Author’s note: Subsequent to a controversy regarding the final footnote, I added a word. I now realize that the passage can still be misconstrued. Further I believe that the controversy surrounding the last paragraph of this article is an exercise in controlling speech. People are free to misread this article however they wish–I will not recognize attempts to control speech as legitimate forms of criticism. This article was originally published on A Voice For Men.
I’ll tell you first how you don’t stop rape.
Seeing a poster that says “My strength is not for hurting” or “don’t be that guy” won’t do anything that a law doesn’t.
You see an anti-rape law is sorta like an anti-rape poster except with a punishment attached for not following what the poster says.
So how is saying “men, don’t rape” going to be more effective than saying “men, don’t rape” and then adding “if you do, you go to jail?”
Because this is what these feminist inspired posters essentially are. They are a law, against rape, but without the actual criminal punishment. If the law isn’t an effective deterrent, than how is a poster going to be an effective deterrent?
Men who rape are not raping because they’ve been told it’s cool or fun or awesome, or because they heard an off color joke, saw a naked ankle or watched porn… they rape because they have a powerful emotional compulsion to do so.
Let’s get something clear. Human beings—barring the congenitally emotionally disabled such as sociopaths—don’t want to rape. They don’t like rape. Rape is the exact opposite of what a human being wants when they engage in sex. Men, who happen to be human beings just like women, want to feel desirable.
Most men are devastated after being rejected by a woman. What makes anyone think that the average man is going to enjoy enduring the most profound rejection one human being can muster for another—which is exactly what the rapist endures in order to rape.
If you saw someone eating broken glass, would you assume the glass is tasty or conclude there’s something seriously wrong with the person chowing down?
What the current crop of male targeted anti-rape posters will do is normalize rape. It won’t normalize rape for men who aren’t compelled to rape in the first place. Nope. It’ll just shame them. But it will normalize rape for men who are rapists.
Instead of seeing themselves as damaged individuals who are engaging not just in harm to others, but harm to themselves, rapists—male ones at least—will see themselves as the guys who do what every other guy really wants to do, but doesn’t have the balls.
They aren’t hurting, they’re edgy.
Rapists are in the business of rationalizing their compulsion to repeat, rationalizing their sense of powerlessness, and current anti-rape posters help them do just that. Rape is normal male behaviour, dontchaknow? Something men teach each other to do when feminists aren’t there to stop them.
But if jokes, naked ankles and porn don’t cause men to rape women, what does?
That’s right. In fact, having been sexually abused by a woman is a stronger risk factor for becoming a future sexual abuser in boys than having been sexually abused by a man.This is where the emotional compulsion to abuse comes from. This is the motivation. This is the manufacture process for adult male rapists.
Yet despite being sexually violated, only a fraction of these boys go on to abuse! That’s how resistant to raping the average male human is; even the most effective method of training a boy to become a rapist—by raping him–is only effective for one out of every ten boys.
The idea that a bad joke, a naked ankle or porn will cause men to rape is demonizing. The idea that there exists a “rape culture” teaching men to rape in any way but by raping them and then ignoring their subsequent emotional disorder is depraved.
And here’s the thing. Right now, in the US, there is an epidemic of institutionalized sexual abuse that is being ignored in favor of manufactured statistics about sex trafficking of girls and other juicy sexualized and sensationalized threat narratives designed to push our buttons.
In fact this epidemic of sexual abuse makes the Catholic Church scandal pale in comparison.
Since the 1950s approximately 12,000 men have come forward to admit abuse in the Catholic Church sex scandal.
10,000 boys a year are being sexually abused by female staff in juvenile detention facilities in the US. A YEAR.
So here’s the equation. Boys learn to be rapists by having been raped(even if only a fraction of them go on to enact their abuse), and we’re turning a blind eye to women raping boys in juvenile facilities—better termed “boy rape camps”—and then we’re ignoring, denying and minimizing female-on-male sexual abuse in order to prop up a morally bankrupt feminist empire built on the backs of rape victims—both victims of actual rapists and victims terrorized by rape hysteria itself.
