MALE DISPOSABILITY – Erasing male rape victims, Part II – Tamen evaluates a British and a Norwegian study on rape victims and finds invalidating methodological errors

Typhonblue asked Tamen about a British study of crime, the CESW, especially about the rape statistics:

“I looked at the source documents. Is the reason why there is such a low rate of men reporting “serious sexual assault” in both the alternative and current questionnaires?”

Tamen answered:

“Yes, there are two reasons I can see right away.

1) The number is low because it doesn’t count men raped by envelopment (I guess you knew this):

Serious sexual assault in the current questionnaire only includes rape by penetration by a penis or an object (sexual assault by penetration) and doesn’t include “being made to penetrate”. This in line with UK’s Sexual Offence Act of 2003 which defines rape in a way that requires that the perpetrator has a penis he penetrates the victim with (no female rapists in the UK, although I believe a woman has been convicted for accessory to rape when she encouraged, enabled and abetted a man who raped another woman).

Serious sexual assault in the alternative question set includes in addition to a comprehensive list of ways to be penetrated by a penis, body part or object the choice “Did some other sex act not described above” alternative which might be a fit for rape by envelopment. But if one read the methodology report carefully one finds that any respondents who answered “Did some other sex act not described above” is counted as non-victims.

As we know from the NISVS 2010 Report a large portion of men who are raped are raped by envelopment. In the NISVS 2010 it was 1.4% vs 4.8%, In CWES it’s impossible to say since “being made to penetrate” is not a single category, but is lumped in with “sexual touching”, but 0.5% – 0.3% are raped and 1.1% – 2.5% report sexual touching. I am afraid that doesn’t tell us much as I suspect sexual touching will not catch many of the male victims of rape by envelopment. I for one would never label what happened to me for mere “sexual touching”.

2) The number is low because it doesn’t count a large subset of victims who have been raped (as defined by the SOA2003):

The CSEW asked about incidents happening since the respondents turned 16. NISVS 2010 also included CSA in the lifetime numbers where they found that 25% of the men who experienced rape (as defined by CDC) did so when they were 10 or younger (12.7% for women). What percentage of male victims were victimized before the age of 16 is not reported in the NISVS 2010. If the age demographic of male victims in the UK is similar to male victims in the US then a large subset of victims are not reported in the tables in the linked report.”

Tamen expanded on this in an earlier comment at Reddit MensRights

Crime Survey for England and Wales: Victims of forced envelopment are non-victims from MensRights

” It has been brought to my attention that the Crime Survery for England and Wales (CESW) did a split-sample experience to evaluate a new question set. I have criticized the published report of the CESW (which apparently is based on the answers from the original question set) in a comment at FeministCritics.

Home Office published a methodology report titled Analysis of the 2010/11 British Crime Survey intimate personal violence split-sample experiment with an analysis of the differences between the old and the new questionaires. Among some of the more interesting findings was that the rate of men reporting victimization increased with the new question set. In fact the new question set found that more men than women reported having been sexually assaulted by their partner the last year (Table 2 page 22).

So what question does this prompts from the analysts?

If the alternative question set is favoured then are further amendments needed to minimise the risk of reporting experiences that should not be classed as IPV? Should these be limited to the stalking questions, less serious sexual assault questions or to others?

The cynic in me is pretty sure which incidents they think are overreported (not really IPV).

But then I was really floored. What I will quote here is related to the following question (NIPV35AA- NIPV35AF) in the new CSEW questionaire:

You said that someone has forced you to have sexual intercourse or take part in some other sexual act when you were not capable of consent or when you made it clear you did not want to. What did they do to you?

If this has happened more than once since you were 16, please select all those that apply.

We need this level of detail to allow us to classify the exact type of sexual assault experienced.

Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis
Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers)
Penetrated your mouth with their penis
Did some other sex act not described above
Don’t know
Don’t want to answer
Any male who has been made to penetrate someone else would answer “Did some other sex act not described above”. Let’s see how that is analysed:

In the analysis presented here those respondents who said that they had only experienced ‘some other sex act not described above’ were categorised as non-victims to ensure that the category of serious sexual assault retained the same definition as in the current question set (this is not an option in the current question set).

WHAT!? Non-victims!?”

This is the comment at Feminist Critics that Tamen refers to:

“I recently was made aware by a feminist Redditor of a report of sexual offences based on (among others) the Crime Survey for England and Wales. The report found a much higher victmization rate for females than for men. I took a closer look and what follows is a slightly edited version of the reply I made her:

The UK uses the archaic common law definition of rape in its Sexual Offences Act 2003 – it defines rape in a way that requires that the perpetrator must have a penis.
It defines Assault by penetration in a way that requires that the victim’s body has been penetrated by an object or part of the perpetrators body.

