Rape statistics: a case study in public flim-flam

A commenter on a recent thread claimed “the lifetime risk of rape for a woman [in the U.S.] is one in six…Almost everyone who deals with the issue considers that wildly too low to be realistic. But one in six is indisputable.”

No incidence of rape above zero is acceptable to me. I teach women pistol self-defense at no charge. You may correctly infer my motives from the fact that the first time a female student of mine shoots a good tight center-of-mass group, my normal mode of expressing approval is to say “That’s one dead rapist!”

Accordingly, I found this claim so disturbing that I decided to research it. What I found appears to be a classic case of unreliable statistics being oversimplified through rumor, hysteria, the telephone effect, and self-serving inflation.

Where not cited, numbers are from the Wikipedia page on rape statistics.

I found the first layer of flimflam almost immediately. The public source of the 1 in 6 number is probably the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, which actually said 1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape.

The inclusion of “attempted” rape is a clue that games were played to inflate the significance of this statistic by people using or passing it along. There are actually two levels of distortion here: one in which the categories of attempted and completed rapes are merged, and a second which trades on the listener’s tendency to equate “rape” with “forcible rape”.

In 2005, there were according to the USDOJ 191,670 reports of “rape or sexual assault” in the U.S. This is a larger category than rape or even rape plus attempts, but I’ll go with it for a first approximation most generous to CCASA.

In evaluating numbers derived from this the USDOJ figure, note that The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network defines sexual assault as “unwanted sexual contact that stops short of rape or attempted rape. This includes sexual touching and fondling”. I note that it can also include statutory rape, a notoriously elastic category which can include consensual sex between minors of similar ages.

The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male. Thus, I estimate from the USDOJ statistic that there were 174,419 reports of incidents against women in 2005.

The U.S. Department of the Census gives the U.S. population in 2005 as 296,410,404. According to the CIA World Factbook the M/F ratio in the U.S is 0.97 male/female, so women comprised 157097514 people in that population.

In 2005, then, we can approximate a woman’s risk of being the victim of a reported rape or sexual assault as 0.0012. Now, how does this convert to a lifetime risk?

I have included women at all ages in the population used to calculate the raw incidence, so I’ll simply multiply by the average female lifespan of 78 years. The thing to note is that if we picked an age range to restrict to the result we want would not change, as it would shrink the multiplier and the baseline population in the same way. So we get a lifetime incidence rate of 0.0936, or 9.3%. This is a rate of 1 in 11.

I found a web page on forcible rape rates from the 2000 U.S. census that implies an incidence of forcible rape in 1982 (the latest year they list) of 66.2 per 100K females, implying a forcible rape figure per annum risk 0.0006. This implies a lifetime incidence of 0.0468, implying a lifetime rate of about 1 in 23.

According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the most recently available rape victimization rate is 0.4 per 1000 people. Applying the 0.91 percentage of female rape victims corrects this to 0.364 per 1000, implying a lifetime incidence of 3.64 and a rate of 1 in 27 (note – I previously bobbled this and got a 1 in 29 rate.).

But what about underreporting…and, for that matter, overreporting? The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) said only 39% of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to officials. But one 1994 study in the U.S. found overeporting of 41%. A vociferous critic of that study estimated overreporting at 5.9%, and a study in Great Britain found a false-allegation rate of 8%.

The methodology of studies on underreporting and overreporting of rape is notoriously dispute-prone. For a first approximation I will combine assumptions 39% underreporting and 5.9% overreporting to reach an estimate of the the ratio between reported and actual crimes. There are reasons to suspect this is quite generous to rape alarmists, but I’ll do it anyway in order to generate the largest reasonable incidence numbers.

(r + r*0.61) – r*0.59 = r*1.00 + r*0.61 – r*0.059 = r * 1.551

How does this change our figures? From the DOJ statistics we reach a lifetime incidence of 14.41% and rate of 1 in 7. From the census data on forcible rapes, a lifetime incidence of 0.0725 and a lifetime rate of 1 in 14. From the NCVS, a lifetime incidence of 0.564 and a lifetime rate of 1 in 18.

None of these figures are compatible with “1 in 6 women will be raped”, and those least corrupted by definitional flimflam are the least compatible.

UPDATE: I am revising the end of this post, because I am persuaded that one of my formulas was in error. I will preserve the original ending in a comment.

235 thoughts on “Rape statistics: a case study in public flim-flam

  1. i tend to automatically deflate stat claims made by activists by at least a factor of three. it appears i’m overgenerous, and ten may not be too harsh.

  2. > Suppose the average chance that a woman in this highly deviant cohort will be raped increases by a factor of n. By hypothesis, if the rate outside the cohort is r, r + nr = R where R is the rate across all women. Thus, r(1+n) = R or r = R/(1+n).

    Doesn’t this depend on the size of the deviant cohort? I’d think if the “normal” population is p, and the deviant cohort population is q, then rp + nrq = R(p+q).

  3. Suppose the average chance that a woman in this highly deviant cohort will be raped increases by a factor of n. By hypothesis, if the rate outside the cohort is r, r + nr = R where R is the rate across all women.

