Giddy: Prof. Gómez Explains Why Men of Color Are Excluded When Discussing Sexual Abuse Survivors

a black man holds his head in his hands

While a quarter of men in the United States have experienced some form of sexual violence, societal expectations of masculinity often prevent survivors from getting the help they need to heal. Even discussions that do include male sexual assault survivors tend to only focus on the experiences of white men and boys. In a recent article, BU School of Social Work Prof. Jennifer M. Gómez shared her expertise on why men of color may experience additional hurdles in reporting and dealing with sexual violence. 

Excerpt from “For Many Boys and Men, Sexual Assault and Abuse Is a Very Real Issue,” by Reniel Anca

quotation mark‘When sexual abuse against boys is discussed, it tends to focus on white boys who were sexually abused by men,” said Jennifer M. Gómez, an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Social Work and trauma researcher dedicated to understanding the effects of physical, sexual and emotional trauma in diverse and marginalized populations. ‘Moreover, because of the adultification and stereotyped hypersexuality of boys of color, female-perpetrated sexual abuse against boys of color is additionally rarely characterized as abusive.

‘This exclusion makes sexual violence and harassment understood as something that only happens to girls and women,’ Gómez added. ‘So when boys and men experience sexual violence and/or harassment, it is that much more difficult to name it as such, much less to find education and resources about it.’”

Read the full article.

Learn More About Prof. Gómez’s Research