A significant proportion of victims of rape or other sexual violence incidents is male. Historically, rape was thought to be, and defined as, a crime committed solely against women. This belief is still held in some parts of the world, but rape of males is now commonly criminalized and has been subject to more discussion than it was in the past.
Rape of males is still taboo, and has a negative connotation among heterosexual and homosexual men. Community and service providers often react to the sexual orientation of male victims and the gender of their perpetrators. It is difficult for a male victim, straight or gay, to report the sexual assault that was experienced by him, especially in a society with a strong masculine custom. They are afraid that people will doubt their sexual orientation and label them as gay, especially if raped by a male, or that they may be seen as un-masculine because they were a victim. A perception of being gay is also a motive for rape in many cases.
Mostly, male victims try to hide and deny their victimization, similar to female victims, unless they have serious physical injuries. Eventually, the male victims may be very vague in explaining their injuries when they are seeking medical or mental health services.