Friday, March 30, 2012

Voluntary sex causes as many injuries as rape

That finding really surprised me at first:

Nature, frequency and duration of genital lesions after consensual sexual intercourse—Implications for legal proceedings - Birgitte Schmidt Astrup - 2011

The purpose of this study was to make a normative description of the nature and duration of genital lesions sustained during consensual sexual intercourse, using the three most commonly used techniques; visualisation using the naked eye, colposcopy and toluidine blue dye followed by colposcopy.

Ninety eight women were examined within 48 h of consensual sexual intercourse. Fifty of the women were examined twice again within the following 7 days of sexual abstinence after the first examination.

The participants had a median age of 22.4 years and 88% were nulliparous. Lesions were frequent; 34% seen with the naked eye, 49% seen with colposcopy and 52% seen with toluidine blue dye and subsequent colposcopy. The lesions lasted for several days; the median survival times for lacerations were 24, 40 and 80 h, respectively.

The legal implications of these findings are that genital lesions by themselves do not corroborate a rape complaint. Genital lesions may, however, corroborate specific details of a case and should be documented as carefully as any other lesion in rape complaints.

This was featured in an article here but seems to be a different study:

An in-depth study of 39 rape victims on one side and 110 nursing students on the other reveals that voluntary sex causes vaginal injuries just as frequently as in rapes.

“The findings are extremely interesting,” says Birgitte Schmidt Astrup, a doctor and a PhD student at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark.

“The nursing students experience just as frequent vaginal injuries as rape victims, and so these injuries cannot be used for much more than to establish that intercourse has taken place,” she says, adding that in cases where convictions have been based on such injuries, one can reasonably discuss whether there has been a miscarriage of justice. [...]

The results showed that vaginal injuries were found in 36 percent of rape victims at the Centre for Rape Victims at Odense University Hospital, and in 34 percent of the nursing students.


The researcher is keen to point out that this is still only a hypothesis, which is also based on hints in other studies.

American researchers, for instance, have shown that there are four to five times as many injuries in white women as in women of other races, and this could be due to a difference in the skin on the mucous membranes.

“It’s too early to come with a definitive answer because the research in this field has so far been very poor,” says Astrup.

Connecting the dots, In-group bias and gender roles

Like the headline said, borrowed from Girlwriteswhat:

This is the most common path to a positive male identity BECAUSE MEN LACK A MECHANISM FOR AUTOMATIC OWN-GROUP PREFERENCE. Simply put, they do not relate to other men automatically, just because they're men.

Women have this bias, which provides them a natural ability to form cooperatives, relate to other women, and seek consensus though their strong mechanism for own-group preference based on gender alone. Given their gender roles through most of human history, this mechanism makes sense. Their individual value as, to put it bluntly, breeders, meant that in a survivalist environment, you didn't throw a woman on the trash pile without a pressing reason. Adjustments were made when possible to keep as many women as you could within the sisterhood. This is where you find a ton of attention in female spaces given to things like "tone" and "being nice" and "getting along" even when there are disagreements. It's all about comfort level and feelings of acceptance.

Men, however, lack the hardwiring to form a preference for maleness based merely on maleness. And that only makes sense when you think about men's roles for the last couple million years or so--roles that involved things like beating the guys down the valley to a pulp when they threatened his women and children, and competing against other males within his community for a shot at the mating game. Given those roles, automatically siding with one's own gender over the other is...well, it just doesn't work.[...]

The myth among feminists that men will insult each other for displaying feminine traits because they see women as inferior is just that--a myth. Men do this because women have a trump card that bestows intrinsic value on them--their uteruses--and they retain that value even when they gender-bend a little. A woman who acts like a woman is not seen as inferior. A man who acts like a woman has always been seen not as a woman, but as a "woman without a womb". He has no female value, and he has no male value. Therefore, he has NO value at all. And unlike women, men who were not "useful" did--and still do--get thrown on the trash heap of society.

In the currency of reproduction, an ovum goes for a thousand bucks, a uterus is worth a cool mill, and an ejaculation about 10 cents. To be acceptable mating material, and worth keeping around, a man had to do more than generate sperm. And when the only thing keeping you from becoming completely disposable as an individual lies in differentiating yourself from the feminine, well, guys gonna enforce that shit.

This is why men have always tended to define themselves by their roles. Father, husband, working man, soldier, career man, family man, middle class man, politician, activist, other words, roles to exist in which allow them to relate to other men who also occupy those roles, and to derive a positive and meaningful identity from performing their masculinity through those roles.

Most Say Homosexuality Should Be Accepted By Society

I am not sure if it this is actually good news "Most Say Homosexuality Should Be Accepted By Society" or bad news "1/3 of Americans do not believe homosexuality should be accepted" (that is way too much). Anyhow, the times are (slowly) changing. The data:

While the public is divided over same-sex marriage, a majority of Americans (58%) say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society.

Among younger people in particular, there is broad support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. More than six-in-ten (63%) of those younger than age 50 -- 69% of those younger than age 30 -- say that homosexuality should be accepted. Far fewer of those ages 50 and older (52%) favor societal acceptance of homosexuality.

These are among the findings from the latest Pew Research Center political typology survey, released May 4, 2011. The survey, conducted in February and March of this year, showed that opposition to gay marriage has continued to decline.

Currently, 45% favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 46% are opposed. Two years ago, in April 2009, 35% supported same-sex marriage while 54% were opposed. [...]

The political typology survey also found a decline in negative views of the increasing number of gays and lesbians raising children. Today, 35% say that more gay parents is bad for society, 14% view this trend positively, while 48% say it does not make much difference. Four years ago, 50% viewed this trend negatively, 11% said it was a good thing and 34% said it made no difference.[...]

Two-thirds of Democrats (67%) and 63% of independents say that homosexuality should be accepted, compared with 40% of Republicans.

Among religious groups, substantial majorities of the religiously unaffiliated (79%), white Catholics (66%) and white mainline Protestants (65%) say that homosexuality should be accepted. However, just 29% of white evangelical Protestants agree, while more than twice as many (63%) say homosexuality should be discouraged by society.

There also are gender and racial differences: More women than men favor societal acceptance of homosexuality (64% vs. 52%). Hispanics (64%) and whites (58%) are more supportive of this than are African Americans (49%).

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What if women don’t need guys any more, and guys don’t care?

I do not usually like opinion pieces, stuff with no hard data in it. However this one had a nice feel to it:

Except after a while I started wondering if it really was a bad thing after all. It only makes you nervous if you believe men are losing a position they aspired to: breadwinner, provider, working stiff. What if feminism only recognized half the problem, i.e. the female half? What if it wasn’t only women who’d been shunted into a role they didn’t want, what if men had as well?

[...I]t could also be that a great number of men – perhaps the majority – filled the roles they did because they felt it was expected of them. And in defining new roles for women – releasing them to be professionals and careerists – feminism also released men from the expectation that they must spend their lives in jobs they didn’t aspire to, fulfilling roles they didn’t ask for.

I can understand that. I don’t mind working for a living, but, given a choice, I could think of better things to do. I have a career because it was expected. There was never an option: you went to school and then you got a job. And if you got married, you paid the bills. Maybe if you were lucky your wife worked too and helped with the expenses, but she had a choice about it and you didn’t.

I suspect a lot of men are like that. A few were dying to get out of school, get into the workforce and make a lot of money. But quite a few more did what was expected. Ideally you found a job you liked that paid well. More likely you got one that paid OK and you could stand. Some put up with jobs they hated or bosses they loathed because the pay was too good or it was the best they could find. The worst-case scenario was a job you hated at crummy pay.[...]

Men weren’t there to pursue their dreams or fantasies, they were there to earn. [...]

Men, on the other hand, have largely been ignored, on the apparent assumption that they had what they wanted and didn’t need any special care. As long as you taught them to read and write, and maybe do a little math, they were set. They’d reach working age and automatically set out to earn a living, because it was in their nature. It’s what they wanted.

Except maybe not. While the little girls have been getting lessons in striving, the little boys have been absorbing the message that they no longer have to. (They may look like they’re not paying attention in class, but, really, they do pick up on these things). If there’s no stigma to little Betty growing up to earn a fat paycheque, maybe there’s also no shame to little Billy refusing to do so.

It sounds like a good answer to all the "OMG, MEN ARE SUCH SLOBS NOW!!11!!" post one sees on a daily basis.

(Found via reddit)

Sex differences in mate preferences

Something from the "That doesn't really surprise me department":

Is Traditional Gender Ideology Associated with Sex-Typed Mate Preferences? A Test in Nine Nations - 2006

As expected, these data replicated well-known sex differences in mate preferences: In general, women preferred
a mate older than themselves, men preferred a mate younger than themselves, women placed greater importance
on financial prospects in a mate, and men placed greater importance on good cook and housekeeper qualities in a
mate. Also, even with this small sample of nations, these cross-national data replicated the finding that the sex
difference in the preferred age of one’s mate decreased with increasing gender equality (Eagly & Wood, 1999).

