Sexism is alive and well, but this time men are the target. A new study debunks a long-standing theory that sexual assault isn't as emotionally traumatizing for men as it is for women and that it doesn't result in similar emotional impacts, especially depression. Men make up about 38 percent of sexual assault and rape incidents reported, and those in the military are particularly vulnerable and less likely to report an assault.
The aim of the study, led by Lisa M. Dario, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice within FAU's College for Design and Social Inquiry, was to prove how depression and sexual assault are both underreported as well as understudied in adult men. Research examining male sexual victimization has predominantly focused on childhood trauma. Findings from this study will help to tackle the many gaps that exist, identify appropriate support programs for men, and ultimately remove the stigma and barriers that prevent them from disclosing as well as discussing their experience.
"When we began this study, we thought for sure that we would find that females who were sexually assaulted would exhibit higher depression scores than males who were sexually assaulted," said Dario. "I think this is probably because of antiquated ideas that men and women experience emotions differently. What we actually discovered, much to our surprise, is that sexual assault is traumatic regardless of gender." Read more via Science Daily