Friday, September 25, 2009

Judical bias, better be a woman.

A collection of articles.

U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs Bureau of Justice Statistics 
Executive Summary September 1995, NCJ-156831

Spouse Murder Defendants in Large Urban Counties

(Note: This file does not contain graphics or tables. The full report may be ordered using the title and NCJ number above by calling the BJS Clearinghouse at 1-800-732-3277.)

Highlights

Number of spouse murder defendants and their demographic characteristics

In 1988 the justice system in the Nation's 75 largest counties disposed of an estimated 540 spouse murder cases. Husbands charged with killing their wife outnumbered wives charged with killing their husband. Of the
540, 318--or 59%--were husband defendants and 222--or 41%--were wife defendants.

Blacks comprised 55% of the 540 defendants, and whites comprised 43%. Among husband defendants 51% were black and 45% were white. Among wife defendants 61% were black and 39% were white. In 97%
of the murders, both spouses were the same race.

Ages of spouse murder defendants ranged from 18 to 87. The average age was 39. The average age of husband defendants was 41; of wife defendants, 37 years.

Arrest charge

First-degree murder was the most frequent charge at arrest, accounting for 70% of defendants. In descending order of seriousness, charges were distributed this way across the 540 spouse murder defendants:

70% first-degree murder
24% second-degree murder
6% nonnegligent manslaughter

How the justice system disposed of spouse murder cases

Cases were disposed of in one of three ways:

(1) the prosecutor declined to prosecute; or
(2) the defendant pleaded not guilty, stood trial, and was either acquitted or convicted; or
(3) the defendant pleaded guilty.

Of the 540 spouse murder defendants, 232--or 43%--pleaded guilty to killing their spouse, and 238--44%--pleaded not guilty and stood trial. The remaining 70 persons--or 13%--were not prosecuted.

Outcome for spouse murder defendants who pleaded not guilty and stood trial

Of the 238 who pleaded not guilty, 63% were tried by a jury and the remaining 37% were tried by a judge. Together, judges and juries acquitted 16% of the 238 spouse murder defendants and convicted 84%--or 199 persons--of killing their spouse.

Bench trials (trials before a judge) had a higher acquittal rate than jury trials: 26% of bench trials ended in acquittal, versus 11% of jury trials.

Defendants convicted of killing their spouse

Of the 540 spouse murder defendants, 431 (or 80%) were ultimately convicted of killing their spouse. Their conviction was the result of either pleading guilty (232 persons) or being convicted at trial (199 persons).

While most persons arrested (70%) for spouse murder were charged with first-degree murder, most persons convicted (52%) of spouse murder had negligent or nonnegligent manslaughter as their conviction offense.

Sentences for defendants convicted of killing their spouse

Of the 431 defendants convicted of killing their spouse, 89% were sentenced to a State prison, 1% were sentenced to a county jail, and the remaining 10% received a sentence of straight probation (no prison or jail
confinement).

An estimated 12% of the 431 convicted spouse murderers received a sentence to life imprisonment and 1% received the death penalty.

Excluding life and death sentences, the average prison term imposed was 13 years.

Wife defendants less likely to be convicted

Wife defendants had a lower conviction rate than husband defendants--

* Of the 222 wife defendants, 70% were convicted of killing their mate. By contrast, of the 318 husband defendants, 87% were convicted of spouse murder.

* Of the 100 wife defendants tried by either a judge or jury, 31% were acquitted. But of the 138 husband defendants tried, 6% were acquitted.

* Of the 59 wife defendants tried by a jury, 27% were acquitted. But of the estimated 91 husband defendants tried by a jury, none was acquitted.

Convicted wife defendants sentenced less severely

An estimated 156 wives and 275 husbands were convicted of killing their spouse. Convicted wives were less likely than convicted husbands to be sentenced to prison, and convicted wives received shorter prison sentences than their male counterparts--

* 81% of convicted wives but 94% of convicted husbands received a prison sentence.

* On average, convicted wives received prison sentences that were about 10 years shorter than what husbands received. Excluding life or death sentences, the average prison sentence for killing a spouse was 6 years for wives but 16.5 years for husbands.

* Among wives sentenced to prison, 15% received a sentence of 20 years or more (including life imprisonment and the death penalty); among husbands, it was 43%.

Victim provocation more often  present in wife defendant cases

According to information contained in prosecutor files, more wife defendants (44%) than husband defendants (10%) had been assaulted by their spouse (threatened with a weapon or physically assaulted) at or around the time of the murder.

Self-defense as possible explanation for wives' lower conviction rate

In certain circumstances, extreme victim provocation may justify taking a life in self-defense. Provocation was more often present in wife defendant cases, and wife defendants were less likely than husband
defendants to be convicted, suggesting that the relatively high rate of victim provocation characteristic of wife defendant cases was one of the reasons wife defendants had a lower conviction rate than
husband defendants. Consistent with that, of the provoked wife defendants, 56% were convicted, significantly lower than either the 86% conviction rate for unprovoked wife defendants or the 88% conviction rate
for unprovoked husbands.

No explanation for why State prison sentences were, on average, 10 years shorter for wife defendants than husband defendants

Wives received shorter prison sentences than husbands (a 10-year difference, on average) even when the comparison is restricted to defendants who were alike in terms of whether or not they were
provoked--


* The average prison sentence for unprovoked wife defendants was 7 years, or 10 years shorter than the average 17 years for unprovoked husband defendants.

Victim's race unrelated to outcomes

The victim was black in 55% of cases and white in 43%. The likelihood of a defendant being convicted of spouse murder was about the same whether the murder victim was white or black. Among spouse murder
defendants whose victim was white, 81% were convicted. Among those whose victim was black, 79% were convicted.

Likewise, the sentence was unrelated to the victim's race. The likelihood of a convicted spouse murderer receiving a prison sentence was about the same whether the murder victim was white or black: the convicted spouse murderer was sentenced to prison in 93% of cases where the victim was white, not significantly different from the 87% of cases where the victim was black. The length of the prison sentence imposed on a convicted spouse murderer was generally unrelated to whether the murder victim was white or black--

* For conviction for first-degree murder, the average prison term (excluding life and death sentences) was 29 years in white-victim cases, not significantly different from the 32 years in black-victim cases

* For conviction for second-degree murder, the average prison term (excluding life sentences) was 19 years in white-victim cases, significantly longer than the 13 years in black-victim cases. However, 23% of
convicted second-degree murder defendants in black-victim cases received a sentence of life imprisonment, compared to 8% of defendants in white-victim cases.

* For conviction for nonnegligent manslaughter, the average prison term (excluding life sentences) was 8 years in white-victim cases, not significantly different from the average 6 years in black-victim cases.

Defendant's race unrelated to outcomes

The likelihood of conviction, and of a prison sentence if convicted, and the length of the prison sentence were about the same whether the spouse murder defendant was white or black--

* 78% of white defendants were convicted, not significantly different from the 80% of black defendants.

* Among convicted spouse murderers, 93% of white defendants were sentenced to prison, not significantly different from the 88% of black defendants.

Processing time

Three measures of processing time were taken from the day of the murder--to arrest, to indictment, and to final disposition. Most spouse murder defendants were arrested on the same day the killing occurred. Average time to indictment was 4 months. Average time to final disposition was almost exactly 1 year.

For husbands tried by a jury, 12. months was the average elapsed time from the day of the murder to the conclusion of the jury trial. For wives tried by a jury it was significantly longer, about 18. months.

Methodology

This study is based upon a systematic sample of murder cases disposed of in the 75 most populous counties in 1988. A case was considered disposed if the prosecutor screened it out, if the defendant pleaded guilty,
or if the defendant went to trial and was either convicted or acquitted.  The 75 are where a little over half of all murders in the Nation occur.

Spouse murder defendants in the sample were drawn from State prosecutor files in 33 of the 75 counties. The counties were widely scattered, from Los Angeles and San Diego, Denver and Dallas, to Philadelphia and Dade County (Miami). For each defendant, data collectors filled out a lengthy questionnaire and prepared a brief narrative from file information. Prosecutor files include such items as the police arrest report, investigator
reports, and information on how the case was disposed. Questionnaires and narratives are the sources of data for this report.

The same database used in this report was previously analyzed by John M. Dawson and Barbara Boland (Murder in Large Urban Counties, 1988, BJS Special Report, NCJ-140614, May 1993) and by John M. Dawson and Patrick A. Langan (Murder in Families, BJS Special Report, NCJ-143498, July 1994). - from here

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Sexism and the death chamber
Chivalry lives when a woman must die.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
By Cathy Young




May 4, 2000 | On Tuesday night in Varner, Ark., 28-year-old Christina Marie Riggs was executed for the 1997 murders of her two small children. She was given a lethal injection of potassium chloride, the drug she had originally planned to use to kill her children. (She suffocated them after a botched attempt of the drugging plan.)
Riggs, a former nurse, was put to death despite pleas for her life from anti-death-penalty groups including Amnesty International and the American Civil Libertes Union. In fact, there was little difference between the execution of Riggs and the other 28 executions carried out in the United States so far this year, except that Riggs, who said she wanted to die to be with her "babies," had refused to appeal her sentence or to seek clemency from Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
And yet her death was much bigger news.


