New CDC Study on Sexual Assault: Preteen Boys and Adolescent Girls are Most at Risk

Striking results as to the prevalence of sexual violence for both males and females

The CDC released its latest survey on rape and intimate partner violence today, and the news is troubling. According to the latest government data, nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped or experienced attempted rape by men, while 1 in 4 reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. Linda Degutis, the director of the study told the New York Times that the results were “striking” and “surprising.”   “I don’t think we’ve really known that it was this prevalent in the population”, she said.

The study also makes it clear that men can be victims too. 1 in 71 men reported having been raped – many when they were small boys. 1 in 7 had been physically battered by a lover or spouse.  Interestingly, for the first time a national survey of male victims of rape distinguished being “forced to penetrate” a male or female abuser from other forms of sexual assault.

And among males it is little boys, not adults or teens, who are at the greatest risk. 28% of male victims reported that they were raped when they were 10 or younger, while only 12% of female victims were sexually assaulted by that age. For boys, the most vulnerable years seem to be between 6-10, while for girls, the most statistically dangerous period of their lives coincides with puberty. This doesn’t mean that preteen girls aren’t victimized; it does mean that the onset of adolescence offers much statisical greater protection for boys than it does for their sisters.

Though men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape, the new research makes it more evident than ever that men are also its victims.  Despite recent claims about a proliferation of female rapists, the CDC found that “male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators.”  Close to 50% of all stalking victimizations that men experienced were also perpetrated by men.

It can’t be said often enough: men are victims too. Male suffering in the aftermath of sexual assault is as real and profound as what women endure. But at the same time, there’s no point in denying the realities that this study drives home: men are the primary perpetrators of sexual violence, particularly against preteen boys and adolescent girls. For the sake of the sons and daughters who are equally deserving of our protection, let’s design prevention programs accordingly.

photo: uaeincredible / Flickr


About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website


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  2. I wonder how much confirmation bias is at work here with you Hugo. I would expect better from you when it comes to not playing the word games with the word “rape”. There are still some states where the law makes it impossible for a female to commit rape and the language the CDC used here also skewed the numbers.

    But I will humor you and look at only female victims of sexual violence who reported a female only perpetrator. The numbers work out to be 4,403,010. That is 4 million almost 4.5 million who reported a female only perpetrator. So where are the programs and services for them? It gets a bit tougher to discount the number compared to using the %.

    Here is where you are wrong Hugo. We should design all programs to address people. Period. Equality means both the good and the bad. It means people are people. So how does anyone, including you, justify sticking your head in the sand? Also why the continued distortion of wording?

  3. The Bad Man says:

    As usual, the comments are far more informative than the articles. Thanks everyone.

  4. Julie Gillis says:

    There are times when I deeply fear that violence is a feature of the human operating system, and not a bug. No matter man on man, man on woman, woman on woman, woman on man, firm on infirm, old on young, youth on the aged, gay on straight and so forth, tribe on tribe, country on country, we seem to delight in harming each other while justifying our actions, our cultures, our sexes, races, non profits or corporations.
    The truth of the matter seems to be that we like it. We seem to relish it especially here on the web where no one will know who we are, with our drive by comments, zingers, bitter retorts and piercing bon mots.
    I feel sad.
    I want to believe there is hope, and maybe the only way through to more peace is through the fighting here, but I’d like to think we could all just stop, ask questions, not pre-judge and maybe empathize.
    But then, that wouldn’t be any fun would it?

    • Julie

      the story here is that people are abusing stats in order to cover-up rape of men and boys.

      • Julie Gillis says:

        My point, which I’m sure you may not care about, is that humans all seem to relish violence against each other.
        That includes women on man, did you read my post? The story of the post may be about statistics but to me the meta story is that no matter how peaceful the intentions of people making forums for people to gather and discuss, no matter how peaceful the intentions of laws intended to protect kids, no matter….50K years going and we still really love destroying each other.
        So it must be a feature. Saying that I feel certain it’s likely you’ll come back at me with a retort that has nothing to do with what I said though.

