The 1 in 6 statistic

Mankind UK research Feb 21

Savanta ComRes was commissioned by Mankind UK in Feb 2021 to explore the prevalence of non-consensual sexual experiences among UK men. They interviewed 1,011 UK male adults aged 18+ online from 5-7 February 2021. The cohort were representative of population by age, region, and social grade. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

People were asked to read examples of 15 non consensual sexual experiences and select which had ever happened to them.  The Poll revealed that:

  • 42% selected at least one of the 13 sexual experiences which are legally defined as a sexual crime.
  • 50% selected at least one of the 15 sexual experiences listed including sexual harassment and unwanted sexual innuendo which are covered by the Equalities Act.
visual representation of the results of Mankind's research
No of men who’ve experienced this % of men who’ve experienced this
Assault by penetration of your mouth or anus with any object 82 8%
Mutilation of your genitals 83 8%
Rape or non-consensual penetration of your mouth or anus with a penis 90 9%
Being coerced into being in sexual photographs or videos 97 10%
Sharing of sexual images of you without your consent 98 10%
Another unwanted sexual experience that is not mentioned 113 11%
Being coerced into watching pornography or other people committing sexual acts 114 11%
Indecent exposure or ‘flashing’ 110 11%
Sexual assault which includes any other unwanted sexual touching or kissing 133 13%
Being watched in an inappropriate sexual way 133 13%
Being coerced or pressured into sexual activity 137 14%
Sexual harassment in person or online 145 14%
Teasing or ‘body shaming’ specific to your genitals 139 14%
Taking part in any sexual activity with someone over 16, while you were under 16 207 21%
Unwanted sexual innuendo or ‘flirting’ 283 28%
Total who have experienced at least one of the above non-consensual sexual experiences 502 50%

You can read the full research results broken down by region and age group here.

The situation is very similar in the US according to data compiled by US organisation including:

  • A 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that 16% of males were sexually abused. Read the research.
    Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438. 
  • A 1990 national study of U.S. adults reported that 16% of men were sexually abused. Read the research.
    Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 14, 19-28.