The cause for intense public soul-searching and beating of breasts was not the nature of Riggs' crime or her wish to die. It was her gender. It was, for all intents and purposes, a demonstration of garden-variety sexism. And this isn't the first time our hypocrisy has been blatantly displayed.


Riggs was the first woman to be executed in Arkansas in 150 years, and only the fifth executed in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1976. Obviously, the very rarity of women's executions makes them newsworthy. But this is only the statistical manifestation of the stubborn gender discrimination that taints our attitude about capital punishment in this country.
Whether one sees the death penalty as justice or barbarism (and, for the record, I have no moral objection to imposing it for premeditated murder, though the risk of the state taking an innocent life is troubling enough to warrant opposition to the practice), surely the perpretrator's gender should be irrelevant.


But that is not the way it works in the real world. We are consistently more likely to seek mitigating circumstances for women's heinous deeds, to see female criminals as disturbed or victimized rather than evil. The thought of a woman in the death chamber makes people cringe -- even those who have no problem with sending a man to his death for his crimes.


It appears that chivalry still lives when a woman must die.


Two years ago, there were many more headlines and much more debate as Karla Faye Tucker awaited execution in Texas for a brutal double murder. Tucker had become a born-again Christian and her clemency petition was backed by such unusual suspects as Christian Coalition leader Pat Robertson, Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell and right-wing hero Oliver North -- all generally pro-capital punishment.


While most of Tucker's champions insisted that redemption and not womanhood was the issue, none had intervened on behalf of male murderers who had experienced similar death-row conversions. And there was ample evidence to suggest that the support for "this sweet woman of God," as Robertson put it, was not entirely gender-neutral.


On CNN's "Crossfire," when asked if the crusade to save Tucker was an instance of "misplaced chivalry," North gallantly replied, "I don't think chivalry can ever be misplaced" -- though he went on to insist that "gender is not a factor." Meanwhile, on the left, the chivalrous Geraldo Rivera dispensed with any pretense of neutrality and issued a bizarre plea to Texas Gov. George W. Bush on his CNBC show: "Please, don't let this happen. This is -- it's very unseemly. Texas, manhood, macho swagger ... What are ya, going to kill a lady? Oh, jeez. Why?"


The lady in question, by the way, had used a pickax to dispatch two sleeping people (one of whom had made her angry by parking his motorbike in her living room) and later bragged that she experienced an orgasm with every swing.



Some criminal justice experts, such as Victor Streib, dean of the law college at Ohio Northern University, argue that the double standard favoring women kicks in long before the final death watch, and that women offenders are "screened out at all levels of the system." Women commit about 10 percent of all murders in the U.S., yet receive only about 2 percent of the death sentences and account for about 1 percent of death-row inmates, since their sentences are more often commuted or reversed.


True, numbers don't tell the whole story. Male killers are more likely to have committed the kinds of crimes that make them eligible for a death sentence, from cop-killing to murder during the commission of another crime such as robbery. When women kill, their victims are more likely to be family members, including their own children -- which, rightly or not, tends to be treated as a lesser crime.


Still, it is worth noting that while women commit nearly 30 percent of spousal murders (excluding homicides ruled to be in self-defense), they account for only 15 percent of prisoners sentenced to death for killing a spouse.


And the disparity between the treatment of male and female defendants can be stunning when you look beyond the numbers. In 1995, Texas executed Jesse Dewayne Jacobs for a murder that, by the prosecutors' admission, was committed by his sister Bobbie Jean Hogan. It was Hogan who had gotten her brother to help her abduct Etta Ann Urdiales -- her boyfriend's ex-wife who was making vexatious demands for child support -- and who had actually pulled the trigger.


When Hogan went on trial, separately from her brother and co-conspirator, her lawyers managed to persuade the jury that the gun went off accidentally and obtained a verdict of involuntary manslaughter. She received a 10-year prison sentence.


Maybe we don't know for certain that gender bias played a role in these different outcomes. Two male accomplices in a crime can receive strikingly disparate sentences, since much depends on the personalities of the jurors and the quality of the defense. But it's hardly a stretch to conclude that gender matters. Jurors may not intentionally go easy on women, but they may be far more inclined to believe that a gun was not fired on purpose if it was in a woman's hands. How many times have we seen that one in the movies?


And then there is the perennial persuader in consideration of a woman's fate before the law: sympathy. When Susan Smith sent her two little sons into the muddy waters of a lake strapped into their car seats, apparently because they were an obstacle to her love life, and made up a story about a black carjacker, she was initially denounced as a cold-blooded monster.


Yet even her image underwent a gradual shift, with revelations that she had been molested by her stepfather as a teen (even though, somewhat less sympathetically, she had continued carrying on an affair with him as an adult and married woman) and suggestions that her no-good husband was really to blame for her anguish (even though there was little reason to believe that he was any more responsible for the breakdown of the marriage than she was). "This is not a case about evil," Smith's attorney, Judy Clarke, told the jury that gave her life in prison. "It is about despair and sadness."


Smith may have cut a pitiable figure. So, apparently, did Guinevere Garcia, who fatally shot her husband for his insurance money 14 years after she had suffocated her 11-month-old daughter -- and whose death sentence was commuted to life in prison by Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar in 1996.


Garcia had been sexually abused as a child and was an alcoholic prostitute by the age of 15. But the same was true of Jesse Timmendequas, the sex offender awaiting execution in New Jersey for strangling five-year-old Megan Kanka, the child who gave her name to "Megan's law." According to trial evidence, Timmendequas had been brutally beaten and sodomized by his father.


In fact, nearly half of male death-row inmates claim to have been physically abused in their childhood, while more than 1 in 4 say that they were sexually molested. Of course, some of these claims of victimization may be self-serving, but then again, not every woman's abuse excuse is the gospel truth.


Of course, not everyone champions gender neutrality when it comes to crime and punishment. Some find the fair sex to be justified in getting unfair treatment. "Women and men do occupy separate places in the collective psyche of society, " Jonathan Last wrote in the conservative Weekly Standard shortly after Tucker's execution. "Because society has a low tolerance for seeing them harmed, women -- even criminals -- have traditionally been treated differently by the justice system. Differently, but still, at least possibly, with justice. The loss of that difference is part of what makes [the] destruction of Karla Faye Tucker so disturbing."


This sort of paternalism -- which, as Last explicitly stated, also provides the justification for keeping women out of combat forces -- seems precisely the sort of sugar-and-spice rationalization that feminists ought to oppose. Yet they have remained largely silent on the subject, for several reasons. One is that when feminism becomes a movement for the advantage of women (rather than for equal treatment), complaining about favoritism toward women doesn't make a lot of sense.


Many also find it hard to admit the basic fact that in Western societies in the modern era, patriarchal norms have revolved less around the subjugation of women through violence -- one of the feminists' favorite themes -- than around less protectiveness toward women.


Far from denouncing double standards, many feminists have contributed to the excuse-making. When Betty Lou Beets, 62, was facing execution in Texas in February for the murder of her fifth husband, Jimmy Don Beets, battered women's advocates rallied to her defense, portraying her as a victim of years of domestic abuse. Beets had been convicted of shooting and wounding her second husband, Bill Lane, and had been charged but never tried in the 1981 death of husband No. 4, Doyle Barker. Beets had never claimed to have been battered during her trial, and had tried to blame the slaying on her two children.


Even when the death penalty is not at issue and even when there are no allegations of physical abuse, murderous women can still qualify for lifesaving prizes in the victim sweepstakes.


Some years ago, Betty Broderick, the California housewife who killed her wealthy ex-husband and his young new wife -- and claimed that the divorce and the alimony payments of $16,000 a month amounted to "white-collar domestic violence" -- became the subject of sympathetic profiles in Ladies Home Journal and Mirabella.
An essay in a feminist anthology on women and violence, "No Angels" (1996), lamented that support for battered women who fight back had not extended to "fighting back against an emotionally abusive husband" and denounced a TV movie portraying Broderick in a negative light as "misogynist."


Contrary to all the evidence, feminists also have asserted that it's women who are treated with extra harshness by the system. In her 1996 book "Still Unequal: The Shameful Truth About Women and Justice in America," Lorraine Dusky asserts that women receive "more severe sentences" for stereotypically male crimes, though she cites no evidence to support this. But according to a 1989 Bureau of Justice Statistics study, male violent offenders were more than twice as likely as women charged with similar crimes to be incarcerated for more than a year.


