Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sometimes I just like to cite Hugo Schwyzer....

*Sigh* I usually do not agree with that guy, but when he has a point, he has a point:

Women are shamed for their sexuality in a way that men aren’t. That has innumerable consequences. For example, we raise women to be objects of desire. This is where we get the famous Paris Paradox (which goes back long before Paris Hilton), where girls learn how to be sexy long before they discover their own sexuality.

At the same time, we raise boys to believe their bodies aren’t as beautiful, as desirable, as appealing as those of girls. Boys get to be sexual, but too rarely get to trust that they’re wanted, lusted for, desired. Girls are much more visual and much more sexual than we admit; boys “long to be longed for” to a far greater extent than we realize.

You just can't make this shit up....

Assume the following, a large study by a government body finds, among other data, that in the last 12 month the same number of men and women have been raped (almost 50/50). The study however has a flaw and defines the rape of men not as rape but as something different. Now assume a major feminist blog posts about the study yet does not mention that little fact (almost 50/50 rape victims in the last 12 months). When called out said feminist said she does not name that number because she trusts other data in the study more. Of course said feminist also does misinterpret data so that it seems that men are most of the perpetrators. This is happening right now.

The study we are talking about is the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey by the CDC, sample size a tad more than 16,000. Now the CDC is a bit shaky with their definitions of rape, and with shaky I mean these fuckers do not call male rape, rape. Which strangely reminds me of Whoopie Goldberg's it wasn't "rape-rape" remark.

Toysoldier has a nice summary (as always; read it all).

-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. (Page 17)

Horrible fail, most male rape cases via that study got covered via this category:

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. (Page 17)

As for the results, we take a look at page 18-19 (this number also includes attempted rape as well as alcohol/drug facilitated rape):

Made to penetrate in the last 12 months: 1.1% (There was only a male number as there were not enough women reporting this item)

Rape in the last 12 months: 1.1% (There was only a female number as there were not enough men reporting this item)

The lifetime numbers is where it gets confusing. Although we have the same number (almost, they count 1,270,000 female and 1,267,000 male victims) in the last 12 months the lifetime numbers are 4.8% (male) vs 18.3% (female). Why? I could only speculate. It might be that men are more likely these days to label their experience as rape, it might be that women have become more aggressive of course we have to keep in mind that men are still less likely to report than women. I don't know and I am really waiting for an expert to explain that. However this doesn't change the fact that in the last 12 months the same amount of men and women have been raped (and this even leaves out incarnated men and boys living on the street where both groups are more likely to be rape than similar female ones). This is fucking significant. I can not stress that enough, similar to DV studies there is a study here saying, victims, equal. Sadly, the figure that will be cited everywhere will be the figure with the most female and the least male victims, the lifetime rape number (which also excludes the being forced to penetrate definition). On another note we now have several large scale studies with a huge chunk of male victims. The NVAWS found that 1/3 of rape victims were male (even though they ignored being made to penetrate. A huge multinational study on several campuses found more male victims than female ones. And now the CDC.

So what about the perpetrators:

Most perpetrators of all forms of sexual violence against women were male. For female rape victims, 98.1% reported only male perpetrators. Additionally, 92.5% of female victims of sexual violence other than rape reported only male perpetrators. 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%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpetrators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators (data not shown). (Page 24)

In short for the rape categories it is 98.1% male on female and 79.2% female on male. Which gives us a divide of 60% male perpetrators and 40% female perpetrators. That is a whole lot of women. Surprised? Well to cite from one of my latest posts, maybe not.

Anderson (1998, 1996), presented self-reported prevalence rates for women's sexual coercion of between 25% and 40% and for physically forced sexual contact between 1.6% and 7.1%. Of perhaps greater significance was the women's self-reports of engaging in a classic date-rape scenario - taking advantage of someone who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When asked about initiating sexual contact with a man when his judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol, between 32% and 51% of the women said that they had. Further, between 5% and 15% of women reported giving a man alcohol or drugs in an attempt to have sexual contact with him.

So a short recap, last year almost same amount of female and male rape victims, with a whole lot of female perpetrators. For reasons unknown, the life time figure looks quite different. Also in this study they really fucked up the rape definition BUT of course we have to be glad they asked the question of "being forced to penetrate at all". So there was a reaction on feministing, probably the most important and most popular feminist blog out there. Now recently I said somewhere, I am mostly okay with this site, well, not this time. Some citations:

Men are affected by sexual violence too.

As Hugo Schwyzer said, “Though men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape, the new research makes it more evident than ever that men are also its victims.” One in 71 men (1.4%) have been raped and nearly 5% have been made to penetrate someone else in their lifetimes. (By the way, this is the first national study to distinguish between being forced to penetrate someone and being penetrated.) [...] * Note: In this study, “rape” was defined as “completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.”

Hm, while they mention the "rape-rape" problem, no critique of it, and not mentioning the huge amount of male victims that were there last year? What is going on here. She clarified it in the comments:

when I discuss the way men are affected by sexual violence. Obviously, the study’s definition of rape is imperfect–which is why I included a note so it would be clear that I was using their definition, not my own. But perhaps it wasn’t clear. My apologies.

Imperfect? You have got to be kidding me. Alienating male victims is imperfect? It is more than that. I would say it is scandalous (even if expected). It is mindbogling, those guys point out every ism there is under the sun on a daily basis, yet when it comes to men they start to dodge around the issue like politicians. "I admit that their definition of rape wasn't entirely perfect". I'll help to spell it out for you Maya. That is some blatant sexism right there.

What about the numbers:

I highlighted the lifetime stats, as opposed to the figures for the past 12 months, because, with limited space to go into every single finding, those seemed to paint the most comprehensive picture of what’s going on. I’d be interested to hear an explanation from an expert for the more equal numbers by gender for the past 12 months, but I’m still gonna lean toward trusting the lifetime stats. And I still feel pretty confident in saying that “men remain the overwhelming majority of perpetrators of rape.”

Did I get it right she didn't trust the last year results from the same survey? The results that could really be more accurate? I am not sure what to say, but Jebus, that view of the world is kind of fucked up as she basically says "yeah that study is nice and such, but only when it comes to female victims". Selective reading of the worst kind....and sadly business as usual.

EDIT: From a recent NSWATM comment, kudos go to makomk

Discussion section on page 84:

“As an example of prevalence differences between the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey and other surveys, the lifetime prevalence estimate of rape for men in this report is lower than what has been reported in other surveys (e.g., for forced sex more broadly) (Basile, Chen, Black, & Saltzman, 2007). This could be due in part to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey making a distinction between rape and being made to penetrate someone else. Being made to penetrate is a form of sexual victimization distinct from rape that is particularly unique to males and, to our knowledge, has not been explicitly measured in previous national studies. It is possible that rape questions in prior studies captured the experience of being made to penetrate someone else, resulting in higher prevalence estimates for male rape in those studies.”

To cite myself: "these fuckers do not call male rape, rape"

Friday, December 9, 2011

On alcohol, sex and rape...

To be honest, I am not 100% sure how I stand on that issue. There is only a thin line between a drunken hook-up you regret the next morning and someone using alcohol to coerce or even rape you it seems. This is what I gather from several posts from feministing or feministe. I can't even call out a certain post it just seems to be a mindset, that when it gets to drunken hook-ups we are always talking about rape, as if consent and sex while drunk as well as regretting it the next day is not possible. I do not see it framed that way often on feminist sites. And I admit I am not fair here as I really can't pin down a post especially. Those two go sort of in the direction but are just close. Now I don't blame the victim, there should always be consent, the more enthusiastic, the better. It just seems to me that when there is talk on feminist spaces that goes in the direction of alcohol, sex, consent and victim blaming the possibility of drunken men as possible victims and the possibility of a regretful yet consensual sexual encounter fly out of the window.

Two posts come to mind which I saw the last week. The first one was on Reddit and had a headline in it that said something akin to "50% of women have raped a man". Now I can not find the headline again, but luckily saved the article. My first thought after reading that headline was "bullshit" after reading the data, well. Look yourself:

Anderson (1998, 1996), presented self-reported prevalence rates for women's sexual coercion of between 25% and 40% and for physically forced sexual contact between 1.6% and 7.1%. Of perhaps greater significance was the women's self-reports of engaging in a classic date-rape scenario - taking advantage of someone who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When asked about initiating sexual contact with a man when his judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol, between 32% and 51% of the women said that they had. Further, between 5% and 15% of women reported giving a man alcohol or drugs in an attempt to have sexual contact with him.

