consent, when she is under 16 years of age.”

There is no mention of Men being the victim of rape in the definition.

Men are the perpetrators and never the survivors of rape. Many governments, including the Malaysian government, do not recognize men as being victims. They do not validify or justify the forcible penetration of men or the non-consensual sex pertaining to men, either by male or female predators. 

In a country where we can jail someone for raping an animal, we cannot jail women for being the predator and we cannot jail a man for raping another man. The awareness on this issue does not come at the expense of lessening the harsh reality of sexual violence faced by women. No, rather it comes from the pressing need for awareness on the injustice faced by male victims of sexual assault, violence, and rape. 

It’s a shame that many of us are unaware of the lack of justice. Rape is rape no matter how, when, or who does it. We have all heard of the disheartening case of a 20-year-old male jogger in Damansara who was abducted and sodomized by two men who were in their 30’s. While the perpetrators were caught and taken down to the police, the case was only investigated under sexual assault charges, not rape. 

Rape is rape whether it was the penetration of a woman or a man. Where consent is blurred and not given and someone was inflected upon sexual violence, it is called rape. Not simply sexual assault. The perpetrator must be held accountable rightfully for the crime they committed.

Why Don’t We Hear About Male Survivors? 

My research for survivors of male rape in Malaysia did not fare well. 

Why, you ask? Because in Malaysia there is no such thing as Male rape survivors. The rape of men is only reported as sexual assault and reported under sexual assault cases. No news media or social media or an NGO hears of the rising cases. Noone knows the actual statistics of male rape cases. Noone hears of them unless they are in the international media. 

Media also tend to take advantage of the pressing issue of female sexual violence. As unethical it may seem, it is the truth of the current media. A man’s case is never written because that is not what people would like to hear. The steortypes, the myths, the homophobia and the stigma surrounding the issue of male rape is far too much to risk for a news media. 

It is even more unheard as a result of the sense of shame, humiliation and self-blaming. Male survivors never had the safe space to voice out their experiences. They live in the fear of losing their respect, dignity and the sense of “manliness”. However, much like female survivors, male survivors need the helping hand of the world to overcome such a trauma. 

The mass media and government are hands in hand when it comes to being a major culprit of enabling rape culture and victim-blaming among male survivors of rape. But that’s not where the pain ends. The suppression and stigmatization of male survivors are amplified with the raging homophobia and misconceptions about male rape. 

What’s The Truth? 

Let’s take a look at reality and break down the myths surrounding the truth.

Myth: Men Must Relish All Opportunities For Sex, Including Nonconsensual or unwanted sex

Truth: Sex is no different for men than it is for women. There are times they don’t want to have sex or way too uncomfortable to have sex. But the idea of masculinity supports relishing every opportunity. Hence, some findings indicate that men participate in unwanted sex and are unwittingly raped, just because that is what is socially acceptable.

Men whether they are heterosexual or homosexual feel the pressure to have unwanted sex. Men feel the pressure to save their face by hiding the violation of the agreement and consent thereby,  diminishing their own case of sexual violence.

It is even more disheartening when people say men enjoy being raped. Whether it is by a man or woman, rape is never enjoyable. It is an invasion. A crime and an act of violence. Having a biological sexual reaction or freezing in fear is not a sign of enjoyment. 

Myth: Men Cannot Be Sexually Assaulted

Truth: This may be the biggest myth of all. People believe that men cannot be raped and sexually abused because of their physical ability to resist and fight off the rapist. Studies have also shown that people are more likely to victim blame men, given their perception of men being able to fight off rapists. Questions like “Why could he not fight him/her off?” “Why would he just let it happen to him” are prevalent. The questions amplify even more when the perpetrator is a woman. 

It is natural to be struck speechless and immobile with fear when being sexually assaulted. Being frozen with fear is a common occurrence in many sexual assault cases, nevertheless the gender. 

Myth: Only Homosexual Men Get Raped

Truth: Again another societal belief that does more harm than good. Despite the high number of male predators, the act of sexual violence and rape is not monopolized by one gender. This general belief perpetuates that only men get raped by men. Recent studies have suggested that we may have underestimated the number of times or the number of women who manipulated men into unwanted sex and unconsented sex. They use means of coercion, blackmail, and men’s physical responses to facilitate sexual violence. 

The sexuality of the survivor plays no role in sexual assault and rape. This goes for both men and women. Whether he is heterosexual or homosexual, rape is rape. Rape is never about sexuality. Sexual assault and rape are about an exertion of power. It is about taking away the freedom, causing humiliation, and getting aroused by the control. 

Myth: Men Don’t Have A Problem With Rape Since They Get An Erection

Truth: Obtaining an erection is never a sign of consent. Repeat after me, an erection does not equal consent. Consent should be both verbally and physically spoken. There is no place for blurred lines in consent. Many studies have shown that biological responses such as erection and ejaculation can happen in response to a traumatic event that poses anxiety, terror and fear. 

