Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shifting the burden of proof for rape cases

An interesting post on the False Rape Society and some citations by feminists. We start with Jessica Valenti (creator of Feministing):

". . . we should look to [Swedish rape laws] as a potential model for our own legislation. [...] "In fact, some activists and legal experts in Sweden want to change the law there so that the burden of proof is on the accused; the alleged rapist would have to show that he got consent, instead of the victim having to prove that she didn't give it."
Continue with that:
"What all this means is a shift in the burden of proof to the defense would entail that the defense establish, with a preponderance of the evidence, that it was more likely than not that the woman alleging the rape did give clear indications of freely chosen agreement to engage in the sex acts. Affirmative consent constitutes the kind of consent that would be . . . necessary to overcome the presumptive or implied nonagreement in the law. . . . . What the defense would be required to do would be to introduce adequate evidence to show that the alleged victim did openly and affirmatively express a yes of her own free accord.
And finally:

Criminal law professor and feminist Michele Alexandre wants to junk all of that and severely limit the way consent may be legally manifested. She insists that the contract theory of consent treats women’s bodies as goods and proposes to change criminal law so that all the non-verbal manifestations of assent are invalid to show legal consent. Specifically, “express consent entails verbal or written assent that leaves no doubt as to the victim’s agreement to the sexual interaction. . . .” (The other-worldly reference to "written assent" is a dead giveaway that this professor is operating in a different universe than the typical bedroom where real couples are getting it on.)
She would make the sex act a presumed crime whenever a woman cries rape. The burden would be on the defendant to prove “that express and present consent was explicitly obtained at the time of the actual sexual interaction, not before or after . . . .” Only if the defendant is able to establish “express, present, and uncontroverted consent to the sexual interaction at issue” does the burden shift to the prosecution to prove withdrawal of consent, and “withdrawal of consent can happen at any time during the sexual interaction.”  (The latter point about withdrawal is not objectionable under the contract law theory of consent.)
In practice that would mean guilty until proven innocent and not innocent until proven guilty as it is the norm today.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Female votes....

It seems women have more voting power:

In recent elections, voter turnout rates for women have equaled or exceeded voter turnout rates for men. Women, who constitute more than half the population, have cast between four and seven million more votes than men in recent elections. In every presidential election since 1980, the proportion [of] female adults who voted has exceeded the proportion of made adults who voted. 

In 2004, 60.1% of women and 56.3% of men voted.
That's 67.3 million women and 58.5 million men - a difference of 8.8 million.
In 2000, 56.2% of women and 53.1% of men voted.
That's 59.3 million women and 51.5 million men - a difference of 7.8 million.
In 1996, 55.5% of women and 52.8% of men voted.
That's 56.1 million women amd 48.9 million men - a difference of 7.2 million.
In 1964, 67% of women and 71.9% of men voted.
That's 39.2 million women and 37.5 million men - a difference of 1.7 million.
In 2004
44.9% of women and 38.8% of men 18-24 years old voted
55% of women and 48.8% of men 25-44 years old voted
68.3% of women and 65.9% of men 45-64 years old voted
69.4% of women and 72.5% of men 65-74 years old voted
63.9% of women and 71% of men 75 years and up voted 
 Not bad for a "minority"...

Predictors of Sexual Coercion Against Women and Men: A Multilevel, Multinational Study of University Students

Probably one of the more important studies when we talk about raped males. More important, because it is one of the few large scale studies that ask for male victimization.
The current study is the largest and most comprehensive study to date to investigate these issues, in that there were data on sexual coercion and revictimization on both men and women from 38 sites around the world
The source is here, the results in neat table form:
Forced sex:              almost 3.0%             2.3%
-forced oral/anal sex:          2.4%             1.6%
-forced vaginal sex:            2.1%             1.6%

Verbal Coercion:               22.0%     almost 25.0%
- insisted on sex w/o condom   13.5%            11.0%
- insisted on vaginal sex      11.7%            14.7%
- insisted on oral/anal sex     7.5%             8.3%
- threatend into oral/anal sex  1.9%             1.7%
- threatend into vaginal sex    1.9%             1.8%

At least one type of CSA       30.0%            32.0%
7,667 university students on 38 sites asked about their vitimizations with their current or most recent partner. Certainly not a result a feminist would have suspected.

Women control nearly 60% of the wealth in the USA

I gave another number on this blog before (was it 51%? I am not sure, search for it yourself you lazy git) anyhow Virginia Tech gives us another number (sadly without citation, so keep the grain of salt at hand). Also some other stats:

- According to the U.S. Department of Education, in the 2005-06 school year, women made up:
57.5 percent of all students earning bachelor's degrees.
Nearly 60 percent of students earning master’s degrees.
48.9 percent of students earning Ph.D.s.
- Women control nearly 60 percent of the wealth in the United States.
- The number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men.
- Women represent more than 40 percent of all Americans with gross investable assets above $600,000.
- 45 percent of American millionaires are women.
- 48 percent of estates worth more than $5 million are controlled by women, compared with 35 percent controlled by men.
- 60 percent of high net worth women have earned their own fortunes.
- Some estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.
- According to Diversity Best Practices & Business Women's Network, women are responsible for 83 percent of all consumer purchases.