Now, I know that this is a sample of college students and that there are several samples in that ranging between 32-51% but dammit that are a whole lot of cases. If we had a several study with the genders reversed, where men admitted to initiating sexual contact with a woman when here judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol I can totally see certain feminist argue that, to bring up my previous headline again, "50% of men have raped a woman".

There is obviously a double standard, something I see with myself. To me "men admitted to initiating sexual contact with a woman when here judgment was impaired by drugs or alcohol" sounds worse than with the sexes reversed. Which is of course sexist. There is a recent case about this form of sexism:

The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts expelled a young man the day before he was supposed to graduate last May with a 3.13 grade point average. The expulsion was punishment following a college board's determination that the young man was responsible for raping a female student. Now the young man, Edwin Bleiler, 23, is suing the school for breach of contract and for violating his civil rights in a case that raises an important issue with possibly widespread implications.

At issue is this: if a male and female college student engage in sexual activity while intoxicated (not incapacitated), should the male be deemed a "rapist" while the female is deemed a "victim"? That's what Mr. Bleiler alleges happened in his case, and if that's correct, it's a gross distortion of even the semblance of equal justice, not to mention a breach of the school's contract with its students.

According to the complaint: “The college’s sexual misconduct policy imposes a form of strict liability on male students: if a male and female student are both intoxicated and engage in sexual activity, the male student could face expulsion for violation of the policy without any evidence of coercion, manipulation, force or any additional culpable behavior.”

To finish my incoherent ramblings, I am still not sure where I stand on that issue or what the data should tell us. We should either get a better understanding of the studies, maybe a better way to differentiate between date rape / drunken hook-ups, or we should accept that also many men are raped that way. Something tells me the solution is somehow in the middle, the situation now though surely smells fishy.

Two famous DV victims

Who would have thought Lincoln and Hawking were abuse by there spouses:

Abraham Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, physically abused him routinely, pelting her husband with potatoes and books and whacking him with firewood, according to a new biography.

Michael Burlingame, a historian at Connecticut College, argues in "The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln," due next month from the University of Illinois Press, that the 16th president was a classic victim of spousal abuse.

"She threw coffee in his face and chased him with a knife," Burlingame said.
- from here

A nurse who cared for Professor Stephen Hawking claimed last night that she saw his wife abusing and mistreating him.

Elaine Hawking called her disabled 62-year-old husband a cripple, bathed him in water that was too hot and allowed him to wet himself, it was alleged.

The nurse was reported as saying: "She gets angry and has thrown him on the bed where he kicks his limbs or hurts himself. She allowed him to slip down low in the bath so the water goes in the hole in his throat.

"She has left him in the garden without his computer mouse so he cannot talk and call for anyone. She gives him lots of verbal abuse and calls him a cripple and an invalid, which depresses him.

"She would withhold the bottle he used to go to the toilet so he wet himself, which he does not like because he is a very dignified person and a very private person. The verbal abuse is unbelievable. Her mouth is like a sewer. We (his nurses) got so used to it we forgot it was not normal behaviour.

"She throws things around the kitchen to frighten people and has temper tantrums.

"During one visit to hospital she was asked to leave because she was throwing things around."

[...] Professor Hawking's 24-year-old son by his first wife Jane said yesterday he felt certain his stepmother was behind a string of alleged assaults on the academic.

Tim Hawking described his father's alleged abuse as "completely despicable and unacceptable".

He added: "I believe quite strongly that it's true, based on what I have been privy to in the past.

"It makes me feel sick, as I'm sure anyone would be in my position. I feel completely helpless. He denies it every time I speak to him and I would hope he would respect me enough to tell me the truth."

Tim's mother Jane said: "The situation is far worse than any of us imagined."

Cambridgeshire Police confirmed they will be speaking to a nurse about allegations of assault on the academic.
- from here

It can happen to everyone.

Circumcision.....a huge sigh

Kind of funny, it is Clinton again, this time with something different:

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently announced that 1 million circumcisions have been performed over the last 4 years, three-quarters funded by the U.S. government. This is just 4% of the number of circumcisions needed in sub-Saharan Africa.

This is just sad.

Circumcision is Africa’s best weapon against AIDS

No you idiots, condoms are. Oh my...

EDIT: User ml66uk makes a good case in the comments:

NO NO NO. Condoms are the best weapon against AIDS for Africans as well as for everyone else.

“There appears no clear pattern of association between male circumcision and HIV prevalence—in 8 of 18 countries with data, HIV prevalence is lower among circumcised men, while in the remaining 10 countries it is higher.” CR22.pdf

The South African National Communication Survey on HIV/AIDS, 2009 found that 15% of adults across age groups “believe that circumcised men do not need to use condoms”. _2009.htm

From the committee of the South African Medical Association Human Rights, Law & Ethics Committee :
“the Committee expressed serious concern that not enough scientifically-based evidence was available to confirm that circumcisions prevented HIV contraction and that the public at large was influenced by incorrect and misrepresented information. The Committee reiterated its view that it did not support circumcision to prevent HIV transmission.”

The one randomized controlled trial into male-to-female transmission showed a 54% higher rate in the group where the men had been circumcised btw: /article/PIIS0140-6736(09)60998-3/abstr act

ABC (Abstinence, Being faithful, and especially Condoms) is the way forward. Promoting genital surgery will cost African lives, not save them.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gay rights = human rights

"Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 60 years ago, the governments that drafted and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT community. They also weren’t thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 60 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity.

This recognition did not occur all at once. It evolved over time. And as it did, we understood that we were honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights."

Nothing more to add.

Once in a committed relationship, men and women have similar attitudes toward sex

Not much to say, but pretty interesting stuff:

“Men experience a lot of pressure in our society to have sex with a number of different partners,” said one of the study’s researchers, Paul Perrin, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Florida, “the opposite of what women experience as kind of the gatekeepers of sexuality.”

Past studies, the scientists point out, have shown that compared with women, men are more sexually permissive, endorse casual sex at higher rates and masturbate more often.

And even in dreamland, men are from Mars and women from Venus. A recent study showed men were more than twice as likely as women to report dreams about multiple sex partners.

[...]While women placed more emphasis on the emotional aspects of sex, men focused more on the physical side of sex. Men were much more likely to find sex personally and physically pleasurable, while women were more likely to think sex violates social taboos.

Thoughts often turn into actions. “Sexually restrictive gender roles too often become self-fulfilling prophecies because women know that they are expected to be less sexual than men,” the scientists write, “and men know that they are expected to be more sexual than women.”

Men gave much higher ratings for risky sexual behaviors, such as “I should have sex with as many people as possible,” than women. And women were more apt to endorse waiting longer and not engaging in premarital sex.

When Mr. Right shows up, however, women ditch society-imposed gender roles, warming up to sexual pleasures, the researchers found.

In the context of an intimate relationship, both genders expressed that sex was important as a way to bring couples closer, to help maintain healthy relationships and to increase one’s self confidence.

“People in romantic relationships give more importance to their own feelings and their partners’ than they do to social expectations about sexual behavior,” Perrin said.


Came across some interesting studies about flirting, body language and sex differences. We start with a study and two articles that are based on the study that come to totally different conclusions. It again shows us not to trust the media that much:

70 percent of college women reporting an experience in which a guy mistook her friendliness for a sexual come-on, Farris said.

In the study, appearing in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, men who viewed images of friendly women misidentified 12 percent of the images as sexually interested. Women mistook 8.7 percent of the friendly images for sexual interest.

Both men and women were even more likely to do the opposite -- when viewing images of sexually interested women, men mistakenly called 37.8 percent of the images "friendly." Women mistook 31.9 percent of the sexual interest cues for friendliness.

"Relative to women, men did not oversexualize the image set in our study," said lead author Coreen Farris, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU Bloomington. "Both men and women were reluctant to state that ambiguous cues were 'sexual interest.' In fact, men and women utilized nearly identical thresholds for the degree of sexual interest that must be perceived before they were willing to go out on a limb and state that the nonverbal cues were sexual in nature."

[...] "The observed advantage among women in ability to discriminate between friendliness and sexual interest extends to processing of sad and rejecting cues. This suggests that the increased tendency among young men to incorrectly read sexual interest rather than friendliness may simply be an extension of a general disadvantage in reading nonverbal cues, rather than a process unique to sexual signaling."

