Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The myth of the tyrannical dad and the reason why there are not that many stay-at-home-dads

We start with this BBC News Article:

We tend to picture them as tyrannical patriarchs whose children were seen and not heard and lived in fear of father's punishments. It is only in recent decades - or so we imagine - that dads have become approachable, caring and committed to the wellbeing of their children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The testimonies of fathers, and of their sons and daughters during the first half of the 20th Century, reveal just how prevalent the loving and devoted dad was.
This is not to say that corporal punishment wasn't sometimes used, or that some fathers weren't cold and distant figures. But the popular myth of the tyrannical father has seriously distorted our view of the care and commitment shown by generations of fathers towards their children.[...]

The research of academic historian Dr Julie Marie Strange, of Manchester University, reveals how the temperance movement helped demonise and create a working class folk devil father that bore little resemblance to most, who only drank in moderation, worked hard and were devoted to their children.
If schoolteachers tried to cane children who were naughty, they would often find themselves confronted by angry fathers who strongly disapproved of any physical punishment of their children - especially their daughters. Social reformers often criticised working class fathers for being too spoiling and indulging their young ones.[...]

In Professor Joanna Bourke's study of 250 working class autobiographies written during the first decades of the century, she found that "for every one who said that father did not do childcare, 14 explicitly stated that he did."

I glanced over the first comment that is listed at the end of that article. The words "thoughts provoking" were used, to describe that dads in the past were not tyrannical monsters. That is quite sad.

We continue with stay-at-home-dads and some statistical tomfoolery:

When both parents are present in the household, the Census Bureau assumes for the purposes of its “Who’s Minding the Kids?” report, that the mother is the “designated parent.” And when the designated parent is working or at school, the bureau would like to know who’s providing child care.

If the answer is Daddy, as it was 26 percent of the time when these numbers were last released, in 2005, and 32 percent of the time in 2010, the Census Bureau calls that “care.” But if Mom is caring for a child while Dad’s at work, that’s not a “child care arrangement,” but something else. Parenting, presumably. [...]

[A]ccording to the U.S. Census Bureau you only count as [stay-at-home-dad] if you have gone 52 weeks of the previous year without making any income. In fact, just looking for job, even part-time or freelance work, means you’re no longer a “stay-at-home dad,” you’re just an unemployed member of the “work force” and acting as temporary “primary caregiver” in the meantime.

(If you ever wonder why the number of stay-at-home dads is seen as so low, this is why. By this self-reported definition, the Bureau reported only 174,000 stay-at-home fathers in the U.S., perpetuating the idea that dad-as-primary caregiver is a rare thing and making those who do it out to be some sort of aberration. Yet, by their own numbers, they also reported that fully one-third of fathers with working wives regularly acted as primary caregivers for their children. One third!)

It might be interesting to have the full citations of the Study for future references:

US Census: Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2010

Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Among these fathers with preschool-age children, one in five fathers was the primary caregiver, meaning their child spent more time in their care than any other type of arrangement.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Both men and women judged for sex lives: study. Is this equality? - The Globe and Mail

I posted about that topic before, now there is more evidence:

[A] survey of 19,000 students at 22 American colleges, research being presented at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver on Monday.[...]

In the survey, college students aged 19 to 22 were asked to respond to the statement, “If (wo)men hook up or have sex with lots of people, I respect them less.” Based on their answers, the researchers slotted the students into one of four categories: egalitarian conservative, egalitarian libertarian, traditional double standard and reverse double standard.

A breakdown of the findings:

48 per cent: “Egalitarian conservatives” who lost equal respect for men and women they believed were hooking up too much (54 per cent of women surveyed fell into this category, compared with 35 per cent of men).

27 per cent: “Egalitarian libertarians” who do not lose respect for men or women, no matter how much they sleep around.

12 per cent: “Traditional double standard” holders who lost respect for women, but not men, for hooking up too much.

13 per cent: “Reverse double standard” holders who lost respect for men, but not women, for having casual sex with too many partners.

By a slight margin (1 percent) there are more students now that lost respect for men for casual hookups than there are for women. Who would have thought....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am kind of back...

Kind of....right now going through my google reader (600+ links) looking at interesting things I missed and I guess I will start posting again once I am up-to-date.

Anyhow....welcome back me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Circumcision the AAP and some data....

Your usual Feckblog post. The reason I am chiming in is this current development:

American Academy of Pediatrics - POLICY STATEMENT Circumcision Policy Statement - 2012

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formed a multidisciplinary task force of AAP members and other stakeholders to evaluate the recent evidence on male circumcision and update the Academy’s 1999 recommendations in this area. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement. [...]

Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner

Sigh...before we continue with the above, some data on health benefits:


1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The AAP estimates that noncircumcision means a four- to ten-fold increase in risk during the first year of life. However, the actual incidence of UTI is low, even for uncircumcised boys. According to the AAP, at most approximately one percent (1 out of 100) of uncircumcised males contract UTI during their first year. Since publication of the Task Force's report, a new study reports that among uncircumcised boys, the actual incidence of UTI is 2.15 percent. But even if this new statistic is correct, less than 3 out of every 100 uncircumcised males will contract UTI, and most who do can be easily treated with antibiotics.

2. Penile Cancer

[W]hile penile cancer is serious, it is also exceedingly rare, even for uncircumcised men. [...M]ost cases of penile cancer occur in uncircumcised males, who have an incidence rate of 2.2 per 100,000.

3. HIV

The connection between HIV and circumcision has not been heavily studied in the United States. [...] The only random population study conducted in the United States found no correlation between circumcision status and the rate of HIV. What is undoubtedly true is that behavioral factors are "far more important risk factors in the acquisition of HIV infection than circumcision status." The United States itself illustrates this point: it has both the highest rate of circumcision and the highest rate of HIV infection in the Western world.

4. Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

If circumcision makes a difference, it is probably for reasons that are similar to why noncircumcision is a risk factor for HIV: the moist environment under the foreskin and the susceptibility of particular cells in the foreskin. In addition, the foreskin may be prone to small abrasions during intercourse, which would facilitate transmission of STDs. Importantly, as with HIV, behavioral factors are far more significant than circumcision status in determining whether a person contracts an STD. Again, the United States has both the highest rate of circumcision and the highest rate of STDs in the Western world.

5. Cervical Cancer

In sum, more research needs to be done before prevention of cervical cancer can be added to the list of circumcision's potential health benefits. But because of the issue of distributional fairness, as well as the dubiousness of the parent's ability to consent to circumcision when its purpose is to benefit adult women, we should view with caution any argument that promotes the prevention of cervical cancer as a justification for routine circumcision.

Let me summarize the health benefits of circumcision for you: It helps with 2 rare medical problems, UTIs and Penile Cancer. With HIV and STDs, behavior is far more important (the US has the highest rates of circumcision and STDs in the western world). Cervical Cancer / HPV....there is a vaccine for that:

In 2010, 49% of teenage girls in the US got the HPV vaccine, while in comparison around two-thirds of teens have gotten shots for meningitis and DPT vaccine.

Not even talking about complications here or other negative effects of circumcision. It just seems the argument for medical benefits does not have much meat. The AAP says:

It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner.

This however does not really matter as circumcision in the USA is not about health benefits.

From the Waldeck paper:

If routine circumcision is not medically recommended, is painful, and carries the risk of complications, why do more than 65 percent of American parents choose to do it? While there is no simple answer to this question, the existing social science research shows that the procedure is highly path dependent: in large part, parents circumcise because their parents did it and because their peers are doing it. Indeed, surveys of parental decisionmaking reveal that the single most prominent factor is usually what researchers term "social concerns," that is, the desire for the boy to look like his peers or his father. With regard to the former, parents worry that a boy whose penis is different from others will be ridiculed by his schoolmates, or that his sex life will be negatively affected in later years. In other words, parents perceive that the presence or absence of a foreskin is a basis for what McAdams describes as esteem-based sanctions. And there is room here for Posner's signaling theory as well. With no medical reason for the procedure, the circumcision decision is wholly arbitrary and an opportunity to signal a "good type."