Dual-earner fathers report more work-life conflict than dual-earner mothers

It doesn't happen that often anymore, but sometimes I am really, really surprised at what some studies found. Case in question "The National Study of the Changing Workforce - 2008" (NSCW). The whole thing is worth reading a sort of TL;DR can be seen here.

Some factoids:
- 71% of mothers with children under 18 are working (kind of surprised me that there are that many)
- 79% of married employees are part of a dual-earner couple [...] women contributed 44% of the annual dual-earner family income
- "it’s better for all involved if the man earns the money and the woman takes care of the home and children” is something that 42% of men and 39% of women believe in
- 73% of respondents either strongly or somewhat agreed that “a mother who works outside the home can have just as good a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work,” (67% of men, 80% of women)
- “Men’s reported level of work-life conflict has risen significantly from 34% in 1977 to 45% in 2008, while women’s work-life conflict has increased less dramatically and not significantly: from 34% in 1977 to 39% in 2008.” And the level of conflict is even higher for dual-earner fathers, with 59% experiencing some or a lot of conflict in 2008, versus 45% of dual-earner mothers.
- Employed fathers are spending significantly more time with their children under 13 than they did in 1977.  Men are also:
•    Taking more responsibility for the care of the children (49% say they take more or equal share of care)
•    Doing more or an equal share of the cooking (56% of men)
•    Doing more or an equal share of the house cleaning (53% of men).

The last point has to be taken with a grain of salt as mothers report different values (67% / 70% / 73%). Why there is such a discrepancy? The report says the following:
Our previous studies have revealed that the gender that has traditionally been assumed by society to have primary responsibility for particular aspects of family work tends to see itself as doing more in those areas. 
The overall conclusion we draw from the trends reported in this section is quite profound. Whatever the precise objective degree of responsibility men are assuming for various aspects of family work, it has clearly become more socially acceptable for men to be and to say they are involved in child care, cooking and cleaning over the past three decades than it was in the past!
Certainly, some interesting statistics.

Male victims of rape that have to pay child support.

That was somehow interesting, I just wanted to look up an interesting Reddit post, and ended up looking through Wikipedia's interesting database. So what happened? 5 days ago someone posted this on reddit, to highlight the text copied by the top comment:
In the U.S., courts across the country including the California Court of Appeal have held that male victims of rape are liable for child support for any children resulting from the crime.
So far so good, however if you look at the Wikipedia article right now you will find a different text:
In at least one case, the California Court of Appeal held that the male victim of statutory rape can be liable for child support.
Well, there is certainly a difference, looking at when this was changed make it suspicious. 4 days ago by an anonymous Ip-address. Chances are somebody looked at the source found on Reddit, didn't like what he/she was reading and switched it. It is kind of odd, because if you look at the linked article, this is a direct citiation:
 In holding Nathaniel J., a statutory rape victim, financially liable for child support, the California Court of Appeal joined other courts across the country that have held that a male victim of statutory rape can be forced to pay child support for a child resulting from his....
I am not sure if I am on to something here, but it is likely that some people watch MR communities closely and try to fight against us. Anyhow in searching for the full article, I  found another one that is worth reading. A CRITIQUE OF THE STRICT LIABILITY STANDARD FOR DETERMINING CHILD SUPPORT IN CASES OF MALE VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND STATUTORY RAPE - ELLEN 

To cite one of the courts:
any wrongful conduct on the part of the mother should not alter the father’s duty to provide support for the child

Are women more generous than men....

Some data I came across:
Findings on gender differences in generosity are mixed (Bekkers & Wiepking, 2007) and contradictory evidence exists as to the magnitude and direction of these gender differences (Cox & Deck, 2006). Much of the empirical research that examines the relationship between gender and giving reveals that females are more generous and donate more to charity than males (e.g., Andreoni, Brown & Rischall, 2003; Bekkers, 2004; Carman, 2006; Croson & Buchan, 1999; Eckel & Grossman, 1998; 2001; 2003; Eckel, Grossman & Johnston, 2005; Kamas, Preston, & Baum, 2008; Mesch et al., 2006). However, other research has found no evidence of gender differences in giving (e.g., Bolton & Katok, 1995; Frey & Meir, 2004)—while some research found males to be more generous (e.g., Brown-Kruse & Hummels, 1993; Chang, 2005; Frey & Meir, 2004; Jackson & LatanĂ© 1981; Meier, 2007; Sokolowski 1996). More specifically, several studies find that while females are more likely to give, males give higher amounts (Andreoni, Brown & Rischall, 2003; Bekkers 2004; Belfield & Beney 2000; Einolf, 2006; Lyons & Nivison-Smith, 2006; Mesch, et al., 2006; Piper & Schnepf, 2008; Weyant, 1984). Depending on the discipline and methodology used (i.e., lab versus field studies), there is much variation across individual studies as to how demographic and other individual characteristics affect participation in giving--where simple bivariate analysis is not sufficient (Havens, O’Herlihy & Schervish, 2006).
There is more. From another study on that site:
Gender: no differences in total
Might be useful, surprised me to be honest.

Women need to be asked to run. Often several times.

I won't even comment on that one, just read it. The context is an interview on feministing, the feminist in question is Stephanie Schriock the president of Emily's List (an Organisation dedicated to fund and elect pro-choice women candidates. I cite:

There are not enough women running for office! [...] Women don’t wake up like men do and decide to campaign. Women need to be asked to run. Often several times. So start asking them. Ask yourself, too, while you’re at it.