Men Are Much Less Likely To Be Victims of Rape

On the Male Privilege Checklist (henceforth “the list,”) I wrote:

7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are so low as to be negligible.

Karmaq, writing in The Unseen Kid’s comments, responded:

I question some of the stats… For example, the myth that rape only happens to men in prison (or gay men), when the FBI stats (if you want to believe the FBI) are that it happens way more often than we think. No one wants to talk about and even if they do, no one wants to hear about it. But I’ve met enough men (straight, never been in jail) who have talked to me about it (cause people tend to tell me stuff they don’t normally share) that I tend to suspect the FBI’s “1 in 7 men; 1 in 3or4 women” had some validity.

My response to Karmaq:

First, Karmaq is mistaken about what the FBI’s statistics say. The FBI only counts the small proportion of rapes that are reported to police, and they calculate their numbers per year, rather than per lifetime. As a result, the FBI’s numbers are far, far, far lower than the numbers you provide here. Most importantly, because the FBI’s inexcusably sexist definition of rape excludes men (“forcible rape, as defined in the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, is the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will”), the FBI’s numbers are irrelevant to Karmaq’s point.

Second, contrary to Karmaq’s remarks, I never claimed that “rape happens only to men in prison (or gay men).” That would obviously not be true.

What I said is, that for men who aren’t in prison, the chances of being raped are very low, and I stand by that claim.

According to this study by the Centers for Disease Control, 15% of women and 2% of men in the US have ever been raped in their lifetime. That difference alone is enough to justify my statement. (The CDC’s numbers are based on interviews with a representative sample of the US population, not on police reports.)

Although the CDC’s is one of the best rape prevalence studies, I believe their results underestimate the prevalence of rape, especially for women. One particularly striking (but not at all unusual, as these studies go) flaw of the CDC’s survey is that their interview questions didn’t include a specific question asking about rapes that take place while the victims are unconscious or otherwise unable to resist due to drink or drugs – which is to say, a prototypical frat-house rape. Of course, anyone can be raped while passed out, but anecdotally I believe it happens significantly more often to women. (Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any good studies addressing this question, so anecdotal evidence is all I have.)

Readers may be wondering, of that 2% of men who report having been raped, how many were raped in prison? The CDC did not ask if rapes took place while incarcerated, so there’s no way of knowing what portion of the 2% of raped men, were raped in prison. However, it’s at least plausible that a significant portion of that 2% represents prison rape.

According to this Bureau of Justice Statistics report, 5% of US men have been in prison at some point in their lives. If one in ten men are raped while in prison – and some studies suggest prison rape prevalence may be that high or much higher – that would account for a quarter of all the male rape victims in the US. So although this is speculative, it’s plausible that a substantial number of the 2% of American men who have been raped, were raped while in prison.

* * *

Does it matter where rape takes place or who the victims are? In every moral sense, it does not matter. No one deserves to be raped. Prison rape is rape, and is totally inexcusable. Rape is rape, evil and wrong no matter where or to whom it happens. Every rape victim deserves sympathy and support.

But one point of the male privilege checklist is to make visible some ways a male-centric society harms women. (I believe that male-centric societies also harm men, but that’s a subject for a different post). Pretending that there’s no statistical difference in the likelihood of being raped goes against that purpose. In that context, that rape in ordinary US society is a crime overwhelmingly committed by men against women is important, and must be acknowledged.

It should be noted that the prison rape epidemic is probably going to get worse. Over the next couple of decades, the proportion of male rape victims may increase, because the proportion of men who have been in prison is projected to skyrocket. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ projections, if our current rate of sending men to prison is maintained, then at some point in the future 15% of American men will have spent time in prison. (6% of white men, 17% of Latinos, and 32% of Black men. For comparison’s sake, the projections for women are 1%, 2% and 6%.)

If those projections are true (or even partly true), and if the prison rape epidemic continues unabated, the overall number of American rape victims will vastly increase over the coming decades. This is true even if rape prevalence outside of prison doesn’t change at all. This is one reason why it’s essential to support strong measures to combat prison rape; unfortunately, all that’s gotten through congress so far are weak half-measures.

* * *Please Note* * *
My posts on “Alas” are sometimes heavily moderated. If you’d like to avoid that, you can instead leave a comment on the identical post at Creative Destruction.

This entry posted in Anti-feminists and their pals, Prisoner rape, Rape, intimate violence, & related issues, The Male Privilege Checklist. Bookmark the permalink. 

93 Responses to Men Are Much Less Likely To Be Victims of Rape

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  10. 10
    beth says:

    i can’t believe there’s even an argument about this. i don’t know a single man who ever but ever thinks about being sexually assaulted based on his surroundings, like walking alone somewhere at night, getting into a car in a parking garage, etc. i don’t know a single woman who doesn’t. the only time men insist they’re victims too is when someone tries to force them to acknowledge privelege. the more i see that happen, the more i myself am certain that privelege exists. which in a roundabout way is positive because it makes me reflect on white privelege for myself a little more.

    but still. dudes. stfu. how can anyone say this crap–rape is preferable to x, (i.e. rape isn’t so bad), men are equally victimized–with a straight face?

  11. 11
    TheGlimmering says:

    Besides, claiming men are raped as often as women is barking up the wrong tree. Regardless who’s being raped, the rapist is male except for a few noteworthy instances. Why is it we try to pretend criminals belong to neither sex? Their penis didn’t fall off when they committed rape or another crime, or else we might have less trouble with repeat offenders. Of course, the very fact that men are the ones raping men as well as women does make some room for the non-violent men in question to join women against violence, owning some genuine victimization for themselves: men are more likely to be violently assaulted than women. Again, the perpetrators are also men. Clearly we ought to be on the same side, violent men are a problem to all of us. Stop claiming to be equally objectified or equally raped and start dealing with the real problem. (And for the love of all that’s holy, stop taking every comment directed at rapists as against all men, the feminists that believe all men are rapists are a minority, just as the actually violent men are, hopefully, a minority.)

  12. 12
    nik says:

    I think Karmaq’s still got a point. If a quarter of male rapes are prison rapes, then out-of-prison rapes happen to 1.5% of the male population, or 1 in 67 men. Is this “so low as to be negligible”? I don’t know, it depends upon what “negligible” means to you. But I’d consider phrasing point 7 slightly differently (such as saying the risk of rape is an order of magnitude lower for men).

    There’s actually a futher point I want to bring up, based upon the defence of Koss’s survey for rape prevalence you posted a while back. One of the complaints I’ve read about Koss’s methodology is that if you apply the questions to men they report higher rates of ‘rape’ than women do [http://www.radstats.org.uk/no083/Cowling83.pdf]. I don’t think anyone seriously believes that this is true in reality. But if a survey of that kind can result in a finding that is so obviously nonsense, then I wonder whether there’s any context in which it should be taken seriously.

  13. 13
    Ampersand says:

    One of the complaints I’ve read about Koss’s methodology is that if you apply the questions to men they report higher rates of ‘rape’ than women do [http://www.radstats.org.uk/no083/Cowling83.pdf].

    Before I respond, I want to be certain that I’ve understood what it is you want me to address. Is it the paragraph beginning “A further worry arises….” near the top of page 5 of that PDF file? Or is there something else there you’re thinking of?

    Thanks!

  14. 14
    nik says:

    Yes, that’s the one. Though I’m just raising the general point, not citing Cowling’s paragraph as authoritative, he admits his article is just a reworking of Johnson and Sigler (1997).

  15. 15
    Ampersand says:

    Nik, you say that “if you apply the questions” – by which you seem to mean Koss’ questions – “to men they report higher rates of ‘rape’ than women do.” This is based on Cowling, who writes:

    A further worry arises when questions such as Koss’ are administered to men. It emerges that they suffer unwanted heterosexual intercourse at a higher rate than women (Struckman-Johnson, 1988; Muehlenhard and Cook, 1988).

    It appears Cowling has misled you. I don’t have a copy of the Muehlenhard and Cook study, and I can’t find a copy online (it was printed in a journal whose online archives – at least the ones available to me – only go back as far as 1993). But I do have a copy of the Srruckman-Johnson article, and for Cowling to cite that study in support of his statement is an appalling misrepresentation.

    Here’s one of the screening questions Koss used to access rape prevalence:

    Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?

    Here’s the only screening question Struckman-Johnson used to access forced sex (her term) prevalence:

    In the course of your life, how many times have you been forced to engage in sexual intercourse while on a date?

    The approach used by Struckman-Johnson is not even remotely similar to Koss’; to describe this as “if you apply [Koss'] questions to men they report higher rates of ‘rape’ than women do” is grossly inaccurate. Struckman-Johnson’s approach discourages rape reporting among rape victims (who, research has shown, are more likely to report their experiences in response to specific questions than a general screening question); and it encourages reporting by respondents who felt forced by emotional pressure.

    And by the way, Struckman-Johnson’s study did not find that men “suffer unwanted heterosexual intercourse at a higher rate than women.” Struckman-Johnson found that 22% of the women and 16% of the men “reported at least one forced sex episode in their lifetime.” And if we put aside episodes of forced sex that involved psychological coercion, counting only incidents in which unwanted sex happened because of the use of physical force, then the Struckman-Johnson numbers change to 12-16% for women and 1% for men.

    (To be fair, there were some questions asked by Koss which were somewhat similar to the Struckman-Johnson question – but those questions were not used by Koss to assess rape prevalence.)

    I realize that you’re just going by what Cowling said. But what Cowling said is not true. The questions aren’t “such as Koss’” questions, and S-J didn’t find more male than female victims.

    One thing that Struckman-Johnson’s study does show, however, is that if you ask men and women if they’ve been forced to have sex, most men report incidents of feeling emotionally pressured to give in, while most women report incidents of being physically forced. (Other studies have shown the same thing). That men and women interpret the same questions differently isn’t speculation; it’s a definite result.

    Ironically, Struckman-Johnson’s results are a major reason I have doubts about even the 2% number found by the CDC. Direct comparisons between the CDC and S-J are impossible because of the vastly different methodologies, but S-J provides reason to doubt that asking men and women the same questions is good methodology, except when the questions are combined with detailed follow-up interviews.

  16. 16
    Karmaq says:

    Thanks for giving me a chance to reply. I may add some of this to my own blog, just so I can have it in the future to refine if need be. For now, I don’t want to spend the afternoon on this, so I am going to make this fast and it may be sloppy.

    First, let me say, you and I agree that there is a huge problem with the definition of rape, which I have been a part of lobbying against in my own state. But I have read the FBI files which were not based on police records alone, and which support the stats I wrote, so the fact that you found some based on different research that gets different results does not deter me.

    I don’t want to harp on every counterpoint, because there is a bigger concern I have.
    I apologize for bringing up a cultural rape myth in a way that you felt blamed for it. I do not believe you think rape never happens to men outside prison. I don’t even know you. Nor do I believe, as you say, “that there’s no statistical difference in the likelihood of being raped.” On the contrary, I listed a very specific statistical difference. Though I would like to point out that by implying I believed that, you go people to react to me as though I did, even though it was contrary to my own words. This distinction will be important later.

