Manufacturing Female Victimhood, Marginalizing Vulnerable Men

Female Rapists, versus, the Helpless Female and the Demonic Male: One of the more taboo areas in modern culture. My radio co-host Typhon Blue wrote a classic essay on the subject earlier this year, and I have received her permission to reprint it here. I do so with pride.–DE

Toxic victim-consciousness is the process by which women are made into class “acted upon” by emphasizing a disproportionate victimhood where none actually exists or isn’t proven.

In “Women Do Not Benefit: The Science,” I outlined how toxic victimhood limits women and socializes them to undermine their own achievements. Toxic victimhood promotes the perception that women are “acted upon” rather than actors. When a society is promoting toxic victimhood, there is no need to limit women overtly through legal, financial or social restrictions. Instead women will limit themselves through their own mental foot-binding.

Here I will look at a recent and very successful effort to manufacture toxic female victimhood whole-cloth, the CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

The much publicized figure on rape from this survey is that 1 in 5 women versus 1 in 71 men are victims of rape in their lifetime. (If the rate men are raped is reported on at all.)

Let’s see exactly how the female-as-victim juggernaught churned this nugget out.

Question: When is Rape Not Rape? Answer: When a Rapist Uses Her Vagina

The first thing to note is that the NIPSVS decided that men being forced to have sex with women isn’t rape. Let’s think about this again. The NIPSVS finds that men are the majority perpetrators of rape. 98% of female rape victims and 93% of male rape victims had a male perpetrator. A woman shoving her fingers up a man’s anus is rape, but a woman shoving her vagina down on his penis is not. The latter is not classified as rape, but as “made to penetrate” and is placed in the category of “other sexual violence”.

Logically, if you define rape as penetration, but not envelopment, you are going to end up with an arbitrarily large number of male rapists compared to female rapists.

Rape could easily be redefined as forced envelopment, which is exactly as arbitrary as the NIPSVS’s redefinition of rape. In that case we would find that 80+% of rapists are female. Which is as fatuous a finding as the reverse.

So why are significantly more men than women rapists and significantly more women raped than men? Because when women rape using their vaginas it’s not rape, it’s “other sexual violence”.

Men are the vast majority of rapists and women are the vast majority of victims because rape was defined in such a way to make sure that this was so.

The Real Risk of Rape in the Last Twelve Months

It should be noted the NIPSVS presents no statistics on male victims of rape through penetration for the last 12 months. This is interesting because the 2000 National Violence Against Women Survey found that 0.3 percent of women and 0.1 percent of men surveyed said they were raped via penetration in the previous 12 months.

The NIPSVS says: “The estimates for male victims raped by other types of perpetrators were based upon numbers too small to calculate a reliable estimate and therefore are not reported.”

The NIPSVS surveyed 18,000 people; The NVAWS surveyed 16,000. Did the risk of rape of men by other men take a nose-dive between the NVAW survey and the NIPSVS survey?

Luckily the NIPSVS did track the risk of “made to penetrate” for men in the last year. It was 1.1%, identical to the 1.1% of women “made to envelop”.

If the act of forced envelopment is correctly classified as rape—namely a woman forcing a man to have sex using her vagina, the vagina being one of the two most commonly used instruments of sex—then you get an equal risk of rape between men and women in the last twelve months.

An equal risk of rape between men and women in the last twelve months.

Why then, is the lifetime risk of rape so different?

Men Rape; Women Are Raped

Researchers into the field of traumatic memory recovery note that the longer the period of time a person is asked recall a traumatic event, the less likely they are to remember it. How this works is that surveys that ask about a traumatic event in the last six months get less false negatives than those that ask about a traumatic event in the last twelve months which, itself, gets considerably fewer false negatives than lifetime prevalence.

For men this effect is even more pronounced.

16% of men with documented cases of sexual abuse considered their early childhood experiences sexual abuse, compared with 64% of women with documented cases of sexual abuse. These gender differences may reflect inadequate measurement techniques or an unwillingness on the part of men to disclose this information (Widom and Morris 1997).

