I have recently emailed RAINN to ask about their support of male survivors and use of the NVAWS survey as opposed to another survey that may more accurately report the rate of abuse of men. The response went as follows:
Hi Ozymandias, Thank you for getting in touch regarding your blog post. I hope that we can help address your questions regarding our support of male survivors and use of statistical data.
RAINN’s work with Male Survivors
RAINN is committed to helping all victims and survivors of sexual violence, not just women. We work hard to ensure that male survivors are provided with the help and specialized resources that they deserve. For example, we’ve implemented inclusive language on our website, and provide specialized training to our National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (online.rainn.org) staff and volunteers on meeting the unique needs of male survivors. We mandate that the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) affiliate rape crisis centers adhere to a non-discrimination policy to ensure that men can receive services. We estimate that more than 100,000 men have received help through the National Sexual Assault Hotline since we started it.
We also created the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline (online.rainn.org), which provides help for those who prefer the web to the phone. About 9% of Online Hotline users are male.
RAINN also operates the 1in6 Online SupportLine, which provides targeted support for male survivors of child sexual abuse. And we’ve recently expanded the services we offer to survivors with the creation of the DoD Safe Helpline, which is operated by RAINN. The Safe Helpline provides support services to those in the military affected by sexual violence (a large percentage of whom are male, according to government studies).
RAINN has pushed national media to highlight the experiences of male survivors. We proudly worked with the Oprah Show on three episodes: “A Special Report: Raped by His Mother — A Victim Comes Forward,” featuring RAINN Speakers Bureau member, Gregg Milligan who was molested, raped, and prostituted by his mother:http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/Raped-by-His-Mother-A-Victim-Comes-Forward_2. We also partnered with the Oprah Show on the landmark 2 part series “200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward” with Tyler Perry: http://www.oprah.com/showinfo/A-Two-Day-Oprah-Show-Event-200-Men-Who-Were-Molested-Come-Forward_1
We agree that NVAWS study has serious shortcomings and that its definition of rape is too restrictive to capture all crimes. Given those shortcomings, it likely under-counts the lifetime risk of sexual assault for men. However, it is the most reliable data we’ve been able to find, primarily because the sample size used in the study was significantly larger than almost all other surveys (8,000 men and 8,000 women). Also, the study used the same methodology for both men and women.
The dilemma we face is that we don’t have an alternate source of data for lifetime prevalence rates that is more trustworthy, with regards to sample size and methodology. Sample size is vitally important when attempting to measure sexual violence, since such a small portion of interviewees report having been victims.
The other main source of data that RAINN uses is from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which has a much larger sample size (68,665 people every six months in 2009). While this study also has its own significant shortcomings, it is a much preferable source of data. However, it measures only annual incidence, not lifetime risk. Therefore, it is not a substitute for NVAWS.
—>If you know of other surveys that have a broader definition of sexual violence, but still have an equal or better sample size and methodology than NVAWS, we are happy to evaluate them.
One of our biggest challenges, and frustrations, is the limited data that is available to inform our work. That forces us to make do with the flawed data that exists. However, while available studies may under-measure the extent of the problem, this does not effect the extent of our commitment to helping survivors — men, women and children. Every study shows that sexual violence is an enormous problem, and so we will continue to work very hard, as we have for 17 years, to help every survivor who asks for help; to educate the public about recovering from and preventing sexual violence; and to ensure that more perpetrators are brought to justice.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for your support of survivors of sexual violence!
This is great news and bad news. On one level, the number one organization relating to sexual violence and rape is not misandric! Which is one of those things I feel sad about having to be happy about.
On the other hand, however, this presents a major issue for masculists. We must campaign for a better study of rape and sexual assault among men– one that accounts for the most common kinds of rape of men, such as envelopment, not just penetration. Without data, we cannot know how many men might be suffering in silence.
I’ll bet that a lot male victims are invisible because they do not know that about the lifelines available to them. I wonder how we could let them know.
I’m glad you got in touch with RAINN, and that they responded. I’m glad they are aware of the deficiencies of some of the studies they are citing. That being said, I’m not sure if “we don’t have better studies” is a good excuse to promote a figure that we suspect undercounts rape towards men, and makes the male-female gap look bigger than it probably actually is.
Perhaps a good solution is for them to briefly note on the website the limitations of the study. Are they currently doing that anywhere?