    I’d like to point out, perhaps you will agree, that because of the rape myth I referred to, men spend much less of their lives worrying/thinking about the possibility of such violation, and freedom from the terror of rape (as distinct from the reality of it) is a privilege in itself that I wish everyone could share. The reaction you got from me in that original post was reaction to this: When you call rape against men “negligible,” (And I do take offense to that word, which I realize is a mathematical term, but I still have a personal reaction. I can’t help but look at those men in my mind’s eye and imagine telling them their suffering is “negligible.”) you perpetuate this idea. (I realize I just apologized for blaming you in the previous paragraph, but please take this mental journey with me for a moment in the spirit of dialog.) And you perpetuate it in both directions: Men become surer of their own safety and women become surer of their own vulnerability. In Social Psychology, we talk about an “availability heuristic,” which means that people will estimate the probably of something happening based on how easily it comes to mind. After seeing thousands of women victimized by men in thousands of movies, TV shows, songs, and propaganda, while all the time hearing how men don’t have to worry, we create an availability heuristic that says men hurt women. This certainly happens, but the problem is availability heuristics are not self contained. They affect the whole system. Social Psychologists have also been helpful enough to demonstrate what is known as the “self fulfilling prophecy.” When you see a man in a dark parking lot and your availability heuristic tells you he is going to hurt you, you are more likely to get hurt, so science tells us. It’s important to note it can also go the other way. I heard a story from a woman knows as the Peace Pilgrim, who was hitchhiking. A man picked her up and she fell asleep in his truck. When she awoke, he told her that when he’d picked her up, he had bad intentions for her, but when he saw how trusting she lay down to sleep next to him, he couldn’t bring himself to hurt her. My point in all of this is that the more we perpetuate an idea, the more it manifests in the world. I am not saying this to lay blame on the victims, nor on anyone else, but rather to offer each of us a chance to create the world we want by creating our own mental environments. I am not sure that male privileged checklists are at all helpful for what I would like to see in the world. (Which says nothing, my friend, of whether it helps what you are after. That is for you alone to answer.) What I see is a further cementing of the differences between us. And while there will always be differences between sexes, I see a cementing of the very differences we wish to release. Perhaps you and I will part ways on my grounding as a psychologist. Sometimes, social psychology, or what we see when we observe human behavior, differs so greatly from “common sense,” what we expect to see, that people don’t want to accept it. I have offered you no research, though I have mountains, because this is has become long enough and, though I teach a college course on it, I am not going to recount a semester’s worth of material here. You can do your own research and make your own opinion, I am sure.

    Again, thank you for inviting me in to the dialog.

  17. 17
    The Unseen Kid says:

    i don’t know a single man who ever but ever thinks about being sexually assaulted based on his surroundings, like walking alone somewhere at night, getting into a car in a parking garage, etc.

    I’m not going to get involved in this discussion, but I’d like to say that I do. Walking around San Francisco, or Oakland at night, I have a genuine fear. The only real way I could defend myself was if I had a running start, and could either get away, or throw my entire weight into an attacker. Since people don’t normally yell out, “Hey, I’m going to rape you!” from across the block, I become afraid.

    Shit happens to everyone. Instead of arguing about who gets the worst of it, let’s all fight it together.

  18. 18
    Abyss2hope says:

    Karmaq:

    A man picked her up and she fell asleep in his truck. When she awoke, he told her that when he’d picked her up, he had bad intentions for her, but when he saw how trusting she lay down to sleep next to him, he couldn’t bring himself to hurt her. My point in all of this is that the more we perpetuate an idea, the more it manifests in the world. I am not saying this to lay blame on the victims, nor on anyone else, but rather to offer each of us a chance to create the world we want by creating our own mental environments.

    While we can sometimes create a self-fulfilling prophecy, many rape victims like myself had absolute trust in our rapists and were more vulnerable because we didn’t see them as potential rapists. My mental environment was a rape-free zone.

    It sounds like you are basing your statements on how strangers interact. That doesn’t apply to my situation since my rapist was my boyfriend who was a friend of my brothers so long that I don’t remember meeting him.

    If the increased awareness of rape is a self-fulfilling prophecy, then the incidence of rape should be on an upward trend, but Rape and other sexual violence in the U.S. are declining.

  19. 19
    Sebastian Holsclaw says:

    “I believe their results underestimate the prevalence of rape, especially for women. One particularly striking (but not at all unusual, as these studies go) flaw of the CDC’s survey is that their interview questions didn’t include a specific question asking about rapes that take place while the victims are unconscious or otherwise unable to resist due to drink or drugs – which is to say, a prototypical frat-house rape.”

    I don’t find it surprising that you believe the results underestimate the prevalence of rape. I suspect most surveys do. I do find it surprising that you believe they underestimate the prevalence of rape especially for women. Many efforts have been made over multiple decades to help women feel more ok about reporting rape. The same is not at all true about men. The vast majority of rapes of females are made by men–they don’t invoke the spectre of homosexuality. The same is not at all true about men.

    Sexual predators prey on the weak. That can often include other men. I fully believe that men are raped less than women. I don’t belive that the difference is enough to be called negligible.

  20. 20
    Kim (basement variety!) says:

    I really – I mean -really- am finding myself disgusted with this continued regurgitation of ‘homosexuality’ concerns with regards to rape. In speaking about rape this way, it repeatedly attempts to frame rape of women as bad sex. As if the woman might get some degree of solace out of it being done by a specific person. It adds an element of willingness that yet again makes the societal statement that women don’t really get raped, they just have bad sex.

  21. 21
    redhorse says:

    I think this may be due to the fact that men occasionally frame rape as bad sex. I have a friend who was in a “friends who occasionally have sex” sort of relationship with another male friend, and he pretty much exclusively bottomed. He went to sleep at said friend’s house while they were sprawled on friend’s kingsize bed watching a movie, and woke up the next morning with the guy on top of him going at it. He couldn’t (owing to positioning and inertia and leverage and such) get out from under him, so he pretty much just had to lay there and take it. Now, when something similar happened to a female friend of ours, he had to be restrained from going over and beating up her rapist, but he will not frame what happened to him that day as rape, even though he didn’t consent and wouldn’t have said yes if he’d been asked.

    I think that for a lot of people, male or female, the baggage of the word rape is something they don’t want. (It doesn’t change the definition of what happened, of course.) And there’s all kinds of rapes, and while all are bad, some are worse than others. I myself defined my rape as very bad sex for a number of years, and it took a certain degree of allowing myself to admit my vulnerability to be able to name it what I knew in my heart it was.

  22. 22
    roberta robinson says:

    I agree woman have to look over their shoulders alot more than most men, except that smart men I know are afraid of being a victim of robbery or murder, generally, they don’t get all panicky if they have to go to their cars in the dark from work.

    Most woman are just easier targets overall. Also woman are more likly to be tortured, aka raped repeatedly, or shoved into a horrible place for hours or days on end until they get done with her, then kill her.

    Men generally can defend themselves better, considering that most men are stronger than most woman. Even in a gang situation he has a better chance, and it is unlikly that most men are out looking to rape other men, unless they are gay or something. So statistically most woman are more vunerable to rape then a most guys. And it is not always dark alleys but boyfriends and acquaintances that are the problem. Of course I do not allude to children here only adults. That is another story altogether.

    RR

  23. 23
    FurryCatHerder says:

    I’m more concerned that “men are seldom raped” ignores that boys are often sexually abused. I’ve heard the sexual abuse of a girl toddler called “rape”, but I’ve never heard the sexual abuse of a boy toddler called “rape”.

    I say this because thinking about the subject this time, I seem to recall hearing words like “sodomized” or “molested” used to describe what happens to men, but “rape” used to describe what happens to women.

    http://www.jimhopper.com/male-ab/

    If we take the position that nonconsentual sexual contact is “rape”, 1 in 6 men have been raped in their lifetime.

    As best as I understand the subject, males are at greatest risk for being sexually abused (raped) when relatively young and females are at greatest risk for being sexually abused (raped) throughout life.

    http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/jan20/fleming/fleming.html

    Another thing I find offensive about studies of sexual abuse (the other being that there’s this arbitrary distinction of “sexual abuse” versus “rape”), is the age difference issue –

    Definition of
    childhood
    sexual abuseCSA was defined as all experiences of sexual contact occurring before the age of 12 with a person five or more years older, irrespective of consent , and all experiences of sexual contact occurring between age 12 and 16 years with a person five or more years older that were not wanted or were distressing.

    I’m unclear as to why sexual abuse by a person closer in age isn’t sexual abuse. In addition to perpetuating the belief that sexual abuse isn’t rape (if “If you don’t sleep with me, I’ll pitch a fit and whine” is rape, why isn’t sexual abuse also rape?), it seems to give a free pass to 14 year olds who sexually abuse (rape) 13 year olds, 12 year olds, … and 10 year old.

    Anyway, that was my rant. Sorry to bother anyone who was bothered.

  24. 24
    FurryCatHerder says:

    Even in a gang situation he has a better chance, and it is unlikly that most men are out looking to rape other men, unless they are gay or something.

    Rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power. And violently sodomizing a man as a way to punish, humiliate, shame, whatever a man isn’t about the man/men doing the violence having a good time sexually.

    If rape was about sexual gratification stereotypically unattractive women would never be raped and dressing down and not wearing makeup would be a great survival strategy. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

  25. 25
    Ampersand says:

    If we take the position that nonconsentual sexual contact is “rape”, 1 in 6 men have been raped in their lifetime.

    Okay. However, I certainly wasn’t taking that position in this post, and neither do the studies I’ve cited.

    I don’t think the distinction between “sexual abuse” – which can include rape, but can also include things like when one of my fellow campers grabbed my dick when I was a kid – and “rape,” meaning non-consensual penetrative sex – is entirely arbitrary.

    I’m unclear as to why sexual abuse by a person closer in age isn’t sexual abuse.

    But that’s not what the quote you’re criticizing said. It seems clear to me that the intent of the distinction, in the quote you provide, is to avoid counting consensual sex or sexplay between two same-age peers as sexual abuse.

    (if “If you don’t sleep with me, I’ll pitch a fit and whine” is rape, why isn’t sexual abuse also rape?

    I’m unaware of ever having claimed that the sort of situation you describe is rape. Nor, generally speaking, do the posters on this blog seem to me to define rape in the way you describe here.

  26. 26
    Ampersand says:

    Karmaq wrote:

    But I have read the FBI files which were not based on police records alone, and which support the stats I wrote, so the fact that you found some based on different research that gets different results does not deter me.

    Okay. But you can hardly expect me to trust statistics that you don’t provide a link or citation to. The fact is, I’ve provided sources for my claims and you haven’t (“I have read the FBI files” is not a source).

    As for the rest, I think there are areas of agreement between us. And I’m sorry if I implied that you were saying there was no difference in rape prevalence rates by the sex of the victim; I didn’t intent that, but you’re right, what I wrote can be read that way, and I’m sorry about that.

    However, I do agree with Marcella’s critique of what you wrote, in comment #9.