    Surely you mean (1-c)r + cnr = R, where c is the size of the cohort relative to the whole population.

  4. > For example, if prostitutes are merely three times as likely to be raped by their pimps
    > as an average American woman is to be raped by anyone, the K in “1 in K women will
    > be raped” for non-prostitutes drops by a factor of four.”

    Doesn’t that assume that the number of prostitutes and non-prostitutes is equal?

  5. >Surely you mean (1-c)r + cnr = R, where c is the size of the cohort relative to the whole population.

    The (1-c) looks like you’re composing something else than I was trying to. But I could be wrong; I’m not a trained statistician and I did scratch my head wondering why size of the deviant cohort didn’t seem to enter. Feel free to run some numbers assuming a cohort size of 3% and 3 or some other conservative small number for n.

  6. Suppose the average chance that a woman in this highly deviant cohort will be raped increases by a factor of n. By hypothesis, if the rate outside the cohort is r, r + nr = R where R is the rate across all women.

    Say you have a population of 3 women, 1 of them, the only prostitute, gets raped.
    With your wrong formula, that would give:
    0 + 1 = 0.33

  7. I just noticed that my point seems to have been made before. Feel free to delete my comments (or at least this one).

  8. rgove and I are saying the same thing, where c = q/(p+q). His terminology is probably more correct than mine.

  9. This seems like a good place to recommend this blog.

    http://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/

    Stories and commentary from a highly intelligent retired escort/courtesan, with a focus on sex worker rights/prostitution hysteria and other types of general silliness like the subject of this post.

    On Topic: 1 in 60 seems too high to me, but I’ll concede it’s possible. 1 in 6 is laughable.

  10. > Feel free to run some numbers assuming a cohort size of 3% and 3 or some other conservative small number for n.

    (1-c)r + cnr = R
    (1-c + cn)r = R
    r = R / (1 + c(n-1))

    For c=0.03, n=3:
    r = R / (1 + 0.03*2) = R / 1.06

    So r ~= R is not an unreasonable approximation.

  11. I don’t follow this at all:

    According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the most recently available rape victimization rate is 0.4 per 1000 people. Applying the 0.97 M/F ratio, this comes out to about 0.0004 or 0.004% for women

    I don’t follow this at all. In what way are you “applying” the ratio?

    The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1999) estimated that 91% of rape victims are female and 9% are male.

    I tried to get from this rape victimization rate to a female victimization rate. To make it easier, let’s move the decimal point over a three places and work with “PPM”.
    1) Out of a million people, 400 will be rape victims.
    2) 91% of 400 is 364 female rape victims.
    3) 1,000,000/1.97=507614 of a million people are female.
    4) 364/507614=0.000717 (0.072% or 717 in a million females.)

    That’s not even close to 0.0004 or 0.004% (which aren’t the same thing). Maybe my brain is messed up by this cold or the drugs I’m taking for it, but if so, someone please tell me where I screwed up. But even taking that victimization rate over a period of 80 years, I still only get a higher lifetime rate of 5.5%

    ESR says: OK, I fixed this. I get a corrected rate of 5.63%; it barely moves the numbers.

  12. There are actually two levels of distortion here: one in which the categories of attempted and completed rapes are merged, and a second which trades on the listener’s tendency to equate “rape” with “forcible rape”.

    I think you’re being rather unfair to feminists here. I don’t recall any discussion of rape that didn’t emphasize the fact that forcible rape is vanishingly rare.

    A more common complaint is that the risk of forcible rape is exaggerated, and that fear of forcible rate imposes a substantial cost on women — they become less willing to go out at night and more reliant on male protection. (Therefore your handgun training is to be commended, since it will reduce their fear.)

  13. The concentration of crimes in a small subpopulation has huge concsequences for crime rates in the general population. It is why most of the U.S., excluding a handful of dysfunctional slum areas in large cities, has a crime profile resembling that of Switzerland.

    I’d like to point out that here, in New Zealand, our crime rate is virtually zero*.

    (*) As long as you exclude criminals from the analysis.

  14. Any good scientist knows that you can make statistics suggest whatever you want, even subconsciously. Furthermore, their use outside linear domains such as the natural sciences has not been vindicated with the passage of time, and has more to do with reinforcing existing beliefs than discovering the actual truth (which may be inaccessible).

    What’s entertaining to me is that you’re posting a critic of bad statistics right after one that gives praise to “evolutionary psychology”, another form of blatant “flim-flam”.

  15. I have been persuaded that the last step in my original reasoning was incorrect. Because I think it’s important to be honest and on the record about my errors, the rest of this comment is the original ending of the post. When I figure out how to correctly model the effect I was trying to describe and apparently overestimated, I will revise appropriately.

    But I have left the largest source of upward distortion for last.

    The biggest distortion is in the assumption that rapes are distributed evenly across potential victims. This assumption is utterly meretricious, unless once supposes (for example) the incidence of rapes perpetrated on prostitutes by their pimps is the same as that in the general population.

