8 Things People Like Milo Yiannopoulos Get WRONG About The Sexual Abuse Of Boys

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milo yiannopoulos abuse survivor

Provocateur and famed Alt-Right personality Milo Yiannapoulos is facing criticism because of some horrific things he'd said in interviews about when he was abused by a priest.

On the Joe Rogan show he said, "If it weren't for Father Michael, I would give far less good head."

He has since said he was joking (though you should listen to the Rogan interview and judge for yourself), and now that he is facing such heat, is walking the statement back a bit

But it's clear that Milo does not believe that the adult priest who abused him when he was 13 or 14 years old was to blame.

He even calls himself the "predator" in the abusive relationship in a follow-up interview with The Drunken Peasants (below). 

Despite my dislike of Milo, in this case my first thought was NOT about how horrible he is...

It was about the awful messages being reinforced about boys who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA).

In the Rogan interview, Milo challenges Joe to think about whether he sees an attractive young teen and feels desire, insisting it is natural.

The host rightfully insists that it isn't normal for a grown adult to look at any minor with desire, and that the only thing he sees when he looks at a teen girl is a child. 

Milo also minimizes the impact that abuse like this can have upon the boys who are victimized, even saying that gay men often credit an early sexual experience with an older man for giving them sexual maturity.

There are many articles about how Milo's general "irreverent attitude" is dangerous. I don't need to recount those here. 

But I want to take a moment to quickly debunk some very common myths about male survivors of sexual abuse, some of which Milo perpetuates in his interview. 

Because male survivors deserve for the world to know the truth, so that they can get the support they need, and stop being blamed for the abuse they endured.

1. Myth: Very mature minors can consent to sex with adults.

Truth: No, they cannot. Regardless of maturity, minors cannot consent to sex with adults.

Age of consent varies place to place, but if a person is considered a minor, than no matter how many times they may say "yes", it is not really consent.

Depending upon the age and circumstances, it's either rape, child sexual abuse, sexual battery, or statutory rape (or a combination of those). 

This is because the state (or country) has determined that a person younger than age of consent is not able to fully think through the consequences of saying "yes" and is especially vulnerable to an unbalanced power dynamic between a child and an adult. 

It's also important to note that many abusers will manipulate "consent" from their victim in order to make the child feel like they are responsible for the harm the adult is doing to them.

It is a way to keep the child quiet, and an attempt to make the abuser seem like an accomplice as opposed to a grown-up choosing to take advantage of or harm a child.

2. Myth: Gay men are more likely to commit sexual abuse.

Truth: There is no good science supporting the claim that people who identify as gay commit more sexual abuse.

In fact, the vast majority of male abusers of kids identify as heterosexual, even abusers of boys. 

As the Gunderson National Child Protection Center clarifies, "Abuse is about power and control and is not anchored by sexual orientation."

3. Myth: Gay boys are "asking for it" when they are abused by men.

Truth: I shouldn't even have to debunk this. But I will. NOBODY asks for it, ever. Not boys, not girls, not gay kids, trans kids. No child has ever have been to blame for the abuse someone else chose to commit.  

The only person responsible for abusing a child is the abuser or abusers. 

That's it.  

4. Myth: You can be made gay if you are a boy abused by a man.

Truth: You can't make someone gay. That's not a real thing. 

There is some evidence that some boys who were abused by men may go through confusing phases in their sexuality where they have trouble sorting the abuse they endured from their own authentic sexuality.

But that is not the same thing as being "made gay". There are also gay men who were abused as kids.

But it was not the abuse that made them gay.

5. Myth: If you "enjoy" the abuse, or have an orgasm or erection, it wasn't really rape/abuse. 

Truth: Erection and even orgasm are reflexes, like when the doctor hits your knee with the little rubber hammer. That is not consent. 

Similarly, many abusers will try to create a sense of pleasure with their victims, again because they want the victim to feel like a "conspirator" rather than a victim.

It also compounds shame for the victim, which can further force a child into keeping the secret and protecting the abuser. 

Repeat after me: Erection and orgasms are NOT the same as consent.

6. Myth: Abused boys grow up to become abusers.

Truth: The vast, vast majority of boys who were abused will never grow up to abuse anybody. 

This is a myth born out of too many criminal defenses of child abusers trying to gain sympathy in court. Certainly some people who have been abused do abuse others. But being abused does NOT make a boy become an abuser.

As comics artist and abuse survivor Dean Trippe said in an article I wrote about male survivors in 2016, "We’re not the danger. We’re the ones who know how terrible the danger is.”

7. Myth: A person in a position of power can "mentor" a minor boy's sexuality.

Truth: If the man learned some things about sex from his abuser that he later enjoys in his consensual sex life, that does not negate the fact that the abuse was a crime.

The abuse and the man's future consensual sex life are separate things.

An adult having sex with a minor is abuse. 

8. Myth: A boy or man cannot be raped by a woman.

Truth: Yes, they can. The same legal rules apply to minor boys and adult women that apply to minor boys and girls raped by people of the opposite sex. 

The biggest difference between a boy who is raped by a woman and a girl who is raped by a man is that society makes the boy into a hero (see Bill Maher's "lucky bastard syndrome" for a ghastly example) when he really needs support and protection...

...while society turns the girl into a victim, or worse, a slut who was "too fast" for her age and "asked for it". Both stereotypes are dangerous, but in different ways. 

And some recent studies report that female-perpetrated abuse and rape rates may be higher than we ever expected. 

The biggest truth is this:

EVERY child deserves to be protected from sexual abuse in all forms.

Boys and girls are equally deserving of the right to say "no" and to experience sex with a true peer when they are sexually and developmentally ready to consent. 

Adults who abuse minors are abusers, and nothing more. It isn't "sex" — it is rape. 

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If you are a survivor of abuse or rape, know that hope and healing are possible. Reach out to 1in6.org, MaleSurvivor.org, or RAINN for support if you are not able to find support in your area.