        • Julie, it is so discouraging. It also often feels ironic to me how verbally abusive people can be on the internet. I understand the need to turn the pressure valve a little to the right and let off some steam, but what really interests me is how many people are downright vicious. Male and female. And most of them, anonymously. I get exasperated at the black an white thinking…”all men,” “100% of women,” etc. And the WORST thing? I think some people exaggerate for effect and because it’s a whole lot cheaper than therapy, but I think a bunch of them absolutely believe what they say, and it’s scary. Yesterday a woman said all men have no emotions. yesterday a man said there are NO derogatory words for women, just for men. I read this stuff and feel hopeless. Grownups, no matter how hurt, no matter how passionate about their views, should have SOME responsibility to civility and sticking to basic facts. It’s not just that these behaviors ruin the experience for everyone else, but that they prevent the commenters from ever being able to learn anything because their minds are closed. I have my views, but I learn stuff here everyday from people whose views are different than mine. Those people who come here to drop bombs on each other are perpetuating a kind of violence, and we need more peace as you say. We so need more peace. Things get worked out during peace. War? There are lots of casualties, but not a lot of enlightenment.

          • Lori and Julie, I so love your voices here.

            The best understanding of violence I’ve found, is “Violence: A national epidemic” by James Gilligan. It’s amazing. Do you know of this book? He discusses various “theories of violence”. It’s just our biology is one of them.

        • Yes but Julie, the big story here is that people from a certain political organisation have an agenda to abuse statistics to lie about and cover up abuse and rape.

          Can you see that as being a really big deal?

          Would you change your position of it was abuse and rape of women and girls that was being covered up?

          What is wrong with you that you are glossing over the covering up of abuse and rape?

          • Not glossing over a darn thing. Totally acknowledging there is a problem.

          • Ron – as a third party, I feel the need to point out that the term “What is wrong with you…” is seen a personal attack. There is *nothing wrong* with either you or Julie. You are merely disagreeing.

            Personally, when someone says something like “What is wrong with you?” I instinctively have a hard time truly hearing and respecting what they legitimately have to say. I really want to hear you both, but the personal attacks don’t belong in this conversation.

            • Joanna

              The political movement and its followers that cover up female perpetrated abuse and fail to see the problem – are the sore thumb here, not the people that are pointing out this very serious problem, their positions are morally correct.

              Do you get a free pass on this because you are women, or feminists?

              Yes says TGMP, yes say feminists, but don’t expect everyone else to play along.

  5. Examining the tables on page 18 and 19 in the CDC report the following stands out:
    % of Women who has been raped(1) in the last 12 months: 1.1% (estimated to 1,270,000)

    % of Men who has been “Made to penetrate someone else”(2) in the last 12 months: 1.1% (estimated to 1,267,000).

    (Seriously; click on the link to report in Hugo’s article and open the full report and go on page 17-19 and read for yourself).

    So what’s the difference between these two categories? Let’s see how the CDC themselves defines them in their report:

    1) Rape is defined as any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent. Rape is separated into three types, completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, and completed alcohol or drug facilitated penetration.

    2) Being made to penetrate someone else includes times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.

    Now, do anyone not agree that “being forced to penetrate someone else” in reality is rape? I’d like to hear someone make that argument without sounding like a rape apologist. Even the criminal law where I live categorize both these definitions as rape.

    That makes men just as likely to be raped as women. And of those 1,267,000 raped men in the last 12 months 79.2% of them said that it was a woman who raped them. Even if we assume all women were raped by men that would not make men overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape if we look at the last 12 months.

    So women, please consider that just now your brother is just as likely to be raped as you are. In fact considering that the sample by used by CDC were non-institutionalized people (p. 9) – that means that no incarcerated people were part of the survey which means that this survey most likely undercounts the occurences of rape of men.

    • DavidByron says:

      Although as with prison rape the data to my mind suggests that more male victims are repeatedly raped. That means that for example had the survey asked “were you raped in the last month?” far more men would have said yes.

      Presumably women are raping men repeatedly within marriage / partnerships and this rape is ignored to a far higher degree than if the genders were reversed. A very easily predictable result based on the available anecdotal data.

      • My mother and the older of my two sisters got men drunk in order to get pregnant. These are both rapes under current law in my state. My mother was attempting to escape her rapist father. My sister was afraid of being left on the shelf. That sister brags openly about what she did.

        Anybody want to bet those are the only instances?

        Alcohol related rape laws could well turn out to be a real Pandora’s Box if men actually understood that it WAS rape.