@ GudEnuf, maybe some kind of campaign telling male victims, “We are available and want to help you so you don’t have to suffer alone?” Like a PSA of some kind? Just a thought.
Were they to include the figures for men, there would be a considerable backlash from feminism where a lot of their free advertising and revenue comes from…
I am totally with you on this. The NCVS definitions are bad for women and men; they exclude men entirely and also exclude every assault in which physical force wasn’t used for vaginal penetration. It’s incredibly important to get this changed; it’s one of the few times NOW and I are on the same page as they just started a big campaign about this, and in all their justification materials mention men among the people whose experiences are being erased by this approach.
I do also agree though with commenters above that RAINN is better positioned than perhaps anyone to do public awareness around male experiences with assault to try to reduce stigma, and they haven’t done nearly as much as they could have. Still, having worked with them in the past, I know that they really do an amazing job of putting dollars to work. So I think they would be an ally rather than an obstacle here–awareness and media campaigns cost monies, but I think if a creative funding strategy could be developed RAINN would be more than willing to work on it.
One big barrier to obtaining better data on actual sexual health/sexual violence (in the US population, at least) is that there is lot of opposition to funding those sorts of data collection efforts (which, if you want to get a large representative sample size, is time-consuming and expensive) from the anti-sex factions (including but not limited to the religious groups). It’s great political capital to be “against spending our tax dollars on frivolous studies” (with the underlying message that we shouldn’t need this info because people shouldn’t be doing anything other than procreative heterosexual sex sanctioned by marriage). We need to pressure our political leaders to make these studies a priority if we really want to do something about it. The squeaky wheels are not folks like us, sadly.
It’s great that they’ve responded, and I can see their point on trying to grab the best study. But the bias in this study with regards to comparing male and female rates of rape is insurmountable (not counting a woman forcing, through any means, a men to engage in PIV intercouse with her as rape).
People reading its results will come away less infromed about rape of males rather than more informed. It would be better if they simply made no comment (as they evidently lack any useable data) and made a small explanation as to why.
Hmm, this is interesting to me because a student group I work with is actually initiating an awareness campaign using these statistics. I don’t think we will be making any changes; the posters are already made and already emphasize that the rates are underreported (like “Did you know that the reported rate is 1 in 6 for women/1 in 33 for men? And that these numbers are underreported? And that 1 is still too many anyway?). But it’s good to have more detail; we will be hosting a series of dialogues to follow, so it’s helpful to know more about their origins for when we are inevitably asked how we know a number is underreported. I am actually a bit confused though as to how the use of the NVAWS is believed to substantially widen the gap between men’s and women’s rates by neglecting female-on-male? Yes, it is sort of pathetic that such a large national study excludes any form of assault in which a woman acts as a perpetrator, but if it it excludes any rape of a man by a woman in a heterosexual relationship not involving foreign objects, doesn’t it also exclude the rape committed by women in lesbian/queer relationships not involving foreign objects?
I read the thread in which this debate was first raised and I noticed a number of posts critiquing the study for the former exclusion but it was not until several posts after that a poster even noted how it excluded assault of a woman by a woman and little mention of it past that. How is it determined that envelopment is more significant than penetration? Is it thought that assault in lesbian relationships is considered less statistically significant than assault of a man in heterosexual relationships? Is it believe that violence by queer women is more likely to include penetrative objects and is therefore already included? This remains confusing to me as it have always been my understanding has been that male-on-male and male-on-female rape are the most common forms of rape experienced by men and women. A study that excludes non-penetrative acts by female perpetrators but includes the forms of rape that are most common – this would undercount obviously, but assuming there is not a significant discrepancy between rates of female-on-male rape and female-on-female rape, it seems that it would undercount consistently at least, and that the gap between the two would not widen significantly. The only scenario in which the gap would be expected to widen relative to the reality is one in which the rate of female-on-male far outpaces the rate of female-on-female. I was under the impression though that it was actually the opposite, in which case the exclusion of female-led sexual abuse would actually narrow the gap.
