Psychologically intimidating questions

Questions about their sexuality often centers on the issue of their sexual orientation since most of the perpetrators are men.Heterosexual survivors wonder whether they can ever function successfully as a sexual partner to a woman-Am I man enough.

Once men accept that they fail to meet the standards of masculinity, they carry a sense of inferiority into most areas of life.

Men often spend their lives trying to "prove" their masculinity, or have succumbed to the feeling that because they aren't "all men," they aren't men at all. Men must not show "softer emotions." Men must be strong, devoid of fear, unflinching, and capable.

for the man or boy whose temperament is incompatible with the traditional male image, life can be hell.

He may be teased, ridiculed, shunned, or even brutalized.

The perpetrator could be a relative by blood or marriage, parent, stepparent, older sibling, neighbor, family friend, teacher, member of the clergy, therapist, physician, baby-sitter, camp counselor, or any other care-taker.

To understand the context in which abuse, survival, and recovery take place, there must be an understanding and examination of the cultural beliefs regarding abuse, victims, perpetrators, children, women and men. Studies have shown that male and female babies tend to be held differently, treated differently, and given differing degrees of attention.

The traditional view of the "ideal " male leaves every male feeling isolated.

Forced to depend only upon themselves (for fear of seeming less than a man) cooperating becomes a virtual impossibility.

" Lew states that virtually every gay male in his incest recovery groups report that they have tried to trace their homosexuality to the abuse.


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