Cover image for Don't tell : the sexual abuse of boys
Don't tell : the sexual abuse of boys
Dorais, Michel, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xiii, 205 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Ça arrive aussi aux garçons.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV6570 .D6713 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Nearly one male in six has been the victim of sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence - and yet this abuse remains a taboo subject, even among victims. In this text, Michel Dorais gives the victims a voice, providing a sensitive analysis of their traumas and self-questioning, and offering strategies for coping. Don't Tell examines the effects of sexual abuse on the emotional and sexual life of men, including their sense of self and their personal relationships. Using the first-hand accounts of victims Dorais shows that certain reactions are specific to male victims of abuse as they attempt to preserve a sense of physical integrity and masculinity. He also provides innovative strategies for both prevention and treatment that will be of use to those who have suffered abuse as well as to their families and all those who are trying to help them - spouses, friends, social workers, and therapists.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Published in French in 1997, before the recent scandal in the Catholic Church, this book illuminates the confusion and agonizing search for meaning that permeates boys' experience of sexual abuse. Using research interviews, Dorais (social work, Laval Univ., Canada) uses research interviews with sexually abused boys to reveal how these young men's early sexual abuse at the hands of family and friends traumatized them and played havoc with their sense of identity, sexuality, and value. The boys' search to understand what happened, and why, is endless. The interviews presented here examine the impact of early sexual abuse on the boys' relationships, sense of gender and sexual orientation, and sense of security and trust. The study identifies victims' coping responses: the angry avenger, passive victim, rescuer, daredevil, and conformist. Some boys escape through self-cutting or suicidal behavior; some identify with the aggressor and abuse others to recapture their sense of masculine power. This well-written volume is essential reading for those who wish to understand a topic that has been rare in references on sexual abuse. A good complement to Violence against Children in the Family and the Community, ed. by Penelope Trickett and Cynthia Schellenbach (CH, Dec'98), the present title is recommended for all collections and all levels. S. M. Valente University of Southern California