She Touched Me: Five Snapshots of Adult Sexual Violations of Black Boys

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2018;28(2):205-241. doi: 10.1353/ken.2018.0014.


Too often the idea of young Black boys as sexually aggressive or criminally assaultive displaces the idea that they can be victims at all. As such, Black boys are not theorized or researched as victims of sexual violations in current gender literatures. Instead they are almost exclusively represented as perpetrators of sexual violence, not victims of it. This study examines five snapshots of Black men who were victims of sexual violations as young boys. Our findings indicate that Black males are uniquely at risk for sexual impropriety and statutory rape, primarily via older women and teenage girl female-perpetrators (although risk also includes same-sex violations). This study, the first of its kind, argues that Black boys must be understood as a population at risk to be victims of sexual violations and require an earlier sex education emphasizing their sexual vulnerability.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Black or African American*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Sex Offenses*
  • Young Adult