Gender Brain Chemistry – Sharing Feelings Often Misunderstood For Complaining

Have you ever shared your feelings and then been told to quit complaining? When a woman shares her feelings, many times she is misunderstood and it is thought that she is complaining. I am going to show you a few reasons why a woman is not complaining when she is sharing her feelings. I will show you that a woman uses that sharing experience as a way of sorting, purging, gaining and giving trust and respect, relating to others, expressing creativity and creating new relationships and bonding.

When a woman shares her feelings, she is able to release tension and stress even if the problem is not solved. Just the act of discussing it helps her oxytocin level rise and that will reduce her stress level. It is a natural response for a woman to share her feelings, because of her need to raise her oxytocin which is her feel good hormone. Keeping the oxytocin level high for the woman will increase her ability to function in a positive manner physically, mentally and sexually.

Many times female clients have told me that when they share their feelings, their partner thinks that they are complaining or blaming and that leads to arguments. That is why I felt it important to write this to bring understanding to the female brain’s need to share feelings and to be heard. And more importantly, when a woman shares her feelings she is not looking for action to be taken or to complain or place blame, but because she genuinely wants to be heard, understood, respected, and related to.

When a woman shares her feelings and emotions, she creates a way of sorting out the many things going on in her multi tasking brain. It provides her a way of giving trust to her listener, and gaining trust once she feels understood and heard. Also a woman feels more respected if she feels she has been heard and understood.

Sharing her feelings also gives a woman a way to connect with others and to relate to another being in a way that says she understands and can relate to the feelings of another person. It is important for the female to tend, befriend and nurture. Not to mention it is important for a woman to relate to others and communicate in positive manner to keep her oxytocin levels high enough to keep her healthy and feeling good.

Do Human Pheromones Improve Your Sexual Attraction?

Human pheromones are natural chemicals produced by the body that are thought to cause the attraction between opposite sexes. While it is believed that there is some connection, the real analysis lies in how much do human pheromones and sexual attraction depend on each other.

Scientists have determined a marked difference in the pheromones between males and females. It has also been looked at as to why there are different pheromones for each gender.

Since there are still some unexplored aspects of human pheromones, there are also different opinions on its effectiveness. Some scientists do not believe pheromones are as important in humans as they are in other species.

Makers of synthetic human pheromones believe that they are very important in sexual attraction. In fact, these manufacturers sell these synthetic pheromones on the basis that they will help a person attract someone of the opposite sex. These synthetic hormones are used as a perfume or added to a perfume.

The idea is that by supplementing your own pheromones you will become more attractive to the opposite sex.

The use and effectiveness of pheromones in the animal kingdom seem to suggest that they will perform the same function with humans as well. Many people swear by using the synthetic pheromones to get a date.

It is all a matter of personal experience, really, because science still seems to be at odds with itself over conclusive proof. The most important thing is if you can prove it to yourself that there is a link between human pheromones and sexual attraction.

Satisfied and repeat customers are usually a good indication whether there is substance behind claims, and in this case it would seem to prove that human pheromones and sexual attraction are linked. Many customers buy again and again and will testify that the pheromones work.

Interiew with Aline Zoldbrod, Author of “Sex Smart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life”

We are pleased to have Aline with us today as she gives as insight on how non-sexual family of origin issues form a persons sexuality.

Irene: Aline, your book “Sex Smart” is a book like none other. Please tell our audience what your book is about.

Aline: “SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It” explodes the myth that sexual development is simple and Straight forward. SexSmart’s central message is that healthy sexual development actually is quite varied and complicated. We each come to our adult sexuality having walked down our own special path. And many families in which there was no specific, sexual abuse actually do cause profound damage to childrens’ developing sexuality.

SexSmart explains how the way you were raised in your family– whether you were touched nicely or cruelly or not at all, whether you could depend on your parents to take care of you, whether you got empathy, whether you trusted your parents and your siblings, what the power relationships were, and even whether you were encouraged to have friends–all deeply affect whether you will be able to enjoy sexual pleasure, and also whether you will feel safe being sexual with someone to whom you are emotionally attached. In SexSmart I describe fourteen “Milestones of Sexual Development.”

Irene: How does whether or not you got empathy from your parents have any bearing on sexuality?

