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?

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