At the participant level of analysis, these data confirmed our predictions about the relationship between traditional
gender ideology and mate preferences. First, for preferred age difference in a mate, all four forms of traditional gender ideology were associated with sex-typed preferences: Women with traditional attitudes preferred an older mate than did women with less traditional attitudes, whereas men with traditional attitudes preferred a younger mate than did men with less traditional attitudes. These men’s and women’s associations were significantly different from one another. Second, although traditional gender ideology was positively associated with the importance of good financial prospects in a mate for both men and women, for three of the four ideology measures it was a stronger predictor of women’s preferences. Third, although traditional gender ideology was positively associated with the importance of good cook and housekeeper qualities in a mate for both men and women, for three of the four ideology measures it was a stronger predictor of men’s preferences. In addition, an ipsative analysis revealed results consistent with the social role logic: To the extent that participants held traditional gender ideologies, women preferred good financial prospects in a mate more than other characteristics and men preferred a good cook and housekeeper more than other characteristics. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that traditional attitudes toward the roles of men and women serve to guide mate choice by fostering sex-typed mate preferences.

Difference of perception between gay men and gay women

Somewhat fascinating:
Gender Gaps in Public Opinion about Lesbians and Gay Men - GREGORY M. HEREK - 2002

Using data from a 1999 national RDD survey (N = 1,335), this article examines gender gaps in heterosexuals' attitudes toward lesbians, gay men, and a variety of topics related to homosexuality. Attitudes toward lesbians differed from attitudes toward gay men in several areas, and significant differences were observed between male and female heterosexual respondents. Survey participants generally were more likely to regard gay men as mentally ill, supported adoption rights for lesbians more than for gay men, and had more negative personal reactions to gay men than to lesbians. Overall, heterosexual women were more supportive than men of employment protection and adoption rights for gay people, more willing to extend employee benefits to same-sex couples, and less likely to hold stereotypical beliefs about gay people. Heterosexual men's negative reactions to gay men were at the root of these gender differences. Of all respondent-by-target combinations, heterosexual men were the least supportive of recognition of same-sex relationships and adoption rights for gay men, most likely to believe that gay men are mentally ill and molest children, and most negative in their affective reactions to gay men. Heterosexual men's response patterns were affected by item order, suggesting possible gender differences in the cognitive organization of attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. The findings demonstrate the importance of differentiating lesbians from gay men as attitude targets in survey research.

And also:
The Relation Between Gender and Negative Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbians: Do Gender Role Attitudes Mediate This Relation? - John G. Kerns and Mark A. Fine - 1994

This study examined whether traditional gender role attitudes mediated the relation between gender and negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians. One hundred and fifty-five heterosexual college students (59% female; 97%
Caucasian) completed questionnaires that assessed their attitudes toward gay men and lesbians and their gender role attitudes. Although males reported more negative attitudes toward gay men than females, there were no gender
differences in attitudes toward lesbians. Traditional gender role attitudes mediated the relation between gender and attitudes toward gay men. These findings suggest that attitudes toward gay men are more strongly related to
gender role attitudes than to gender. [...]

Although most studies that have used Herek's (1988) Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale (ATLG) have found
that men have more negative attitudes toward lesbians than women (Herek, 1994), the gender differences have been relatively small (Kite, 1984) and a few studies that did not use the ATGL found that men held more favorable
attitudes toward lesbians than women (Whitley, 1987, 1988).[...]

Consistent with previous research (Kite, 1984, 1994; McDevitt et al., 1990; Herek, 1994) heterosexual males had more negative attitudes toward gay men than did heterosexual females. However, although males had more negative attitudes toward lesbians than did females, this difference was not significant. This general pattern was consistent with previous research indicating that gender differences are greater in negative attitudes toward gay men than in attitudes toward lesbians (Herek, 1994; Kite, 1984, 1994). Further, although not a primary focus of our study, we also found that both male and female participants had more negative attitudes toward gay men than toward lesbians, with this difference being greatest for male respondents.

Collectively, these findings suggest that an aversion to male homosexuality may be a more central component of heterosexual males' traditional gender roles than is an aversion to homosexuality/n general (Herek, 1992; Mishkind et al., 1986). Violations from traditional gender roles may be particularly aversive to heterosexual males because these breaches are perceived as a threat to their social privilege and power. Within the context of attitudes toward homosexual individuals, gay men are apparently perceived by heterosexual men as deviating more from traditional gender roles than lesbians.[...]

Indeed, the most important and novel contribution of this study was the demonstration that traditional gender role attitudes mediated the relation between gender and negative attitudes toward gay men. When the traditional attitudes toward gender roles variable was entered into the regression equation, gender was no longer significantly related to negative attitudes toward gay men (i.e., males and females no longer differed in negative attitudes toward gay men). This finding lends support to our notion that a difference between heterosexual males and females in their adherence
to traditional gender role attitudes may be a mechanism that is partly responsible for the gender difference in negative attitudes toward gay men.

In addition, several tenets of our gender role socialization model were supported. Specifically, consistent with previous studies, heterosexual males endorsed more traditional gender roles than did heterosexual females (Kurdek,
1988; Stark, 1991) and negative attitudes toward gay men and lesbians were positively related to traditional gender role attitudes (Kurdek, 1988; Stark, 1991).[...]

At the most basic level, our findings suggest that individuals' attitudes toward gay men [...] appear to be based less on their biological sex (i.e., male or female) than on their gender role attitudes.

Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Toward Men

I really do love google scholar:

Gender Stereotypes and Attitudes Toward Women and Men - Alice H. Eagly - 1989

Attitude theory is used to provide a conceptual analysis of how attitudes toward men and women relate to gender stereotypes. Consistent with this analysis, attitudes toward the sexes related positively to the evaluative meaning of the corresponding gender stereo-types. In addition, attitudes and stereotypes about women were extremely favorable - in fact, more favorable than those about men. The findings also demonstrated that the Attitudes Toward Women Scale assesses attitudes toward equal rights for women not attitudes toward women, and therefore did not relate to the evaluative meaning of subjects' stereotypes about women.

And as a bonus:

The construction and validation of Attitudes Toward Men Scale - Iazzo, Anthony N. - 1983

Describes the construction and validation of the Attitudes Toward Men Scale (AMS). The initial 63 items were based on a review of the literature, which suggested 4 major content areas that define men: marriage and parenthood, sexuality, work, and physical and personality attributes. Factor analysis of responses of 104 18–63 yr old women indicated 4 factors that corresponded to these content areas. Good internal consistency and freedom from social desirability distortion were found. In criterion-related validation, the AMS scores of battered wives, rape victims, feminists, and lesbians clearly demonstrated more negative attitudes toward men than a control sample. In an exploratory study, the personality and psychopathology of the 1st 104 Ss were compared (via the 16PF and the Mini-Mult) and contrasted in relation to their attitudes toward men. Findings indicate that attitudes toward men depend largely on experience. (40 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Rape to exert power and control?

Found via the German "Alles Evolution" blog. Thx:

The effect of conjugal visitation on sexual violence in prison - D'Alessio SJ et al - 2012

At present, there are two opposing theories of the causes of sexual violence. The feminist perspective asserts that sexual violence is motivated primarily by an offender’s desire to exert power and control over another individual. Therefore, according to this theory, conjugal visitation should have little or no effect on sexual offending in prison. In contrast, sexual gratification theory argues that the ultimate motivation for rape and sexual violence is to achieve sexual gratification. Therefore, based on this view, conjugal visitation should reduce sexual offending in prison.[...]

After taking into account the size of the prison population*, the researchers found that the rate of sexual violence was significantly lower in states that allowed conjugal visitation: 57 incidents per 100,000 inmates compared with 226 incidents per 100,000 inmates in states that do not allow the practice. This finding casts doubt on the feminist perspective and supports sexual gratification theory

The wage gap - simple math edition

Inspired by a redditor:

Men work 56% of hours.
That means that men work 56 out of 100 hours while females worked 44 out of 100 hours.
(44/56)*100 = 78.57%

So, women worked 78.57% of the hours men worked. Let's see the % of money of men's earnings that women earned
(36,278/47,127)* 100 = 76.979%
So, women worked 78.6% of the hours men worked, and earned 77% of the money. This is a proportional and expected amount, based on hours worked.

Reality is probably not that simple, but before that, the sources are this factsheet by the Department of Labour Statistics (Slide 10 - Source US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, and Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 2011) and men's and women's media income as cited here (Source: Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, U.S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2009 (2010)). The first one had another interesting statistic right next to the hours worked, namely fatal work injuries (Women: 7% Men: 93%) which also tells us there is more to the story. One think that fascinated me is the way we can look at the numbers. When you hear 56% of hours worked wear by men you would say that was fairly equal however men working about 22% more hours as compared to women has a total different ring. So what happens when we calculate the wage gap as percentage of total wages?

177 Dollars total earned (77 by women, 100 by men) -> 44% of Dollars earned are earned by women

That has a totally different ring to it right? Of course beside the simple math, there is also this CONSAD report:

An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women - CONSAD - 2009

There are observable differences in the attributes of men and women that account for most of the wage gap. Statistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that collectively
account for between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent, and thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent.