Aline: Good parents are empathetic. They let themselves feel what their child is feeling, and then they respond to what the child needs. The more that the child sees that parents will respond to her needs, the more the child trusts that the energy expended to communicate is worth the effort. And so trust, and communication skills, build.

People who did not receive empathy from their parents have many problems with sexual(and emotional) relationships as adults. For instance, if you didn’t get empathy, you might be deeply afraid of getting hurt, so you may avoid getting into relationships altogether. You may be lacking in practice in communicating, or believe that it is pointless to talk about what you want (since you believe no one cares about how you feel.) So if you then do get into a sexual relationship, it is difficult for you to talk about your sexual likes and dislikes, or even to talk about it when a particular sexual activity is causing you anxiety, discomfort or pain.

If an unempathic parent was neglectful or abusive, there is a good chance that you will be chronically tense. If you can’t let yourself relax and be soothed, by definition, you will not be able to enjoy sexual pleasure in the context of a tender, steady relationship.
(You may still be able to enjoy the excitement of a new, lust-filled one, though.)

Irene: What inspired you to write this book?

Aline: Being able to have a sexual bond with a beloved partner is one of the great joys of life. It’s a spiritual, deep, health-giving experience. Sex shouldn’t be a source of anxiety, doubt, shame, or pain. It saddens me that so many people haven’t experienced their sexuality as a force for good in their life. I believe that reading and working through SexSmart can be a path to sexual enlightenment and sexual freedom for many people. As a sex therapist, I have met and helped hundreds and hundreds of men and women who are unhappy with their sexual selves. But as an author, I can help people I never even met.

There are so many women and men in America and in the world who do not enjoy being sexual. They don’t enjoy feeling sexual as a solo activity, and they don’t feel safe and comfortable being sexual with a partner. Some of them feel guilty. Some of them experience sex as needing to be a perfect performance each time, which spoils it. Some of them have sexual dysfunctions caused by anxiety and lack of education. And some had childhoods that were flawed in such a way that they literally do not know what it feels like to experience sexual tinglings and urgings in their own body.

You would be surprised to know how many people think that in reality, sexuality isn’t that great, that sexual pleasure is nothing much, and that all the emphasis on sex is a big media hoax! I hope that readers will use SexSmart as a map, guiding them to un-do the damage suffered by growing up in a dysfunctional family.

Irene: Why would some people think that sex is a big media hoax?

Aline: Each of us only knows the experience we have in our own body. People who have never experienced sexual pleasure in their own bodies have no reason to believe other people who insist that sex feels great.

There are large numbers of people who never learned that any kind of touch feels good. Many people grew up in “good” families with parents who were responsible, but unaffectionate. So they don’t unconsciously or consciously link touch and love. Others grew up with parents who were unbelievably anxious, and they absorbed so much anxiety from their parents’ touch that they associate touch with anxiety.

Far too many people grew up in families where they witnessed or experienced violence, which is devastating to sexuality. Witnessing or experiencing violence alters one’s feelings about being safe in one’s own body. I believe it can be as negative an experience, sexually, as some kinds of sexual abuse. Witnessing or being the direct victim of violence in your family teaches you that it’s not safe to love or trust. It teaches you that it’s not a good idea to ever let down your guard emotionally. It literally changes people’s “BodyMaps” so that it becomes impossible to relax, let go of control, and allow another person to pleasure you. The body remembers! If you were slapped in the face, for instance, you might flinch when someone you love tries to caress your face. If you came from a physically violent family, you can learn to experience sexual pleasure. But to do so, you have to process what happened to you, not minimize it.

Think of your associations to touch and trust as the first step in a
cascade of good physical and emotional associations you must feel first in your body before you can feel the building up of sexual arousal:

love=> touch => trust=> love=> safety=> drift=> float

love=> touch => trust=> love=> safety=> drift=> float => AROUSAL

Consistent, good experience with loving touch helps you to make
crucial links which you need. You need to be able to link love with touch, and touch with safety. If you can’t make these associations, you need to re-learn touch. Otherwise, you may never experience sex as pleasurable.

Irene: You claim that “sexual abuse” can happen in families in where there was not, literally, sex abuse. Please explain what that means.