Another study I came across:

Factors Affecting the Circumcision Decision - Jeffrey D. Tiemstra MD - 1999

Although this study is clearly limited by the small and heterogenous sample, the findings are consistent with those from studies from 15 years ago, which showed that (1) that the circumcision decision is most often made before parents discuss the issue with their care providers, (2) that social concerns are more important than medical ones, and (3) that providers' discussions have limited impact on the decision made. Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygience and convenience. Given the limitations of this study, the minor increase in parents citing medical issues might or might not be important. The study design could have contributed to this finding as well, because the mere presence of this item on the survey could have prompted parents to choose it. [...] In summary, then, this study suggests that parents continue to have preformed decisions regarding circumcision based primarily on non-medical concerns, which are unlikely to be changed by attempting neutral discussion of the relative risks and benefits.

There was one thing that was missing from all of this and it can be said in one short sentence:

It is his body, it should be his choice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


As I already mentioned in a previous post a hiatus is probably going to happen....well now. My little boy has just been born. He and his mother are fine thus far and his big sister is pretty cool about this, too. Pretty proud of my whole family right now.

One of the best feelings in the world is chilling in bed with your 1-day old sleeping on your chest. That is pretty awesome and I am making sure too miss much of that in the following days. I will have a 1 month break from work before going into parenting time and working part time for the next 2 months. Then things will turn more normal I assume.

Anyhow, don't be surprised if there are not much updates here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

When overt misogyny doesn't happen to the average woman....

A discussion on SRSDiscussion (SRSD from now on) on the topic why some women chose to be "FeMRAs".

What would cause a woman to

1) say feminism is completely unnecessary

2) Say that women as a whole have already achieved enough and are viewed as equals to men.

3) Say that Mens Rights is both pressing and necessary?

Interestingly as someone who is quite "Men's right-y" I would wonder about 1. and 2. as well. Feminism is always a useful tool to view society in and see how it impacts women. Also complete 100% equality will never be achieved as there will always be issues we need to work on. I am certain women are not viewed as equals in some regards in the same way that men are not viewed as equals in some regards. This is the point where my egalitarianism comes in, figuring the stuff out for men and women. Point 3. is the view of a certain kind of feminists, which I would term gynocentric feminists, who could not comprehend how there is a merit to the concept of men's right at all.

So this is mostly about that topic. One comment I found telling really showed me with what I griped with. As usual in SRSD there is the notion that "misandry don't real" as misandry as compared to misogyny is not institutionalized (perhaps the underlying reason for point 3.), yet one reads such a comment:

People tend take their own, personal experience and apply it to everyone around them. If you're average enough and live in a safe place/bubble, you could have never experienced the kind of overt misogyny that many women face. You might adhere to traditional gender roles and ideals of femininity just because that's who you are. You might not be the type of person who seeks out information on the rest of the world and it might be difficult for you to empathize with people who are very different from you.

So, essentially, if you're a white, middle class woman in an average town who isn't ugly or insanely beautiful and who fits in well to your traditional place in society, you're going to think this is the case for everyone else. You're going to see feminist claims as overblown. And it's going to be easy for you to unknowingly buy in to patriarchal propaganda (after all, most societies are designed to spread such propaganda… I mean, the male gaze is everywhere in America).

So the average woman does not face misogyny, yet many women do face overt misogyny. How can it be overt if the average woman does not face it? This points me to another gynocentric talking point, "men can not be oppressed as men". The idea behind that is that when men are oppressed, it is because that the man in question is from a minority or poor or from the GSM spectrum, that he just couldn't be oppressed because he is male because patriarchy or misandry don't real. However looking at the above one could argue that women are not oppressed because they are women. "if you're a white, middle class woman in an average town who isn't ugly or insanely beautiful and who fits in well to your traditional place in society [... y]ou're going to see feminist claims as overblown", If you are average (not poor not from a racial minority etc) you do not face oppression.

Personally, would I say that men/women are oppressed, in the western world? Well you could probably draw a line somewhere and argue that neither or both are. I am sure though that there are gendered expectations that do hurt women as well as men and we should work to eliminate both. Do women have it worse than men? Well, maybe. Or maybe not. How do you quantify having it worse? From my point of view arguing this is a pointless exercise that leads nowhere. The issues also influence each other. If you get more father's involved with their kids you also influence the wage gap issue. It is not a zero sum game. Which leads us to this question someone asked in regards to Point 3:

Do you think men face no gender issues whatsoever in society, or do you feel that the social issues faced by women should be solved first before addressing men's issues.

Good question, and a typical answer follows:

Many of the gender issues faced by men stem from patriarchy, in that its restrictive gender roles harm both men and women by forcing them to conform to a set of very narrow rules. However, the important thing about patriarchy is that it is set up to benefit men (who follow it unquestioningly), but even then, only some men.

Because the voices and the views of women have been suppressed, currently it is important to focus on women's rights because they are the oppressed group. But feminism is not the elevation of women's rights over and above those of men's; it is the eradication of sexism. Seen in this light, it should go without saying that feminism will improve the lives of both men and women by dismantling gender roles. Even things that MRAs complain about - child custody, the overlooking of male rape - can be traced back to patriarchal origins (the belief that women must care for children, the false assumption that men are sexually aggressive and thus cannot be raped), so feminism is a way of fixing these things. [I omitted the critics of MRAs here because it is not relevant to that topic and I really do not care]

The social issues faced by men and women, though different, do not exist independently of each other. However, in our present society, women suffer more than men. The eradication of the power structure that enables this inequality is ultimately a benefit to all genders, not just women.

Again this is a very word-y cop out. Interestingly there is a rebuttal to this on a very gynocentric feminist blog (FF101):

Why are you concentrating on X when Y is so much more important?

A common argument that is used on people who are talking about special interests — such as feminism — is to say that, instead of talking about Special Interest X the person should instead talk about Important Issue™ Y. This proposed correlation between X and Y is problematic on a few levels:

- It assumes that X and Y are mutually exclusive
- It assumes that there is an objective determinant for what is “important” and what is not
- It creates a hierarchy of issues, which in turn creates a supposed “correct” order/path that must be followed

And all these points really apply. Asking "shouldn't you feminists focus on women's rights in Africa first?" or even "shouldn't we work on world peace first and solve the hunger problem?" is the same kind of derailing as saying that women have it worse and we should focus on them first and that feminism really also helps men. It is a stupid topic really. Feminism has mostly treated men's right as collateral benefits. And who can blame them as it was focus to emancipate women. I agree that it was the more pressing issue at the time. But really, it is about time now that men get some help, too. And really it is not mutually exclusive, quite the contrary.

Bonus points for my resource section, Dworkin's book "Right Wing Women" and the Dworkin Online Library. (The more you know)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Olympic Celebrity Bulge - Guess the Male Olympian Bulge

Oh man...there was some talk about objectification during the Olympics. This however....I do not even know how to classify.

Sexism in The Affordable Care Act

This is part discrimination and also part dumb. From a change.org petition:

On August 1, 2012 many more health care services became available to women without co-pays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket expenses. While this can be seen as a victory for women's health, there are many services that affect men in equal or similar ways that still require men to be able to afford those cost-sharing requirements.






The above is really stupid as, well, women tend to have sex with man and there are far more men in the USA with HIV than women.



Much of the usual, "we do not really care about men's health stuff".

Traffic stops and gender

Not so surprising findings:

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas State University researcher's analysis has found that racial profiling is intertwined with gender.

It already was known that white women are less likely to be ticketed, searched or arrested than men. But The Topeka Capital-Journal ( ) reported that sociology doctoral candidate Jeremy Briggs found black and Hispanic women are ticketed, arrested or searched during traffic stops more often than white women and at a level comparable to white men.

Briggs said black drivers overall were more than twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested. The rate was even higher among black men, with them 2 1/2 times as likely as white men to be arrested.

