Common Misconceptions about Rape and Dating Violence 1. RAPE AND DATING VIOLENCE ONLY HAPPEN TO FEMALES Although rape and dating violence are more commonly reported by females, this does not mean that males are unaffected. In fact, while the number of men reporting rape and dating violence is low, evidence sug- gests that the stigma of a male being raped or experiencing dating vio- lence means his assault is less likely to be reported, as are fights or violence between males more generally. Even for males who do report rape or dat- ing violence, there is concern that law enforcement or school officials may take their reports of abuse less seriously. There is also unnecessary and harmful stigma around males admitting they have been victimized, implying that they were “too weak” to fight off the perpetrator. In addi- tion, there is the harmful perception that “men cannot be raped.” These cultural myths lead to many male victims of rape or dating violence suffer- ing alone and in silence. There is also the issue that some people believe that an erection proves that a man wants to have sex, but men have erec- tions for all kinds of reasons, many of them unrelated to sexual activity. Between 90% and 95% of men who are raped fail to report it furthermore, many men who have been raped categorize the experience as just another physical assault, perhaps to avoid questioning their sexual orientation. In
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