Other research has found that, even when factors such as severity of the offense and prior criminal record are taken into account, women are more likely to have charges dismissed or to receive a light sentence.


Advocates for battered women also have claimed that a woman who kills her mate is sentenced to an average of 15 to 20 years in prison, while a man gets two to six years. This appalling factoid seems to be pure fiction. A Justice Department study of domestic homicides paints a very different picture: Husbands who killed their wives received an average of 16.5 years in prison; wives who killed husbands got six years. While some of the disparity was due to the fact that more women had been "provoked" -- assaulted or threatened -- before the slaying, the study noted that "the average prison sentence for unprovoked wife defendants was seven years, or 10 years shorter than the average 17 years for the unprovoked husband defendants."


If one truly believes in the full equality of the sexes, it's not difficult to see that protectiveness toward women, whether motivated by chivalry or feminism, keeps us from acheiving a legitimate goal. As Patricia Pearson argues in her 1997 book "When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence," making excuses for women's violence ultimately strips them of moral agency and accountability. What does it say about women's ability to function in society, to be workers and leaders, if they are seen as more vulnerable to pressure and more easily forgiven for failing to cope with their emotional problems?

If women are to be treated as adults, we cannot recoil from the execution of a woman the way we do from the execution of a juvenile. The debate about capital punishment should focus on humanity, not womanhood. To demand equality -- yet ask for a special right to clemency -- just won't do.
salon.com | May 4, 2000 - from here


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 Males Get Longer Sentences than Females for Same Crime
Originally printed in: Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 1, 2001
Author: Marc Angelucci, Angelucci2000@alumni.law.ucla.edu.


When Etta Ann Urdiales was murdered in Colorado, two completely different juries convicted two different people of the crime. Both juries believed there was only one murderer. One convicted Bobbie Hogan, a woman. The other convicted Jess Jacobs, a man. She got 10 years in prison. He was put to death. This case is just one example of the discrimination men face in criminal courts throughout the United States.

According to Pradeep Ramanathan, vice president of the National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM), a volunteer, non-profit organization that has explored and addressed men's issues since 1976, "All the research clearly demonstrates that gender is the most significant biasing factor in determining whether or not someone will be charged, prosecuted, indicted and sentenced, as well as determining the severity of the sentence."

And Ramanathan is right. Department of Justice figures show that being male increases a murderer's chance of receiving a death sentence by more than 20 times. And the data repeatedly confirms that men receive higher sentences than women for the exact same crime. One study, published in Justice Quarterly in 1986, examined 181,197 felonies in California and found that, for the same crime, being male increased the chance of incarceration by 165 percent. Being black, in comparison, increased the chance of incarceration by 19 percent.

Another study, published in Crime & Delinquency in 1989, examined non-accomplice crimes and factored together the number of charges, convicted offenses, prior felony convictions, as well as the race, age, work history and family situation of the accused and found that "gender differences, favoring women, are more often found than race differences, favoring whites."

In yet another study, published in the International Journal of the Sociology of Law, researchers Mathew Zingraff and Randall Thomson found that being male increases sentence lengths more than any other discriminatory variable.

The bias applies to victims as well as the accused. When Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and Bruce Sacerdote of Dartmouth College examined 2,800 homicide cases randomly drawn from 33 urban counties by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, they found that killing a female instead of a male increased sentences by 40.6 percent. Killing a white instead of a black, in comparison, increased sentences by 26.8 percent.

Even when the exact same type of crime is accounted for, the disparities still persist. For example, a drunk driver who kills a black male receives an average sentence of two years. A drunk driver who kills a white male, four years. A drunk driver who kills a white female, six years.

To those who recognize the problem, gender stereotypes are a major culprit. In a 1991 NCFM report titled "Gender and Injustice," researchers John Ryan and Ian Wilson suggest the problem stems from stereotypes about women being more innocent, more reformable and less dangerous than men. Barbara Swartz, former Director of New York's Women's Prison Project, called it the "chivalry factor" and says, "If there were more women judges, more women would go to jail."

Others attribute the problem to the devaluing of male lives. But addressing the causes does little good when the public does not even recognize the problem. One reason that we don't is that the task forces that we appoint to investigate the problem are just as biased as the legal system that they are supposed to monitor, so a full picture of the bias never gets drawn.

In 1980, the National Organization for Women and the National Association of Women Judges formed the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP). In 1986, they wrote "Operating a Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts: A Manual for Action," which became the manual used by gender bias task forces nationwide. The manual opens by stating that gender bias operates more frequently against women and that it is not a contradiction for task forces to focus primarily on bias against women in courts.

As one might guess, this is exactly what the task forces do. "None of (the commissions) study bias against men," said Ramanathan.

For example, even though men are more likely to get prison and women to get probation for the same crime, a New York task force claimed that it is women who were discriminated against because - get this - they receive longer probation periods. One commission recently justified giving women shorter sentences because women are often custodial parents. But the sentencing disparities persisted in the above studies that took family situations are accounted for. So even if custodial parenthood justifies a shorter sentence, courts are giving men longer sentences than women even when neither (or both) are custodial parents. Needless to say, when a father commits a crime, the courts have no trouble calling him an unfit parent and removing him from his kids.

The gender bias in our courts and in our gender bias task forces is not just an injustice to the victims; it is a tragic betrayal of public trust. In fact, as embarrassing as it sounds, we may need to create task forces to investigate the gender bias of the task forces that we created to investigate gender bias in the first place. - from here

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United States Department of Justice. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Federal Justice Statistics Program: Defendants Sentenced Under the Sentencing Reform Act, 2007 [United States] [Computer file]. ICPSR24232-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-02-23. doi:10.3886/ICPSR24232 - Source 


The following list outlines, per the data that you can download and work with yourself, the percentages less (or more) that women are sentenced for the exact same crime as men:

51% 1 Murder
43% 2 Manslaughter
37% 3 Kidnapping/Hostage
68% 4 Sexual Abuse
34% 5 Assault
57% 6 Bank Robbery
24% 9 Arson
47% 10 Drugs: Trafficking
50% 11 Drugs: Communicatn facilities
81% 12 Drugs: Simple possession
54% 13 Firearms: Use & possess
(21%) 15 Burg/Breaking & Entering
14% 16 Auto Theft
57% 17 Larceny
45% 18 Fraud
46% 19 Embezzlement
49% 20 Forgery/Counterfeiting
40% 21 Bribery
14% 22 Tax offenses
40% 23 Money laundering
62% 24 Racktring (includes extortion)
100% 25 Gambling/Lottery
41% 26 Civil rights offenses
51% 27 Immigration
43% 28 Pornography/Prostitution
32% 29 Offenses in prisons
60% 30 Administration of justice
117% 31 Environmental offenses
34% 32 National defense offenses
100% 33 Antitrust violations
(253%) 34 Food and drug offenses
63% 35 Traffic violations

And now it is possible to calculate how much less, on average, by crime, a woman is sentenced to than a man: 40%. Note that there are only two (2) areas in which women's sentences exceed men's.

Now perhaps the sentences being meted out to women are appropriate, and those given to men are out of line. With this nifty database to hand, I can calculate how many excess years are being doled out to men per primary offense, and the number is.... for 2007...

(drum roll please)

142,036.17 years. - from here

Abusing men is ok...

Some examples

Amanda McCormick of Praxis International [...] said she knows "a lot of men who deserve to be beaten" during her keynote address at the annual conference of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. - from here
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Marrying The Hatchet My husband of two months has always treated me very well, and is usually thoughtful. But, one week before our wedding, he broke a promise. I hate the whole stripper thing, so he agreed to a coed party at a dueling piano bar. There was a strip club next door, but he promised he wouldn’t go in. All was well until I learned that he and his brother (who’s nothing but trouble) were at the strip club. I went over and went crazy and tossed an ashtray at his head. I was kicked out, they followed, and his brother yelled at me. I wanted to call off the wedding, but we still got married. Since then, I keep bringing this up and he keeps begging for forgiveness, saying he’d never been so drunk, and he didn’t know what he was doing. I just can’t understand how he could hurt me this way.
--Still So Angry Inside