      • DavidByron: All respondents of the CDC survey were non-institutionalised which means that this survey probably underreports male rape since a large section of men which are most at risk for rape were not asked.
        Gwallan is right and I believe that is one of the reasons why we see that the disparity in the lifetime versus last 12 months columns. More and more men breaks free of the notion that men always should welcome sex and that there is no such thing as unwanted sex. Another one is that it’s becoming increasingly more accepted for women be the sexual aggressor/initiator and that put’s them more at risk for being a violator and this risk has not been mitigated enough because there has been a one-sided focus on female victims and male perpetrators when it comes to rape leaving too many of these women with the notion that men always want sex – regardless of whether they say no, is drunk beyond capability to consent or even when they’re sleeping.

        • DavidByron says:

          Yeah I know they (mostly) skip prison rape.
          My point was the maths.

          if you look at the ratio of lifetime rape to rape reported in last 12 months then for women it’s what (from memory), like 17:1 ? but for men more like 4:1. And if you just multiplied the 12 month figure by an adult lifespan you’d expect 40-50:1. The reason the lifetime figure is much smaller is that a lot of people are being raped many times. Like in prison. And that’s especially true of men. Gwallan’s comment doesn’t suggest a kind of rape that repeats regularly.

          Of course there are other ways to explain the discrepancy. eg that people tend to forget incidents with time, or that the rate of rape recently increased significantly.

          • @Tamen & David…The older demographic would be far less likely to understand their experience to be sexual coercion. This will distort longer term analyses.

            • DavidByron says:

              An excellent point.
              Yes the lifetime results have the effect of multiplying the representation of older generations.

              Another suggestion I heard elsewhere is that the rape of women used to be much greater in the past (instead of the rate of male rape being less).

  6. And for the record, while I understand that GMP has a policy of disallowing critical comments or anything discussing male victims, you honestly cannot have an open, honest discussion if you keep throwing comments into moderation.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Comments go into moderation when they are long, have multiple links, and include trigger words. Also, we do not allow personal attacks on our writers, which is why there is the moderation policy. However, we get about 4,000 comments a month, and cannot moderate them all. So sometimes it seems random as to which comments get moderated, but we try to put them up as soon as possible.

      We DO NOT disallow comments about male victims, under any circumstances.

      • Lisa, I understand that long posts or posts with multiple links or trigger words will end up in moderation. However, my second post was short and contained nothing I can see to be a trigger word or any links and it ended up in moderation. That is not the first time that has happened, and I am not the only person that has happened to. I do not know how the moderation works here, whether it is decided by everyone or by the individual contributors to post articles here, the latter of which would explain why I only get moderated on articles written by certain contributors. If I am on some moderation list I would at least like to know that. That will not stop me from critiquing something I disagree with, but it at least explain the oddity of even completely benign comments ending up in moderation.

        • Lisa Hickey says:

          Jacob, the moderation is done technologically, which means there’s no one person who sits there and decides which are moderated or not. But again, today was a maelstrom of comments — close to 1,000 today alone. We get to them as fast as we can. I really don’t think we held any of yours up for more than an hour. But I’d say about 60% of the comments get moderated, 40% go through, and some of those get “flagged” afterwards. But really, we are doing nothing to your comments in particular that we aren’t doing to others. I’m not sure why your benign comments ended up in moderation, but I am having someone look at the technology. But honestly, it has nothing to do with either you or male victims. I have told you many times before that your story deserves to be told.

          • Then could you please take a bit more care in who you permit to tell that story.

          • Feeling silenced(or being silenced) is triggering for a survivor of the wrong kind of abuse.

            I don’t want to speak for Toy Soldier, but I did want to put that out there.

          • Lisa, I understand that the moderation is done technologically. I use the same kind of moderation on my blog. What I am saying is that it appears that my comments are specifically being held in moderation regardless of their content. It is also possible that every comment made on this article automatically goes into moderation. I understand that GMP gets a lot of comments, many of them less than polite, and I can understand using stringent moderation. I do not particularly care about that per se, nor do I feel silenced by it, as one person suggested. I just find it a curious as it has occurred too often to be coincidental.