The study involved 280 heterosexual college-age men and women, average age of 19.6. Seated in a private computer room, the men and women each categorized 280 photo images of women (full body, fully clothed) into one of four categories -- friendly, sexually interested, sad or rejecting. Images were selected for each of the categories based on an extensive validation process.

The study found that both men and women were least accurate at correctly identifying the photos indicating sexual interest. Farris, whose research focuses on sexual aggression in men, noted that the results reflect average differences.

"The data don't support the idea that all men are bad at this or that all women are great at this," she said. "It's a small difference."

Pretty interesting stuff. Another study (pdf warning) had a different finding, women are harder to read:

Furthermore, as predicted, it was on average easier for observers to gauge men’s intentions than it was to gauge women’s intentions (though there was high variance in observers’ performance levels across individual daters of both sexes). The lower overall accuracy concerning women’s intentions was not due to observers guessing or
performing at chance but to a systematic overperception of female daters’ interest (Fig. 3)—surpassing 80% erroneous interest predictions for the five hardest-to-read women.

This dramatic rate of incorrect perception supports our hypothesis that women are harder to read, presumably because
they mask their true intentions: As Grammer et al. (2000) argued, the biologically deep-rooted sex inequality in parental investment (Trivers, 1972) puts greater risks on the females of a species during mate choice. As a result, females, including women in speed dating (Todd, Penke, Fasolo, & Lenton, 2007), are much more critical and picky when making mate-choice decisions. And, in order to evaluate potential mates longer without signaling their true intentions, women behave more covertly and ambiguously during initial interactions with the opposite sex. Men, in contrast, face lower risks and consequently should be less likely to hide their intentions.

And while we are at it, something about women initiating:

He (Perper 1985) made note, however, of the fact that it was the womans's behaviour, that was more likely to usher in the next stage. Similarly, when Kendon (1975) filmed a kissing couple seated on a park bench he found that the womans's behavior particularly her facial expressions, functioned as a regulator, modulating the behaviour of her partner. Cary (1976) also has shown that the woman's behavior is important in initiating conversations between strangers. Both in laboratory settings and in singles' bars, conversation was initiated only after the woman glanced at the man. And Perper (1985) discovered in his filed of studies on couples in singles' bars that the woman was responsible for courtship initiation approximately seventy percent of the time.

Interesting stuff...

EDIT: And a recent one:

The researchers found that:
Men who wanted a short-term sexual encounter were more likely to overestimate a woman's desire for them.
Men who believed they were "hot" also thought the women were hot for them, but men who were actually considered attractive by women did not think this way.
The more attractive a woman was to a man, the more likely he was to overestimate her interest.
Women tended to underestimate men's desire.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The female Fritzl

I do not usually feature examples of horrible crimes, but that one was on a whole different level (found via F&F):
Just a few weeks ago, police entered Weston’s house, located a low door that led to a sub-basement and opened it. No light came from the small, windowless room with a dirt floor, but when they shined a flashlight, human beings started moving in the darkness. These were the mentally impaired adults Weston had kidnapped and locked away from the eyes of the world. They were injured, malnourished. They had only a bottle of water and one of orange juice for nutrition. One man was chained to a radiator. Sanitary facilities consisted of buckets on the floor. News media have uniformly dubbed the scene a “dungeon.” Weston’s apparent motive was to collect their checks from the Social Security Administration that her captives received due to their disabilities. But that was only part of the reason that, over possibly as long as 30 years, Linda Ann Weston gained control over children and the mentally disabled. The other was torture. What else can explain the fact that she starved her subjects, beat them, burned them with hot implements? After all, if your interest is strictly monetary, you don’t kill the people whose checks you’re receiving. On the contrary, you want them to survive for as long as possible. [...] Weston’s interest in forced sex to produce children and therefore income from SSI wasn’t confined to her own siblings. Apparently she also forced the mentally impaired adults in her dungeon to do the same. [...] The girl was found locked in a closet on the third floor of the building that contained the basement dungeon, away from the other victims and children. She was pulled from the closet with her head wrapped in clothing, covering open wounds and scars. On the rest of her body, scars covered her face, a burn mark from a heated spoon was imprinted onto her skin, fractured bones had healed over incorrectly, and her ankles showed signs of repeated shooting from pellet guns, police said.
I am speechless. Final word from F&F:
I want people to understand that men have no monopoly on depravity. I want them to learn that, despite our persistent mythmaking of the “sugar and spice and everything nice” variety, men and women should be judged by the same standards because they’re equally capable of behavior that horrifies. Last, dozens of articles have already been written about Linda Ann Weston. Even though many of her victims were her blood relatives, so far, not one article has called her crimes “domestic violence.” So I did.

Thanks feminism!

I am a bit stressed by life, but will try to post regularly again. So why not comeback with something atypical? If you have clicked through that blog, you might have noticed that I tend to be critical of feminism. To say it that way, I would like to call myself egalitarian but I am biased toward a masculist opinion. And there are certain aspects of feminism that makes lives for men harder, which is where I am coming from. Anyhow recently read this on feministe:
In the years leading up to the birth of “Ms. Magazine”, women had trouble getting a credit card without a man’s signature, had few legal rights when it came to divorce or reproduction, and were expected to aspire solely to marriage and motherhood. Job listings were segregated (“Help wanted, male”). There was no Title IX (banning sex discrimination in federally funded athletic programs); no battered-women’s shelters, rape-crisis centers, and no terms such as sexual harassment and domestic violence.
Well done, no really! To add to the above, I read feministing regularly and can mostly agree with what they are saying (I don't read the community posts, that is probably a very different beast), especially their opposition to "pro-life laws" (I am pro-choice), most stuff on politics, the stuff on body acceptance, sex-positivity, pro-transgender, anti-racism etc. In that vein, I am sure I have been unfair to feminists / feminism in the past, so apologies for that. I wonder if I will get backlash for that post.....we will see.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research

Also via NSWATM I believe. The study in question:

As so few studies have included men there is concern that men may be reluctant to seek treatment, or health care providers may be less likely detect a disorder in a male patient, because eating disorders are widely seen as female problems. Health services report that the number of men who receive treatment for binge eating is well below what would be expected based on estimates of prevalence.
Dr Striegel's team used cross-sectional data from a sample of 21743 men and 24608 women who participated in a health risk self-assessment screening. The team analyzed any differences within the group for obesity, hypertension, dyslipidemia, diabetes, depression and work productivity impairment.

The team found that out the 46351 people questioned 1630 (7%) men and 2754 (11%) women were found to binge eat, defined as experiencing at last one binge episode in the past month. The impact on clinical and mental health as a result of binge eating was found to be comparable between men and women.

This study also indicated that binge eating has an impact on work productively in both men and women, suggesting the need for employers to recognize binge eating as a damaging health risk behavior alongside stress or depression.
"The underrepresentation of men in binge eating research does not reflect lower levels of impairment in men versus women," concluded Striegel. "Efforts are needed to raise awareness of the clinical implications of binge eating for men so they can seek appropriate screening and treatment."

Nice quote on false rape accusation vs believing rape victims

“People are making a false dichotomy out of this. It’s not either believe rape victims or give the accused due process. Believe rape victims insofar as it warrants personal kindness and aid. Believe the accused insofar as it warrants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. Saying you don’t want to rush and call someone a rapist doesn’t mean you want to rush and call someone else a liar.”

Thanks for the find Vejuz

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Why are most divorces filled by women and other divorce myths

Sometimes I am confused that a statistic I used myself and read about can not be found on this blog. So there is a nice NYT article on an interesting study:

Across America, at least two-thirds of divorce suits are filed by women. Researchers who have interviewed divorcing couples have repeatedly found that, in cases where the divorce is not mutally desired, women are more than twice as likely to be the ones who want out. After the split, women are typically happier than their exes.

This trend has inspired what is probably the first paper in the American Journal of Law and Economics ever to be named after a Nancy Sinatra song. In "These Boots Are Made for Walking: Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women," Margaret F. Brinig and Douglas Allen, both economists, analyze all 46,000 divorces filed in one year, 1995, in four different states: Connecticut, Virginia, Montana and Oregon.

They looked for different reasons that would prompt a woman to file for divorce. One would be to escape an abusive husband -- like a man who is adulterous or violent. But in the state with the best records of grievances, Virginia, only 6 percent of divorces were granted on grounds of violence, and husbands were cited for adultery only slightly more often than wives.

