Sexual Abuse of Boys in India: The Story in Numbers
The recent cases of young boys being abused in Mumbai have briefly brought to the forefront conversations around sexual abuse of boys. As an aspect of gender violence, it has been constantly under-reported and under-recognized. This silence adds to the pervasive belief that male children cannot be victims of sexual abuse.
In this post, we look at the oft-quoted statistics from the 2007 report on child abuse in India by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare. Only this time our focus is on data related to victim boys.
- One is every two children interviewed (53.22%) reported being victims of one or more forms of sexual abuse that included severe and other forms. More than half (52.94%) of those who reported abuse were boys while 47.06% were girls.
- 20.90% of children reported being subject to severe forms of sexual abuse that included sexual assault, making the child fondle private parts, making the child exhibit private body parts and being photographed in the nude. Of these, a majority (57.3%) were boys.
- Half (50.7%) the child were subjected to other forms of sexual abuse that included forcible kissing, sexual advances made during travel and marriages and exposure to pornographic materials. Once again, half the victim (53.07%) were boys.
- Of all the children reporting sexual assault (penetration of the anus, vagina or oral sex), 54.4% were boys.
- Out of the total child respondents, 14.5% reported incidence when someone made them fondle or touch their private body parts. Among these children, a majority (58.40%) were boys.
- 12.6% of children reported that someone forced them to show or exhibit their private body parts. Of these, a majority (60.25%) were boys.
- When asked about whether anyone has shown or exhibited them his/her private body parts, 16.97% out of the total child respondents admitted such incidence taking place with them. Once again, a majority (55.58%) were boys.
- A state-wise breakdown shows that 9 out of 13 (69%) states reported higher percentage of sexual abuse among boys as compared to girls, with Delhi reporting a figure of 65.64%.
- When it comes to severe forms of sexual abuse, again 9 out of 13 states (69%) reported higher percentage of sexual abuse among boys as compared to girls.
- 7 out of 13 states (54%) reported higher percentage of boys facing one or more severe forms of other sexual abuse as compared to girls.
The Data has spoken clearly:
In almost all form of sexual abuse, the number of boys who have faced abuse were equal to the number of girls who have faced abuse, if not more.