They met at a colleague’s farewell party. It ended late and being a gentleman, he offered her a ride home. On reaching, she suggested he come in and charge up on some caffeine to make his ride back easier. He complied only to be polite. Once in, she disrobed herself and tried to seduce her way through, but when she failed, she dragged him to the bed, and forced herself on him; she threw away his clothes, leaving him compromised and miserable. After having her share of pleasure, she dismounted herself from him and dozed off. His ride back sure didn’t become easier.
Today, the society we live in is bustling with crimes and though many of them have a specific target audience, the criminal sphere does cover in the end, every human being alive, making us vulnerable to a lot more than we can imagine.
One such heinous violation is rape. While it is common belief that rape is often subjected towards the female section of the society, I am hereby compelled to believe that their male counterparts enjoy no insurance against it, but are furthermore confronted with unimaginable obstacles to justice, once victimised. Read through, and you shall pacify your ambiguity.
A 1997 report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics suggested that out of all the rape cases in which the accused were convicted, 9% of the victims were male. The same holds true in cases of rape in the armed forces. In the year 2011, out of 19000 sexual assaults and rapes recorded, a majority were committed against men. In 2001, a Melbourne psychologist Dr. Sarah Crome, claimed that for every male rape that was reported, 10 such cases went unreported.
Before going deep into the plight of the victims, let us understand the different types and intensities of rape committed on men.
Rape of gay men by straight men
Gay men remain most liable to rape, obviously pertaining to their sexual preferences. They are considered easy prey and assumed to have always enjoyed the act, forced or not. In 2014 a gay man in South Africa was gang raped by a group of five men in a vacant apartment and left to die on a burning mattress. Fortunately, he suffered only minor injuries and lived to tell the tale.
A similar case took place in Ahmedabad in 2014, when a gay man was allegedly raped by two policemen who were reportedly aware of his sexual orientation and in a quite astute manner tried taking advantage of it.
Rape of straight men by gay men
Compelled by the unavailability of a partner sharing the same sexual orientation and dominated by an irresistible urge to satisfy themselves, a lot of gay men resort to raping straight men. Not many instances of such a violation are reported but that does not change anything.
Many eyes popped and myths busted when a straight man from a small town in northern Gauteng was raped for more than four hours by two homosexual men from Pretoria. The assailants were students who found the victim killing time in a restaurant, reportedly waiting for dawn to catch a taxi back to his town. They approached him and lured him in by offering a place to sleep for the night. Once in their flat, they initially started fondling and kissing him and in spite of repeated requests to stop, went ahead to rape him, till he finally resumed from the trauma and screamed out for help.
Rape of gay/straight men by straight men
Desire is one thing and irresistible desire, another. When a straight man desires to satisfy himself, he thinks of a woman but when the desires turns irresistible, it sometimes diminishes his faculty of differentiation and he can’t bother anymore.
Rape of men by women
It may often come as a jolt for the majority and also seem paradoxical to many, but there is nothing false or implausible about a woman raping a man. Everyone has lust and the tendency to adopt the wrong means to satisfy it, be it a male or a female. A lot of instances have been reported which hold a woman responsible for raping a man, but they are often submerged even before acknowledged.
In 2013 a Canadian man was sexually assaulted by a gang of four women. Reportedly, the man came across the assailants at a club and was later offered a ride home, an invitation he buoyantly accepted. To his absolute horror, he was driven a few blocks away and sexually assaulted in a parking lot. Afterwards, he was dislodged from the vehicle.
Haunted by the trauma any victim would experience, the man remained silent for a week before he could muster the courage to open up to the police about his anguish. Even after he did, however, his complaints were met with a deaf ear and an ignorant eye, which refused to believe that he wouldn’t have enjoyed it.
This is where we go wrong.
When a girl is raped, she has to prove that she was. But when a guy is raped, he has to prove that he was, and that he did not enjoy it. It is unfair by the sheer sound of it. If we talk about equality, it should be on all stands. Why be apathetic towards the trauma a man experiences when he is raped? It is no different than that of a woman, if not more.
Alleging of rape and sexual assault when he was 16-years-old, a man in Surat approached Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in May 2023 demanding to register an FIR against a woman. Find a detailed report of the case here.
In stead of the highly required understanding and support, a male rape victim is often confronted with an in-dubious assumption of consent. What we are oblivious to is the fact that in such cases, an erection or ejaculation does not signify desire or consent but are merely normal, involuntary physiological reactions.
Many studies carried out to investigate the possibility have concluded that sexual arousal and orgasm are uncontrollable physical responses that can take place independently of cognitive agreement.
Out of the people who report being raped, 4 to 5% confess to have had an orgasm, states an article in Popular Science Magazine. “Our control over sexual arousal is no better than our control over the dilation of our pupils or how much we sweat. The presence of sexual arousal during rape is about as relevant to consent as any of these other responses,” the article adds.
In present times, as the society is habituated to always regard men as the “agents” of rape, it becomes impossibly hard for a male victim to voice his pain and many a times even the laws fail to recognise this pain. This stereotyped impression leaves most victims suicidal, and very few possess the strength to challenge general belief and fight through.
Male rape is largely prevalent but it is an overlooked phenomenon inhabiting society today, and, like all evils, we need to learn to accept and acknowledge its existence if we wish to purge the society of it.