Mary P. Koss is a widely-quoted writer on the incidence of rape. Her methods and her claims have been controversial. In 2009 a controversy developed around a paper of hers – articles and threads here, here, and here.
She is an influential writer on the subject and her methods and results deserve scrutiny. Commenter Tamen has contributed an item of interest in this connection:
I did know that the often quoted study by Mary P. Koss didn’t count male victims of female perpetrators, but I always assumed this was incidental by her focusing on female victims or by the authors inability to conceptualize that men can be forced to penetrate a women without his consent.
However, Victory_Disease on Reddit made me aware of this paper by Mary P Koss: Detecting the Scope of Rape : A Review of Prevalence Research Methods which show that it’s not simply a matter of focusing on female victims, but rather a conscious effort to exclude male victims of rape from the term rape.
I’ll quote some pertinent sections:
Although consideration of male victims is within the scope of the legal statutes, it is important to restrict the term rape to instances where male victims were penetrated by offenders. It is inappropriate to consider as a rape victim a man who engages in unwanted sexual intercourse with a woman.
Note how she uses the word “engage”. A man being made to penetrate a woman either by force, threats or coercion is engaging in sex with her? He is the actor.
On screening for rape using adopted colloquial or euphemistic language (like “Has anyone ever tried to make you have sexual relations with them against your will”):
Among men, the terms “sex” and “sexual relations” may activate schemas for situations where they penetrated women. Clarification is necessary to ensure that male respondents realize that the situations of interest are those in which they were penetrated forcibly and against their will by another person, and not situations where they felt pressure or coercion to have sexual relations with a woman partner.
Note how she uses terms like “forcibly” and “against their will” when talking about the men being penetrated while when she talks about men penetrating women she uses terms like “felt pressure” and “coercion”.
She concludes with a set of recommendations, here is one of them:
2. If men and boys are to be included, care must be taken to ensure that their data are accurate counterparts of rape prevalence among women. This means that men must be reporting instances where they experienced penetration of their own bodies (or attempts).
I seem to rememeber this kind of denialism being called rape apology elsewhere. What is the consensus here, is Mary P. Koss a rape apologist?
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