The notion of male rape finds no place in a patriarchal society. However, when it comes to reality, we can find an enormous number of incidents where victims of sexual violence are male.
The coaxing common approach to sexual violence is exclusively engrossed in the abuse of Females. It has been regarded as sexual victimization of Female(s) by Male(s) perpetrators. The notion of male rape finds no place in Patriarchal Society. However, when it comes to reality, we can find an enormous number of incidents where victims of sexual violence are males. However, Sexual Violence against males is always seen with glasses of Manliness and Masculinity. Resulting, many find it awkward to share their trauma.
Certain fallacies further make men lone sufferers of sexual offenses. Men are projected as a symbol of Power and are restrained from doing anything which challenges their Masculinity. This shows the very nature of Society that Men are not subjected to any vulnerability and cannot be victims of Sexual Violence. Another misconception about men is that they always want sex. This depicts the very mindset of society. According to it, all sexual intercourse is done voluntarily by men, and the same can only be done when they want to do it.
Proper Statistical Data about sexual violence against Men is still a distant dream in many countries, esp. in Developing and Under-Developed Countries. According to Psychologist Dr. Sarah Crome, for every reported case of male rape, there are another ten which go unreported. According to the Centre for disease control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice, in the US, about 97,000 men are raped every year. The same study states that approximately 1 in every 71 men had been raped or suffered an attempt to rape in their entire life, and 1 in every 17 men reported being forced to penetrate at least once in life. A survey conducted by UNICEF and the Government of Cambodia reveals that 5.6% of men aged between 18-24 years were subjected to sexual abuse before attaining the age of 18 years. In March 2017, a survey conducted by the Crime Survey of England and Wales revealed that about 4% of men had suffered some form of sexual assault since they turned 16. About 12000 men aged 16-59 are raped every year, and more than 70,000 are abused and assaulted sexually every year. In the year 2018, 21,605 Child Rapes were reported in India, which included 204 boys. These are just reported; many go unreported.
In 1994, Criminal Justice and Public Order Act (1994) recognized male rape as a Crime in the UK. Before its implementation, forced penile-anal intercourse was regarded as buggery, not rape. However, a woman cannot be booked under rape under this definition, as penile penetration remains a requirement. In Scotland, Sexual Offences Act, 2009, a gender-neutral rape law was passed to replace “Woman” with “another person.” However, women still cannot be booked under rape as penile penetration is still a significant requirement.
Similarly, many other jurisdictions have made certain amendments in their rape laws to recognize male rape under legal provisions such as the USA, Canada, and many others. Now United States law also accepts that non-consensual penetration using an object is equal to non-consensual penile penetration. Moving towards a direction of US law, Canadian govt. has also recognized that penile penetration cannot be the only ground for Rape. Hence, it has included non-consensual Object penetration within the ambit of Rape. In India, the definition of Rape is completely women oriented. However, POCSO Act, 2015 is gender-neutral legislation that recognizes sexual assault, both penetrative and non-penetrative, against males below 18 years of age, but it is not available for Adult male victims. Many countries still lack any legislation to tackle this situation.
Despite an alarming and widespread trend of sexual violence against males, both the National and International Human Rights framework is scanty for dealing with this issue. Most definitions of Sexual Violence eliminate men from being victims and implant that it is only associated with females. We also need to understand that Rape is not a Gender-specific crime; our society has made it gendered. There is urgent to paraphrase the definition of Rape and make it Gender-neutral instead of Gender-specific.