This all came in light of the recent Times article and speculation that we might soon have a wage gap in women's favour, and you know what, I also posted about this as I like to highlight women's power on the job market, however than I came around the official statistic behind this. The articles read almost 40% of women earn more than their husband now look at this:

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey - BLS - Table 25. Wives who earn more than their husbands, 1987–2008

Families in which wives have earnings but husbands may not - Wives earning more: 34.5%
Families in which both wives and husbands have earnings - Wives earning more: 26.6%

Number of husbands where husbands do not have earnings: 4083 from 37988 or 11%

Anybody notice what is missing here? What about families where wives have no earnings? Might the numbers look a bit different there? I get the feeling we will still have a wage gap for a very long time. Attention, I am not saying this is a good thing, quite the contrary, I do believe it would be healthier for men to choose fatherhood above trying to reach the highest pay check. Maybe it is about time to empower fathers.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Closer Look at Men Who Sustain Intimate Terrorism by Women

I cited that study in a study by Straus (Yo dawg!) already, but here it is in total. The topic, intimate terrorism:

A Closer Look at Men Who Sustain Intimate Terrorism by Women - Denise A. Hines, PhD and Emily M. Douglas, PhD - 2010

The present study is an in-depth, descriptive examination of 302 men who sustained severe IPV from their women partners within the previous year and sought help. We present information on their demographics, overall mental health, and the types and frequency of various forms of physical and psychological IPV they sustained. We also provide both quantitative and qualitative information about their last physical argument and their reasons for staying in the relationship. It is concluded that, contrary to many assumptions about these men, the IPV they sustain is quite severe and both mentally and physically damaging; their most frequent response to their partner's IPV is to get away from her; and they are often blocked in their efforts to leave, sometimes physically, but more often because of strong psychological and emotional ties to their partners and especially their children. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for policy and practice.

The summary surrounding the term intimate terrorism was quite good:

Although increasingly more researchers have been investigating women's use of intimate partner violence (IPV) (e.g., Carney, Buttell, & Dutton, 2007; Carney & Buttell, 2004; Dowd, Leisring, & Rosenbaum, 2005; Henning & Feder, 2004; Henning, Jones, & Holdford, 2003; Swan, Gambone, Caldwell, Sullivan, & Snow, 2008; Swan, Gambone, Fields, Sullivan, & Snow, 2005; Swan & Snow, 2006) and thus acknowledging that men can sustain IPV from their women partners, little systematic research has documented the experiences of men who sustain IPV from their women partners. What has been done has been limited primarily to case studies (Cook, 2009; Migliaccio, 2001), with only one larger-scale study of men seeking help because they sustained IPV (Hines, Brown, & Dunning, 2007). One reason for this lack of research has been attributed to the controversial nature of this topic (Hines & Douglas, 2009): Despite decades of research showing that women use IPV against their men partners (Catalano, 2007; Gelles, 1974; Straus & Gelles, 1988; Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 1980; Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000) at rates and frequencies that often equal that of their men partners (Archer, 2000), there are some who argue that men do not sustain IPV from their women partners, unless it is because their partners are acting in self-defense or retaliation (Belknap & Melton, 2005; Dobash, Dobash, Wilson, & Daly, 1992; Loseke & Kurz, 2005; Saunders, 1988). These authors typically argue that, because IPV is an issue of men maintaining power and control over their women partners, it is not possible for women to be perpetrators of IPV.
Johnson (1995, 2006) attempted to resolve this controversy by theorizing that there are two distinct types of IPV: common couple violence (CCV) and intimate terrorism (IT). CCV, Johnson argued, was seen primarily in population-based and community surveys that showed that women and men used IPV equally. This type of IPV consists of conflicts that “get out of hand” and result in men and women using low levels of violence (e.g., pushing, shoving, or slapping) toward one another. The central feature of IT is that the violence is one tactic in a general pattern of control of the male partner over the female partner. The IPV occurs frequently and is severe, occurring at least monthly; it is not likely to be mutual, and it is likely to involve serious injury and emotional abuse of the female partner as well. Johnson argues that IT can be explained by patriarchal theory and is the sole domain of men. The primary shortcoming of Johnson's research is that he used only shelter samples of battered women, and men mandated into batterer treatment programs, to come to this conclusion.

In a previous article on the data set used in the current study (Hines & Douglas, in press), we established that, as a whole, the men in our sample were the victims of IT by their women partners and that the violence the men used against their women partners was characteristic of violent resistance. Violent resistance, as described by Johnson, is characterized by the victim sometimes reacting to the partner's IT with violence but not within a general pattern of trying to control the partner (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000). The purpose of the present article is to more closely examine the men who sustain IT and to evaluate some prevailing assumptions about who they are and what they experience. Specifically, we will provide data on their demographics, the nature of their relationships, what types of abuse they experience, and what prevents them from leaving.

What follows is some myth-bustering on some myths we always hear. Women are always acting in self defense

As mentioned, one well-noted assumption about women who use IPV against their men partners is that they are acting solely in self-defense or retaliation against their presumably violent men partners (Belknap & Melton, 2005; Dobash et al., 1992; Loseke & Kurz, 2005; Saunders, 1988). This assumption, held by a few researchers, has been refuted by studies assessing women's motives for IPV, which show that, although some women report self-defense or retaliation as a motive, most do not (see Hines & Malley-Morrison, 2001; Medeiros & Straus, 2006, for reviews). In a previous article (Hines & Douglas, in press), we provided evidence that refuted that assumption as well.

That violence against men is harmless

Another assumption concerning woman-to-man violence held by some researchers (e.g., Pagelow, 1985) focuses on the relative size difference between most men and women. Because, on average, men are physically bigger and stronger than their women partners, some authors have argued that men would strike back or restrain a woman partner who becomes violent and that men presumably also have the ability to leave the premises without being forcibly restrained by their women partners (Pagelow, 1985). Some researchers who forward this assumption conclude that, because men can easily fight back, restrain their partners, and/or leave the premises, women's violence against men is trivial, humorous, or annoying (Currie, 1998; Pagelow, 1985; Saunders, 1988), and violence by women toward men has no social or psychological effects on the men who sustain it (Mills, 1984). Several anecdotal accounts (Cook, 2009; Migliaccio, 2001) and one larger-scale study (Hines et al., 2007) of men who sustain IPV from women partners indicate that women's violence can induce fear in men partners and is not viewed as trivial, humorous, or annoying, but as distressing. Many men report that they cannot and will not hit back, both because of moral objections to hitting a woman and because of fear that, if he hits her back, he may set himself up to be arrested and/or lose custody of his children (Cook, 2009; Migliaccio, 2001). Men victims are injured less frequently than women victims, but, men do, nonetheless, sustain injuries, which are sometimes very severe (Hines & Douglas, in press; McNeely, Cook, & Torres, 2001), and suffer socially and psychologically from their partner's aggression (e.g., Cook, 2009; Hines, 2007; Stets & Straus, 1990).

That men can always leave

A related assumption is that men who sustain IPV from their women partners can leave their partners. Some researchers argue that men are not economically trapped in marriage or romantic relationships like women, because their incomes and occupational statuses tend to be higher (Saunders, 1988); they are not physically or economically constrained from leaving (Pagelow, 1985), nor are they as psychologically invested in the children or household (Loseke & Kurz, 2005). Researchers who support this line of reasoning focus on concrete resources that are often available to men such as physical strength, employment, and transportation. Nonetheless, case studies show that men who sustain IPV often focus on these and other barriers to leaving an abusive relationship, including a commitment to marriage, lack of financial resources, and concern for their children. In such circumstances, men often worry that their women partners will obtain custody of their children. They have substantial concerns about leaving their children with a violent parent; if they stay in the household, they at least feel that they can protect the children (e.g., Cook, 2009; Steinmetz, 1977–1978). In our previous research on the sample in the current study, we also found that men encounter serious barriers to obtaining help from the social service system and from police when they seek such support, such as not being believed, being laughed at, and/or being accused of (or being arrested for) being the “real abuser” in the relationship (Douglas & Hines, 2009). Such barriers to seeking help from a system that is designed to help IPV victims creates further barriers to leaving an abusive woman partner.

As for the study and the results, excerpts:

Almost 80% of men participants reported that they were injured by their women partners, with 77.5% stating they sustained a minor injury and 35.1% sustaining a severe injury in the previous year. Moreover, within just the men participants who did sustain injuries, the men participants reported that they were injured 11.68 times in the previous year (9.73 minor injuries and 4.64 severe injuries). [...] The most prevalent severe physical aggression items were punching/hitting him with something that could hurt, sustained by 84.4% of the sample at a rate of 6.08 acts in the previous year, and kicking, sustained by 56.3% of the sample at a rate of 3.08 acts in the previous year. Notably, 40.1% of the sample said they had been beaten up in the previous year, at an average of 2.68 times. This included 10 men (3.3%) who reported being beaten up 11 to 20 times in the previous year and 14 men (4.6%) who reported being beaten up more than 20 times in the previous year. In addition, 20.5% of men said their partners used a knife or gun on them in the previous year, which includes 9 men (3.0%) who said this happened 3 to 5 times, 2 men (0.7%) who said it happened 6 to 10 times, and 1 man (0.3%) who said this happened more than 20 times in the previous year. Almost 17% of the men reported being choked, which included 14 men (4.6%) who were choked 3 to 5 times, 2 men (0.7%) who were choked 6 to 10 times, and 3 men (1.0%) who were choked more than 20 times in the previous year.