If your husband tossed an ashtray at your head, do you think he’d be describing himself as “Still So Angry Inside” or “Still In Court Trying To Get The Charges Reduced”?
It doesn’t take much for domestic violence against men to be taken seriously…usually, just a chalk outline where a man’s body used to be. The rest of the time, people tend to shrug it off or even find it cute: “Well, well, well, she’s quite the firecracker!” Granted, male abusers can do much more damage with their fists, but put a heavy object in a woman’s hands, and good morning brain damage! (Just wondering…has your husband gotten the ashtray out of his skull, or does he have to hang around smoking areas with his head bent down so people have someplace to flick their ash?)
But, he broke his promise! Bummer. Human nature happens. If your husband’s a cad, why marry him at all (couldn’t get the catering deposit back)? If he’s a good guy who got drunk and slipped (maybe after his bro gave him a little push), why make him sorry he married you? Sure, if he keeps slipping, say, by tucking your monthly mortgage payment into some stripper’s g-string, that’s one thing. But, come on…two-plus months later, are you really reacting to what happened -- or just acting out as a means of controlling him? Consider what you’re doing to him and to your marriage by showing him that nothing he says or does makes the slightest bit of difference. As a friend of mine likes to say, “Your proctologist called. They found your head.”
You can stay married to your grudge or your husband, pick one. Frankly, you each have a lot of work to do in therapyland, individually and together. You have to deal with your uncontrollable anger and the underlying issues -- probably insecurity and fear of being ditched -- and get in the habit of expressing your fears instead of weaponizing them. Your husband needs to start standing up for himself -- for starters, by doing a Senator Craig and withdrawing his guilty plea. The correct response? The one your girlfriends would be pushing on you if the tables were turned: “There’s no excuse for domestic abuse!” (Physical or emotional.) Finally, the two of you should attend one of Dr. John Gottman’s research-based marriage weekends (gottman.com) and learn to have a partnership instead of a monarchy. Marital harmony can be yours, just not by getting your husband to “agree” to like what you like: stag parties featuring your fat, fully clothed co-workers burying their heads in plates of cake instead of some hot young thing leaping naked out of one. - from here

(A follow up on the above)

"There's no excuse for domestic abuse"...right? Well, not unless the abuser has a vagina. I wrote an Advice Goddess column, Marrying The Hatchet, condemning a woman for throwing an ashtray at her husband, and condemning the double standard that has people shrugging off domestic violence against men. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote:

If your husband tossed an ashtray at your head, do you think he’d be describing himself as “Still So Angry Inside” or “Still In Court Trying To Get The Charges Reduced”?

It doesn’t take much for domestic violence against men to be taken seriously…usually, just a chalk outline where a man’s body used to be. The rest of the time, people tend to shrug it off or even find it cute: “Well, well, well, she’s quite the firecracker!” Granted, male abusers can do much more damage with their fists, but put a heavy object in a woman’s hands, and good morning brain damage! (Just wondering…has your husband gotten the ashtray out of his skull, or does he have to hang around smoking areas with his head bent down so people have someplace to flick their ash?)

Here's an e-mail I got in response from an angry female reader:

Subject: Re: Domestic abuse isn't a one way street article

I just had to write back over this one. My mother sends me your articles and this one just set me off. Just like the woman whose husband went to a strip club, so did my husband of 10 years (we have 3 kids together). I have to say that I had much the same reaction as she did. I do not advocate any type of abuse from either side of a relationship, but going to a strip club IS JUST THAT....ABUSE. It is no different from hiring a hooker for sex except that you don't stick it in. I find it disgusting that you attack this woman for her reaction, and then advocate this strip club behavior as "normal". This world seems to put strippers on a pedestal these days and it is acceptable behavior for men to do these things. I have to say I absolutely disagree with you, I think the man did deserve an ashtray in his skull ( or perhaps the loss of one important piece he needs to get excited for strippers), and I think your advocating porn, hookers, and perversion is just disgusting. This behavior should not be legal ANYWHERE, but it seems that you're okay with having it in your life. I think that's sad, because I know that no matter how "crazy" the world may think my reaction to going to strip clubs is, I know that it is absolutely insane to sit back and accept live porn as normal, acceptable behavior.

My response:

You write: "I think the man did deserve an ashtray in his skull ( or perhaps the loss of one important piece he needs to get excited for strippers)"

I think you're scary.

She writes back:

Your advocating porn as acceptable is equally scary. Let's hope it lead to rape or sexual abuse of any child or person in your own life. You are a sick woman. Someone needs to take that pen out of your had.. your ego is way too big.

She writes back again:

I meant to say I hope that it DOES NOT LEAD to rape or sex abuse in your own life.

Typical crapthink, promoted by angry feminists with fistfuls of bad data. The studies of those who aren't "advocacy researchers" debunk this notion. Gad Saad details a number of them in a terrific new book, The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption, showing that, for example, with "exponential growth in the availability of sexually explicit materials available on the Internet from 1995 to 1999, the rate of forcible rape (as obtained from FBI data) during that period has steadily declined." This is just one example. I've read numerous other examples like this in Saad's book, and in the past, debunking the notion that porn leads to hatred of or violence to women.

Hmmm, speaking of violence and hatred, I wonder how this woman who wrote me would respond if I, in the mode of her bloodlust to dismember a man for eyeballing a few naked titties, suggested a similar punishment for a woman who, say, had an affair with the neighbor? Off with an arm...a leg...whatever!

I mean, she was asking for it, huh? - from here
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A finding from Jezebel:

Have You Ever Beat Up A Boyfriend? Cause, Uh, We Have

Psychiatry News has a piece out this month about how men shouldn't be overlooked as victims of domestic violence, saying that:

    Women are doing virtually everything these days that men are—working as doctors, lawyers, and rocket scientists; flying helicopters in combat; riding horses in the Kentucky Derby. And physically assaulting their spouses or partners.

According to a study of relationships that engage in nonreciprocal violence, a whopping 70% are perpetrated by women. So basically that means that girls are beating up their BFs and husbands and the dudes aren't fighting back. With Amy Winehouse busting open a can of whupass on her husband last week, we decided to conduct an informal survey of the Jezebels to see who's gotten violent with their men. After reviewing the answers, let's just say that it'd be wise to never ever fuck with us.
One Jezebel got into it with a dude while they were breaking up, while another Jez went nuts on her guy and began violently shoving him. One of your editors heard her boyfriend flirting on the phone with another girl, so she slapped the phone out of his hands and hit him in the face and neck... "partially open handed." Another editor slapped a guy when "he told me he thought he had breast cancer." (Okay, that one made us laugh really hard.) And lastly, one Jez punched a steady in the face and broke his glasses. He had discovered a sex story she was writing about another dude on her laptop, so he picked it up and threw it. And that's when she socked him. He was, uh, totally asking for it.
Men Shouldn't Be Overlooked as Victims of Partner Violence [Psychiatry Online]

Comments:
*  washionfore at 06:51 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
Yes, that made me laugh really hard too. Very very hard.
I have slapped a man down before, quite hard, but I love him so I felt bad because, well, it's abusive.

* ThaKadinskyPapers at 06:55 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
@washionfore: Same here. But I slapped him on his birthday, for telling me something I asked him to tell  me in the first place - and then a whole bunch of other shit happened (why didn't I see this informal survey?)
I still feel bad about it....

* warmaiden at 06:59 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
*snicker* It's okay, ladies. They can just consider it payback for binding our feet, shoving our chunklet asses into corsets, leaving chick babies on mountaintops, droolin over size 0 asses, and generally making us miserable for centuries. My favorite phrase that no one doubts? "I will punch you in the neck."
Then again, as a native NYer, I am also of the opinion that if a woman hits a man, he is allowed to hit her back. (I find the southern gentleman thing so CUTE, if ill-advised as a defense tactic.) Fair's fair, after all...

* ceejeemcbeegee at 07:01 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
Beating up on your man is just as wrong as beating up on your woman. I think sometimes women take advantage of the fact that most men KNOW they'd better not hit a woman, because the consequences are (rightfully) dire.
My father taught me that if I raise my fits to anyone, man or woman, be prepared for a fight. Which is why I keep my hands to myself.

* probationer at 07:03 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
Yeah, I've punched the shit out of a guy. But I don't like to brag.

* weavingissexy at 07:07 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
I once dated an alcoholic (rite of passage for all good little girls) who came over drunk and got in my face. I punched him hard enough to knock him on his ass. After I dumped him, he served me with a restraining order, which I proudly showed off to all his friends. Stupid wimp.

* azi at 07:07 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
When I was 17 I was fighting with my boyfriend in the car and he put the car into neutral (from drive) when I wasn't looking. I punched him dead in the face and have regretted it ever since. More recently a male friend of mine, while in the throes mind you, told me he liked me, "but only with a small l". I bit him so hard he had a mark for a week. And it wasn't because I was so turned on. I regretted it again (I am a well of regret) but I have to say I think he may have had it coming.

* justifythis at 07:32 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
The only time I punched my husband (in the arm, but hard) it sucked. We were arguing about something I felt strongly about, but the minute I punched him, he won. I'd love to be more noble, and say how bad I felt, but I actually just realized that losing control was an easy way to actually lose.
  