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Ok — I figured it at least partly out — sorry Jacob. My name is set to be flagged — if someone is personally attacking me, I need to know right away. For the record, you have never once come close to doing that. But comments of yours that mention me will be put into moderation. We are working on a better, more customizable system but for now that is the way it works.

  7. Schwyzer, why do I get the feeling that you did not expect anyone to actually read the report?

    Despite recent claims about a proliferation of female rapists, the CDC found that “male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators.”

    Since this thinly veiled insult was aimed at me, I will respond. I made no “claims.” I cited several well-researched articles and studies that showed a high prevalence of female-on-male sexual violence. Granted, either you or some other editor conveniently removed the links to those sources, but one can easily find the papers and studies online.

    Secondly, the researchers defined rape as:

    -Among women, rape includes vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by a male using his penis. It also includes vaginal or anal penetration by a male or female using their fingers or an object.

    -Among men, rape includes oral or anal penetration by a male using his penis. It also
    includes anal penetration by a male or female using their fingers or an object.

    According to that definition, women cannot rape men or women by forcing the victims to penetrate them. They cannot rape men by forcibly performing oral sex on the victims. The researchers instead created a separate definition called “being made to penetrate someone else” that is not counted as rape. The final 1 in 71 statistic, a stat that does not match any recent studies’ rate for sexual violence against males, specifically excludes the majority of sexually violent acts, most of which legally count as rape in most states.

    I noticed that you did not quote anything directly from the study, and perhaps this is why:

    For male victims, the sex of the perpetrator varied by the type of sexual violence experienced. The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpetrators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators (data not shown).

    That data suggests that women commit fare more sexual violence against males that people think, which oddly coincides with the “recent claims about a proliferation of female rapists.” Please note, I am not manipulating the data. The above information is on page 24 of the report. Also keep in mind that with the exception of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, all of the above legally count as rape in most states with rape statutes.

    As for your statement that boys under 10 face the greatest risk, according to the researchers:

    More than one-quarter of male victims of completed rape (27.8%) were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger (data not shown). With the exception of the youngest age category (i.e., age 10 or younger), the estimates for age at first completed rape for male victims in the other age groups were based upon numbers too small to calculate a reliable estimate and therefore are not reported.


    Too few men reported rape victimization in adulthood to examine rape victimization as a minor and subsequent rape victimization in adulthood.

    In other words, they did not have enough data from male victims to figure out a reliable estimate. That seems to occur so often with the sexual violence data that it makes the results questionable. It seems possible that sexual violence against males is not only underreported by the male respondents, but that the researchers’ own methodology may have skewed the results.

    Close to 50% of all stalking victimizations that men experienced were also perpetrated by men.

    That implies that most of the people who stalk men are women. Framing it as you did veils the amount of stalking women commit. Here is what the report actual states:

    Among male stalking victims, almost half (44.3%) reported being stalked by only male perpetrators while a similar proportion (46.7%) reported being stalked by only female perpetrators. About 1 in 18 male stalking victims (5.5%) reported having been stalked by both male and female perpetrators in his life (data not shown).

    The intellectual dishonesty displayed in your article was exactly what I was talking about in my article. Here we have a study that states that if a man or woman perform oral sex on a girl or forcibly penetrate her, it is rape, but if those same people perform oral sex on a boy or force him to penetrate them, it is not rape. To then selectively report that problematic data when it does not support your position is the height of dishonesty. However, to pretend to then care about male victims as one deliberately withholds information about sexual and physical violence against them is the very definition of hypocrisy. To this point, as you claim that:

    It can’t be said often enough: men are victims too. Male suffering in the aftermath of sexual assault is as real and profound as what women endure.

    I do not know anyone who genuinely cares about male survivors who would ever use a study to deny that women can rape or commit any violence against males. When you can make the above quoted statement without following it up with a “but only men commit rape” comment, then male survivors will believe you rather than rightly assuming that you find our suffering bogus and trivial, and that you are just saying otherwise to look good.

  8. This is simply a lie.

    “Despite recent claims about a proliferation of female rapists, the CDC found that “male rape victims and ….reported predominantly male perpetrators.”

    The survey actually said that 79.2% of the men saying they were forced into sex (“forced penetration”) said women did it. Of course the other 20% were not necessarily men; might have been multiple rapists.

