Friday, July 29, 2011

Feminist science?

A critic of feminist science via two articles found by Pelle:

Only women bleed?: a critical reassessment of comprehensive feminist social theory (2009), Lindberg, Helen (Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences)

Is there a viable specifically feminist social theory that can serve as heuristic devise in our social research? This thesis is a critical reassessment of the ontological and normative assumptions of four social theories with specific and clear claims of being feminist. These are Catharine M MackInnon’s Radical Feminism, Anna G Jonasdottir’s Theory of Love Power, Luce Irigaray’s Feminism of Sexual Difference and Judith Butler’s Queer Feminism.

[...] The thesis concludes that it is highly problematic to do science feministly, but that we do need the critical questions feminists raise in order to reevaluate concepts, theories and research priorities. It is argued that feminist social theories are perhaps most helpful as ideological guidance for political action.
-from here

The website of SAGE, which publishes the journal, describes it as a "feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal." The authors also admit that their goal is to "reduce endorsement" of sexism. However, this constitutes a clear conflict of interest. A journal cannot state an ideological goal and simultaneously claim to be scientific. Would a global warming journal be taken seriously if it claimed "debunking the hoax" as one of its goals?

Put simply, ideology is not allowed in science. It is also not scientific to arbitrarily define your own terms. Real science requires precision and reproducibility, neither of which likely applies to this study. If the study were conducted again in a culturally conservative region, such as the Southern U.S., would it see the same result? Or how about in Asia? Probably not.

[...] Dressing up one's personal ideology in the language of science is an affront to the scientific method.
-from here

Scoundrels and personal freedom...

“The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.” —H. L. Mencken

A nice one...overheard Hugh Ristik using it

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No difference in women’s and men’s self-esteem in youth and early adulthood

Found via, article is here:

Self-esteem increases during adolescence, then slows in young adulthood, but contrary to popular belief, there is no significant difference between men’s and women’s self-esteem during either of those life phases, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

[...] “The converging evidence on gender similarity in self-esteem is important because false beliefs in gender differences in self-esteem may carry substantial costs,” Erol said. “For example, parents, teachers and counselors may overlook self-esteem problems in male adolescents and young men because of the widespread belief that men have higher self-esteem than women have.”

Who would have thought? Certainly not me...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Something more about circumcision


The harm caused by circumcision

Circumcision removes the most sexually sensitive parts of a boy’s penis, including the foreskin, the frenulum, and the ridged band of nerves [1]. The male foreskin is also designed to protect the glans of the penis throughout a man’s life, ensuring that the internal mucosal tissue remains moist and sensitive (much the same way that a woman’s clitoral hood protects the clitoris). In addition, the foreskin acts as a natural gliding mechanism to reduce chafing and dryness during intercourse [2].

Regardless of whether it is performed in a medical or non-medical setting, a significant number of boys subjected to the practice of circumcision will later fulfill the DSM-IV criteria for a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder [3].

No national medical association in the world recommends that boys be forcefully circumcised for preventive health reasons, not even in Israel, where the Journal of the Israeli Medical Association published an article highlighting the high prevalence of urinary tract infections among boys who had undergone ritual circumcision [4].

The Royal Dutch Medical Association's very up-to-date policy on circumcision states that "KNMG is calling upon doctors to actively and insistently inform parents who are considering the procedure of the absence of medical benefits and the danger of complications", and that there is a good case for making it illegal [5].

1. Morris L. Sorrells, James L. Snyder, Mark D. Reiss, Christopher Eden, Marilyn F. Milos, Norma Wilcox, Robert S. Van Howe Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis British Journal of Urology International, Volume 99 Issue 4 Page 864 – 869 April 2007

2. Taylor, J.P., A.P. Lockwood and A.J.Taylor The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision Journal of Urology (1996), 77, 291-295

3. Samuel Ramos and Gregory J. Boyle. Ritual and Medical Circumcision among Filipino boys: Evidence of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Humanities & Social Sciences papers (2000). Available at:

4. Toker O, Schwartz S, Segal G, Godovitch N, Schlesinger Y, Raveh D (2011) A costly covenant: ritual circumcision and urinary tract infection. Isr Med Assoc J. 2010 May;12(5):262-5

5. KNMG (2010) Non-theraputic circumcision of male minors

Why are we afraid of male sexuality?

An interesting Guardian article found via Arne's blog:

Since the era of the permissive society and the mainstreaming of modern feminism, western society has gone a long way towards liberating women's sexuality. Younger women have, to an unprecedented extent, been encouraged to believe they can be as sexual as they like and to experience and express their desires as they wish. Even the age-old proscriptions on female promiscuity have been largely broken down, exemplified by the glorious flowering of the SlutWalk movement.

Simultaneously, and perhaps not coincidentally, male sexuality has been increasingly seen as a problem. You can hear it in the gentle, dismissive mockery that says men are simple creatures who "only want one thing" or, at the extreme, outright vilification. The male gaze threatens, male desire is aggressive. Our primal instincts are pathologised with the jargon of gender studies. Righteous and necessary efforts to reduce sexual crimes have had the unwelcome effect of teaching generations of men that our sexuality can be dangerous and frightening.

[...] Again and again the message came out: girls have problems. Boys are problems. And yet does anyone doubt that there should be concerns about how easy access to porn impacts upon boys' sexual development, their self-esteem, their body image or performance anxieties? It's not as if young men bask in perfect mental health and happiness – young men commit suicide at nearly four times the rate of young women, and sex and relationships rank high on their list of concerns.

[...] Perhaps the greatest concern for men and women alike should be the way male sexuality and sexual expressiveness balances on a narrow tightrope of acceptability. One step off the wire and you tumble into the realm of perversion. As feminist blogger Clarisse Thorn noted last year, any man who hits on a woman and gets it wrong risks being branded a "creep" – sometimes deservedly so, of course, but often for no greater sin than being insufficiently attractive or socially skilled, or having misread a perceived signal of invitation. I've never heard of a woman being stigmatised or disparaged for expressing an attraction to big men, rough men, geeky men or whatever. A man who expresses similar desires for women who don't conform to standard norms of beauty is a perv, a fetishist, a weirdo.

[...] Male sexuality is no less diverse, complex and wonderful than women's or, for that matter, no more base, coarse and animalistic. [...] Women have been entirely justified in asking that we blokes respect their rights, autonomy and wishes, that we respect them as sexual beings. It shouldn't be too much to ask for a little of the same in return.

Are Men Society's Scapegoats?

An article that gives us some neat factoids:

"Men are about 19 more times more likely than women to say they have been falsely accused of sexual abuse. About 85 percent of these abuse allegations are made by women during battles over parent time, during the throes of divorce, or when a live-in situation is failing. ... "(A) sex-abuse charge -- even if false -- often costs the father his job, his health, his friends, his reputation, and his relationship with his child." [Citing Warren Farrell]

[...] The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Administration for Children & Families says of the percentage of the 3.3 million referrals for child abuse and neglect in 2009 it investigated, "Two-thirds of reports found all allegations to be unsubstantiated or intentionally false (64.3% and 0.1%, respectively)."

[...] "As a society, we don't typically think of men in the role of a victim. We can't even recognize it when we're confronted by physical evidence," Palmatier writes. "On the other hand, we're inclined to believe accusations about men."

Not only is it unfair and dishonest, she says, but it's "damaging to boys and young men, gender relations, relationships, families and 'the best interests of the children.' And it gives the women who are predators a free pass."

Automatically assuming the worst of men is a form of discrimination, she, Farrell and others say. And they're right.

Some DV tidbits linked via that article:

Ongoing ASU research may create more understanding of female perpetrators of “intimate partner violence” and encourage services for both the perpetrators and male victims.
Kellie Palazzolo, an assistant professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, is the adviser for the research project that began fall 2009.
One goal of the research is to understand how college students perceive female and male perpetrators, she said.

