An update on FBI’s definition of rape

A while back I wrote about a spokesperson clarifying that FBI’s new definition of rape would include male victims being made to penetrate the perpetrator. /u/Femmecheng (a feminist and at that time a regular at /r/Femradebates) and I have tried to see if FBI at some point did carry out the suggested changes to the guidelines for the reporting agencies. We didn’t have much luck.

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Bias And Unasked Questions

STIRitUP is a 24 month collaborative research project looking at interpersonal violence and abuse in young people’s relationships. The project is based in five European countries: England, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy and Norway. STIR is short for Safeguarding Teenage Intimate Relationships.

The project has conducted a survey among 4,500 pupils in these five countries. STIRitUp has published the results of that survey in the Briefing paper 2. This paper presents the survey’s main findings in table 2 — here is an excerpt of that table (only looking at physical and sexual violence):

Gender and incidence rates for experiencing IPVA

Country Gender Physical % Sexual %
Bulgaria Female 11 21
Male 15 25
Cyprus Female 10 17
Male 9 19
England Female 22 41
Male 12 14
Italy Female 9 35
Male 13 39
Norway Female 18 28
Male 8 9

Discrepancies

First I’ll just point out the discrepancies between the findings presented in the table and how they’re presented in the text.
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A Short Status Update From ONS Regarding CSEW

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) released the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) on the 12th of February 2015. Ally Fogg has a blogpost on it describing how the fact that CSEW 2014 showed the lowest rate of sexual violence since the records began in 1981 isn’t reported by the media.

Some may recall that I’ve previously written about how I asked the ONS why CSEW doesn’t include victims of being made to penetrate — even though that crime is punishable with up to life in prison according to the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 Section 4 subsection 4c and d. The ONS wrote back stating that they would look into adding questions to capture these victims in the CSEW.

A while back I decided it was time to ask for a status update on this matter from the ONS. I wrote them an email asking them how the work with looking into this issue is going and if there is an estimate on which future CSEW will include questions designed to capture victims of SOA 2003 Section 4.4 (c-d). I got a reply the same day stating:

Dear XYZ,

Thank you for getting back in touch with us.

We are now undergoing our annual survey development that Laura mentioned, for which we are agreeing the questions that will be asked in the 2015/16 survey – this is a long process that involves working with our stakeholders and managing the priorities for information gathered by the survey.  Capturing victims of those sexual offences of Section 4.4 is part of this process – the process is obviously not yet complete, but at the moment it is our intention that the changes can be made for the 2015/16 survey such that respondents will be asked about these offences with effect from next April.

Although one could’ve wished for these questions to be included sooner this is still a confirmation that they indeed will include them and that we can expect that the 2015/16 CSEW will count victims of being made to penetrate. The CSEW 2015/16 will be likely be published somewhere around February 2017.

 

This post has also been published on FeministCritics

White House Mandated Campus Climate Surveys Likely To Ignore Male Victims

Update: Rutgers University has confirmed that they will not be using the SES.

This post has also been published on Feminist Critics.

 

After I wrote this post I sent a mail to the leader of the pilot survey project at Rutgers University expressing my concern for the recommendation of SES as a possible instrument and explained how SES exclude a subset of male victims of rape. I also outlined Mary P Koss’ stance that it’s not appropriate to call it rape if a man is made to penetrate a woman without his consent.

I got a reply within the same day stating that the pilot project at Rutgers would not use the SES, but rather the questionnaire used by CSA – The Campus Sexual Assault (CSA) study by Krebs, Lindquist, Warner, Fisher and Martin.
She went on to write that The Rutgers’ pilot survey will use the following language: “Sexual assault” and “sexual violence” refer to a range of behaviors that are unwanted by the recipient and include remarks about physical appearance, persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient, threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behavior, as well as unwanted touching and unwanted oral, anal or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration. These behaviors could be initiated by someone known or unknown to the recipient, including someone they are in a relationship with.

She stated that:

While we do not distinguish between being made to penetrate someone versus being penetrated against one’s wishes, these are both included in the broader definition we use.

I wrote back that even though I was relieved they weren’t going to use Koss’ SES I feared that the stereotype of the penetrator being the perpetrator and the one being penetrated being the victim might skew their results.

She wrote back again thanking me for the input, saying that my concerns were appreciated and valid. She also asked my permission to include my messages in their feedback about the pilot study to the White house and the Office on Violence against Women (OVW). I gave permission to do so.

My impression is that she took my comments and criticism very seriously.

When time permits I’ll put up a post with screenshots of the mails.

My original post follows below:

 

Recently someone on my feed retweeted a reference to a study by Jennifer Freyd on sexual violence at the University of Oregon. I decided to spend some time looking into it and what I found deeply disturbed me.

I’ll start from the beginning:

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NISVS 2011 Released – Increased Male Victimization And Rape Is Still Not Rape

This post has also been published on Feminist Critics.

 

On Friday 5th of September CDC released a report which summarizes data from the second year of data collection from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. They’ve also released a fact sheet for the NISVS 2011 data. The NISVS 2010 Report, which I’ve written several blog posts about, reported on data collected during 2010 while this one reports on data collected in 2011.

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Helping Mychal Denzel Smith

This is an abridget version of a post I made at Feminist Critics. It includes the parts pertaining men as victims of domestic and sexual violence and women as perpetrators per the stated focus of this blog. The unabridget version where I also address the other points made by Mychal Denzel Smith may be read by following this link to Feminist Critics.

 

Mychal Denzel Smith recently published an article on Feministing titled “The one where I need help understanding why MRAs don’t become feminists.”

I don’t identify as an MRA, but reading through his article I think I can help him get an understanding of why feminists like him don’t entice MRAs and others who are concerned with male issues to become feminists.

 

Legitimate Issues

Apparently someone has informed Mychal that there are issues that MRAs care about and he lists them:

  • “They say fathers have to navigate a family court system that unfairly privileges mothers in divorce”
  • “[B]oys are falling behind in education”
  • “They worry about high unemployment among men”
  • “[M]en are more likely to commit suicide”
  • “They argue that domestic and sexual violence against men is underplayed by the media”
  • “[M]en are unfairly stereotyped as violent sexual predators”

Seemingly begrudgingly Mychal acknowledges these issues:

So … some of those aren’t completely unreasonable grievances. In fact, some of them are really serious issues that need to be addressed (I do wonder which men they’re talking about with regards to high unemployment, because something tells me it isn’t about black men).

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Call For RAINN Follow-up Campaign

Tumblr collective Permutationofninjas organized an e-mail campaign directed at RAINN on the 15th of March asking them to update their statistics on male rape and to use a more inclusive language. I participated and wrote about the e-mail I sent to RAINN and the response I got from them in this blogpost.

RAINN’s response included this:

We are currently working on an overhaul of our entire website, and will pay special attention to the statistics, definitions and language that we use. We are also finishing up a large project that will provide much more detailed, state-by-state definitions of rape and sexual assault. We expect to add this feature to our website later this spring.

It is now the 5th of July and there hasn’t been any changes on RAINN’s websites yet.

Permutationofninjas are therefore calling for a follow-up campaign on the 15th of July. Details and mail-template can be seen on their site.

Please join us in mailing RAINN to remind them of our concerns on the 15th of July.