    You may be right in reporting what they SAID. if so they are lying.

    • Jun Kafiotties says:

      Read the wording of what constitutes rape, envelopment isn’t rape under their title. Envelopment is under the other sexual assault category where nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experiences sexual assault. if 79.2% of the men saying they were forced to penetrate said women did it, then that’s what, 1 in 26 men who were forced to penetrate women? up to 5million men, a sure jump in the number previously thought of female rapists.

      I actually thought this was a great survey until that was pointed out, no wonder this survey is being used to paint men as rapists for both men and women due to how they perceive rape. Majority of male victims were assaulted by women, I’d love to see a newspaper report that…

  9. The summary of this survey lies to low-ball male rape victims and support the feminist sexist propaganda on rape.

    This is the first survey to ask men if they were forced into sex. They said yes at the same rate that women did (over last 12 months — 1.1%) But the survey refused to call what happened to men “rape”. It lied and you repeated that lie in your article. Please read the actual data, not just the summary. 79.2% of the men raped (but not called rape) said women raped them.

    “men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape”

    That is false. Stop spreading the sexist feminist propaganda about rape.

  10. Peter Houlihan says:

    “Approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 7 men in the U.S. have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.”

    Thats *alot.* O.O for both genders. I haven’t read the report yet, but I wonder how they defined severe.

    • Uhmmmm – sorry – not sure how to say this….. ahm… oooopppsss…

      “I wonder how they defined severe”

      “In this report, severe physical violence includes being hurt by pulling hair, being hit with something hard, being kicked, being slammed against something, attempts to hurt by choking or suffocating, being beaten, being burned on purpose and having a partner use a knife or gun against the victim. While slapping, pushing and shoving are not necessarily minor physical violence, this report distinguishes between these forms of violence and the physical violence that is generally categorized as severe.”

      Seems Reasonable Enough?

      Actually – there should be a distinction between the respondents perception and the study’s definitions. there isn’t. That variance is rather crucial in the development of strategies which deal with victim reporting and perception vs Statue Law and associated Law Enforcement – or other intervention. Even having respondents score their perceptions on a scale of 1 to 10 would allow some opportunity to find correlation or variance.

      Pulling a gun once makes it sever – pushing and shoving 10 times per day can be worse! Example Disabled person with mobility issues and balance issues – they may prefer the gun being pulled to end what is by definition torture and long term sever and dangerous DV. Severe is a relative issue – and as with most such issues there is a balance to be carefully drawn between observer and observed.

      The under reporting of and failures to act on Disability Related DV, Harassment and gender violence add a whole further dimension.

  11. I have spent sometime reading the whole report ( all 124 pages ) and it makes very interesting reading.

    The survey and findings are presented as authoritative – but the admission of gaps existing and the prevalence of gaps that are so easy to find does indicate that yet again the report should be marked “Handle With Care”.

    I am concerned that as to how those involved in the study and report decided how “gap” was to be defined, and even NOT Defined, in relation to present assumptions and they did not consider some very basic assumptions and presumptions which underly the whole study. The study makes clear that it has relied upon past studies to inform it’s nature and framework – and yet has not “Critically” evaluated such past studies, or acted upon well known past criticism and contradictory findings.

    It is interesting that the report admits to not being able to obtain certain sample responses which prevent sample data being used to provide estimates. The report also fails to be self critical as to why sampling methods and the research questions failed to obtain such samples. That is odd, as any study of high quality would poses such questions with a view to improving future study and also to inform others undertaking related studies of “Gaps” in knowledge that future work can and even should address.

    The study does highlight that historically there have been “Gaps” in knowledge and work to investigate and address sexual violence in all forms. The New Survey and instruments says it sets out to address these “Gaps”. In some ways it has been successful, and in others clearly deficient.

    From looking at the questions used (Appendix C) there is an attempted focus upon Gender Neutrality that is not as effective as some may think.

    There are obvious physical/biological characteristics that change the framing of the question, such as a Vagina and penetration. However, questions concerning such things as aggression and perception of aggression also have gender and biological differences which are not addressed. Violence is not just Biological but also has Social and Psychological elements that inform action and reaction. Some of the questions raised are highlighted below.

    “How many people have harassed you while you were in a public place in a way that made you feel unsafe?”