[...] “It’s often been taken for granted that women can’t really do that much damage, so it’s OK to maybe slap your boyfriend or do something of that nature,” Palazzolo said.

[...W]hen the man or woman was violent against a victim but didn’t kill the victim, participants said the male perpetrator should be punished more than the female perpetrator.

“When a man hits a woman, society has a perception that a man should never hit a woman,” Scarduzio said. “That’s just kind of a cultural norm.”

Also, the results found that when a woman hits a man, there is another reaction.

“People try to explain that and say, ‘Well maybe she was acting in self-defense or maybe he did something to her to make her hit him or maybe it was an accident,’” Scarduzio said.

[...] “People don’t want to think that a female can be violent just on her own, without someone provoking her,” Scarduzio said.

She said this view can hinder services for women who are violent and need to be helped as well as for male victims.

[...] Katie Harris, a doctoral communications student working on the research, said male victims are portrayed negatively through stereotypes.

“When men are victims of intimate partner violence, people tend to say things like, ‘Oh, well, he’s a wimp for getting beat up by a girl. He isn’t a real man,’” Harris said.

Title IX - Stop favoring girls over boys


Dwight Johnson’s son cannot play in a state-sanctioned volleyball tournament because he is a boy. The Colorado State High School Activities Association refuses to sanction a volleyball tournament for boys, even though it sanctions one for girls. Johnson, of Colorado Springs, is suing the U.S. Department of Education, claiming that federal efforts to protect girls have backfired on boys and caused them a lack of equal protection as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the Constitution.

[...]Because Title IX forbids discrimination, court decisions have upheld the clumsy use of boy/girl quotas. In using quotas to obey the law, schools have reduced opportunities for some students even though Title IX was intended to create opportunities.

Johnson’s son cannot play in a sanctioned tournament because Colorado has more state championships for boys than for girls. Establishing a volleyball tournament for boys would further tilt the balance, putting the state at risk of violating the discrimination clause of Title IX.

It is a legalistic, impoverished and creepy rationale for keeping boys from competing. Title IX was designed to ensure equal access, and a state volleyball tournament for boys would do nothing to prevent girls from participating in sports of their choosing. No one has argued that a state tournament for boys would eliminate an athletic opportunity for girls, just that it would skew boy/girl statistics.

Courts have upheld quotas because at the college level one man’s opportunity can, indeed, mean a distribution of wealth that reduces a woman’s opportunity. That’s because colleges trade in limited scholarships to attract the best athletes. If too many go to men, too few go to women.

But that formula isn’t at play in public school athletics, where athletic participation is driven by choice and not by the distribution of scholarships. In an environment of free choice, in which reasonable opportunities are established for girls and boys, quotas merely serve to discriminate. As argued in Johnson’s meritorious lawsuit, quotas in high school sports may counter the intent of Title IX by reducing opportunities for athletes on a basis of gender. We hope Johnson’s lawsuit helps to change that.

Monday, July 25, 2011

On decriminalisation of sex work

Well, I support it, and have written about the Swedish case before, not sure where though, anyhow, good post:

Amongst anti sex work feminists, the model of sex industry law reform preferred to decriminalisation is known as the Swedish Model. Based on legislation introduced in Sweden in 1999, the Swedish model criminalises the buying of sexual services. Selling of sexual services is technically not a crime, but buying them is punishable by a fine or gaol time. This legislation is based on a redefinition of sex work as ‘male violence against women’. Proponents of the Swedish model claim that it has reduced the amount of sex work occurring in Sweden, although this claim is disputed by Swedish sex workers and some researchers.

Recently, Swedish researchers Susanne Dodillet and Petra Östergren published a paper on the Swedish model, The Swedish Sex Purchase Act: Claimed Success and Documented Effects (be warned about the language: it’s generally supportive, but it uses the p-word). The paper is a must read for anyone with an interest in this topic. Briefly put, it’s conclusions can be summarised as follows: contrary to claims otherwise, the Swedish legislation does not appear to have reduced the size of the Swedish sex industry, has not deterred clients, is unsupported by Swedish sex workers and may make sex work more dangerous and increase risk of STIs. As noted in a survey quoted in the report, support for criminalisation in Sweden is strong, however, the majority of people surveyed support the criminalisation of sex workers as well as clients.

[...W]hile the legislation does not specifically criminalise the sex worker, it criminalises everyone around the sex worker. It becomes illegal to rent a room, house, hotel room or apartment for anyone to do sex work out of, or the land lord risks being charged with pimping. The real world implication of this, of course, is that if a sex worker’s sex work status is revealed, they are most likely going to be evicted even if they are not working from that property, as the land lord will fear being charged under Sweden’s strict pimping laws. ‘Pimping’ is also a charge applied to anyone who assists in finding clients, provides security services, or allows advertising for sex workers. Sex workers cannot work together or they risk being charged with pimping each other, which dramatically decreases our opportunity to look out for each other’s safety, reduce overhead costs, and establish peer support networks, which are known to be our most effective method of reducing the STI rate. Services which provide support to sex workers risk running foul of legislators who oppose anything that looks like ‘promoting’ sex work, which may even include distribution of condoms to sex workers. Sex worker organisations do not receive condoms from the government and are not able to buy them in bulk, so have found themselves forced to obtain them from organisations that provide them to men who have sex with men.

[...]I should note: the legislation, of course, is not inclusive of all women. When it is stated that sex work is ‘male violence against women’, what is meant is ‘cis male violence against cis women’. Women working explicitly as trans women (and cis and trans male sex workers) are completely erased in both legislation and discussion. They don’t fit neatly into the analysis, so they’re just ignored. As I’ve stated before, if your analysis doesn’t fit the affected community, it’s not the community that needs to change.

It’s a pretty simple decision to me: when the choice is between a legislative model that has been demonstrated to have some of the best health and safety outcomes for sex workers, and a legislative model that has the negative impacts on us listed above, I’m going to support the model that promotes our health, safety and well-being, and that sex workers actually want to work under. It’s not only the humane choice, it’s the feminist choice.

There was far more in the original. Good article.

Feminism is built on believing women’s accounts of sexual use and abuse by men.

...said Catharine MacKinnon. This article gives us some numbers on false reporting:

Advocacy literature typically claims that about 2 percent of rape complaints are found to be false, the same rate as for reports of other violent crimes. But that figure seems to have no basis in research. According to the FBI, about 9 percent of rape reports are dismissed as “unfounded,” without charges being filed. While advocates claim that this is often because the authorities lack proof or distrust reports of acquaintance rape, dismissals due to insufficient evidence usually occur further down the pipeline. Generally, an “unfounded” complaint is one in which the accuser recants or her story is contradicted by available evidence.

Gauging the true prevalence of false accusations is extremely difficult, particularly since rape reports are handled and recorded differently from one jurisdiction to another. But what reliable information is available suggests that the figure is not insubstantial.

In a particularly controversial study published in 1994, now-retired Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin found that 40 percent of rape reports filed in an Indiana town over a 10-year period turned out to be false by the “victim’s” own admission. Kanin (ironically, a pioneering researcher on sexual assault in dating situations) has been widely criticized for using data from a police department that subjected rape complainants to lie detector tests, which many believe are likely to mislabel anxious or agitated victims as liars and pressure them to recant. He found a similar pattern, however, in police records from two state universities where lie detectors were not used and all victims were interviewed by female officers.

While Kanin has cautioned against generalizing from his research, his conclusion that “false rape accusations are not uncommon” is supported by other evidence. Some years ago, a Washington Post investigation in Virginia and Maryland found that nearly one in four rape reports in 1990-91 were rejected as unfounded, and many of the women in those cases admitted they had lied when the newspaper contacted them. In several surveys of prosecutors and law enforcement officials, estimates of the share of rape complaints that turn out to be false have ranged from one in eight to one in five.

