Boys Don’t Cry…

“I don’t know,” Wali was saying. “My father says it’s sinful.” He sounded unsure, excited, scared, all at the

same time. Hassan lay with his chest pinned to the ground. Kamal and Wali each gripped an arm, twisted and

bent at the elbow so that Hassan’s hands were pressed to his back. Assef was standing over them, the heel of his

snow boots crushing the back of Hassan’s neck.

“Your father won’t find out,” Assef said. “And there’s nothing sinful about teaching a lesson to a disrespectful donkey.”

“I don’t know,” Wali muttered.

“Suit yourself,” Assef said. He turned to Kamal. “What about you?”

“I… well…”

“It’s just a Hazara,” Assef said. But Kamal kept looking away.

“Fine,” Assef snapped. “All I want you weaklings to do is hold him down. Can you manage that?”

Wali and Kamal nodded. They looked relieved.

Assef knelt behind Hassan, put his hands on Hassan’s hips and lifted his bare buttocks. He kept one hand on

Hassan’s back and undid his own belt buckle with his free hand. He unzipped his jeans. Dropped his

underwear. He positioned himself behind Hassan. Hassan didn’t struggle. Didn’t even whimper. He moved his

head slightly and I caught a glimpse of his face. Saw the resignation in it.

It was a look I had seen before. 

It was the look of the lamb.


Many of us remember this infamous and heart wrenching part from The Kite Runner. It was probably the first time when the world had read or known about sexual abuse to young boys.

Whenever we talk about sexual abuse, we mostly refer to females as victims of the crime, hardly do we talk about males also being a victim of it. One of the main reason behind the fact that reports or cases of male sexual abuse go unnoticed is the social expectations of being ‘strong’ from a male. Parents want their boys to be strong, and more often neglect the fact that their male child could be as much in danger as their female offspring.


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Females are protected at every point in their lives, because they are the reproductive members of the family and so there is a chance of the female becoming pregnant if not protected from any kind of sexual abuse, which also becomes a question of honour for the family. on the other hand the fear of pregnancy is not there with the male child, and many parents neglect even if their son(s) chose to come out with the truth.

The truth is the effects of sexual abuse are the same on the female as well as the male child. There are physical as well as mental hardships a victim has to go through . Where females are taught to speak up in case of any such matter, parents are little wary of the fact that their male child also faces a threat from someone whom you think to be a friend.

Studies show that child sex abuse is 10 per cent more in males than in females.  When a study was done on severe forms of sexual abuse which included sexual assault, children being forced to fondle private parts and exhibit their own private body parts and photographing them in the nude, it was found that the percentage of male victims was 57.3 and 42.7 percent were girls – a clear margin of almost 15 percent.

“Contrary to general perception, the overall percentage of boy victims was much higher that girls. Of the 13 states that were surveyed, nine states reported higher percentage of sexual abuse among boys compared to girls,” said the report, that surveyed children aged between 5 and 18 years. (Source: The New Indian Express, The other side of sexual abuse:More Boys Victims, October 2013)



Male Sexual Abuse defies the basics of our social norms. Females are considered the inferior sex, and thus has to be protected, whereas males are the protectors. People refuse to believe that the ‘protectors’ could also be abused. Although, male sexual abuse is prevalent in children, there are also cases where the boy is in adolescence and is raped by a friend or a relative.

The need of the hour is to sensitise people on these matters so that next time parents warn their daughters about the prying eyes of the strangers, they also make it a point to warn their sons as well. Male Sexual Abuse is a truth and turning away from it will not solve the problem, we have to understand the problem, and take steps against it



Posted by: Ekta Handa


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