"Some women file for divorce because they're exploited in really bad marriages," said Dr. Brinig, a professor of law at the University of Iowa. "But it seems to be a relatively small number, probably less than 20 percent of the cases."

[...]"The question of custody absolutely swamps all the other variables," Dr. Brinig said. "Children are the most important asset in a marriage, and the partner who expects to get sole custody is by far the most likely to file for divorce."

And while we are at it, there was a nice collection of data on Glenn's blog:

“Two‑thirds or more of all divorces involving couples with children are initiated by mothers, not fathers.”

Source: Margaret F. Brinig and Douglas A. Allen, "'These Boots Are Made For Walking": Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women" American Law and Economics Review 2‑1 (2000): 126‑169.

Source: John Tierney, "A New Look at the Realities of Divorce," New York Times, July 11, 2000.

Source: Sanford Braver, Marnie Whitley, and Christine Ng, "Who Divorced Whom? Methodological and Theoretical Issues," Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 20, 1993, p. 1.

Source: Cathy Young, "The Sadness of the American Father," The American Spectator, June 2000. See


“A randomized study of 46,000 divorce cases published in the American Law and Economics Review found that in only 6% of cases women claimed to be divorcing cruel or abusive husbands, and that adultery was cited by women as a cause of divorce only slightly more than by men. Surveys of divorced couples show that the reasons for their divorces are generally a lack of closeness or of "not feeling loved and appreciated."

Source: Margaret F. Brinig and Douglas A. Allen, “These Boots Are Made For Walking": Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women" American Law and Economics Review 2-1 (2000): 126-169.

Source: John Tierney, "A New Look at the Realities of Divorce," New York Times, July 11, 2000.

Source: Beuhler, "Whose Decision Was It?" Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 48, pp 587 - 595, 1987.

Source: Cathy Young, "The Sadness of the American Father," The American Spectator, June 2000. See


“There are almost as many unfaithful wives as there are unfaithful husbands. Research generally estimates that for every five unfaithful husbands, there are four unfaithful wives.”

Source: Maggie Scarf, “Intimate Partners: An examination of the underlying architecture of love relationships—the influence of the past, the causes of infidelity, and the systems that couples create,” The Atlantic Monthly, November 1986. The article can be viewed here. Look for “Emotional Triangles: Infidelity.”

Source: John Przybys, “Unfaithfully Yours: Men, women have differing ideas about fidelity,” Las Vegas Review‑Journal, March 29, 1998. The article can be found here. Look for “Paul Wulkan.”

Source: Jennifer P. Schneider, Richard R. Irons, and M. Deborah Corley, “Disclosure of Extramarital Sexual Activities by Sexually Exploitative Professionals and Other Persons with Addictive or Compulsive Sexual Disorders,” Journal of Sex Education and Therapy 24:277‑287, 1999. The article can be found here. Search in the text for the word “infidelity.”


The vast majority of accusations of child sexual abuse made during custody battles are false, unfounded or unsubstantiated. Source: Douglas J. Besharov and Lisa A. Laumann, "Child Abuse Reporting,” Social Science and Modern Society, Vol. 33, May/June, 1996, p. 42.

Source: Blush, Gordon & Ross, Karol, 1986, The SAID Syndrome. Sterling Heights, MI: Family and Conciliation Courts Review.


Nationwide divorced fathers are ten times as likely to commit suicide as divorced mothers, and more than twice as likely to commit suicide as married fathers.

Source for divorced fathers vs. married fathers: Augustine J. Kposowa, Ph.D., "Marital Status and Suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study," Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, March, 2000, Volume 54, No. 4, pages 254‑261 See Search for "divorced men."

Source for "10 times as likely" is Warren Farrell, Father and Child Reunion: How to Bring the Dads We Need to the Children We Love, Penguin Putnam Inc, 2001, pg. 174 & 279.


"Men win custody in only 10% of contested custody cases"
(Note: To avoid confusion: the sources below do not all indicate 10%--some indicate 15 or 20%, some indicate less than 5%. As a whole, the average is around 10%.)

Source: Eleanor E. Maccoby and Robert H. Mnookin, Dividing the Child (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1992), pp. 104-105, 149-150.

Source: Stephen J. Bahr, J.D. Howe, M. Morrill Mann, "Trends in Custody Awards: Has the Removal of Maternal Preference Made a Difference?", Family Law Quarterly, Vol, pp. 247-267, Summer 1994.

Source: Wendy Reiboldt and Sharon Seiling, "Factors Related to Men's Award of Custody," Family Advocate, Winter 1993, pp. 42-44. Published by the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Source: William T. K. Dolan, Esq., Empirical Study of Child Custody in Divorce Decrees in Arlington County, Virginia: July 1, 1989--December 30, 1990, © 1991.

Source: Rich Blake, "Father Says System is Unfair to Men in Custody Battles," Alexander (VA) Gazette Packet, October 22, 1992 .

Source: Robert Seidenberg, The Father's Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle, JES Books, 1997, pp. 11-15, 60-61.

John P. McCahey, J.D., LL.M, et al., Child Custody and Visitation Law and Practice. Matthew Bender, New York. Volume 3, 1983, Section 13.01.


The commonly cited factoid that “men win custody half of the time or more when they contest it” is a myth.

Source: "Do fathers have the edge in divorce?," Cathy Young, Detroit News, December 10, 1996. See:

Source: Robert Seidenberg, The Father's Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle, JES Books, 1997, pp. 11-15, 60-61.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sexual Dysfunction and Circumcision