    From my previous study of gun-crime statistics, I learned a key fact well known to criminologists: both perpetrators and victims of violent crimes are strongly concentrated in an approximately 3% cohort of highly deviant persons who also have high rates of auto and other accidents and of drug and alcohol addiction. “Violent crimes” includes rape.

    The concentration of crimes in a small subpopulation has huge concsequences for crime rates in the general population. It is why most of the U.S., excluding a handful of dysfunctional slum areas in large cities, has a crime profile resembling that of Switzerland. The outliers are large; the average is not representative, or anywhere near it.

    Suppose the average chance that a woman in this highly deviant cohort will be raped increases by a factor of n. By hypothesis, if the rate outside the cohort is r, r + nr = R where R is the rate across all women. Thus, r(1+n) = R or r = R/(1+n).

    Actual rates outside the deviant cohort are now extremely sensitive to the value of n in a way that they are not to small changes in the raw numbers of crimes reported or estimated. This is why opponents of firearms rights always wave around national averages and evade questions about how firearms crime correlates with other forms of criminal deviance – and I think it is why peddlers of rape panic perform the same avoidance maneuver.

    The way organizations like CCASA quote lifetime risk further hides the distinction between women unlikely to get raped and women quite likely to get raped because they or their associates are high-deviants. It also hides the distinction betwee women who are raped once and women who are victims of multiple rapes. Formally, the corrections for these errors are identical.

    Even small assumptions about divergence in the high-deviant (and high-risk) subpopulation to leads to large changes in the bottom-line statistic for women outside it. For example, if prostitutes are merely three times as likely to be raped by their pimps as an average American woman is to be raped by anyone, the K in “1 in K women will be raped” for non-prostitutes drops by a factor of four.

    Under that rather gentle assumption about the behavior of pimps, the expected lifetime incidences for non-prostitutes under our three different statistical laumchg points drop to incidences of 3.60, 0.18, and 0.1348; that is, lifetime rates of 1 in 27, 1 in 55, and 1 in 76.

    I therefore conclude that oft-cited rape-incidence figures such as this “1 in 6″ are grossly inflated. They probably overstate actual rape rates outside of criminal deviant groups by about an order of magnitude.

    This error is a crime against men outside the criminal deviant group; they are made scapegoats for a behavioral pathology they have no part in. It is an even greater crime against women in the deviant group. Every dollars that goes to “rape prevention” in places and social strata where it is extremely rare is funding denied to attack the problem among women for whom rape and brutalization are more common than decent meals.

  16. Roger Phillips Says: What’s entertaining to me is that you’re posting a critic of bad statistics right after one that gives praise to “evolutionary psychology”, another form of blatant “flim-flam”.

    The politically correct love common descent, but hate natural selection – which is why in 1972 they took common descent away from Lamarck and gave it to Darwin, so that they would have a politically correct explanation of why this horrible racist with silly obsolete flim flam theories had busts all over the biology department.

    It was a choice between rewriting the history of evolutionary thought, or chiseling away all those busts of Darwin. Rewriting is less work than chiseling.

    To observe the rewrite, search google books for Lamarck and common descent before 1972, then search google books for Lamarck and common descent after 1972. The politically correct shift in the credit for common descent occurs simultaneously with the politically correct deprecation of natural selection.

  17. 1972 adjustment of the history of evolutionary thought:

    Before 1972 no one doubts that Lamarck proposed common descent.

    According to “The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia” Volume
    4, pp. 3334,
    , which tells us that Lamarckism is:
    the general body of doctrine propounded by the French
    Naturalist J.B.P.A. de Monet de Lamarck (1744-1829): the
    theory of evolution as maintained by him at the beginning
    of the nineteenth century to the effect that all plants
    and animals are descended from a common primitive form of
    life. In its fundamental principles and essential
    features Lamarckism differs from Darwinism in assuming
    that changes resulted from appetency and the active
    exertion of the organism.

    After 1972, no one respectable admits Lamarck proposed common descent: Instead, common descent is supposedly Darwin’s central big idea.

    Page 638 “Biology Today”, 1972, the first book in which the new version of history appears:
    The central claim of that book can be fairly simply
    stated. According to the Darwinian theory, any
    natural group of similar species-all the mammal
    species, for instance-owe their common mammalian
    characteristics to a common descent from a single
    ancestral mammalian species.”

    And similarly, in all respectable subsequent books appearing after 1972

    Observe that there is no mention that everyone before 1972 thought that Darwin’s big idea was natural selection.

    But, of course, with common descent being attributed to Darwin, to fill the yawning gap left by deprecating natural selection, common descent had to be taken away from Lamarck:

    Page 641 “Biology Today”, 1972

    Lamarck’s theory is not a hypothesis of common
    descent, which ascribes the common characteristics of
    a particular species to their common descent from a
    single species. He claims that mammals are produced
    by the gradual complexification of reptiles and that
    this elevation is going on constantly. Although all
    mammals are descended from reptiles, they are not
    descended from the same reptiles. Lamarck assumed
    that all mammals share certain characteristics
    because they have all reached the same genera! degree
    of organization.