Aline: Most people have an inadequate, shallow sense of what the building blocks of healthy sexuality are. Healthy sexuality is not based just in what you were told about sex, or in your appropriate or inappropriate sexual experiences in your family. It’s about what you witnessed and learned in your family about trust, safety, touch, gender relationships, anxiety, power, self worth, your body, and friendship. One basic motivation to be sexual comes from what you learned about being in relationship to another person. Was it worth getting close to another human being emotionally, let alone sexually?

People completely underestimate the effects of neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or having an alcoholic or drug addicted parent on their sexuality. I have begun to call these other kinds of abuse “non sexual abuse.”

Sexual abuse is a horrible thing. However, I am certain that in terms of numbers of people affected, more people in America have sexual issues caused by growing up in families in which there was NON-SEXUAL abuse–such as lack of loving touch, alcoholism or drug abuse, physical violence, emotional abuse, or neglect–than were hurt by actual sexual abuse.

Irene: What would be some sexual issues that are caused by, what you say, “non-sexual abuse”?

Aline: Well, as an example, let me just pick the Milestone of Touch, and show you two lists from SexSmart. Readers should ask themselves what are their associations to touch.
You can’t enjoy sex if you don’t like touch. I like to say that touch is the “Ground Zero” of sexuality. People who had a good experience with touch have wonderful associations to touch.

Here are some good associations from my patients. Touch equals: pleasure, relaxation, fun, softness, good memories, comfort, normal, help, connection, I’m worth touching, calming, indulgence, massage, deep breathing, good mother, good father, sensuality, a worthwhile activity, good sexual memories.
good sexual memories

Contrast this to the associations to touch that people have when there was lack of affection, neglect, or violence. Touch equals: fear, controlling, out of control, awkward, pain, numb, tense/anxiety, guilt, startle response, bad memories, discomfort, weird, danger, confusion, what does this mean?, jumpy, is this proper? Uptight, holding breath, no mother, bad mother, no father, bad father, boring, a waste of time, no sexual memories.

Irene: Your hope is that people who read “Sex Smart” will see themselves in the book, or that some of the information will speak to them. What particular areas do you feel are the most important for the readers to relate to.

Aline: It’s funny. I have to say that every person reading SexSmart responds to different pieces of it. SexSmart discusses sexual development sequentially, beginning with birth and going through my fourteen Milestones of Sexual Development. (For instance, touch, empathy, trust, body image, gender identity, and so on.) Different readers’ families created problems at each Milestone. Readers absorb the book and highlight the parts that speak to them, personally, along with the workbook questions that challenge them the most.

Irene: In your practice, do you see more of one particular issue, than others? If so, what is it, and please explain why this particular issue is more prevalent?

Aline: Well, Irene, coming from a dysfunctional family can lead to just about every sexual dysfunction in the world, but I’ll comment on a few which I see frequently. The first is probably longstanding low sexual desire. People who grow up in families where there is very little tenderness, touch, caring, empathy, or safety have a hard time trusting in an emotional sense, and they also have an almost impossible time relaxing in their body. So it is common to meet people from difficult families who have never experienced sexual desire in their entire lives, because they have never allowed themselves to relax, breathe deeply, and allow sexual feelings and impulses to emerge and percolate through their bodies. They literally don’t know, can’t identify, and can’t even tolerate sexual feelings. So they don’t believe they can have sexual feelings.

Another typical effect of growing up with “non-sexual sexual abuse” is sexual addiction, especially in men. It is common for boys who grow up in unaffectionate, neglectful, emotionally abusive, or violent homes to discover masturbation as a way to self-soothe. When they were sad or scared, they masturbated. Having an orgasm is like a drug; it changes body chemistry and temporarily dulls painful feelings. It creates a habit of using sex as a crutch, a pattern where men feel that sex is their most important need or that sex is THE cure to unhappy feelings.

Irene: Your book is of importance for parents who want their children to grow up and have positive views of their sexuality. In what ways do you believe parents can affirm to their children that their bodies and their sexuality be accepted in a positive manner?

Aline: I think parents’ biggest obligation to their children is to address their own sexuality. How can you create a child with healthy sexuality if you aren’t comfortable using touch to soothe, or if you don’t feel happy in your own body, or if you think sex is dirty or scary, or if you believe all people of the opposite gender are evil or cruel? If your sexuality was damaged in your own family of origin, fix that first.