The Brits have their own version of the NCVS called CSEW – Crime Survey for England and Wales. The most recent one was published January 2013. The Ministry of Justice, Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published in January a report looking specifically at the sexual offences part of the CSEW as well as police reports, court proceeding, sentencing, duration of cases, offender management and offender histories (recidivist rates, multiple convictions etc.). The report was published January 10th 2013 and is called:

An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales.

Let’s examine to what extent this report counts male victims of rape (including rape by envelopment) to see if it’s possible to estimate the number of male victims in the UK in a similar manner to how one could find the male number of male rape victims in the US by looking at the “being made to penetrate” category.

Rape and Assault by penetration are grouped by the report in a category called: “Most serious sexual offence.”

A man being forced to have oral, vaginal or anal intercourse with a woman without his consent is a victim of sexual assault by the law. The definition of sexual assault is:
Section 3 of the Act makes it an offence for any male or female to intentionally touch another person sexually without his or her consent. A person found guilty of this offence could be sent to prison for a maximum of ten years.

Meaning that by UK law a man raped by a woman forcing him to have unprotected vaginal sex with her without his consent are put in the same category as a woman being touched on the butt by a man — not to defend the latter, but there is a difference between those two.

It’s even worse in the CSEW survey because there it’s being categorized as “Other sexual offences”, which includes exposure, sexual activity with children (excluding rape and sexual assault) and sexually threatening behaviour.

In fact, when I look at the questionnaire used for the CSEW survey they base their findings on, I actually found a set of questions which male victims of rape by envelopment may answer affirmatively:

Since you were 16, has anyone ever forced you to have sexual intercourse or take part in some other sexual act, when you were not capable of consent or when you made it clear you did not want to?

By sexual intercourse we mean vaginal, anal or oral penetration.
This may have been a partner, a family member, a friend or work colleague, someone you knew casually, or a stranger.

If the respondent answered yes to the above they are asked another question (NIPV35AA- NIPV35AF):

You said that someone has forced you to have sexual intercourse or take part in some other sexual act when you were not capable of consent or when you made it clear you did not want to. What did they do to you?

If this has happened more than once since you were 16, please select all those that apply.

We need this level of detail to allow us to classify the exact type of sexual assault experienced.
* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis
* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers)
* Penetrated your mouth with their penis
* Did some other sex act not described above
* Don’t know
* Don’t want to answer

Here one would think that any male victims of “being made to penetrate someone else” must answer “(4) Did some other sex act not described above” to be counted correctly. However, the question itself listed “some other sex act” as something separate from sexual intercourse — thus perhaps confusing the respondent. Conceivably, victims of a forced kiss, a grope and so on could also answer “yes” here, as those could be understood to be some sex act other than intercourse. As I understand it, respondents are more likely to respond to questions which describe the acts rather than the name of the act or a bag-name of a set of acts. It also really doesn’t matter that this question was under the heading “SERIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULT”, because if the answer is “4″ then it’s being put in the category “Other sexual offences” in the summary, tables and charts in the report.

Contrast that with this question asked under the section: “SERIOUS SEXUAL ASSAULT”:

Since the age of 16, has ANYONE ever done any of the following things to you, when you made it clear that you did not agree or when you were not capable of consent? This may have been a partner, a family member, someone you knew casually, or a stranger.

* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis, even if only slightly
* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers) even if only slightly
* Penetrated your mouth with their penis even if only slightly
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis, but did not succeed
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers) but did not succeed
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your mouth with their penis but did not succeed
This is very specific, just about every possible combination of a way a victim can be penetrated is listed. It is therefore likely to catch more respondents.

There is a follow-up question to those who reported more than one sexual assault: they ask about the nature of the last one (SSA6A- SSA6I) and the answer alternatives are:
* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis, even if only slightly
* Penetrated your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers) even if only slightly
* Penetrated your mouth with their penis even if only slightly
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your [vagina or anus/anus] with their penis, but did not succeed
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your [vagina or anus/anus] with an object (including fingers) but did not succeed
* ATTEMPTED to penetrate your mouth with their penis but did not succeed
* Something else
* Don’t know/can’t remember
* Don’t wish to answer

Here our hypothetical male victim of forced intercourse with a female perpetrator has to answer “7 Something else”.

