Gender Roles: Male Sexual Abuse

Gender Roles: Male Sexual AbuseThis week, Oprah sat with two hundred men to discuss the aftermath of sexual abuse, depression and troubled marriages. The survivors talked about their intimacy issues, sexual confusion, stigma and more. It was an epic event that took place on national television. But why was this event considered such a monumental day in television history? Why are these men considered so courageous for sharing their traumatic childhood events that have left them feeling insecure in adulthood? The answer is simple.

The Role of Men in Society

It’s human ego that defines gender roles and their place within a society. In most societies around the globe, it is considered shameful for boys and men to appear weak or emotional. Men and women have strictly defined gender roles. These established parameters must never be crossed. The collective consciousness and ego of a society creates dogma around these roles that if crossed – warrants judgment. As a result, men who experience traumatic events keep them hidden, secret – the emotional turmoil buried deep where it festers, grows and continues to plague them throughout adult life.

Traditional Gender Roles + Traumatic Experiences

Traditional gender roles coupled with traumatic experiences, such as child abuse, can:

  • Plant seeds of inferiority, worthlessness, guilt and shame
  • Negatively impact confidence and self-esteem
  • Create intimacy issues with partners and family members
  • Lead to acts of aggression or disconnection
  • Stimulate feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts

Man as Provider & Protector

The experiences discussed on Oprah’s show brought to light the feelings these men have carried with them throughout their lives. Many felt that their manhood, spirituality and security had been stolen. There was no one to turn to or confide in because society would look upon them as weak or ‘damaged’. Traditional gender roles dictate that a man must always project confidence, strength, control and success. He must never appear to be vulnerable! This is where human ego, specifically the superficial perceptions of a society, can cause the most harm. The damage not only affects individuals but whole groups of people – in this case, men.

Even in today’s modern world, traditional gender roles are still empowered. What perceptions do you feel need to change with regard to gender roles? Share your thoughts below!

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About Scott Matthews
The founder of Egoic Living shares more than 15 years of research about the human condition. A student of consciousness and metaphysics, he strives to bridge the gap between ego and being. Learn more.


  1. Jenna Olson says:

    This information needs to be presented to the world as a whole. Oprah opened the door, and it’s a good start. But more men need to see that it’s to be open about these issues, and that it’s ok to not be perfect. Having been abused does not make a man weak or less manly.

    Speaking from experience, only when you speak out can you begin to heal. Keeping things bottled up only makes the situation worse, and makes a person weaker.

    Thank you for sharing this, and I can not wait for the day when the concept of gender stereotypes are wiped out.

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