Understanding Male Socialization, Stigma, and Reactions to Sexual Violence

Resource roundup from National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)


“When it comes to sexual assault, abuse, and harassment, men are taught to not identify as victims. Men tend to be taught to suppress emotions, avoid vulnerability, and not ask for help. Men may feel the need to be silent about their abuse because of the internalized belief that men can’t be victims, or that men should not express weakness. This type of socialization depicts victimization as feminine, and uses shame as a tool to suppress behaviors and feelings associated with femininity. Avoiding femininity and practicing stereotyped male gender roles helps men maintain power, or at least the perception of what power and safety might mean. When a man does want to reach out to ask for help related to his victimization and healing, he may not have the language to understand or talk about what happened. Men may even express an attitude of “no big deal” related to sexual violence.”

Access the resources here