Intact News gives us some interesting studies:
This preliminary study investigates what role early trauma might have in alexithymia acquisition for adults by controlling for male circumcision. Three hundred self-selected men were administered the Toronto Twenty-Item Alexithymia Scale checklist and a personal history questionnaire. The circumcised men had age-adjusted alexithymia scores 19.9 percent higher than the intact men; were 1.57 times more likely to have high alexithymia scores; were 2.30 times less likely to have low alexithymia scores; had higher prevalence of two of the three alex-ithymia factors (difficulty identifying feelings and difficulty describing feelings); and were 4.53 times more likely to use an erectile dysfunction drug. Alexithymia in this population of adult men is statistically significant for having experienced circumcision trauma and for erectile dysfunction drug use.
- from here
METHODS: This prospective study was conducted in the Bungoma district, Kenya, where male circumcision is universally practised. Young males intending to undergo traditional or clinical circumcision were identified by a two-stage cluster sampling method. During the July-August 2004 circumcision season, 1007 males were interviewed 30-89 days post- circumcision. Twenty-four men were directly observed during and 3, 8, 30 and 90 days post-circumcision, and 298 men underwent clinical exams 45-89 days post-procedure. Twenty-one traditional and 20 clinical practitioners were interviewed to assess their experience and training. Inventories of health facilities were taken to assess the condition of instruments and supplies necessary for performing safe circumcisions. FINDINGS: Of 443 males circumcised traditionally, 156 (35.2%) experienced an adverse event compared with 99 of 559 (17.7%) circumcised clinically (odds ratio: 2.53; 95% confidence interval: 1.89-3.38). Bleeding and infection were the most common adverse effects, with excessive pain, lacerations, torsion and erectile dysfunction also observed. Participants were aged 5 to 21 years and half were sexually active before circumcision. Practitioners lacked knowledge and training. Proper instruments and supplies were lacking at most health facilities.
- from here
METHODS: Ninty-five patients were investigated on erectile function by questionnaire before and after circumcision, respectively. RESULTS: Eighteen patients suffered from mild erectile dysfunction before circumcision, and 28 suffered from mild or moderate erectile dysfunction after circumcision(P = 0.001). Adult circumcision appeared to have resulted in weakened erectile confidence in 33 cases(P = 0.04), difficult insertion in 41 cases(P = 0.03), prolonged intercourse in 31 cases(P = 0.04) and improved satisfaction in 34 cases(P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Adult circumcision has certain effect on erectile function, to which more importance should be attached.
- from here
METHODS: The vibrotactile thresholds were measured at the forefinger and glans penis in 73 normal volunteer controls and 96 patients with simple redundant prepuce before and after circumcision by biological vibration measurement instrument, and the changes in the perception sensitivity of the body surface were analyzed. RESULTS: The G/F (glans/finger) indexes in the control and the test group were respectively 2.39 +/- 1.72 and 1.97 +/- 0.71, with no significant difference in between (P > 0.05). And those of the test group were 1.97 +/- 0.71, 2.64 +/- 1.38, 3.09 +/-1.46 and 2.97 +/- 1.20 respectively before and 1, 2 and 3 months after circumcision, with significant difference between pre- and post-operation (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: There is a statistic difference in the glans penis vibration perception threshold between normal men and patients with simple redundant prepuce. The glans penis perception sensitivity decreases after circumcision.
- from here
SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Adult male volunteers with no history of penile pathology or diabetes were evaluated with a Semmes-Weinstein monofilament touch-test to map the fine-touch pressure thresholds of the penis. Circumcised and uncircumcised men were compared using mixed models for repeated data, controlling for age, type of underwear worn, time since last ejaculation, ethnicity, country of birth, and level of education. RESULTS: The glans of the uncircumcised men had significantly lower mean (sem) pressure thresholds than that of the circumcised men, at 0.161 (0.078) g (P = 0.040) when controlled for age, location of measurement, type of underwear worn, and ethnicity. There were significant differences in pressure thresholds by location on the penis (P < 0.001). The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis was the circumcision scar on the ventral surface. Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision had lower pressure thresholds than the ventral scar of the circumcised penis. CONCLUSIONS: The glans of the circumcised penis is less sensitive to fine touch than the glans of the uncircumcised penis. The transitional region from the external to the internal prepuce is the most sensitive region of the uncircumcised penis and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis. Circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis.
- from here
Methods.  This cross-sectional study was conducted at a primary care clinic over a 3-month period in 2008. Men aged 18–70 years attending the clinic were recruited, and they completed self-administered questionnaires that included the Premature Ejaculation Diagnostic Tool (PEDT), International Index of Erectile Function, sociodemography, lifestyle, and medical illness. The operational definition of PE included PE and probable PE based on the PEDT. Main Outcome Measure.  Prevalence of PE. Results.  A total of 207 men were recruited with a response rate of 93.2%. There were 97 (46.9%) Malay, 57 (27.5%) Chinese, and 53 (25.6%) Indian, and their mean age was 46.0 ± 12.7 years. The prevalence of PE was 40.6% (N = 82) (PE: 20.3%, probable PE: 20.3% using PEDT). A significant association was found between ethnicity and PE (Indian 49.1%, Malay 45.4%, and Chinese 24.6%; χ2 = 8.564, d.f. = 2, P = 0.014). No significant association was found between age and PE. Multivariate analysis showed that erectile dysfunction (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 4.907, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.271, 10.604), circumcision (adjusted OR 4.881, 95% CI 2.346, 10.153), sexual intercourse ≤5 times in 4 weeks (adjusted OR 3.733, 95% CI 1.847, 7.544), and Indian ethnicity (adjusted OR 3.323, 95% CI 1.489, 7.417) were predictors of PE. Conclusion.  PE might be frequent in men attending primary care clinics. We found that erectile dysfunction, circumcision, Indian ethnicity, and frequency of sexual intercourse of ≤5 times per month were associated with PE. These associations need further confirmation.
- from here Also, that study
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Men 18 years old or older when circumcised were identified by billing records during a 5-year period at an academic medical center. Medical charts were reviewed for confirmation of the procedure and to identify the indication(s). These men were surveyed to assess erectile function, penile sensitivity, sexual activity and overall satisfaction. Data were analyzed using paired t tests to compare category scores before and after circumcision. RESULTS: A total of 123 men were circumcised as adults. Indications for circumcision included phimosis in 64% of cases, balanitis in 17%, condyloma in 10%, redundant foreskin in 9% and elective in 7%. The response rate was 44% among potential responders. Mean age of responders was 42 years at circumcision and 46 years at survey. Adult circumcision appears to result in worsened erectile function (p = 0.01), decreased penile sensitivity (p = 0.08), no change in sexual activity (p = 0.22) and improved satisfaction (p = 0.04). Of the men 50% reported benefits and 38% reported harm. Overall, 62% of men were satisfied with having been circumcised.
- from here
Of the 200 men who underwent urethroplasty 152 who were 17 to 83 years old (mean age 45.7) completed the questionnaire. Average followup was 36 months (range 3 to 149). Overall there was a similar incidence of sexual problems after urethroplasty and circumcision. Penile skin flap urethroplasty was associated with a slightly higher incidence of impaired sexual function than other procedures (p > 0.05). Men with a longer stricture were most likely to report major changes in erectile function and penile length (p < 0.05) but improvement was evident with time in 61.8%.
- from here Other points made by the article:
Eighteen percent of adult American men—three-fourths of whom are circumcised—have ED, affecting 18 million men. Circumcision’s role as a risk factor may be reflected in ED drug sales; while the United States represents 5% of the world’s population it also accounts for 46% of Viagra sales. [...] A fourth before-and-after study found that 35% of participants had a worsened sex life after circumcision and that their partners had a 46% reduction in satisfaction. The study implicated loss of nerve endings as a reason—addressed below. The true dissatisfaction rate is probably higher than these failure rates since all of the men elected circumcision, and would naturally be biased toward the outcome being beneficial even when it wasn’t.
It is certainly a good read and another argument against circumcision.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not listening to women is a misogynist act.

Via Shakesville:

this is a statement of fact: Not listening to women is a misogynist act. [...] This is not an argument that women are always right, or wise. It is an argument that, even if a woman is wrong, the wrongest that any wrong person could be, she still deserves to be heard, and her wrongness dismissed on its merits, which requires listening in the first place.

Not too sure what I should think about that post. Generalisations (almost) always have an exception (and apparently by even thinking about that I am a misogynist as well). For instance should one listen to the religious woman protesting in front of a Planned Parenthood, when wanting an abortion? Or to the girl bullying you in high school? Or not walking away and listen to your significant other scream obscenities at you during an argument instead of walking away so that the situation does not escalate? Especially when you live in an abusive relationship?

I may be nitpicking here, because certainly she has a point, especially with:

Actively tuning out women is a misogynist act. Passively failing to seek out women's perspectives is a misogynist act. Shouting down or talking over or reflexively contradicting women is a misogynist act. Treating women as though they are not experts on their own lives and experiences is a misogynist act. Appropriating women's ideas is a misogynist act. Tokenizing women in lieu of making room for meaningful participation is a misogynist act. Marginalizing women's voices, through systemic and deliberate exclusion or a careless failure to practice diversity, is a misogynist act.

If we think about misandry for a moment and the often used "What about the menz" interjection, one can reach the conclusion that a whole lof of feminists are indeed manhaters.

Rapists who were sexually abused by women

Title says it all:

Most rapists were subjected to some form of sexual abuse in childhood. A startling amount is perpetrated by females. Peer-reviewed studies conclude that between 60% to 80% of "rapists, sex offenders and sexually aggressive men" were sexually abused by a female. [...] According to a 2004 U.S. Department of Education mass study of university students, 57% of students reporting child sexual abuse cited a male offender, and 42% reported a female offender. Interestingly, 65% of the survivors of female abuse who opened up to a therapist, doctor or other professional were not believed on their first disclosure. Overall, 86% of those who tried to tell anyone at all about their experiences were not believed. According to a 1996 report from the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN), about 25% of child sexual abuse is committed by women, but that figure may be low, because survivors are far more conflicted and shamed in admitting abuse by their mothers than by fathers. In one study of 17,337 survivors of childhood sexual abuse, 23% reported a female-only perpetrator and 22% reported both male and female. A U.S. Department of Justice report finds that, in 2008, 95% of all youths reporting sexual misconduct by staff member in state juvenile facilities said their victimization experiences included victimization by female personnel, who made up 42% of the staff. [...] One study found 8% of female perpetrators were teachers and 23% were babysitters.

Based on what one could read on reddit, sources for the stats are here and here. Also.

Attractive Women May Be Less Likely to Get Hired

Interesting article, do women discriminate against themsevles? Apperently in some cases they do:

The study involved sending 5,312 resumes in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings in Israel. In each pair, one resume was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical resume, contained a picture of either an attractive male or female, or a plain-looking male or female.

[...] The results showed that the resumes of "attractive" males received a 19.9 percent response rate, nearly 50 percent higher than the 13.7 percent response rate for "plain" males and more than twice the 9.2 percent response rate of no-picture males.

[...] "Among female candidates, no-picture females have the highest response rate, 22 percent higher than plain females and 30 percent higher than attractive females. Our findings on penalization of attractive women contradict current psychology and organizational behavior literature on beauty that associate attractiveness, male and female alike, with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition," explain the authors, Bradley Ruffle, a professor at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Ph.D candidate Ze'ev Shtudiner.