  27. 27
    Curious says:

    Playing devil’s advocate here but why is everyone trying to dissociate sex or lust from rape?

    Isnt a thirsty person more likely to rob a water canteen? An hungry person more likely to steal food? Why do people believe that a sexually excited person is less likely to rape? I think he/she wont beat the person, force them to have sex but certainly is more likely to use forceful coercion tactics to get them to have sex. One thing for sure, a rapist has to have a very low respect for other people, whether it is visible or not in their regular interactions. But that does not mean it has nothing to do with sex.

  28. 28
    FurryCatHerder says:

    Amp,

    It was a rant. That’s all. It’s just based on this observation that there’s a lot of effort put into making sure men are never “raped”. If you read the first link I referenced there is a lot of discussion about that — how men avoid calling what is done to them “rape”. Since we know that the legal code is written primarily by men, and quite often primarily for the benefit of men, I’m suggesting that perhaps there’s also a bias in the legal code to make sure that men are never “raped”.

    Here’s the Texas code –

    http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.005.00.000022.00.htm

    If the victim is female, well, it’s easy for “foddling” to become “sexual assault” because female genitals are, by their very nature “penetrated”. Penises penetrate vaginas, not the other way around. (And obviously penises can penetrate other things as well, but a vagina has never penetrated anything …) Male genitals can be “fondled” without resulting in “penetration”. If what’s harmful about sexual assault is the psychological trauma it causes (because most of the time the physical injuries will heal themselves), how is “fondling” male genitals less harmful? Yet because it is all about penetration — as you pointed out — males are at a legally codified disadvantage for having anything that’s done to them called “rape” (or in the case of the Texas statutes “sexual assault”). Indeed, if what was done to you (someone grabbing your penis) was done to me (someone grabbing my vagina), what was done to me would be called “sexual assault” and what was done to you wouldn’t under the Texas criminal code.

    At any rate, as I said, it was a rant. Perhaps it would be an interesting thread starting topic?

  29. 29
    travis says:

    Curious writes: Playing devil’s advocate here but why is everyone trying to dissociate sex or lust from rape?

    Well, it is complicated, but you should read more about the issue before trying to reason it out on your own. One reason is that the victims of violent rape do not perceive the act as sexual. They are typically concerned primarily for their life. Afterwards, there’s a incongruous response, where the victims are feeling assaulted/violated, but many people around them are focusing much more on the sexual part of the assault. So, there’s a framing issue that requires continuous pushback.

    Another reason is that lust is part of the many ways that men are excused from raping women. Most people can relate to overwhelming, unreasoning lust, where they do things they later regret. Seen in this light, rape would be part of the spectrum of sex, just an unpleasant and illegal part of the scale. There are many problems with this framing of the issue: it posits entirely unacceptable behavior as just a little smidge over from acceptable behavior; it entirely overlooks the violent, threatening, and humiliating aspects of the act; and most importantly, it is a key part of the puzzle where rape victims get blamed for the crimes against them.

    Although greatly discounted in rape-case defense arguments since the 1970s, it used to be common to interrogate the woman closely about what she was wearing, her actions prior to the rape, and so on. Quite a few rapists were excused because the victim was young, sexy, or sexily dressed. It’s still done today, in and out of legal circles. The change from object to subject is easy to understand if you think about it. It’s common for men to think of the women who are arousing them as responsible for that arousal. After all, it’s women wear the burkhas and chadors; it’s not the men who are required to wear blinders.

    A final reason (at least, that I can think of before jetting off on a camping trip) is that many acts of rape aren’t so obviously sexual. Something like 50% of male rapists don’t even ejaculate. Many times the assaults are purely abusive or humiliating, e.g., inserting bottles or branches into the victims. Note also that in men-on-men rape, there’s a very specific pecking-order component to it, both for rapes inside and outside of prisons. For instance, one scenario is that a man will be both robbed and raped, then told, “now go tell the police.” Naturally, in many cases, they do not.

    So, if you want to assert that there’s some element of lust or sex in rape, sure, they’re obviously related. Sex is a very, very complicated part of the human condition. But the emphasis should be on pushing sex to the background in rape, since it is not really the foreground issue.

    I’ll come back to this thread in a few days in case anyone wants to call me an idiot or anything. I offered no cites here, but I was a rape counselor in NYC for six years, and I read a fair bit about it at the time. I counseled men, but I saw nothing nothing that would contradict what Ampersand was saying.

  30. 30
    RonF says:

    Men Are Much Less Likely To Be Victims of Rape

    And in other breaking news, the sun is going to rise in the east tomorrow.

    IMNSHO, some things are just a little too obvious to be worrying about opinions to the contrary.

  31. 31
    RonF says:

    Has anyone tried using prison rape statistics to get prison classified as “cruel and unusual punishment”?

  32. 32
    FurryCatHerder says:

    Has anyone tried using prison rape statistics to get prison classified as “cruel and unusual punishment”?

    I don’t know how that would work (hopefully not at all) since it’s the prisoners generally speaking doing the raping. It would be like saying that being imprisoned is cruel and unusual punishment because every time I’m imprisoned I smash my head into the wall and that hurts me.

  33. 33
    piny says:

    I don’t know how that would work (hopefully not at all) since it’s the prisoners generally speaking doing the raping. It would be like saying that being imprisoned is cruel and unusual punishment because every time I’m imprisoned I smash my head into the wall and that hurts me.

    Or, rather, that someone else incarcerated in the prison smashes your head into the wall, only not on behalf of management. The fact that prisoners are the ones committing prison rape doesn’t change the fact that you as a prisoner are getting raped.

    I have no idea, though. I have trouble thinking of other examples, but admit that I don’t know much about the issue.

    …It doesn’t seem like the greatest strategy, although the same thing has brought about some reform in death-penalty application.

  34. 34
    Ampersand says:

    Piny beat me to it, but I was going to say the same thing – one prisoner being raped by another prisoner – or by the guards, which happens not-uncommonly to female prisoners – is not in any way equivalent to a prisoner beating his/her own head against the wall.

    Has anyone tried using prison rape statistics to get prison classified as “cruel and unusual punishment”?

    To answer your question, there was this ruling from Texas a year and a half ago:

    In a legal first, a unanimous federal appeals court has ruled that seven ranking Texas prison officials can be sued for damages due to discrimination based on sexual orientation, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Sept. 9.

    The ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals came in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a gay man who was repeatedly raped by prison gangs and whose pleas for help were ignored by officials.

    Margaret Winter, Associate Director of the ACLU’s National Prison Project and an attorney for the former prisoner, Roderick Keith Johnson, applauded the decision, which was issued late yesterday. The decision also upheld the right to proceed in the case under the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

    Note that the result isn’t finding prisons unconstitutional, but (at best) paying rape victims some damages and ordering prisons to do a better job protecting their wards.

    Although the above case established the prisoner’s right to sue, in the end the prisoner in question lost his lawsuit. It’s striking to me how much the excuses for not taking a gay man’s claims of being raped seriously resemble the usual misogynistic excuses for not taking female victims seriously – including talking about how tight his pants were.

    As this Findlaw article points out, the Supreme Court ruled over a decade ago that prisoners have a Constitutional right to be protected from rape. In practice, however, lower courts haven’t enforced this ruling:

    In Farmer v. Brennan, a 1994 decision involving a transsexual inmate who sued prison authorities for failing to provide protection from rape, the Supreme Court recognized that prisoner-on-prisoner sexual exploitation is constitutionally unacceptable. Confirming the prior holdings of a number of lower courts, the Supreme Court held that a prison official violates the Eighth Amendment if, acting with deliberate indifference, he exposes a prisoner to a substantial risk of sexual assault.

    Justice Clarence Thomas dissented. [...] Although the law is set by the Court’s majority, many lower court judges appear to hold views approaching those of Justice Thomas. Notwithstanding the relevant legal rules, many judges seem eager to abdicate responsibility for protecting prisoners from abuse. While they may be less explicit than Thomas in justifying their disregard of prisoners’ claims of abuse, their actions, in case after case, reflect a similar bias.

    For more information, this article on rape of male prisoners, and this one on rape of female prisoners, both seem pretty good. (Although I’ve only skimmed them, not read them thoroughly.)

  35. 35
    ginmar says:

    After seeing thousands of women victimized by men in thousands of movies, TV shows, songs, and propaganda, while all the time hearing how men don’t have to worry, we create an availability heuristic that says men hurt women. This certainly happens, but the problem is availability heuristics are not self contained. They affect the whole system. Social Psychologists have also been helpful enough to demonstrate what is known as the “self fulfilling prophecy.” When you see a man in a dark parking lot and your availability heuristic tells you he is going to hurt you, you are more likely to get hurt, so science tells us.

    Gee, talk about blaming everybody BUT the attackers. Men rape women yet we’re so twitchy about acknowledging it that we wind up with every damned excuse under the sun as to why we won’t deal with that directly. Men minimize rape, glamorize it, fetishize it, and try to make it disappear. Now here’s a wonderful excuse; if the culture didn’t reflect this reality, it just wouldn’t happen. It’s the culture, baby, not the men. Fancy words don’t do much to disguise that thestatement ‘if you see a man in a dark parking lot and think he’s going to hurt you, you’re more likely to get hurt” is nothing but victim blaming. Let’s stick to blmaing the rapist, okay? Sorry if makes men uncomfortable.

  36. 36
    Curious says:

    It is unfair anatomical advantage conferred upon men that enables them to be incapable of being raped by a woman (or atleast woman without equipments). The only humans that would be able to rape a man are men and inbetween sex people (Since there are a lot of categories, I am using a general term). Though man-on-man rape is not absolutely rare, it is certainly lower than man on woman rape (I think so). Reason I believe that agression against man by man usually is in form of beatings, rather than engaging in rape, which will have connotations of homosexuality of the agressor. The severity of the beatings if used on women would probably cause death, besides it is public knowledge that rape is a much easier and humilating damage you can inflict. Hence a woman is more likely to be raped than beaten to death, even though women are frequently beaten to death.

    Since most rapes are committed by individuals close to the victim, it seems more research needs to be conducted on why these rapes occur. What makes these men attack women, women they know. Is it just power, sex or rage or a combination of all of these? Personally speaking, I think it would be easier to hit a person you do not know. Knowing the person simply makes it more painful for you to hit them, unless they have treated you awefully or you are simply one of those that like to hurt people! So why rape women that you know? Just because they are physically (proximitywise) available? Do they think they can get away with it?

  37. 37
    Daran says:

    Karmaq:

    When you see a man in a dark parking lot and your availability heuristic tells you he is going to hurt you, you are more likely to get hurt, so science tells us.

    Nonsense. If a man in a dark parking lot doesn’t intend to attack anyone, he won’t attack you, no matter how much fear you might feel.

    If he does intend to attack someone then whether he does or does not attack you will depend upon your actions, not your feelings.

