Masturbation, uncontrollable sexual urge: The unsuspecting outcome of boy’s sexual abuse

Masturbation, uncontrollable sexual urge: The unsuspecting outcome of boy’s sexual abuse

Girls are assumed to be more susceptible to harassment, be it sexual or domestic violence. The female gender is seen as the weaker version of the male gender right from the creation of man, who suffers dominance by the male gender who is said to possess nine ribs compared to her with seven ribs, reason she is categorised into the vulnerable groups.

This assumption or belief has given rise to protective approaches, campaigns, and different advocacy programmes to champion the interest of the girl-child to save her from abuses and subjugation.

 

The special treatment and concentration given the female gender, which is evident in special observances like international day of the girl-child, pad a girl initiative, amongst others, continues till womanhood when they are given special government ministry that focuses on issues relating to the gender.

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Meanwhile, the male gender is believed to possess a kind of self-defense innate ability to handle situations alone. This notion has caused unconscious negligence towards the feelings of the male gender right from boyhood.

 

Conversely, the boy child has been secretly falling victim of sexual abuse by the older female individuals who may be their relatives or caregivers, and they continue to experience it till adulthood.

This abuse against the boy child is easily meted out on him unnoticed due to the fact that his gender is not assumed to be susceptible to any danger that can affect his education, health unlike the girl-child who can be impregnated, or prone to diseases associated with early exposure to sexual intercourse like the vaginal fistula, unsafe abortions and damage to the uterus resulting in infertility problems.

 

The sexual molestation of the boy-child has been in existence for decades but due to the fact that the victims grow up with it without confessing to their parents or guardians, made it seem as if only the girl-child suffers sexual abuse.

Interaction with some adult men who confessed to being victims of sexual abuse in their boyhood days revealed that the act has one or two negative effects on their sexual relationships later in life.

 

Speaking anonymously, a 51 year old victim of sexual abuse in Akure the Ondo State capital, bitterly narrated how he was sexually harassed by their female housekeeper from age six.

According to him, since boys don’t suffer pain during the act, unlike girls who experience the break of hymen accompany with pain, they see the act as fun anytime the perpetrator indulges them in it, till they gradually start to develop sexual feelings with high urge that compel them to yearn for it, often.

He disclosed how he battled masturbation, even despite being married. This calls for the question if masturbation has anything to do with sexual abuse of boys in childhood.

 

He revealed how he overcome the challenge with spiritual exercise when it was becoming uncontrollable and embarrassing, confessing that he masturbated twice an hour while on a trip outside Nigeria, saying, “it was as if I was in hell”.

 

His words: “I went to boarding school of boys only, and I was sexually exposed to sex at age six by our househelp. So when thrown to hostel, I used to cut pictures of fine girls in magazines and used it to imagine that I am having sex with the image”.

 

Asked why boys don’t discuss the experience with their parents and why are parents not curious if their boys can be sexually abused the way they show concern for their daughters, he said: “We do enjoy it, even though it is an abuse. We are boys and taught or cajoled to be secretive. We don’t get pregnant, and Penis is outside, reduces risk of infections unlike female whose vaginal is inside – receiving end”.

 

Another victim, a 48 year old Lawyer also shared how he was exposed to sex at age nine through one of the aunties leaving in his father’s extended compound in Owo area of Ondo State.

According to him, his mother used to leave him in the care of the aunt while going to market, unknown to her that the aunty had been using him to satisfy her sexual urge. This, he affirmed, really affected his sexual relationships in life.

 

A young man of age 33 in Akure also narrated how he developed feelings for older women due to the abuse he suffered in boyhood by one aunt who was a co-tenant with his parents. According to him, it has been difficult for him to maintain a sexual relationship with his female agemates or younger ladies as a result of the experience.

 

The late ace broadcaster in Ondo State and pioneer anchor of the popular TV show, Ijoko Ojogbon, Deacon Lekan Olanrewaju, who died at 67 in 2023, had revealed in one of his books how he was deflowered by his senior female school mate during his secondary school days.

His case is convincing evidence of how sexual abuse of boys has existed for decades without much concentration on it.

 

In her contribution, Mrs. Lydia Esan, founder of St. Joavics Foundation advocated aggressive awareness to educate the boy-child about the abuse. She averred that, though boys couldn’t be impregnated like girls, they could be exposed to infections like hepatitis B& C, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“It can cause psychological trauma and attitudinal change for them. They may find it difficult to even develop flair for girls. We should increase our awareness among boys because we focus more on girls. We should put in more sensitization for boys. The parents have a great role to play and be more proactive. As they are giving sex education to girls, they should also give to boys. Charity begins at home. Male children are always neglected, and it’s not supposed to be so”. She asserted.

 

Meanwhile, boys are curious and aware of the special treatment given to their female counterparts in society, and this might have caused them to develop a kind of disregard towards the women folk in response.

 

The reaction of a 13-year old Adeola Williams whose two sisters participated in a two-week girls’ summer boot camp in Ondo State where they both came home with brand new laptops, is a pointer to the hidden feeling of the boy-child. He expressed his annoyance towards his sisters and openly accused the initiator of the programme of being biased and discriminating against the boy child.

Speaking with him recently, he still maintained that boys should be treated well like girls, citing the widely celebrated international day of the girl-child, and asked for equal treatment.

 

Meanwhile, a Pastor with one pentecostal church in Akure during one of his sermons on deliverance from evil spirit, categorised masturbation as one of the signs of having a spiritual spouse, rather than being the effect of sexual abuse at boyhood.

 

In an article on the “Myths and Facts on Sexual Abuse of Boys”, published by Action Health Incorporated” in response to the assumption that boys who were sexually molested cannot grow up to become real men, the writer says, “Boys are not men. They are children. They are weaker and more vulnerable than those who sexually abuse or exploit them – who use their greater size, strength, and knowledge to manipulate or coerce boys into unwanted sexual experiences and staying silent. This is usually done from a position of authority (e.g., coach, teacher, religious leader) or status (e.g., older cousin, admired athlete, social leader), using whatever means are available to reduce resistance, such as attention, special privileges, money or other gifts, promises or bribes, even outright threats.

“What happens to any of us as children does not need to define us as adults or men. It is important to remember that 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 18 and that those boys can grow up to be strong, powerful, courageous, and healthy men”.

 

The assumption that boys do enjoy the act of abuse is also described as a myth. “In reality, premature, coerced or otherwise abusive or exploitive sexual experiences are never positive – whether they are imposed by an older sister, sister of a friend, baby sitter, neighbor, aunt, mother, or any other female in a position of power over a boy. At a minimum, they cause confusion and insecurity. They almost always harm boys’ and men’s capacities for trust and intimacy.

“Being sexually used or abused, whether by males or females, can cause a variety of other emotional and psychological problems. However, boys and men often don’t recognize the connections between what happened and their later problems. To be used as a sexual object by a more powerful person, male or female, is never a good thing, and can cause lasting harm”.

 

Advocacy is now going on recently for parents to also encourage their boy-child to speak up against sexual abuse. This has also led to the dedication of a day to celebrate the boy-child on every May 16th, which was adopted by the United Nations in the year 2018.

 

Mary Agidi O., anipr

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