1in6 lie/agenda about orientation and abuse

Here's a quote from the site under their "Myths" section:

"There are different theories about how sexual orientation develops, but experts in human sexuality do not believe that sexual abuse or premature sexual experiences play a significant role."

Talk about a complete and total made up factoid with no stats and no quotes. It's typical of today. Agenda activists infect everything and this has dirty little fingerprints all over it.

OF COURSE sexual abuse and premature sexual experiences play a SIGNIFICANT role in the development of orientation for many. It is a blatant lie to say otherwise and dismissive of so many who feel otherwise. That's the nasty part - the dismissiveness of voices that run counter to current ideology even though those voices are on here daily discussing SSA and its relation to abuse.

No one has to agree with me just like I don't have to agree with others. Everyone is entitled to his experience. But IDEAS like this on 1in6 being written conclusively as a myth dismisses an entire range of men who've experienced exactly what is supposedly a myth.
I don't "struggle" with SSA any longer. I have echoes where I might be "attracted" to a trait or a characteristic of another man but it isn't about the man himself or his sexuality. I've learned how to take the sexual energy out of something that was never supposed to have sexual energy. I am attracted to certain masculine qualities that I am learning are inherent to me and I am stepping up and "owning" them. The person who sexualized me through abuse plus my unmet needs led to confusion. I've done a lot of work to clear up the confusion.

And I am here to DECLARE that my experience alone goes against much of the prevailing agenda and the agenda is often run by despairing people taking out their despair on others under the guise of helping. There is more sickness than health in much of the activism of today. Sometimes that mindset visits this site but most men here are respectful of each other's experience even if it contradicts their own.
You're welcome for my reply and thank you for asking.

Your comment about lack of potshots is so true!

May I ask: why did you ask about my SSA? Is it something that you struggle with or have ideas about for yourself?
I get that. I am the same way. I appreciate people who have opinions based in experience rather than uninformed opinions (which I've been guilty of in the past but not so much anymore).

I also respect your awareness of tackling things in order of importance. I am in 12 step groups and there's this unofficial motto that I live by: I deal with the things in the order in which their killing me! That may read extreme on the page but it has served me well to deal with what needs dealing with first. Get solid and certain things settled and then move on to some of the emotional stuff.

Thanks for the dialogue on this.
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I'm sorry, I don't think there is any science on either side of the argument.

As an older gay guy (58) I know there is huge resistance to "explain" sexuality. In the 70's we fiercely choose unquestionable acceptance as the way for our freedom. Personally I know I was sexualized early because of the assault, but I also know my sexuality was firmly in place before that.

As an old guy I am lost, what is SSA?

Thank you,
[quote:EdfromNYC]"There are different theories about how sexual orientation develops, but experts in human sexuality do not believe that sexual abuse or premature sexual experiences play a significant role."[/quote]
There are so-called experts, but there are those who went through it. Maybe we are not experts, but we know who we had to be to survive, and we have a sense of what was taken from us. So I agree with you, Ed, that this statement misses the mark.

Don't get me wrong - I fully believe in evidence-based science. Medicine, engineering, space exploration, digital media, robotics and other fields in science and technology did not derive from the agendas of opinion or religion or dearly-held preconceptions - they resulted from dispassioned study. That said, however (in my personal experience as a survivor), there are truths that only those who journey through the mess of CSA will know. The soul simply does not lend itself well to science. It's not about agenda, but deeper personal truths. And so it is unsettling to read what some "expert" tells me about my heart and my identity.


I wish there were a Facebook like Like button to note my agreement.
Eirik always says it so well.


Can someone help me understand where the lie and agenda are in the Myth 5 section on 1in6's website? I am not asking in order to challenge this thread but in hopes of better understanding.

I thought the text under Myth 5 on 1in6 is largely in agreement with what's written in this thread regarding the effect of childhood abuse on issues of sexual orientation, identification, and confusion, and is in alignment with "Fact 5" on MS' site, to which LoveGAP1975 linked.