Also there is this study:

Over 15% of the respondents personally knew someone who has been falsely accused
81% of the falsely accused persons were male
Nearly 70% of the accusers were female
In over a quarter of the cases – 26% – the accusation was made as part of a child custody dispute
11% of respondents said they themselves had been falsely accused of abuse

Those numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt though...

A short note about VAWA

As seen on F&F:

Ignoring the mountain of evidence that women initiate physical violence nearly as often as men, VAWA has more than 60 passages in its lengthy text that exclude men from its benefits. For starters, the law’s title should be changed to Partner Violence Reduction Act, and the words “and men” should be added to those 60 sections.

And DADT is gone...

Another step forward:

President Obama and Pentagon leaders gave the green light on Friday to start the 60-day time period for when “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be off the books and openly gay Americans will be entirely free to serve in the U.S. military.

[...] Under the repeal law signed in December, the military’s gay ban will be lifted once the president, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify the armed forces are ready for open service. Consequently, now that repeal has been certified, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will be off the books on Sept. 20.


Other inequities exist between gay service members with partners or spouses and straight service members in marriages on issues such as living expenses and medical care, travel, housing benefits. Much of this inequity is because of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

LGBT advocates are also expressing concerns about transgender people still being unable to serve openly in the U.S. military. But openly transgender Americans can’t serve openly not because of law, but by regulation — so the change could be implemented administratively.

An executive order prohibiting discrimination against service members based on sexual orientation and gender identity would also stop the separations of service members who come out as transgender.

The way it looks now...

...will change. I am atm changing the layout and some of the postings a bit so um act surprised regular readers....ha!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Study on Sexdrive......I steal shamelessly....again

I think I saw that study somewhere before. Jup it is the Baumeister one. Excerpts (copied from a German blog *Hallo!*):

The sex drive refers to the strength of sexual motivation. Across many different studies and measures, men have been shown to have more frequent and more intense sexual desires than women, as reflected in spontaneous thoughts about sex, frequency and variety of sexual fantasies, desired frequency of intercourse, desired number of partners, masturbation, liking for various sexual practices, willingness to forego sex, initiating versus refusing sex, making sacrifices for sex, and other measures. No contrary findings (indicating stronger sexual motivation among women) were found.Hence we conclude that the male sex drive is stronger than the female sex drive. The gender difference in sex drive should not be generalized to other constructs such as sexual or orgasmic capacity, enjoyment of sex, or extrinsically motivated sex

[...] Our review of the literature indicated that role of androgens (e.g., testosterone) was crucial in producing sex drive. We focused on the androgens for several reasons. First, scientists’ interest in the effects of testosterone have yielded a wealth of data on its effects. Second, testosterone is one of the primary organizational and activational hormones that differentiates men and women. Although both women and men have natural supplies of testosterone in their bloodstream, the amount of testosterone varies significantly between the genders. On average, men’s blood testosterone levels are 1,000 nanograms per deciliter, whereas women’s blood testosterone levels are only one seventh or one eighth of this amount (see Dabbs, 2000; Mazur & Booth, 1998). Postmenopausal women have especially low levels of testosterone (regardless of whether menopause occurs naturally or as a result of surgical procedures). Most commonly, surgically induced menopause is the result of an oophorectomy (i.e., removal of the ovaries and adrenals) or hysterectomy (i.e., removal of the uterus). Third and perhaps most germane to this analysis, evidence from the animal and human literatures suggests that androgens are responsible for active initiation of sexual activity (i.e., proceptivity), whereas estrogens are responsible for passive acceptance of sexual activity (i.e., receptivity; Beach, 1976; De Jonge & Van de Poll, 1984; Sherwin, 1988).

There are tons of studies cited over at "Alles Evolution" and it is well worth the read (even for people who don't know German).

Thursday, July 21, 2011

“All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society"

Ghana is a fucked up place:

Ghana’s Western Region Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo MP has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the country’s west.
Aidooo has tasked Ghana’s Bureau of National Investigations and security forces to round up the country’s gay population and has called on landlords and tenants to inform on people they suspect of being homosexuals.

This world is a fucked up place...

The rape of men as a weapon of war

Good article by the Guardian, sadly this is not something that surprises me. If one of my posts ever needed a trigger warning, this is it. Excerpts:

Of all the secrets of war, there is one that is so well kept that it exists mostly as a rumour. It is usually denied by the perpetrator and his victim. Governments, aid agencies and human rights defenders at the UN barely acknowledge its possibility.

[...] "There are certain things you just don't believe can happen to a man, you get me? But I know now that sexual violence against men is a huge problem. Everybody has heard the women's stories. But nobody has heard the men's."

It's not just in East Africa that these stories remain unheard. One of the few academics to have looked into the issue in any detail is Lara Stemple, of the University of California's Health and Human Rights Law Project. Her study Male Rape and Human Rights notes incidents of male sexual violence as a weapon of wartime or political aggression in countries such as Chile, Greece, Croatia, Iran, Kuwait, the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. Twenty-one per cent of Sri Lankan males who were seen at a London torture treatment centre reported sexual abuse while in detention. In El Salvador, 76% of male political prisoners surveyed in the 1980s described at least one incidence of sexual torture. A study of 6,000 concentration-camp inmates in Sarajevo found that 80% of men reported having been raped.

[...] In Uganda, survivors are at risk of arrest by police, as they are likely to assume that they're gay – a crime in this country and in 38 of the 53 African nations. They will probably be ostracised by friends, rejected by family and turned away by the UN and the myriad international NGOs that are equipped, trained and ready to help women. They are wounded, isolated and in danger.

[...] Often, she says, wives who discover their husbands have been raped decide to leave them.

[...] Men aren't simply raped, they are forced to penetrate holes in banana trees that run with acidic sap, to sit with their genitals over a fire, to drag rocks tied to their penis, to give oral sex to queues of soldiers, to be penetrated with screwdrivers and sticks.

[...] Because there has been so little research into the rape of men during war, it's not possible to say with any certainty why it happens or even how common it is – although a rare 2010 survey, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 22% of men and 30% of women in Eastern Congo reported conflict-related sexual violence. As for Atim, she says: "Our staff are overwhelmed by the cases we've got, but in terms of actual numbers? This is the tip of the iceberg."

[...] The research by Lara Stemple at the University of California doesn't only show that male sexual violence is a component of wars all over the world, it also suggests that international aid organisations are failing male victims. Her study cites a review of 4,076 NGOs that have addressed wartime sexual violence. Only 3% of them mentioned the experience of men in their literature. "Typically," Stemple says, "as a passing reference."

[...] "The organisations working on sexual and gender-based violence don't talk about it," he says. "It's systematically silenced. If you're very, very lucky they'll give it a tangential mention at the end of a report. You might get five seconds of: 'Oh and men can also be the victims of sexual violence.' But there's no data, no discussion."

As part of an attempt to correct this, the RLP produced a documentary in 2010 called Gender Against Men. When it was screened, Dolan says that attempts were made to stop him. "Were these attempts by people in well-known, international aid agencies?" I ask.

"Yes," he replies. "There's a fear among them that this is a zero-sum game; that there's a pre-defined cake and if you start talking about men, you're going to somehow eat a chunk of this cake that's taken them a long time to bake." Dolan points to a November 2006 UN report that followed an international conference on sexual violence in this area of East Africa.

"I know for a fact that the people behind the report insisted the definition of rape be restricted to women," he says, adding that one of the RLP's donors, Dutch Oxfam, refused to provide any more funding unless he'd promise that 70% of his client base was female. He also recalls a man whose case was "particularly bad" and was referred to the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR. "They told him: 'We have a programme for vulnerable women, but not men.'"

[...] "Part of the activism around women's rights is: 'Let's prove that women are as good as men.' But the other side is you should look at the fact that men can be weak and vulnerable."