The most common types of injury were having a sprain, bruise, or small cut, sustained by 69.5% of men on an average of 4.05 times in the previous year. Of the severe injuries, 29.1% of men said that they needed to see a doctor but did not in the previous year, and 14.2% actually did see a doctor. Over 5% of men reported sustaining a broken bone or passing out, with 15 men (5.0%) sustaining one broken bone, 1 man (0.3%) sustaining two broken bones, 2 men (0.7%) sustaining three to five broken bones, 10 men (3.3%) passing out once, 5 men (1.7%) passing out twice, 1 man (0.3%) passing out 3 to 5 times, and 1 man (0.3%) passing out 11 to 20 times in the previous year.
Finally, we asked the men about other behaviors that their women partners might have used that could be considered psychologically aggressive. Specifically, 67.2% reported that their partner falsely accused them of hitting or beating her; 38.7% reported that she filed a restraining order against him under false pretenses; 48.9% of the men with children reported that their partners falsely accused them of physically abusing the children, and 15.4% reported that they were falsely accused by their partners of sexually abusing the children. [...]

Of 189 men who reported that they had not left their partners yet, 178 (94.2%) reported that they have seriously considered leaving. The issues that prevent them from leaving are presented in Table 7. As shown, commitment to the children and marriage, for those men who have children and/or are married, are the primary reasons they remain in the relationship. The third most common reason is love, followed by a fear that they may never see their children again. Over half of the men also reported that they think that their partners will change, they do not have enough money to leave, they have no place to go, and that they are embarrassed that others will find out that their partner abuses them. Just under 50% reported that they did not want to take the children away from their partners (presumably the children's mothers), and around 25% stated that the partner threatened suicide if they left and that they feared she might kill them or someone they love if they leave. [...]

When the woman partner hit first, the most common reaction that the participants reported was to get away from the partner or go to another room; the least endorsed reaction was to hit/grab/shove/push back. Thus, the men do seem to be able to leave the argument and violence if they want. However, there is also evidence that some are blocked in their efforts to leave, either through further violence or having their access to transportation blocked. In addition, they do not strike back in large numbers: 12 of the 59 men (20.3%) who reported that they hit/grabbed/shoved/pushed back stated in their qualitative accounts that it was to restrain her or defend himself. Thus, at most, 16.7% of the men reported striking back in retaliation, which is congruent with previous qualitative research that shows that men victims of IPV are reluctant to hit back either because of moral objections to hitting a woman or because of fear that if he hits her back, he may set himself up to be arrested and/or lose custody of his children (Cook, 2009; Migliaccio, 2001).

Moreover, there is evidence that the harm to children who witness IPV by their mothers is as strong as the harm they experience when witnessing IPV by their fathers (Holden, Geffner, & Jouriles, 1998; Moretti, Obsuth, Odgers, & Reebye, 2006; Straus, 1991). [...]

Over 90% sustained severe physical aggression (aggression that had a high likelihood of causing an injury), and over 50% sustained very severe physical aggression (aggression that could be considered life-threatening), which included being beaten up, having a knife or gun used on him, and being choked. Finally, the IPV they sustained was not inconsequential: 78.5% sustained an injury in the past year and were injured, on average, about once a month; these injuries included broken bones and passing out from being hit on the head.

In addition to the IPV mentioned above, over half of the men reported that their women partners made false accusations against them, which included that he hit or beat her, that a restraining order was filed against him under false pretenses, or that he physically and/or sexually abused the children. These findings are congruent with a previous study that showed that approximately 50% of men victims of IPV stated that their partners gave false information to the court system in order to gain custody of the children or to obtain a restraining order (Hines et al., 2007). These findings are also consistent with a study of families undergoing custody disputes in the courts (Johnston, Lee, Olesen, & Walters, 2005), which showed that 21% of women made allegations of physical child abuse against their husbands, 23% of sexual child abuse, and 55% of IPV. Only 6%, 6%, and 41% of the accusations, respectively, were substantiated by the courts. (This study also showed similar rates of accusations and substantiations by men against their wives.) Such findings show that men who fear false accusations are justified in having such fears.

Moreover, it is possible that the mental health of the men in this sample may have suffered as a result of being involved in their relationship. Almost a quarter of the men had been diagnosed with a mental illness, and about 40% of these mental illnesses were diagnosed since being involved with their women partners. [...]

Our final analyses provided data on why the men chose to stay in their relationships. Some researchers have argued that, in comparison to battered women, it is not difficult for men to leave their relationships, because they have the financial and occupational resources to leave (Pagelow, 1985; Saunders, 1988), and they are not as psychologically invested in their family (Loseke & Kurz, 2005). However, our study casts doubt on these assumptions. The overwhelming reason they chose to stay in the relationships typically involved their commitment to the marriage and their children. They stated that, when they married, it was for life and that they are concerned about their children–results that are congruent with a previous qualitative study that showed that men's primary reason for not leaving was a strong objection to what they perceived as abdicating their responsibilities to their marriage and children (Cook, 2009) but not congruent with researchers who argue that men are not that psychologically invested in their families.

In addition, the vast majority (71%) of men indicated that they stayed in the relationship because of love. Most of the literature on battered women focuses on external barriers to leaving, such as economic and housing needs and fears that their partners will escalate his abuse if they leave, with a deemphasis on more internal constraints, such as strong emotional attachments to one's partner (see Griffing et al., 2002, for a discussion). However, studies of battered women that do consider love/emotional attachment as a possible constraint to leaving or returning to an abusive partner are consistent with our findings that the majority of victims cite this as a main reason for not leaving, with far fewer victims citing external constraints (e.g., Anderson et al., 2003; Griffing et al., 2002; Torres, 1987). Thus, love should not be overlooked or underemphasized as a real barrier for both men and women leaving abusive relationships, because by not acknowledging it, we may undermine our efforts to help women and men who may want to leave but feel emotionally tied to their abusers. Some researchers have discussed the bond that forms between battered women and their abusers as a form of traumatic bonding, in which the cycles of battering and reconciliation lead to a strong attachment that is difficult to break (Dutton & Painter, 1981; Walker, 2000). This bond seems to be strongest in the context of a relationship in which one partner is more powerful and when physical punishment and loving reconciliation are intermittently and alternately administered; this bond has been found in studies of prisoners and prison guards, captors and hostages, child abuse victims and parents, and battered women and their batterers (see Dutton & Painter, 1981, for a discussion). It is likely that many of the men in our study had this same type of bonding with their women partners. In addition, it provides further evidence that men's psychological investment in their families is a substantial barrier to leaving.

Also indicative of their psychological investment in their families are the fears that men indicated that they may never see their children again if they left, and they also discussed, in their qualitative accounts, their need to stay to protect their children. They expressed their fears that they will lose custody of their children, because women predominantly gain custody of children when families divorce or sep arate (Cancian & Meyer, 1998) and/or because of their women partners’ threats to make false accusations against them so that they would have no possibility of getting custody. Half of the men in our study reported that such accusations had already been made against them.
Additionally, more than half of the men indicated that they did not leave because they had no place to go and did not have enough money to leave, results that do not support the assertion that men have enough resources to leave if they wish (Pagelow, 1985; Saunders, 1988). Other men, in their qualitative accounts, discussed the possible negative financial and professional repercussions of leaving through such issues as having their private life made public and/or having their women partners make false accusations against them that could ruin them. Overall, the men in our sample report substantial barriers to leaving.

False Allegation - Divorce edition

The data is not rock solid, but here is what I got. From some reports SAVE offered, there was an interesting factoid in the "Cost of false allegations" one:

In about 70% of cases, the allegation is deemed to be unnecessary or false. Source: Johnston J et al. Allegations and substantiations of abuse in custody-disputing families. Family Court Review, Vol. 43, No. 2, 2005. & Foster BP. Analyzing the cost and effectiveness of governmental policies. Cost Management, Vol. 22, No. 3, 2008. 10, 11

I could not find the data via google scholar but instead found this part:


Multiple, serious conflicting allegations of child maltreatment, domestic violence, and parental abuse of drugs and alcohol are commonly raised in high-conflict custody-litigating postseparation families. Substantiation of claims can be difficult, which poses great challenges for professionals involved in making parenting plans. With regard to substantiation of those claims, published research is limited, and studies are mostly of small and nonrandomly drawn samples, but findings from the few studies that exist indicate a significant proportion of domestic violence allegations (50–75%) and child abuse allegations (22–52%) in family law matters can be subsequently substantiated in some manner (Bala, Mitnick, Trocmé, & Houston, in press; Bala & Schuman, 1999; Brown, 2003; Johnston,
Lee, Olesen, & Walters, 2005; Shaffer & Bala, 2003; Thoennes & Tjaden, 1990).

It took me a while to understand that paragraph. This means that about 25-50% of DV allegations and 48-78% of child abuse allegations can NOT be substantiated. That is a whole lot if you ask me. But again, data is not rock solid.