[...] However, when the corporation at which the candidate might work recruited directly, attractive females received a response rate of about half that of plain and no-picture women. This is likely due to the high number of women in human resources staffing positions, the researchers conclude.

To verify this stereotype, the researchers conducted a post-experiment survey in which they spoke with the person at the company who screens candidates. That person was female in 24 of the 25 (96 percent) of the companies they interviewed. Moreover, these woman were young (ranging in age from 23 to 34 with an average age of 29) and typically single (67 percent) -- qualities more likely to be associated with a jealous response when confronted with a young, attractive competitor in the workplace.

"Indeed, the evidence points to female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace as a primary reason for their penalization in recruitment," Ruffle said.

Who would have thought...

Prejudice of the privileged

Some food for thought, from Reddit:

There's a bizarre train of thought that I see in some places [...] that say that prejudice is acceptable against groups that have it well. [...] This thinking is harmful because it implies that racism, sexism, and prejudice are only contextually bad- not inherently immoral. If there are acceptable targets for such treatment that depend on one's situation, then that means that we're all potentially subjected to it. [...] It's just that those who try to rationalize prejudice against some completely miss the point of why we don't accept prejudice against others. It's not that there are some groups that are arbitrarily designated to be protected. It's that everyone is entitled to be judged by their individual character. Anything less than that jeopardizes it for all.

Well said.

A Survey on False Allegation by SAVE

The way the survey is worded is a bit disappointed as one would like to see more detailed results. Anyhow, still somewhat interesting / relevant.:

Telephone calls were placed to 10,000 households around the country. [...] These are the highlights:

- 11% of respondents said they themselves had been falsely accused of abuse
- Over 15% of the respondents personally knew someone who has been falsely accused
- 81% of the falsely accused persons were male
- Nearly 70% of the accusers were female
- In over a quarter of the cases – 26% – the accusation was made as part of a child custody dispute

Friday, September 23, 2011

Recently in England

While I do usually focus on the Us of A...some noteworthy stuff that popped up in my google reader this (and the last) week: There was the case of a student suing the London School of Economics because there gender studies course was misandrist:
The 39-year-old, who attended the university last year to take up a Gender, Media and Culture Masters degree, said there was “systemic anti-male discrimination”.
A statement by the school kind of agree
The university’s legal team has asked for the case to be struck out, claiming the core texts were not compulsory, merely recommended readings, and that the texts were equally available for both men and women to read, so therefore did not directly discriminate against men. The team also argues that “any discriminatory effect [against men] was plainly justifiable”.
Read the excellent analysis by TS here. Then there was this
Liberal Democrat Lynne Featherstone has launched a scathing attack on her male counterparts, insisting the world's continuing financial crisis was a direct result of men's failure to make the correct choices. 'In terms of decision making I have always gone out and advocated to women you must get your hands on levers, you must get hold of power, you must be where decisions are made. Because otherwise if you leave it to - I'm going to say men in this case because that's the way the world has worked - you get terrible decisions. 'Look at the mess the world is in, and look who has been in charge. I leave it there.'
Kind of disturbing that the person saying this is the equality minister there.
Meanwhile, fellow Conservative MP Priti Patel told the Evening Standard: 'These comments are really ill-thought out. As equalities minister she has got to be unbiased about the value that both men and women bring to decision-making. 'She works in a department that is trying to address inequalities in society - to then dump the blame for a range of problems on one sex is completely wrong and misguided.'
From the same party that wants this.
[2d] 'Enabling vulnerable families to stay together by implementing the Corston recommendatons, which would see a gradual closure of all women's prisons and their replacement with some small custodial units for serious and dangerous offenders, and, for most women offenders, a larger network of support and supervision centres in the community.' [found via reddit]
More misandry in that teachers case:
Mr Pullinger had almost 20 years' teaching experience when he was dismissed in 2009. The GTC heard this month that he had allowed a pupil to sit on his lap, shared a chair with another and, on numerous occasions, "failed to disengage immediately when girls ran up to him and put their arms around his legs". He had been warned in writing on two occasions, but had "failed to heed" the advice. In its ruling, the GTC said it had "noted the positive testimonials about Mr Pullinger and the fact of the positive assessment of his technical abilities". But it ruled that his behaviour amounted to "a breach of the standards of propriety expected". The ruling added: "His behaviour demonstrated a failure to establish and maintain appropriate and professional boundaries in his relationships with children in his care."
I guess the following is not that surprising:
Around a quarter of primary schools [...] now have no male teachers, and experts have warned that a lack of male role models may be putting boys off school at an early age.
And we had of course this:
At present, a woman can start receiving her state pension at the age of 60 years and seven months. A man must wait until he is 65. Under the changes, the age will be 65 for both men and women in November 2018, rising to 66 by April 2020. [...] ‘We’ll make sure that the state pension they do get is calculated in a fairer way. At the moment, pensions are often bad news for women and I’m determined as the minister to change that. ‘There’s a range of things that you can do, whether it’s about dates or about other bits of the system, that would ease the financial pressure for those most affected. ‘I won’t pre-empt what we’ll say to Parliament in some weeks’ time but the crucial thing for us is fairness.’
Fair eh?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some Radical Feminist Quotes

“When a woman reaches orgasm with a man she is only collaborating with the patriarchal system, eroticizing her own oppression.”
- Sheila Jeffreys: professor, political activist and author

“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
- Robin Morgan: civil rights, antiwar and radical feminist activist, writer, poet, and editor of Ms. Magazine

“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he's a machine, a walking dildo.”
- Valerie Solanas (1936-1988): Author of the SCUM Manifesto, attempted murderer of Andy Warhol

“I want to see a man beaten to a bloody pulp with a high-heel shoved in his mouth, like an apple in the mouth of a pig.”
- Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005): writer, antipornography activist

“We are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.”
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902): social activist, abolitionist, women’s suffrage movement leader

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Even crazier case from France

And while we are at it....take a look at this:
The 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”. A judge has now ruled that this law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”. [...] But the 47-year-old ex-wife then took him back to court demanding 10,000 euros in compensation for “lack of sex over 21 years of marriage”. The ex-husband claimed “tiredness and health problems” had prevented him from being more attentive between the sheets. But a judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent. “By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.”
The implications of that one make my head spin.

Crazy child support case

I don't usually blog cases, but that is just too crazy. Via F&F:

She has 4% of the parenting time; he has the other 96%. So you’d think she’d be paying child support to him, but no. It’s the other way around. [...] In 2009, her child by her second husband was injured while under her care and both children were taken from her and given to their dads.

So Jon did the obvious thing; he asked the court to reduce his child support from $10,000 a month to nothing. After all, he was the custodial parent and custodial parents don’t pay child support, they receive it, right? Well, as the court admitted, that’s usually the case, but not here. Here, Jon must continue paying Sarah $8,000 a month even though she only sees the child 4% of the time.

[...]Sarah answered Jon’s request for a reduction of child support by saying it’s her only income, which apparently it is. That’s because she hasn’t had a job of any kind since 2005. Into the bargain, she’s not looking for one. In her last filing, she listed her monthly income (outside of child support) as zero and her monthly expenses as over $13,000.

So, according to both the trial and the appellate courts, because Sarah is too much of a deadbeat to even attempt to support herself, Jon must continue to support her with the child providing the weakest of pretexts for doing so.

I don't even....what? Read the is a good article.

Misogyny - sexual preference edition

Two posts from feministe:

Do you have a right to refuse to have period sex because you think bleeding vaginas be nasty? Of course. And do I have a right to leave your ass and think less of you because of that? You betcha. Because it does come down to misogyny, basically [...] Lots of healthy vaginas expel blood. And if you think that’s gross, well, maybe spend your naked extracurricular time with someone who is vagina-free [...] Basically, dudes who have sex with women and think period sex is disgusting are the brothers-in-badnews-sexytime with people who think oral sex is gross. Don’t like normally-functioning vaginas? Then you should be disallowed from fucking them.

Toysoldier's take on another one.

So is a woman a misandrist if she doesn't like her boyfriend coming in her mouth?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Female Gamers

Some demographic on female gamers:

Nielsen breaks down computer players by age and gender, revealing some interesting nuggets. Women in the 25 - 54 year old group made up the largest percentage of computer video game players. Men in the same age bracket came in second. Women age 55 and up came in third.