It’s virtually impossible to find decent studies of LGBTQ violence, but the UMiss Women’s Violence Prevention Research Center put the rate of sexual abuse in lesbian couples at 50%. I’m no longer at uni so unfortunately I can’t get into the cited study to see how it came by its number (how is abuse defined? including rape? coercion? lack of protection? how much use of penetrative objects?) but I think it at least makes the case that female-on-female sexual abuse occurs at a significant rate. The study that was presented in the other thread placed the rate of female-on-male at slightly under 30%, I think? And that itself was critiqued for flaws in methodology? Obviously, it’s hard to draw any conclusion from these two rates given the discrepancies in rate between homosexual female and heterosexual encounters and the discrepancy in size between lesbian and heterosexual populations (particularly when the validity of one study is contested and the other is inaccessible), but at the same time, the lower incidences and high rates would at least mitigate one another to some degree, even if they did not completely cancel. Of course, I’m not yet addressing the impact of underreporting, but until told otherwise, I think I would hold the rates similar for both male victims and queer women victims, given the stigmas attendant to each.
http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml (found via racialicious: http://www.racialicious.com/2011/07/07/domestic-violence-isnt-just-about-what-men-do-to-women/#more-16194 … the title is misleading… it’s about queer violence as well as hetero)
If RAINN are knowingly giving the false impression that women are under some sort of gendered seige of sexual violence for men and omitting female perpetration, how can that not be taken as misandrist?
@Jess, you can take it as whatever you like, but that doesn’t mean it’s their intent. I’d prefer it if they included disclaimers that reflect that their stats were the “least-bad”, rather than the “best” — not accurate, and exclude several common types of sexual assault and rape (against either men or women). I’d be all in favour of asking them to reflect that so that people don’t misunderstand what the statistics actually reflect. On the other hand, I’m not in favour of labelling them “misandrist” on that basis.
The rate of violence within the lesbian community may be higher (I haven’t seen the evidence either way) but since heterosexuality occurs more frequently in the population by a very, very wide margin, the size of the problem is smaller.
So a lesbian might be at higher risk of sexual assault by her partner, but worldwide any given woman is more likely to be either in a heterosexual relationship, or single, than in a lesbian relationship. The same goes for men, being more likely to be single or in a heterosexual relationship, than in a gay relationship.
And of course, outside of relationships, all bets are off, because it’s not like a rapist (male or female) is going to go, “Oh, I’m not your type? So sorry, I’ll go assault someone else…” — but heterosexuality is still vastly more prevalent, meaning that any underreporting is more likely to reflect underreported heterosexual acts.
Sara:@ GudEnuf, maybe some kind of campaign telling male victims, “We are available and want to help you so you don’t have to suffer alone?” Like a PSA of some kind? Just a thought.
I think one thing that would help a lot would be for organizations to claim that they are there for all victims but followup with heavily gendered language. A lot of sites out there that offer services to abuse victims basically say “its something men do to women” with a paragraph or two of “well yeah women abuse men too but….” somewhere on the site before going right back to the usual.
This is an example of the type of thing that keeps male victims silent. Just like with female victims they are going to have a hard time speaking up if they think they are going to be ignored.
Jess, for one thing I don’t see the letter from RAINN acknowledging that they are over estimating assults on women, nor have I seen them accused of such (on this blog at least).
Figarophillips, given the relative smallness of the female homosexual community compared to the entirety of the male gender, I don’t think the 30%/50% difference wil have much of an impact. Though I get that you are not making conclusions just discussing the data you have available 🙂
(Disclaimer: I in no way mean to imply that rape within any community is rendered inconsiquential by the scale of that comunity)
Yeah, it’s not just limitted to the male female divide either, homosexual relationships often get lost in the wash alongside. A lot of domestic violence things I’ve seen have begun with a disclaimer that comes down to “we acknowledge DV is not jus something men do to women, it is also something women do to men, also, it is something that occurs within homosexual relationships. However, we’ve descided that men on women is the important one so for the rest of this talk/article perpertrators will be reffered to as he, victims will be refered to as she”
People don’t seem to get that wearing their bias on their sleaves doesn’t make it any less bigotted.
No. They also do not list the findings related to male victims from some of the studies they cite. For example, the 1998 Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls also polled boys. The findings are not as high as that for girls, but the results are important to understanding how sexual abuse harms boys. I will email RAINN about this and ask if they include this information and address the issues with the studies they cite on their statistics page.
Jared, I wasn’t suggesting that they are over estimating assaults on women, I said that they are leaving out assaults by women.