And then we normalize rape with posters that suggest rape is not the abnormal behavior of the emotionally damaged, but a manifestation of masculinity or male culture. Men will rape for trivial reasons because they saw a naked ankle, or porn or hear a rape joke. (Or are dope fiends or black or Jewish or…)
By normalizing rape, these posters do the opposite of what they intend. They empower rapists and disempower emotionally healthy men who would never rape. They promote a distorted, simplistic view of rape as an emergent property of maleness rather than an emergent property of sexual abuse.
As for male victims of female rapists, they never see themselves in these posters. They are never acknowledged at all. This forces the problem of female perpetrated sexual abuse underground; in fact we could see the existence of male-perpetuated sexual abuse as a symptom of our society’s absolute inability to recognize male victims and give them timely help.
So how do we stop rape?
We acknowledge female rapists. We acknowledge why boys grow up to be rapists. We provide services for male survivors of sexual abuse so they have a place to heal. Not just to stop the cycle of abuse but because men and boys who are sexual abuse survivors deserve as much compassion as women and girls. We kick the ideologs out of our institutions of healing because what matters is helping people, not perpetuating feminist pseudoscience.
We start by telling the feminists to shut the fuck up.
There is no ‘rape culture’ and if there is—if the idea of “rape culture” really is ‘a culture which enables rape’–you better start backpedaling because it’s looking like you’re the biggest purveyors of it.
 Salter D., McMillan D., Richards M., Talbot T., Hodges J., Bentovim A., Hastings R., Stevenson J., Skuse D., Development of sexually abusive behaviour in sexually victimized males: a longitudinal study, The Lancet, Vol. 361, February 8, 2003
(While we’re on the subject of female-perpetuated sexual abuse, most surveys that ask college age women about the sexual abuse they perpetrate find a shocking levels of female-perpetrated sexual abuse. Other surveys find that men who perpetuate sexual abuse are also sexually abused, suggesting a cycle of sexual abuse on college campuses. Perhaps rather than being victims of an indifferent system these silent female rape victims–who are part of a culture of cyclical sexual abuse–fail to come forward to the authorities about their abuse because it would mean admitting that they also are rapists? So the constant drumbeat of feminist agitprop about making these women “comfortable” never will, unless feminists invent a ray gun that neutralizes cognitive dissonance.)
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My wanderlust took me away from GendErratic for a bit, I come back, and find this. Tut, tut.
Okay, so first off, I completely understand what Typhon was getting at, especially having been a college student recently, and having been in the odd position of being exposed to the Greek life not as a freshman, but instead as a senior with a little more perspective.
Typhon is correct, at least partially, in the sense that many of the women who are victims on campus are also perpetrators. Obviously not all, and it is no tit-for-tat situation, but I have seen enough perpetuation of “campus rape culture” on both (all) sides of the fence to know that the people who are most likely to be victimized are also the most likely to be heavily invested in the sexual aggression that goes around campus.* Thus, her point that some portion (obviously we can’t say how much) of the “silent victims” don’t feel victimized because: 1) They have done or would do the same thing without guilt 2) This is considered SOP or 3) they weren’t hurt by what happened (or all three to varying degrees).
That said, Typhon, your writing didn’t seem very clear to me, and it took me a few read-throughs to get to that understanding. It really did seem like what you were saying is that there is some kind of karmic retribution system going on, and each victim was themselves a perpetrator (with the implication that the victims deserved it). If I understand correctly, that is what Clarence and Daisy were originally concerned with, for obvious reasons. I would hope that next time if someone misinterprets your writings, you realize it is likely a failure on your part, not theirs. You can either explain yourself clearly the first time, or the 10th time. And I don’t think name calling is very appropriate.
Hey everybody. I’m a long time reader, but rare poster.
Lately, I’ve been looking 4 more blogs 2 posit my opinion since being banned at tgmp for taking pro male stances.
As far as TyphonBlue’s quote that is causing a ruckus, there is a tried & true technique I learned to see if something is misogynist or misandrist that I leanred way back on Glenn Sacks blog.
Reverse the genders. That’s what this blog did regarding the article about the female rapist who imprisoned her lover for 2 days in Germany.
So, let’s reverse the genders & see how it reads?