Abuse of all kinds goes down the generations. When you take the steps to stop denying what went wrong in your own family, when you have the courage to say “ouch!,” to get into therapy to change things, the buck stops with you. The brave person who goes into therapy and admits the pain he or she suffered can stop the cycle of abuse (of whatever kind) for all the generations which come after him or her.

Irene: I understand you saying that parents need to address their own sexual issues first. However, I would imagine some people don’t feel they have issues because they actually believe their beliefs about sex are correct. Some may even be influenced by religious beliefs. How do you propose to address these parents and have them be aware of the damage they are causing their children?

Aline: I think that most parents want their children to be able to grow up and enjoy being sexual once they are married. Conservative parents do want to make sure that children are celibate BEFORE marriage. I hope that SexSmart can get the word out to all parents about how important affectionate touch, empathy, and trust, and good power relationships are to children. If children are allowed to explore their own bodies, which is important, and if they also have these basic Milestones of Sexual Development, they will grow into sexually healthy adults. If you want to raise your child conservatively, I think you’ll find a lot of useful information about how to insure that your child turns out to be both responsive and responsible sexually as an adult.

Irene: Taking self-responsibility is the most important aspect of creating a healthy view of one’s own sexuality and what one does with it. Why do you believe that others often influence unhealthy views? What are some of the most common unhealthy views that our society has imposed upon us?

Aline: It is normal to be influenced by the people around us. It’s a fact of life. I wish that there were more normal looking people on TV and in the magazines. With all these thin, perfect, surgically enhanced, never-aging bodies around us, it’s hard for many women and men to feel that their own natural looking body is sexy enough. Sadly, a lot of people, women especially, seem to feel that only beautiful, thin women “deserve” to enjoy sex. Actually, as they say, the biggest sex organ is between your ears. How you feel about sexuality and being sexual is the most important determinant of whether you will feel sexual. Normal people have imperfect bodies. And imperfect bodies are perfectly able to feel sexual pleasure!

Irene: Yes, TV and magazines do portray a specific stature that our society seems to think is “normal.” So do books. A lot of the romance novels portray “sexy” women and men and readers escape by becoming the character. Why do you believe that people create their own reality through what they see or read?

Aline: Well, as far as we know, fantasizing seems to be a uniquely human trait. As long as it’s in balance, as long as people aren’t avoiding dealing constructively with issues in their own lives, there is nothing wrong with fantasizing. Sometimes, our fantasies help us see what our goals and dreams for ourselves are, in a way that can be constructive.

Irene: You want to reach specific populations with “Sex Smart.” Who do you think would benefit most by reading this book?

Aline: I would recommend SexSmart to anyone who is baffled about why you are who you are sexually, or for anyone who feels confused, unhappy, or ashamed of your sexuality.

I do think that SexSmart might hold a special key to understanding for certain kinds of readers: First, if you are someone who is terribly frightened of getting both sexually and emotionally close to another person, you can use SexSmart to understand your own fears.

Secondly, I hope to reach people affected by physical violence. SexSmart talks in detail about the changes violence caused in your Body Map, in your sense of trust, in your beliefs about gender relationships, and in creating anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Family violence may be common, unfortunately, but it is NOT normal, and it shuts down the ability to feel sexual pleasure in close relationships for many people.

Thirdly, if you feel you were destined NOT to have sexual feelings, SexSmart may help you understand why you feel that way. If your sense of being asexual is partly because of your family of origin, SexSmart can help you discover how to become more comfortable with feeling sexual stirrings in your body and toward others.Ironically, on the other hand, many people who have sexual compulsions, who feel insatiable sexual feelings, also find answers in SexSmart. Lastly, I want to reach people who grew up in homes where they suffered emotional abuse or neglect.

Irene: “Sex Smart” is not only a book to read, but also a workbook. Please give us a little insight about the workbook aspect of it.

Aline: As a therapist, I assign homework between sessions. Writing down feelings is an important part of processing them. I find that my patients make more progress in changing when they are active participants. They get more insights, and they move through pain faster. SexSmart is so full of information that unless readers highlight the text and choose and complete some of the exercises which fit them, they won’t get the full benefit. In the homework, I always make the reader write down what the positives are that they need to focus on–what they wished they had said or done, or what they need to do now to fix the problem. The homework can help the reader transform some sad memories and realizations into targeted plans for change.