    In marked contrast to Lamarck, the Darwinian theory
    was a theory of the origin of species, a theory of
    common ancestry worked out in the second third of the
    nineteenth century as an answer to certain impelling
    questions about the geographical distribution of
    species

    And similarly, in all respectable books appearing after 1972

    Well, that is what the 1972 version of “biology today” said: Let us see what the 1967 version of “Biology Today”, page 255 said:

    The modern idea of descent, as a system of branching due
    to divergence in those species descended from the same
    parent species, was expounded luminously by Lamarck,

    The abrupt rewrite of science history in 1972 reveals how Darwin and natural selection terrifies the politically correct.

  18. What’s entertaining to me is that you’re posting a critic of bad statistics right after one that gives praise to “evolutionary psychology”, another form of blatant “flim-flam”.

    [citation needed]

    To be more specific… The field is controversial in some ways but it’s not like it’s intelligent design.

  19. @Phillips–
    Any study of any aspect of any form biological life, including behavior, MUST make sense in an evolutionary context. That’s not to say that forms of psychology other than evolutionary are useless, but the evolutionary scientists should get veto over what goes in the textbooks, just like they deserve in every other field of biology.

    (Not that that I’m a researcher in any field myself…)

  20. I think that one part of all the flim-flam and bad statistics comes from the confusion around the word “rape”. Some of the confusion being deliberate. This word has several meanings: Violent crime, illegal sex, sexual abuse, and sometimes even sexual assault. Your wildly diverging numbers point this out.

    I assume you write here about non-consensual intercourse (any insertion anywhere) by coercion (force, threat, or incapacitated). Which would include the rare “raped in the dark by a stranger”, but also date-rapes, sexual abuse by family and friends, rape by a husband, and sex workers raped by a client or pimp etc.

    It would exclude all consensual sex as rape (which might be very objectionable or illegal for other reasons) and exclude all failed attempts, which can be traumatic, too.

    It is obvious that any numbers will be extremely unreliable.

    Rape inside marriage or by a live in partner, rapes of sex workers, and date rapes are all extremely difficult to prove. We know from the history of child abuse and sexual harassment at work that there is a culture (world-wide) of blaming and punishing the woman whenever she complains. On the other hand, after recognition of a form of abuse, we also see over-reporting for personal reasons. So we can expect all numbers to be suspect. The fact that the distribution of such crimes follow some long-tail statistical distribution, eg, Zipf, is common. Just as most money ends up in the hand of few people, most crimes are targeted at few people. Mean income does not tell you what most people earn, mean crime rate does not tell you what most people experience.

    Btw, if the most of the USA has a crime rate of Switzerland, what do you think the crime rate in most of Switzerland will be? Because the distribution of crime in Swizerland is just as uneven as that in the USA.

  21. @Max E
    “Any study of any aspect of any form biological life, including behavior, MUST make sense in an evolutionary context.”

    Indeed. But you go too far to say that we already know that sense. Sometimes things go wrong because of engineering cutting corners. And while there is a reason your car can break down in a specific moment, that reason was unlikely a result of making the car better, but likely the result of a trade off to cut cost.

    So sometimes, people do the wrong things because evolutionary, it did not pay off to prevent these errors. (Young) men are strongly focused on sex, which has obvious evolutionary significance. The fact that some use violence might simply be an unintended evolutionary consequence that should be handled (deterred) by society as natural selection did not weed it out.

  22. To clarify, I didn’t mean “every behavior makes sense as an evolutionary advantage.” But I do assert that every model of how a species’ behavior changes over time must always make sense as an evolutionary advantage.

  23. pete: “I think you’re being rather unfair to feminists here. I don’t recall any discussion of rape that didn’t emphasize the fact that forcible rape is vanishingly rare.”

    That doesn’t sound quite the feminists I’ve read– they say that the prototypical rape by a stranger is very rare– what I’ve seen said is much more like Winter’s account.

    Research on rapists– two studies, both find that the proportion of rapists is pretty low, a lot of them are multiple and deliberate rapists, and it isn’t a matter of criminal subculture, it’s a matter of looking for the most vulnerable women.

  24. >it isn’t a matter of criminal subculture, it’s a matter of looking for the most vulnerable women.

    You should think again. Where are women going to be more vulnerable en masse than places where a criminal subculture is effectively running things and the cultural norms protecting women have broken down?

  25. To be more specific… The field is controversial in some ways but it’s not like it’s intelligent design.

    . The social sciences, psychology etc suffer from the narrative fallacy, a lack of good experiments and very low long-term validity. They have a poor track record of getting the truth right over the long term, and so there is no reason to believe their methods work. The only thing distinguishing evolutionary psychology from this sorry lot is the fact that it makes questionable appeals to the theory of evolution. Same nonsense, but with a whole lot of narrative garbage about ancestral life with which to form even less testable hypotheses with.

  26. >Same nonsense, but with a whole lot of narrative garbage about ancestral life with which to form even less testable hypotheses with.