If I published stats of violence by people in blue hats against people in yellow hats and omit instances in the reverse without explanation,surely what I’m promoting slander and hatred of people in blue hats. And I’ve heard many a misandrist using RAINN figures to promote the misandric abuse is mainly gendered ideology.
If I took the wrong impression from where you write
“If RAINN are knowingly giving the false impression that women are under some sort of gendered seige of sexual violence ”
I appologise. Personally I have no stance on RAINN beyond this particular issue as I have not looked into them myself (though I have heard everthing from walks on water to eats sodomises kittens)
I definitely think asking them to report the limitations of the study on their statistics page is a great idea.
Leah: Do you have a link to the campaign? A cursory Google couldn’t really find it and I’d really like to throw NSWATM’s support behind this. 🙂
Jess: Please don’t assume bad faith. RAINN provides a lot of support for male survivors and is using the NVAWS study because, unfortunately, it’s the best available, not because they hate men. Besides, many of the commenters on the blog identify as femininst and none of them are backlashing against RAINN for providing support for male survivors– rather the contrary, in fact.
Feminists won’t back lash as long the stats are 1 in 6 – 1 in 33. If they were to include sexual assaults perpetrated by women, and the bad behavior and victim hood was more or less spread across the genders,there would most certainly be backlash.
Jess, frankly, as a feminist who is trying to raise awareness of sexual assaults by women with the help of other feminists who are ALSO trying to raise awareness of sexual assaults by women, I am insulted by your statements about feminism.
Fantastic response! 🙂
Interesting idea. Perhaps we could suggest they note the limits of their study? I don’t see how that would hurt.
I reject this assertion and find your blanket use of the term “feminism” unpalatable.
@kaija: How much capital does it take? Could it be privately raised?
@figarophillips: Do you think you could bring some of the discussion of the flaws in the study into the light in the talks you guys are having?
I believe this is strongly influenced by (a) the lack of academic attention brought to it, and (b) the strong pressure against men to report it or even admit that it can occur.
That’s not what they’re saying, and your mischaracterization is unhelpful and unwelcome.
I just want to say :
Great work, Ozy.
“The only scenario in which the gap would be expected to widen relative to the reality is one in which the rate of female-on-male far outpaces the rate of female-on-female. I was under the impression though that it was actually the opposite, in which case the exclusion of female-led sexual abuse would actually narrow the gap.”
This survey (which won’t be acceptable to RAINN because it isn’t of the general population, rather it’s of college students):
* Almost 3% of men reported forced sex and 22% reported verbal coercion in a romantic relationship in the last year. Almost 2.3% of women reported forced sex and 25% reported verbal coercion. [From: Predictors of Sexual Coersion.]( http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf)
Suggests that female-on-male perpetration is equal to male-on-female.
If that’s true the NVAWS is completely misleading. We could reverse its findings and say that the rate of rape victimization in men is 1-in-6 and the rate of rape victimization of women is 1-in-33. Just by reversing all mention of penetration to envelopment.
I’m afraid I’m not heartened by RAINN’s reply. A misleading statistic is worse then no statistic at all. And, while the methodology was *equivalent* between men and women, that would be like saying a methodology that asked men and women:
“Have you ever been enveloped by a vagina using force? By this we mean, have your penis, fingers or tongue, ever been forced to penetrate someone’s vagina?”
Has validity because it asks men and women the same question.
Sure it does.
RAINN are very careful and keep a pretty gender neutral language on their site so I wouldn’t say that they are giving the impression thast women are under some sort of gendered siege of sexual violence from men.
But there is no denying that they’re are passing off the victimization rates of men and women as two equally valid numbers when they know they’re not because of the inherent shortcomings of the underlying study. I elect to believe that this oversight is just that and not intentional – if it were I would say it borders on misandrist. Hence it will be very interesting to see their answers to suggestions to put a note of the shortcomings of the study on their pages.
@Cheradenine, I already acknowledged the impact of discrepancy in population size in my last paragraph; my question is more whether it is so significant that it is not in any manner mitigated by the discrepancy in rates. The study is named in the link I provided, though unfortunately only the abstract is available. The rest is behind a paywall. Maybe when I get on a university server I’ll see it.