I plead with you, readers, do the workbook! It’s kind of like when you have a vivid, detailed dream at night, and you want to get up and write it down, but you’re too lazy. And so you rationalize it and tell yourself, “Wow, that dream was so amazing, so unusual, so wild. I’ll be sure to remember it when I am up.’ And then, at 7:00AM, when the alarm goes off, you wake up and say, “Man, that was a wild dream I had last night. Something about a cake. Hmmm. Blue cake?? Hmm.”

And you’ve lost the entire message your unconscious was sending you because you were too lazy to get your rear end up and write it down. Same thing. Use the workbook in SexSmart!!!

Irene: Do you believe it is important to work with a qualified therapist when reading and doing the workbook portion?

Aline: I think it would be a very good idea to work with a qualified therapist reading and doing the exercises in SexSmart if you had a very traumatic childhood. If you look at the diagram of the Milestones of Sexual Development at http://www.SexSmart.com/solvingproblems.htm, and you find that you had problems with the first three Milestones, Touch, Empathy, and Trust; you should find a good therapist anyway, because it will be an investment in the quality of your entire life.

If you grew up with alcoholism, drug abuse, physical violence, neglect,
or emotional abuse, trust me, you did have a traumatic childhood. I find that people tend to “normalize” what happened to them. It’s painful to think of yourself as a victim. Most people think of themselves as survivors. In my work, I meet the most amazing survivors. But it’s common that they are doing great in every way except sexually. That’s where all the pain and trauma resides, walled off from the rest of their life, of their success. If you’re ready to read SexSmart, then you’re ready to confront your past. But get yourself some extra support. Don’t go it alone. There are certainly some readers who will be fine on their own. If you are reading it because you are curious about yourself, but your family was basically quite a good one, you’ll probably be fine.

If you THOUGHT you had a good childhood and then begin reading SexSmart
and find yourself disturbed by what you read, yes, get yourself some professional help.

Irene: Thank you Aline, this has been very interesting. Is there anything else that you would like your reading audience to know about your or your book?

Aline: Thanks Irene. I am grateful to you for the chance to talk in so much depth about
SexSmart. I would be so delighted if this Reader Views interview encouraged people who have grown up with alcoholism, drug abuse, neglect, or physical and emotional violence to begin exploring the ways their upbringing has hurt their ability to enjoy their sexuality.

Employer’s Quick Guide to Avoiding Sexual Harassment Liability

Employers can be held liable for any sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace. However, if they take reasonable care to prevent and correct harassment, they will not be liable. The following article looks at the elements of reasonable care that will greatly reduce the risk of sexual harassment liability.

Written Policy. The policy should explain what sexual harassment is. It should give a variety of examples that make it clear that sexual harassment can take many different forms: unwanted physical contact; efforts to trade sex for employment-related benefits; lewd language or offensive jokes, pictures, drawings, or graffiti; or any combination. It should explain that the harasser’s intent does not decide whether the conduct is sexual harassment. Whether behavior is sexual harassment depends on how the victim experiences it, not whether the perpetrator intended to harass. It should state that male and female workers can be victims of sexual harassment by harassers of either gender.

The policy should be written in a way that will communicate well and be understood by the average worker. It should avoid legal jargon. It should be translated into languages other than English if there are workers whose command of English is deficient.

Complaint Procedure and Penalties. The policy should tell workers: how to file a complaint, providing model complaint forms; where to file a complaint, identifying several persons on staff designated to receive complaints. It should explain what happens during the investigation and what happens after the investigation, identifying who is responsible for making the final determination of whether sexual harassment occurred; what the possible penalties are, as well as who imposes penalties for sexual harassment and whether the complaining party has the right to know what penalty the employer has decided to impose; and how to appeal the employer’s findings.

Retaliation. The policy should strongly prohibit retaliation, giving examples of what retaliation is. It should state that retaliation against complaining parties or witnesses will be taken as seriously as harassment itself.

Fairness and Safeguards. The policy should protect the rights of all persons involved. It should assure confidentiality to the extent possible.