Friday, August 10, 2012

This and that....big five personality traits, self-esteem and a bio argument

This is not really a structured post, just me collecting data, which started looking up things on google scholar. We start with self-esteem:

Gender differences in self-esteem: A meta-analysis. - Kling, Kristen C.; Hyde, Janet Shibley; Showers, Carolin J.; Buswell, Brenda N. - 1999

Two analyses were conducted to examine gender differences in global self-esteem. In Analysis I, a computerized literature search yielded 216 effect sizes, representing the testing of 97,121 respondents. The overall effect size was 0.21, a small difference favoring males. A significant quadratic effect of age indicated that the largest effect emerged in late adolescence ( d = 0.33). In Analysis II, gender differences were examined using 3 large, nationally representative data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All of the NCES effect sizes, which collectively summarize the responses of approximately 48,000 young Americans, indicated higher male self-esteem ( ds ranged from 0.04 to 0.24). Taken together, the 2 analyses provide evidence that males score higher on standard measures of global self-esteem than females, but the difference is small. Potential reasons for the small yet consistent effect size are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

In short not much of a difference between men and women, contrary to popular belief. And while I searched further I came across the "big five" again and remembered something I read somewhere else:

If the scientific evidence comes in that proves systematic, cross-cultural differences between men and women-- not "95% overlapping bell curves," but "the vast majority of men are more X than the vast majority of women"-- then that would destroy my feminism. If the 95% overlapping bell curves apply not to a few traits but to every trait from the Big Five to cooking ability, then that would also destroy my feminism.

Because that means that the social pressure is not the result of arbitrary stereotypes and fear of the different: it's an attempt to mold people so they will actually be similar to most people of their gender, which would aid their social and romantic life. Because that means the lack of stay-at-home dads and female CEOs is not the result of sexism, but of nature.

Having read that, I'd say it is definitely both. To what degree is debatable and in my opinion we should work on eliminating cultural factors (sexism). But this might also mean that even when we have achieved cultural equality there still might be some gaps in our favorite measurements of equality (wage gap, number of stay-at-home dads, number of female CEOs). So I came across cross-cultural studies of the big five that helped support the nature side of this argument. We start with an abstract for one because it is behind a paywall:

Gender differences in personality traits across cultures: Robust and surprising findings. - Costa Jr., Paul; Terracciano, Antonio; McCrae, Robert R. - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 81(2), Aug 2001

Secondary analyses of Revised NEO Personality inventory data from 26 cultures (N =23,031) suggest that gender differences are small relative to individual variation within genders; differences are replicated across cultures for both college-age and adult samples, and differences are broadly consistent with gender stereotypes: Women reported themselves to be higher in Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Warmth, and Openness to Feelings, whereas men were higher in Assertiveness and Openness to Ideas. Contrary to predictions from evolutionary theory, the magnitude of gender differences varied across cultures. Contrary to predictions from the social role model, gender differences were most pronounced in European and American cultures in which traditional sex roles are minimized. Possible explanations for this surprising finding are discussed, including the attribution of masculine and feminine behaviors to roles rather than traits in traditional cultures.

The fascinating thing here is, the more egalitarian your society is, the more pronounced gender differences are. How come? The following study goes into more detail:

Why Can’t a Man Be More Like a Woman? Sex Differences in Big Five Personality Traits Across 55 Cultures - David P. Schmitt, Anu Realo, Martin Voracek, Jüri Allik - 2008

Previous research suggested that sex differences in personality traits are larger in prosperous, healthy, and egalitarian cultures in which women have more opportunities equal with those of men. In this article, the authors report cross-cultural findings in which this unintuitive result was replicated across samples from 55 nations (N 17,637). On responses to the Big Five Inventory, women reported higher levels of neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness than did men across most nations. These findings converge with previous studies in which different Big Five measures and more limited samples of nations were used. Overall, higher levels of human development—including long and healthy life, equal access to knowledge and education, and economic wealth—were the main nation-level predictors of larger sex differences in personality. Changes in men’s personality traits appeared to be the primary cause of sex difference variation across cultures. It is proposed that heightened levels of sexual dimorphism result from personality traits of men and women being less constrained and more able to naturally diverge in developed nations. In less fortunate social and economic conditions, innate personality differences between men and women may be attenuated.

It goes further:

This study provides strong support for the claim that with greater human development and with greater opportunities for gender equality, the personalities of men and women do not become more similar (see also Costa et al., 2001; McCrae, 2002; McCrae et al., 2005). To the contrary, in more prosperous and egalitarian societies the personality profiles of men and women become decidedly less similar. Moreover, these changes appear to result from men’s cross-cultural personality variation. In more traditional and less developed cultures a man is, indeed, more like a woman, at least in terms of self-reported personality traits. [...]

Sex Roles Do Not Explain Why Sex Differences in Personality Traits Vary Across Cultures

An accumulating body of evidence, including the current data, provides reason to question social role explanations of gender and personality development (Baron-Cohen, 2003; Campbell, Shirley, & Candy, 2004; Geary, 1998; Lytton & Romney, 1991; Maccoby, 2000; Mealey, 2000; Spiro, 1996; Tiger & Shepher, 1975). In this study, a collection of eight different gender equality indicators provided a comprehensive set of measures that assess disparity between male and female roles in society. In every case, signifi-cant findings suggest that greater nation-level gender equality leads to psychological dissimilarity in men’s and women’s per-sonality traits. If differences in personality traits are controlled by the drastically different social roles that men and women play in the society then in cultures in which women earn considerably less than men, in which they have limited access to education, and in which only few of them become professionals, women’s person-ality profiles should be very different from men’s. In reality, these women’s personality profiles are more similar to those of men.

Evolutionary Theories May Explain Why Sex Differences in Personality Traits Vary Across Cultures

Evolutionary theories rooted in parental investment theory (Trivers, 1972) have predicted that sexual selection pressures have caused men to be more prone than women to take risks and seek social dominance, whereas women are thought to have been se-lected to be more nurturing and cautious (Buss, 1997; MacDonald, 1995). Thus, evolutionary theories can readily account for the existence of culturally pervasive differences between men and women. In principle, evolutionary theories can also explain the widening gap between the personalities of men and women by a version of the mismatch theory (specifically, the curvilinear hy-pothesis), according to which discrepancies between contemporary environmental conditions and those in which early humans evolved have begun to lessen as humans move from agricultural to modern societies (Schmitt, 2005a). [...] As societies rooted in agriculture and monotheism emerged, the personalities of men and women were relatively constrained and sex differences in personality may have been less likely to surface (see Pasternak et al., 1997). Finally, as modern societies have become more egalitarian (more similar to hunter-gatherer cultures; Marlowe, 2003; Yanca & Low, 2004), innate sex differences in personality traits may have become more likely to materialize. However, until there are larger studies that include a wider range of cultures—ideally including hunter-gatherer, horti-cultural, pastoral, agricultural, and developing nations—this cur-vilinear hypothesis must remain speculative.[...]

In summary, we have found that differences between men and women in their personality traits become more extreme with the increasing development of human society. Reported ISDP data indicate that human development—long and healthy life, access to education, and economic wealth—is a primary correlate of the gap between men and women in their personality traits. Most other correlates appear to be mediated by general level of development in health, education, and economy. In societies in which longevity is threatened by poor health, in which only a fraction of people have opportunities for a good education, and in which people suffer from economic hardship, the development of one’s inherent personality traits is more restrained. In these hold-down or mal-nourished conditions, there is a smaller variation around the mean level of personality traits across the ISDP, and it is more likely that any one individual is more like all other individuals. In traditional and less developed countries, therefore, an average man is more like an average woman, not in terms of his social roles or value preferences, but in his basic personality tendencies to feel, think, and act in a way more comparable with women.

Pretty fascinating. Wikipedia has a nice summary of the above study.

Gender differences

Cross-cultural research has shown some patterns of gender differences on responses to the NEO-PI-R and the Big Five Inventory. For example, women consistently report higher Neuroticism, Agreeableness, warmth (an extraversion facet) and openness to feelings, and men often report higher assertiveness (a facet of extraversion) and openness to ideas as assessed by the NEO-PI-R.[58] A study of gender differences in 55 nations using the Big Five Inventory found that women tended to be somewhat higher than men in neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.[59] The difference in neuroticism was the most prominent and consistent, with significant differences found in 49 of the 55 nations surveyed. Gender differences in personality traits are largest in prosperous, healthy, and egalitarian cultures in which women have more opportunities that are equal to those of men. Differences in the magnitude of sex differences between more or less developed world regions were due to differences between men not women in these respective regions. That is, men in highly developed world regions were less neurotic, extraverted, conscientious and agreeable compared to men in less developed world regions. Women, on the other hand tended not to differ in personality traits across regions. The authors of this studied speculated that resource poor environments (that is, countries with low levels of development) may inhibit the development of gender differences, whereas resource rich environments facilitate them. This may be because males require more resources than females in order to reach their full developmental potential.[59] The authors argued that due to different evolutionary pressures, men may have evolved to be more risk taking and socially dominant, whereas women evolved to be more cautious and nurturant. Hunter-gatherer societies in which humans originally evolved may have been more egalitarian than later agriculturally oriented societies. Hence, the development of gender inequalities may have acted to constrain the development of gender differences in personality that originally evolved in hunter-gatherer societies. As modern societies have become more egalitarian again it may be that innate sex differences are no longer constrained and hence manifest more fully than in less developed cultures. Currently, this hypothesis remains untested, as gender differences in modern societies have not been compared with those in hunter-gatherer societies.[59]

Thursday, August 9, 2012


While I have the data at hand...I could as well post it here. I have seen this come up on r/SRS as well as r/MR. This is a recent post from the GMP:

The whole MRA spermjacking fear is overblown, I think: if you don’t trust your partner enough to trust that they’re telling the truth about birth control, you don’t trust them enough to not lie to you about having an STI, and so you should be wearing a condom anyway.

