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Sexuality & Culture








Our commentary responds to claims made by DiMarco and colleagues in an article published in this journal that the majority of victims of rape are men and that 80% of those who rape men are women. Although we strongly believe that studying male sexual victimization is a highly important research and policy endeavour, we have concerns with the approach taken by DiMarco and colleagues to discuss these incidents. Specifically, we critique their paper by addressing the definitions of rape used by the authors, questioning their interpretation of national victim surveys, evaluating their analysis of the underreporting of male rape, and highlighting the heteronormative framework they use to outline the landscape of male sexual victimization. With this commentary, we call for a holistic, nuanced, and balanced study of male sexual victimization that recognizes the reality of both female-on-male and male-on-male violence, the experiences of survivors, and multi-layered barriers that male victims often encounter.


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Original Publication Citation

Widanaralalage, B. K., Reed, S. M., Lobo Antunes, M. J., DeJong, C., Pinchevsky, G. M., Lovell, R., & Cummings, C. E. (2022). Distorted reality: A commentary on DiMarco et al. (2022) and the question of male sexual victimization. Sexuality & Culture, 26(6), 2122-2137.