Mostly, all these groups played Windows Solitaire and other free titles included with the operating system. World of Warcraft, a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG), is the most popular non-card game title, as measured by number of players. Nielsen figures about 1.2 million male players in the US along with 600,000 women played World of Warcraft in December, 2008.

While women showed the strongest numbers in "casual" game areas, young men still dominated in the more "hardcore" games like the latest Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 titles.
-from here

According to a Nielsen Company study last April, almost 50 percent of all PC gamers are female, with hit PC titles like The Sims played primarily by women.

In NPD's Gamer Augmentation 2009 report released today, the industry-tracking group revealed new figures that show 28 percent of all console video gamers are female in 2009, up from 23 percent last year. NPD attributed the five-point rise to the Nintendo Wii, which it believes has attracted a large number of new female gamers. It reports that Wii usage has increased by 19 percent from 2008 for all demographics.

At the 2007 Women in Games Conference, Electronic Arts VP Sharon Knight said that the Wii is attractive to female gamers because of the console's accessibility.

"The Wii levels the playing field," she said. "You don't embarrass yourself--you can grab it and right away start having fun. ... [Wii games] don't require the same investment to learn and to master how to pick up and play [as other consoles' games]."
-from here

It was also a common stereotype that men predominated in video game consumption but the numbers are now evening out as 2 out of 5 gamers are female.

Gamer is broad term so let us look at the breakdown of gender versus console preference. Females just love Nintendo’s Wii with 80% saying that it is their primary console, or console of choice. Just 11% play Microsoft’s Xbox360 and even fewer (9%) play Sony’s Playstation3. Males are more divided in terms of console preference. 41% still play the Wii primarily but fully 38% prefer Xbox and 21% like the Playstation3.
-from here

One of the common statistics often cited by video game industry trade groups is that the average age of a gamer nowadays is around 30 years old. What you might not know, however, is that among game players between the ages of 25 and 34, women far outnumber men, according to a new study by the Consumer Electronics Association (as reported in The New York Times).

The CEA study found that 65 percent of women in the 25-34 age bracket play video games, while only 35 percent of men in that group said that they play video games. Apparently, the key factor involved with these findings is the increasing popularity of casual games, especially among women.

Women were found to be slightly less likely than men in the 25-34 bracket to play traditional console games on systems like the PlayStation 2 or Xbox, while they gravitated more heavily towards simple types of games like Tetris or other puzzle games and card games like solitaire. These casual titles are typically found on web portals like Yahoo!, AOL Games, PopCap Games, EA's and elsewhere.

[...] Of the three hardware makers Nintendo is the only company that has gone out of its way to create unique titles for "non-gamers" and gamers outside of the typical core market — e.g. Nintendogs and Brain Age. With games like these and the simple, intuitive Revolution control scheme, it's clear that Nintendo is looking to leverage the casual market.

[NOTE: That was before the Wii was on the market and called Revolution. And the focus on casual games worked]
-from here

Study 1 found that young German women prefer rich social interactions in computer games, which most available products cannot offer, and also revealed the women's dislike of violent content and heavy gender-stereotyping in the presentation of characters.

[...] Overall, the findings contribute to an explanation of the substantial gender gap in computer game involvement. They also call for further theoretical discussion in entertainment research: Current explanations of why playing video games is fun (e.g., Klimmt, 2003; Vorderer & Bryant, 2006) need extensions to account for gender-specific models of pleasure. If competing, winning, and being a violent superhero do not appeal to women to the extent that they appeal to men, several mechanisms of enjoyment that have been proposed, such as pride in success and identification with attractive role models (e.g., Klimmt, 2003), should be reconsidered. Most importantly, the pleasures of social interaction with game characters, and with other players as well, require more attention in theories about (interactive) entertainment. The studies reported indicate that further gender-specific refinements are needed in entertainment theories and entertainment research in general.

In addition, differences related to frequency of game use among players should be added to the gender comparison. For example, research suggests that males who play games infrequently more closely resemble the stereotypical female game player in their preference for less violence in games (AAUW, 2000; Kafai, 1998).
-from here

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sentencing disparities in child-sex-assault cases point to double standard - The Denver Post

No surprise here:

A Denver Post analysis of sentencing data provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch shows that of the 2,128 men convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust from 2006 through 2010, more than 50 percent were sent to prison.
Of the 79 women convicted of the same felony offense, 38 percent went to prison. A little more than 39 percent of female defendants in that same period — 31 — were put on intensive supervised probation. Less than 35 percent of men were given the same sentence.

[...]Several studies show that males molested by female caregivers run a huge risk of becoming sex offenders in adulthood. Also, 80 percent of male victims of female sexual abuse have been divorced, according to a study done by Stephanie Reidlinger, a law student at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Va.
Her study says that women who molest boys are most likely victims of abuse themselves. Reidlinger also says that many cases of woman-on- boy crimes are not reported at all, due in part to the media.

Survey: Women get more value out of college than men do | Reuters

Some interesting findings:

Some 77 percent of respondents in a Pew Research Center survey said it was necessary for a woman to go to college to get ahead in life, while only 68 percent said the same for men. [...] Pew said women surpassed men in educational attainment in 1992, and the gap has continued to grow. In 2010, a record 36 percent of women ages 25-29 had earned a bachelor's degree while only 28 percent of their male counterparts had done the same, Pew said.

The same gender pattern was found across racial and ethnic groups, Pew said, with the widest gap within the black community. [...] Half of all women who have graduated from a four-year institution say it was money well spent, while just 37 percent of male graduates would agree. [...] Large majorities of both women and men said college was not affordable for most people, according to the survey. When it came to footing the bill, some 40 percent of women said their parents wrote the check to cover college expenses compared to 29 percent of men.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Actor and the Observed, Man and Woman

Kudos to Typhonblue on that one who linked to this article and started an interesting discussion:

A recent study by Marisa Bortolussi, Peter Dixon, and Paul Sopčák (2010) was about the effects of gender on reading fiction in Canada and Germany, but the results are best explained in terms of actor-observer differences.

The influence of gender on reading is a perennial question because it’s invariably found that more women than men read literary fiction. In the most recent large US survey by the National Endowment for the Arts (2009), which had 18,000 respondents, it was found that 58% of women had read a play, poetry, short-story or novel during the previous year, as compared 42% of men.

Bortolussi et al. selected four passages, each of about 1000 words, from contemporary novels, two with male protagonists, and two with female protagonists. For each passage with a male protagonist, they wrote a version of the same passage with a female protagonist, and for each passage with a female protagonist, they wrote a version with a male protagonist. They prepared versions in English (for the Canadian readers) and in German (for the German readers). Previous research has tended to find that males tended to prefer male protagonists and females to prefer female protagonists. With their clever manipulation of assigning people to the same stories but with different-sexed protagonists, Bortolussi and her colleagues found both male and female readers—in Canada and Germany—preferred male protagonists. That is to say: both males and female readers agreed more strongly with an item that stated, "I feel I can understand and appreciate the main character and situation of he story," and one that stated, "I would like to continue reading to find out what happens next in the story," when the protagonist was male as compared with being female.

The researchers explain this effect in terms of the actor-observer bias. In general, say Bortolussi and her colleagues, men in Western societies tend to be seen as acting in response to circumstances ("he did what he had to") whereas women tend more often to be seen in terms of their personality ("she behaved emotionally"). Thus, for both men and women, our social stereotypes make it easier in stories to understand and to identify with a male protagonist, the kind of character who acts in response to the situation he is in, than with a female protagonist, the kind of character who acts because of her personality.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Men seek beauty, women want wealth - Telegraph

Men seek beauty, women want wealth - Telegraph:

The new research confirms that, while humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, men really do go for an attractive mate - though will make do with someone who falls somewhat short of this ideal - while women - apparently understanding this - adjust their desire for a "high-quality" mate according to how attractive they perceive themselves to be. In other words, beautiful women want rich men.

That is the conclusion of research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Peter Todd, of Indiana University, Lars Penke, of Humboldt University, Berlin, Barbara Fasolo, of the London School of Economics, and Alison Lenton, of the University of Edinburgh.

Mr Todd said the problem with earlier work that suggested that likes attract was that the scientists had simply asked people about preferences while today's work showed what they actually did in a real world setting - a commercial speed dating operation with 46 people in Munich.