Many Rapists and predators are aware of how erections and ejaculation can happen as a response to anxiety but continue to use the biological sexual response as a way of saying “he wanted it”. They also use the response to visibly shame the victim and confuse them even further. Male survivors tend to self blame and shame themselves because of their reaction to such trauma. 

Reynhard Sinaga: The Serial Rapist Of Britain

sexual assault

Reynhard Sinaga was your average student studying in the heart of Manchester. He is your average christian boy, an academician, and an energetic and stylish presence. 

 At Least he was, during the day

When the night falls he was a serial rapist. A serial sex offender. Whatever name you may have for him, he is history’s most prolific rapist in the United Kingdom. My heart gripped with fear, stomach with disgust as I read the stories of his victim. There are no words to describe the horror he inflicted on the men he raped and drugged. 

Sinaga was unsuspecting and innocent to the world. He used his innocent nature as a facade to lure men into his apartment in Central Manchester. Strategically located around the hotshot clubs such as the factory, fifth avenue, The Rittz, he would often wait for men outside of these nightclubs and offer them “help” only to bring them back to the apartment, to be drugged and raped. 

Sinaga who lived openly as a proud gay man, also reportedly had many boyfriends in the city and he thoroughly enjoyed luring an overwhelming number of straight men. He enjoyed the abuse of straight men and viewed it as a sport to rape heterosexual men. This sexual predator enjoyed the penetration of young men who were unconscious and incapacitated. His friends, nor his family suspected that “Rey”, a “kind man” was capable of such heinous crimes. 

The number of his victims quickly grew from 12 to hundreds when the police discovered his unique collection of souvenirs from his victims. He collected phones, bank cards, ID’s and so many personal belongings of the victims. The related evidence and contact he kept with some of the victims who had no recollection of the sexual assault, made it easy for the police to come to the conclusion that he may have raped over 206 men. 48 of the men agreed to testify and the numbers of men continued to increase even after he was sentenced. Sinaga was finally  jailed after conviction of 136 count of rape and 14 more counts of sexual assault. He was also convicted of 8 counts of attempted rape and with one more count of assault by penetration.

The impact of sexual violence on the survivors was horrendous. Many chose substance abuse for comfort, many were confused, shamed, and left feeling like their life was ruined. Some victims were unable to remember and were unaware of the rape and assault until they were contacted by the police. Many even remain friends with Sinaga because he portrayed himself as a savior during a very drunken night out. Victims also got shunned by the videos they watched of themselves being sexually assaulted.

Imagine waking up to realizing you were assaulted, invaded, and powerless to the act? 

People who testified and the jurors who had to watch the hours of recorded counts of rape and sexual violence deserve hours of therapy and counselling. Writing about this is not easy. Hearing and listening to it, I could not have imagined what people have gone through. Nevertheless, Sinaga was seen to enjoy this. He enjoyed watching himself for endless hours at the court, he did not squirm at the sight of his victims testifying. Rather, he smiled and cockily slid back on his chair to watch the trial unfold. 

Reading this case was hard, distressing and put me through an emotional turmoil. My heart goes out to the survivors and it left me wondering, what would happen to this case if it were in Malaysia? Would Reynhard Sinaga be convicted of rape as he righfully should be? Would the 136 counts of rape be simply reported under “sexual assault”? Probably yes.

True justice was never a reality for male survivors of rape. The country like many others is yet to revise its penal code and accept that men can get raped as well. Men deserve fairness and equality. They deserve to get their perpetrators jailed and punished.

The Mormon Sex Slave Case 

sexual assault
Miss Former Wyoming, Joyce McKinney Who Chained Up And Raped Kirk Anderson

Not many female perpetrators make it to the headlines. The silence on the female rapists is heavy. In fact, when the news media cherry-picks their stories of women raping a man, they never use the word “rape”. They choose the words women engage the man in “kinky sex”, Man-made into a “sex slave” and so on. It is never explicitly the word rape. 

The one-dimensional portrayal of rape has led us unaware of how to address the female victimization of men. The Mormon sex slave case is one of the many cases that took the world by storm, yet people never understood the correct term to address this rape case. 

A beauty queen and former Miss Wyoming, Joyce Mckinney flew over the Atlantic ocean to Britain, where she kidnapped her former lover, Kirk Anderson. Anderson, who was a 19-year-old door-to-door missionary was held at gunpoint, kidnapped, and driven to a remote 17th-century cottage in Okehampton in devon. Anderson was chained up in the cottage, his hands cuffed and tied up for three days. Many labeled and coined the case as a “sex slave case” or coined it as “sex in chains”. 

However, this is an overlook of the true reality of what went down. Mckinney not only stalked, kidnapped, and abducted but also raped and sexually abused Anderson. Anderson had no say in what was a traumatizing experience for him. Mckinney raped him repeatedly for over three days until he managed to free himself up and reported her to the police.  

Billy Joe Capshaw

sexual assault
Jeffery Dahmer

Not the only man to be raped in the military and certainly not the last. Billy Joe Capshaw was raped by the notorious serial killer Jefferey Dahmer who was also known as the Milwaukee Monster. He was convicted of dismembering and murder 17 men and boys between the years 1978 and 1991. 