@Jared, I’m wondering if there is a discrepancy in the ways in which we conceive of queer populations? Perhaps it is that I work pretty regularly with queer groups, but I will admit it is generally my instinct to accept the highest estimate of incidence (rather than a median estimate) to account for underreporting due to stigma. Developed areas in nations in which homosexuality is legal and visible have been known to record incidences of homo- and bisexuality as high as 1 in 5 for women and as high as 1 in 10 for men. You’re right; I wouldn’t draw any conclusions with these numbers – I guess I’m more curious what our differing conclusions indicate about the way we perceive the incidence of homosexuality (and indirectly, the incidence of homosexual assaults).
@Dr., I had some trouble following the back and forth, but on what I think is the right page, there is first a post suggesting that the key table was not clearly labeled and that the questionnaire did not account for certain differences in the way men and women conceive of force. The gist was that men report instances where they feel emotional pressured whereas women tend to neglect the emotional and focus on physical force. This makes sense to me in general. Whether it is because men are predominantly stronger than women or simply underestimate the strength of women, a man is less likely to fear that he will be overpowered by a woman. I think this bears out in a lot of the testimonies that have been covered on this site and others: scared to defend themselves not because the perpetrator is stronger but because the perpetrator is weaker and more breakable. If the threat of physical force is perceived to be insignificant, the attention may focused instead on the emotional coercion. What I have noticed among women is that they are so aware of the risk of being overpowered that their reaction to anything else is “Well, he didn’t hold me down.” I’m very intrigued. My initial assumption is that men would internalize the dismissal of emotional coercion to a greater extent than women but after reading the article on positive acceptance of male tears, I am probably going to rethink a lot of these things. And if men and women are responding to a questionnaire with different internal definitions of rape that deviate so notably from expectation, that’s important to understand, obviously. Anyway, the next link I followed clarified the table but I couldn’t find where it addressed the questionnaire and lost the thread of it.
I would like to pursue this line of criticism further. Truthfully, the study does not align in any way with what I have personally observed and while there are lot of reasons that I would not expect it too, I’m still trying to figure out where that disconnect lies. My campus work and activities have been such that I’m rather frequently exposed to a lot of very personal, often anonymized stories and data and in a sense have gotten sort of a bird’s eye view on a lot of issues, yet certain narratives remain conspicuously absent even when brought up externally. It’s easy for me to accept a high estimate of say LGBT people when such high percentages of my friends are and reasons for underreporting are strongly defined (friend kicked out of home, beat, etc.), but I don’t have a frame of reference for this assault study obviously. Despite intellectually understanding the obstacles, I also recognize that in the discussion of women’s issues on campus, I am often asked to provide proof and I think having done that for so long, I’ve begun to feel a certain obligation to remain agnostic on issues I cannot support with multiple studies AND anecdata AND historical precedent. I have yet to determine what I consider a reasonable requirement of “proof” yet I feel compelled to act consistently, regardless. In any case, I’d be happy to break my experiences down further if there is an appropriate place in which to do so.
Just saw this:
“Has validity because it asks men and women the same question.”
Not saying that the NVA study has validity by virtue of asking the question, saying that I somewhat doubt the questioning significantly distorts the ratio of female to male victims.
If the most common forms of rape were female-on-male and female-on-female and other forms of rape were estimated to have substantially lower occurrences, a questionnaire that identified envelopment by female perpetrators would provide a decent if rough assessment of the ratio of male to female victims. It would not be a valid question from the perspective of a sociologist but might still give a decent estimate.
“Not saying that the NVA study has validity by virtue of asking the question, saying that I somewhat doubt the questioning significantly distorts the ratio of female to male victims.”
Yes, but why would you doubt that the questioning significantly distorts the ratio of male to female victims?
I’ve just presented evidence to you that omitting forced envelopment likely does significantly reduce the rate of reported male victimization.
Its standard practice for charities and non profits to promote the false reality that abuse is gendered by erasing female perpetrators. Here is the largest children’s charity in the UK doing it.
It seems figrophillips doubt it because s/he already assumes that male-on-female rape are by far the most common form. That’s what I am forced to conclude since that’s the only way that altering the questioning to include “envelopment” would not change the result in any significant way. Basically it seems s/he is saying that as long as a study is confirming his/her previously held beliefs s/he doesn’t think it matters that it is poorly designed and the idea that the poor design doesn’t distort the result is not worth entertaining because that would break his/her already held beliefs.