    You know, you really ought to read some of the primary research before popping off like that. The Cosmides & Tooby anthology I cited previously is stuffed with excellent examples of using evo-bio reasoning to generate hypotheses that are novel, generative, and testable.

  27. … and there I was, think that Eric’s blog couldn’t be less palatable.

    Looks like I was wrong again.

  28. pete: “I think you’re being rather unfair to feminists here. I don’t recall any discussion of rape that didn’t emphasize the fact that forcible rape is vanishingly rare.”

    Nancy: “That doesn’t sound quite the feminists I’ve read– they say that the prototypical rape by a stranger is very rare– what I’ve seen said is much more like Winter’s account.”

    Am I missing the distinction between what I said and what you and Winter report? As far as I can tell we’re saying the same thing.

  29. Eric, one study found 6% or the college students surveyed and the other found about 8% of the Navy men surveyed had committed rape. I admit was taking “criminal subculture” to be something relatively isolated from the larger society. Perhaps that’s not what you had in mind?

    Pete: There’s a difference between forcible rape (which can be done by a partner or an acquaintance) and rape by a stranger.

  30. To be less OT, I suppose I should expand a little on what I just said.

    It seems to me that this post (and the previous 2) by Eric are continuations of a theme that Eric has been developing on this blog for some time, relating to masculinity and its role in contemporary (USA) culture. It seems Eric wishes to both celebrate a “warrior-hero” masculine aesthetic and to denigrate what is perceived as the emasculating effect of contemporary “political correctness” on real men (by which Eric seems to mean sheep dogs who carry guns, eat barbeque and hate soft French cheese).

    I know I don’t have to read it – and I sure don’t have to post comments about it – and it is of course Eric’s blog to use as he sees fit, but I can’t help but feel that all of this “super-men” carry on significantly cheapens what is otherwise a usually interesting and thought-provoking blog.

  31. @Nancy: I meant what you said, thanks for clarifying that. Given his comments about guns I had assumed that esr was referring to stranger rape as “forcible rape”.

    @esr:

    I found the first layer of flimflam almost immediately. The public source of the 1 in 6 number is probably the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, which actually said 1 of 6 U.S. women has experienced an attempted or completed rape.

    I’m not sure why Wikipedia cites CCASA; they should cite the National Violence Against Women Survey directly. According to the survey most of the reported rapes were completed — the incidence only drops to 1/7 if failed rapes are excluded.

  32. @Tom
    “by which Eric seems to mean sheep dogs who carry guns, eat barbeque and hate soft French cheese”

    I see it more as the moral struggles of a man who adores the Vikings and their mentality (aka, Icelanders), but has rather absolute morals on property, liberty, free speech, and violence against women. There are obvious challenges with the morals of the historical Vikings.

    That is, he wants to modernize the Viking legal and moral thinking without losing their Warrior spirit. While I do not subscribe to any glorification of violence or Vikings in general, I find this struggle fascinating. And indeed, you can simply skip any such post.

    And wrt soft French cheese. Ever taken home a Limburgian Red cheese? They are delicious, but take a rather strong stomach to smell, and most likely a separate fridge in a separate building.

  33. @Winter
    > Ever taken home a Limburgian Red cheese?

    Actually, no … but some of my favourite memories of Paris are the stinky cheeseshops!

    @esr
    I just had a quick scroll through the survey linked by Pete. It’s pretty frightening reading.

  34. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of critiques out there of the National Violence against Women survey, Tom.

    I hate to burst your bubble, but it’s a political, not scientific, document.

  35. >It seems Eric wishes to both celebrate a “warrior-hero” masculine aesthetic and to denigrate what is perceived as the emasculating effect of contemporary “political correctness” on real men (by which Eric seems to mean sheep dogs who carry guns, eat barbeque and hate soft French cheese)

    Er, this should not exactly be breaking news. I promote this “aesthetic” because I think falling away from it has had high and terrible costs for men, women, and our entire civilization. It’s OK to like soft cheese, though.

  36. One rape is one too many. But there are two sides to this issue. Less then half of the rapes filed officially with the police ever occurred. That is the “victim” lied for some reason. About 1/3 of convicted rapists committed no crime. They were charged and convicted and are innocent. More then half of the legitimate “rape” statistics are in fact consenual sex invloving a female under the age of 18. While underage sex may be something we want to reduce I fail to see how charging 16 year old boys with rape for having sex with their 16 year old girlfriend accomplishes anything good. And all of these so-called “rapes” are included in the inflated statistics.
    I suggest that if a man is wrongly accused/convicted of rape that it is a “rape” of him and anyone knowingly participating in this should go to jail charged with rape. For example the prosecutor in the Duke case as well as the dancer who made the charge of rape should have gone to jail with the same sentence that the players faced.
    I further suggest that we reinstate the constitutional rights of the accused and begin again to use the same laws of evidence that are used in all other criminal cases.

  37. >That is, he wants to modernize the Viking legal and moral thinking without losing their Warrior spirit. While I do not subscribe to any glorification of violence or Vikings in general, I find this struggle fascinating.

