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Ask Dr. Helen: Does Society Encourage Genital Assault Against Men?

Why do we find comedy regarding men being struck in the groin acceptable?

by
Helen Smith

Bio

April 28, 2010 - 12:03 am
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There has been research looking at non-sexual genital assault on boys, though I would think that most kicking, punching, or hitting in that area has to be somewhat sexual in nature. Kevin mentions the work of Dr. David Finkelhor, author of books such as A Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse. Finkelhor did research on non-sexual genital assault in boys. He found that a number of males had been assaulted in this way. Apparently, there are many boys who are being victimized from something called “ball-tapping,” which is described as follows by a news source:

“Ball tapping” is the act of intentionally hitting or kicking a male in the genitals. Earlier this month, an Eyewitness News investigation showed the game has become commonplace in some area schools, resulting in serious injuries for students.

As part of the investigation, WTHR also conducted a statewide survey of school nurses. The results are in, and they show the problem of ball tapping is more common and widespread than many school officials had realized.

The assault on men and boys in this way is astonishing. The media and society seem to encourage it with jokes, gags, and laughs every time a man’s genitals are damaged. I think we should all fight back against this abuse, for the repercussions of young men being damaged in this way are devastating. They include depression, suicide, and taking out the abuse on others as well as themselves. The sadistic men and women who laugh at this type of assault should be called out by all of us who care about the future of males in this country. We’ve all been told rape jokes aren’t funny, and society has gotten the message. Why is the genital assault of men any different?

Do you think this is a widespread problem?

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Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.
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