In this video, Russell breaks down seven common myths around male sexual trauma and how they get in the way of addressing the issue. The myths are:
Russell explains that these myths are socially constructed and impact our ability to address and confront the harm and trauma we've been through. However, he believes that we can deconstruct these myths by talking about them, sharing them with others, and confronting them head on, which can help to take their power away and evolve society's understanding of male sexual trauma.
So, one of the things that I came up with in the work that I do in raising awareness around men and boys who are trafficked is the understanding of how myths around male sexual trauma really get in the way of how we can start to address the experiences we've been through. And so, I want to go through these seven myths real quickly here and share these with you:
Myth One: Real men aren't victims. Myth Two: An erection is consent. Myth Three: Sexual abuse and trauma are less harmful to boys than it is to girls. Myth Four: Most men who sexually abused boys are gay. Myth Five: Boys abused by males must have attracted the abuse because they are gay or become gay as a result. Myth Six: If a boy is abused by a female, he is lucky. If he doesn't feel that way, there's something wrong with him. Myth Seven: If boys are abused, they will continue the cycle of abuse with others.
The problem with these myths is that they are socially constructed in a way that really impacts our ability, both as a society and as an individual, to begin the process of addressing the harm and trauma that we've been through. The good news though is that myths are a social construct, and as a social construct, we can deconstruct them and take the power out of them. How do we do that? We talk about it. We share this with others. We confront it directly head-on, and that way, as a society evolves, we can start to really take the power out of these myths by deconstructing them.