Study Says Many Men Also Victims Of Unwanted Sexual Advances - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Study Says Many Men Also Victims Of Unwanted Sexual Advances

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Most of us probably assume that when it comes to unwanted sexual advances, women are usually the victims. And while that is still likely to be true, a new study suggests more and more young men are sexually harassed by women and that an overwhelming number of the victims know the aggressors. I should point out that the survey is relatively small and included just 300 male high school and college students across the country. Still, I found the results rather surprising and perhaps a commentary to some extent on our rapidly changing attitudes about gender and sexual behavior.

The study found that a whopping 43 percent of the respondents had been the victim of unwanted sexual attention and that 95 percent of the perpetrators were women with whom the victims were well acquainted. And rape wasn't the only scenario the researchers looked at. The authors considered a variety of inappropriate sexually aggressive conduct.

Here's what they found. More than half of the young men who had been coerced said the advances were verbal or communicated through seductive behaviors. A much smaller number--18 percent--said the women actually tried to use physical force to initiate sex. And an even smaller group--7 percent--said the women used alcohol or drugs before making their move. Interestingly, the students who were intoxicated or drugged before being prodded into sexual contact reported similar feelings of distress often expressed by female victims of unwanted sexual advances. Half of all the victims questioned in the survey said they ended up having sex with the aggressors while 40 percent said they only made out by kissing and touching.

There is no question that a double standard exists in this country when it comes to sexual harassment. Allegations of sexual misconduct tend to be taken much more seriously when they are made by a woman than by a man. Many of those who would never tolerate a woman being sexually harassed by a man might simply shrug off or even smirk if the victim is a man and the offender is a woman. That attitude needs to change.

That being said, men and women apparently are very different when it comes to the long-term effects of such experiences. Unlike female victims, according to the study, unwanted sexual advances had no negative impact on the self esteem of male victims whatsoever. The researchers couldn't explain why.  However, they speculate the answer may lie somewhere in our more traditional views and expectations of masculinity and male sexual desires and dominance.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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