Another study....this time stem

I blogged about this study before, here is a direct link:

Understanding current causes of women’s underrepresentation in science - Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams - 2010

Explanations for women’s underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science often focus on sex discrimination in grant and manuscript reviewing, interviewing, and hiring. Claims that women scientists suffer discrimination in these arenas rest on a set of studies undergirding policies and programs aimed at remediation. More recent and robust empiricism, however, fails to support assertions of discrimination in these domains. [...] Based on a review of the past 20 y of data, we suggest that some of these claims are no longer valid and, if uncritically accepted as current
causes of women’s lack of progress, can delay or prevent understanding of contemporary determinants of women’s underrepresentation.

We conclude that differential gendered outcomes in the real world result from differences in resources attributable to
choices, whether free or constrained, and that such choices could be influenced and better informed through education if resources were so directed. Thus, the ongoing focus on sex discrimination in reviewing, interviewing, and hiring represents costly, misplaced effort: Society is engaged in the present in solving problems of the past, rather than in addressing meaningful limitations deterring women’s participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers today. Addressing today’s causes of underrepresentation requires focusing on education and policy changes
that will make institutions responsive to differing biological realities of the sexes.

[...]As noted, women in math-intensive fields are interviewed and hired slightly in excess of their representation among PhDs applying for tenure-track positions. The primary factors in women’s underrepresentation are preferences
and choices—both freely made and constrained: “Women choose at a young age not to pursue math-intensive careers, with
few adolescent girls expressing desires to be engineers or physicists, preferring instead to be medical doctors, veterinarians, biologists, psychologists, and lawyers. Females make this choice despite earning higher math and science grades than males throughout schooling”

No gender difference in homeschooling....

Found via reddit. Perhaps good to keep in mind. Now I am not advocating for home schooling, I am merely wondering why there is no gender difference in home schooling, yet there is in *uhm* non-home-schooling. The study:

Scholastic Achievement and Demographic Characteristics of Home School Students in 1998, M. Rudner

In 1998, Home School Legal Defense Association commissioned the largest research study to date of home education in America. Conducted by Dr. Lawrence Rudner of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, the study involved seven times as many home schooling families as any previous study of its kind. The data were compiled from the achievement test scores of 20,760 students in 11,930 families, along with background questionnaires submitted by the families.

Unlike any previous study, families chose to participate before they knew their children’s test scores. Thus, the possibility of reporting higher scores while leaving lower scores unreported was considerably diminished. Another factor that sets the Rudner study apart is the fact that all students took the same tests: the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) for grades K–8, and the Tests of Achievement and Proficiency (TAP) for grades 9–12, both published by the Riverside Publishing Company. Furthermore, this research, conducted by an impartial third party whose own children are enrolled in public school, avoids the criticism of pro-home school bias leveled against previous studies, which were conducted by proponents of home education.


Home school students do exceptionally well when compared with the nationwide average. In every subject and at every grade level of the ITBS and TAP batteries, home school students scored significantly higher than their public and private school counterparts. [...] No meaningful difference was found among home school students when classified by gender.

Composite Percentile Score:
- 4th grade home schoolers: girls: 80 boys: 80
- 8th grade home schoolers: girls: 79 boys: 80

Typhon’s Law : Men are seen as agents and women as patients.

A shout out to Genderratic where TB formulated her law. It has many items that are interesting to read and work as a nice framework. Read it all:

Typhon’s Law explains a broad range of features of the culture. For example, in areas such as violence and crime, it explains who gets blamed and who gets protected regardless of who commits the violence and who needs the protection, whose suffering is taken as more serious and worthy of attention, and, in general, how women’s actions tend to be interpreted as actually being due to men’s actions. It predicts who gets interpreted as a victim and who gets interpreted as a perpetrator regardless of the facts. A corollary is that victims are considered categorically innocent and incapable of offending, so their offenses are pardoned; either by blaming the real victims or third-party by-standers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It’s not baby-sitting when Daddy does it.

Oh U.S. Census Bureau, you silly sometimes:

When both parents are present in the household, the Census Bureau assumes for the purposes of its “Who’s Minding the Kids?” report, that the mother is the “designated parent.” And when the designated parent is working or at school, the bureau would like to know who’s providing child care.

If the answer is Daddy, as it was 26 percent of the time when these numbers were last released, in 2005, and 32 percent of the time in 2010, the Census Bureau calls that “care.” But if Mom is caring for a child while Dad’s at work, that’s not a “child care arrangement,” but something else. Parenting, presumably.

“Regardless of how much families have changed over the last 50 years women are still primarily responsible for work in the home,” said Lynda Laughlin of the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch. “We try to look at child care as more of a form of work support.” A mother, said Ms. Laughlin, is “not only caring for the child only while Dad works. She’s probably caring for the child 24 hours and so Dad is able to go to work regardless.”

That bears repeating. If, every morning, I go off to work and my husband stays home with a child, that’s a “child care arrangement” in the eyes of this governmental institution. If the reverse is true, it’s not. I asked Ms. Laughlin if the Census Bureau collected data on the hours mothers spend offering “work support” to their husbands. “No,” she said. “We don’t report it in that direction.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Advertising, the web and feminism

As recently seen on feministing:

You may have recently noticed some changes to the advertising on Feministing, which is part of our work to more effectively monetize the site. We are still getting used to the new system and set up and as a result, some offensive ads have been getting through recently.[..]That said, since we are truly trying to become a sustainable entity, there is a certain extent to which we will take cash from companies we don’t love (and might even critique on the site). There’s a difference between the written content on Feministing and our advertising – something we are confident, you as readers, are fluent and savvy enough to recognize. [...] We draw the line at anti-choice ads and offensive weight loss ads (if an ad was actually health focused, we might look at it differently, but weight loss ads always seem to be as offensive and unhealthy as possible). These advertisers are tricky – they’re targeting our site because we do write about those issues. And they’re constantly generating new click thru urls, so when we get rid of an ad a new one pops up. Please note this is not intentional on our part and something we are working to fix. That’s where you come in. We need your help to keep the site free of anti-choice and body shaming messages.

Also as one commenter suggested using add block:

Sadly that can keep us from making ad revenue

This above is not a critique of feministing. I understand that having such a site and blogging costs money and that having ads on a site can be tricky / problematic. I have seen this with quite a few MRA boards that have horrible ads. This is merely just a reminder that advertisements is not necessarily a fair game (and also that this could lead to horrible own goals by feministing themselves). I am reminded of a post by the NOW blog (yeah I read a lot of blogs, it is also not a good blog) where one poster complains about the google generated adds on Wikihow:

Love yourself. Sounds simple and complex all at the same time but fear not WikiHow has 10 simple steps for you to love yourself better. While I don't have a problem with Wiki's tips, I do have a problem with the ads on the page. [...] Not only is it offensive that the male-dominated advertising world assumes only women need to love themselves better, but the ads themselves are just plain offensive. I would not be as put off if the ads were for shoes or clothes. Honestly, I probably would not have even noticed. It is, however, hard to ignore these ads. The fact that women need to change or to avoid certain behaviors to keep a man seems contradictory to a page dedicated to loving oneself better. While this may not be as glaring as a problem as other issues, the problem lies in its subtlety. It lies in the fact that no one in the male-dominated advertising world was trying to be offensive, but that they just didn't think about it. Before there can be a change in society there needs to be a change in thinking. That is what is so damaging from these ads.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Facts about education

It is whitehouseboysmen again some factoids:

- 12th Graders below Basic Literacy in reading tests in 2002: MALES: 33% FEMALES: 20%.

- 12th graders with a parent who graduated from college who scored below basic writing proficiency levels in 2002: MALES: 27% FEMALES: 9%

In 2003: 70 percent of public high school students graduated

Of those,

72 percent of all female students
65 percent of all male students (-7%)
59 percent of African-American female students
48 percent of African-American male students (-11%)
58 percent for Hispanic female students
49 percent of Hispanic male students (-9%)

(Jay P. Greene and Marcus A. Winters, Manhattan Institute for Policy research civic report?No. 48 April 2006)

IN 2008

137 women have graduated college for every 100 men
130+ Women earned master’s degrees for every 100 men
(National Center for Education Statistics)

IN 2010

185 women have graduated from college for every 100 men.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

(David Brooks, NYT)

Aside from those comparative annual statistics, in general from K-12:

Boys are greatly outnumbered in every extracurricular activity outside of sports, from student government to student newspapers and academic clubs.
By 12 years of age, boys are almost twice as likely to have repeated at least one grade.
Boys comprise the majority of permanent high-school dropouts.
Boys are approximately 3 times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD or ADD
Boys are 10 times as likely to be referred for possible ADHD/ADD as girls
Boys (ages 15-19) are 5 times as likely as girls to commit suicide.
Boys are more than twice as likely to be suspended from school.
Boys are more than three times as likely to be expelled from school.
Preschool boys (ages 3-4) are expelled at a rate about 4 ½ times that of girls.

The U.S. Department of Education concedes that no serious research is available comparing different instructional methods that might help boys. Many education researchers have been found to be reluctant regarding research aimed at exploring gender differences in learning. In short, the researchers have found that because of changes in the educational system, the average boy of 50-75 years ago is very likely to be diagnosed with ADHD today, especially if they are bored and gifted boys (Armstrong, 1996, Hartnett et al. 2004, Howard and James, 2003).