* BitterDryedUpHag at 07:50 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
Come on ladies, where are the shelters for battered men? Guys turning up in the emergency rooms with black eyes, broken noses?
My Ex told me his former lover beat him. I was a bit startled when I met her. He is 6'3" about 195 lbs.; she was 5' and appeared to weigh literally 98 lbs.
Battered men? The question is, are these men really physically afraid?

* groupie at 07:50 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
I slap my boyfriend on a semi-regular basis. It always hurts me more than it hurts him. And he usually agrees that he deserves it.

* larala at 07:57 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
@Go Like Hell Machine: Yeah. I understand that hitting is bad on both sides -- but let's be realistic. We're talking about two completely different weapons. The average woman's fist versus the average guy's fist is like a wiffle bat versus a crowbar.
I'll also admit that I've bitten two different guys on two different occasions, and I'm ashamed and disturbed about it. I don't think anyone should ever feel all "you go girl" about being violent.

petronella at 08:40 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
Yes, please, let's not forget the poor men, who make up a whopping 15% of the domestic violence victims (nonsarcastic saide: this includes situations in which the violence is mutual, or the woman used violence in response to violence), who are far less likely to be hurt by domestic violence given the differences in size and strength between most men and women, and who aren't laboring under lifetimes of oppressive gender hierarchy. I'm glad that you raised awareness of this terrible scourge so that we can convince the public that more of the ample, nay, surplus of resources that we throw at aleviating domestic violence against women can now be re-channeled to help the poor, oppressed men. Thank you. Thank you for thinking of the dudes.

scorpiojamie11 at 09:06 PM on 08/28/07 Reply by Email
I think every man I have been with has received a slap from me. Every single one deserved it, says alot about my taste in men!
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From a show called  "Here Come the Newlyweds" - comment by Kim

Dr. Ruth (psychosexual therapist extraordinaire) was a visitor on the show, there to advise the couples in matters of intimacy and answer any questions they may have. One of the husbands, a Mr. Huffman, knowing Mrs. Huffman was a bit uncomfortable discussing matters of a sexual nature in public, as a joke, pretended his wife wanted to ask a question. Once it had been cleared up that she didn't, the camera showed Mrs. Huffman berating her husband under her breath and telling him that she was going to punch him "in the nuts" later on.

In the couple's rooms, cameras are placed to capture their conversations before going to bed. Clips are shown from all the couple's bedrooms. When it's time to check in on the Huffmans, we see the couple on the bed together and then Mrs. Huffman reaches over and, with closed fist, hits her husband in his genitals. Needless to say, he doubles up, says "Ow"....goes through the normal and expected stages of pain. While he's recovering from the blow, his wife is saying, "I told you! I told you!"....expressing that he knew this was coming and was well deserved for his actions. He,in an obviously hurt and injured tone, said something along the lines of "we're not going to be able to have kids if you keep doing this,".....leaving one to wonder how common this form of retaliation is in their marriage.[...] Incidentally, the scene ended with her "kind of" forgiving him and allowing a good night peck.

Now, let's go back and imagine the exact same scenario in reverse. Imagine had Mrs. Huffman played a little joke on her husband and he'd muttered under his breath that when they got back to the room he was going to punch her in her genitals. Imagine that, when they got back to the room, Mr. Huffman did indeed punch his wife in the genitals (all caught on camera, of course), telling her as she cringed in pain "I told you! I told you!"

Would Mr. and Mrs. Huffman still be on their little reality show competing with couples? Or would cops have busted into their room that very night and dragged Mr. Huffman away? Instead of trying to win cute little competitions with his wife, Mr. Huffman would be sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial for domestic violence. His picture would be on every paper and his name on every news station where the clip documenting the unthinkable, horrific abuse of his wife would be played every hour on the hour. The general shock and outrage would be palpable.

Sexual violence....the forgotten victims

Rape is something men do to women. This is a common theme.

Once you look a little closer though, you find the victims who do not come forward that easily, in a society that is very strict with applying the role of victim and perpetrator. Now more about those forgotten victims.

Prison Rape

We will start with the most obvious, which most of the time is adressed as a joke, rather than a serious problem.
According to Human Rights Watch, at least 140,000 inmates are raped each year, and there is a significant variation in the rates of prison rape by race. Stop Prisoner Rape, Inc. statistics indicate that there are more men raped in U.S. prisons than non-incarcerated women similarly assaulted. They estimate that young men are five times more likely to be attacked; and that the prison rape victims are ten times more likely to contract a deadly disease - from here
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In 2003, the U.S. Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, Public Law 108-79, now codified 45 U.S.C. 15601 to 15609. The Findings in this Act state: [...] Insufficient research has been conducted and insufficient data reported on the extent of prison rape. However, experts have conservatively estimated that at least 13 percent of the inmates in the United States have been sexually assaulted in prison. Many inmates have suffered repeated assaults. Under this estimate, nearly 200,000 inmates now incarcerated have been or will be the victims of prison rape.
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Rape used as control in U.S. prisons By NEVE GORDON  - from here
 Many prisoners are targeted for sexual exploitation the minute they enter a penal facility; their age, looks, sexual preference and other characteristics mark them as candidates for maltreatment. In a new groundbreaking report, Human Rights Watch documents the widespread prisoner-on-prisoner rape in U.S. men’s prisons. The rights group accuses state authorities of not taking measures to prevent and punish rape and, in many cases, for allowing this cruel form of abuse to persist.
One reads that in extreme incidents prisoners find themselves the “slaves” of their rapists. Forced to satisfy another man’s sexual appetites upon demand, they may also be responsible for washing his clothes, massaging his back, cooking his food and cleaning his cell. They are frequently “rented out” for sex services, sold or even auctioned off to other inmates.
One prisoner from Arkansas wrote to Human Rights Watch: “I had no choice but to submit to being Inmate B’s prison wife. Out of fear for my life, I submitted to [him]. In all reality, I was his slave, as the Officials of the Arkansas Department of Corrections … did absolutely nothing.”
“Rapes are unimaginably vicious and brutal,” writes Joanne Mariner, deputy director of the Americas division of Human Rights Watch, and author of “No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons.” Gang assaults are not uncommon, and victims may be left beaten, bloody and even dead; they almost always suffer from extreme psychological stress, including nightmares, deep depression, shame and self-hatred, which may lead to suicide. There are also known cases whereby the victim has contracted HIV.
No conclusive national data exists regarding the prevalence of this phenomenon, but the most recent statistical survey, published in the Prison Journal, revealed that 21 percent of inmates in seven Midwestern prisons had experienced at least one episode of pressured or forced sex since being incarcerated, and at least 7 percent had been raped in their facility.
 Correctional authorities generally deny that rape is a serious problem. In Human Rights Watch’s survey of all 50 states, not one correctional authority reported abuse rates even approaching those found by the rights group. The authorities’ reluctance to acknowledge the scale of the violation is reflected not only in misleading official statistics, but also in a glaringly inadequate response to incidents of rape.
When an inmate informs an officer he has been threatened with rape or, worse, actually assaulted, his complaint is seldom investigated, and only in rare instances is an inmate protected from further abuse. “U.S. state prisons have failed to take even obvious, basic steps necessary to tackle prison rape,” Mariner writes. “This deliberate indifference has had tragic consequences.”
In the report, one reads of M.R., a Texas inmate who was violently raped and beaten several times over a period of several months by the same prisoner. Fearful for his life, he reported the abuse to the prison authorities, but received no protection. In fact one investigator dismissed the complaint as a “lovers’ quarrel.” Finally one day the rapist showed up in M.R.’s cell and attacked him. M.R. suffered a broken jaw, left collarbone and finger, a dislocated left shoulder, lacerations to his scalp and two major concussions that caused internal bleeding. The rapist was never criminally prosecuted.
Why, one might ask, do prison authorities turn a blind eye to this horrific phenomenon? While Human Rights Watch does not directly deal with this issue, it appears that the authorities’ lack of response is premeditated. Rape is an effective, albeit ruthless, mechanism of inmate control.
By allowing rape to go on, the “correctional” authorities ensure that prisoner violence is contained within the cells. Frustrated prisoners are permitted to release aggression on condition that they direct it against other inmates, not the authorities. That the victims, who comprise as much as 20 percent of 2 million inmates held in U.S. prisons and jail, live in perpetual fear is also conducive to control. Divide and conquer is the name of the game; the fact that it amounts to horrendous violations of human rights does not really interest the prison authorities.
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Prison Rape: the challenge of prevention and enforcement by insideprison.com, May 2006 
- from here
 Prison rape is not only a physically and psychologically damaging experience, it is also a formidable challenge for correctional departments attempting to secure basic human rights within correctional institutions. A study of four Midwestern states in 2000 found that about 1 in 5 inmates experiences some form of pressured or coerced sexual conduct while incarcerated (Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 2000). According to Stephen Donaldson, the president of the organization Stop Prisoner Rape and previous inmate victim of prison rape, roughly 300,000 inmates are sexually abused each year (Donaldson 1995). Courts not only recognize that "homosexual rape is commonplace" in prison, but they also make a point to depart from sentencing guidelines if they believe that a convicted felon is particular vulnerable to rape, and fits the "prisoner rape victim profile" (Man and Cronan 2001).
[...]
Some facts on sexual violence among inmates reported to correctional authorities:
  • 8,210 allegations of sexual violence reported
    Nationwide in 2004
  • 42% of allegations involved staff sexual misconduct;
    37%, inmate-on-inmate nonconsensual sexual acts;
    11%, staff sexual harassment; and 10%, abusive sexual
    contact.
  • Correctional authorities reported 3.15 allegations of
    sexual violence per 1,000 inmates held in 2004.
Correctional authorities substantiated nearly 2,100
incidents of sexual violence, 30% of completed
investigations
  • Males comprised 90% of victims and perpetrators of
    inmate-on-inmate nonconsensual sexual acts in prison and
    jail.
  • In State prisons 69% of victims of staff sexual
    misconduct were male, while 67% of perpetrators were
    female.
  • In local jails 70% of victims of staff sexual
    misconduct were female; 65% of perpetrators, male.
Roughly half of all sexual impropriety reported in U.S. prisons and jails last year was perpetrated by correctional staff, not inmates. Female staff were the offenders in two-thirds of the prison cases, and two-thirds of the victims of prison staff were male inmates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
With 2 million men and 200,000 women behind bars in the United States, the problem appears small -- there were 344 substantiated incidents of staff sexual misconduct and harassment reported by authorities last year. But experts believe incidents are underreported, and the bureau study notes that many allegations remain under investigation.
Critics say just one improper relationship between staff and an inmate erodes discipline, security and morale in institutions where there is little privacy, few secrets and a strong reluctance to "snitch.
....While there is an element of supposed romance noted in many of the cases, sexual relations of any kind between prison employees and inmates are considered nonconsensual by law because of the inherent power that staff have over prisoners. In Virginia it is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. - from here

