U need not worry is a sentence I get to hear from people a lot, U need not worry for many things ask why? Why because I have a son for a child and not a daughter. When I have a son why should I worry, now the worries could be a whole lot of things, but today I am here to talk to you about worries about Child Sexual Abuse.
Its a common misconception (along with many other gender myths) that boys are not vulnerable to Child Sexual Abuse. According to National Study on Child Sexual Abuse (its a downloadable pdf) boys and girls are vulnerable to Child Sexual Abuse. It also goes on to say that boys find it more difficult to disclose about abuse than girls and we still go ahead and hardly pay any attention to the boys when we are talking about CSA. Why? In sheer numbers it states
An estimated 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact. (across the globe, its quotes a UN study for that)
73 million and we still say you don’t have to worry because you have a son. Infact among the sample that they interviewed the result is
Among respondents, 48% of boys and 39% of the girls faced sexual abuse
U wanna still say I don’t have to worry? I think its a inherit part of our culture which makes us believe that boys are above all this. We as a society don’t want to handle the CSA issue because for us the issue is not about invading the child’s privacy, is not about the hurt that the child goes through. Its about the SHAME that the incident will bring to the family and traditionally its only a girl who can bring shame to the family.
Also I think the term vulnerable and boys really don’t go hand in hand at all, boys are always portrayed and taught to be the macho ones, ones who can handle anything infact I will go far to say ones that will inflict pain rather be a victim to it, thats the role we have difficulty accepting our sons in but victims naah,I never believed in it but since I have had a son and one who is a gentle soul I know how untrue this thinking is. Girls or boys, both can be aggressive, both can be soft… Both can be victims.
Tulir shared this link on the CSA FB wall sometime back. The site contains some excellent posters which talk of the specific challenges men can face in relation to speaking about sexual abuse
One of the them says
If I tell you I was sexually abused, will you..
…see me as less of a man?
…question my sexuality?
…think I will abuse?
There is another one which says
If a man is meant to
…always appear strong
…control his emotions
….be self reliant
… not be a victim
How can he tell you
…he is struggling
…he is scared of losing control
…he feels alone
…he was sexually abused
There is a comment by arun in madmomma’s post which asks
Why is that this comment section so dominated by females? I always thought that it is easy to get boys then girls.. coz of typical indian mentality
I think the above is what directly answers that and that is also something I strongly believe in, this is what I had replied to him
boys (now men) are even more ashamed to accept that they have been abused. We always teach boys to be macho, to be strong… nothing can hurt them yet someone came and abused them? now how can they share this with the world.
According to me its high time we start accepting the fact that boys can we abused too, boys can be tarnished too and stop being so careless with them. I have a 3 yr old son and I get a lot of slack from people that I am raising him to be too shielded, that I am a paranoid mother, that I guard him too much. Me I have just one thing to say better be paranoid than sorry.
Guard your daughter but please don’t forget to guard your son too, at a young age they are both clueless both need the love and the protection
PS: My post on how I deal with my paranoia and teach my son about private parts coming up soon, but read this informative post by Sue on how to protect your boys