There is also a great deal of agreement on the major reasons why these horrors are occurring:

Gender roles in education, especially in elementary school, where 85% of teachers are women.
Popular books (Reviving Ophelia 1994) and groups such as the American Association of University Women alerted the public to an educational failing that helped convince educators that schools were ignoring important girls’ problems, such as the loss of self-esteem among middle school girls who had been successful in elementary school
Resistance from educators who also point to male success in the workforce as proof that advocacy for boys is unnecessary. (Even as statistics point out how men have been and will remain hardest hit by the “Great Recession” and the economic shifts in our nation.)

Jill Gets Welfare–Jack Becomes Homeless

An article by the Alicia Patterson Foundation. A powerful yet a bit dated piece Excerpts:

Abandoning Men: Jill Gets Welfare–Jack Becomes Homeless - Peter Marin - 1991

Our federal welfare system aids mainly women with children and, on occasion, intact families. That means most of the families on the streets have either fallen through cracks in the welfare system or not yet entered it. They will, in the end, have access to some sort of shelter and aid, while it is the single adults who will be left permanently on their own.

I do not mean to diminish the suffering of families, nor to suggest that welfare usually is anything more than a form of indentured pauperism so grim it shames the nation. But it does, in fact, get families off the streets, and that leaves behind, as the long-term homeless, the chronically homeless, single adults, four-fifths of whom are men. Seen that way, homelessness emerges as a problem usually involving what happens to men without money, or men in trouble.

- there are proportionally far more private and public shelters and services available to women.

- women are accustomed to asking for help while men are not, and women make better use of available resources.

- poor families in economic extremis seem to practice a form of triage. Men are released into the streets more readily, while women are kept at home even in the worst of circumstances.

[...]Finally, there is the federal welfare system. I do not think most Americans know how the system works, or how for decades it has actually sent men into the streets, creating male homelessness at the same time it aids women and children.

There are two main programs which provide for Americans in trouble. One is Social Security Insurance, known as SSI. It goes to men and women who clearly are unable for physical or mental reasons to care for themselves. The other is Aid to Families With Dependent Children, or AFDC. It is what we ordinarily call "welfare." Begun early in the century and then expanded and refined during the 1930's and again in the 1960's, it has always been a program meant mainly for women and children and was therefore limited to households headed by women. As long as an adult male remained in the household as husband or father, no aid was forthcoming. Changes in the system last year have modified this somewhat, and males can now be present if they satisfy certain federal guidelines pertaining to work history. But in poor areas and among certain ethnic groups where unemployment runs high, such changes mean little, and the effects of this policy on men remain as devastating as ever.

When it comes to "able-bodied" (and employable) single adults, there is no federal aid whatsoever. Individual states and localities sometimes provide their own aid. But this is usually granted only on a temporary basis or in emergencies. And in those few places were it is available for longer periods, it is almost always so niggardly, so ringed with capricious requirements, that it is of little use to most of those in need.

This combination of approaches not only systematically denies to men any aid as family members or single adults, it means that the aid given to most women deprives men of homes. Given the choice between receiving aid or living with broke or jobless men, what do you think most women with children do? The regulations force men to compete with the state for women. As a woman in New Orleans once told me: "Welfare changes love. If a man don't make more than I get from welfare, I ain't gonna look at him. I can't afford it."

Everywhere in America, money-less men have become ghost-lovers, ghost-fathers, one step ahead of welfare workers they fear will disqualify others for having a male around. In many ghettos or housing projects throughout the nation you now find women and children in their deteriorating welfare apartments, and their companions and fathers in even worse condition on the streets: in gutted apartments and junked cars, denied even the minimal help given the opposite sex.

[...]When men work (or when they go to war -work's most brutal form), we grant them a right to exist. But when work is scarce, or when men are of no economic use, then they become in our eyes not only superfluous, but also a danger. We feel compelled to exile them, to drive them away to shift for themselves in more or less the same way that the Puritans, in their city on a hill, treated sinners and rebels.

[...]We are so used to thinking of ours as a male-dominated society that we lose track of the ways in which some men are perhaps more oppressed than most women. But race and class, as well as gender, play roles in oppression. And while it is true, in general, that men dominate both society and women, in practice is it only certain men who are dominant. Others, usually those from the working class and often darker-skinned, suffer endlessly from forms of isolation and contempt which exceed what many women experience.

The irony at work is that what you find among homeless men, and what lies at the heart of their troubles, is precisely what our cultural myths deny them: a helplessness they cannot overcome on their own. You find a vulnerability, and senses of injury and betrayal, and a despair equal to what we accept without question in women.

[...]Finally, whatever particular griefs men may have experienced on their way to homelessness, there is one last, devastating kind of sorrow all of them share: their sense of betrayal at society's refusal to recognize their need. Most of us -both men as well as women -grow up expecting, deep in our hearts, that when things go terribly wrong someone, from somewhere, will step forward to help us. That this does not happen, that all watch indifferently from the shore as each of us, in isolation, struggles to swim and then sinks, is perhaps the most terrible discovery that anyone in any society can make. When troubled men realize this, as they all do sooner or later, then hope vanishes completely. Despair rings them round; they become what they need not have been: the homeless men we see everywhere around us.

[..]Over the past several years we have slowly, laboriously, begun to confront our prejudices and oppressive practices in relation to women. Unless we now undertake the same kind of project in relation to men in general and homeless men in particular, nothing whatever is going to change. That's as sure as death and taxes and the endless, hidden sorrows of men.

I focused on the part where the system fails men. Read all of it, powerful piece.

Suicide, ignoring boys and men....

Just added the whitehouseboysmen-blog to my google reader and already finding tons of interesting / horrible informations. Like this one:

Men and boys comprise nearly 80% of all completed suicides in the United States.(1) With this sort of number one would assume that there would be services that focus specifically on suicidal males. Surprisingly, there are almost no programs that focus on helping men and boys who might be suicidal. [...] Even more surprising is how difficult it is to secure funding to study this disparity. Lanny Berman, the Executive Director of the American Association for Suicidology, made the following statement in the San Francisco Chronicle in 2006: “As much as I would love to lead the charge [in finding out why boys kill themselves], try to go out and get funding for it.”(2) Berman’s statement expresses his frustration that funders aren’t interested in studying boys and men. Berman is not alone; organizations such as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) have voiced similar sentiments. NASW ran a study on suicidal girls in 2008. When asked about their reasons for studying girls rather than boys, Elizabeth Clarke, the NASW Executive Director, stated that the funder specified the money was dedicated to studying girls.(3) In the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200+ page document titled “National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action,” they only mention men and boys once: in a sidebar that indicates: “Over half of all suicides occur in adult men ages 25-65.”(4) Even this important document seems to negate the stark reality of the 80% of suicides completed by males; there simply seems to be very little interest in learning about men and boys and why they are more prone to kill themselves or how we can help them.

1. (2006) National Vital Statistics Reports, Deaths: Final Data 2006, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Volume 57, Number 14, April 17, 2009

2. Ryan, Joan. “Sorting Out Puzzle of Male Suicide.” San Francisco Chronicle 26 Jan. 2006: b-1. Print.

3. Personal correspondence 2009 with Elizabeth Clarke, Executive Director NASW.

4. (2001 )National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: Goals and Objectives for Action. Rockville, MD : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2001. Includes index.

The article goes on with reasons and recommendations, read it, it is a good one. One point that stood out for me is this double bind:

A dependent male is a male that is judged harshly. Men are in a double bind. If they say they are not in need of services then they are held in high esteem but forfeit the help they need. If men admit they are in need of services, they are seen as worth less. Peter Marin, in an article titled “Abandoning Men: Jill Gets Welfare–Jack Becomes Homeless,” states:

To put it simply: men are neither supposed nor allowed to be dependent. They are expected to take care of others and themselves. And when they cannot or will not do it, then the assumption at the heart of the culture is that they are somehow less than men and therefore unworthy of help. An irony asserts itself: by being in need of help, men forfeit the right to it.(7)

A depressed and suicidal man is a dependent man. When we are hopeless and helpless we are far from being independent. Hopelessness and helplessness are the cornerstones of what underlies suicidal ideology. A man who feels hopeless and helpless will likely avoid letting others know his dependency and will avoid exposing his need by asking for help.

7. “Abandoning Men: Jill Gets Welfare Jack Becomes Homeless.” Alicia Patterson Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Dec. 2009.

Corporal punishment.....

Via cotwa:

Boys are the recipients of corporal punishment at rates more than four times that of girls. In a projection for 2006, the Department of Education Civil Rights Data Collection ( estimated that boys were the recipients of corporal punishment over 80 percent of the time. See here: That's not to mention suspensions and expulsions.

"Using spanking as a method of discipline for kids who have a genetic predisposition to aggressive behavior likely makes them even more aggressive, especially boys, new research suggests."

Matricentrism and Patriarchy

Found via and the source I believe is "Female Power and Male Dominance: On the Origins of Sexual Inequality" by Rosemary Ruether, based on research by Peggy Reeves Sanday. Here is the article this is stolen based on.