As a reminder the National Crime Victimization Survey of 2006 found that 113,290 incidents of rape happened. The estimates ranged from 140,000 to 300,000.

Rape in the military 

This is something I saw regularly pop-up on feminist sides. When I read the following I was surprised
Avila Smith is known nationally as an advocate for veterans who slip through the cracks of the Veterans Affairs health-care system. After she was raped while serving in the Army, Avila Smith became a self-taught expert on helping veterans who were raped navigate the complicated VA system.
Military sexual trauma is unique in the world of sexual assault, Avila Smith said. It combines the violent, violating act of rape with the alienation and shame seen in veterans suffering combat trauma — all set within the Byzantine complexity of military bureaucracy.
In the military, reports of rape are handled by officers, who tend to value unity and conformity over individual complaints, Avila Smith said.
Victims who report being raped can be ignored or have charges levied against them — for filing false charges, exhibiting conduct unbecoming of military personnel, or adultery.
Sexual assaults are rarely reported in general, but in the military, rape victims are often threatened, intimidated or persecuted into silence by military members who are directly responsible for the victim's safety while serving, said Avila Smith.
Kay Whitley, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in the Department of Defense, calls the threats and persecution that can follow a rape a "re-victimization" and said it is not limited to military members.
"I think it's a national problem," said Whitley. "That can happen to anyone, civilian or military."
In 2005, when reports began surfacing of sexual assaults during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense made sexual-assault prevention and response a priority and created new policies to provide victims with resources.
"With everything we have in place now, that should not be happening," Whitley said about revictimization. "We have made big progress in a short period of time. There is a system in place to take care of them."
[...]"This is not a 'woman' problem," said Mountjoy-Pepka. A little more than half of military sexual-trauma victims are men, mostly because they make up a majority of veterans, according to the VA.
"If you're a male in the military and you're a macho guy and you're raped, your shame is compounded and multiplied," she said.
Many veterans never make it to Veterans Affairs hospitals, often because mental disorders — such as post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction — which are developed after a sexual assault or after facing combat, can keep them from knowing or admitting they need help, Avila Smith said. Half of veterans and 80 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who reported sexual trauma are diagnosed with a mental condition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"It's not like they walk off the battlefield and know they need to call for help," Avila Smith said. - from here
Of course given the fact that far more men work in the military than women the percentage of victimized women must be higher, but nonetheless more than half of all rape victims in the armed forces are men.

Childhood sexual abuse

Studies on childhood sexual abuse often find 1/4 of all girls have been victims of such a crime, but they also find high incidence rates of male victims.
Boys, Too, Suffer Long-term Consequences Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
ScienceDaily (May 19, 2005) — Children of both genders are frequently victims of sexual abuse, and the long-term consequences are nearly identical in men and women, according to a broad-based new report in the June 2005 issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Among participants in the study of more than 17,000 California adults, 25 percent of females and 16 percent of males reported experiencing childhood sexual abuse. Moreover, say the authors, sexual abuse significantly increases the risk of developing health and social problems -- such as drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, and marital strife -- in both men and women.
A history of suicide attempt was more than twice as likely among both male and female victims as among nonvictims. Similarly, sexually abused adults of both genders faced a 40 percent greater risk of marrying an alcoholic.
Until now, most research on the effects of child sexual abuse has focused on female survivors, and little information was available on male victims. The new study shows that being male offers little protection. "All children are vulnerable to this form of abuse, and the burden is similar for both men and women later in life," says lead author Shanta Dube of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings are based on confidential questionnaires completed by more than 17,000 adult members of a health maintenance organization in California.
The respondents represent a fairly general population, says Dube, because each visited the clinic for a wellness assessment rather than for treatment of a health problem. In addition, statistical methods allowed the authors to isolate the effects of sexual abuse from those of other childhood stressors that may occur simultaneously, such as emotional or physical abuse.
The questionnaire asked participants if the sexual abuse involved intercourse or inappropriate touching only. The findings show that the risk of negative health outcomes was slightly higher for both genders if the abuse included attempted or completed intercourse.
The study also looked at the gender of perpetrators. Women reported that males committed the abuse 94 percent of the time. However, among men, abusers were divided more evenly between both genders with females accounting for up to 40 percent of the abuse.
Child sexual abuse had similar effects on males regardless of whether the perpetrator was a man or woman. "Thus, the vulnerability of boys to perpetration of [childhood sexual abuse] by both males and females deserves increased national attention," notes the study. - from here
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Research suggests that 1 in 6 men have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual experiences before age 16. And this is probably a low estimate, since it doesn't include noncontact experiences, which can also have lasting negative effects. [...]
What the best research tells us:
  • A 2005 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, on San Diego Kaiser Permanente HMO members, reported that 16% of males were sexually abused by the age of 18.1
  • A 2003 national study of U.S. adults reported that 14.2% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18.2
  • A 1998 study reviewing research on male childhood sexual abuse concluded that the problems is “common, under-reported, under-recognized, and under-treated.”3
  • A 1996 study of male university students in the Boston area reported that 18% of men were sexually abused before the age of 16.4
  • A 1990 national study of U.S. adults reported that 16% of men were sexually abused before the age of 18. 5
Why these statistics are probably underestimates:
  • Males who have such experiences are less likely to disclose them than are females.6
  • Only 16% of men with documented histories of sexual abuse (by social service agencies, which means they were very serious) considered themselves to have been sexually abused.7
Men who have had such experiences are at much greater risk for serious mental health problems than men who have not been abused, including:
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression.1,2,8
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse.1,9
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts.1,9
  • Problems in intimate relationships.1,10
  • Underachievement at school and at work.1,10
References*
  1. Dube, S.R., Anda, R.F., Whitfield, C.L., et al. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430-438.
  2. Briere, J. & Elliot, D.M. (2003). Prevalence and psychological sequelae of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in a general population sample of men and women. Child Abuse & Neglect, 27, 1205-1222.
  3. Holmes, W.C., & Slap, G.B. (1998). Sexual abuse of boys: Definition, prevalence, correlates, sequelae, and management. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 280, 1855-1862.
  4. Lisak, D., Hopper, J. & Song, P. (1996). Factors in the cycle of violence: Gender rigidity and emotional constriction. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 9, 721-743.
  5. Finkelhor, D., Hotaling, G., Lewis, I. A., & Smith, C. (1990). Sexual abuse in a national survey of adult men and women: Prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors. Child Abuse & Neglect, 14, 19-28.
  6. Holmes, G.R., Offen, L., & Waller, G. (1997). See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil: Why do relatively few male victims of childhood sexual abuse receive help for abuse-related issues in adulthood? Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 69-88.
  7. Widom, C.S. & Morris, S. (1997). Accuracy of adult recollections of childhood victimization part 2. Childhood sexual abuse. Psychological Assessment, 9, 34-46.
  8. Widom (1999). Posttraumatic stress disorder in abused and neglected children grown up. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 1223-1229.
  9. Felitti, V.J., Anda, R.F., Nordenberg, D., Williamson, D.F., Spitz, A.M., et al. (1998). Relationship of childhood abuse and household dysfunction to many of the leading causes of death in adults. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 14, 245-258.
  10. Lisak, D. & Luster, L. (1994). Educational, occupational and relationship histories of men who were sexually and/or physically abused as children. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 7, 507-523.
*There are many more studies than these. Our goal here is to summarize some key research published by respected scientists, in reputable journals, after the work was reviewed and approved by scientific peers. - from here
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Vancouver Sun, Gerry Bellett , Canwest News Service, Tuesday, May 27, 2008
VANCOUVER - Canada's largest study into the sexual exploitation of street kids and runaways has shattered some myths about who the abusers might be - with the most surprising finding being that many are women seeking sex with young males.
"Some youth in each gender were exploited by women with more than three out of four (79 per cent) sexually exploited males reporting exchanging sex for money or goods with a female," said Elizabeth Saewyc, associate professor of nursing at the University of British Columbia and principal investigator for the study conducted by Vancouver's McCreary Centre Society. . . ."I must admit it wasn't something we were expecting." - from here
Similar findings from the other side of the globe.
South Africa: Some 9% (weighted value based on 13915/127097) of male respondents aged 11-19 years reported forced sex in the last year. Of those aged 18 years at the time of the survey, 44% (weighted value of 5385/11450) said they had been forced to have sex in their lives and 50% reported consensual sex. Perpetrators were most frequently an adult not from their own family, followed closely in frequency by other schoolchildren. Some 32% said the perpetrator was male, 41% said she was female and 27% said they had been forced to have sex by both male and female perpetrators. Male abuse of schoolboys was more common in rural areas while female perpetration was more an urban phenomenon. - from here
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India: Urban Indian teenagers are being hounded by demands for non-consensual sex, with boys apparently being more at risk. According to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University of the US, 15% of boys and 3% of girls reported that someone forcibly tried to have a physical relationship with them. Boys who had friends of the opposite sex were more likely to report attempted forced physical relationships. In fact, the most commonly reported perpetrators were female friends for boys (72%) and neighbours (60%) for girls.
Writing in the Journal for Adolescent Health, Dr PH Jaya and Michelle J Hindon said 32% of boys and 42% of girls reported being touched against their will. Boys and girls who had been employed and those who had friends of the opposite sex were more likely to report the experience. When it came to unwelcome touch, the most common perpetrators were female friends for boys (60%) and strangers for girls (93%).
The study, which covered 583 boys and 474 girls in Delhi in the age group of 15-19, does not detail who these ‘female friends’ might be or their ages. It merely states that these female friends could be dating partners, friends of the same age or older to them. “The purpose of the study was to examine the magnitude of the problem. Hence, we focused on limited questions only and did not go into the details of who exactly these perpetrators were,” said Jaya.
While underlining the negative effects of non-consensual sex on the minds of adolescents, Samir Parekh, consultant psychiatrist, Max Healthcare, New Delhi, finds the results among boys surprising. “If same age children are touching or having sex, then it is surprising that a 16-year-old girl will like it and a 16-year boy will not. The boy may be reluctant but it sounds culturally inappropriate to say he was forced into it by a female friend of the same age. - from here

