WHAT ABOUT BOYS

WHAT ABOUT BOYS

Resolution 2106 is one of eight resolutions in the UN’s Women, Peace and Security agenda, which provides the framework for addressing conflict-related sexual violence. And herein lies the problem. While the framework for addressing such violence lies within the Women, Peace and Security agenda, men will continue to be structurally discriminated against as victims.

For example, in UN field missions, the appointed lead for Women, Peace and Security matters, including sexual violence, is the women’s protection adviser. This not only excludes men from responses to sexual violence in conflict, but also perpetuates the idea that sexual violence is only a women’s issue, reinforcing the stereotype that only women are victims. For male victims to be brought to the fore, conflict related sexual violence needs to be discussed separate from Women, Peace and Security.

The acknowledgement of male victims should not be in opposition to women. Sexual violence is just as much a men’s issue as it is women’s, but the current international framework, in its exclusion of men as victims, is also limiting their inclusion as advocates. Fully recognizing male victims will not only bring much needed support and assistance, but mobilize men in addressing the causes and consequences of sexual violence in conflict as a whole, benefitting both men and women. Ignoring it shuts out a vital partner in tackling sexual violence as a weapon of war.

The symptoms of sexual abuse in boys and men Anxiety, Depression, Dissociation, Hostility and anger, Impaired relationships, Low self-esteem, Sexual dysfunction, Sleep disturbance, Suicidal ideas are the symptoms of sexual abuse in boys and men. While the effects of sexual abuse in boys and men range from Anger, Fear, Homosexuality Issues, Helplessness, Isolation and Alienation, Legitimacy, Loss, Masculinity Issues, Negative Childhood Peer Relations, Negative Schemas about People, Negative Schemas about Self, Problems with Sexuality, Self Blame/Guilt, Shame/Humiliation.

A significant number of females who sexually abuse children fall into the “teacher/lover group”. This comprises women in their 30s who victimise males with an average age of 12 years. The women may see the relationship as based on love, and may not see it as abusive or recognise its inappropriate nature.

Women in this group can be driven by a need for intimacy and trying to compensate for emotional needs not met elsewhere. This group can include the female teachers who become sexually involved with male pupils. They are invested in the idea of a relationship, find adolescent boys less threatening than men of their own age, and have more control over the relationship.

Another category is one researchers have termed the “predisposed molester”. Women in this group often experience abuse themselves and may have addictive personalities.

A similar category, of the “mother molester”, may comprise a significant proportion of female child sex offenders. Research has routinely indicated that women are 4.5 times more likely to offend against their biological child, as well as other children.