    Ginmar:

    Gee, talk about blaming everybody BUT the attackers. Men rape women yet we’re so twitchy about acknowledging it that we wind up with every damned excuse under the sun as to why we won’t deal with that directly. Men minimize rape, glamorize it, fetishize it, and try to make it disappear. Now here’s a wonderful excuse; if the culture didn’t reflect this reality, it just wouldn’t happen. It’s the culture, baby, not the men. Fancy words don’t do much to disguise that thestatement ‘if you see a man in a dark parking lot and think he’s going to hurt you, you’re more likely to get hurt” is nothing but victim blaming. Let’s stick to blmaing the rapist, okay? Sorry if makes men uncomfortable.

    What makes men uncomfortable is that you use the word ‘rapist’ and ‘men’ as if they were interchangable.

    If a woman sees a man loitering in a car park, and she suspects he might be up to no good, what advice would you give her?

    a. Blame the rapist, or
    b. Get the hell out of there.

    Me, I’d go for b every time. Sorry if you regard that as victim-blaming. I see it more as victim-prevention.

  38. 38
    Daran says:

    RonF:

    And in other breaking news, the sun is going to rise in the east tomorrow.

    IMNSHO, some things are just a little too obvious to be worrying about opinions to the contrary.

    Galileo would have disagreed.

  39. 39
    Curious says:

    To all men who have been forced into sex by women or men, how many of them will be willing to go to the police saying “I have been raped”? You have to be a man to understand, that is the last thing a man (“real man”) will do, inspite of the hurt, humiliation and loss. Over time, they are more likely to believe they wanted it rather than a woman probably can.

    I dare men to walk up to friends and tell them you have been raped, watch what the reaction is. Even women will look at you as if you are crazy, if not try telling them it was a woman that raped you. That will work the best.

  40. 40
    B says:

    There was much talk here some years ago about a gang of girls that raped a man, who were out walking alone at night.

    Apparantly the girls, teenagers according to the victim, attacked the man, beat him and raped him with a stick while saying things like “now it’s your turn” et.c. They also seemed intoxicated. The girls all got away and afterwards the police thought that it was a revenge gone awry and hitting the wrong person.

    So yes, women can rape men. But in todays society it really is something of an anomaly a la “man bites dog”.

  41. 41
    Dale Kemp says:

    I totally agree that women are less safe from sexual violence than men, and have good reason to feel more vulnerable walking alone, or being alone, or even being in a vulnerable situation with a boyfriend. Also, I know wives whose husband have refused to take “no” for an answer. You could call the wife frigid, but you must also call the husband violent, even if you don’t call forced sex within marriage “rape.”

    But I write from a concern that so much focus on the “women are raped more often than men,” view, has the effect of dismissing/disregarding/diminishing the experience and pain of those men who were raped. When I was a young boy, I was “pantsed” under a bleecher at the local ballpark, but a pair of older boys. It was a humiliating event, although fairly common in those bygone days. I think it was less likely that a girl would be stripped, or made to stip by threats of violence, as a power thing, because everyone knew it was wrong; or they felt it was more wrong.

    My point is that even is women are more vulnerable, and more likely to experience unwanted and even forced sexual acts, their pain is no greater and not much different from men who experience similar attacks. I think it somewhat more useful to look at why perpetrators feel driven to do such things, what frustrations or backgrounds lead them to force or rape? I think men feel a good deal of frustration of lusting for that which they can’t have, and women showing bellies and cleavage, etc. drive much of that frustration. Porn does also. I suspect some of the rape emotion is anger or rage about the frustration of being unable to satisfy the lustful feelings in more acceptable ways. Everyone says, “Well, just because a woman shows off a little skin, doesn’t mean she wants to be forced sexually” That is right, of course, but why is it so politically incorrect to look hard at the causual stimulii that drive the rape behavior? Is it a hard disciplining mother that frustrates her son so that he wants revenge on womanhood, or hot little Lolita’s who flaunt their beauty, that incite his lust until it explodes in a violent way, or are we to believe that rapists are just born with that proclivity and there aren’t environmental factors?

    Given that rape is about power, what are the frustrations of lack of power that drive the rapist?

  42. 42
    Ampersand says:

    Is it a hard disciplining mother that frustrates her son so that he wants revenge on womanhood, or hot little Lolita’s who flaunt their beauty, that incite his lust until it explodes in a violent way, or are we to believe that rapists are just born with that proclivity and there aren’t environmental factors?

    It’s a little disturbing that both your examples of “environmental factors” blame women.

    I don’t know of any evidence that rapists are more likely to rape women who wear revealing clothing; nor any that shows that rapists are more likely to have “hard disciplining” mothers. (There is, however, evidence that rapists are more likely than non-rapists to be members of gangs, teams, or frats.)

    There’s actually a lot of serious discussion and work on factors that make some men more likely rapists than others. However, I don’t think either of the factors you bring up count as part of serious discussion, because there isn’t any evidence supporting them.

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  46. 43
    Charles S says:

    [redirecting a thread disrailment here]

    Schala,

    The only statistic that I have ever seen that is close to the claim that men are raped at roughly half the rate that women are raped is from misreading the Struckman and Johnson (1988) study, which Amp discusses in the comments above. If we count feeling forced to have sex (including by social or emotional pressure) then men are half as likely (or a little more) to be raped as women are. If we count only forced sex by physical force or the threat of physical force, then women are about 7-15 times more likely to be raped. If we count any situation in which someone feels forced to have sex, and then does not have positive feelings about the experience afterwards, then women are 4-7 times more likely to be raped (if I am recalling S-J correctly, only a minority of men who reported feeling forced to have sex considered it to have not been a positive experience). In the context of that misreading of Struckman-Johnson, you are probably right that most forced sex (including social and emotional pressure) of men is done by women the victim knows well. However, according to the CDC study (which has the major flaw that envelopment rape in which a person forces a man to put his penis into the other person’s vagina, anus or mouth is not included in the definition of rape), the overwhelming majority of rapes involving physical force of men are stranger rapes (mostly by men). It would be a mistake to assume that the majority of either perpetrators or victims in male-male rape are gay.

    The study of rape of men (outside of prison) is astonishingly limited, so it is hard for anyone to speak authoritatively on the subject, but your claim that men are half as likely or more to be raped as women seems baseless. Can you provide citations to either government white papers, such as the CDC study, or peer-reviewed literature that supports your claims?

  47. 44
    Schala says:

    i can’t believe there’s even an argument about this. i don’t know a single man who ever but ever thinks about being sexually assaulted based on his surroundings, like walking alone somewhere at night, getting into a car in a parking garage, etc. i don’t know a single woman who doesn’t.

    Now you know a single woman who doesn’t think about it. I’ve been bullied severely for years, though at no point required hospitalization for it, nor do I remember it being of sexual nature at any point. It was reoccurring daily. I’d have reason to fear all strangers who are even my size or bigger (roughly all adults).

    I don’t, maybe in a naive sense of security, but I don’t believe living in fear would be any good addition to my social anxiety and social awkwardness.

    Ironically enough, being trans puts me in one of the most at-risk categories for violent assault, murder, and rape (rape-murder usually). That doesn’t really make me fear beyond normal prudent behavior however.

    The study of rape of men (outside of prison) is astonishingly limited, so it is hard for anyone to speak authoritatively on the subject, but your claim that men are half as likely or more to be raped as women seems baseless. Can you provide citations to either government white papers, such as the CDC study, or peer-reviewed literature that supports your claims?

    I’m limited in time this morning, as I’m leaving for work in just a few minutes. I’ll check things out once I’m back. Hopefully I reply tonight.

  48. 45
    Sailorman says:

    Schala, as i pointed out in my other post, you appear to be reaching your conclusion through circular logic.

    If you consider gay-on-gay rape, then you are looking at both a limited population of rapists and victims. The same limitations (being gay) apply to both, so that would not in and of itself change the ratios.

    Similarly, the other limits you might put (stranger rape vs. acquaintance rape) are also affected by the exact same limits. Are people raped by their partners? Yes. And while 10% of those partner rapists are statistically likely to be gay, 10% of the potential victims are ALSO statistically likely to be gay–unless you assume that gay people don’t have gay partners. So once again, it balances out.

    What you seem to be saying is that gay people get raped more because gay people get raped more. Which is circular.

    Alternatively, you seem to be saying that gay people get raped more because people are usually raped by non-strangers, and gay people have more likelihood of getting raped by non-strangers.

    That would only be trus if gay people had different rates of having non-stranger acquaintances (which they don’t AFAIK) or if gay people were more inclined to rape than hetero people (which they’re not, AFAIK.)

    There are a variety of ways to prove this, but you haven’t addressed any of them yet.

  49. 46
    Daisy Bond says:

    Sailorman, I think Schala’s faulty assumption here is that people only or largely rape the gender(s) to which they are sexually attracted, ergo we can assume that most male/male rapes involve a gay perpetrator. (Schala, please correct me if I’ve misread you.) I see absolutely no reason to assume this. Schala’s evidence for the claim:

    If we believe that 5-10% of men are gay (or bisexual, or pansexual). That male victims of rape are overwhelmingly raped by men, and that rapes in general occur more with intimates/friends than with strangers, then it would mean an incredibly high rate of rape amongst gay (and bisexual, pansexual) men, wouldn’t it? (comment #33 in the “Colonized Mind” thread)

    In addition to everything you (SM) have pointed out, there are many unsupported assumptions here: a) that rapists only rape within their sexual orientation — which further assumes that rape is about sex and sexual attraction, instead of power, violence and hatred, b) that people only have friends of the same sexual orientation? obviously male/male rapes between couples have a gay or bi perpetrator, but a male/male rape between friends or acquaintances neither implies nor requires that either man be gay, unless you believe people only rape the gender they’re attracted to (a claim for which we have no evidence), and c) that male/male rape has the same dynamics as male/female rape — I don’t actually know what the dynamics of male/male rape outside of prison are; is it true that, as in male/female rape, the person most likely to perpetrate is a partner? It may be true, but I’ve never seen any study suggesting that and Schala has offered no evidence to support the claim.

  50. 47
    Schala says:

    93% of women and 86% of men who were raped and/or physically
    assaulted since the age of 18 were assaulted by a male. (National
    Violence Against Women Survey, 1998)

    The 93% of women sounds realistic enough, it leaves room for female-female rape.
    The 86% of men sounds less realistic. Though I haven’t read the actual study, nor can I really analyze it, the fact that it only collects data from women is telling (and demographic information from men).

    Do Tell him he is not alone, that approximately one in fourteen men is a rape survivor.

    This is from a site which I’ll add after editing so this post doesn’t go in the spam filter. Here is the source: http://www.tcadsv.org/Websites/vcscc/malerapevictims.htm

    One in fourteen is about 7% (a bit more).

    Okay, so let’s see, 25% of women, 7% of men. 3.5x more women than men.

    Regardless of the perpetrator’s orientation, gay men are said to be the majority of victims. So say 5% of the 7% are gay. Women represent 100% of the female population, or 50% of the whole population. Their ratio of victim is thus 25% of females and 12.5% of the whole population.

