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Overview of the Literature on Female-Perpetrated Adult Male Sexual Victimization

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 18 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2013 Pages: 54-61
Nicola L. Fisher; Afroditi Pina
Date Published
February 2013
8 pages
This literature review focuses on studies of rape and sexual assault of male victims, with attention to the cases that involved female perpetrators.
In a discussion of the legal definition of rape, the authors note the current gender bias that permeates the legal definition of rape in British law. The law is worded so that males can only be raped by other males and not by females; however, if a woman can be charged for sexual assault (according to the legal definition, a male-perpetrated crime), then a woman should be viewed as capable of committing rape through anal penetration of a man with an object or physically arousing him and conducting intercourse through forced vaginal penetration of the female offender. In the United States, on the other hand, rape laws vary among the States. Many of the States have passed reformed rape laws that define rape as "non-consensual sexual penetration." This definition is not gender biased and includes all forced sexual penetration performed by either gender against men or women. Contemporary research regarding the experience of sexual victimization provides empirical evidence that the rape of men is a serious and significant problem that requires recognition by society. The literature presents prevalence rates of victim and perpetrator reports to show the existence of male sexual victimization by a female; research has determined that negative attitudes toward male victims stem from rape myths, and gender stereotypes; however, future research should identify whether these mistaken beliefs have influenced the biased legal definition, or whether the legal definition reinforces these negative beliefs. 59 references