“While we’re on the subject of male-perpetuated sexual abuse, most surveys that ask college age men about the sexual abuse they perpetrate find a shocking levels of male-perpetrated sexual abuse. Other surveys find that women who perpetuate sexual abuse are also sexually abused, suggesting a cycle of sexual abuse on college campuses. Perhaps rather than being victims of an indifferent system these silent male rape victims–who are part of a culture of cyclical sexual abuse–fail to come forward to the authorities about their abuse because it would mean admitting that they also are rapists? ”
Is it just me, or does it seem that by twisting the genders, the “outrageous” declaration becomes a dry read? I believe the only reason TB’s statement seemed outrageous is because the idea that women rarely have agency & men always do is so prevalent.
Also, Clarence I don’t think what most people would respond is necessarily a good argument. We all know that misandry is much more pervasive & insidious than misogyny (mostly because women’s groups have been identifying what is & isn’t misogyny for 40 years).
If you’re going to use the populace as evidence of misogyny, my response would be: Is this the same populace that barely blinks an eye at Sharon Osbourne mocking a male victims of sexual mutilation to an audience of millions while a female panel & audience titters uproarisly?
This kind of reminds me of the tgmp article published by a hardcore partier who admitted that he *both* most likely over-rode some1′s consent because they were too detrimented by alcohol/drugs 2 really consent & risked having the same done to him.
He was both unapologetic & saw such risks as the price of admission to the hardcore partier lifestyle. TGMP took a lot of feminist flak for printing that article.
It seems that anything that suggests a duality of abuse between men & women (not just in rape but in DV also) gets twisted into rape apology & misogyny.
I think TB is making an important point. What is getting lost is the constant need of (a great deal of )feminists to constantly EXPAND the definition of rape.
Needling, begging, cajoling, nagging some1 into sex is NOT RAPE.
I think the implied point being lost is that *women are not coming forward to claim rape* under these exaggerated definitions is *possibly* because the same women are doing this too. Are people really so gullible to believe that only men needle, beg, nag, cajole, squeeze, caress, grope their lover to get them to agree to sex?
If I counted as rape every time my wife groped me, I’d be raped more than a prison inmate.
It’s not real victims of real rape (male or female) that (in my mind) TB is attacking. She is attacking the ridiculously expanded definition of rape.
This is about attacking people who have an incessant need to tell it like it ain’t.
Thanks for putting this up on here TB. I’m not going to talk about the issue that Clarence, Patrick and Daisy had. What I’d like to pick up on, if I may, is the inclusion of the 2003 Salter et. al. study, which you reference directly after the following claim:
Now, this study is a UK longitudinal study in which 224 male former victims of sexual abuse (not necessarily victims of rape, I might add) identified via social service case records were tracked down and their social work/clinical case history was reviewed for evidence of them becoming sexual abusers (again, not necessarily rapists). There was no control group. They were only looking at sexually abused boys (thus there’s no way they could possibly talk about the risk factors in becoming a sexual abuser generally).
They found that 12% of this cohort went on to become sexual abusers themselves. They then tried to identify specific risk factors that might be able to predict, within this cohort, whether any given sexually abused boy would be in this 12% or not, finding that the best predictors using odds ratios:
They were physical abused – O/R of 1.9
They were sexually abused by an adult female – O/R of 3.03
They were physically neglected – O/R of 3.4
They show cruelty to animals – O/R of 7.9
So let’s be clear about this – even within this cohort and this very limited study, the strongest risk factor for whether a sexually abused boy in this study would go on to be sexually abusive themselves was whether they themselves were cruel to animals. Thus, it’s not even correct to say that the strongest risk factor for a sexually-abused boy in this particular study going on to sexually abuse is that they were abused by an adult woman, let alone whether it is a strong risk-factor for boys who may or may not have been abused, and outside this particular cohort. About this, the report is moot. As the authors quite clearly state in their discussion, the results are simply not generalisable.
You may nonetheless be correct about the proposition that “The strongest risk factor for a boy going on to sexually abuse is having been sexually abused by an adult woman.” I’m not saying here that this proposition is false. What I’m saying is that the study you cite is actually irrelevant to that proposition, and thus that your article is misleading by citing it next to this proposition.