Well I do not get what is written here. For instance, MRAs that fear spermjacking are advocating to use condoms or to take the fertility in your own hands. Also, having a spouse you may believe might "forget" taking birth control pills is something different than believing your spouse would cheat on you. Which brings us to another point, obviously the pill is a bit different than a condom. It is obvious when a condom is used for a pill it is not. So putting on a condom might actually tell your SO "I do not really trust you". So things are not that easy, there is a bit of unequal playing field here. Regardless, the question is how overblown is that fear?

Well the NISVS (page 48) has an answer for us:

Prevalence of Control of Reproductive or Sexual Health by an Intimate Partner

Approximately 8.6% (or an estimated 10.3 million) of women in the United States reported ever having an intimate partner who tried to get them pregnant when
they did not want to, or refused to use a condom, with 4.8% having had an intimate partner who tried to get them pregnant when they did not want to, and 6.7% having
had an intimate partner who refused to wear a condom (data not shown).

Approximately 10.4% (or an estimated 11.7 million) of men in the United States reported ever having an intimate partner who tried to get pregnant when they did not want to or tried to stop them from using birth control, with 8.7% having had an intimate partner who tried to get pregnant when they did not want to or tried to stop them from using birth control and 3.8% having had an intimate partner who refused to wear a condom (data not shown).

I assume there are many cases that do not land in the statistics. 1/10 is pretty much....don't you think?

EDIT: Someone in the comments made the same point, I saw it mentioned on Reddit first though.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Males and women....

Somewhat experimental post. Starting point is a discussion on SRSD - the topic "Phrases that annoy you as a Social Justice Person". The comments in question:

Poster 1:
"Homosexual" instead of gay/lesbian, especially when used as a noun. "Female" as a noun as well. Basically anytime overly clinical/detached/"scientific" language is used to describe marginalized groups.

Poster 2:
"Female" alone doesn't bother me so much as "females and men". Or even the rare "males and women", though that doesn't come up often at all.

Well, so let us find out how often those are used, compared with the "males and women" equivalent.

                        Google    Topsy All Time
"females and men"    2.280.000             4,096 
"men and females"   16.500.000             3,370

"males and women"   38.200.000               477
"women and males"    1.520.000               279

Apparently there are huge differences depending on the community. I did try searching reddit but did get too few results. Maybe not even the best way too search for those terms.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby Fever

Something I found interesting. Is baby fever real? Is there maybe a biological component? Some sources:

a new study in the psychological journal Emotion claims that "baby fever" -- that sudden, visceral, and almost irresistible urge to have a baby -- not only exists, it can be found in both men and women.

"Women reported that it happened more frequently and more strongly but it's there for both men and women," says Gary Brase, associate professor of psychology at Kansas State University who along with his wife Sandra Brase, spent nearly 10 years studying the phenomenon.

The researchers, who have two children, first looked at three theoretical viewpoints as to why baby fever might exist and where it could come from. One theory had to do with gender roles, i.e., women think they should have kids because that's what they're taught women are supposed to do. A second theory had to do with nurturing.

"Humans are biological organisms, we have a sex drive and we nurture once a child is born," says Brase. "We looked at whether baby fever was due to people looking at someone else's child and then having that trigger misplaced nurturance. But it wasn't that either."

A third theory had to do with timing -- the brain delivering a signal that this could be a good time to have a child. But when they talked to their test subjects (a total of 337 undergrad students and 853 general population participants gathered via the Web), none of these theories seemed to hold up.

Instead, three factors consistently predicted how much a person wanted to have a baby.

"The first two had to do with the visual sensory things," says Brase. "Seeing a baby, hearing a baby, smelling a baby led some people to want to have a baby." [...] A third factor had to do with trade-offs that come with having children. - Source

Anna Rotkirch, the director of the Population Research Institute in Finland, says studies have shown “the urge appears to be strongest in the late 20s.” [...] Rotkirch reported in a paper in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology that her Finnish interview subjects described the phenomenon in terms of “a painful longing in my whole being” or an “unbelievable aching,” sometimes accompanied by the sensation of having “empty arms” or breasts that “became sensitive and hard.” In a related survey, she found that 58 percent of male respondents and 78 percent of female respondents reported having “experienced a strong desire to have a child of [their] own” — although this seems less a measure of sudden, acute longing than of a general desire to reproduce at some time. [...] “All existing studies use written texts or questionnaires,” she says, which tell us more about how women perceive their “baby lust” rather than the actual origins. Still, Rotkirch has found evidence of a “hormonal underpinning,” she says, with “little influence” of social factors like education or income.

In her paper, she pointed out that, in terms of evolutionary biology, “the ‘default mode’ of the female body is to have experienced both nurturing and pregnancies by the early 20s.” Rotkirch suggested that “longing for a baby can develop as a by-product of hormonal changes that evolved to prepare the woman for motherhood,” she wrote. “Such changes could be induced by falling in love; the ‘nesting behavior’ related to settling down and starting to live with a partner; exposure to infants; and/or by the processes of aging.”

If evolutionary theories are too caveman-y for your taste, there is the undeniable fact that women’s fertility begins to decline in their late 20s, right around the average time that baby panic sets in. She says, “My informed guess is that baby fever is one mechanism for reproductive timing” — or, in other words, a way to urge that “now is a good time to have a baby.” It seems to make intuitive sense, but the science on exactly how this mechanism might work is just not there.

[...] In an exhaustive study surveying the potential causes of the phenomenon, Gary Brase, an associate professor of psychology at Kansas State University, found that men experience it, just to a lesser degree than women do.

[...] Brase, who has studied the issue for nearly a decade, found that beliefs about gender roles — for example, a woman’s conviction that her proper place is in the home — were not strong predictors of baby fever. “Desire for a baby is not strongly connected to people’s gender roles,” he told me.- Source

The study linked from the above:


Abstract. The article discusses the existence and outlook of an evolved desire to have children. Twin studies have found a genetic basis for conscious attempts to get pregnant. This heritable disposition increasingly affects societies of wide female reproductive choice (KOHLERet al 1999). Based on 106 stories written by Finnish women in2006, I analyse the symptoms, triggers and behaviour related to longing for babies. I suggest that a strong longing for first or subsequent children is an affective incentive of growing importance in low-fertility societies. Female desire for babies appears in two main forms: as part of a generally care-oriented personality and as a sudden, surprising and largely physical longing. The first type conforms to previous research on nurturing (MILLER1986; FOSTER2000) while the second type has not been much studied yet. For both types, a desire to have children is often related to physical age, falling in love, previous pregnancies and to exposure to babies of kin and peers. I discuss evolutionary explanations and suggest that longing for babies may have evolved not only as a by-product of finding care pleasurable, but also as part of mate selection and as a consequence of hormonal changes induced by couple formation and ageing.

Table 1: “Have you felt a strong wish to
have your own child (‘baby fever’)?”
Finland 2007, by age and gender, N = 1560 (%, n) 

                 Women   Men

No                21.7  42.4

Yes, once         49.8  44.9
or a few times

Yes, often        28.5  12.7

Britain will re-write child laws in first major blow for father's rights

Hm, I skipped a bit on international developments for father's / men's rights. But will do so in the future with the new label of "Success" (and maybe tag along some of my older posts (as usual, maybe here means probably not)).