The studies that come up with such high incident rates are always seen critical. But no matter what you think about them, we learn that childhood sexual abuse is not a problem only girls face.

Sexual violence against men by women


Women raping men? This is unbelieveable and can only be a minority of all cases...right?
According to the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence in Canada:Self-report studies provide a very different view of sexual abuse perpetration and substantially increase the number of female perpetrators. In a retrospective study of male victims, 60% reported being abused by females (Johnson and Shrier, 1987). The same rate was found in a sample of college students (Fritz et al., l 981). In other studies of male university and college students, rates of female perpetration were found at levels as high as 72% to 82% (Fromuth and Burkhart, 1987, 1989; Seidner and Calhoun, 1984). Bell et al. (1981) found that 27% of males were abused by females. In some of these types of studies, females represent as much as 50% of sexual abusers (Risin and Koss, 1987). Knopp and Lackey (1987) found that 51% of victims of female sexual abusers were male.
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Two studies examined the prevalence and emotional impact of men's nonconsensual sexual interactions with women. The first study included a sample of 247 heterosexual men with a mean age of 18.3 years. The second study was a replication with a sample of 153 heterosexual men with a mean age of 22.3 years. All respondents completed a measure of nonconsensual sexual interactions including the use of three aggressive strategies (physical force, exploitation of the man's incapacitated state, and verbal pressure) and three forms of unwanted sexual contact (kissing/petting, sexual intercourse, and oral sex). In addition, the relationship to the female initiator was explored. For each type of nonconsensual sexual interaction, respondents indicated the affective impact of the experience. In Study 1, 25.1% of respondents reported at least one incident of nonconsensual sex with a woman and 23.9% reported attempts by women to make them engage in nonconsensual sexual activity. In Study 2, the overall prevalence rate for completed nonconsensual sexual interactions was 30.1%, and 23.5% of the men reported attempts at making them engage in nonconsensual sex. In both samples, exploiting the man's inability to offer resistance was the most frequently reported aggressive strategy. Kissing/petting was the most frequently reported unwanted sexual activity, followed by sexual intercourse and oral sex. Prevalence rates were higher for nonconsensual sex with an (ex-)partner or friend than for nonconsensual sex with an unknown women. Ratings of affective impact revealed that men rated their nonconsensual experiences as moderately upsetting. The findings are discussed in the light of previous studies on men's unwanted sexual experiences and the extant literature on women's nonconsensual sexual interactions with men. - from here
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Male libido myth puts pressure on both sexes
Allison Hanes, National Post Published: Friday, September 21, 2007
The stereotype of the male stud who is always up for sex is being challenged by new research from the University of Guelph showing that men are almost as likely to be coerced in the bedroom as women.
A study of 518 university students found that 38.8% of men and 47.9% of women reported being pressured into a range of sexual activity, from kissing and cuddling to intercourse and oral sex.
But the most surprising finding was the link between popularized notions of the male libido and the susceptibility of both genders to pressure, said Cailey Hartwick, the lead author of the study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.
The existence of traditional stereotypes may cause men to engage in sexual activity rather than feel guilty about refusing it. Meanwhile, adherence to such stereotypes by women may fuel the belief "that resistance may be somewhat futile against a man's indomitable desire for sex," the study stated.
It may also in part explain coercive behaviour by women toward men.
"I hadn't anticipated that. I thought it would possibly predict men being coerced because of the whole idea that they should want to have sex and feel guilty if they don't," Ms. Hartwick in an interview. "What I thought was interesting was that it put both men and women at risk of sexual coercion."
Of the 251 males and 267 female respondents who completed the anonymous questionnaire, 23.3% of men and 34% of women related being pressed into kissing and fondling, while 18.3% of men and 21.1% of women said they were strong-armed into intercourse and 5.8% of men and 4.2% of women complained of being cajoled into oral sex.
The study defined coercion as everything from mild cajoling to full-blown sexual assault. However, only a tiny fraction of respondents told of being physically forced into sex. The majority reported being seduced by "guilt-tripping" or intoxication.
In his Vancouver sex therapy practice, David McKenzie said he has counselled thousands of couples whose most common complaints are women with low sex drive followed by men with a sexual dysfunction.
"I could probably count on less than two hands that I've ever heard the man say that he felt coerced into having sex at any time," Dr. McKenzie said. "I certainly notice a good proportion of women who want regular sex with their partners and sometimes a man will have difficulty that way in performing. But it's more of a performance issue. It doesn't have to do with 'I just don't feel like sex tonight, dear,' while the women is sitting there ... dying to have sex with him."
Josey Vogels, a sex columnist and author of several books, including Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy, also said she rarely hears men complaining about being pushed into sex.
"But given our culture's belief that men want it anytime, all the time, I suspect it would be much harder for a man to admit he didn't want it," she said. "Men [and women] are conditioned to think that any way a guy can get laid is a score -- the old 'she can seduce me anytime' bravado.
"I do, on the other hand, hear a lot from women who complain their partners don't want sex as much as she does and that she has to initiate all the time, which could be considered a form of coercion, I suppose."
But Peter Davison, executive director of a Nova Scotia-based organization called Men For Change, says he was not surprised in the least. In discussion groups he runs, many involving university-age students, many men express frustration over the pressure to live up to the myth of the male lothario.
"I think there's a lot of misunderstanding about male performance and the fact that some men actually want to form emotional bonds before they have sexual encounters," Mr. Davison said. "There's the stereotype is that we're ready to go at any moment and the truth is we're not; the truth is we desire authentic human connection." - from here
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Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students
Abstract:
Several explanations have been forwarded to account for sexual coercion in romantic relationships. Feminist theory states that sexual coercion is the result of male dominance over women and the need to maintain that dominance; however, studies showing that women sexually coerce men point towards weaknesses in that theory. Some researchers have, therefore, suggested that it is the extent to which people view the other gender as hostile that influences these rates. Furthermore, much research suggests that a history of childhood sexual abuse is a strong risk factor for later sexual victimization in relationships. Few researchers have empirically evaluated the first two explanations and little is known about whether sexual revictimization operates for men or across cultures. In this study, hierarchical linear modeling was used to investigate whether the status of women and adversarial sexual beliefs predicted differences in sexual coercion across 38 sites from around the world, and whether sexual revictimization operated across genders and cultures. Participants included 7,667 university students from 38 sites. Results showed that the relative status of women at each site predicted significant differences in levels of sexual victimization for men, in that the greater the status of women, the higher the level of forced sex against men. In addition, differences in adversarial sexual beliefs across sites significantly predicted both forced and verbal sexual coercion for both genders, such that greater levels of hostility towards women at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against women and greater levels of hostility towards men at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against men. Finally, sexual revictimization occurred for both genders and across all sites, suggesting that sexual revictimization is a cross-gender, cross-cultural phenomenon. Results are discussed in terms of their contributions to the literature, limitations of the current study, and suggestions for future research.