    This is not quite right. My interest is not quite so strongly centered on the Vikings as it might imply; there are equally interesting models of masculinity stretching from Greco-Roman stoicism to American frontier culture. What is most interesting is not the idiosyncracies of any one culture but what all of these have to say in common about the meaning and purpose of masculinity.

    This concerns me because, having forgotten that wisdom for various historically contingent reasons, we are now suffering a multitude of psychological and social pathologies as a result. Many of them center on the failure of men not taught a stoic/warrior ethic to develop a strong internal locus of control. The results are frequently devastating to women and children.

    Also, it’s overdramatizing to say that I’m “struggling”, as though I have major unresolved conflicts about all this. I don’t, and haven’t since I learned the fundamentals of the wisdom from Robert Heinlein decades ago; the struggle, to the extent I feel one, is simply to articulate these values effectively in a culture which dismisses and sneers at them.

  38. >GoneWithTheWind, what’s the source of your numbers?

    I too would like to know this. I suspect that false rape accusations are relatively common for various a-priori reasons, but have not been able to discover evidence of any solid quality that would either support that suspicion or refute it.

  39. @esr
    “Also, it’s overdramatizing to say that I’m “struggling”, as though I have major unresolved conflicts about all this. ”

    It is overdramatizing, and that was on purpose ;-)

    But I think a struggle it is. Power always causes moral struggles.

    If there is one message I get from the Jasmine revolution in the Arabic world, that would be that the future of the world is based on women’s power. And any man only now contemplating how to fit into that world is rather late already.

  40. >If there is one message I get from the Jasmine revolution in the Arabic world, that would be that the future of the world is based on women’s power.

    Why? Women don’t seem to be playing a significant role in any of these. This is actually an interesting change from the wave of post-Soviet popular movements – and, for close comparison, the anti-Syrian one in Lebanon – in which women did have leading roles.

    Women’s power alone won’t usher in a brighter future for the very simple reason that boys do not socialize properly without strong male role models. You go that route, you end up with places like Detroit; wastelands populated by swarms of feral man-children.

  41. Eric:

    I’m not as good at the math as you are (my statistical training was only at the college algebra level, and consisted of one mathcourse, and one applications course), and I know you aren’t a statistician anyway. But what you will quickly find the more you look into this is that the numbers are all over the place in part due to the politicization of rape in the early 1970′s. The “one in 4″ or “one in 6″ numbers are moving targets that don’t even always deal with the same population of women, length of time, etc. Your intuition that there is alot of “telephone” going on, is a good one.
    See here:http://ncfm.org/libraryfiles/Children/rape/greer.pdf
    Which traces how Susan Brownmiller’s 2 percent claim became widely sourced and spread as a “fact” about false accusations of rape.

    It gets remarkably complicated because of differences in laws (though most agree on what constitutes rape in the US there is some variation regarding forceful components, etc, in Britain, rape is legally defined so that it can never be done to man, so obviously it varies more among countries), differences in techniques for data collection, differences in interpretation, number mismatches (expected vs observed) as eluded in that earlier thread on your blog, and for many other reasons.

    Should you wish to examine sexual or regular violence again the in the future ( I know how busy you are) I recommend the following 4 places:

    A. http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/
    Feminist Critics is probably the most “fair” place I’ve found for these issues on the web. For instance, while they slaughter Brownmiller, they uphold Koss’s studies. They seem to look for good studies as opposed to picking a side and choosing studies to confirm it.
    B. http://www.mediaradar.org/
    Though they are an advocacy organization , they don’t identity as Mens Rights or Feminist. I find they seem to be honest and they have some really useful stuff such as this examination of your states domestic violence laws which explains what they contain and their possibility for being abused: http://www.mediaradar.org/docs/RADARreport-Ranking-of-States-DV-Laws.pdf
    C: http://amptoons.com/blog/
    From a feminist perspective, but Barry is mostly fair and has slightly modified his views on various aspects of rape and domestic violence over the years. While it’s not the focus of his blog he has done probably around 20 posts on sexual violence that examine things such as the above National Violence against Women Survey, incidences of false rape, and etc. He’s also done a good ten or so on the so-called (and I believe from years of looking into it, largely imaginary) pay gap, though he defends it as ably as he can.
    D. http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/
    THE ONLY PLACE as far as I know on the web, that makes it a point to talk about and publicize false rape allegations and their impacts on the *mostly* men and boys they are done to. Written by a lawyer, has a bunch of links along the side about underreporting, the Hofstra false rape claim, and etc. Partisan, but since it’s the only place I know that does what it does (the innocence project works at getting people out of jail for all types of crimes and doesn’t really fight for victims of false complaints or police misconduct) it’s an invaluable resource.

    Anyway, I am going to try to stay away from this topic for now. I find your blog fascinating, and like you, I’m usually into the more technical stuff.
    P.S. I saw you at Balticon.

    Clarence

  42. @Tom

    “It seems Eric wishes to both celebrate a “warrior-hero” masculine aesthetic and to denigrate what is perceived as the emasculating effect of contemporary “political correctness” on real men (by which Eric seems to mean sheep dogs who carry guns, eat barbeque and hate soft French cheese).”