Again, as soon as he does answer 7 he is put into the “Other sexual offences” category in the report.

This survey does a poor job of capturing men who have been raped by envelopment. The way questions are designed almost ensure that it will under-report male victims who were made to penetrate someone else. Grouping the percentage of men who actually had been made to penetrate someone else together with the likely-higher percentages of victims having been groped, flashed and so on effectively hides how many men are victims of “being made to penetrate someone else”. It also helps maintain the belief that women are victimized by sexual offenses more than men.
It reminds me of the commonly-voiced notion that more girls than boys experience childhood sexual abuse (CSA). Statistics and studies often leave it at that. However, the picture does change a bit when another study found that while more women have experienced CSA, women are more likely to report “touching,” and it turns out that an equal number of girls and boys experience CSA in the form of rape (intercourse).
[Comment slightly edited for clarity. —ballgame]

http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2009/01/05/can-women-rape-men-rp/#comment-504891

 

In answer to a question with regard to the situation in Norway on the comment thread for Mary Koss post Tamen responded:

“Thank you for your question Dr. Ramore.
I wasn’t aware of any studies done on male victims in Norway. Now you have spurred me on to dig a bit more to see what there is and I found that there has been a few studies done among youths, for instance:

Mossige S, Huang L. The prevalence of sexual offences and abuse within a Norwegian youth population Nor J Epidemiol 2010; 20(1):53-62 (in Norwegian with a short english abstract. It uses numbers from two large national youth surveys done in 2004 and 2007.
I haven’t read it in detail yet, but I haven’t found any clear description of the definition of rape which they use. They operate with some categories called “unwanted intercourse” (one for oral, one for anal and one for vaginal) which is separate from rape. I presume this is due to rape requiring physical force or threat of physical force in Norwegian law (unless the victim is incapable of giving consent, for instance by being unconscious). Amnesty and others have been lobbying for removing the requirement of physical force (or threat of physical force) from the legal definition of rape – making it only dependent on absense of consent.

They found the following:

About 1 in 10 rape victims are male (4.3% vs 0.4%)
About 1 in 10 victims of attempted rape are male (7.1% vs 0.7%).
Unwanted sexual experiences:
Someone has exposed themselves to you
Someone has touched in a sexual manner
You have touched yourself in sexual manner in front of others
You have touched someone else in a sexual manner
You had to masturbate while someone watched
You’ve had intercourse (vaginal)
You’ve had oral sex
You’ve had anal sex
You’ve had another form of sex
You have experienced one or more experiencesfrom the list
I’ll list the results from the more serious experiences:

1 of 3 who report unwanted vaginal intercourse are male (12% vs 6.5%)
7.7% of girls vs 5.8% of boys reported unwanted oral sex
2.5% of girls vs 1.5% of boys reported unwanted anal sex
35.6% of girls and 22.5% of boys report that they’ve experienced one or more items on the list of unwanted sexual experiences.

They survey asked about the perpetrator in the first and in the last experience. Girls report 99% male perpetrators and 1% female perpetrators – the same for both the first and last. Boys report 50-60% female perpetrator and 50-40% male perpetrators.
The largest category for perpetrator for both girls and boys are “friend, boyfriend/girlfriend or acquaintance”.

What form was the first unwanted sexual experience – voluntarily or under duress/force.
The question was; how well does the following statements describe what happened
Type: Girls vs Boys who answered that the statement described the experienced well.

Too young to understand: 25.8% vs 15.3%
Participated voluntarily, but regretted afterwards: 11.8% vs 8.9%
Was tricked/conned: 27% vs 13.9%
Was persuaded: 20.3% vs 10.5%
Mild pressure: 26.9% vs 10.3%
Strong pressure: 23% vs 7.4%
Physical force (constrained/pinned down, threats of violence or violence): 31.1% vs 9.6%”

Genderratic thanks Tamen for his analysis of these two studies.

He makes his case pretty conclusively that they appear structured to conceal male rape victimization. What makes this especially is that both these studies were government funded, funded by the very citizens who these studies erase.

Latest posts by Jim Doyle (see all)

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmailby feather
  • Schala

    Cue someone saying it’s a feature of patriarchy to want to deliberately erase the very possibility of male victims – and that it benefits men as a class to do so.

    There is merit to not being viewed (or vieweing one’s self) as a perpetual fragile victim who is only one street corner away from being raped, but having your victimhood denied categorically means you can never heal the incident. And that’s no better.

    It ‘hardens character’ the way concrete does, and that doesn’t give pretty results.