I have a hard time with this, especially given what I’ve read. Communication is a two way street, and certain individuals not only resist clarification, but they also make the most uncharitable assumptions and refuse to ask before going off. While her post might not have been the most well writing, “realizing it is likely a failure” on part if she’s misinterpreted seems like a mistake to me.
It really did seem like what you were saying is that there is some kind of karmic retribution system going on, and each victim was themselves a perpetrator (with the implication that the victims deserved it).
Fortunately, most people have the wherewithal to ask whether someone means a particular thing if it at first seems vile, giving them a chance to explain. However, we’ve somewhere along the line dispensed with giving anyone the benefit of the doubt in favor of turning on our rage faces.
Oh, proofreading. It was a skill I once valued.
TB, this is one of the most thorough refutation of the mainstream narrative on rape, past and present. I am pretty sure that people will be passing it around well into the future.
Just as a side note, on the double standards for rape and rape apology in the feminist camp. Maybe sometimes it is more than just a double standard when a feminist writer proclaims that anything short of men eating out her bloody period vagina is tantamount to a hate crime. It has just gotten to a certain point where I am starting to add it up.
I’ve clarified that statement. Thank you for your input.
However, the study indirectly supports my point. They were looking at risk factors for adults to go on to sexually abuse and they looked at a subset who were sexually abused.
Unless there is a strong and already established correlation between being sexually abused and becoming an abuser, their science would have been useless to determine risk factors for future sexual abusers among the general population because it’s arbitrarily restricted to a population of individuals abused as boys.
I notice that people who aren’t heavily invested in offering the most uncharitable view of what I wrote–and then when I refute that view moving on to yet another uncharitable view–don’t have a problem with it. Therefore I’m not too worried about the wording on the whole.
Let’s move on to more substantive points.
It’s gotten to a point where, in many circles, a man is expected to have sex, sometimes of a certain kind, regardless of how he feels about it… which sounds suspiciously familiar…
@ JD Cyran
Rapists attracted to an ideology that defines the abuse they enact out of existence? Perish the thought!
I think there’s a lot to attract rapists to feminist theory. Female rapists because it offers them loopholes to rationalize their abuse as “different” and male rapists because it allows them to avoid personal responsibility for their abuse.
It’s not their fault, it’s hegemonic masculinity or patriarchy or what the fuck ever.
By the way, for what it is worth:
Glad you changed it, even a little.
It will be good for MRA if one of the better voices out there (YOURS) isn’t associated with tons of accusations that she thinks horrible things about rape victims. Remember that 99.99 percent of everyone outside the “Genderrsphere” has no idea who you are, and even fewer know you’ve been raped yourself. They will not take your victimization into account when they read what you write.
Xakudo and I were talking about hyperagency/hypoagency and wondering if there were any counterexamples. There may be, but this looks like an example where HH has a big ton of explanatory power. Hypoagency lets feminists define female rape down since it is, well, les agentive and effectual. It even allows a rape researcher to get away with characterizing a woman raping a man as “engaging in unwanted sex with a woman.” Hyperagency predicts that male victims are less victimized.
Does any of this sound familiar form comments you have seen over the years?
Shouldn’t we expect that people who abuse sexually, typically have a “powerful emotional compulsion to do so”? If such a compulsion exists in a person exists. wouldn’t it usually be established in the person’s childhood? You seem to be suggesting something like this in the text.
What effect does being sexually abused in college have on the “powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually”?
I would expect there to be little effect. If there is little effect, how can there be a cycle of sexual abuse on college? Do people with a compulsion to sexually abuse seek each other out?
Now I understand that the common definition of rape/sexual abuse has been expanded (for example including sex with a strongly intoxicated but conscious person) and not all people agree that all acts that fall under the newer definitions of rape are actually harmful. But these people often might not have a powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually and campaigns which condemn acts like intoxicated sex, might change those people’s behaviour.
“What effect does being sexually abused in college have on the “powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually”?”
Reinforcing it? Offering an outlet for it? Offering a place to hide dysfunctional behaviours among equally dysfunctional people in a culture of mutual silence?