[...] "International human rights law leaves out men in nearly all instruments designed to address sexual violence," she continues. "The UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in 2000 treats wartime sexual violence as something that only impacts on women and girls… Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced $44m to implement this resolution. Because of its entirely exclusive focus on female victims, it seems unlikely that any of these new funds will reach the thousands of men and boys who suffer from this kind of abuse. Ignoring male rape not only neglects men, it also harms women by reinforcing a viewpoint that equates 'female' with 'victim', thus hampering our ability to see women as strong and empowered. In the same way, silence about male victims reinforces unhealthy expectations about men and their supposed invulnerability."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Demographic of women's soccer

I thought that was somehow interesting:

Nearly 2.7 million men tuned in to see the U.S. women take on Brazil last Sunday, while only 1.2 million female viewers watched.

More than 2/3 of watchers of women's soccer are men.

Also women's soccer was pretty successful:

Sixth Most-Viewed Soccer Telecast in U.S.; Second Most-Watched Daytime Program in Cable History;

Record Audience for a Women’s Sports Event on

Sunday’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals between the United States and Japan – which crowned Japan as tournament champion on a penalty shootout after the match ended in a 2-2 tie – was seen by an average 13.458 million viewers, based on a 7.4 U.S. household rating (8.58 million household impressions), making it the most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast on an ESPN network, based on fast nationals by the Nielsen Company.

Friday, July 15, 2011

For every 100 girls...

Pretty good resource with nice hard data hat tip to r/mensrights for that one. Some excerpts:

Death and Suicide:

- For every 100 girls and women ages 15 to 24 years who die 292 boys and men die.

- For every 100 females ages 15 to 19 that commit suicide 549 males in the same range kill themselves.

- For every 100 females ages 20 to 24 that commit suicide 624 males of the same age kill themselves.


- For every 100 women enrolled in college there are 78 men enrolled.

- For every 100 women enrolled in the sixth year or more of college there are 70 men enrolled.

- For every 100 American women who earn an associate’s degree from college 61 American men earn the same degree.

- For every 100 American women who earn a bachelor’s degree from college 75 American men earn a bachelor’s degree.

- For every 100 American women who earn a master’s degree from college 66 American men earn the same degree.

- For every 100 American women who earn a first-professional degree 104 American men earn a first-professional degree.

- For every 100 American women who earn a doctor’s degree from college 91 American men earn the same degree.

Sources are in the original which is well worth reading.

The effect of male circumcision on sexuality - Kim - 2006

Found via, another study about circumcision:

In South Korea, many men are circumcised as adults, after they have led active sex lives; these men can compare their sex lives before and after circumcision. This is because circumcision in South Korea is a relatively recent event, having reached >100% circumcision rate (compared with the male birth population) in the last 20 years. This unique situation, in terms of research on circumcision’s effect on sexuality, contrasts with other cultures where adult circumcision is rare, simply because circumcision is practised on neonates or pre-teens. Even when such men have been found and interviewed, they do not represent the general population, but those with medical indications or religious convictions about circumcision. In this sense, South Korea provides a unique opportunity to study the effect of circumcision on sexual activity in a truly general population.

[...]The effect of circumcision on masturbation is interesting, as preventing masturbation was one of the main original reasons often cited for the popularity of circumcision in America. The frequency of masturbation seems to have decreased only slightly after circumcision, but there was a striking difference in the pleasure of masturbation, with 48% reporting less pleasure from masturbation after circumcision, in contrast to 8% who reported more pleasure. We think that this is one of the most important findings of the present study. This is consistent with more men finding masturbation more difficult after circumcision, possibly because of the loss of the foreskin.

Of the 138 men aged >30 years who could compare their sex lives before and after circumcision, >70% (102) reported that there was no difference. However, circumcised men were more than three times more likely to report less enjoyable sex lives after circumcision than better sex lives (28 vs eight men). While decreased sensation was the most frequently cited reason (21 of 28 men) for a less enjoyable sex life, complaints about the physical effects of circumcision on their penises and consequent adverse effects on sex life were also prominent (13 of 28; multiple complaints were separately counted). While this is consistent with our earlier study, it suggests that more attention should be given to anatomical alteration of the male genitalia by circumcision. This conclusion is supported by the reports of major scars by ≈ 9% of the circumcised men in the present study.

In summary, we studied the effects of circumcision on sexuality. There were no differences in sexual drive, erection and ejaculation, but circumcised men reported decreased masturbatory pleasure and sexual enjoyment. We conclude that adult circumcision adversely affects sexual function in a significant number of men, possibly because of loss of nerve endings. In addition, ≈ 9% of the circumcised men reported severe scarring of their penises, and this population probably overlaps with those who reported insufficient skin resulting in uncomfortable erections, penile curvature from uneven skin loss, and pain and bleeding upon erection/manipulation.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On intimate terrorism

I found this article via google reader with at least 3 entries. And there was one thing about it that irked me the wrong way:

So-called “intimate terrorism,” overwhelmingly perpetrated by men, is embedded in a general pattern of power and control

Back in the days, when I wrote that large article about Deutsch's large DV article, there was a lot I was stumbling upon. There still is a big clustered article somewhere saved with links and stuff as I never finished that piece. It really got problematic. I read stuff and forgot where I read it and had to search and search on and on and did not finish it. I'll do it next week I thought and well, next week after next week after next week and still I won't touch that thing. So when I heard intimate terrorism, I recognized, there was something with it. A critique by Strauss I assume somewhere in a large pdf file not easily found. Luckily when this post came up on NSWATM someone did all the work for me. So Kudos for Tamen for pointing me to that resource(Again NSWATM proves that it is a great blog with great discussions taking place. The most pleasant surprise for me in 2k11 thus far):

Using Johnson’s domestic violence typology to classify men and women in a non-selected sample (2004)

These findings suggest that research that has used single-sex samples to provide information on their own and opposite-sex partner’s aggressive behaviors may have drawn conclusions about sex differences when in reality the effects were driven by self versus partner report bias. Johnson proposed, and found evidence for, the asymmetric nature of IT and VR (Johnson, 1999; Johnson & Leone, 2000), with men being perpetrators and women being victims of controlling physical aggression. However all previous analysis conducted by these researchers used only reports from women about their own perpetration and victimization, even when reports from men were available (Johnson & Leone, 2000). Research reported in previous analyses (Graham-Kevan & Archer, 2003b) suggested that the use of both men’s and women’s reports of perpetration and victimization may affect the distribution by sex within typology categories, although the non-selected sample used was too small to allow investigation of this. The present sample was large enough to allow a meaningful investigation of the distribution of men and women within the different categories of aggressive relationships. Here, contrary to Johnson’s predictions, it was found that IT and VR were essentially sex-symmetrical and that nonviolent victims, i.e. those who do not use any physical aggression towards a physically aggressive partner, of IT were more likely to be men than women.

If replicated in future studies, these findings have far-reaching implications. They provide support for researchers, such as Steinmetz (1978) and George (1994; 2003), who have claimed that not only can men as well as women be mutually victimized in intimate relationships, but also that men can be victims of ‘battering’ in the same way that women can. These conclusions are in direct contrast with feminist analyses, which have discounted such claims by asserting that men use controlling aggression and women use no (or more recently, self-defensive) aggression (R.P. Dobash & Dobash, 1979; R.P. Dobash et al., 1998; Giles-Sims, 1983; Okun, 1986; Pence & Paymar, 1993; Saunders, 1988; Stacy, Hazlewood & Shupe, 1994; Walker, 1979; Yllö, 1994). However, the present findings are supported by research that has investigated men’s victimization (George, 2003; Statistics Canada, 2000; McFarlane, Willson, Malecha, & Lemmey, 2000; Migliaccio, 2002; McLeod, 1984).

