The sexual abuse statistics below provide a general snapshot of the reported prevalence and identified characteristics of sexual abuse and sexual assault of males.

Male Childhood Sexual Abuse


Research suggests that:

  • Something between 1 in 6 and 1 in 10 males are sexually abused before the age of 16. [Australia]
  • By comparison 1 in 4 females are sexually abused before the age of 16. [USA]
  • Over 30% of confirmed reports of child sexual abuse involve male victims.  
  • Most sexual abuse of males begins before puberty, typically around 10 years.  
  • Boys younger than six are at greater risk of abuse by family and acquaintances. 
  • Boys older than 12 years face an increased risk of abuse by strangers.  
  • Risk of sexual assault declines for adult men relative to adult women.  
  • Threats of force and physical harm increased with age and male perpetration.  
  • The majority of males under the age of 14 who die by suicide have a history of childhood sexual abuse [NZ]
  • A significant number of male prisoners have a history of child sexual abuse [Australia]

Risk Factors

Some boys, through no fault of their own, can unfortunately be more likely to experience sexual abuse. The risk of sexual abuse is increased if a boy:  

  • Is a runaway.
  • Has a disability – between 4 and 7 times more likely to be sexually abused than a non-disabled peer.  
  • Is subjected to other forms of maltreatment in the home.
  • Comes from an impoverished and/or single-parent family.
  • Spends time in an institutional setting 
  • Same sex attracted males – prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is higher among gay and bisexual men than heterosexual men.  

While there are no typical circumstances that boys find themselves in when abused; compared to girls, boys are more likely to be:

  • Abused outside the home. 
  • Abused by a stranger.  
  • Subjected to extra familial abuse.  
  • Abused around witnesses. 
  • Abused by a female or male and female together.  
  • Abused by clergy.