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton will announce that the Children Act 19879, which states that the child comes first in law courts, will be rewritten.

Henceforth the preferred option for the courts will be “the presumption that a child’s welfare is likely to furthered through safe involvement with both parents.” That is, in the absence of abuse, equal parenting, exactly the template we have been patiently awaiting in Canada, will be the default for splitting couples. Furthermore, mothers who refuse to permit access to the children may lose their passports, their driving licences or even their freedom of movement if they fail to comply.
- Source

Stories of abused men...

A collection of experiences from abused men via reddit. Obvious trigger warning:

Male Redditors who have been abused or assaulted (sexually or otherwise) Did you seek help/support and were you able to find it?, [2], [3]

Another link I had floating around is about men suspected to be pedophiles:

Parents/Adults of reddit, why is a guy an instant pedo on sight?, [2]

IAmA former Rape Crisis Advocate who provided support to Male victims of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. I worked at one of only two centers nationally who provides shelter to male victims. AMA!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Some people almost get it...

This will be the day of tidbit informations. The relationship between feminism and male DV / rape victims has been problematic. In a piece about privilege, rape culture and nice guys:

The stereotypical images of rapists and batterers hurts victims. If a person’s rapist or batterer doesn’t fit the stereotype, why come forward at all? For this reason, feminists have worked for years to tell the truth. Rapists and batterers often present quite well in public, while committing violence in private.

This just describes the experiences of male victims so well, I had to include this. Now this was not an article about male victims / female perpetrators, but I really wish we as society and of course feminists would take female perpetrators more seriously.

Incoming hiatus.....or not?

I rarely talk about myself here, this however is one of the times it is appropriate. This blog, although it does not seem to be that way, is quite a bit of work. On average I have about 30-50 links I check on a daily basis, 200+ unpublished posts and the "Short Fact List" which means also digging through the 600+ posts there already are...enough to keep me busy. You might have noticed that I was not that active recently. Well, the reason, we are having a baby, soon. It is the last month of pregnancy, stress is building up and afterwards I am going to take a month off and take 2 additional "father-months" (3 days at work, 2 at home) after that.

Do I stop posting entirely? Well not sure, it all depends on how stressful the time will actually be. Maybe we are in a good routine soon, maybe things are not going that well. Fact is, blogging is currently not a priority here, so do not be surprised. Going to be back to normal in a few months (I hope).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A woman candidate is not the same thing as a woman’s candidate.

As seen on feministing. This also means that
A male candidate is not the same thing as a man’s candidate.
Just saying...


Stolen straight from reddit (and science daily):

When compared with men, women were 23 percent less likely to be ticketed, 55 percent less likely to be arrested and 76 percent less likely to be searched when stopped by police. Women were more likely to only receive a warning or have no outcome when stopped by police during a traffic stop.

Black and Hispanic drivers were significantly more likely to be searched, ticketed and arrested than white drivers when stopped by police. For example, black drivers were more than twice as likely to be searched or arrested when compared with white drivers. Hispanic drivers were almost three times as likely to be searched when compared with white drivers.

By combining data dealing with race and gender, Briggs found the differences between men and women do not hold up for all races. Out of all racial and ethnic categories of male and female drivers, white women were most likely to receive a perceived benefit in a traffic stop, such as receiving only a warning or no outcome at all. But the same is not true for black and Hispanic women, who were just as likely as white men to be ticketed, arrested or searched instead of receiving a warning or no outcome.

Black and Hispanic men were the most likely to be ticketed, arrested or searched during a traffic stop. Black men were 2.5 times as likely as white men to be arrested and twice as likely to be searched. Hispanic men were 1.5 times as likely as white men to receive a ticket and more than three times as likely to be searched.

"We can't make sense of racial differences without also considering sex and gender," Briggs said. "We have to look at sex and gender at the same time as race and ethnicity because they're connected in important ways. What I found in the case of traffic stops was that racial differences are deeply gendered as well. This connection should be a part of the larger racial profiling discussion."

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ozy on Objectification

I always struggled a bit with the feminist definition of objectification. Ozy had some thoughts on that term that cleared that up a bit (nice take I think):

1) Sexual desire =/= objectification.
2) Erotic or sexualized imagery =/= objectification.
3) Objectification =/= necessarily bad.
4) Objectification = treating people like objects instead of people.

More on that topic here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another interesting article on the circumcision ruling in Germany

Pretty good reasoning:
After much deliberation, it concluded that a circumcision, "even when done properly by a doctor with the permission of the parents, should be considered as bodily harm if it is carried out on a boy unable to give his own consent". It ruled the child's body would be "permanently and irreparably changed", and that this alteration went "against the interests of a child to decide for himself later on to what religion he wishes to belong".
Also, feminist fail *sigh*
Women's rights groups and social policy makers also condemned the decision, but for the reason that it would have the effect of putting male and female circumcision on the same footing, when they were "in no way comparable", said Katrin Altpeter, social minister in the state of Baden-Württemberg. Female circumcision she said, was a far more drastic act. It is already outlawed in Germany.
I don't even...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More of the same: Wage-gap edition

The usual stuff:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, single women between 22 and 30 years old earn an average of $27,000 a year, which is 8 percent more than comparable men. Women of that age earn more in 39 of the 50 biggest American cities. Source

PolitiFact debunking Obama:

In this item, we're checking the claim that "women (are) paid 77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men." [...]

While calculations that led to the 77-cent figure did not include any part-time workers, the label "full time worker" can actually be applied to employees with a wide range of hours worked per week.

The official Bureau of Labor Statistics definition of a full-time worker is someone who works at least 35 hours per week. Someone who gets no vacation time and works 40 hours a week for 52 weeks would work 2,080 hours in a year. By contrast, a worker on a 36-hour-per-week schedule who has two weeks off would work only 1,800 hours. Meanwhile, a worker with two weeks off who averaged four hours per week of overtime would end up with 2,200 hours. [...]

The other complicating factor involves seniority on the job. Men have typically held their jobs longer than women in the same position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men in 2010 who were between 45 and 54 years old had a median job tenure of 8.5 years, compared to 7.1 years for women in the same age group.[...]

The Obama campaign took a legitimate statistic and described it in a way that makes it sound much more dramatic than it actually is. The 77-cent figure is real, but it does not factor in occupations held, hours worked or length of tenure. Describing that statistic as referring to the pay for women "doing the same work as men" earns it a rating of Mostly False. Source

Kay S. Hymowitz on the wage gap:

In 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of male full-time workers had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 15 percent of female full-time workers; meanwhile, just 4 percent of full-time men worked 35 to 39 hours a week, while 12 percent of women did. Since FTYR men work more than FTYR women do, it shouldn’t be surprising that the men, on average, earn more.[...]

Among “physicians and surgeons,” for example, women make only 64.2 percent of what men make. Outrageous, right? Not if you consider that there are dozens of specialties in medicine: some, like cardiac surgery, require years of extra training, grueling hours, and life-and-death procedures; others, like pediatrics, are less demanding and consequently less highly rewarded. Only 16 percent of surgeons, but a full 50 percent of pediatricians, are women. So the statement that female doctors make only 64.2 percent of what men make is really on the order of a tautology, much like saying that a surgeon working 50 hours a week makes significantly more than a pediatrician working 37. [...]

Behind the Pay Gap, a widely quoted 2007 study from the American Association of University Women whose executive summary informs us in its second paragraph that “one year out of college, women working full time earn only 80 percent as much as their male colleagues earn.” [...] You don’t read until the end of the summary—a point at which many readers will have already Tweeted their indignation—that when you control for such factors as education and hours worked, there’s actually just a 5 percent pay gap. But the AAUW isn’t going to begin a report with the statement that women earn 95 percent of what their male counterparts earn, is it?[...]

A number of researchers have found that if you consider only childless women, the wage gap disappears. June O’Neill, an economist who has probably studied wage gaps as much as anyone alive, has found that single, childless women make about 8 percent more than single, childless men do (though the advantage vanishes when you factor in education). Using Census Bureau data of pay levels in 147 of the nation’s 150 largest cities, the research firm Reach Advisors recently showed that single, childless working women under 30 earned 8 percent more than their male counterparts did.[...]