Billy Joe Capshaw signed up to join the U.S Army and lived in Germany for 18 short months. These 18 months were anything but short for Capshaw, where he was tortured, raped, and sexually abused by his roommate Dahmer. His report of rape and cry for help was ignored by the army at the time. And his countless efforts to escape the torture were also met with unfruitful results. 

Military sexual violence scenarios are met with sexual assault from both men and women. Same-sex violence includes brutal hazing rituals, sexual abuse by their superiors, and degrading sexual banter in the hyper-masculine environment.

Capshaw is just one of the many men in the military who suffered the effects of this hypermasculinity culture. Men are suppressed from voicing out their sexual violence experiences because “men don’t get raped”. They are barred from receiving the help and treatment they deserve because of the general acceptance of sexual assault and rape against men. The effects of sexual trauma can result in substance use disorders, homelessness, bankruptcy, social aversion, anxiety, and clinical depression. Post-traumatic stress disorder along with sexual disorders are also common among survivors of male rape and sexual assault. 

Women Rape Men 

Rape is not a crime monopolized by all men. Female sexual victimization of men goes overwhelmingly underreported and overlooked. The notion of women raping men is unnatural to many, yet it is the reality for many men. 1 in 71 men are raped in the United States. While around 80 percent of perpetrators are men, women also do exist. In many cases where women are the predators, men tend to not report.

Oftentimes, male survivors are also unaware of the situation at hand while it is happening. This may due to the initial shock, the unbelievableness, or the acceptance of male rape in society. When a man gets raped many ask the question “how can a man get raped by women”, perpetuating that men want all opportunities to have sex even at the expense of their unwillingness and distaste. 

There was a case in Russia where 2 women raped a nineteen-year-old man after luring the man into their apartment. They beat him up, tied him, and rape him with an aid of a sex toy. Rape does not define whether you were assaulted with a sexual organ or a sex toy. When you do not consent to any form of sexual act and penetration of vagina or anus, and it was performed on you, it is rape. 

So What’s Next? 

We have a long way to go before we can dismantle the taboo around male sexual violence, abuse, and rape. Addressing an issue of rape requires the utmost patience, education, and awareness. It requires breaking out of our own close-mindedness and questioning ourselves, society, and the government. 

Also, we can agree that the biggest step we can take is questioning the western notions of hypermasculinity and over-sexualization. When a man comes forward with rape,  why does it always lead to the subject of manliness and sexuality? Even though, rape has nothing to do with sexuality or “strong” or “weak” someone is. 

Male rape confrontations often lead to a spark in homophobia. People point out the same-sex “activity” but never bring up the lack of consent in the act. They don’t think to criminalize the lack of consent but criminalizes male penetration because it was “gay”. The incident of Reynhard Sigana also unleashed a series of anti-LGBT raids, which again was not even close to the appropriate reaction and yet, supported another biased harmful belief. 

An appropriate reaction encompasses empathy, understanding, and less stigmatization. Victims are falling into a life-shattering phase and the least we can do is to mitigate our way to breaking the stigma around male survivors. We should find a solution to the underreporting of male rape and sexual abuse, increase awareness on consent, give the appropriate, judgemental free space to voice out their sexual violence experience and so many more. Education and awareness go a long way in breaking this devastating stigma and harmful social beliefs.

It’s about time we start criminalizing male rape as much as we criminalize sexual violence against women. If we cannot give the male survivors a voice, then who can?

Aishath Shaba Adam
Aishath Shaba Adam
and with cinnamon rolls, I am a happy girl

Instagram

Sponsor

spot_img

Sponsor

spot_img

Latest

Real Batik vs Fake Batik

Batik In This Era In this modern and fashionable era, did you notice how our communities could actually be so fascinating with their own fashion...

The Difference Between Lipstick and Lip Tint

Adding colour to your lips is never foreign - it has been done for centuries. In this article, we’ll focus on lipstick and lip...

10 Best Flower Delivery Services in Malaysia [2022]

Sending flowers or flower bouquet delivery to brighten someone else's day doesn't require a specific occasion. For you to send flowers to your loved ones, we have compiled a list of the 10 Best Flower Delivery Services in Malaysia. Furthermore, flowers are constantly in trend, so there is always a stunning bouquet available regardless of the occasion or season.

How to Choose The Best Gifts for Women?

Many people say that women are mysterious figures and difficult to understand. They are honestly not that hard to understand, maybe we just have...

Momentous Celebrations: A Malaysian Review of FNP’s Premium Cakes

Have you ever asked yourself which is the greatest birthday or anniversary gift? Or perhaps which gift shops offer the best items? Well, I have just the answer- FNP. With my personal experience with FNP Malaysia, I can direct you to the best gift shop in Malaysia. My experience with this brand was pleasant and memorable. So, read more to get detailed info about their amazing services (also my birthday celebration).