Only 16% of men with documented case histories of child sexual abuse disclosed that abuse on a survey intended to capture child sexual abuse. Sixteen percent of men compared to sixty-four percent of women.

That amounts to a disclosure rate of child sexual abuse four times higher in women than in men.

Is it any wonder that the CDC’s 2010 survey (correcting for their mis-categorization of female-on-male rape) found that 18.3% of women and 6.2% of men were victimized over their lifetimes?

Comparing the lifetime rate of sexual abuse for men and women is misleading in determining their relative risk of sexual violence, simply because men disclose childhood sexual abuse four times less often than women.

There may be many reasons for this. It’s unlikely that it’s due to sexual abuse being less impactful on men because studies have shown that sexual abuse does have a profound impact on men, and this includes female-on-male sexual abuse. For instance, the link between sexual abuse and suicide attempts is stronger in boys (Rhodes et al. 2001) and sexually abused boys are twice as likely to commit suicide (Molnar et al. 2001) than sexually abused girls. In addition to that, there is a risk factor for sexually abused men to sexually abuse others is if their abuser was female (Salter et al. 2003.)

One possible reason for men not disclosing, or even “forgetting”, is quite simple: our social narrative does not allow for, nor does it depict, the sexual abuse of males. To a degree it allows for the sexual abuse of boys by men, but not boys by women or adult men by anyone.

In a study on the effects of retention interval and gender on the perception of violence, Ahola et al. (2009) found that eyewitnesses rated female perpetrators less violent than male when reporting after an interval of one to three weeks as opposed to ten minutes. Ahola et al. (2009) proposed that over time eyewitnesses reinterpreted the behavior of perpetrators in order to conform to gender stereotypes regarding violence.

Widom and Morris (1997) propose that a similar process is occurring with male victims of sexual abuse (particularly by females) as, over time, they reinterpret their victimization to conform with the dominant social narrative regarding sexual abuse: that it happens to women and is perpetrated by men. They will do this by reframing their abuse as consensual or as a rite of passage or less violent than it was or by “forgetting” it completely. The more time passes, the more our memories conform to the dominant social narrative.

Gender differences in reporting and in perceptions of early childhood experiences may reflect early socialization experiences in which men learn to view these behaviors as non-predatory and non-abusive. Many of the sexual experiences considered to be sexual abuse (showing/touching sex organs, kissing in a sexual way) may be seen as developmental rites of passage, part of a learning process (Widom and Morris 1997.)

Note that this “forgetting” does not mean that there is no psychological effect; only that the source of that effect is buried, becoming a silent trigger for self-destructive behavior.

The Real Ratio of Male to Female Rapists

If we look at the more reliable statistic, the risk of rape in the last twelve months, and we fix the NIPSVS’s mistake in classifying forced envelopment as “other sexual assault” and not rape, we find that 80% of men report a female rapist and 98% of women report a male rapist. (This estimate is based on the sex of reported perpetrators for sexual assault over a lifetime. There is no reason to think the number of female perpetrators for ‘forced envelopment’ would decline between the lifetime and last year reports: if anything they would increase)

Since there were roughly equal numbers of men(forced to penetrate) and women(forced to envelop) raped in the last year, if we look at a population of 100 rape victims, 50 of which are male and 50 of which are female and apply the statistic that 80% of the male victims were raped by a woman, we get 40 male victims raped by a woman.

