Floyd Godfrey, PhD


When Boys Are Molested by Women: Unspoken Abuse

By Floyd Godfrey, PhD

The prevailing narrative surrounding sexual abuse often portrays adult males as perpetrators and young girls as the victims. This portrayal, while statistically significant, neglects the complex reality that women can also be abusers, and boys, their victims. This oversight not only marginalizes the experiences of male survivors but also perpetuates stereotypes that hinder the healing process.

The Prevalence of Abuse by Women

Research indicates a troubling reality: sexual abuse of boys by women is more common than many realize. A study highlighted by Jim Hopper, Ph.D., found varying prevalence rates, with some studies reporting that approximately 17% of male college students experienced child sexual abuse involving physical contact, and over 25% when including non-contact forms of abuse​. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds another layer of insight, acknowledging that about 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 20 boys in the United States experience child sexual abuse, with the majority of abusers being someone known and trusted by the child or family​. In various cultural pockets, it's reported that 20% of sexual abuse of boys is committed by women, highlighting that this issue transcends racial boundaries​.

The Unique Confusion for Boys

Boys molested by women often face a unique set of challenges and confusion. Society's gender stereotypes can make it difficult for them to process their experiences as abuse. There is a harmful misconception that male victims should feel fortunate for the attention, rather than recognizing the violation of their autonomy and trust. This societal misunderstanding can significantly impact the victim's ability to seek help and achieve recovery. Many times, this form of abuse causes boys to put up emotional walls with women or later to become fearful of romantic interaction with girls and women. Other times, it creates a gateway experience to become overly sexualized in their world with girls and women.

Future Fallout

The long-term effects of abuse on boys and teens can be devastating, including struggles with identity, relationships, and mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. The manipulation and betrayal experienced can lead to difficulties in forming healthy attachments and maintaining boundaries, potentially resulting in a cycle of abuse or perpetration if left unaddressed. Their future choice of romantic partners can often be skewed by their unhealthy early interactions and abuse.

Steps for Recovery and Healing

Recovery begins with acknowledgment and validation of the abuse. Professional support from therapists who understand the nuanced dynamics of female-perpetrated abuse is crucial. Engaging in therapy, support groups, and educational resources can empower survivors to process their trauma, develop coping strategies, and rebuild their sense of self-worth.

A Message of Hope

To boys and teens who have survived abuse by women: Your experiences are valid, and your feelings are legitimate. Peers or adults that hail the experience as positive do not have the insight to understand how this may have impacted you. It can take a deep emotional and spiritual toll that most will not understand. Healing is possible with time, support, and compassion. As society progresses in its understanding of sexual abuse, it is essential to recognize that abuse knows no gender bounds. By shedding light on this issue, we can provide a pathway to recovery and hope for all survivors.

Floyd Godfrey, PhD is a Clinical Sexologist and a Certified Sex Addiction Specialist. He has been guiding clients since 2000 and currently speaks and provides consulting and mental health coaching across the globe. To learn more about his services, please visit his website: www.FloydGodfrey.com

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