The invisibility of female victims of domestic abuse before the 1970s did not reflect a lack of such victims, only a lack of awareness. With that lack of awareness,perception of an absence of sanctions (both formal and informal) towards male perpetrators was fostered. One could propose then that, in its failure to address female victimization, society was implicitly supporting such abuse (although a lack of overt support had been evident for some time). This does not now appear to be the case, at least among western nations, where women have a measure of societal power (Archer, 2003).

Male victims may currently find themselves in a similar position to that of women victims pre-1970. The lack of a political advocacy and the strong resistance of many women’s groups may be obscuring the existence of male victims of women’s aggression. This invisibility is then used as evidence that such victimised men do not exist (R.P. Dobash, Dobash, Daly & Wilson, 1992; Semple, 2001).

Good stuff. I really have to finish that one post...

More about fathers via F&F

Some interesting facts about fathers as seen on F&F:

- [T]he Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey that shows that, when paid and unpaid work are added together, men and women do essentially identical amounts. Men do more paid work, women do more domestic work including childcare. No one’s the slave, no one’s the master, and no one has his feet up while the other toils.

- [T]he recent Families and Work Institute survey showing that fathers have far more work-family conflict than mothers do and have for about 30 years.

- 44% — The percentage of working dads who are sole financial providers, up from 2010, according to a survey. More than one in five work more than 50 hours a week, and one in five bring home work at least three days a week.

- Three hours — The average time working dads spend with their children every workday, according to a survey by the Families and Work Institute.

- 80% — The percentage of dads who report that they change diapers as often as or more often than their wives when they’re home, in an Ipsos poll for Pampers. Pearlman complains about dads who refuse or don’t even know how. (The women polled say they change diapers more often but don’t say their husbands shirk diaper duty altogether.)

- 36% — The percentage of young children who had 15 or more outings with their father in the previous month, according to the census. Another 24% had eight to 14 outings; 37% had one to seven outings. Only a sliver had none, for any number of reasons. (These can be just with dad or with both mom and dad.) Pearlman describes dads who never take their kids out.

- From a Pew Research study: “Almost all fathers who live with their children take an active role in their day-to-day lives through activities such as sharing meals, helping with homework and playing.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dan Griffin certainly isn't a gentleman and a scholar...or why I dislike the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Yeah, I finally kicked the Good Men Project out of my google reader. Feels somehow good. I figured if I add Hugo Schwyzer's feed (disclaimer, I mostly disagree with him, but the discussion surrounding his posts is quite good. Also, who doesn't like to rage every once in a while?) I get almost all interesting posts from that site. The straw that broke the camels back can be seen here. What happened? Dan Griffin presented statistics that minimized the number of male victims. I got in there, explained the hows and whys, he agrees with me and says he is going to change that one number I dislike AFTER the long weekend....and well here I am still looking at data that can only be called manipulative. Dan, Dan, Dan. I must admit my anger here is misdirected. I can somehow understand it. If I copy and paste statistics and some smartass from the Internets wants me to change one factoid, I would surely hesitate. What he said, the lip service and the stupid stuff, of course that is part of the problem. The bigger problem is where it comes from.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

When it comes to DV the NCADV is kind of a big fish. To copy from wiki:

As of 2008, NCADV has been involved with multiple legislative acts including; the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), International Violence Against Women Act, and Legislative Action Day. [...] In addition to making safe-homes and shelters available to battered women, NCADV also works to improve current public policy by collaborating with legislators on the federal level. The Washington, D.C. office for the organization is the public policy office from which leaders of the organization make efforts to change and improve legislation dealing with domestic violence. In 1994 the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence got involved with several other advocacy organizations and helped to pass the Violence Against Women Act signed by President Bill Clinton to provide funding for investigation into domestic violence as well as greater prosecution of offenders. Another topic dealt with within the organization is that of custody battles involving offenders of domestic violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence works to create awareness of these situations and develop legislation which keeps the best interest of the children in mind. [...] The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is also credited with creating and observing the first Domestic Violence Awareness month in October 1987. In 1994, NCADV teamed up with Ms Magazine to create the Remember My Name Project,an ever-growing list of victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Looking through their site and realizing that they recently had a conference with Michael Kimmel (hint: not really believes in male DV victims) you get the picture. Those guys come out strong in the media and kind of downplay DV against men. But let us get back to the point. The statistic Dan copy and pasted can be seen on their national fact sheet here (Pdf Warning). My biggest concern with that fact sheet is the factoid about male DV victims:

85% of domestic violence victims are women

To explain why that point of data is problematic and why the usage here is manipulative at best, I have to explain where DV data comes from. Most of the official DV data is from the National Violence Against Women Survey (NVAWS). The big numbers from that fact sheet all come from that very survey:

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

One in 6 women and 1 in 33 men have experienced an attempted or completed rape

And even though that survey has some flaws when it comes to male victims (I'll take about this in the end), we can generally say that survey finds quite a few male victims. It is a CTS based survey.

The 85% factoid comes from a different kind of survey, a crime survey, more specifically the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The problem with the NCVS is that the survey asks if someone has been a victim of a crime and many DV victims do not see themselves as victims of crimes. This is even more so true for males and one reason why we generally do not use that survey to count DV victims. To me it seems, the only reason the NCVS is cited is to minimize male DV victims. To bring my point across here is what both of those studies found in terms of male and female victims in the previous 12 months:

Female     Male
1)NVAWS   1,309,061  834,732 (61% / 49%)        
2)NCVS      588,490  103,220 (85% / 15%)

You can use those studies together in many different ways, for instance, I could say the following:

About 103,220 men are battered each year (2) women are about 61% of the victims of DV (1)

Each year 834,732 men (1) and 588,490 women (2) are victims of DV

Both of these usages are dishonest and are used in a way that distorts the picture of DV. The NCADV chose the version here that minimizes male victims the most:

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year / 85% of domestic violence victims are women

Now, those guys should certainly know their statistics and I find it hard to believe that this has been a coincidence or mistake of some kind. I do believe they cherry picked their data to bring their agenda across which is "DV is about women".

So I wrote an Email:

NCADV National Fact Sheet


After reading your fact sheet ( ) I have a problem with one of the factoids:

"85% of domestic violence victims are women"

This statistic from the National Crime Victimization Survey understates and distorts the true incidence of domestic violence, since victimized men are less likely to view partner aggression as a “crime.”
Straus MA. The controversy over domestic violence by women: A methodological, theoretical, and sociology of science analysis. In Arriaga XB and Oskamp S (eds.): Violence in Intimate Relationships. Sage Publishers, 1999.
Stets JE and Straus MA. Gender differences in reporting marital violence and its medical and psychological consequences. In Straus MA and Gelles RJ (eds): Physical Violence in American Families, New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1990. Table 15

For that reason, usually DV victims are not counted by crime surveys and of course, to count the number of female victims you used the National Violence Against Women Survey. That survey however found that 39% of DV victims are actually men.

Could someone explain to me why the statistics on the fact sheets are used that way, and if it is possible to change the number? I mean you don't actually want to minimize the number of male DV victims right?

Please note that I will publish this Email as well as answers to that Email on the internet.

With best regards

We will see how that goes. Before I forget...

Problems with the National Violence Against Women Survey

From a men's right perspective there are 2 major flaws with that study. First of all female-on-male vaginal rape was not included in their definition of rape:

Rape was defined as an event that occurred without the victim’s consent, that involved the use or threat of force to penetrate the victim’s vagina or anus by penis, tongue, fingers, or object, or the victim’s mouth by penis. The definition included both attempted and completed rape.