“But these people often might not have a powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually and campaigns which condemn acts like intoxicated sex, might change those people’s behaviour.”
Selectively intervening with men who engage in these behaviours but not women will not reduce them. Because if the acts themselves are inspiring a cycle of further abuse, then stopping one half of rapists will only mean the other half will inspire another go-round on the rape wheel.
If the acts are inspired by childhood abuse then, again, these posters will do nothing.
If these acts are something most people in the party culture resist calling rape, they’ll just use the selective nature of the intervention to argue that they aren’t rape. Or harmful. Women will say “women can’t rape men”; and men will say “women can’t rape men, therefore what that woman did to me wasn’t rape.” Or women will think that there’s no point trying to stop a man when he starts because “that’s how men are.”
I’m thinking about a followup that explores the correlation between the stereotype of the “ever-ready, unrapable male” and increased incidence of rape.
What effect does being sexually abused in college have on the “powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually”?
I’d say it creates a potent stew of people who have been abused as children and those who are just having sex for the first time.
Feminist strategists aren’t dumb, they know the campaign has no criminological value. The normalizing and alienating effects are actually what they are aiming for.
I disagree – they really are that dumb. Don’t over-estimate what they are doing; it’s not a strategy, it’s largely driven by mob rule. Which in a sense is a far bigger problem, because it’s driven by basic us-vs-them in-group biases and cognitive dissonance. These people will literally need to be socialized away from their destructive, counter-productive behavior and belief systems.
“Because this is what these feminist inspired posters essentially are. They are a law, against rape, but without the actual criminal punishment. If the law isn’t an effective deterrent, than how is a poster going to be an effective deterrent?”
Becasue it is not about deterrence, it is, as oyu say, about demnizing men and male sexuality.
To what end? To the end that amleness is rendered illegtimate to clear the way for gynonormative norms in the culture. this is about female chauvinism and female supremacy. And the mothering tone of these posters confirms this.
Wislon, dungone, I come down between your two positions on this. Wilson, there is a logic to this approach, but dungone, it is indeed not all that conscious. It is rather like the way wondrously intricate and rigorously logical grammmatical structures can evolve in a language without the speakers even being able to epxlain anything about them even though they use them flawlessly.
@TB. Cheers for your response. Yep, that’s much better now.
EquilibriumShift on 2013-04-24 at 4:48 pm said: “I would hope that next time if someone misinterprets your writings, you realize it is likely a failure on your part, not theirs. You can either explain yourself clearly the first time, or the 10th time. And I don’t think name calling is very appropriate.”
If everyone who couldn’t understand something they read got to blame the author everything would read like an episode of Mr Rogers Neighborhood. (
I don’t know what the name calling charge is about unless there was a comment which got snipped for violating comment policy so I won’t address that.[Let’s just move on, please–admin]) I didn’t have any problem understanding what she wrote and when I do experience something like that I don’t automatically assume I read it perfectly and the author is poorly communicating. I wouldn’t assume that wasn’t a possibility but to outright claim infallibility by default seems somewhat troll like.
Regarding whether feminists are acting with ignorance or malice in this ‘Smokey the White Knight’ campaign (“Only you can prevent being a rapist at a moment’s notice!”), malice and ignorance are often fellow travellers with the person not wanting to feel like they are being malicious by constructing an ignorant belief to hide the malice. Or in the terms used by TB, the malicious agency is concealed by an ignorant threat narrative. I would suspect that most of this sort of thing is subconscious because few people like thinking of themselves as being malicious.
So both stupid and clever at the same time is my vote on feminists. Or at least, stupid in an attempt to be clever.
“when I do experience something like that I don’t automatically assume I read it perfectly and the author is poorly communicating.”
I got into a pissing contest with someone somewhere else over his refusal to read any of the links in an article and his insistence that his resulting misreading of the article was due to the way it was written. People are so spoiled and pampered with easy texts that they become incapable of reading anything beyond what is completely familiar to them.