Behind the Pay Gap found that “among women who graduated from college in 1992–93, more than one-fifth (23 percent) of mothers were out of the work force in 2003, and another 17 percent were working part time,” compared with under 2 percent of fathers in each case. Other studies show consistently that the first child significantly reduces a woman’s earnings and that the second child cuts them even further.[...]

If women work fewer hours than men do, it appears to be because they want it that way. About two-thirds of the part-time workforce in the United States is female. According to a 2007 Pew Research survey, only 21 percent of working mothers with minor children want to be in the office full-time. Sixty percent say that they would prefer to work part-time, and 19 percent would like to give up their jobs altogether. For working fathers, the numbers are reversed: 72 percent want to work full-time and 12 percent part-time.

In fact, women choose fewer hours—despite the resulting gap in earnings—all over the world. That includes countries with generous family leave and child-care policies. Look at Iceland, recently crowned the world’s most egalitarian nation by the World Economic Forum. The country boasts a female prime minister, a law requiring that the boards of midsize and larger businesses be at least 40 percent female, excellent public child care, and a family leave policy that would make NOW members swoon. Yet despite successful efforts to get men to take paternity leave, Icelandic women still take considerably more time off than men do. They also are far more likely to work part-time. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), this queen of women-friendly countries has a bigger wage gap—women make 62 percent of what men do—than the United States does.

Sweden, in many people’s minds the world’s gender utopia, also has a de facto mommy track. Sweden has one of the highest proportions of working women in the world and a commitment to gender parity that’s close to a national religion. In addition to child care, the country offers paid parental leave that includes two months specifically reserved for fathers. Yet moms still take four times as much leave as dads do. (Women are also more likely to be in lower-paid public-sector jobs; according to sociologist Linda Haas, Sweden has “one of the most sex-segregated labor markets in the world.”) Far more women than men work part-time; almost half of all mothers are on the job 30 hours a week or less. The gender wage gap among full-time workers in Sweden is 15 percent. That’s lower than in the United States, at least according to the flawed data we have, but it’s hardly the feminist Promised Land.

The list goes on. In the Netherlands, over 70 percent of women work part-time and say that they want it that way. According to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, surveys found that only 4 percent of female part-timers wish that they had full-time jobs. In the United Kingdom, half of female GPs work part-time, and the National Health Service is scrambling to cope with a dearth of doctor hours. Interestingly enough, countries with higher GDPs tend to have the highest percentage of women in part-time work. In fact, the OECD reports that in many of its richest countries, including Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, the U.K., and the U.S., the percentage of the female workforce in part-time positions has gone up over the last decade.

This one comes a bit out of the left field. Regrets people have on their deathbeds:

When Ms. Bronnie Ware, a woman who worked for years with the dying, wrote a list of the top 5 regrets people say aloud on their deathbed, we teared up a little bit here at TNW.

I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

Enough for now....(still too much on my to do list)

STEM and motherhood

It is the same as with the wage gap:

ScienceDaily (Feb. 14, 2012) — Women with advanced degrees in math-intensive academic fields drop out of fast-track research careers primarily because they want children – not because their performance is devalued or they are shortchanged during interviewing and hiring, according to a new study at Cornell University. [...]

For the study, Williams and Ceci analyzed data related to the academic careers of women and men with and without children in academic fields, including math-heavy ones. They found that before becoming mothers, women have careers equivalent to or better than men’s. “They are paid and promoted the same as men, and are more likely to be interviewed and hired in the first place,” Williams said.

The study builds on previous research by Williams and Ceci published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that women in math-intensive fields did not face discrimination in hiring, publishing or funding.

And while the following studies link is dead by now, there still is Glenn's blog post:
In this one, three researchers at Cornell University analyzed some 400 existing studies and concluded that, although women have closed the gender gap in math test scores, their representation in fields like engineering doesn’t reflect that achievement. Why not? Their conclusion is the same as in the other studies I’ve reported on – women drop out of the profession to have kids. And as in the other studies, women and men begin their careers on the same level, but women tend to opt out of the labor force (or limit their time in it)to devote time to family while men tend not to.

As the authors state, corroborating much pre-existing literature on the subject,

“The one research finding related to the underrepresentation of women in all academic careers, not just those that are math-intensive, that is robust, incontrovertible, and based on up-to-date information, is that women’s fertility choices, and the timing of when to have children, are powerful predictors of career success…”

NCFM on gender reality

An interesting post via NCFM:

Toward men and masculinity we direct accountability without compassion, which is ruthless. It is respecting men as autonomous and empowered beings responsible for their own decisions and predicaments, but it is not loving men enough to recognize their true vulnerability to forces outside their control and to lend men their fair share of empathy.

Toward women and femininity we direct compassion without accountability, which is infantilizing. It is loving women as vulnerable beings to be protected, but it is not respecting women enough to recognize their true power, autonomy, and accountability as equal partners equally responsible for outcomes.

Nice take, there are more points, read it.

Some more information on false allegations

A study via Cotwa:

The study, which was published Monday, analyzed the results of new DNA testing from 634 sexual assault and homicide cases that took place in Virginia between 1973 and 1987. DNA testing was not available at the time the crimes occurred, but the study was possible because a state forensic serologist - who processed biological evidence in serious criminal cases - had retained some physical evidence, such as cotton swabs and clothing swatches.

When these old pieces of evidence were subjected to DNA testing, 5 percent of those convicted were exonerated of the crime. When only sexual assault cases were considered, the number of those exonerated jumped even higher. DNA testing supported the exoneration of between 8 and 15 percent of those convicted of a sexual crime.

Previous research had put the rate of wrongful conviction around three percent. But a difference in methodology may explain the disparity between the two estimates.

Lemon told the Associated Press that the results from the Virginia study could most likely be applied to the rest of the nation. Source

The report acknowledged certain limitations. For instance, it said that in two-thirds of the cases the samples didn't have enough DNA for testing. Roman said that may mean the number of false convictions is much higher.

Roman said there likely are "dozens, if not hundreds, of people who were convicted erroneously; dozens, if not hundreds, of people who were not convicted of a crime they committed who may have gone on to commit new crimes; and there were dozens, if not hundreds, of people who thought they had justice as a victim of a horrible crime who didn't." Source

I group this under the umbrella term of false allegations although wrongly convicted might be more fitting here.

And one huge document that I picked from my to do pile. As usual, the more interesting data points:
False Rape Allegations: An Assault On Justice by Bruce Gross, PhD, JD, MBA - The Forensic Examiner - 2009

Although there is no doubt that false rape allegations occur, it is extremely difficult to determine what percentage of rape reports is intentionally false. This is due to many factors, including jurisdictional variation in definition, criteria, and reporting practices, as well as the fact that not all rapes are reported. Although the FBI had set 8% as the average rate of false (actually, unfounded) accusations during the late 1990s, there is remarkable variation in the estimates of false allegations of rape found in the literature (Kanin, 1994; Epstein, 2005). A review of those studies on false rape accusations conducted between 1968 and 2005 showed a percentage range from 1-90% (Rumney, 2006).

Very little formal research has been conducted on the prevalence of false allegations of rape. One study looked at the 109 cases of forcible rape that were disposed of in one small midwestern town between 1978 and 1987 (Kanin, 1994). The given town was specifically selected for study because the police department used a uniquely objective and thorough protocol when investigating rape complaints. Among other procedural safeguards, officers did not have the discretion to drop rape investigations if they concluded the complaint was "suspect" or unfounded. Every rape accusation had to be thoroughly investigated and included offering a polygraph to both the accuser and the accused. Cases were only determined to be false if and when the accuser admitted that no rape occurred.

The researchers further investigated those cases that the police, through their investigation, had ultimately determined were "false" or fabricated. During the follow-up investigation, the complainants held fast to their assertion that their rape allegation had been true, despite being told they would face penalties for filing a false report. As a result, 41% of all of the forcible rape complaints were found to be false. To further this study, a similar analysis was conducted on all of the forcible rape complaints filed at two large midwestern public universities over a 3-year period. Here, where polygraphs were not offered as part of the investigatory procedure, it was found that 50% of the complaints were false.