What is kind of sad, apparently this number is the best we got (according to RAINN):

We agree that NVAWS study has serious shortcomings and that its definition of rape is too restrictive to capture all crimes. Given those shortcomings, it likely under-counts the lifetime risk of sexual assault for men. However, it is the most reliable data we’ve been able to find, primarily because the sample size used in the study was significantly larger than almost all other surveys (8,000 men and 8,000 women). Also, the study used the same methodology for both men and women.
The dilemma we face is that we don’t have an alternate source of data for lifetime prevalence rates that is more trustworthy, with regards to sample size and methodology. Sample size is vitally important when attempting to measure sexual violence, since such a small portion of interviewees report having been victims.

Keeping in mind that there are studies out there that finds higher rates of female-on-male vaginal rape then male-on-female vaginal rape (granted, they didn't ask for lifetime prevalence) this is kind of sickening. We just didn't bother to ask apparently.

The other flaw is the framing of the questions asked in the NVAWS. Almost all CTS-based studies find almost equal victimization rates for men and women, so why not this one?

Straus said the following about the NVWS
"(1) It has been presented to the public as refuting the idea of neady equal rates of domestic partner assaults by men and women. (2) It is not ostensibly a crime study. (3) It is a large and well-designed study. (4) It carries the imprimatur of spnsorship by two respected Federal agancies. (5) Perhabs the most important reason is that it provides an example of how an cumulation of small details affecting respondent perception of the study and its prupose can add up to a large difference in findings." (Straus - The controversy Over Domestic Violence by Women - 1999)

Among several points by Straus the following surprised me the most. This was the second question asked by the researchers

"Do you think violent crime is more or less of a problem for men today than previously?"

Two "hot-button" words in one sentence at the beginning of our survey. That, plus the usage of "personal safety" and the low yearly rates (among some other things) is the reason Straus considers the NVWS as a crime survey.

But what do the researchers themselves say about the discrepancy of their study and the CTS?

"... it is likely that the manner in which screening questions are introduced and framed has more effect on intimate partner victimization rates than does the overall context in which the survey is administered"

From one of my older posts. As said previously when you present a study and mention violent crime and personal safety and men are less likely to see being at the receiving end of DV as crime and women are much more likely to be concerned about personal safety and the study also finds less victimization rates (for men and women) then other CTS studies there can only be the explanation that it leaves many victims uncounted.

All this stuff is saddening. One can only hope that one day there will be a large study that looks fair at male victims of DV and rape and that this study is officially used and accepted. Well, a man can dream...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Hijacking another feminist argument...

Well it might just be me, but often when it comes to discussion about contraceptives or more specifically the lack of a male version thereof I get the "keep it in your pants" answer (even in feminist spaces. There is no incidence at hand, but figured I could use the following if such a thing happens again. From feministe:

Trying to think of a fresh angle from which to approach the issue of slut-shaming, I remembered the last time I debated an anti-choice, anti-rights activist who wanted to see women stripped of access to family planning services. Naturally the argument he ultimately resorted to after all his others had been debunked was: “If girls don’t want to get pregnant, they shouldn’t be opening their legs to everyone.”

“Wow,” I’d chuckled to myself, “he didn’t even wait 5 minutes before falling back on old-fashioned slut-shaming. Most anti-choicers at least pretend it’s about the fetus for a little while longer.”

It is similar in a way that when you get "keep it in your pants" while discussing male contraceptive options it can be framed as slut shaming. Might be a far fetch....found it interesting. Stop judging me....darn.

Men need more cuddles than women for a happy long-term relationship

A report by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, asking 1,000 couples who had been together an average 25 years with some interesting findings:

Tenderness in a long-term relationship is more important to middle-aged men than it is to women [...]

Men in a committed relationship are also more likely to report being happy, while women are more likely to say they are satisfied with their sex lives, surprised researchers said.

For men, relationship happiness was more likely if the man reported being in good health and if it was important to him that his partner experienced orgasm.

[...]Men did report more relationship happiness in later years, whereas for women, their sexual satisfaction increased over time.

Women who had been with their partner for less than 15 years were less likely to report sexual satisfaction, but after 15 years, the percentage went up significantly.

Gender equality myth: Women 'want rich husbands, not careers'

Headline via Mail online. So what do we have here. A new report by Catherine Hakim of the London School of Economics published by the Centre for Policy Studies:

[...]Despite years of equality campaigning, more women are choosing to marry wealthy men than in the 1940s

[...]Women’s aspiration to marry up, if they can, to a man who is better-educated and higher-earning persists in most European countries,’ she said. ‘Women thereby continue to use marriage as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers.’
The research, which drew on existing data drawn from Britain and Spain, showed that 20 per cent of British women married husbands with a significantly better education than their own in 1949.
By the 1990s, the percentage of women deciding to ‘marry up’ had climbed to 38 per cent – with a similar pattern repeated in the rest of Europe, the US and Australia.

[...]Dr Hakim added: ‘It is thus not surprising that wives generally earn less than their husbands, and that most couples rationally decide that it makes sense for her to take on the larger share of child care, and to use most or all the parental leave allowance.’ Her report also suggests that many women do not want to admit they want to be a housewife – even to their partners.
‘It has become impossible to say, “I wouldn’t mind being a housewife,” she said.
‘It is so politically incorrect that a lot of women don’t want to admit it.’

[...]‘Women today have more choices than men, including real choices between a focus on family work and/or paid employment.
‘Despite this, many politicians and feminists appear disappointed with the slow pace of change in women’s attainment of top jobs.
Sex differences are treated as self-evident proof of widespread sex discrimination and sex-role stereotyping rather than the result of personal choices and preferences.
‘Demands for further change rest on faulty assumptions and dated evidence. The latest research shows that most of the theories and ideas built up around gender equality in the last few decades are wrong.
‘Despite feminist claims, the truth is that many men and women have different career aspirations, priorities, and life goals.
‘Policy makers should therefore not expect the same job outcomes.’

The full report can be read here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Official Medical Society Statements on Newborn Circumcision

Via nocirc:

Canadian Paediatric Society:

"Recommendation: Circumcision of newborns should not be routinely performed."

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians:

"After extensive review of the literature the RACP reaffirms that there is no medical indication for routine neonatal circumcision."

British Association of Paediatric Surgeons:
"The practice [of male circumcision] should be discouraged by education."

British Medical Association:

"The BMA considers that the evidence concerning health benefit from non-therapeutic circumcision is insufficient for this alone to be a justification for doing it."

College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia:

"Current understanding of the benefits, risks and potential harm of this procedure, however, no longer supports this practice for prophylactic health benefit. Routine infant male circumcision performed on a healthy infant is now considered a non-therapeutic and medically unnecessary intervention."

American Medical Association:

The AMA calls infant circumcision "non-therapeutic." Regarding penile cancer, the AMA states "...because this disease is rare and occurs later in life, circumcision as a preventive measure is not justified."

American Academy of Family Physicians:

"While routine circumcision is widely practiced, the small medical benefits of circumcision lead many to consider routine circumcision to be a cosmetic procedure. This leads to questions regarding medical ethics..."

American Academy of Pediatrics:
“Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.”

American Cancer Society:

“Most public health researchers believe that the penile cancer risk among uncircumcised men without known risk factors living in the United States is extremely low. The current consensus of most experts is that circumcision should not be recommended as a prevention strategy for penile cancer.”

Husband's employment status threatens marriage, but wife's does not, study finds

I am losing track where I get my links from. Anyhow scientific stuff and Feck is interested:

According to the study, a woman's employment status has no effect on the likelihood that her husband will opt to leave the marriage. An employed woman is more likely to initiate a divorce than a woman who is not employed, but only when she reports being highly unsatisfied with the marriage.

[...]For a man, not being employed not only increases the chances that his wife will initiate divorce, but also that he will be the one who opts to leave. Even men who are relatively happy in their marriages are more likely to leave if they are not employed, the research found.

Taken together, the findings suggest an "asymmetric" change in traditional gender roles in marriage, the researchers say.