I am distressed to hear this may not be the case. I am also distressed to hear that 1in6's site, which I have found helpful in the past, supports an agenda which I missed and which others find hurtful. It's possible I'm misunderstanding 1in6's explanation because I'm misunderstanding what 1in6 means by "sexual orientation." Myth 5 on 1in6's website is
"Myth 5 – The myth that boys abused by males must have attracted the abuse because they are gay or they become gay as a result."
The explanation goes on to say:
There are different theories about how sexual orientation develops, but experts in human sexuality do not believe that sexual abuse or premature sexual experiences play a significant role. There is no good evidence that someone can “make” another person be homosexual or heterosexual. Sexual orientation is a complex issue and there is no single answer or theory that explains why someone identifies himself as homosexual, heterosexual or bi-sexual.

It is common, however, for boys and men who have been abused to express confusion about their sexual identity and orientation, whether they identify as straight, gay or bi-sexual. Some guys who identify as heterosexual, fear that, due to their experiences as boys, they must “really” be homosexual. They may believe this would mean that they can’t be a “real man,” as defined by the larger society. Even men who clearly indentify as heterosexual, and men who project very traditional heterosexual traits, may fear that others will “find them out” as gay or not real men. Men who identify as gay or bi-sexual may wonder if their sexual orientation was influenced in any way by the abusive experience or may even be the cause of their orientation....

One of the great tragedies of childhood sexual abuse is how it robs a person’s natural right to discover his own sexuality in his own time.
How is it that the first sentence should be stated in order to be proper? Which agenda is being supported in the explanation offered under Myth 5 on the 1in6 site? Is that agenda pushed throughout the site? Can't believe I missed it and not happy that I did.

Any respectful assistance would be appreciated.
SayItRight -

I agree with the 1in6 statement only in the most general terms - that sexual abuse of children causes questioning and confusion, and that the tragedy of the abuse is the stolen opportunity for the victims to explore such an intimate identity on their own terms. But like you, I question that "experts in human sexuality do not believe that sexual abuse or premature sexual experiences play a significant role." It hits me like a simple conclusion crying for a bibliographic footnote citing evidence proving the contention as absolute truth. I wonder what the research really indicates. I suspect a few - perhaps even several - experts would agree that sexual identity is immutable and simply not amenable to intrinisic manipulation by a sexual predator. But do all? Perhaps when we read statements like this, they seem like another example of our voices being taken away from us - that these "experts" know us better than we know ourselves. It almost feels like another abuse.

I am neither trained nor educated in psychology or human behavior, nor am I a counselor or a therapist. But I am educated, and I am a reasonably intelligent person. I am familiar with scientific method and the difference between feeding speculation and working a hypothesis. I recognize the difference between true science which strives to formulate conclusions that fit all the evidence, and pseudoscience which merely selects the evidence to fit a favored conclusion. If there is an agenda, it will invariably follow the pattern of pseudoscience rather than true science.

The fact is, I don't think anyone can make such an overriding simple statement on something almost infinitely complex. The variables in the equation outweigh the constants by a staggering amount - variables like character, circumstance, venue, the pre-existing relationship of the victim and perp, pre-existing mental state of the victim, the impresssionability of the victim, the physiology and physicality of the assault, the emotional states of victim and perpetrator, the amount of cooperation or resistance involved, substance involvement such as alcohol or pharmaceuticals, and so much more. The number of permutations in the combinations of those variables and the synergistic variables those combinations produce add an almost exponential element to it all. And while we find brotherhood and commonality here - I would bet that even with over 13,000 registrants at MS, no two survivors share the same fingerprint. In the final analysis - despite the connections we make - we are all essentially alone with our own experiences. And we each have a story to share.

And so I remain skeptical. I trust my instincts, my heart and my memory more than I trust the experts. That collective statement of the immutability of our sexual identities may speak to what they may have studied, but it does not speak to what I have lived through. When all is said and done, the burden of proof is on them, not me.


Thank you for your response. As others even here have noted, you have a way with words. You also have a way with compassion. I appreciate it.

This is the third time I am typing out my response. I'm dropping where I was going with the others. Here's what I've determined. I am very easily triggered this weekend. I know the reasons why and will work on them. But it is likely not the weekend for me to have many in-depth discussions on the issues I raised in my post.



Wait, walking away isn't helping me either.