@Figarophilips, estimates for all LGBT folk run from 1% to 3.5% of population. Filtering just for LBT women in the USA, the latter survey estimates 4 million (out of 308 million people), just 1.3%. No, I don’t think that’s going to have an appreciable impact, even if, as you suggest, assault rates in that population ran at 1.6x the rate for the general population.
I wouldn’t say that the NVAWS is poorly designed. In some respects it is a very well-designed study. It has methodological problems, as do every study I have ever seen.
I’d rather we criticise the study (“such-and-such a methodology is likely to bias the result in such-and-such a way”) than judge it (“It’s poorly designed”. “It sucks”).
Similarly, (and responding to earlier comments by both Tamen and Jess) I’d rather we criticise RAINN (“Their presentation of statistics is likely to create a false impression”) than judge them (“They’re misandrist”. “They suck”).
Although you’ve made the inverted point, I understand your argument to be as follows:
Premise: If the most common forms of rape were male-on-male and male-on-female penetration, and other forms have substantially lower occurrences, a questionnaire that includes penetration but omits envelopment would provide a decent if rough assessment of the ratio of male to female victims.
Unstated Premise: You believe that other forms of rape do have substantially lower occurrences.
Conclusion: You doubt the questioning significantly distorts the ratio of female to male victims.
The problem here is that the unstated premise is precisely the point at issue. Exactly why do you believe this, if you have no evidence that it is true? In fact, there is evidence that it is not true. The International Dating Violence Study found higher levels of female on male rape than male on female. Now the IDVS brings a whole heap of its own methodological issues to the table, and should not be taken as conclusive proof. But it does make it more likely that a significant proportion of all rapes are female on male.
Hmm, not quite following. @Tamen, I have specifically stated an assumption, but it is that the most common forms of rape involve a male perpetrator, not necessarily a female victim, and that they are significantly more common. This is based on some combination of prison crime studies, DOJ studies since way back when, other assorted studies and statistics read over the years, and the extent to which they are corroborated by studies and personal observations of gendered power dynamics, to answer in a nutshell. Also, please note that in my comment, I am assuming a complete reversal of the situation, not just the question. @TB, Would it help maybe to just throw in some numbers? Suppose for the sake of argument that per 100, there are 50 male-male rapes, 20 male-female rapes, and either a) 5 female-female and 2 female-male, or b) 2 female-female and 5 female-male. These are just arbitrary sets of numbers in which the male-led incidents are an order of magnitude larger. If we use the question above, the female-caused scenarios are erased; the reported female:male victim ratio is 20:50. If the study is corrected to include female-led, the rate is a) 25:52 or b) 22:55, both close to the original ratio (maybe not within margin of error, but again, this is just an arbitrary example). The question is flawed, imprecise, but result is still representative. If the question is flipped to include only female-led and male-led are erased, and we measured a ratio of 5:2 female:male, our measurement is now imprecise AND no longer representative of the reality.
Now if we reverse the situation and assume 50 female:male, 20 female:female, and 5 or 2 of the other types, it is the reverse question of envelopment that becomes most likely to produce imprecise but representative data on female:male victim rations. The ideal would still be to ask both questions, but might not make a significant difference in the data. Sorry if this is very pedantic or if the numbers are awkward… just trying to make sure we are on the same page (which I think we are).
I suppose the question is why in light of the study, I do not begin from the assumption that the ratios are equal? Well, to begin with, there are many studies on gender and rape and this stands out as a outlier. To use an analogy, I think this is somewhat similar to the discussion we are having of LGBTQ incidence. There are myriad studies and polls producing wide ranges of incidences, ranging from roughly 1% to upwards of 10% for LGBT folks in the general population. Recent studies on the incidence of lesbianism and bisexuality place the rate as high at 15 to 20% (US, Norway). Now, recognizing that many of these studies are themselves subject to flawed methodologies that also contribute to underreporting (e.g. the door-to-door and phone approach that is cited in the UK study above), I am more comfortable with statistics in the upper range. This upper range is also the one that aligns most closely with my daily experience. I would go so far as to hypothesize that actual incidence exceeds even these estimates, given the levels of stigma that remain. At the same time, I am not basing my prediction on wildly high estimates grounded in flawed methodology either (I’m not looking at the Kinsey report :P). I would not say that incidence in any way approaches or exceeds incidence of heterosexuality. I would understand others using the more conservative estimates (under 10%). Likewise, I assume the ratio of male to female victims to be higher than the range predicted by the DOJ. It’s been climbing slowly and steadily for years. But then again, women’s numbers climb as well, as the methodology evolves to identify more victims male and female. I would not assume that male victims’ numbers will climb so high that they rival the number of female victims on the basis of a single study I’m still questioning. Does that make sense? Is that unreasonable?
