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Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Archetypes 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on October 25, 2007


“…I’m more troubled that boys who fall victim to abuse by female teachers are treated as lucky little Lotharios or junior Don Juans. As you might remember, Details declared a few months back that “we ought to be happy for these pubescent pioneers … any one of those little Miss Crabtree-bagging twerps is probably being carried atop the shoulders of his classmates like some conquering hero.” In other words: Break out the beer — these pubescent boys are culturally sanctioned men!” From Article by Tracy Clark-Flory

This is a perfect example of societal gender bias and how gender stereotypes are being used to both excuse the perpetrators and ignore the victims. Ms Clark-Flory seem to be condoning this, but I do wonder what she means by calling these abuse boys “little twerps”? Wouldn’t that be like calling the female counter-parts “little tarts”?

“But a mainstream media outlet — the Associated Press, no less — has finally tackled this cultural double standard. The article gives voice to 54-year-old Jeff Pickthorn, who was sexually abused at age 12 by his seventh-grade teacher, a 24-year-old woman: “Hollywood, they think it’s such a hot thing when a guy gets laid at a young age. I tell you, it’s not a hot thing.” The abuse left him “with no boundaries” as an adult, and the AP summarizes his life as “marred by affairs, gambling, and ruined marriages.” Same article.

It is good to see that also mainstream media is catching up to what men and boys have known for as long as sexual abuse have existed – that your gender doesn’t protect you against the painful consequences of being victims of sexual abuse, and that women too are perps.

Boys who suffer from sex abuse “are seen as studs,” the article notes, while girls are viewed as vulnerable victims, not by virtue of their age but their gender. As a result, male sex abuse victims have to process their feelings about the abuse while receiving a congratulatory pat on the back and frat-boy punch to the shoulder. Psychologist Richard Gartner, author of “Beyond Betrayal: Taking Charge of Your Life After Boyhood Sexual Abuse,” said: “A boy is likely, with a female teacher, to claim that it wasn’t a problem, it wasn’t molestation, it wasn’t abuse, he wasn’t hurt by it.” It can be several decades before he comes to terms with the abuse. “In our society, we’re socialized to think that men aren’t victims, that that’s the province of women,” Gartner added. “To say that you are a victim and particularly a sexual victim, for many boys and men, is to say that you’re not entirely a man.”

The ultimate betrayal of boys and men who are victims of sexual abuse is exactly that they are not allowed to view and name the abuse for what it is: ABUSE. That which you are not allowed to name, you cannot properly heal from. This means that not only are we ignoring and diminishing what those boys and men have been through, we actively condone the abuse as something they should be grateful for, because it proves they are men.

Now, that is just sick.

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One Response to “Gender Stereotypes and Sexual Archetypes 1”

  1. I returned the favor and linked back to you.

    Good point about a serious double standard.

    Like

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