Charles P. McDowell, a researcher in the United States Air Force Special Studies Division, studied the 1,218 reports of rape that were made between 1980 and 1984 on Air Force bases throughout the world (McDowell, 1985). Of those, 460 were found to be "proven" allegations either because the "overwhelming preponderance of the evidence" strongly supported the allegation or because there was a conviction in the case. Another 212 of the total reports were found to be "disproved" as the alleged victim convincingly admitted the complaint was a "hoax" at some point during the initial investigation. The researchers then investigated the 546 remaining or "unresolved" rape allegations including having the accusers submit to a polygraph. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of these complainants admitted they had fabricated their accusation just before taking the polygraph or right after they failed the test. (It should be noted that whenever there was any doubt, the unresolved case was re-classified as a "proven" rape.) Combining this 27% with the initial 212 "disproved" cases, it was determined that approximately 45% of the total rape allegations were false.

Unfortunately, like the two studies presented here, the empirical studies that exist on the frequency of false rape allegations are sparse in number and have notable limitations. Small sample sizes and non-representative samples preclude generalizability. Regardless, the mere number of publicized incidents of false accusations of rape over the last two decades indicates not only a need for further investigation into the problem, but a better understanding of how to identify such cases. [...]

The most frequent context and motive for the fabricated rape was consensual sex with an acquaintance that led to some sort of problem for the accuser. The perceived problem was typically something that caused feelings of shame and guilt in the accuser (such as contracting a sexually transmitted disease or becoming pregnant), which was bound to be discovered and received negatively by family or friends.

Approximately half of the accusers who were motivated by a need for an alibi identified the alleged rapist. Their goal was not to harm or cause problems for the acquaintance, but to protect themselves in what they perceived to be a desperate situation. As with most lies, the false rape accusation allowed the accuser to deny responsibility by creating an alternate reality into which to escape.

The next most common reason for lying about being a victim of rape was revenge, rage, or retribution. In the Midwest study, this included 27% of the non-student and 44% of the student accusers. In these cases, the false victim had suffered some real or perceived wrong, rejection, or betrayal by the alleged rapist. As the purpose of making the accusation was to obtain some measure of revenge, the "suspect" was always identified. Researchers in the Air Force study also found that spite or revenge and the need to compensate for a sense of personal failure through an alibi accusation were the primary motives for false rape reports.

Germany: Who cuts boys for religious reasons is liable to prosecution for assault. This decided the regional court in Cologne in a landmark judgment...

That one took my by surprise. Your turn USA.

Men are creeps, women are victims

Just one stupid double standard that popped up in my news feed:
A man who secretly video records women on the New York City subway system, mainly their legs, is being labeled a “stalker,” a “pervert” and a “creep” by the media. And depending on which media source you trust, police are either trying to track him down and throw him in jail for four years or are not doing anything at all about it.
Meanwhile, there is no such outrage about a site called Subway Crush where commuters posts photos they secretly took of male subway passengers they found attractive.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

More about in-group bias and gender stereotypes

A Comparative Study of the Implicit and Explicit Gender Attitudes of Children and College Students - John J. Skowronski, Melissa A. Lawrence - 2000

Implicit attitudes and explicit attitudes toward men and women and toward male soldiers and female soldiers were assessed in fifth-graders (28 male, 31 female) and college students (43 male, 42 female). Women were rated more positively than men on an explicit attitude measure. Similarly, female soldiers were rated more positively than male soldiers, except among college men, who were pro-male soldier. Different results emerged from an Implicit Association Test using names of men and women (general gender condition) or of male soldiers and female soldiers (soldier name condition). Latencies indicated pro-female attitudes in the soldier name condition and among women and college students. Error rates also indicated pro-female attitudes, except for a pro-male preference among men in the general gender condition. Reasons that implicit and explicit attitude measures may produce such divergent results are discussed.

Preferring “Housewives” To “Feminists”: Categorization and the Favorability of Attitudes Toward Women - Geoffrey Haddock, Mark P. Zanna - 1994

Four studies are described outlining the favorability of attitudes toward women. In Study 1, participants indicated their attitudes toward women and men and their construal of the term “women.” The results revealed that women were evaluated more favorably than men, but that male right-wing authoritarians (RWAs) who construed women as referring primarily to feminists were least favorable in their attitudes. In Study 2, participants indicated their attitudes toward both “housewives” and “feminists.” The results revealed that feminists were evaluated less favorably than housewives, and that the most negative attitudes toward feminists were expressed by authoritarian men. Study 3 revealed that high-RWA males held more negative symbolic beliefs concerning feminists (i.e., beliefs that feminists failed to promote participants' values) and that these beliefs accounted for variation in attitudes among high RWAs and much of the RWA-attitude relation. Finally, Study 4 revealed that high RWAs perceived greater value dissimilarity between themselves and feminists. The implications of the findings for future research are discussed.

Are Women Evaluated More Favorably Than Men?: An Analysis of Attitudes, Beliefs, and Emotions - Alice H. Eagly, Antonio Mladinic, Stacey Otto - 1990

In an experiment in which male and female respondents evaluated the social category of women or men on several types of measures, analysis of respondents' attitudes toward the sexes and of the evaluative content of their beliefs established that they evaluated women more favorably than men. In addition, analysis of respondents' emotional reactions toward women and men did not yield evidence of negativity toward women at the emotional level. Nor did it appear that respondents' very positive evaluations of women masked ambivalence toward them. This research, therefore, provides strong evidence that women are evaluated quite favorably—in fact, more favorably than men.

A Meta-Analysis on the Malleability of Automatic Gender Stereotypes - Alison P. Lenton, Martin Bruder, Constantine Sedikides - 2009

Furthermore, given that men are, on average, liked less than are women (Eagly, Mladinic, & Otto, 1991; Rudman & Goodwin, 2004), it certainly seems there is ample scope for improving people’s beliefs about and expectations of men.

Brannon - Chapter 07 - Gender Stereotypes: Masculinity and Femininity

Listening to the conversations of groups of women or men saying terrible things
about the other may seem to confirm this view, but research results are not consistent with such a conceptualization. Although women are the targets of various types of discrimination in terms of economic, political, educational, and professional achievement, attitudes about women are not uniformly negative. Indeed, one line of research from Alice Eagly and her colleagues (Eagly, Mladinic, & Otto, 1991) showed that women as a category re-ceive more favorableevaluations than men. Results from a meta-analysis (Feingold, 1998) indicated that women received slightly more favorable ratings than men. Thus, people in general have positive feelings about the characteristics stereotypically associated with women; people believe that these characteristics provide fine examples of human qualities.

These findings are not consistent with an overall prejudice against women.
Peter Glick, Susan Fiske, and their colleagues (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002;
Glick & Fiske, 2001; Glick et al., 2000) have researched this puzzle in gender stereo-typing and formulated interesting answers. The focus of their research is their concep-tualization of sexism, that is, prejudice based on sex or gender. Their view separates positive from negative aspects of sexism. They call the negative aspects hostile sexism, and this concept includes negative attitudes toward women. They also consider benevo-lent sexism, which they conceptualize as positive attitudes that nonetheless serve to be-little women and keep them subservient. Benevolent sexism is reflected in the attitudes that women deserve special treatment, deserve to be set on a pedestal, and should be revered. Despite the positive nature of these beliefs, people who hold such attitudes tend to see women as weaker, more in need of protection, and less competent than men (Fiske et al., 2002).