These posters set up a nice little trap. A good man would not object to stopping rape but since he can’t he has to:
A) continuously prove he is trying by saying all the right things and
B) always listen to women for clues as to how to serve the cause of fighting “rape-culture”
I once thought it was a bit harsh when TB referred to the mindset of certain men as like being tied to the apron strings (was that the Power of Pussy vid?) but the intense desire for female approval is pretty evident when you think about it and constantly being reinforced. Do you want to be society’s good progressive/pious traditionalist son? Are you going to help mommy like a big boy? She’ll teach you all the rhymes and songs (talking points, slogans). Resisting is immature. Grown-up “real-men” don’t argue with their mum.
SOB, that’s a pretty succinct summation of the mechanism.
thank you for the answer.
About the “powerful emotional compulsion to abuse sexually”:
Is this a psychological characteristic, which could in principle get measured in a given person?
If the answer to the question above is yes, if an adult who doesn’t have a strong emotional compulsion to abuse sexually is raped once, could this rape ignite an emotional compulsion to abuse sexually?
If an adult, who was not sexually abused as a child and doesn’t have a pathological sexuality, gets raped once, could this rape ignite an emotional compulsion to abuse sexually?
Some of the sexual behaviours that feminists condemn in men are not abusive, I claim. Like initiating sexual contact without explicit permission from the partner or sex with a drunk but conscious partner (assuming that the partner got deliberately drunk). As many men and women seem to accept different standards for the sexes, it seems possible to shame at least some of the men from engaging in such behaviour. Of course this less about rape than control over how people have sex.
While I would agree that these posters are ineffective in stoping rapes from happening, people with a strong emotional compulsion to abuse sexually, might be able to fight this compulsion and culture might have an influence in how people handle their emotions.
I don’t have any solid answers for your questions.
Personally I think that adult rape victims(and we’d be talking about a fraction of rape victims going on to abuse here) can “acquire” a compulsion to abuse. I’m thinking here specifically about individuals subject to sexual abuse in army initiations going on to enact that abuse on civilians or other soldiers.
I think it also is simply a lowering of inhibitions. You start to absorb the culture of violating consent and it becomes a reinforcing “us versus them” situation because of the transgression of taboos.
“As many men and women seem to accept different standards for the sexes, it seems possible to shame at least some of the men from engaging in such behaviour. ”
Then we also need to talk about the appropriateness of using a form of force to enact arbitrary compliance on only part of the population while leaving the other part free of that compliance.
“People with a strong emotional compulsion to abuse sexually, might be able to fight this compulsion and culture might have an influence in how people handle their emotions.”
Of course they can. If they get genuine support; if they exist in a rehabilitative rather than revenge based culture.
For Tamen and anyone else that can read scandi languages:
What looks to be a great book about the causes of rape strongly critiquing the rape culture narrative. Unfortunately I can`t see any emphasis on male rape victims or female victims but there might be in the book. The book has a Facebook page that is open for debate which I presume will be read by most people who partake in the public debate about rape. So there is a unique possibility to get your perspective and data across to those who have the most influence with regards to this issue.
Having been a survivor, an aggressor, and a mediator between parties of abuse before, a lot of this resonates with me. What has me curious is if a lot of other factors that we associate with male aggression are in fact not gendered, as well as neutral in a power narrative. For example, John D hinted earlier about alcohol prevalence potentially being non-gendered, since affects both men and women but also power-neutral because prior to alcoholic consumption both parties were significantly less aggressive. One factor that intrigues me, and forgive me because this will sound very controversial, is if pornography prevalence and sexual liberalness are also not gendered, and power-neutral, in reducing levels of rape and sexual assault. The usual narrative is that they provide a ‘release valve’ or allow those who would normally be (male) aggressors to take care of sexual needs without harming others. However, what if they not only ‘diffuse’ aggressors (men and women) but also normalize healthy sexual behavior in would be survivors. There was a controversial article on Salon published last month: “My bad sex wasn’t rape” that would seem to suggest that exposure to healthy attitudes (Instead of repressive puritanical ones) and just exposure to sex in general reduce the shame and fear that a would-be survivor might have, and thus reduce the likelihood that regret after an encounter would cause actual psychological pain.
@ Cerny(I don’t know how to write your name with all the extra stuff)
Don’t worry about being controversial as long as you’re putting it out there for discussion in good faith, it’s welcome.