3% of men reported forced sex (of which 2.1% was forced vaginal sex... this is in fact men reporting victimization by women)
22% of men reported verbal sexual coercion

By comparison, in the same study it was found that:
2.3% of women reported forced sex (don't ignore the decimal point)
25% of women reported verbal sexual coercion - from here
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From the international Dating Study (Straus 2003)
"(The)... median rate of forcetd sex perpetrated by male sutdents was 4% and by female students 1.9%"
The rates for using sexual coercion was 28% for men and 22% for women
Other studies (Anderson - An Investigation into Male Victimisation from Domestic Violence... - 1998, Fiebert - College Women who initiate Assaults on their Male Partner... -1998) found similar high incidence rates.
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From the National Violence Against Women Survey
Persons Raped in Previous 12 Months by Sex of Victim:
Women 0.3% - Men 0.1%
If we compare the incidente rates we find out that women report more incidents of rape, but also that the different between men and women are a few percentage points.

Summary

What do we learn from all of this?

- If the estimates are correct, there are more men raped in US prisons than non-incarcerated women
- There are slightly more sexual trauma victims in the armed forces
- Sexual child abuse happens to boys and girls in similar rates (1 boy : 1.33 girls)
- Annual rape rates for men and for women are in the lower one-digit region. The difference between men and women are just a few percentage points.

- A high percentage of perpetrators of sexual violence against boys/men are women


In addition to that there are several factors that constricts men from comming forward/reporting their victimisation even more so than female victims.



- The stereotype that men can only be perpetrators and women can only be victims
- The stereotype that men want every sexual contact they can get and are therefor "lucky" to be raped
- The myth that men can not be raped


This might skewer the statistics as well. Consider the following, Female sexual abusers receive a 68% shorter sentence. When a female teacher has sex with an underage student, people consider him as lucky. If the genders were reversed people were asking for castration. Or the example of  the Hollywood movie "40 days and 40 nights" where the protagonist is raped by his ex-girlfriend and has to apologize to his girl-friend for being raped. The same situation with a woman as victim, unthinkable. Far more services for female victims exists and demonstrations against rape are usually only highlighting male on female rape. All of this is certainly not improving the situation of male victims.


Two blogposts I want to recite here. First Dr. Helen on female preadators.

Patricia Pearson explains that we often mistake women for angels. We always want to see women as victims, rather than perpretrators of crime--that thought is too scary, I think, because we want to believe that the last person who would hurt us is a mother.
So we do anything we can to document that women are victims, rather than predators. When we look at crime rates, we see tables that cite the percentage of incarcerated women who were abused as children. There is typically not such a table for men---even though more boys are physically abused in childhood than girls. We try to justify why a girl would grow up to be a woman who harms others but we have no such excuse for men. Pearson says that this is because we clearly seek a preemptive cause for female transgressions that preserves an emphasis on victimization. "It is not the effect of abuse on future criminality that truly concerns us. It is the desire to avoid seeing women as willful aggressors." [...]
As long as we believe that women do not possess the full range of human emotions, we will continue to see them as victims of circumstance. The real tragedy in this is that the real victims of these predator women (who are often children) will never see justice served and the rest of us who are female will live with stereotypes that have not moved us beyond the 19th century.
 And another great piece by TS. (Check out his blog as well.)
Male victims constantly face [...] isolation. In many ways, they are damned if they do and damned if they do not. Remaining silent means staying in the shadows, all alone, but coming forward means being placed on public display mockery and ridicule and blatant denial. While female victims may experience something like this (sans the denial of potential victimization), it is not nearly as socially and politically reinforced as it is when it is directed at male victims. Not only is there an unwillingness to discuss male victimization in society and in the media, but even victim groups seem hesitant to broach the subject. There is little outreach done to raise awareness, and the few organizations that do rarely receive media attention or coverage. The lack of visibility, along with the lack of discussion, the victim blaming, stereotypes and politically motivated denial, unfortunately sends the message that male victims simply do not exist. For a boy or a man struggling to cope with his abuse, the profound feeling of being the only one can be and often is crippling. [...]
Victim advocacy groups do nearly half the victims of rape and sexual abuse a disservice by pretending that male victims are rare and presenting the false notion that sexual violence has a lesser impact on boys and men than it does on females. If those groups made a better effort to reach out to male victims they might realize that there are more men and boys who have been abused than anyone believes is true. Most researchers acknowledge that the 1 in 6 rate is a low estimate. It is probably higher, meaning the literal rate of sexual violence against males is likely much closer to the rate of sexual violence against females. [...]
[S]ociety’s view of males further skews this by pushing the false notion that males can always fight back. This grossly inaccurate notion plays out in a rather insidious way by challenging the masculinity of male victims since “real” men would not be victimized. Yet, as if not to be taken lightly, society demands that males keep their feelings and experience to themselves, never to be disclosed.This view is not just bolstered by society’s general unwillingness to hear about bad things, but also the presumption that men can handle any problems on their own. Ironically, society chastises men for keeping things inside, often portraying those men as old-fashioned and weak, leaving male victims (and men in general) with the contradicting messages of being told to keep it to themselves, then being chastised for not feeling, only to be mocked and told to shut up should they try to open up.
Unfortunately, people also tend to draw rather horrible conclusions about consent based on social perceptions about males. People tend to think that male-on-male sexual violence makes boys and men into homosexuals or that they were gay to begin with. People tend to think that erections imply consent and a desire to participate. People tend to think that all males want sex with women all the time and that boys and men are lucky no matter how violent or humiliating the abuse is. People tend to think women are incapable of sexually violating males, even children, or that should something happen, because a woman did it the act was harmless. And of course, there remains the assumption that any sexually abused male will go on to abuse others, and therefore cannot be trusted until they receive treatment, not for their own mental stability, but to ensure they will harm no one else. These all serve as justification, from a social perspective, for treating male victims as tainted, untrustworthy and ultimately victims of their own lacking masculinity.
All of these factors and expectations work in concert with the cruel comments abusers tell their victims — no one will believe you, no one will help you, it is your fault, no one cares about you, you must like it because you have an erection, you could make it stop if you were a real man, you are gay, you are weak, you need this — leaving male victims in the rather bleak situation of being somehow unlike other males. After all, most people’s perceptions of the world and who they are come from society’s presentation and presumptions. Since society does not reflect male victims’ experiences as part of the general male experience, boys and men who have been abused are left feeling as if they are individually the only ones this has ever happened to.
Faced with that, male victims, unsurprisingly, keep quiet, unfortunately reinforcing the false perception that they are the only ones. Reasonably, no boy or man wants other boys and men to be abused. Few people would wish that on anyone. But when faced with the despair of reality, there is not much to fall back on. It is often better to simply believe that one is the only man or boy who has been hurt than fight with people who think it is a joke or argue with people who resort to rhetoric retorts. But, as clich├ęd as it is to say to male victims:

You are not the only one.
Still dreaming of a world where we care as much about boys and men as we do about girls and women...