Saturday, September 21, 2013

Rape is as rape does, Part 3: "Other Sexual Violence" a.k.a. "Not Rape"

In 2010, the CDC conducted the "National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey" (NISVS 2010) and published the results in 2011.  From the introduction: "This report presents information related to several types of violence that have not previously been measured in a national population based survey, including types of sexual violence other than rape; expressive psychological aggression and coercive control, and control of reproductive or sexual health" [emphasis mine]. Why is this important? Because traditional methods of surveying or studying rape don't include male victims of female rapists (except in the cases of the woman using a surrogate penis to penetrate the man), because that's Not Rape.
Rape is defined as any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent. Rape is separated into three types, completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, and completed alcohol or drug facilitated penetration.
- Among women, rape includes vaginal, oral, or anal penetration by a male using his penis. It also includes vaginal or anal penetration by a male or female using their fingers or an object.
- Among men, rape includes oral or anal penetration by a male using his penis. It also includes anal penetration by a male or female using their fingers or an object. (17)
Note how this definition explicitly excludes men as victims of non-consensual vaginal rape.  

Now, men aren't completely forgotten:
• Being made to penetrate someone else includes times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.
- Among women, this behavior reflects a female being made to orally penetrate another female’s vagina or anus.
- Among men, being made to penetrate someone else could have occurred in multiple ways: being made to vaginally penetrate a female using one’s own penis; orally penetrating a female’s vagina or anus; anally penetrating a male or female; or being made to receive oral sex from a male or female. It also includes female perpetrators attempting to force male victims to penetrate them, though it did not happen."
However, note that being "made to penetrate" someone emphatically and explicitly is not considered "rape" by the CDC.

Let me repeat that: sex without consent is not considered rape when it is a man not consenting to vaginal sex with a woman or penetrating a man.

How big a deal is this? Let's look at some numbers.

Page 18 has a table of sexual violence against women, and there is a similar table for men on page 19. When conducting a survey based on self-reporting, statistics for the last year will generally be more accurate, but especially so in the case of men and sexual violence, for reasons I go into more in a later post, so for now let's compare apples to apples and look at the second two columns, which have the incident rate for the last 12 months. Here are the referenced tables, for your convenience, unaltered:



1,270,000 women reported being raped in the 12 months prior to the survey, with a weighted percentage of 1.1%.  There is no figure for male rape victims; "Estimate is not reported; relative standard error >30% or cell size ≤ 20." However, look under "Other Sexual Violence," and you will see the aforementioned "Made to penetrate" category. 1,267,000 men reported being "made to penetrate" in the 12 months prior to the survey, with a weighted percentage of 1.1%.

1.2 million women. 1.2 million men. 1.1%. In the 12 months prior to the survey-- if we were truly defining "rape" as "non-consensual sex" and not gendering victims and perpetrators-- the number of male and female victims is equal.

And how many of these rapists are women? Unfortunately, the only available numbers on sex of perpetrator are for the lifetime reports, but: 
For male victims, the sex of the perpetrator varied by the type of sexual violence experienced. The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%)... (24)

Let's assume these numbers would apply to the 12 month statistics. Remember that the number of men who reported being "raped", according to their definition, in the last 12 months, was so small as to not be recorded.  So the overwhelming majority-- almost 80%-- of perpetrators of rape against men are women.

Now, why have I been harping on this through three posts?

Because male victims of war rape are repudiated and ignored.

Because there are no male rape shelters.

Because there are no male rape crisis hotlines, and the current rape hotlines are not trained to assist or support male victims of female rapists.

Because there are abundant slogans on buses, billboards, and posters with slogans to advise would-be male rapists: "My strength is not for hurting." "Men can stop rape."  There are zero of these pithy homilies directed at women, and, indeed, the implication is that men and only men need to be counseled as to what constitutes consent and where healthy sexual boundary lines are.

Because when a woman in a romantic relationship says she doesn't want to have sex, it is abusive to pressure her in any way, in any amount, and if he succeeds, that's rape, or least "coercive sex," which is considered a form of sexual violence.  But when a man in a romantic relationship says he doesn't want to have sex, he's passive-aggressively punishing her or emotionally abusing her.  This French gentleman was ordered to pay 10,000 euros (currently $13,548) for being too tired and sick to have sex over a twenty-one year marriage.

Because rape isn't a woman's issue, it's a human issue, and using it as a weapon in an ideological gender war is almost as great a crime as rape itself.

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