Male sexual assault victims on TV are changing how people think

While male sexual assault stories have various points of focus, one of the story points seen on American Crime is how others perceive the male victim and how there’s a lack of understanding — which only increases the amount of shame the victim may be feeling.

In a scene from the series, teen Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup) talks to an off-screen therapist about how things are going since friends, family and classmates have been made aware, against his wishes, of what happened to him. “I’m sorry I ever opened my mouth,” Taylor says. “I’m sorry I ever said anything about what happened to me.”

One student’s mother (played by Regina King) says dismissively upon hearing the news, “boys don’t do that to boys,” a statement that mirrors the notion many people have about male rape victims. In the context of this series, the idea that one teenage boy could rape another teenage boy could be perceived as far fetched to some characters but, in reality, it’s something that unfortunately happens more than many realize.

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