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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » mistrust in guys

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Author Topic: mistrust in guys
gummybearfly
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Member # 46573

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I've never had a boyfriend or anything close to one. (I'm only 14), and my dad is very kind and loving. I've never been abused in anyway. However, I still have a bit of a fear of men. I'm afraid I will get a boyfriend/husband who will be abusive and Ill get abused or worse! I'm also afraid the first time I'll have sex, no matter how I much I trust my partner, I'm afraid he will leave me. How do I convince myself that not all guys are mean and insensitive?

[ 04-08-2010, 10:36 PM: Message edited by: gummybearfly ]

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Ecofem
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Hi gummybearfly!

For starters, do you have any male friends, brothers or cousins? Have you ever talked about this with your dad before? Do you find yourself attracted to guys but then scared by them? Do you feel comfortable about your male classmates? Once you answer those, I can help answer your question better. [Smile]

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gummybearfly
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I have a few male cousins who are nice. I also have a few guy friends. I've never talked to my dad about it and I don't feel comfortable doing so. I'm not scared of the guys I'm attracted to, I'm just afraid that I will meet someone in the future that turns abusive/etc. I also feel comfortable around guy classmates.

I don't know why I feel this way when I've never known any abusive guys. I think the all of stories in the news about husbands killing their wives also adds to my fear.

[ 04-09-2010, 04:43 PM: Message edited by: gummybearfly ]

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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By all means, when it comes to physical abuse, it's much more common for men to abuse women, either as strangers to them or as people women know are close to. When it comes to abuses like rape, the vast majority of rapists are also men, whether victims are male, female or gendered otherwise.

However, one thing that can get lost in that which is so important to remember is that, for instance, while around one out of every four women in our lifetime will be or have been raped, it is NOT one out of every four men doing the raping. In other words, both with rape and with abuse, people who do those things tend to do them to more than one person.

As well, in the majority of cases, all kinds of abuses happen in the context of abusive, ongoing relationships. Best protecting ourselves from those isn't done by avoiding a given group of people, but by cultivating an awareness of what health and unhealthy behaviors are, and getting away from unhealthy people or behaviours when we find them. If people are just avoiding a gender instead of doing that, they're likely actually putting themselves in danger. Understand what I mean?

In other words, in a lot of those stories, you're looking at relationships where warning signs were ignored (or a person didn't know what those signs are), where people didn't ask for help or weren't given help by others, and/or where people knew they were with someone dangerous, but still chose to stay, either because they didn't know how to get out or because they got so deep into abuse over time that they got all of their own survival instincts worn right out of them. Abuse is rarely a Jeckyll-and-Hyde situation where one minute someone is healthy and great and then they "turn" abusive. I'd be glad to give you more info on abuse and cycles of abuse if you like.

Women are just as capable of men as hurting people in any number of ways, and men are just as capable of being hurt as women in any number of ways. While there are some things that skew in terms of gender, people are more than just our gender, and even things we may be more inclined to do because of gender roles or ideas about gender (gender itself doesn't exist in a vacuum, and behavior per gender is usually about what people learn and choose) are really about what any of us do or don't do as PEOPLE.

Lastly, it might help to know that when we're talking about gender roles, things like anyone saying or enabling the idea that men are "bad" or "insensitive" can actually enable that very behavior. If everywhere you turn, people think a certain thing of you, it can be pretty hard not to just do what they expect. When people expect and ask for the best of us, that tends to be what we give them. So, even just you opening your mind a bit here and trying to understand that men, like women, vary immensely and are by no means abusive or insensitive by nature can actually help a whole lot. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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Can I ask why you don't feel comfortable talking to your Dad about this?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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gummybearfly
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It's not really the type of thing we talk about. I can talk to my mom about it, however. My dad wouldn't mind at all if I talked to him, but I just don't feel comfortable.
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