“The usual narrative is that they provide a ‘release valve’ or allow those who would normally be (male) aggressors to take care of sexual needs without harming others. However, what if they not only ‘diffuse’ aggressors (men and women) but also normalize healthy sexual behavior in would be survivors.”
So what you’re saying is that pornography may function to model healthy sexual boundaries for people who have had them violated?
I think that’s a valid proposition. It actually reminds me of something I considered in regards to people asserting that sex workers were more often sexual abuse survivors(this has been disproven by one study I’ve seen but I’ll assume that it’s true)… Do they go into sex work because they’re damaged individuals or because sex work allows them to have more of a sense of control over their sexual boundaries?
“Do they go into sex work because they’re damaged individuals or because sex work allows them to have more of a sense of control over their sexual boundaries?”
One may be conditioning the other – they may be going into sex work with the control it allows them as a form of self-therapy.
“However, what if they not only ‘diffuse’ aggressors (men and women) but also normalize healthy sexual behavior in would be survivors.”
This makes snese to me, as a form of that same kind of self-therapy.
So what you’re saying is that pornography may function to model healthy sexual boundaries for people who have had them violated?
I think his most compelling point wasn’t that it sets boundaries but that it helps “reduce the shame and fear.” Which would be addressing an even deeper problem. I think he has a great point here, which is a welcome alternative to the disciplinarian approach of beating rules and regulations into people’s heads as though the problem was that they just didn’t know any better.
“which is a welcome alternative to the disciplinarian approach”
I’m not particularly fond of this approach and I’m becoming less fond of it over time.
As I work through healing, I’m becoming less angry at the person who abused me than the society that offered her no ability to recognize what likely happened to her as abuse before she went on to perpetuate it against another person. Our society maintains its pretty fiction about women’s moral perfection by suppressing the existence of people who are hurt by the ugly reality behind it.
But the reality is that _she_ never had a chance to heal at all because of this wretched myopia.
I don’t mind being referenced as Cerny. In referenced to the previous comments, I meant both of what dungone was saying and typhon was suggesting before, and probably should’ve elaborated a bit. Since I wrote a lot, I’ll sum it up as a tl;dr at the bottom.
At early stages of development, children exposed to excessive violence, sexuality, and/or neglect can cause trauma and other pychological issues to manifest themselves as they mature. However after aging, exposure to these things, though not to an extreme degree, become necessary in order to develop empathy as well as mindfulness and coping mechanisms. Furthermore, a lack of exposure to these things means a lack of exposure to defense and reduction strategies to prevent unwanted situations involving them.
For example, if we teach children sports/martial arts at a young age in a highly controlled environment, we do two things: establish appropriate boundaries for what/where/when acceptible and unacceptible roughhousing/violent behvior are; and provide a moderate level of exposure to such things to develop coping strategies and an improved level of esteem. I know one exercise in soccer/futbol is for an individual on a team to stand in the open with safety goggles on, and have other individuals throw/kick balls at them without having them flinch, starting at low intensity and working up. This is to help the player know the level of pain to expect if they’re hit by the ball, so that they aren’t distracted by fear before the ball hits them, as well as improving their ability to concentrate after it hits them.
The severity of the exposure is also moderated with age. At younger ages, martial arts tends to be more kalesthenic than violent. The prevalence of PTSD/Shock in soldiers coming home increased between WWII and Vietnam as the average age of a conscripted soldier dropped.
