Some victims of rape or other sexual violence incidents are male. It is estimated that approximately one in six men were sexually abused as children. Historically, rape was thought to be, and defined as, a crime committed solely against females. 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 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 differently to male victims based on their sexual orientation and the gender of their perpetrators. It may be difficult for male victims to report a sexual assault they experienced, especially in a society with a strong masculine custom. They might be afraid that people will doubt their sexual orientation and label them homosexual, especially if raped by a male, or that they may be seen as un-masculine because they were a victim, and therefore many statistics underestimate how many males are raped due to their unwillingness to report sexual assault and rape. Most of the time, 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.