That men who are not employed, regardless of their marital satisfaction, are more likely to initiate divorce suggests that a marriage in which the man does not work "does not look like what [men] think a marriage is supposed to," the researchers write. In contrast, women's employment alone does not encourage divorce initiated by either party. That implies that a woman's choice to enter the workforce is not a violation of any marriage norms. Rather, being employed merely provides financial security that enables a woman to leave when all else fails.

"These effects probably emanate from the greater change in women's than men's roles," the researchers write. "Women's employment has increased and is accepted, men's nonemployment is unacceptable to many, and there is a cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on 'feminized' roles such as household work and emotional support."

The research used data on over 3,600 couples taken from three waves of the National Survey of Families and Households. Waves were conducted in 1987-88, 1992-94, and 2001-2

Liana C. Sayer, Paula England, Paul Allison, and Nicole Kangas. She Left, He Left: How Employment and Satisfaction Affect Men's and Women's Decisions to Leave Marriages. American Journal of Sociology, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Men are entitled to fully experience and express all forms of nonsexual love.

Found via Reddit and certainly something that makes you think:

We have rendered the modern male incapable of platonic love, incapable of experiencing romantic feelings without sex, incapable of valuing physical affection outside of sexual relationships. We hold him to the sexual standard of traditional, mainstream masculinity.

He is free to fuck whoever he wants—but when it comes to emotions, when it comes to love, he is in bondage. He must feel according the rules, love according to the rules. He can either love a person sexually or feel nothing for them at all, with the exception of anger, hatred, and tendency toward violence.

You may sit there and say, “Well, that’s an exaggeration, of course men love their families and their children and, yeah okay, probably, maybe their friends.”

But love is more than just a word. It’s more than an assumption. Men must be allowed to express that love as much as they want, however they want. They must be allowed to really feel it, however the feeling comes, whether it’s for a friend or a family member or someone that falls into a totally different category yet still is not a sexual interest. They must be given the freedom to make any given nonsexual relationship as emotional as they want it to be.

[...]It is time that men are allowed by society and also by themselves to function at their fullest emotional and relational potential, without the world making interpretations about their emotional connections through a sexualized lens. It’s time that men are seen as emotional beings first, sexual beings second. It’s time that men realize they are free to have relationships of emotional depth and significance that are also completely nonsexual; it’s time they realize they’re free to have social lives that are a hell of a lot more complex than “One very emotional romantic-sexual monogamous relationship/many sexual relationships and a bunch of emotionally shallow nonsexual relationships.” It’s time men are freed to experience romance outside of sexuality, if they are so inclined to explore that. It’s time we stop expecting men to sexually perform as justification for their emotions. It’s time we all understand that the emotional content of a male’s relationships has absolutely no bearing on his masculinity.

Clearing up my saved articles F&F edition

A collection of interesting studies found on F&F:

We start with "a paper presented by Dr. William Fabricius of Arizona State University entitled “The Bad News about Divorce and Children Is Worse than We Thought, but the Good News Is Better than We Thought.”:

His own research into a cohort of 1,030 high school students indicates that

the effect of divorce on the father-child relationship depends heavily on the amount of parenting time the child has with the father. At equal parenting time, the quality of the relationship was at its highest; at the lowest levels of parenting time with father (0% to 15%) the quality of the relationship was at its worst.

That is, the more time a child has with his/her father post divorce up to 50%, the better the relationship between the two. More time beyond 50% doesn’t seem to improve matters. The implications of that for public policy should be obvious.

The bad news is that a large percentage – almost 40% — of the students had these minimal levels of parenting time with their fathers when they were growing up, and had damaged relationships with their fathers as young adults.

So, the failure of courts to grant fathers greater custody and to enforce visitation has a direct and negative effect on children both during childhood and after.

[...]When we consider that almost 40% of the students had had minimal parenting time with their fathers, and on average as young adults had damaged relationships with their fathers, and when we link that with the lifetime health outcomes of young adults who had reported similarly distant relationships with their parents, we can see that the bad news looks worse than we thought it was.

Another study is cited about the link between absent fathers and longevity:

What is now called the Longevity Project by current researchers, began in 1921. It continued through the death of its founder, Lewis Terman, and the involvement of a couple of generations of follow-up researchers. It’s still going on. The purpose is to find what factors contribute to longevity and which ones do the opposite. [...] The early death of a parent had no measurable effect on children’s life spans or mortality risk, but the long-term health effects of broken families were often devastating. Parental divorce during childhood emerged as the single strongest predictor of early death in adulthood. The grown children of divorced parents died almost five years earlier, on average, than children from intact families.

There was an interesting follow up for the above study, we talk about equal parenting now:

There is now a strong consensus among the general public that equal parenting time is best for the child. Large majorities favor it in all the locales and among all the demographic
groups in the United States and Canada in which this question has been asked, and across several variations in question format.

For example, in a nationwide poll done at the insistence of the Canadian Parliament, 78% of those asked said they “strongly preferred” or “somewhat preferred” a presumption of equal parenting post-divorce. In Massachusetts in 2004, 85% of voters in a non-binding referendum voted in favor of a presumption of equally shared parenting in custody cases.

Those have been followed up by recent studies done by Fabricius and Dr. Sanford Braver. In 2010, Fabricius asked a cohort of people waiting to serve on juries in Tucson the same question that Bay State residents were asked in the non-binding referendum. Some 87% of Arizonans asked favored the presumption of equally shared parenting.

This year, Braver, Fabricius, et al went further and designed a study that confronted respondents with various hypothetical fact situations and asked them to, in effect, be the judge, i.e. to “issue a custody order” in each hypothetical case.

When parents in the cases were said to have done about equal amounts of childcare during the marriage, 69% of respondents said they should have equal parenting time post-divorce. When childcare was radically unequal, almost half of respondents still awarded equal parenting time.

[...]Interestingly, fathers were more likely to be punished for instigating conflict than were mothers. Only 4% of respondents awarded equal parenting time to instigating fathers while 21% gave equal time to mothers responsible for conflict.

And with the next article it turns out it was mostly all about one survey. Now Robert Franklin argues against the researchers claim that fathers don't bargain hard enough:

To examine whether the residential time of children was related to the type of decision, cases in which there were no risk factors for either parent were compared. For agreed cases, 64% of the mothers received the majority of time, and 22% of mothers and fathers received equal time (see Exhibit 6). For the few contested cases, 67% of mothers received the majority of time, but only 5% of mothers and fathers received equal time.

So according to the Washington State data, contesting matters tends to be a bad idea for fathers. Certainly, those data aren’t definitive. They don’t tell us who’s contesting what and again the sample size isn’t large because the vast majority of cases are agreed to by the parties.

But what the data suggest is that things go better for dads if they don’t contest the case. Stated another way, they stand a better chance with their ex than they do with the judge.

In agreed cases, mothers get majority time in 64% of cases while in contested cases they rate goes up to 67%. That’s not much, but if a dad is going for equal time, contesting the matter is a bad idea. His chances of winning equal custody drop from 22% to 5% if he contests the matter.

Fabricius might argue that the same holds true for mothers. After all, her chances of getting equal time drop the same as dad’s - from 22% to 5%.

But that argument ignores one large, if inconvenient, truth. When a father fails to get equal time, he likely gets less; when a mother does, she likely gets more. So the drop from 22% to 5% of equal custody for both men and women when cases are contested masks an important fact - it’s a win for her and a loss for him.

Another fact that suggests bias against fathers and the idea of equal parenting is the fact that, although the idea has been around for many years, no jurisdiction (with the partial and short-lived exception of Australia) has ever passed a law mandating a presumption of equally shared parenting.

Granted, judges aren’t state legislators and vice versa, but the fact that proposed statutes establishing the presumption invariably fail surely tells us something about how fathers are viewed. Combine that with Fabricius and Braver’s conclusion that there’s widespread public support for equal parenting and we’re left with an unavoidable question - “why don’t legislatures do the will of the people in the case of equal parenting?”