Ironically, it may be the favorable traits stereotypically associated with women that
serve to perpetuate their lower status (Glick & Fiske, 2001). When people see women as warm and caring but less competent than men, they may give women positive evaluations but still feel that women need men to protect and take care of them. Thus, women’s sub-servience is justified. Men are not exempt from this type of ambivalent sexism; the stereo-typic characteristics of men can also be analyzed into hostile and benevolent components that are analogous to those that apply to women, but women’s hostile attitudes toward men do not erase men’s dominance (Glick & Fiske, 1999). This type of benevolent prejudice may rationalize racism as well as sexism, casting the dominant group as benevolent pro-tectors rather than oppressors.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Overview of National Representative Rape Studies

I came across and interesting reported and compiled a list that compares several studies on rape based on that. Before we look at the table, some observations. The data is mostly consistent. Add one time they added questions about drug induced raped and at that time the numbers go up a bit. Only half of the representative studies include men. Of those, only one included made to penetrate and therefor female on male rape and that study that included it did not even consider that rape (but instead other sexual violence). If you look at the original data, you will note that 2 more studies are in that table. I excluded those as those are crime surveys, that simply have a different methodology. So Here we go:

Summary of national representative rape statistics studies using behaviorally specific questions of people 18 years and older
                         NWS      NVAWS    NWS-R    NISVS
Includes                 1989-91  1995-96  2006     2010
Men                     |        |   X    |        |   X    | 
                        |        |        |        |        |
Made to penetrate /     |        |        |        |   X    |
Female on male rape     |        |        |        |        |
- Men Year              |        |        |        |  1.10% |
- Men Lifetime          |        |        |        |  4.80% |
                        |        |        |        |        |
Drug Facilitated or     |        |        |   X    |   X    |
Incapacitated Rape      |        |        |        |        |
- Women Year            |        |        |  0.42% |  0.70% |
- Women Lifetime        |        |        |  5.00% |  8.00% |
- Men Year              |        |        |        |   a    |
- Men Lifetime          |        |        |        |  0.60% |
                        |        |        |        |        |
Completed Rape          |   X    |   X    |   X    |   X    |
excluding the above     |        |        |        |        |
- Women Year            |  0.71% |  0.30% |  0.52% |  0.50% |
- Women Lifetime        | 12.60% | 14.80% | 14.60% | 12.30% |
- Men Year              |        |  0.10%a|        |   a    |
- Men Lifetime          |        |  2.10% |        |  0.90% |
                        |        |        |        |        |
Attempted Rape          |        |   X    |        |   X    |
- Women Year            |        |        |        |  0.40% |
- Women Lifetime        |        |  2.80% |        |  5.20% |
- Men Year              |        |        |        |   a    |
- Men Lifetime          |        |  0.90% |        |  0.40% |
Last Year Prevalence    |        |        |        |        |
- Women                 |  0.71% |  0.30% |  0.94% |  1.10%b|
- Men                   |        |  0.10% |        |  1.10%b|
Life Time Prevalence    |        |        |        |        |
- Women                 | 12.60% | 14.80% | 18.00% | 18.30%b|
- Men                   |        |  2.10% |        |  6.20%b|
NVAWS - Even though men were asked while the NVAWS was conducted, female-on-male rape was not included in the definition for rape. The male % therefor measures only male-on-male rape.
NISVS - Asked for made to penetrate but did not include this in the male rape number. The number also consists of attempts and drug induced rape so it is not easy to compare that number with the female equivalent.
a - Relative standard error exceeds 30 percent. In case of the NISVS the data is not shown
b - Includes attempts so that it can be compared with the male number. The male number includes rape & made to penetrate
Source: For the table: Understanding National Rape Statistics - Dean Kilpatrick and Jenna McCauley - 2009
For data on different Studies: NISVS, NVWS, NWS & NWS-R

Corporal Punishment

Some studies:

Corporal Punishment of Children in Nine Countries as a Function of Child Gender and Parent Gender - 2010

Background. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a global perspective on corporal punishment by examining differences between mothers' and fathers' use of corporal punishment with daughters and sons in nine countries. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 1398 mothers, 1146 fathers, and 1417 children (age range = 7 to 10 years) in China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States. Results. Across the entire sample, 54% of girls and 58% of boys had experienced mild corporal punishment, and 13% of girls and 14% of boys had experienced severe corporal punishment by their parents or someone in their household in the last month. Seventeen percent of parents believed that the use of corporal punishment was necessary to rear the target child. Overall, boys were more frequently punished corporally than were girls, and mothers used corporal punishment more frequently than did fathers. There were significant differences across countries, with reports of corporal punishment use lowest in Sweden and highest in Kenya. Conclusion. This work establishes that the use of corporal punishment is widespread, and efforts to prevent corporal punishment from escalating into physical abuse should be commensurately widespread.

There was considerable variability in proportions of mothers, fathers, and children in China, Colombia, Italy, Kenya, Jordan, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States who reported the use of corporal punishment and believed that the use of corporal punishment is necessary to rear the target child. Overall, mothers reportedly used corporal punishment more frequently than fathers, and sons were reportedly more frequently corporally punished than daughters were. International efforts to eliminate child abuse and promote children’s right to protection will be both challenging and important because of the prevalence of corporal punishment.

Corporal Punishment by American Parents: National Data on Prevalence, Chronicity, Severity, and Duration, in Relation to Child and Family Characteristics - Murray A. Straus, and Julie H. Stewart’ - 1999

We present data on corporal punishment (CP) by a nationally representative sample of 991 American parents interviewed in 1995. Sii types of CP were examined: slaps on the hand or leg, spanking on the buttocks, pinching, shaking, hitting on the buttocks with a belt or paddle, and slapping in the face. The overall prevalence rate (the percentage of parents using any of these types of CP during the previous year) was 35% for infants and reached a peak of 94% at ages 3 and 4. Despite rapid decline after age 5, just over half of American parents hit children at age 12, a third at age 14, and 13% at age 17. Analysis of chronicity found that parents who hit teenage children did so an average of about six times during the year. Severity, as measured by hitting the child with a belt or paddle, was greatest for children age 5-12 (28% of such children). CP was more prevalent among African American and low socioeconomic status parents, in the South, for boys, and by mothers. The pervasiveness of CP reported in this art&, and the harmful side effects of CP shown by recent longitudinal research, indicates a need for psychology and sociology textbooks to reverse the current tendency to almost ignore CP and instead treat it as a major aspect of the socialization experience of American children: and for developmental psychologists to be cognizant of the likelihood that parents are using CP far more often than even advocates of CP recommend, and to inform parents about the risks involved.

Previous research indicates that boys experience more CP than girls at all ages (Day et ai., 1998; Giles-Sims ei al., 1995; Graziano & Namaste, 1990; Straw, 1994a). In view of the movement toward treating boys and girls more similarly, prior findings might not apply to this sample. However, row 5 of Table IV shows that the difference in the percentage of boys and girls who experienced CP during the year of this survey was statistically significant. Parents reported using CP with 65% of boys compared to 58% of girls. As for chronicity, Table Vindicates a significant difference. Of the boys who experienced CP, it occurred an average of 14.3 times, compared to an average of 12.9 times for girls. In addition, Table V shows a significant interaction between gender of child and child’s age. The deviation from the overall pattern was for children ages 2 to 4. At that age there was no difference at all in the chronicity of hitting boys and girls. Perhaps this is a ceiling effect because at
that age, the prevalence rate was 94%.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Several resources, cleaning up my "to post" list....

There are several entries that are just entirely to big to comment on, that have to be read as a whole, are good when you need to find something etc. These all do not necessarily need a new post (while some do) and it is mostly just to clear up my cluttered "to write" list (228 more to go....YEAH). Anyhow here it goes:

There are several accounts of male rape victims on reddit, and with several I mean many **Trigger Warning**: IamA Requests (comments), SRS Thread and one who did not want to share in said thread, AskReddit Thread, 2 prison rape IamAs, several IamAs more in the comments.

WMST-L File Collection, an Email forum of women's studies teachers. Pretty interesting read.

"Frauengewalt" (female violence) a German source with many English quotes of DV studies. And a somewhat similar thing.

Perceived and Is Often Denied - Straus - 2009. I should probably post about that one in detail. It is the go to source for feminist critique in terms of male victimization of DV. Also, Processes Explaining the Concealment and Distortion
of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence
- 2007.

We also have the feminist position by Johnson. And the NOMAS task force link.

This is the page where the CDC has the data on their youth risk studies. I still feature a slightly older version here as the numbers do not differ that much. But for future references, this might be interesting.

Baumeister's "Is there anything good about men?". A classic.

Contemporary perspectives on masculinity. A book I will read when I have time (never).

Mensrightslinks, studies via r/mr.

The science and politics of comparing women and men.

Male Rape and Human Rights - Lara Stemple

Feminist position on privilege, oppression and power.

SRSD on sex positivity.

I collected some links on the history of women and the draft that somewhat left me nowhere.

bell hook's "Feminism is for everybody", one of those books I too want to read sometime.

"15 Intriguing Thoughts About Men, Women and Relationships" by Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

Sexismsbusters is a nice overview for issues men face.

Regender is a site that swaps male and female pronouns so one can have fun to switch those around.

There were 2 experiments where women lived like man, Nora Vincent's "Self-made Man" and "Macho like me". I want to watch / read both....sometimes. Sigh.

Female Offenders lists quite a few studies / resources.