[...] "We found that what men and women say they want is not the same as what they actually choose and that the actual choices made by men and women accord with a rough evolutionary-predicted trade-off, in this case between men's overall mate value [combining their wealth and status, family commitment and health] and women's self-perceived attractiveness," said Mr Todd.
Women dominate this trade-off, he said, because "men are much less discriminating".

Although people may claim otherwise, beauty is the key for men, since it signifies "good genes", while women, the choosier of the sexes, leverage their looks for security, fitness and commitment.

"Ancestral individuals who made their mate choices in this way - women trading off their attractiveness for higher quality men and men looking for any attractive women who would accept them - would have had an evolutionary advantage in greater numbers of successful offspring."

Smell and social behaviour

Two interesting studies:

Gender differences and similarity in personality and social behaviour Ros Barnett (2004)

Over a wide range of personality and social variables, there is much evidence of gender similarities. For the Big Five personality dimensions, there is no gender difference in openness to experience (d=.03) and small differences in conscientiousness (-.13), extraversion or gregariousness (-.14), and neuroticism (-.25); there is, however, a large difference in one aspect of agreeableness, termed tendermindedness or nurturance (-.97). The gender difference in self-esteem is small (.21). Likewise, there are many gender similarities in the realm of social behavior. The direction of the gender difference in helping behavior depends largely on the situation. In small groups, men and women are similar in their instrumental and expressive behaviors. The gender difference in democratic vs. autocratic leadership style is small (-.22 for democratic style). The research evidence does not support popular media claims about enormous gender differences in language use. The gender difference in self-disclosure is small (-.18). There are several exceptions to this pattern of gender similarities. Gender differences are moderately large for aggression (.50), smiling (-.63), and sensitivity to nonverbal cues (-.52).


Scent of a Woman: Men’s Testosterone Responses to Olfactory Ovulation Cues

Women around the world spend billions of dollars each year on exotic smelling perfumes and lotions in the hopes of attracting a mate. However, according to a new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, going "au natural" may be the best way to capture a potential mate's attention.

Smells are known to be critical to animal mating habits: Animal studies have shown that male testosterone levels are influenced by odor signals emitted by females, particularly when they are ovulating (that is, when they are the most fertile). Psychological scientists Saul L. Miller and Jon K. Maner from Florida State University wanted to see if a similar response occurs in humans. In two studies, women wore tee shirts for 3 nights during various phases of their menstrual cycles. Male volunteers smelled one of the tee shirts that had been worn by a female participant. In addition, some of the male volunteers smelled control tee shirts that had not been worn by anyone. Saliva samples for testosterone analysis were collected before and after the men smelled the shirts.

Results revealed that men who smelled tee shirts of ovulating women subsequently had higher levels of testosterone than men who smelled tee shirts worn by non-ovulating women or men who smelled the control shirts. In addition, after smelling the shirts, the men rated the odors on pleasantness and rated the shirts worn by ovulating women as the most pleasant smelling.

The authors note that "the present research is the first to provide direct evidence that olfactory cues to female ovulation influence biological responses in men." In other words, this study suggests that testosterone levels may be responsive to smells indicating when a woman is fertile. The authors conclude that this biological response may promote mating-related behavior by males.

College Rape Accusations and the Presumption of Male Guilt

The important part:

OCR requires universities to render judgment using "a preponderance of the evidence" standard. This means that in a rape case, a campus disciplinary board of faculty, administrators and perhaps students serves as both judge and jury. Few if any of these judges are likely to have professional competence in fact-gathering, evidence analysis or judicial procedure. Yet to deliver a verdict of guilty, they need only believe that the accused is more likely than not to have committed the crime.

This is the lowest standard. It is much less demanding than "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is used in the criminal justice system, and the intermediate standard of "clear and convincing proof." Yale, Stanford and many other universities have rushed to comply with OCR's directives.

On campus, where casual sex is celebrated and is frequently fueled by alcohol, the ambiguity that often attends sexual encounters is heightened and the risk of error in rape cases is increased. The consequences for a wrongly convicted student are devastating: Not only is he likely to be expelled, but he may well be barred from graduate or professional school and certain government agencies, suffer irreparable damage to his reputation, and still be exposed to criminal prosecution.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some NOMAS citations

As recently seen on reddit, some citations from their site:

NOMAS joined an amicus curiae brief prepared by the California Women’s Law Center, Queens’ Bench Bar Association of the San Francisco Bay Area, California Alliance Against Domestic Violence and several other California organizations in support of the shelters that addresses why it is important for women’s physical and psychological well-being that they have available domestic violence shelters that do not permit adult men.
-from here

There is a disturbing national trend toward laws mandating joint custody [...] Furthermore, court mandated joint custody is not in the best interests of mothers.
-from here

How can a dad – unemployed or working outside the home – be a good father? Not by fighting for custody or demanding “shared parenting” after divorce or breakup. The best way a dad can be a good father is by providing support to the mother of his children, including both financial and emotional support. [...] If dad wants to make sure his children thrive he must do whatever he can to ensure that their mother is thriving. Stop fighting for “shared parenting” or sole custody if you are in court. [...] So dads, the message is clear. If you want your children to grow up to be happy and healthy adults, the best thing you can do for them is to make sure that their mother is comfortable, healthy, and happy.
-from here

After years of exploring a wide range of batterer program models, the National Council of NOMAS has given its full support to the New York Model for Batterer Programs ( This model was determined to be most in keeping with NOMAS principles and beliefs about sexism, domestic violence and batterer programs.

[From the nymbp site which can also be linked to several NOMAS / Pro-feminists]

Women can be mean, abusive and violent toward their intimate partners. The perspective we share on this issue, however, is systemic and not individual. History and culture point to the pervasiveness of men’s entitlements, across the globe, to control women’s lives. This is the backdrop in which domestic violence became a social norm. This is fully borne out by statistics, no matter what reporting flaws are conceded. Another point is that typically, male domestic violence offenders control, dominate and terrorize their partners. Also typically, women who abuse are defending, fighting back, retaliating and rarely causing fear or disturbing the flow of their partner’s lives. It is noteworthy that the systemic supports of men’s domestic abuse are exposed by the harsh differential in punishment women get when tried for similar crimes.
-from here and here

Talk about disconnect from reality... Also recently from Reddit (hattip to Kill_the_rich), apparently Barry Goldstein who is co-chair of the NOMAS Task Group on Child Custody lost his law degree for lying on a child custody case. Oh my.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Male victims of 'intimate terrorism' can experience damaging psychological effects

I wasn't even sure if I should blog this one as it seems to be common sense. Anyhow....some science:

[R]esearchers looked at two independent sample groups totaling 822 men between the ages of 18 and 59. The first sample was composed of 302 men who had sought professional help after being violently abused by their female partners. The authors called this "intimate terrorism," characterized by much violence and controlling behavior.

The second sample was composed of 520 men randomly recruited to participate in a national phone survey in which they were asked questions about their relationship. Of this general community, 16 percent said they had sustained minor acts of violent and psychological abuse during arguments with their female partners. This type of abuse was referred to in the research as "common couple violence," in which both partners lashed out physically at each other.

The researchers found that in both groups of men, there were associations between abuse and post-traumatic stress symptoms. However, the "intimate terror victims" who had sought professional help were at a much greater risk of developing PTSD than the men from the general community group who said they had engaged in more minor acts of violence with their partners, according to the researchers.

"This is the first study to show that PTSD is a major concern among men who sustain partner violence and seek help," said Hines.

Research has shown severe underreporting of spousal or partner abuse of men, according to Randle. For example, men are not as likely to report serious injuries due to abuse, and psychological or less violent abuse is more likely to go unreported to authorities. In addition, police are less likely to arrest female suspects accused of violence than male suspects, according to another study cited by Randle.

The lack of reliable data has led to some confusion in the literature on domestic violence effects on men, the researchers said. They suggest more rigorous research focusing specifically on male victims.

And there is nothing more to say...

New Paternity Test Can Tell at 12 Weeks

Interesting...yet so expensive:

Manufactured by DDC, a privately held company that offers various genetic tests, the clunkily named Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test analyzes what's known as circulating cell-free fetal DNA in the mother's blood to suss out daddy's identity.

[...]The new test, which costs $1,625, is able to separate fetal DNA from that of the mother and father — and any lingering genetic material from previous babies the mother carried, which can stick around up to 20 years.

[...]The results, says Michael Baird, chief scientific officer for DDC, are 99.9% accurate, according to internal testing and a biostatistican unaffiliated with the company.