Pretty good stuff. F&F almost always delivers. As usual I suggest you read it all.

We continue with data on shared parenting:

[From CHILD CUSTODY, ACCESS AND PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: by Dr. Edward Kruk of the University of British Columbia]

A recent meta-analysis of the major North American studies comparing sole and joint physical custody arrangements has shown that children in joint custody arrangements fare significantly better on all adjustment measures than children who live in sole custody arrangements (Bauserman, 2002). Bauserman compared child adjustment in joint physical and joint legal custody settings with sole (maternal and paternal) custody settings, and also intact family settings, examined children’s general adjustment, family relationships, self-esteem, emotional and behavioral adjustment, divorce-specific adjustment, as well as the degree and nature of ongoing conflict between parents. On every measure of adjustment, children in joint physical custody arrangements were faring significantly better than children in sole custody arrangements: “Children in joint custody arrangements had fewer behavior and emotional problems, higher self-esteem, and better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements.” The positive outcomes of joint custody were also evident among high-conflict couples.

[...]Sole maternal custody often leads to parental alienation and father absence, and father absence is associated with negative child outcomes. Eighty five per cent of youth in prison are fatherless; 71 per cent of high school dropouts are fatherless; 90 per cent of runaway children are fatherless; and fatherless youth exhibit higher levels of depression and suicide, delinquency, promiscuity and teen pregnancy, behavioural problems and illicit and licit substance abuse (Statistics Canada, 2005; Crowder and Teachman, 2004; Ellis et al., 2003; Ringback Weitoft et al., 2003; Jeynes, 2001; Leonard et al., 2005; McCue Horwitz et al,, 2003; McMunn, 2001; Margolin and Craft, 1989; Blankenhorn, 1995; Popenoe, 1996; Vitz, 2000; Alexander, 2003). These studies also found that fatherless youth are more likely to be victims of exploitation and abuse, as father absence through divorce is strongly associated with diminished self-concepts in children (Parish, 1987).

[...]Children of divorce want equal time with their parents and consider shared parenting to be in their best interests. Seventy per cent of children of divorce believe that equal amounts of time with each parent is the best living arrangement for children, and children who have had equal time arrangements have the best relations with each of their parents after divorce (Fabricius, 2003).

[...]From the perspective of children, such de facto sole custody arrangements are woefully inadequate, often resulting in the loss of one of their primary caregivers. From the perspective of both international conventions (U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child) and reports such as that of the Special Joint House of Commons-Senate Committee on Child Custody and Access (1998), such arrangements undermine children’s fundamental need for both parents actively and responsibly involved in their lives.

Building bridges across the gender pay gap - Employment - NZ Herald News

Not even sure how serious one should take that article, but well it seems I haven't blogged about the wage gap in ages, so what is going on here:

He and another economics professor, Andrea Ichino analysed personnel data at an Italian bank which recorded the date and duration of every employee absence from work and found the absences of women below the age of 45 followed a 28-day cycle.

The professors concluded the menstrual cycle did increase female absenteeism and this explained at least 14 per cent of the gender pay difference.

More about the sick times:

in many Western countries women typically have more sick days than men of the same age - 7.6 more in Europe and 5.2 more in America and Canada.

"We think that biological difference could explain at least some of it.

"What we find is consistent with medical studies where women have turned in diaries of their conditions and their sickness and doctors find an incidence of PMS-related absences that is very consistent with our own estimate that came from the Italian data."

Perhaps good to keep in mind.

Moretti told Weekend Review the research was simply a small step in trying to say what the facts are and what the role of biology might be in women earning less - his guess is that child-rearing is a much bigger factor.

There is more in the article about starting a debate by tongue-in-cheek suggesting extra days off for women and more about what the state could do to address the pay-gap, but it seems to be one of those instances where ones rage is better suited for different topics....or so.

The therapist gap

Well, apparently there isn't only a lack of male teachers, there also seems to be a gap when it comes to therapists:

Researchers began tracking the “feminization” of mental health care more than a generation ago, when women started to outnumber men in fields like psychology and counseling. Today the takeover is almost complete.

Men earn only one in five of all master’s degrees awarded in psychology, down from half in the 1970s. They account for less than 10 percent of social workers under the age of 34, according to a recent survey. And their numbers have dwindled among professional counselors — to 10 percent of the American Counseling Association’s membership today from 30 percent in 1982 — and appear to be declining among marriage and family therapists.

Some college psychology programs cannot even attract male applicants, much less students. And at many therapists’ conferences, attendees with salt-and-pepper beards wander the hallways as lonely as peaceniks at a gun fair.

The result, many therapists argue, is that the profession is at risk of losing its appeal for a large group of sufferers — most of them men — who would like to receive therapy but prefer to start with a male therapist.

“There’s a way in which a guy grows up that he knows some things that women don’t know, and vice versa,” said David Moultrup, a psychotherapist in Belmont, Mass. “But that male viewpoint has been so devalued in the course of empowering little girls for the past 40 or 50 years that it is now all but lost in talk therapy. Society needs to have the choice, and the choice is being taken away.”

[...]In just the past few years, psychologists have identified a number of issues that are, in effect, male versions of the gender-identity issues that so many mothers face in the work force: the self-doubt of being a stay-at-home father, the tension between being a provider and being a father, even male post-partum depression.

More findings from the NSWC Study

I blogged about that before. Now F&F have some posts up with their analysis which is always worth reading it. Excerpts:

“Work-family conflict” is defined as how much each interferes with the other. The FWI compared mothers and fathers in dual-earner households in 1977 and 2008. The percentage of mothers reporting work-family conflict remained statistically the same (41% in 1977; 47% in 2008)over the 31 years while the percentage of fathers increased dramatically from 35% to 60%.

The authors sought to explain the change and the imbalance between mothers and fathers. What they found was what they call the “new male mystique.” That’s obviously a nod to Betty Friedan, but in this case the term means “traditional views about men’s role as breadwinners in combination with emerging gender role values that encourage men to participate in family life and a workplace that does not fully support these new roles have created pressure for men to, essentially, do it all in order to have it all.”

In other words, men still view themselves as primarily breadwinners, but have taken on the additional role of father as well. Those two things combined with employers who aren’t inclined to accommodate fathering activities make for conflict. How can a dad work and earn as much as he feels he needs to and still spend enough time with his kids?

[...]Increasing job demands, the blurring of boundaries between work and home life, declining job security and flat earnings have made it more challenging for men to live up to the new male mystique, thereby contributing to an increased probability of work-family conflict.

[...]Our data show that there is no statistically significant difference between men and women on these views—40% of men and 37% of women somewhat or strongly agree with traditional attitudes about gender role values.

[...]Fathers want to work fewer hours were asked in this study why they don’t reduce their work hours. We find:
• 47% say they need the money they earn by working long hours, whether or not their spouse earns more money than they do.
• 16% say they could not keep their jobs if they worked fewer hours.
• 14% say they need to work long hours to keep up with the demands of their job.

[..]So why is it that 60% of fathers but only 47% of mothers report significant levels of work-family conflict?

I think the answer is obvious - mothers work less than men when they work and are more likely than fathers to not do paid work. The authors are clear on their finding that it is specifically work, not family, that is the cause of work-family conflict. So it stands to reason that the parent who works less experiences less work-family conflict.

In fact, among fathers, those who work more have more conflict than those who work less, so it’s not surprising that the same is true of mothers.

Pretty interesting. The conclusion was spot on:

The lesson seems clear. We can try to wheedle employers into being more flexible, but that’s unlikely to make much of an impact on employer behavior. But what we can do, individual couple by individual couple, is to even out the work and the childcare between fathers and mothers. That way the work-family conflict will be evened out as well.