    First there is no correlating question concerning harassment in a “Private Place”, which is odd. That balance may have given a glimpse of the Modus Operandi of perpetrators and filled one gap as well as highlighted gender differences that could inform reduction strategies! The survey does have as one of it’s aims providing information to inform reduction strategies.

    Second there is that tricky question of “Unsafe”! It is quite possible for the same behavior by the same protagonist to be meted out to people of differing Genders and for the Gender to effect perception and reporting. Again a Gap opens up.

    If you are looking for information to deal with two sides of a dynamic you need to address both sides. That may seem a basic idea – but it is missed often. If you only look at activity that the victim defines as Unsafe, you miss the activity of the perpetrator which is potentially dangerous but not judged by the person as Unsafe “to them”. It also fails to allow analysis of gender differences on both sides of the dynamic.

    “Do you think that persons activity was dangerous?” Is not the same as “”Do you think that persons activity was dangerous to You?”.

    It’s a two step question – first was the perp’s conduct unsafe – did it make you feel unsafe.

    You can even ask why someone felt safe/unsafe and seek variance and gender specific perceptions.

    I could provide real world examples to illustrate, but we would be here until Christmas – 2020.

    The questions used in the survey also fail to ask a basic question about genitals and their uses. It fails to ask has anyone made contact with your genitals in a way that was unwelcome – or to correlate – has anyone made you have contact with their genitals in a way that you did not welcome.

    That may seem pedantic – but apparently the survey is looking for data across a persons lifetime from childhood, and not all sexual abuse and violence involving physical contact is “Penetrative” in nature. Asking only about Penetrative sexual activity does create one very large gap, and causes both gender and age bias.

    Questioning only about fondling what people recognize as “Sexual Body Parts” can miss a lot of sexualized conduct and behavior. There is an imbalance in that respondents are not asked if they were asked to undertake activity that the perp was perceived to receive sexual gratification from. I’m mindful of recent media and the cracking of backs! Some will claim to be involved in none sexual activity whilst gaining sexual gratification from that activity – and no genital contact or penetration required.

    The dynamic and perceptions is different from perp to the person the perp targets.

    Again I could give many real world examples – but …. Christmas 2030 looms.

    Looking at sample demographics there are evident disparities as to marital status and age. Interestingly the terms used to determine marital status are not given and that even leads to queries about bias on sexuality. There is no breakdown of individuals who are living together as co-habiting or living in a stable relationship as if they were married.

    Whole parts of the survey deal with Domestic Abuse/Violence as is obvious to anyone with experience in the field. The Questions of Coercive Control are all from that area,

    “How many of your romantic or sexual partners have ever… tried to keep you from seeing or talking to your family or friends?” – That is just one of 30 out of 60 total questions which are related specifically to domestic violence.

    If the question read:

    “Has anyone who has had or has sexual contact with you … tried to keep you from seeing or talking to your family or friends?”

    … – it would address sexual contact with minors and adults – and if the person answering says “YES” then there can be a follow up question to see if the person saw the relationship as Romantic – Domestic – and even get an age related and correlated response.

    There is one question that is so Gender Biased as to be Most Note Worthy!

    Control of Reproductive and Sexual Health
    How many of your romantic or sexual partners have ever…refused to use a condom when you wanted them to use one?

    Forgive me for being Pedantic – but the use of condoms is seen as a predominantly male role linked to biological anatomy.

    Why is there no correlating question which addresses a sexual partner, male or female, who seeks you to penetrate them and NOT use a condom or even some other form of barrier protection to prevent STD transmission or even conception?

    Given that the question occurs under the heading of “Control of Reproductive and Sexual Health” – I would expect questioning to deal with all possible dynamics – yet the question asked is actually from the Group of 30 questions which are historically linked to Domestic Abuse/Violence.

    Given that the CDC are the recognized experts in the field of Transmission of STD’s I would have expected far better methodology and questioning in that area, with gender bias not a factor at all. Viruses, Bactria and other pathogens don’t have gender and don’t seek gender specific routes to transmission. They just get transmitted by their own niche biology.

    When you check across all the questions asked it is very easy to see how many specific situations and events would not be caught in the net of questions used – and why there are Gaps in the questions, and the Assumptions underlying those questions.

