Are these long-term effects of sexual abuse for male survivors?

by John C.
(Smithtown, New York, USA)

I have very fractured memories of child sexual abuse and torture from when I was four, lasting about a year. Now I'm middle-aged and I see that my siblings have all gotten married, some have had children, but I have never been able to be intimate with anyone--ever. I can be friends, but any touching terrifies me--for my whole life. My siblings experienced physical beatings at the same childcare facility but they were a few years older and they said they weren't sexually abused.

Are my troubles related to the early childhood sexual abuse? For example, I had to be excused from gym classes a long time ago in high school because I was terrified of being naked in the showers with people. Even up to a few years ago I began acting out child abuse, talking about it to my students. I even acted out anal rape (as a teacher talking about it) and was fired for this. I don't remember much of that episode. Do you think all of this is related to child sexual abuse, the torture when I was four?

John C.M.

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Comments for Are these long-term effects of sexual abuse for male survivors?

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Jul 23, 2008
Long term effects of child sexual abuse...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

John, the long term effects of sexual abuse on males are every bit as devastating as they are on females. Both male victims and female victims suffer similar effects, but males experience more societal shunning, and if their abuser is another male, they risk being labelled homosexual; which puts them at further risk for violence. This reality can take a toll in a multitude of ways: emotionally, physically, and behaviourally. I refer you to my sexual abuse effects page for a comprehensive list. I believe you'll find yourself amongst the list.

John, what happened to you as a child was reprehensible and inexcusable. The person(s) who sexually abused you should have had to spend the rest of his/her days incarcerated for those criminal acts against you. And yes, the effects of those criminal acts against you were and are long-reaching. Your intimacy issues can most definitely be explained by the abuse you endured. Sexual dysfunction, avoidance of, or phobic reactions to sexual intimacy is a very real effect that lasts well into adulthood. Many who suffer with such effects find that therapy can help them.

But John, I would be remiss if I didn't say that as full-fledged adults, we cannot hide behind our past to excuse our own inappropriate behaviour. I wasn't there when you acted out the anal rape to your students, so it is difficult to determine in what context this "acting out" occurred. Perhaps you have boundary and impulse control issues. A therapist—which I am not—is in a much more qualified position to offer a diagnosis than I am. Furthermore, a professional is in a far better position to help you than I am.

Having said this, I sense that you are comparing your life and the effects you've suffered to that of your siblings. Perhaps you are looking for an explanation about why it is that some of your siblings went ahead and had children and more or less moved on with their lives, but that you seem to still be reeling from the CSA effects. As a middle aged man, it is not at all unusual to reflect back on your life and your life choices, John; this is a very natural progression in one's life. Regrettably, you've been dealt an added scourge: the impact of childhood molestation. If you haven't already, I urge you to seek out some form of counselling in order to help you deal with the emotional residue of that molestation.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jan 23, 2010
effects of sexual abuse
by: basil simonenko

I was abused from the age of 5 through to 16 by two professional males who befriended my mother. For a lot of my life I avoided acknowledging myself as a victim because i was so well groomed from such an early age. Even being gay was seriously taboo and socially unnacceptable during my secondary school days and so I had to keep a deep secret at all costs because I was loyal to the men who were abusing me. In a bizarre twist of justification I regarded paedophiles as just another part of nature, a part that was totally misunderstood by society. Even though I wasnt gay I too had many side effects due to this abuse. I too had a great fear of being naked in showers near other men, I also have experienced strong inexplicable paranoia that men are looking at me sexually. This has even interfered in the progress of my life. I also had an unnatural attitude towards my own son and believe that the sexual abuse i suffered damaged my ability to offer normal physical contact to him. By this I mean that I subconsciously avoided any situation where he would be naked. I would leave these parts to my wife. I am currently attempting to deal with this situation and gain closure through courts however my abuser still torments me with complete denial of his crimes. One of them died. So the answer is yes, you are certainly effected by your experiences, good luck with understanding yourself.

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