    So I resume:
    Women victims (all orientations) = 12.5% of the whole population (78%)
    Gay men victims = 2.5% of the whole population (15%)
    Straight men victims = 1% of the whole population (6%)
    Total of the population in % of victims: 16%

    Sounds okay so far?

    Gay men represent 5% of the population, but 15% of rape victims. Straight men represent 45% of the population, but 6% of rape victims. All women represent 50% of the population, but 78% of rape victims.

    If we take 10% of all women (or 5% of the population) to have a common denominator, we’re comparing 7.8% of all victims. (Divide the ratio by 10)

    Ergo gay men are raped at a rate about 2x more than women proportionally speaking. (15/7.8)

    This means about 50% of gay men would be raped in their life. But only 2% of straight men would be. 25 for 1 sounds a bit farfetched to me.

    The perpetrator here is not analyzed. Reports say 98-99% of perpetrators are male.

  51. 48
    Ampersand says:

    Though I haven’t read the actual study, nor can I really analyze it, the fact that it only collects data from women is telling…

    Actually, they surveyed both men and women.

  52. 49
    Charles S says:

    Schala,

    Your source for 1 in 14 isn’t a peer reviewed paper or a government white paper. That site does have a reference list at the bottom of the page, but of the sources listed there that I have checked support the claim of 1 in 14.

    “gay men are said to be the majority of victims.” are said to be isn’t a source at all.

    Even ignoring that your sourcing is dubious at best, if we adjust majority to mean 50% instead of more than 2/3, then we would estimate that 1/3 instead of 1/2 of gay men would be victims of rape.

    In the end, you seem to be arguing that your own eyeballed handling of these statistics leads to conclusions that seem unlikely (the rate of rape among gay men is twice the rate of rape among women), but I’m not sure what conclusions you are trying to draw from that fact.

    Unsourced statistics are dubious at best, but trying to combined multiple unsourced statistics is pointless.

  53. 50
    chingona says:

    I thought the conclusion Schala was trying to draw in the other thread was that women must rape men more often than we think because it is improbable that the rate of rape is that high among gay men or that such a high percentage of gay men are rapists.

    Daisy pretty much hit all the ways I think Schala’s assumptions are off, so I won’t belabor it.

  54. 51
    Schala says:

    I thought the conclusion Schala was trying to draw in the other thread was that women must rape men more often than we think because it is improbable that the rate of rape is that high among gay men or that such a high percentage of gay men are rapists.

    Well, I actually meant it for gays as victims, not as rapists.

    Even if my numbers were off somehow and that gay men only made 1/2 of that amount, it would still be overrepresented amongst men, by a very high factor.

    50% of male victims represent 10% of the male population.
    50% of male victims represent 90% of the male population.

    If 50% was say 100.

    100 /10% = 1000
    100/90% = 111.1

    1000/111.1 = exactly 9x

    So gay men would be 9 times more victims of rape than straight men, in their lifetime. Does this sound reasonable? It’s lower than 25 times, but it would point to an almost exclusive focus on gay men as opposed to straight men, in something you described to be exclusively about power and control (which isn’t unique of straight men).

  55. 52
    Charles S says:

    Schala,

    Your numbers still assume that 1 in 14 is correct. If your numbers lead you to wrong conclusions, maybe you should look at that assumption, not the assumption that men are mostly raped by men. The only source I can see for 1 in 14 is possibly misreading Schuckman and Johnson, in which case rape includes felt social or emotionally forced to have sex and, yes, it mostly happens to heterosexual men (because most men are heterosexual). The sources that claim that men are overwhelmingly raped by other men restrict rape to forced penetration, find the rate of rape as way lower than 1 in 14, and find that most men are raped by men. I don’t know what your source is for claiming that most men who are raped are gay. Previously, you claimed that it followed from most rapes being non-stranger rapes, a claim which a) doesn’t make any sense and b) obviously comes from rape statistics in which rape of women dominates.

    There is another bizarre flaw to your reasoning: Your argument is that most men can’t be raped by other men, because most men who are raped are gay, and if most men who are raped are gay, then the rape rate among gay men is much much higher than the rape rate among straight men, so lots of men must be raped by women. But, whether or not most men are raped by women, if the majority of men who are raped are gay then the rape rate among gay men must be much higher than the rape rate among straight men, no matter who the rapists are. So you are arguing that A must be false because B is true, and if B is true then C is true, and C is non-creditable. This is not logic of any sort whatsoever.

    Even in your claim that there is no reason why the rate of rape of gay men would be much higher than the rate of rape of straight men, your argument doesn’t make much sense. Certainly, a rape rate of 50% for gay men seems highly unlikely to me as well, but that the rate of rape of gay men is much higher than the rate of rape of straight men seems pretty unsurprising. One of the functions of rape is a method of the enforcement of gender hierarchy, and gay men are considered traitors to the gender hierarchy by men who support the rape culture, so rape is not that uncommon as a component of hate crimes against gay men. That means that rape will be much more commonly committed against men who are perceived to be gay (who will mostly be gay men). Additionally, rape is a means of abuse within sexual relationships, of revenge at the end of a sexual relationship, or as revenge for a sexual relationship denied, or as a means of getting sex from an objectified unwilling partner (the number of men who self report using physical force to restrain an unwilling sexual partner is much higher than the number of men who self report as committing rape). If we accept that men are the ones trained to use rape for all of these purposes, rape is overwhelmingly committed by men, so men who have sexual relationships with other men, or are perceived as being open to sexual relationships with other men, are much more likely to be raped than heterosexual men.

    A much higher rate of rape of gay men than for straight men is only unexpected if we assume either that rape of men occurs at random (say, as a means of humiliating an enemy or a victim in a robbery), or that rape in a sexual context is as likely to be committed by women as by men.

    So yes, your rough statistical argument does lead to the conclusion that there is something wrong with your statistics, but it is the 1 in 14 and the > 50% of rapes of men are of gay men that are incompatible, not the claim that men are overwhelmingly raped by other men. Men as the main rapists of other men is compatible with both a 1 in 14 rape rate and with the majority of men who are raped being gay men, while the 1 in 14 claim and the >50% fraction are incompatible (or at least highly suspect). Since you introduced both of those specific claims, I’ll leave it up to you which of them your prefer to stop believing in.

    The 1 in 14 claim does run against all the legitimate evidence I’ve seen, while I am ignorant of the legitimate evidence on the >50% claim, so I know which one I don’t believe.

  56. 53
    Schala says:

    There is another bizarre flaw to your reasoning: Your argument is that most men can’t be raped by other men, because most men who are raped are gay, and if most men who are raped are gay, then the rape rate among gay men is much much higher than the rape rate among straight men, so lots of men must be raped by women.

    I didn’t mean my argument to come off as saying men couldn’t be raped by men because most victims were gay. I just found it highly suspect that an order of magnitude would separate a group when its apparently not proven to be within intimacy/couple (as someone else said) and that hatred of gays is not so extreme that you’d expect such a stark difference.

    The ‘Unwanted Sexual Experiences Survey (Yarrow Place, 2000) was one component of the Young People’s Rape Prevention Project conducted by Yarrow Place in conjunction with three inner city university campuses in Adelaide. The survey was used to gather data about the nature and incidence of sexual harassment, sexual coercion, sexual assault and rape for young people aged 18-25. 722 responses were obtained, of which 689 were deemed valid. Approximately two thirds of respondents were female and one third male.

    Of the respondents:

    * 83.8% of females and 47.4% of males reported at least one unwanted sexual harassment style experience;
    * 59.3% of females and 25% of males reported at least one unwanted sexual assault style experience;
    * 35.5% of females and 15.4% of males reported at least one unwanted penetrative sex experience;
    * between 12.6% and 35.5% of women; and between 5.3% and 15.4% of men reported experiences when aged 16 or older which meet the legal definition of rape;

    From: http://www.yarrowplace.sa.gov.au/booklet_statistics.html

    Even if I was to take the lower end of the spectrum (of rape) here, 5.3% and 12.6%, it can’t be said that the difference is so incredible as to render the former negligible. Sexual orientation here is not mentioned. This counts university students, so there may be sampling bias. There is a high probability however, that more than half of male victims cited above are straight, since otherwise it runs in the “more than 50% of gay men” problem.

    The situation may be different at a later age (university students are typically in early 20s), but 5% is already higher than the FBI’s estimated 3% of all men. Of course, the vast majority of those are not reported. It’s cited on the same page:

    40.2% of respondents who had had an unwanted experience told someone about the incident. Of those, 92.3% told a friend and only 6.4% told anyone else. Overseas students studying in Australia, people who live on their own or at a residential college were less likely to tell someone about the experience than other respondents;

    This isn’t the statistic about rape, its the more global statistic about unwanted sexual experience. The vast majority still didn’t report it.

    It’s widely acknowledged in any place that actually even speaks of male victims that they are less likely to come forward about having been raped, for a variety of reason; including being laughed at outright, the lack of services for male victims that weren’t victimized as children (or any services for male victims at all), not being taken seriously, being blamed for it, being told you should have fended off the rapist – even worst if the rapist is female (and women also have problems here regarding this – if their rapist is female, it’s harder for authorities to blame the rapist due to the societal resistance to the idea that women are all but harmless).

    I went to an article that spoke of a guy who got beaten up badly by his girlfriend who happens to be a model. He went to the police, with a bloody cheek. The comments on that article? 90% victim-blaming, saying the guy isn’t a real man, a woman who said she had violent tendencies said that “real men” knew how to stop her outbursts by holding her down etc and that this guy was just a pussy for not doing so, others saying they would have liked to get beaten up by her, or would have beaten her back. Not a progressive readership, I take, but it gives an idea of societal tendencies if “the average joe” thinks DV female on male is nothing.

    Getting to the point, female on male rape is considered even more shaming than female on male DV. It’s considered severely more underreported by male than by female victims because of gender role reasons, basically. Not simply because it happens that much less.

    I think the 98-99% ratio of male perpetrators is going with reported rapes, as well. I doubt women make up a very significant portion of perpetrators. I’d be surprised if they were even close to 20%, but they’re definitely higher than 1 or 2%.

  57. 54
    Charles S says:

    I’d be surprised if they were even close to 20%, but they’re definitely higher than 1 or 2%.

    I’m not sure where you are getting the 1-2% number you object to. The CDC study referenced in the OP of this thread reports that 70% of rapes of men were perpetrated by men and 36% by women, since some men were raped more than once or by more than one person), and that is using a definition of rape in which the only way a woman can rape a man is anal rape.

    I’ve never seen the Yarrow Place study. I’m interested to look up the specific questions. I’m interested to see the wording of the questions that are described as eliciting the number of “unwanted [sexual] experience[s]” to see if they are similar to the Schuckman and Johnson questions. The numbers for both men and women in the Yarrow Place study seem unusually high compared to most other studies I’ve seen, although I guess that could also simply reflect different conditions in Australia.

  58. 55
    Schala says:

    Myth: Adult men cannot be sexually assaulted by women.

    Reality: Although the majority of reported perpetrators are male, (97 to 98%), women can, and do, also sexually assault men but is seldom reported… not that many males feel safe reporting rape anyway.

