When Men Are Raped in Childhood 

Conference: International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Engaging Men & Boys. 

Date: Wednesday, 23rd March 2016

Time: 10:30a.m – 12:00noon

Title: Plenary II: Lessons from Death Row: How Violence Emerges from Vulnerable. 

 Vulnerable Men: Perpetrators of Violence Against Women  

Speaker: David Lisak, (PhD, Forensic Consultant, Placitas, NW) 

The process of Gender Socialisation 

  • Childhood trauma affect men and later aggravated their tendencies of violence against women. 
  • Biology alone is not responsible for transforming men into perpetrators. 
  • Sex: A biological category 
  • Gender: A cultural category
  • Our sons grow up in a society that has huge influence on them. 
  • Masculinisation (Power, Independence and Strength).  
  • Growing up, boys are not expected to show weaknesses, vulnerability and dependance. 


  • Origins of Masculinity 
  1. Adaptation to harsh environments. 
  2. Increased reliance on scavenging & hunting.  
  • Essence of Masculinity 
  1. Suppress vulnerability 
  2. Suppress fear
  3. Exalt toughness 
  4. Suppress physical pain. 


  1. enhance group survival by creation of “warrior” class (male children)   
  2. Give warrior class 
  • There’s a difference between identity and attitude. 

Identity is far deeper and more conscious oriented. 

  • Vulnerability does not make you big; it makes you human. 
  • Man is no longer ashamed of himself when he willingly recognises his own vulnerability. 
  • Internalisation of abuse often leave behind devastating consequences. It teaches men who are victims of abuse to become badly damaged and sometimes, vulnerable. 
  • When men are raped in childhood , it build within them rage and disturbing emotional wreckage that make most of them to turn to drug, alcohol and exhibition of violence. 

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