The basic question she addresses is why men feel the need to be dominant and even aggressive toward women. What are the roots of patriarchy? An interesting sentence that sets the stage for her hypothesis is “…we need to learn the lessons of the weaknesses of the matricentric core of human society that made it vulnerable to patriarchy.” (171)

Her suggestion is that the “core” of human society is matricentric (not matriarchal) because women have always tended to be the primary care givers of children—both male and female. That’s what makes the core of society, even under patriarchy, matricentric. The problem is, she says, that “The matricentric core of human society remains, even under male hierarchies, and continually reproduces the insecure, resentful male, who emancipates himself from his mother by negation of women.” (169) Sanday’s research revealed the prevalence of male resentment of women in societies that have not successfully balanced matricentricity with adult male cultural roles. (169)

According to Ruether, based on Sanday’s worldwide research into diverse cultures, there is a psychosocial weakness inherent in matricentricity. Here is its pathos: “its difficulty in drawing in the contributions of the grown male without either conceding to this male a dominating role over women, or else producing a demoralized male deeply resentful of women. The root of the problem lies in the extension of the female childbearing and suckling functions into making the mother the dominant parent. … While the female role is built into the process of life-reproduction…the male role has to be constructed socially. Societies that fail to develop an adequately affirmative role for men, one that gives men prestige parallel to that of women but prevents their assuming aggressive dominance over women, risk developing the resentful male, who defines his masculinity in hostile negation of women.” (167)

Sanday’s research showed that “societies that have achieved gender parity…were societies that either had elaborately structured mutual acknowledgment of male and female prestige and power, where women conceded power roles to men…or else societies of considerable gender-role fluidity.” (167) Both Sanday and Ruether make clear that by “conceded power roles to men” they do not mean allowed men to dominate women. I take it that this means acknowledging men as equal with women in terms of value to the family unit and therefore to society. According to Ruether, based on Sanday’s research, male domination of women, patriarchy, occurs because men feel insecure about their worth and need to secure their worth by domination.

[...]In gatherer and early gardening societies, built on the matricentric core of the human family, women often had real power and prestige, when food-gathering and agriculture also meant female control of resources. Such societies achieved real gender parity of power when they constructed ways of drawing in the adult male contribution to work and parenting, conceding to him real and symbolic spheres of prestige and power, while limiting male aggression. But the conditions of such societies began to break down as the agricultural revolution moved toward more crowded urban societies about five thousand years ago, and only remnants still exist today. (170)

In a somewhat surprising, maybe even shocking, admission, Ruether, a leading feminist, says that “this matricentric pattern [of primitive societies and of families in general] is itself the breeding ground of male resentment and violence, rooted in male strategies of exploitative subversion of women’s power….” (171)

Now, it would be totally wrong to interpret Ruether as suggesting that the blame for patriarchy lies with women. Nothing could be further from the truth. She is arguing, however, that matricentricity is the “original position” of human society because only women can give birth and suckle and, generally speaking, in most societies, women have been the primary nurturers of children. And there’s nothing wrong with that UNLESS some mechanism isn’t found to balance matricentricity with male prestige and power. When men become resentful, which happens when they feel hopeless about prestige and power, patriarchy is the result. (Remember, “matricentricity” is not “matriarchy”—the opposite of patriarchy. Both would be hierarchical patterns of relationships. Ruether is against all hierarchy as dominating power over. Matricentricity is in itself a good thing. But it contains a hidden weakness that leads to patriarchy unless that weakness is acknowledged and corrected. The way to do that is for matricentricity to yield to young men prestige and power, not dominating power over. I think of “prestige and power” as social acknowledgement of worth and value.)

The Richer Sex?

There is a current trend in the links that I follow that centers around women's economic and educational access. Probably sparked by a new Times article (behind a paywall) which was based on a new book. As usual, I am listing facts that I could gather:

The tipping point is a generation away, assuming women's economic power keeps rising as expected. But already, the trend is stunning enough that TIME made it the subject of its current cover.

"Almost 40% of working wives out-earn their husbands," noted Liza Mundy, author of "The Richer Sex"--both the cover story and a new book that goes by the same title--at a breakfast in New York City, hosted by TIME and Fortune.

[...] Mundy's research shows that women are out-earning men all around. In most U.S. metro areas, for instance, single childless women in their 20s have higher median incomes than their male peers. In Dallas and Atlanta, the average young woman earns $1.18 and $1.14, respectively, for every dollar earned by a male.

Why such rapid advancement? The Pill, Mundy said, helped spark the trend 50 years ago: Newly able to delay marriage and childbearing, women began focusing on their careers. America's shift to a service economy also favors college grads, who increasingly tend to be female. Today, women make up 60% of U.S. college classes and earn more masters and doctorate degrees than men.

What can stop women from out-earning men in more than 50% of U.S. households? "Nothing that I can see," Mundy, who writes for the Washington Post (WPO), told TIME Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs at the breakfast. Some industries, such as veterinary medicine, are so populated with women that few men are now entering them, she said. She calls the phenomenon "gender pollution." In 25 years, law and medicine may well be female-dominated. - Source

This one was interesting as well, it reminded me about some articles I have seen before, thought the jobless rate of women was a bit higher:

The CHART OF THE DAY shows the unemployment rates for men and women at least 16 years old, according to data compiled by the Labor Department. Last month, the jobless rate for female workers was lower by 0.1 percentage point at 8.2 percent. In January, the rates for both sexes were the same, 8.3 percent.

This year’s figures erased a gap that peaked at 2.6 points in May 2009, when a greater proportion of men were out of work. The differential was the largest since the government started tracking the numbers in 1948. [...]

Even so, women are more likely to stay in school and get the college education needed for jobs in health care and other expanding industries, according to Dutta. He highlighted this trend in a report published on March 6, during International Women’s Week.

“The problems for men are mounting,” he said. “They just don’t have the skills for today’s labor force.” - Source

A look at the future:

Women in the workforce are set to earn more than men for the first time in history, according to new research.

The next generation of female employees in the U.S. will take home more money than their male peers across all sectors of employment.

The phenomenon marks such a cultural shift in the American way of life that author and journalist Liza Mundy used it as the basis for her book, The Richer Sex.

The 2011 study, titled Women in America: Indicators Of Social And Economic Well-Being, pieced together data from a half a dozen government agencies.

It found that the greatest changes for women had been their gains in education and in the workforce - which has resulted in people marrying later.

College-educated women get married on average around the age of 30, compared with 26 for women who don't go to college.

The proportion of women who are married has dropped from 72 per cent in 1970 to 62 per cent in 2009.

However Ms Mundy's research has found that marriage rates for women in high-income brackets were on the rise as opposed to low-earners. - Source

Note to self, read that 2011 study. And finally:

From a BLS report released earlier this month, “America’s Young Adults at Age 24“:

“At age 24, a clear gender gap in educational attainment persists. While nearly 28 percent of women had received a bachelor’s degree by the October when they were age 24, only 19 percent of men had done so (see chart). Additionally, nearly the same percentage of men and women (12 and 13 percent, respectively) were enrolled in college at age 24, so it is unlikely the gap in educational attainment will close.”

In other words, for young adults at age 24 there are 148 women who have earned a bachelor’s degree (or more) for every 100 men. At age 23, there are 164 women holding a college degree for every 100 men, and at age 22 the F:M ratio for college degrees is 187:100.

[...]In 2010, a multi-partisan group of thirty-four scholars made a proposal that President Obama create a White House Council on Boys and Men, as a parallel program to the White House Council on Women and Girls. Warren Farrell, the leader of the effort, identified five different areas in which boys are in crisis—education; jobs; emotional health; physical health; and fatherlessness. In an interview with Forbes, Farrell said that “The White House Council would signal to the world that boys and men are facing problems, alert schools and parents as to the nature of these problems, and alert all the nation’s institutions to explore how attending to these problems might help our sons, daughters, families and nation.” One educational issue to be addressed by the Council would be the huge gender gaps in educational attainment for young adults illustrated by the BLS report. - Source

There is no Council yet and I doubt that that will happen anytime soon.

HPV and Oral Sex

Found via reddit, a look at HPV and throat cancer in men:

Researchers examined 271 throat-tumor samples collected over 20 years ending in 2004 and found that the percentage of oral cancer linked to the human papillomavirus, or HPV, surged to 72 percent from about 16 percent, according to a report released yesterday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. By 2020, the virus-linked throat tumors -- which mostly affected men -- will become more common than HPV-caused cervical cancer, the report found.

HPV is known for infecting genitals. The finding that it can spread to the throat and cause cancer may increase pressure on Merck & Co., the second-largest U.S. drugmaker, to conduct large-scale trials to see if its vaccine Gardasil, which wards off cervical cancer in women, also prevents HPV throat infections.

“The burden of cancer caused by HPV is going to shift from women to men in this decade,” Maura Gillison, an oncologist at Ohio State University and study senior author, said in a telephone interview. “What we believe is happening is that the number of sexual partners and exposure to HPV has risen over that same time period.”