    This on a site trying to break the myths of male rape.

    Source: http://www.aest.org.uk/survivors/male/myths_about_male_rape.htm

    An estimated 91% of victims of rape are female, 9% are male and 99% of offenders are male. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1999)

    It’s the reported rate that is 99%.

    Source: http://www2.ucsc.edu/rape-prevention/statistics.html

    and from wikipedia:

    According to the 1999 United States National Crime Victimization Survey, only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to law enforcement officials. For male rape, less than 10% are believed to be reported. Female-male and female-female rape are ignored altogether in this survey. The most common reasons given by victims for not reporting rapes are the belief that it is a personal or private matter, and that they fear reprisal from the assailant. A 2007 government report in England says “Estimates from research suggest that between 75 and 95 per cent of rape crimes are never reported to the police.”

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

  59. 56
    Sailorman says:

    Regardless of the perpetrator’s orientation, gay men are said to be the majority of victims. So say 5% of the 7% are gay

    This is the crux of your argument. But you are presenting no data for it.

    It’s one thing to make an assumption as part of your argument (everyone does it), but it doesn’t work when the assumption affects the entire validity of your point.

    It is correct that if your assumptions are true about both male rape frequency and gay male victims, then you are right. And hopefully you can see that if your assumptions are wrong, so is the rest of the point.

    So let’s stop talking about whether that would be correctif</i. your assumptions were right. instead, let’s see some proof of those assertions.

  60. 57
    Schala says:

    This is the crux of your argument. But you are presenting no data for it.

    It’s one thing to make an assumption as part of your argument (everyone does it), but it doesn’t work when the assumption affects the entire validity of your point.

    It is correct that if your assumptions are true about both male rape frequency and gay male victims, then you are right. And hopefully you can see that if your assumptions are wrong, so is the rest of the point.

    So let’s stop talking about whether that would be correctif</i. your assumptions were right. instead, let’s see some proof of those assertions.

    I could quote many feminist organizations for the prevention of rape that would say things like “95% of all rape victims are female and the majority of male victims are gay”.

    I’ll try to find some.

    Oops, I retract this, this is how DV is viewed, not rape. Still, I’ll try to find support for the notion of gay as majority victims.

  61. 58
    Schala says:

    Myth: Only gay men are sexually assaulted.
    Reality: Although gay men are raped slightly more often than heterosexual men this is due more to the fact that they can be the target anti-gay violence, that often includes acts of rape, plus that gay men are at far more risk of date rape attacks from other men.

    Heterosexual males can be, and are, also raped in very large numbers. An F.B.I. statistic put the number of males that will be raped as an adult at 3 %, a number most organisations think is very underestimated. Of this 3%, over 40% identify themselves as exclusively heterosexual.

    Emphasis mine.

    If gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual men represent 60% of rape victims, their rape ratio is incredibly high compared to straight men. Or maybe gay victims report it a LOT more often, which means the 3% number is wrong, too.

    Source: http://www.aest.org.uk/survivors/male/myths_about_male_rape.htm?

    I copied it from somewhere else, but they essentially also copied it from that, this is the original source.

    Myth: Victims of male rape must be gay.

    Fact: Both straight and gay men can be raped; most studies report that at least half (and more often the clear majority) of victims are exclusively heterosexual.

    This probably relies on a number higher than 3% though.

    Source: http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/malemyths.html

    Most of the victims are gay but the majority of the rapists are
    heterosexual. Male rape victims attract little attention because few report
    their crimes; often they face mockery, disbelief and disdain from law enforcement and the community at large.

    I can’t say what statistics they use, its not unlikely that they also rely on the FBI’s 3% and 40%.

    Source: http://after-words.org/malerapevictims.txt

  62. 59
    Sailorman says:

    Schala,

    There are a few different claims which you appear to be making:

    1) You appear to be making a “gay male/straight male” comparison, in which you allege that gay males are at higher risk of rape–a relative term–than are heterosexual males.

    2) You may also be alleging that gay male rape is more common when measured in absolute terms; i.e. not only that gay men are more likely to be raped than are straight men (relative), but that there are numerically more rapes committed against gay men than there are rapes committed against straight men (absolute._

    3) You appear to be alleging that male rape is more common than anyone believes. You have not made clear how common you think it is, and/or whether you think the ratio between actual and reported rapes is different for women, men, and/or gay women and men.

    4) Finally, you appear to be alleging that gay men are, relatively speaking, raped more often than are heterosexual women.

    In all honesty, none of this is especially clear from your posts. i’m trying to summarize it as best as I can. I am not interested in having more general discussions. If you want to continue this discussion, i would ask that you try to state your positions clearly and that you make it clear what information you feel affects which position, how, and why.

  63. 60
    Martha says:

    I believe there is study done by Robin Warshaw, which looks into the occurence of drug rapes (when women are unconsious). The book is called “I never called it rape” (http://www.amazon.com/Never-Called-Rape-Recognizing-Acquaintance/dp/0060925728)

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  66. 61
    Tamen says:

    Unfortunately it took nowhere near a few decades to reach the point where men are as likely to be victims of rape as men if we considers the numbers for the last 12 months (and classify “being made to penetrate someone else” as rape) from the newly released CDC report.

  67. 62
    Ampersand says:

    Tamen, that’s a good point (I haven’t posted about the new CDC study yet, but I plan to).

    But I don’t understand why you’re completely ignoring the lifetime prevalence numbers, which indicate that men are much less likely to be victims of rape (including forced penetration of someone else).

  68. 63
    Tamen says:

    Lifetime prevalence numbers indicate that men were less likely to be victims of rape. The number for the last 12 months describes the situation much closer to now. That’s why I think that number is a more important guideline to how the future discourse around rape prevention should be.

    But let’s look at the lifetime prevalence numbers compared with the last 12 months for men. Here are the ways I can think of now to explain the small difference between lifetime prevalence and last 12 months for men (delta is 3.7 – in contrast the delta value for women is 17.2):
    1) Rape of men have increased very much lately resulting in a much higher number for the last 12 months than the lifetime number divided by age (average age for male respondents seem to be 40+ (that is a ballpark number, but only 24.6% were younger that 30)).
    2) The lifetime prevalence number for men is under reported. Perhaps by men who are conditioned by the our culture’s view of male sexuality to frame past incidents as “I got lucky” even though the incidents did qualify as rape. 45% of the respondents were older than 45 years.
    3) Men who are raped are raped repeatedly to a large degree.
    4) The number for the last 12 months is too high.

    None of the three first alternatives paints a good picture. I’ll listen to any arguments for number 4, but I’m not inclined to think that’s the reason unless a compelling argument convinces me otherwise.

    In short lifetime prevalence numbers say more about how likely it is that any given women/man have been raped in their lifetime.

    The last 12 months number say more about how likely it is that any given woman/man will be raped now.

    And finally; “everyone” else is focused on the lifetime prevalence number. I haven’t seen any articles in main media nor in the parts of the gendersphere where I lurk or comment have put forward the last 12 months numbers for both women and men.

  69. 64
    Kay says:

    More recent research indicates male rape is higher than originally suspected. Yes, the rate is highest in institutions i.e. in prison and also in the military. Approximately 1 in 3 cases of psychological trauma of discharged soldiers relates to sexual abuse by other males, often on the same side. International estimates from meta-research (grouping different studies) suggest that between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 sexual assaults is on a male victim. There is also general agreement that male victims are far less likely to lay charges, and even if they seek assistance are less likely to be supported. Social stigma of males appearing weak if they come forward as victims, and most community help agencies being set up by women for women survivors decreases options for post attack support. Yes, most rape survivors are women but the male survivors are likely to suffer long term consequences.

    In my immediate circle four of my male friends are rape survivors. I probably know others too who haven’t told me.

  70. 65
    Tamen says:

    Ampersand: I hope it’s not too forward to check in to see whether you still plan to make a post about the NISVS 2010 Report?

  71. 66
    Alon Levy says:

    If anyone is interested, go read the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ prison rape report. Turns out that in prison women, too, are likelier to get raped than men – but because nearly all inmates are male, most prison rape victims are male.

    As you might expect, GLB inmates are by far the most likely victims – more than 10% are sexually assaulted every year. (I presume this is mostly gay men – there aren’t enough lesbians in the sample, but the very high victimization rates of gay men are in line with what I know about rape in general.)

    Overall, if you juxtapose their numbers with the National Crime Victimization Survey, about 30% of sexual assault victims in the US are men; out of prison, it’s about 10%.

    Maybe the CDC did not interview people in prison in its prevalence study. Another possibility: out-of-prison rape rates are in decline, which means the current rape rate is lower than you’d expect from the prevalence (if they hold steady, then in a few decades only about 6% of US women will have been raped); in contrast, the US prison population has been rising, which means the current in-prison rape rate is higher than you’d expect from the prevalence. Prevalence captures not only today’s social dynamics, but also those of 40 years ago.

  72. 67
    Tamen says:

    Alon Levy:

    From page 9 in the NISVS 2010 Report from CDC:
    “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey is a national random digit dial (RDD) telephone survey of the non-institutionalized English and/or Spanish-speaking U.S. population aged 18 or older.”

    Which means that neither incarcerated people (which at year-end 2009 was about 1 percent of the adult US population) nor most homeless people (they usually don’t have phones) are included. Both groups who have a heighthened risk for sexual abuse and violence. Both groups are also predominately male.

    Another group not included in the NISVS 2010 Report is military personell.
    The survey included a sample of female active duty military and female spouses of active duty military, but their data were excluded from NISVS 2010 Report and will be reported in a separate report according to CDC. (I wonder why male active duty personell and male spouses of active duty personell were not a part of this sample). Another sample which will get it’s own report is a sample of persons of American Indian or Alaskan Native ethnicity. This is stated on page 100/110 in the PDF of the report (the PDF reader report page 100 while the page itself is marked with page number 110).

  73. 68
    Alon Levy says:

    Tamen:

    Well, that explains things. I knew about the prison population issue for the National Crime Victimization Survey, which also includes only non-institutionalized people – that’s why I linked to the survey of prison rape. I only stumbled across it by chance, trying to see if the survey the BJS had promised to conduct about the matter was done, which it was.

    And yes, the vast majority of inmates in the US are male, and most sexual assaults on male victims in the US occur in prison. However, once incarcerated, women are somewhat more likely than men to get assaulted – they’re just so small a percentage of prisoners that nearly all sexual assaults of women occur out of prison.

  74. 69
    Tamen says:

    Alon Levy:

    …most sexual assaults on male victims in the US occur in prison.

    That is just not true.

    Approximately 1% of the US population is incarcerated (2009 numbers from Wikipedia article on Prison Rates). The statistics you referred to shows that appr. 1 in 20 (4.4%) prisoners reported sexual victimization in the last 12 months.
    BJS states that this amounts to a total of 88.500 prisoners who were sexually abused in a year.

