You may think your life is over, but it isn't if you don't want it to be. This is what I told a young man who had been raped by another man. After dropping off his girlfriend, he walked home along the same street he had passed his whole life. Never once did he think he could be attacked. He's a big guy, almost six feet tall and in his early twenties. It didn't occur to him that one night he could become a victim of a sex crime. Before he knew it, he was hit in the head and dragged into an alley, and it wasn't until it was over that he processed what had taken place.

Like many others, he didn't report his rape. He was too ashamed that he couldn't prevent it; at least that was how he felt at the time. Years later, he wished he had gone to police because he suffered so much for remaining silent. For those who keep it a secret, it is common to suffer from anxiety, depression, OCD, PSTD, and a tendency toward accidents. They find it terribly difficult to function and divert their pain into high levels of stress and sometimes dissociative states.

All too often, male on male rape is not reported, and to tell you the truth, it is rarely if ever mentioned in the media. Society has chosen to look the other way regarding these crimes. That is, even today, in many social circles this topic is taboo. Men pick up on this tension and integrate it into their subconscious. In essence, societal behavior tells us that male on male rape is not to be discussed. Male victims are well aware of this, and this societal restriction transfers and becomes internalized. This makes it less likely that victims will report their attacks.

Such crimes are more common than you might think, but few know much about the rapists who stalk these victims. There is a stereotype that such predators are homosexual. However, this is not the case. Rapists who prey on males can be sexually oriented to women, men, or both. It is most typical for such rapists to be heterosexual or bisexual and living with a partner. Often, they consider themselves to be quite masculine and go overboard in projecting that image. Tattoos, excessive drinking, and having many consensual sexual partners is common. In fact, such offenders believe that the rape makes them more masculine which builds a grandiose self perception.

Unlike the male on male killer, the rapist tends to be gregarious and outspoken. If they are able, they keep up their appearances and exercise. They will try to dress in a sexy way because they value their sexuality. People who know them would be surprised by their attacks, though they would know that the rapist had a short fuse. Domestic violence is something that you see within their relationships, and amazingly, they don't seem to have trouble making partners fall in love with them.
Males who target other males for rape are dominant personalities who are intelligent. They use cunning to manipulate those around them, and if that doesn't work, there is always the threat of violence. More often than not, they live in a lower class area and earn their way by living off others. They are easily bored and rape to give themselves a challenge and a sense of control. They don't believe in moving on after someone has wronged them, so they hold grudges forever. Surprisingly they will leave physical evidence at their attacks, thinking that police will not be smart enough to find them. With their big egos, they almost taunt law enforcement.

When police are faced with a case involving male on male rape, they must be aware that there are more victims than they know. Because of the way victims feel, they don't report the attacks. This makes it much more difficult to profile and analyze because you do not see the correct progression or spatial pattern in the assaults. These types of cases are much more difficult to work; thus, officers should not hesitate to contact an expert such as myself when the rapes arise.

As with any underserved victims, we need more education and awareness so that those who suffer from attacks understand that they are never to blame. Only the sick demented rapist holds responsibility, and the victim should never feel ashamed. If you ever find yourself the victim of an attack, please get help and know you are not alone. There are people who care and want to help you, and you will get through it.


Criminal profiling and the deviant mind
Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D.

Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D., is a criminal profiler and expert on serial crimes.

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