Publicizing the Policy. It’s no good to have a written policy if employees can later claim they never saw it. Each new hire should be given a copy of the policy and sign a receipt stating he or she has read and understands it. But too many employers leave it at that. If you want employees to remember the policy and to understand that you are serious about it, there must be ongoing exposure. Make available a brochure or pamphlet that summarizes the policy.

Periodically remind employees about the policy through memos, articles in employee newsletters, in employee meetings, or some other means that you regularly use for communication. Use posters about the policy and sexual harassment on employee bulletin boards; they should summarize the policy and state how to obtain further information.

Training. Training and retraining that explains sexual harassment and its impact on the workplace environment are essential for preventing harassment and should be provided on an ongoing basis.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1998 that where the employer has and communicates a proper policy forbidding sexual harassment and a reasonable procedure through which employees who believe they have been harassed can make complaints and have them investigated, an employee who believes he or she has been harassed must use the employer’s procedure rather than filing a lawsuit. The purpose of sexual harassment law, the court said, is not for the courts to intervene between employers and employees. Rather, the purpose is to encourage employers to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and remedy it if occurs. That’s why the steps the employer takes to prevent and remedy it are crucial to the question of liability.

In contrast to widespread misconceptions, sexual harassment is not the use of occasional off-color language, telling a few dirty jokes, complimenting a member of the opposite sex on his or her appearance, a single incident of mildly inappropriate touching, or other behavior that might make some people uncomfortable or upset. The courts have generally held that everyone has to put up with a certain amount of behavior in the workplace that he or she finds unpleasant or even offensive. Sexual harassment is behavior that is so severe or so pervasive that it deprives the victim of the same opportunities for economic success that are enjoyed by someone who has not experienced such harassment.

This does not mean, however, that employers should ignore reports of behavior that is based on sex and is inappropriate, unprofessional, disrespectful, and/or offensive. It’s impossible to make black and white rules as to exactly when a line is crossed between merely offensive behavior and behavior that is so severe or pervasive it would interfere with the ability of any reasonable person to perform his or her job. For this reason, many experts suggest training that helps employees understand that certain behavior’s whether it is technically sexual harassment or not is high risk and inappropriate in any work-related setting.

Better Training Is Needed

Sexual harassment is a sensitive and costly problem that is becoming all too common in many workplaces.

Sexual Child Abuse Knows No Gender

Male Sexual Abuse Survivors face the same emotional, mental, physical and spiritual trauma women survivors face with two exceptions–they judge themselves more harshly, and they have difficulty recognizing/believing they have been abused.

David Finkelhor and J. Bziuba-Leatherman’s studies reveal 31% of boys are sexually abused by age 18. Finkelhor, David and J. Dziuba-Leatherman. “Victimization of Children.” American Psychologist Vol. 49:3 (1992): 173-183.

Men’s indoctrination since childhood dictates that they are to prove their sexual prowess. Sexual activity, for boys as young as 12, is seldom considered inappropriate. More often than not, sexual activity is considered an early introduction to manhood. Therefore, if an older girl initiates sex with a younger boy, he considers it an introduction to sex, proving his manliness. Additionally, men are indoctrinated to defend themselves against all odds–to fight to the death to protect their manliness. They are expected to risk their life or sustain severe injury to protect their pride and self-respect. These distorted beliefs about manliness and masculinity are deeply ingrained and can lead to intense feelings of guilt, shame and inadequacy for the male survivor.
Both male and female survivors generally question whether they deserved or somehow wanted to be sexually abused; they believe if they failed to defend themselves, they must have wanted it.

Although, both female and male survivors frequently view their abuse as a loss of manhood or femininity and are disgusted with themselves for not fighting back, men judge themselves more harshly. As a result of their guilt, shame and anger, both men and women punish themselves by engaging in self-destructive behavior such as self-injury, acting out rage, etc., as well as alcohol or drug use, prostitution, rape and numerous other criminal behaviors.

For some men self-destructive behavior means engaging in aggressiveness, such as road rage, arguing with friends or co-workers, or picking fights with strangers, as well as domestic violence as a way to regain their honor. Both men and women pull back from intimacy and end up feeling more and more isolated.

Society’s most devastating myth about child sexual abuse is that boys can’t be sexually abused. The perpetuation of this myth leaves boys more vulnerable to being abused.