    Well, Tom, ultimately our culture will celebrate *someone.* I’d rather it be men like you describe than men like Colin Goddard, who in the midst of the VT massacre played dead so as to cause the shooter to kill others rather than himself, and who now portrays himself as a victim in order to demand that 2nd Amendment rights be further restricted.

    Also, your comments on barbeque and soft French cheese show your own inflated self-image: you love soft French cheese and hate barbeque, so you are an intellectual powerhouse! If you had any knowledge of the 2nd Amendment movement, you’d know that, by and large, they reject the “guns as machismo” outlook, stating specifically that guns equalize things for the benefit of women and weaker men. Were you aware that one of the most popular groups in the 2A movement is Pink Pistols, a group of gays who want to liberalize gun laws so that they can defend themselves against bullies?

    Basically, as far as I can tell, you think it more “mature” to accept your weakness in the face of violent men attacking others than to take responsibility for the situation.

  43. @ Ken
    Actually, I love barbecue. I just don’t think it is the saviour of Western civilisation.

    You do touch on an interesting issue, though. I think you’re correct that part of what I find distasteful about the masculine aesthetic promoted by Eric is that it’s essentially an adolescent attitude.

    To unpack that a little, to me the focus on real men having sex and demonstrating the ability to do violence to others seems to me to completely miss an entire sphere of masculine responsibility, which is the role of fathering one’s children.

    Being a father requires strength, love and the ability to prioritise the needs of others over your own. In other words, maturity.

  44. @esr
    “Women’s power alone won’t usher in a brighter future for the very simple reason that boys do not socialize properly without strong male role models. ”

    Not a brighter future. But the economic growth in Asia is mostly fueled by the recruitment of young women to work. One reason for the backwardness of the Arabic world is their failure to recruit women for work. But even there women are starting to become indispensable for income.

    The uprising in Tunisia was to a large extend driven by women (as told by Tunisians). The did play a prominent role in Egypt, all though less. And world wide, women are outpacing men in education. In many European countries, women already outnumber men in higher education.

  45. In 2005, then, we can approximate a woman’s risk of being the victim of a reported rape or sexual assault as 0.0012. Now, how does this convert to a lifetime risk?
    I have included women at all ages in the population used to calculate the raw incidence, so I’ll simply multiply by the average female lifespan of 78 years. The thing to note is that if we picked an age range to restrict to the result we want would not change, as it would shrink the multiplier and the baseline population in the same way. So we get a lifetime incidence rate of 0.0936, or 9.3%. This is a rate of 1 in 11.

    Wait, you’re going to multiply the risk for a single year by the number of years? Doesn’t that allow for lifetime probabilities greater than 100% (if the per-year risk was sufficiently high–greater than 1/78, in this particular case)?

    Shouldn’t you be doing something like 1-(1-r)**78? Or am I misunderstanding what “lifetime risk” means?

  46. ESR says: OK, I fixed this. I get a corrected rate of 5.63%; it barely moves the numbers.

    Indeed. But it’s important that our side not get anything wrong, or the Left will seize upon the tiniest error as proof that your conclusion is completely unjustified. Call it “peer review in real time” or “open source statistical analysis”. The resulting product, after we’ve tried to pick your piece apart, should be solid.

    Oddly, this same standard does not apply to them. They can “hide the decline” and repeat a certain “trick” to massage their numbers, and there’s nothing to see here; move along. When your goal is to “increase awareness” of some evil, cooking the books to exaggerate the scope thereof is not only hunky, but downright dory. When you challenge their bogus numbers, you are somehow an “apologist” for the perpetrators of that evil. Now, Tom managed to word his objection rather obliquely. He didn’t come right out and say “ESR wants to go back to a culture that allows a man to rape a woman whenever he wants with impunity!” But there’s a strong whiff of it between the lines there.

    When I discuss the insanity of “statutory rape” laws that make purely consensual sex between people who are biologically mature men and women, but at least one party has failed to reach some legislatively-defined age of consent, people accuse me of wanting to “go soft on criminals” if not being some kind of perv myself.

    That I vividly recall being 20 years old when a girl who appeared to have all the right parts in all the right places, and rather disappointed to find out the ring on my left hand was in fact a wedding ring, disclosed to me that she was in fact 14, makes it very easy for me to have empathy for people on Registered Sex Offender lists today. But when you propose separating out “Romeo and Juliet” cases, it’s like you personally killed Jon-Benet Ramsey.

  47. Strictly speaking you are correct, but multiplying is a reasonable approximation for per-interval probabilities much smaller than the inverse number of intervals.

  48. Shouldn’t you be doing something like 1-(1-r)**78? Or am I misunderstanding what “lifetime risk” means?

    That’s the right way to figure it.