Daran, I just saw your post after posting. Actually, I thought I already stated that I am assuming males perpetrators to be significantly more common; I tried to clarify the reasoning for this above. And also, stating my hesitance vis-a-vis the IDVS. I suppose it’s more accurate to say that all the studies are flawed in their respective ways, but some more severely flawed than others and studies that produce results that deviate notably from results of past studies and years will raise my skepticism more than others. I would like to better understand the criticisms from the other post and the counterpoint (if I could find it). I’m also working on some other writings at the moment so I’ll proll need a few days to get through the paper itself.
“I suppose it’s more accurate to say that all the studies are flawed in their respective ways, but some more severely flawed than others and studies that produce results that deviate notably from results of past studies and years will raise my skepticism more than others.”
The IDVS study doesn’t differ from other studies that use the CST2 methodology.
It does differ significantly from studies *that don’t even measure forced envelopment.* Which are the ones you’re familiar with.
The studies you’re familiar with do not measure forced envelopment.
When you measure forced envelopment you get similar rates of male-on-female rape as female-on-male.
It seems… unsupportable to take a history of studies that have not looked at forced envelopment, thus don’t actually measure female-on-male sexual assault appreciably, and then say *they* cast doubts on other studies that do measure forced envelopment thus do measure female-on-male sexual assault.
The studies you’re referencing aren’t measuring female-on-male sexual assault. They, and the NVAWS, don’t offer any meaningful information on female-on-male sexual assault as a whole.
It just comes down to that. The NVAWS did not measure female-on-male assault in any appreciable sense. Most of the studies that proceeded it didn’t measure female-on-male sexual assault in any appreciable sense.
Pointing to them to dismiss a study that actually DID measure female-on-male sexual assault is…
I dunno. Why don’t you think of an adjective to call it.
Daran: It seems you’ve readed my post on RAINN more harshly than I intended. A failure to communicate effectively on my part. RAINN seem to be pretty fair and gender neutral in it’s approach and I’d wish they included some more information about the specific shortcominig of the study they cited on male victimization. Ass for the study and my criticism of it I did mean that it was poorly designed in regard of the aspect we’re discussing here: finding the rate of male victims of rape. Perhaps poorly designed implied a judgement on the methodology which hasn’t been up for any discussion as far as I can see and if that’s the case then it was a poor choice of words by me. More precisely I meant that the study has a poor definition for rape as it doesn’t encompass certains forms of female on male rape which I know exists,
Daran: Please do not take my poor spelling as a Freudian slip 🙂
Its standard practice for charities and non profits to promote the false reality that abuse is gendered by erasing female perpetrators.
Good grief, Jess. Because a charity in the UK behaves badly, let’s ignore all of the work RAINN does to assist male survivors and promote awareness of female perpetrators (at set forth in Ozy’s post) and accuse them of misandry because they need more disclaimers about their study?
@mythago: Greg Milligan works with RAINN, but the organization itself does not directly promote awareness about female rapists on its site or publicly. That is not to say RAINN is not concerned with the issue, only that it does not directly comment on it.
@figarophillips: The two recent prison rape studies showing that females commit the majority of prison rape.
Just because a charity does some work with male survivors, lets ignore the fact that they publish a verifiably incorrect statistic that further anormalizes, thus *traumatizes*, them.
Most male rapes in this country occur where there are no lifelines, where there aren’t people to call, and where the culture actively accepts them.
Look up prison rapes.
(remain convinced that part of the “no gays in military” is because of rapes/non-preferential m-m sexual contact — “if we pretend that nobody LIKES it, we all can DO it”)
*waves* new here. I just wanted to point out that there may also be a gender discrepancy in sexual assaults tied to the level of violence; most violent crimes in general tend to be committed by males (subject to its own discussion) and many popular and legal definitions of rape still require violence or the threat of force rather than ‘softer’ manipulation, alcohol or drugs. So there could be a gender discrepancy in *violent* sexual assaults that doesn’t exist in nonviolent sexual assaults.
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