    I get the impression that past findings and methodologies from other studies have simply been regurgitated and combined into this new study, without the underpinnings and assumptions being checked and where clearly necessary re-written and re-stated to remove bias in many forms and past error in other studies which are very well known in the field.

    It has to be hoped that the findings will be improved in the next iteration of the survey, and through best practice, qualitative and quantitative study the study instruments and processes will be improved and the Gaps addressed.

    Some Gaps have been addressed – but there are still too many holes in the net which allow quite a few fish to carry on swimming in the sea and unknown to supposed science.

    Again – “Handle With Care”.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      All excellant points, you should send them on to the organisation that conducted the study.

      • Peter – if they want some input they can pay the going rate!

        I am aware of just how easy it is for Organizations of any size to be well intentioned but also blinded by those intentions.

        A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.
        Albert Einstein

    • Yeah the lack of any figures for male rape victims being raped by penetration was pretty obvious. They did it by excluding figures for groups less than or equal to 20 and then deliberately interviewing fewer men. The old NVAWS had men raped (by penetration) at about 1/3 the rate of women but this survey simply says “no data” which of course gets counted as “zero”. This is again for the last 12 months question, which is more reliable.

      But on the whole I aplaude the methodology as a vast improvement over NVAWS for reporting male victims. Because it actually bothered to ask if there were any. (and then ignored the answer).

    • That was forensic MediaHound. Forensic and wonderful

    • Thank you, Media Hound, for actually reading the report and raising those important questions. We are all so quick to accept two-minute soundbites that rarely tell the true story.

  12. The CDC also say that women initiate domestic violence the majority of the time, and that the strongest indicator of a woman being injured by DV, is her own violence.

    h t t p://

    The problem is more complex than some would have us believe.

    • DavidByron says:

      Yes, in any other fight “who started it?” is the question of who is to blame. But feminism has taught us all that women have a right to assault men. That factoid is well known among DV researchers and yet universally pooh-poohed as irreverent.

  13. Jun Kafiotties says:

    “Approximately 1 in 21 men (4.8%) reported having been made to penetrate someone else in his lifetime (Table 2.2).”
    “”Nearly 1 in 2 women (44.6%) and 1 in 5 men (22.2%) experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives (Tables 2.1 and 2.2).”

    I gotta hand it to people that report on these stats, they gloss over these 2 lines from that report. What this suggests is that the levels of male victimization are MUCH higher than previously though, even the female levels are higher than any other stat I have seen. They don’t seem to count envelopment or being made to penetrate others as rape but count it as “other sexual violence”.

    Now regardless of who commits more abuse, we need to ensure that both male and female victims are given support, AND very important I might add, we need to ensure we report on female rapists. In our society we have many myths of male victimization, many believe women cannot rape men because he’d have to get erect and that means he wants it. When we fail to acknowledge women can rape, it leaves a deep silence of their victims and having every campaign automatically ONLY show males as perpetrators, use language like “Overwhelmingly” without acknowledging and treating the minority as important.

    Campaigns and awareness of these situations seem to favour only targeting the majority, which is funny for violence OVERALL as male-male violence is the number 1 highest level, males suffering 2.6x more violence than females according to the W.H.O. But how many campaigns truly treat men as potential victims? These stats clearly show there is a great concern of abuse suffered by men, 1 in 4 suffering Intimate Partner Violence which suggests there are a lot of violent women (Not as many as violent men most likely, but still significant).
    “Approximately 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 7 men in the U.S. have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.” That’s up to 21million males, in many countries that is their entire POPULATION, but still we have campaigns solely focusing on women being abused and males as the abuser. Why do we still ignore the minority of victims as if their abuse is so low that it’s insignificant? There are A LOT of female abusers, potentially up to 21million just on what the men suggested, and they get to abuse whilst society ignores it. We give focus to the people of colour, even though they’re statistically a minority but daring to suggest males suffer by females seems to be taboo.

    What will it take to get decent acknowledgement instead of focusing solely on which is a bigger stat? We don’t ignore breast cancer to focus solely on heart disease which kills more, so why ignore men?