As I mentioned earlier, I recognize that I am extremely easily triggered this weekend. That may be the largest part of the difficulty I am having - it's possible if it weren't this discussion, it'd be something else. I'm working on dealing with the issues that have put me in this state.

What is difficult for me about this discussion is the idea in the thread that 1in6 is promoting a lie and an agenda. I am losing a resource. Brings up old issues for me; lack of resources, isolation, feeling like a fool when I was the only one who showed up to a meeting on campus for male survivors of sexual abuse. Out of 10,000 people/~5,000 guys - only me.

But I am used to having few resources and, luckily, more are available now.

What's worse is that I completely miss/missed the agenda being discussed. In fact, I have a hard time seeing where 1in6's Myth 5 discussion differs from MS's Fact 5.

For me, this is an issue of reality checking: how could I have missed something that other survivors here find so obvious?

Missing agendas is part of what landed me in some of the worse abuse I suffered. I thought I had come so far.

What is the agenda I am missing? Eric well describes how the statement made is no more than a conclusion - how it robs survivors of their voice and experience. I believe I understand what he is saying. I hate to say it, I'm cynical about such things - I expect to have my voice dismissed, especially in favor of "experts," when it comes to healthcare, surviving abuse, ptsd, and related topics. Eric's explanation models for me more appropriate responses to such a situation.

But the agenda. How could I have missed it and instead found the assistance on 1in6 and the community it provides and implies helpful? This is more than a matter for me of "if you find 1in6 helpful, keep relying on it."

The old voice, about how stupid I am, about how I am responsible for what the priest did to me, it is hard to argue it away this morning. I can't afford to be missing agendas.

Not only did I not see it, I still don't see what it is, what it's goals are, what suppositions it contains, what its "politics" are, etc. I am not interested in raising a debate about orientation, "SSA," religion, conservative/liberal politics, etc. I am trying to understand what it is I missed and how I could possibly have missed something so big. Any help would be appreciated.
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For what it's worth, SayItRight, I don't think there's an "agenda" there at all. Whenever people talk about "agenda" in relation to anything LGBT, I pretty much tune them out anyway because people who hate LGBT folks assign the word "gay agenda" to literally anything that isn't overtly homophobic (for what it's worth, I'm not necessarily assuming other guys on here are homophobic, but they sure are using the language.)

I think what it comes down to is this: research shows that most people who are gay were not sexually abused or else do not consider sexual abuse to have caused their sexuality. HOWEVER, the opposite is more questionable; "gayness" may not generally be caused by abuse, but are people who are abused more likely to be gay? As MS and 1in6 both state, it is common for victims of sexual assault to question their sexuality or gender and yet they say that assault making people gay is a myth. The current theory seems to be that sexual abuse can cause latent sexual thoughts towards the same gender to be brought to the forefront.

Of course, research isn't experience and general trends doesn't necessarily mean that all men will follow those trends. Just because, statistically speaking, X isn't true, doesn't mean it won't be true for some or even many men. And it's possible that the research will shift as new things are discovered (I reckon that a lot of the uncertainty comes from one's definition of "sexuality"... whether one considers it to be fairly innate or fairly fluid). Studying human behavior is messy and it's often difficult to make bold statements about anything.

So when it comes down to it, I don't think there's some sinister "gay agenda" at work here. I think that 1in6 could have been worded in a way that's more sensitive to a broad range of experience of survivors. But I also think that about the many resources I've found that spend paragraphs fearmongering about the horrors of being "turned" gay by abuse. Unfortunately, since our resources are limited, it might be best to take certain things with a grain of salt and try to gain what positive things you can. To each their own though.

Best to you, SayItRight.


Staff member
I think that knowing I've had latent effects, that create sexual neutral thinking is my truth.

I don't do MS conflict.
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I wrote a few replies that I deleted.

I stand by my original comment and the agenda to dismiss voices that don't toe a particular line. I'm not engaging with "current theory" which is exactly the same thing that was problematic in the original 1in6 quote.

Phrases like "current theory" are akin to saying "sex experts" agree on this or that.

It feels like a similar attempt to promote some experiences or voices and diminish or dismiss other voices.
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