Fact: Masculine gender socialization instills in boys the belief they are to be strong; they should learn to protect themselves. In truth, boys are children and are as vulnerable as girls. They cannot really fight back against the sex offender. A sex offender generally has greater size, strength, knowledge, or a position of authority, using such resources as money or other bribes, or outright threats–whatever advantage the sex offender can take to get what they want.

The following publications attest to the prevalence of male sexual child abuse.

o Crime of rape knows no gender lines, Jennifer Hong, Columbia Missourian, June 11, 1995.

o For the Man Who is Sexually Assaulted from the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (North Carolina).

o For Men Only: For Male Survivors of Sexual Assault, Counseling & Mental Health Center, University of Texas at Austin.

o Male Rape from the National Victim Center cites a few statistics, provides a good and sensitive overview of the subject and includes references and a bibliography, but no links to other resources on the Web.

o Male Rape – The hidden trauma is a review by LIAM O COILEAIN of a television program of the same name that was aired in Ireland on February 29, 1996. It mentions the Dublin Rape Crisis Center listed above under hotlines.

o Male Rape Victims Subject to Ridicule by Jeremy Seabrook for the (British?) New Statesman & Society (April 27, 1990)

o “Male Sexual Assault” is a public education brochure available from the New York City Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project (AVP) (1999.09.23: Found new URL, restored link)

o Male sexual assault not uncommon, Reuters Health, March 26, 1999. According to a report published in the British Medical Journal 1999;318:846-850, 2,500 British men were surveyed. 3% reported they had been sexually assaulted as an adult, and nearly half of them were assaulted by women.

o Male Survivors of Sexual Assaults from RPEP, the Rape Prevention Education Program of the University of California at Davis, maintained by Alexander Orland.

o Memories of Rape is a chilling and courageous first-person account of ongoing rape, assault and abuse in prison by David Pittman, hosted by Stop Prisoner Rape.

o Men don’t get raped!, Ernest Woollett, Survivors, PO Box 2470, London W2 INN

o Men Raped: Supporting the Male Survivor of Sexual Assault on the College Campus, Lester J. Manzano, no date available.

o Men and sexual assault, Linda Oakleaf

o More male veterans reporting that they were sexually assaulted, Philadelphia Inquirer, September 27, 1997 (1998.10.02: no Web link available)

o Myths and Facts About Sexual Violence from the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) includes a section headed “MYTHS AND FACTS ABOUT MALE RAPE.”

o No Safe Place: A male survivor of sexual abuse confronts his past in a Monterey California support group, Mary Barker, Herald Staff Writer, March 21, 1997, Monterey, CA

o Rape of Males by the late Stephen Donaldson of Stop Prisoner Rape, from Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, Wayne R. Dynes, ed., 1990, NY: Garland Publications.
Alternate: Rape of Males, mirrored by Ellen Spertus.

o Rape’s Unnoticed Victim by Susan Wachob (1999.09.11: Updated URL)

o Sexual abuse of men and boys by Dez Wildwood, who identifies as a man who has been sexually assaulted in this article written for XY magazine in Australia

o Sexual Assault, Chapter 14 in the US Department of Justice’s online National Victim Assistance Academy, is a general resource that is largely gender-neutral, addresses issues and needs of male survivors (“victims”) as well as female, and examines changing role of gender in defining rape and sexual assault.

o Silent Victims: Bringing Male Rape Victims Out of the Closet by Sue Rochman, originally published in The Advocate, Issue 582, July 30, 1991, p40.

o Survivors are ashamed by the taboo, the Rape Network

o To a Man Who Has Been Sexually Assaulted from Coordinated Community Response for Sexual Assault of Dane County, Wisconsin, attributed to “a man who had been sexually assaulted and counseled at St. Vincent’s Rape Crisis Program” [New York City, listed under Hotlines].

o When the survivor is male by Linda Oakleaf, Rape Victim Advocates, Illinois

The after effects of sexual abuse are no less devastating for men than woman and the healing process is essentially the same. Talk therapy is inadequate to uncover the emotional pain, and heal the trauma trapped in muscles and tissue. To fully appreciate the depth of this pain, I will quote one of my male clients, “Even my blood hurts.” A multifaceted healing process specifically focused on sexual abuse recovery and diligent work is the most effective; wherein the survivor can replenish their emotional and spiritual identity and empowerment.