    Sexual violence is not the end all, be all of violent crime. Those 1 in 7 men and 1 in 4 women who had experienced severe physical violence are just as worthy as the “nearly 1 in 2 females and 1 in 5 males” who suffered sexual violence. “Nearly half of women and men in the U.S. have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.” – There you go, what more proof do we need that BOTH women and men are responsible for IPV, that there is a significant level of female abusers? We already know men are the demon in IPV, now it’s time for women to own up to their responsibility alongside the men. Even with rape, females still make up a significant amount of abusers that we need to be talking about it instead of trying to continue the male = abuser, female = victim stereotype that biases pretty much ALL abuse awareness campaigns. I am not at all saying there are more female abusers than men, simply we need to acknowledge their existence and we now know they’re FAR MORE prevalent than previously thought.

    • its worse than you think.

      And yes its clearly a deliberate campaign to inflate female rape victims and low-ball male victims.

      People highlight the lifetime percent to further hide male victimisation but the more accurate measure is the 12 month prior percentage where men report being raped more often than women do. Women are NOT the majority of rape victims; men are. This is the first time a survey has bothered to ask men if they were raped and its still very biased to female victims (presumably intentionally) but immediately we get a result that more men are raped than women. And they are begin raped BY WOMEN. Survey says 79.2% of the men reporting being raped were raped by women.

      Of course this isn’t even counting rape in prisons.

      Male victims are deliberately hidden so that the feminist hate agenda can go forward.

      I wonder if there will be an immediate lobby by feminists to prevent any more surveys asking if men are raped? Still as long as the results are always hidden and lied about maybe that will do for them.

  14. Glad to see the new report out – but there still needs to be some work on the language.

    “Though men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape…”

    It seems that the conversation is to change! About time – but a few tweaks to language may prove helpful!

    That “overwhelming” trope is so unhelpful and leaves people feeling un-powered, disenfranchised.

    How about “Though men remain “statistically” the majority of perpetrators of rape…”

    That way people can be encouraged to work on the numbers and not be overwhelmed by the math!

    If Overwhelming is to be used one would expect that when dealing with Male Victims such terms as “Significant Minority” would be used to promote balance. Equality does come from balance!

  15. The CDC is about as reputable source as one could find. Thanks for digesting and presenting the findings. It’s helpful that male victims are being acknowledged, and helpful that accurate statistics about victims, perpetrators, and ages of vulnerability are laid out clearly. Now for the harder part–decreasing such a disturbingly high level of violence.

    • It seems the CDC is reputable when people agree with their findings…

      Ironically, the CDC is the source ( of the study that Hugo dismisses as “an outlier” here when drawing attention to its finding that:

      “Contact CSA (Child Sexual Abuse) was reported by 16% of males and 25% of females. Men reported female perpetration of CSA nearly 40% of the time, and women reported female perpetration of CSA 6% of the time. ”

      And I might turn the tables again, by asking, why does the gender of the victim merit such focus and emphasis? Don’t we care about ALL victims of sexual violence EQUALLY? Why must we design prevention around the gender of the perpetrator? But this is what Lisa says in an article about women raping boys:

      “What saddens me is why it has to be about the numbers and why it has to be about gender. Sexual violence is violence, with sex used as a weapon.” (

      It saddens me too. Pitting victims against victims, making a “hierarchy of sympathy” where some victims are seen and other fight invisibility hurts everyone. It saddens me too because I’ve lead a group for male victims of sexual assault several years now and I hear of victimization by females at about this rate. So do clinicians who work with male victims ( These men struggle terribly and get very rare validation of their feelings. That is extremely damaging. Read the stories of men raped by women. It’s all on-line if you want to really know:

      There’s an agenda here that’s preventing the most effective action fighting sexual violence. It will stop being about gender when we start listening to the victims and believe them. Much like at Penn State, many issues get in the way of hearing victims.


  1. […] Hugo Schwyzer. Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender … … Read this article: New CDC Study on Sexual Assault: Preteen Boys and Adolescent … ← Child Abuse | […]

  2. […] here. See the comments section for the debunking of the lies told by both Hugo and the report […]

  3. […] virtually non-existent against males. With such results, it is hardly surprising that Hugo Schwyzer would use the CDC’s new results to challenge my previous article on the Good Men Project […]

  4. […] Hugo Schwyzer said, “Though men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape, the new research makes […]

  5. […] A sobering new report is out from the CDC on sexual violence: I weigh in here. […]

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