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12 Tips to Prevent Sex Abuse of Boys
Forty-three percent of U.S. high school boys and young college men report they had an unwanted sexual experience — 95 percent with a woman. Four-in-10 U.S. high school boys and young college men say they were coerced into sex or sexual behavior and 95 percent said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.
“Sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States, but the victimization of men is rarely explored,” lead author Bryana H. French of the University of Missouri says in a statement. “Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”
The study is published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, finds 18% report sexual coercion by physical force; 31% say they were verbally coerced; 26% describe unwanted seduction by sexual behaviors; and 7% say they were compelled after being given alcohol or drugs.
There are strategies that parents can discuss with their sons to prevent unwanted sexual advances. We have listed twelve to consider.
12 Strategies to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Young Boys:
- Talk openly and directly about sexuality, use age-appropriate, non-judgmental language.
- Teach and model respectful boundaries with the opposite gender (e.g. avoid pressure to be ladies man, get phone numbers, etc.).
- Avoid linking sexual interest with sexual orientation – validate non-sexual behavior in boys.
- Teach and reinforce the correct names of body parts for boys and girls.
- Teach young boys that they have the right to NOT HAVE THEIR PRIVATE PARTS TOUCHED.
- Teach boys to trust their feelings about being touched or coerced into a sexual act – Teach them to say No and tell an adult.
- Let boys know if someone does touch them in their private areas, a parent of trusted caregiver should be there, too.
- All boys, especially Black boys need to know there are potential health consequences for sex – even if it feels good.
- Black boys need to know that being a ‘real man’ has nothing to do with virginity. It’s okay to be a virgin.
- Parents need to be vigilante that older girls or women are not having inappropriate contact with their male children.
- Parents need to be proactive in discussing inappropriate relationships online and offline.
- Parents should plan to have multiple, ongoing discussions about sex/sexuality versus one big “talk” about sex.
Being coerced into having sexual intercourse was related to risky sexual behaviors and more drinking among the victims. However, having unwanted sex did not appear to affect the victims’ self-esteem.