  • Ginkgo

    “Cue someone saying it’s a feature of patriarchy to want to deliberately erase the very possibility of male victims – and that it benefits men as a class to do so.”

    Yes, when the evidence all says that patriarchy oppresses men as a class. The Patriarchy Hurts Women Too. (and it kills men.)

    This is as clear as it gets that it is men doing this to other men. The women are if anything just props for the men directing the study to show off how much they care for women over men.

  • typhonblue

    @ Gingko

    I think in this instance it’s women hiding the vulnerabilities of men. Which is different than the usual fare. A difference that should be noted and given some thought.

  • Ginkgo

    “I think in this instance it’s women hiding the vulnerabilities of men.”

    There are women in the mix – Mary Koss certainly had enough influence to get the CDC to skew their findings to her favored conclusion – but I see them exploiting a tendency in men to favor women over men and look out for their interests first, rather than actually driving the train.

    The parallels with Earl Silverman’s experience are exact.

  • Dr. Jake Ramore
  • Ginkgo

    I saw that. She has a history as an activist and this looks like more activism. Well, this time it really gang agley.

  • typhonblue

    “gang agley.”

    ??

  • Ginkgo

    “The best laid plans of mice and men
    Oft gang agley”

    It’s Scots for “go sideways”. “Gley” is probably cognate with “glide” -> things go “aglide”. It’s just a little more succinct than “go sideways.”

  • Paul

    “Feminist fake her own rape threat”

    It honestly wouldn’t surprise me if this happens often with these activists. I mean shit look what happened to Anita Sarkeesian. She got the sympathy of the right feminist media and suddenly she had, what, 20x the funding she was asking for?

    Internet rape “threats” are ridiculously easy to fake. You don’t even really need to manufacture them, just say you get them.

  • Adiabat

    Great, now we have a link and counter-example to broadcast wide when feminists next bring up the whole “women are treated worse on the internet” thing. By my calculations we are due another one in about 3-4 months. Before that we should be getting another “only men can stop rape” thing.

    Gingko: “but I see them exploiting a tendency in men to favor women over men and look out for their interests first, rather than actually driving the train.”

    Reminds me of this I read the other day: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/01/climate_change_causes_prostitution/

  • Tamen

    Daran at FeministCritics have pointed out to me that I overlooked a key part of the Sexual Offense Act of 2003, namely section 4: Causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent

    This includes envelopment and have the same maximum penalty as rape. So things in the UK are a bit better than I thought, but this really doesn’t change the gist of my argument: Analysts at CESW considers people who have had the crime described in section 4 (4 c & d) as NON-VICTIMS.

  • Ginkgo

    Tamen, thanks for for that refinement of the argument. I really apprecite all the work oyu do with these. I am going to split this post into two because I think each study deserves to be looked at on its own and it blunts the focus on each to conflate them..

  • Pingback: Anne Theriault’s Patriarchal Feminism (NoH) | Feminist Critics()

  • http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/ Jacobtk

    I think the study shows how easily one can manipulate data by simply not asking the right questions. Tamen did a great job pointing that out. If one frames rape as something only a man can do using his penis, it is easy to overlook other types of rape.

    What is curious is that the Norwegian study got nearly the same results as the CDC 2010 study in terms of who abuses males. Something that seems to bug feminists but seems to be true is that women may be more likely to abuse boys than men. Given the way CDC appears to have fiddled their results, I must wonder whether other researchers do the same thing. Do they get higher numbers of female violence than they expect and rework their study to hide that? Are they aware of the results of other studies that asked about female abusers or included them and so alter their methodology to avoid getting that data?

  • Ginkgo

    Jacob,
    “I think the study shows how easily one can manipulate data by simply not asking the right questions. ”

    This captures it. Thanks for summing this up so succinctly. I am going to reformat this post into two parts for clarity and I am going to include that comment.

    As you may have noticed, we seem to be on a run of rape articles. Something that jumps out immediately is the gender biased way society deals with rape, in all aspects, and feminists’ role in perpetuating this reflects very badly on them, as you have been documenting for years..

  • Pingback: Is there room for a dialogue on consent and rape? | Men's Rights()

  • Pingback: Some Swedish, Norwegian and baltic statistics on sexual abuse amongst youths | Tamen's writings()

  • Pingback: ONS will look into adding questions to the CSEW to capture more male victims | Tamen's writings()

  • Pingback: ONS Will Look Into Adding Questions To The CSEW To Capture More Male Victims (NoH) | Feminist Critics()