That works out to about 40% of rapists being female and 60% being male. A far cry from 95+% of rapists being male.[1]

Instant Female Victimhood, Just Add Media

The cautious and least sensationalistic position to take based on the NIPSVS’s findings is that men and women are most likely at an equal risk of rape and that the proportion of male to female rapists is not significantly gendered. [2]

But this is obviously not what anyone really wants to hear. Instead, the NIPSVS manufactured a non-existant female victimhood by first redefining rape to exclude the vast majority of female-on-male victimization. Then mainstream media (and other parties interested in female victimhood) followed up by selecting the statistic most likely to be fraught with reporting error while completely ignoring the more reliable statistic that suggests parity and further ignoring the ratio of female to male abusers (40/60).[3]

And so from a survey that strongly suggests that neither rape victimization nor rape perpetration is significantly gendered, we get a resounding shout of ‘MEN RAPE/WOMEN ARE RAPED!’

Men act, women are acted upon.

And the juggernaut rumbles on.

References

Ahola A. S., Justice needs a blindfold: Effects of defendants’ gender and attractiveness on judicial evaluation. 2010.

Black M., Basile K. C., Breiding M. J. , Smith S. G. , Walters M. L. , Merrick M. T, Chen J. and Steven M. R., The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey(NIPSVS): 2010 Summary Report , National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2011

Rhodes A. E, Boyle M. H. , Tonmyr L., Wekerle C., Goodman D., Leslie B., Mironova P., Bethell J., and Manion I., Sex Differences in Childhood Sexual Abuse and Suicide-Related Behaviors, Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior 41(3) June 2011

Molnar B. E., Berkman L. F. and Buka S. L., Psychopathology, childhood sexual abuse and other childhood adversities : relative links to subsequent suicidal behaviour in the US, Psychological Medicine, 2001, 31, 965–977.

Salter D., McMillan D., Richards M., Talbot T., Hodges J., Bentovim A., Hastings R., Stevenson J., Skuse D., Development of sexually abusive behaviour in sexually victimized males: a longitudinal study, The Lancet, Vol. 361, February 8, 2003

Tjaden, P. & Thoennes, N. , Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey(NVAWS), Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice, November 2000

Widom C. S. and Morris S., Accuracy of Adult Recollections of Childhood Victimization: Part 2. Childhood Sexual Abuse, Psychological Assessment, Vol. 9, No. l, 34-46, 1997

[1] When same-sex rape is excluded the ratio becomes 44/56 male/female rapists. One reason why same-sex rape should be excluded for an accurate picture of the gender proportions of rapists is because male-on-male rape may be inflated relative to female-on-female rape due to the large population of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men. The greater rate of male-on-male rape may be a byproduct of more men cycling through society’s rape-camps (otherwise known as ‘prisons’) at a greater rate then women.

[2] The moderate skew in favor of male rapists may just be an artifact of using female interviewers. We won’t know for sure until a survey is done that doesn’t require male victims of female aggressors to disclose their victimization to a female interviewer. Likely the NIPSVS used female interviewers preferentially in order to capture as much female victimization as possible; the logic being that women would be more likely to disclose to another woman.

[3] The 80% rate of female perpetration of forced envelopment is based on the lifetime risk numbers. However, it’s likely that the ratio of male to female rapists who forced envelopment on a man does not change significantly between the twelve month and lifetime time frame. If there is any change, asking men to report sexual abuse by females over their lifetime likely undercounts the proportion of female rapists since female-on-male rape is not congruent with our social stereotypes regarding rape and gender. Additional data on this issue is provided by Predictors of Sexual Coercion. Although Predictors only studied college populations, it found a similar parityin rape victimization risk between men and women in the last twelve months. 2.3% of women and 3.0% of men reported forced sex, which gives a ratio of 57/43 female/male rapists.

Originally published on Typhon’s web site Genderratic. I also recommend her YouTube channel, Genderratic’s Curio Emporium.

(Note: This item also published on A Voice for Men and Dean’s World.)

Author: DEAN ESMAY, Guest Voice Columnist

Dean Esmay is a long-time associate of Joe Gandelman and The Moderate Voice. He is Managing Editor of A Voice for Men. He also blogs on a variety of issues at Dean's World, one of the world's first blogs and one of the few that was archived as Historically Significant by the Library of Congress for the 2004 elections. You can also follow Dean via Twitter here.