    Looking at page 19 in the NISVS 2010 Report from CDC one find these findings:

    1.1% of men reported “being made to penetrate someone else” in the last 12 months – this is estimated to 1.267.000 men which is more than 88.500.
    1.5% of men reportet “sexual coercion” in the last 12 months – this is estimated to 1.669.000 men which is more than 88.500.
    2.3% of men reported “unwanted sexual contact” in the last 12 months – this is estimated to 2.565.000 men which is more than 88.500.
    These are numbers for the last 12 months (the survey were conducted between January 2010 an December 2010).

    So saying that more men are victimized inside prison than outside is clearly incorrect and a total disregard of a high number of male victims outside prisons. If you had said that the risk/rate for men being victimized inside prison is higher than outside then you would be correct (not least so because male inmate victims experience very often repeat victimizations).

    Another misconception which is belied by the statistics is that the vast majority of perpetrators of sexual violence/assault or rape of a man is another man.

    79.2% of the men reporting “being made to penetrate someone else” reported only female perpetrator(s). 84% for “sexual coercion” and 53% for “unwanted sexual contact”. (NISVS 2010 p.24)

    Contrary to common belief the most common victimization by men in prisons and jails are not inmate-on-inmate victimization, but rather what the BJS calls “staff sexual misconduct”:
    Inmate-on-inmate: 33.929 victims
    Staff sexual miconduct: 53.455 victims – 64-69% of these reported a female perpetrator. An additional 16-17% reported both female and male perpetrators.
    (I operated with a range since BSJ reported one number for prison and the other for jail – I didn’t take the time to calculate the exact percentage, but it is somewhere between the two numbers I’ve quoted).

    So not only are men now much more likely to be a victim of sexual assault, sexual violence or rape than previously thought, it also turns out that the majority of perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual violence or rape of men are women when one look at both inside and outside prisons/jails.

    For female inmates it’s the opposite: the majority of victims were victims of inmate-on-inmate rather than of “staff sexual misconduct”:
    7.797 vs. 3.608. Of the 3.608 62-71% reported male perpetrator while the remaining 29-38% were either female perpetrarors or both male and female perpetrators. Given that the majority of institutions are gender segregated – only 4 of the surveyed institutions where women were measured were co-ed institutions and those were not outliers in the rate of inmate-on-inmate victims – it seems likely that the majority of perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual violence and sexual rape of female inmates are women. Outside women are at a much higher risk being victimized by men than by other women.

    Human Rights Watch’s critique of BSJ framing of “staff sexual misconduct” can for example be seen here: http://www.hrw.org/news/2007/12/15/us-federal-statistics-show-widespread-prison-rape

  75. 70
    Alon Levy says:

    A 1.1% out-of-prison incidence strains my disbelief. It has a 4:1 ratio between prevalence and incidence, which is extremely low. There are also other numbers that look very wrong – e.g. the number of women raped is higher than in other studies, and also implies a much lower reporting rate than in other studies.

    The National Crime Victimization Survey, whose numbers generally agree with the prevalence studies that put the lifetime prevalence of rape for women at 12-18%, puts the number of male sexual assault victims at about 20,000 out of prison per year. (More precisely, about 10% of victims were men back when the size of the sample of victims was big enough to tell this with any certainty, and now that it no longer is the multi-year average is within the margin of error of 10%; and the total number of victims is 200,000.)

    Ad rape by staff, if you look within prisons, and assume that all inmate-on-inmate victimizations are same-gender, then men are a small majority of perpetrators within prison.

  76. 71
    Tamen says:

    Alon Levy:
    Yes, the ratio is low. There are reasons why it might be that low. You are probably also aware that researcher generally considers the prevalency numbers from the time period closest to the interview as more accurate (a function of how memory works and it is influenced over time).
    I suspect the main reason why it’s such a low ratio between lifetime prevalencey and last year prevalency numbers for male victims is because only recently have there been a rise in awareness that women can force men to have sex. This makes it easier for men to frame what happened to them for what is really was: a woman had or tried to have sex with them without their consent. The concept of “being made to penetrate someone else” did simply not exist a few decades ago and I believe that has strongly influenced the recollection of past incidents. One can compare it to the rise of awareness that was needed for spousal rape to be recognized for what it is: rape. Even many women believed then that it was a matter of them doing their marital duty and not rape when the husband forced or threatened his wife to have sex.
    See my comment #63 on this thread for more of my take on the low ratio.

    NCVS does not include “being made to penetrate someone else” as rape (neither did NISVS 2010, but they at least put it into a distinct category). Which makes them harder to compare.

    Here is another reason why the NCVS numbers may be low for both women and men:

    NCVS sample consists of housing units (e.g., addresses) selected from a stratified multistage cluster sample. When a sample unit is selected for inclusion in the NCVS, U.S. Census workers interview all individuals in the household 12 years of age and older every 6 months for 3 years. Thus, after the first interview, respondents know the content of the survey. This may pose a problem for victims of family violence who may be afraid that disclosing violence by a family member may put them in further danger. It may also pose a problem for victims who do not want other family members to learn about their victimization. Although census interviewers document whether others were present during the interviews, time and budget constraints prevent them from ensuring privacy during an interview.

    Source: “Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women”, p.15 at https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183781.pdf

    Considering that NISVS 2010 found that the an intimate partner were the most likely perpetrator of rape and making someone penetrate them I find that a valid criticism not only for DV but also for sexual assault and rape.
    They also had other criticism of the NCVS, for instance that the questions regarding rape and sexual assault were few and not very specific. It is assumed that more and more specific questions will increase disclosure. Like for instance that Mary Koss study which found that many women had been a victim of what legally and technically is rape, but they didn’t call it rape themselves. I suspect that effect is even stronger in men who are taught that they should always want sex (almost regardless) and that they can’t get raped – they can only get lucky (see common comments saying “Lucky you”, “I wish I had a teacher like that” and so on on media reports on statutory rape by female teachers and their pupils). Specific questions are needed to lure this out and NCVS is not very specific at all (http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncvs209.pdf).

    I wonder if you have other reasons than your disbelief and other older studies (which have been criticised for their methodology) for not believing the NISVS 2010 last 12 months prevalency numbers? Any methodological weaknesses?

    When I read your last sentence (which by itself is correct as far as I can see) I wonder if you thought I said that women are the majority of perpetrators of sexual assault, sexual violence and rape of male inmates. I want to make clear that I did not make that statement. I used the word AND between the BSJ results and the NISVS 2010 results in a combinatory sense – not in a separation sense. I can see how it could be misread and I hope I have cleared that up.

  77. 72
    Lyanna says:

    I am very curious about this “made to penetrate” category in the survey. “Made” is a much less specific term than “physical force” or “drugs” or “threat of force.” How exactly did the perpetrator “make” it happen?

    I admit I’m skeptical because I’ve heard many men claim that they absolutely have to penetrate someone if they are aroused enough. “She made me do it” might just mean “I wanted it really badly and felt I couldn’t control myself, although my better judgment was against it.” There is a myth of uncontrollable male sexual desire that many people buy into.

  78. 73
    Tamen says:

    Lyanna:
    The definition of “made to penetrate someone else” is stated on page 17 in the NISVS 2010 Report as well as the definition of rape. I’ll quote it for your convenience:

    Being made to penetrate someone else includes times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.

    Rape is defined as any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent. Rape is separated into three types, completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, and completed alcohol or drug facilitated penetration.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

    Notice the similarity between those two definitions.

    Any initial thoughts?

    Now I am going to be blunt, because this is important. You are right that there is a myth of uncontrollable male sexual desire that many people buy into. And when women buy into it an incentive for them to ensure consent from their male partner disappears, because why ask for consent when a man cannot not want sex? Yet that aspect eluded you and you veered into an area sounding awfully close to those who says that the high number of women who say they were date-raped is caused by “the next morning regrets”.
    In fact your problem with imagining how exactly a perpetrator may “make” a man penetrate them (or even another person) is common – also among men (“he had an erection so he must’ve wanted it”, “I wish I were so lucky” and so on). That problem among men may cause them to be unable to verbalize non-consent or stop unwanted sex and it may cause them to blame, minimize or ridicule male victims and it may cause them to reframe what happened to them (technically a rape) to “got lucky” for instance. Among women that problem may cause them to disregard any non-consent from men (swap genders as appropriate for other orientations than straight) and it may cause them to blame, minimize or ridicule male victims.

    Unfortunately I know what I am speaking of by personal experience. In my case I lost my virginity when she made me penetrate her by a) not getting my consent for intercourse (in fact we explicitly agreed to not have intercourse) and b) not bothering to even wake me up before she went on to have intercourse with me.

  79. 74
    Schala says:

    For an example of made to penetrate, watch the movie Super, where the protagonist voices non-consent repeatedly (mainly for religious reasons, but it’s still very very clear), but she goes on anyway, unzips his pants and forces herself on him. He vomits right after she climbs off him, the act completed.

  80. 75
    Grace Annam says:

    Lyanna:

    “She made me do it” might just mean “I wanted it really badly and felt I couldn’t control myself, although my better judgment was against it.” There is a myth of uncontrollable male sexual desire that many people buy into.

    Arousal is not consent.

    Grace

  81. 76
    Tamen says:

    Ampersand:

    Tamen, that’s a good point (I haven’t posted about the new CDC study yet, but I plan to).

    I was just wondering if this post got put on the backburner or if I missed it?

  82. 77
    Ampersand says:

    Pretty much everything that isn’t my new graphic novel has been on the backburner for months. I do post occasionally, but I haven’t done any research-heavy or hard-to-write posts in months.

  83. 78
    Tamen says:

    Ok, I suspected as much since I couldn’t locate it with a search and I know you’ve been busy with work, but I felt it best to ask.

    Do you know if you still plan to do such a post?

  84. 79
    Ampersand says:

    “Plan” would be an exaggeration. “It is on the long list of unwritten-but-intended posts I hope to write someday, as time and creative energy allows” would be a more accurate expression.

    It honestly is on the list. But I’m not the full-time blogger I once was, and I can’t commit to this blog the way I used to years ago. A few years ago I made a decision that being a full-time cartoonist was more important to me than being the best blogger I could be.

  85. 80
    Tamen says:

    Thanks for the answer. It is a subject of importance to me and I’ve been disappointed with how just about all posts and articles I’ve read about it have made absolutely no mention of the last 12 months prevalency numbers. Given how those differs from the common belief (vast majority of victims are female and vast majority of perpetrators are male) I would think they would be of interest – especially in the context of prevention and awareness. But now I fear I am starting to repeat my comments from January so I’ll just end with a wish of good luck with your upcoming graphic novel.

  86. 81
    nomoreh1b says:

    One thing about rape in prison that needs to be addressed:
    victims there are often raped repeatedly, over periods of years. That rarely happens outside prisons. Also, prison rape is a major cause of suicides in prisons, and often results in HIV-which further affects the numbers there. “Voluntary” sex in this context often involves men that are seeking to avoid being gang raped-and need protection.

    The issue is hard to study. The authorities have been far from cooperative on this whole point. We do have cases in which government officials have publicly threatened those accused of crimes with prison rape.