Likewise, exposure to sexual activity and familiarity with it would prevent fear during an encounter and ability to cope/transcend any negativity associated from it. The crux of the issue with sexual assault is consent: if one or neither party agrees to what is happening, it’s assault. However, consent is often governed by a mental and emotional state. If one goes through sex the first time, or again as part of a series of negative experiences, that individual may not initially have any inclination, but neither any reservations at first about engaging in sexual activity. Thus their partner will have an impression of consent from the other person. However, because this individual is inexperienced or is hesitant to actively participate and provide feedback, any negative feelings are retained, repressed, and the brain will encounter cognitive dissonance between not disengaging, and having a negative experience. For lack of a better example, imagine a scenario where an attractive but generally sexually inconsiderate man manages to bed a woman. The woman is unsure of how their experience will be in bed with this individual, so they are open but not actively seeking such an experience. After some coyness and nagging, the man persuades the woman to have intercourse with him. A sexually repressed woman would think “I didn’t say no and went along with it, but he was so rough, I feel hurt, I think he assaulted me.” whereas an experienced woman would, in the same situation think “I let him have sex with me, but the asshole was too eager and wouldn’t slow down when I asked, I’m not sleeping with him again and making sure others don’t”
This is why the “Enthusiastic Consent” movement sprung up, and while a noble attempt, is taking the wrong approach in reducing harm from sexual assault. Establishing consent is important, but the addition of ‘enthusiastic’ loads the term so much that it complicates and adds ambiguity in situations. Does it mean that if the situation started out with tacit consent, and a man or woman regrets it later then was it rape because it wasn’t enthusiastic to begin with? If an indivual doesn’t initially signify enthusiastic consent, is it because they aren’t interested in anything sexual whatsover, or is it because they aren’t interested in performing specific sex acts before going through others, or is it because they are playing ‘hard-to-get’ in order to entice themselves or their partner more? If an individual is not asking or looking for enthusiastic consent, does that mean they don’t have their partner’s best interest at heart, or is it because they’re inexperienced and it’s hard for them to vocalize or explain themselves in a way that’s unakward or won’t kill the mood?
All of these questions become moot if both parties have had healthy exposure to sexual conduct/activity. Experienced individuals who suffer some degree of displeasure or discomfort during sex will either communicate their dissatisfaction and try and correct it, or disengage at the closest opportunity. They are also less likely to feel oppressed or attribute a power dynamic over their discomfort or pain, and more likely to attribute it to a partner’s ignorance and/or inconsiderateness. Likewise, experienced individuals are more likely to communicate, are more receptive to feedback, and even if they cause initial discomfort are more likely to empathize and take corrective action. Exposure to pornography and having sex-positive sex education provides those initial steps in seeing what good sex is capable of being, and removing those feelings of awkwardness. They turn what would be felt to be traumatic to a repressed individual to an inconvinience for a healthy individual.
However, as I mentioned before, age and environment are important factors in determining whether exposure is harmful or helpful. Sexual assault prevalence will not be reduced until we start addressing and mitigating the harm done to boys, and in later years reinforce positive stereotypes in sex education of what both parties should do, instead of claiming that there’s some inherent power structure and it’s gendered and it’s bad. Liberalism in sex education and attitudes about pornography/prostitution/etc are directly correlated to everything mentioned before.
tl;dr: we teach kids sports and martial arts at an early age, and they don’t grow up to be violent later in life. This, combined with full cognitive development and training, reduces the likelyhood of stress and trauma resulting from a significantly painful event. Non-harmful sexual activity is dependent on consent, however because consent requires communication, it’s interpretation is highly subjective and dependent on the mental state of the individual. Enthusiastic consent tries to combat this by removing ambiguity in communication, but simultaneously destroys the nuance many desire in sexual relationships. A better method would be by educating and exposing individuals in sex the same way we properly expose them to violence and competition. We can only do that when we take the abuse of boys seriously, and give sex positive messages to adolescents and young adults.
A linke for Tamen. There are several links to Norwegian rape data there:
Dr. Jake Ramore,
thank you for that link, some of the resources were known to me and some were new.
And another link for TyphonBlue. Table 3 in this paper seems to be consistent with your idea of there being a cycle of abuse.
In a Spanish study, boys and young men were almost 9 times more likely to have perpetrated sexual violence if they had also been victimised themselves. Having been sexually aggressive also increased the odds of them being victimised, but by less than a factor of 2. For girls and young women, the opposite pattern is suggested: having been sexually violent seems to predict also having been victimised slightly more strongly than vice versa, although this difference is not statistically significant.
The data only shows correlations not causation of course. I don’t find the explanation of their methods very clear, so it’s possible I’ve misunderstood it but I think this is correct, and interesting. Importantly, I think they only considered dating sexual violence (against a romantic partner), so child sexual abuse is probably not counted here in any of the statistics but it’s hard to be sure from their paper.