[...]Gardasil is approved for preventing cervical, vaginal and anal cancers and genital warts, and is recommended for girls and women ages 9 through 26. It is also approved for preventing genital warts and anal cancer in boys and young men of the same ages. Glaxo’s Cervarix is approved for preventing cervical cancer in females ages 9 through 25.

Both vaccines target the HPV strain linked to oral cancer, Gillison said.

HPV-linked throat cancers, or orophyaryngeal cancer, are increasing so rapidly that by 2020 there will be 8,700 U.S. cases, with 7,400 cases in men, versus 7,700 cases of cervical cancer, the study said. Male cases alone will outnumber cervical cancer cases soon after 2020, Gillison said. The Ohio State study is based on tumor samples from several U.S. states.

Roughly 20 million Americans have genital HPV infections, according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least half of sexually active women and men get it at some point in their lives, the CDC says. Most of the time it doesn’t cause health problems.

Until recently, head and neck cancer mainly occurred in older patients and was associated with tobacco and alcohol use. The HPV-linked head and neck cancers, usually of the tonsils, palate or tongue, hit men their 30s, 40s, and 50s, Gillison said. It is unclear why women are affected much less often than men, she said.

The decline in HPV-negative oral cancers mirrors the decline of smoking in the U.S., the study said.

[...]In a 2007 epidemiology study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Gillison and her colleagues found that having a high number of oral or vaginal sex partners are risk factors for HPV-associated throat cancer. The cancer may also be spread by open-mouth kissing, Gillison said in the interview.

“Nobody paid attention to oral HPV infections until 2007,” she said. “We are about 15 years behind in the research” compared with the data on cervical cancer and HPV, she said.

An editorial accompanying the study concluded that trials to see whether vaccines prevent oral cancer “are needed, given that prevention through vaccination will almost certainly be the ultimate solution” to HPV-positive oral cancers. - Source

It is a common theme that men's issues are overlooked and under-researched. So that is not really a surprise here.

Rates of oral cancer are on the rise among men, and researchers say the culprit isn't the devil you might think.

The rising rates of oral cancer aren't being caused by tobacco, experts say, but by HPV, the same sexually transmitted virus responsible for the vast majority of cases of cervical cancer in women.

Millions of women and girls have been vaccinated against HPV, or human papillomavirus, but doctors now say men exposed to the STD during oral sex are at risk as well and may have higher chances of developing oral cancer.

About 65 percent of oral cancer tumors were linked to HPV in 2007, according to the National Cancer Institute. And the uptick isn't occurring among tobacco smokers.

[...]HPV-16, the strain of the virus that causes cervical cancer in women, has become the leading cause of oral cancer in non-smoking men, Hill said, citing research in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"When the No. 1 cause of your disease goes down [tobacco use], you would expect that the incidence of disease would go down, but that hasn't happened," he said. "In our world, this is an epidemic."

Dr. Jennifer Grandis, the vice chairwoman for research at the University of Pittsburgh and an expert on head and neck cancers, said doctors have been seeing the HPV virus in most oral cancer tumors. She said the massive push to vaccinate girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26 against HPV should have included boys and men from the beginning. Gardasil, one of the two major vaccines used to prevent HPV, wasn't approved for use in males in the United States until 2009, three years after it was approved for women.

"The thinking is changing," Grandis told AOL News in a phone interview. "But at the time [the vaccine] was licensed, there wasn't such an awareness about head or oral cancers or a willingness to accept that males played a part in the transmission of the virus," she said. "I think this idea that we only protect our daughters with the vaccine is nuts anyway, particularly because they're having sex with our boys."

Men have a greater chance of contracting the HPV virus from oral sex than women do from the same behavior, though researchers aren't exactly sure why. Oral cancer has a low survival rate because it is generally not discovered until it has spread to other areas, according to the CDC. Only half of people who've been diagnosed with oral cancer will live longer than five years. - Source

A common theme indeed.

A huge spike in the number of head and neck cancers linked to HPV over nearly two decades is raising alarms about the risk of the sexually contracted infections in a whole new population: men.

Between 1988 and 2004, head, neck and throat cancers that tested positive for the human papilloma virus rose an astounding 225 percent, according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Within the next decade, the study authors argue, the incidence of such cancers — which are almost always contracted as a result of oral sex — will surpass that of cervical cancer, and the majority of those cases are going to be in men.

That’s a point often missed in public talk about HPV infection — and the vaccine that can prevent it.

In the recent controversy over comments made by presidential candidate Michele Bachmann about the HPV vaccine, the focus was squarely on young women and cervical cancer. But HPV, mainly a strain called HPV-16, also causes oropharyngeal and anal cancer, a fact not often publicized because medical organizations, the government, and academics would rather not step into any debates about sex practices.

Consultants to drug companies that make HPV vaccines are represented among the study’s authors; clearly the companies have an incentive to suggest that males be vaccinated. But in many cases, health experts believe that economics and health are aligned on this issue and that boys and young men ought to be receiving the HPV vaccine right now. For instance, Dr. James Turner, a past president of the American College Health Association and a liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization practices has long advocated vaccinating all boys against HPV.

Yet neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor medical organizations such as ASCO have recommended it, although the vaccines are approved for use in males. The reason, suggested Masters, is squeamishness.

“When we get more comfortable as a society with the whole discussion of sexually-related cancer, then you will, I think, see us saying it makes a lot of sense for all boys and girls to get vaccinated … I am not, as a representative of ASCO, saying we recommend it, but I think (such recommendations) are forthcoming.”

Meanwhile, suggested a commentary accompanying the study, “patients should be encouraged to minimize behaviors that put them at risk.” - Source


Saturday, March 17, 2012

On with Prison Rape II

Some time ago I said this:

So, are more men than women raped in the US every year? With the recent CDC data in mind, maybe. Does it matter? Not really. No matter how you think about this, the fact remains that a significant number of men and women, be it in prison or not, are raped and sexually assaulted. The juggling with numbers and the "who has it worse" do not really help the victims.

And now here I am with the same topic again, and with topic I do not mean prison rape, but "are there more men raped in the USA than women". The reason, well another blogger answered that claim in two postings and She offers more insight into the numbers. Also as it was with my previous post I need to take a closer look because some of her stats, I do not get. So I am writing this along as I read through this. Before I forget, I will not comment on the MRA vs feminist argument that get mentioned there and which is happening in the comments as it pretty much was the "who has it worse" that is not very productive. Anyhow, shall we?

The Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers that Glazek referenced in his article were, as far as I can tell, not officially published anywhere except the Federal Register (pdf).

An explanation for the number of the NY Review of books article:

Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 23 / Thursday, February 3, 2011 - DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE - National Standards To Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape

For each event type, the total number of individuals who were victimized during 2008 is estimated, using figures compiled from
inmate surveys by BJS,6 as adjusted to account for the flow of inmates over that period of time. Inmates who experienced more than one type of victimization during the period are included in the figures for the most serious type of victimization they reported.

That is where the higher numbers are from. Okay. So we get a new table.

                                       Adult       Adult     Juvenile  
                                     prisons       jails   facilities
Rape involving force/threat of force  26,200      39,200        4,400 

Nonconsensual sexual acts 
involving pressure/coercion           18,400      14,800        2,900 

Abusive sexual contacts               19,000      23,000        3,000 

Willing sex with staff                27,800      31,100        6,800 
Total                                 91,400     108,100       17,100 

So far so good, now the blogger, Stefanie, compares the numbers above without "Willing sex with staff", applies the male female prison ratio adds the numbers together with those of the NCVS and gets an almost equal number.

That means that when you include NCVS data and the expanded BJS incarceration data matching the NCVS definitions, you get 179,000 rapes and sexual assaults in women and 175,000 in men.

These are of course ballpark figures. As the rate of rape in female facilities was higher she may even be undercounting female victims. Anyhow the numbers are so close together that debating them is kind of pointless. I did use the NCVS 2009 data the last time (probably because of the linking in the NYTimes article) that found far less rapes, so people could start throwing numbers around which is really pointless as we are still just using ballpark figures here.

Now Stephanie compares the BJS data with the NIVSVS data. Now as for some simple math, the BJS finds less female victims and the NISVS was mostly equal when it comes to the rape categories. Which would mean we would have an instance where at least the forcible rape bar should be higher, this is not the case however and I am not sure which numbers Stephanie used:

On the other hand, if you only want to look at forcible rape for whatever reason, that still doesn’t get you to more rapes in men. The NISVS data has 1,401,000 forcible rapes in women and 1,267,000 forcible rapes in men in the 12-month survey period.

I can find the male number in the NISVS but not the female one (it should read 1,270,000). She used the exact male number so I am not sure if she added another number to the female one. I have no clue where the 1,401,000 are coming from. Was it a typo, did I miss another kind of forcible rape that happen only to women, was she too proud to admit defeat? I have no clue, from my understanding of the studies the male bar should be higher for forcible rape. I asked her to clarify, we will see how this goes.

Now looking at the graphs the way they are there still is imho not much of a discussion needed it is fairly close. Arguing who is the biggest victim helps no one. Compared to the way feministing handled the NIVSV this was a good article by Stephanie. So, can WE (men and women together) finally stop rape?