  87. 82
    O 3 says:

    I think Karmaq’s still got a point. If a quarter of male rapes are prison rapes, then out-of-prison rapes happen to 1.5% of the male population, or 1 in 67 men. Is this “so low as to be negligible”? I don’t know, it depends upon what “negligible” means to you. But I’d consider phrasing point 7 slightly differently (such as saying the risk of rape is an order of magnitude lower for men).

    In other words, about 10% of people who experience non-prison rape according to the CDC stats are male, but that’s negligible. You know, like the negligible 10% of people in the US who are black or LGBT. Oh, how I hate that word.

    Not disputing the very real privilege of the risk being an order of magnitude lower and of being virtually erased from the minds of people it’s never happened to so that they may walk through life without fear; but it’s an odd sort of privilege. “If this bad shit *does* happen to you, you will have the subsequent ‘privilege’ of being discounted or invisible!” Hrm.

  88. 83
    Radfem says:

    Interesting thread and posts. Let’s see I thought about rape just yesterday when trying to decide whether I’d walk through the canal…then I remembered the woman who jogged with her boyfriend and less than one minute after he quit early she was accosted and raped. Then in case I didn’t remember her, there were the two other women who were accosted in the same area, one raped, the other one attempted rape because she got away.

    Then I thought okay, I’ll take the bike path, nice scenic view…oops wait three women raped there in the last two years then the woman who pushed her baby in a jogger stroller who barely got away from a rapist.

    So what about the beautiful wilderness type city park, the biggest of its type West of the Mississippi. I don’t know if a woman was raped there but I know a woman was beaten badly and had her pants pulled down and an arm and a wrist on two separate limbs broken by a blunt object. I know her as she was in my running group at the time. A guy on that same trail? Since this individual had beat up and vented his misogynist anger or need to overpower women on four others including one jogging around a college track, I’m thinking, okay he’d better watch his step so he doesn’t step on a red diamondback rattler.

    Another trail…gosh, I had a friend who was attacked by two men and got away through pepper spraying them though the wind shifted and she blasted herself good with it so pretty much ran away unable to really see where she was going. But instinct to flee does kick in sometimes and you can use your other senses.

    I wound up walking on a trail at a park where 100 people were and went to the movie, “Alex Cross” where I sat and watch just about every woman in the movie who had a line get tortured, dismembered and brutally murdered by a misogynist (that’s edgy enough right?) hit man who wasn’t originally even written that way in the book based on the movie. Two of the women were paralyzed by a drug created just for the film so they can be tortured in skimpy clothing but unable to do anything but feel it.

    Seriously halfway through, the women are dead and one’s mourned with a funeral and the other, forgotten and it’s just done so the two male characters can go bad ass on the hit man.

    Of course there’s no connection between the misogyny in the film (again PG-13 with a serious warning attached about cigarette smoking in the movie as being harmful) and having to make some difficult choices about going hiking on a nice unseasonably warm day.

    Not to belittle men getting raped wherever it happens but just to explain that for many women, it’s interwoven in so many different threads of our lives in so many different ways. I guess you get used to it eventually, but it’s interesting if sobering to go back and try to remember how many decisions are made based on whether or not you have a chance or how much of being raped.

  89. 84
    nomoreh1b says:

    One factor I have never seen addressed:
    is just what the breakdown is of rapists in the general male population?
    How many of these men conduct their first rapes in a prison context?
    How many men conduct their first rapes on other men?

    Prisons are possibly the most rape intensive environment we have in the United States and the victims of rape in prison are more likely to be raped repeatedly over periods of years than many other rape victims. Rape in a prison context appears far less likely to be punished or reported than in the outside world.

    The thing about prison rape(of both male and female inmates) is we have some pretty well established approaches that can greatly reduce it:
    specifically the San Franscisco protocols have quite a bit of evidence to support them in that regard.

    What I don’t think we know: just how much would that impact the surrounding society over time?

    What I personally suspect: a substantial proportion of violent, rapes of relative strangers involve rapists who either conducted their first rapes in prison or who intensified their rape habits in prison-and this is a relatively
    straightforward issue to address early in a policy making context.

  90. 85
    nomoreh1b says:

    The only rough equivalent that I can think of to what goes on in prison in the outside world, is the sex trade involving women that are trafficed for sexual purposes. From what I understand, the most common categories are those exploited as children, those exploited with drugs and women who are defrauded, usually being induced with false promises of legitimate employment(often who start out overseas).

    One breakdown I would like to see:
    a) what are the fatalities here broken down by gender?
    b) what is the profile of the “heavily exploited” population by gender/age?

  91. 86
    nomoreh1b says:

    radfem wrote:
    >sobering to go back and try to remember how many decisions are made based on whether or not you have a chance or how much of being raped.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    A substantial portion of rapes involve the victim or rapists who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Avoiding drugs or alcohol is one of the things folks can do to minimize chances of being raped. Frankly, that is a part of drug/alcohol education that gets missed a lot of the time.

    I understand there are folks that use drugs and alcohol in contexts that are at low risk for rape. I’m not sure just how to identify those contexts(or if they really can be identified).

  92. 87
    Alex says:

    After taking the time to read through the article and the ensuing debate about statistics, I found it interesting that those writing in defense of the long held belief that rape is only a women’s issue often attempt to marginalize or express doubts in the credibility of studies showing that men are more likely to be victims than previously believed or accepted. I, myself, bought into that belief for most of my life. It wasn’t until recently that I began to question the validity of these claims. I’m not a sociologist, a researcher nor a statistician. However I have done some research on the subject for my own enlightenment and found that there is indeed a paradigm in our society that purports this myth.

    For example, the definition of rape as a woman-only crime has affected the reported statistics for the past 85 years.
    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-06/fbi-rape-definition-adds-men/52398350/1

    That fact alone is evidence enough for me to believe that what has become the accepted mindset is in fact based on erroneous or incomplete data. This forces me, as a critical thinker, to call into question other studies, many of which have been conducted by groups or organizations with the word “women” in their title. What I used to accept at face value, now I question. Are those studies biased? These are questions I now have to ask myself. Conversely, I’ve yet to discover a study which was undertaken specifically to address male victims of sexual assault. (If anyone knows of such a study, I would very much appreciate a source link.)

    What’s worse, I have read numerous writings, albeit written by radical feminist ideologues, which make the assertion that most rapist are men, ergo, most men are (potential) rapists.

    “I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.” — Robin Morgan, in 1974

    “Whatever they may be in public life, whatever their relations with men, in their relations with women, all men are rapists and that’s all they are. They rape us with their eyes, their laws, their codes.” — Marilyn French “The Women’s Room”

    “Heterosexual intercourse is the pure, formalized expression of contempt for women’s bodies.” — Andrea Dworkin

    “And if the professional rapist is to be separated from the average dominant heterosexual [male], it may be mainly a quantitative difference.”
    – Susan Griffin “Rape: The All-American Crime”

    “[Rape] is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear” — Susan Brownmiller (Against Our Will p. 6)

    “Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated. You might think that’s too broad. I’m not talking about sending all of you men to jail for that.” — Catherine MacKinnon “A Rally Against Rape” Feminism Unmodified

    Now, I certainly don’t think that all men and women in our society agree with these radical views. However, whenever views are expressed opposing this mythology it is rare not to read comments expressing doubt about the credibility of those claims or sources. It is only logical to assume that such misandric statements have affected, as a whole culture, our collective view on this subject. Sadly, the idea has permeated our social mindset to such an extent that breaking down this paradigm will require a great deal of resources, study and time.

    Another thing which disturbs me about this dialogue is this idea that prison rape somehow falls into a different category than non-prison rape. If anything, prison rape is even more insidious and damaging to the victim. Prisoners are trapped in their environment. They have little recourse but to suffer in silence, sometimes enduring years, even decades of continual abuse. I think many people justify a feeling that prisoners enacted a crime, and the fear and reality of getting raped in prison is part of their punishment for that crime, that the crime of rape is somehow less heinous because the victim is perceived as having committed some heinous act themselves. However, even if this were somehow acceptable, which it isn’t, the fact is that most Americans in prison today are not there for committing some heinous act. Inmates in federal prison for violent crimes in 2009 represent less than 8% of the federal prison population, while in state prisons just over half of prisoners are incarcerated for violent crimes. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/p09.pdf Only about 34% of unconvicted inmates in jails in 2002 were alleged to have committed a violent offense. http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=1118 So, before you jump on the bandwagon of “Well, they deserve it”, you might consider those statistics. Another alarming statistic is that men receive longer prison sentences than women for committing the same crimes, by as much as 63%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/men-women-prison-sentence-length-gender-gap_n_1874742.html

    This brings up another point I’d like to discuss about this article, and the acidic nature of the content. Male privilege is a myth, and particularly this point that men needn’t fear sexual assault is a deplorable myth. During the course of American history, white men have been victims of indentured servitude, oppression by a wealthy ruling aristocracy and now marginalization of the very real issues faced by male victims of sexual assault. I don’t claim that women, Africans, Native Americans, Irishmen, Asians, Jews, Muslims and Hispanics have not also been victims of oppression in the US and elsewhere. But, marginalizing male victims of violence and oppression simply because the oppressors also happen to, more often than not, share their gender is both amoral and unproductive. If you’d like to read more about this I recommend Howard Zinn’s book “The People’s History of the United States”.

    Back on topic, ask yourself these questions. Wouldn’t it be more productive to examine the underlying causes of sexual violence against persons irrespective of gender? Why downplay the plight of male victims at all? Would it ever be acceptable to downplay the plight of female victims of rape? How does either of these serve the common cause we share in our desire to reduce cases of sexual assault? How does it better enable us as a society to address the psychological scars female and male sexual assault victims bear?

  93. 88
    Tamen says:

    Rape in India have been getting a lot of air-time in the media after the horrible gang-rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi. Media paints a picture of a culture rife with sexual abuse against women and girls.

    Did anyone here know that if you living in Delhi and are male and under 18 years old you are almost twice as likely to have been sexually abused than a female under 18 year living in Delhi (65.64% vs. 34.36%)?

    The gender distribution for CSA across all 13 states of India is:
    Boys: 52.94%
    Girls: 47.06%

    Did anyone know that even though the definition does not include envelopment more boys under 18 have been raped than women under 18 in India?
    Gender distribution for rape (by a definition which excludes an unknown subset of male victims) of people under 18 across India is:
    Boys: 54.4%
    Girls: 45.6%

    Source: Study on Child Abuse: INDIA 2007, page 75 (sexual abuse), page 80 (sexual assault), page 98 (childhood sexual assault as reported by 18-24 year old)

    Another country which have earned itself it’s own section on Wikipedia’s page on Rape Culture is South Africa.
    A survey done in 2002 and analysed in this paper published in 2008 (after South Africa in 2007 included male victims forced to have sex in the definition of rape) found that 44% of the 18 year old men reported having been raped (forced to have sex). 41% of them reported a female perpetrator, 32% a male perpetrator and 27% of them reported both female and male perpetrators. Among boys aged 10-19 some 9% reported having been raped (forced sex) the last year. The older they were the more likely that the perpetrator was female.