  49. One concern I have with Mr. Raymond’s conclusion is that it overlooks many cases of rape that are not violent crimes perpetrated by strangers on helpless women. Equating rape only with brutalization is simplistic, at least in my view, and does not deal with a larger problem, namely, that our culture and even the way we talk about rape tends to apologize or excuse sexual coercion on the part of the male. Nobody has much problem sympathizing with a rape victim who is attacked by a perfect stranger, but they do seem to have problems identifying with a young woman who has been raised to believe that her only worth is sexual and that she can only be important and valuable to a man if she has sex with him. That is rape, too: unwanted sexual contact that is obtained through pressure, coercion, or threat. And as a woman, I tend to condemn men who prey on women with low self-esteem, who might be convinced to yield sex more easily because they do not separate their self-worth from their genitalia.

    I am not challenging the math that you have done here – I think it is important for anybody to understand the statistics behind rape, no matter what your aim is. Conflation of statistical data is a common problem, and rape awareness campaigns are not immune. It is an emotional topic, making objective analysis difficult. But I think that it is also important to recognize that rape has many more forms than just violent interaction, and that men who do not fit the “deviant” stereotype are also capable of pressuring a woman into having sex against her will without actual physical violence – which is still rape.

    Feel free to challenge my view; again, as a woman, I may be reacting a bit more sensitively than is properly warranted by a post on statistical analysis of rape data.

  50. Shouldn’t you be doing something like 1-(1-r)**78? Or am I misunderstanding what “lifetime risk” means?

    1 – (1-r)**n = 1 – [1 - nr +o(r**2)] ~= nr (for small n, by the binomial theorem)

  51. 1 – (1-r)**n = 1 – [1 - nr +o(r**2)] ~= nr (for small r, by the binomial theorem)

  52. “Any study of any aspect of any form biological life, including behavior, MUST make sense in an evolutionary context.”

    Sorry, but: what? So are you saying there is absolutely nothing to more discover in the field of evolution, and therefore any _future_ discoveries of psychology must make sense in the _current_ state of knowledge about evolution, or are you saying that psychological research is for some reason naturally slower than the research of evolution? This just doesn’t make any sense to me. IMHO every scientific theory must win or lose on its own merits or faults and not be straightjacketed by any other theory which we take for granted – because we can never take for granted we have discover all aspects and details of that other one. Really, what I don’t ever want repeated is that shameful period in the XIX. century that “things heavier than air can’t fly because our current knowledge says so and our current knowledge is almost perfect, we already know everything”.

  53. “The social sciences, psychology etc suffer from the narrative fallacy, a lack of good experiments and very low long-term validity.”

    It is a mistake to judge social sciences by the standards of natural ones. The original problem was mistranslating the very term: they aren’t “social” sciences, but “human sciences” or “sciences of the spirit”, Geisteswissenschaften, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Dilthey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geisteswissenschaft (the original English term was “moral sciences” see f.e. J.S. Mill)

    The human sciences are supposed to show things from another point of view. While the natural sciences show things from the viewpoint of an objective observer, the human sciences try to make us understand things from the subjective viewpoint of other people. Thus, good history is all about figuring out why Julius Caesar might have done this or that, and “why” means “what could he have had in his mind”. Thus, good economics describes how and why people make economic decisions – what is in their minds.

    Good human sciences are rare these days, because they were contaminated either by a dishonest imitation of the methods of the natural sciences which generally don’t work in these fields, or by having been hijacked by political convictions. Nevertheless, this was the original idea and this is the essence of it, regardless of that that most of it today is is not so.

  54. Thoughtful, I don’t think I’d call the scenario you describe rape, though I agree that dragging oneself into sex one doesn’t want is a very bad thing. We need a more complete vocabulary.

    However, there’s an intermediate scenario between violent stranger rape (the kind where a gun might be a useful defense) and the situation where a woman has been trained out of knowing what she wants– simply being outstrengthed by someone she knows and possibly has a sexual relationship with, and I do call that rape.

    There’s a book called Yes Means Yes which advocates for a standard of enthusiastic consent rather than technical consent. I remember it as being good, but it’s been long enough since I’ve read it that I’m not giving it an absolute recommendation– still, it’s probably worth looking into.

  55. >Thoughtful, I don’t think I’d call the scenario you describe rape, though I agree that dragging oneself into sex one doesn’t want is a very bad thing. We need a more complete vocabulary.

    That was going to be exactly my response. Feminists assimilated relatively minor forms of nonconsexual sexual contact to ‘rape’ as a propaganda maneuver to socially stigmatize them, but the effect has been to make it difficult to take claims about the prevalence of ‘rape’ seriously.

    This is eerily parallel to what the soi-disant human-rights community has more recently done with ‘torture’. The effects are similarly corrosive. In both cases, the fix is similar: more precise distinctions, and an end to confusing a groped breast with ‘rape’ or humiliating deployment of female underwear with ‘torture’.

  56. That was going to be exactly my response. Feminists assimilated relatively minor forms of nonconsexual sexual contact to ‘rape’ as a propaganda maneuver to socially stigmatize them, but the effect has been to make it difficult to make claims about the prevalence of ‘rape’ seriously.

    Assimilating less serious (but still immoral) acts into the definition of ‘rape’ is a poor tactical decision because it allows lazy thinkers to dismiss your arguments against more serious acts.

    However, use of such tactics by some feminists does not excuse lazy thinking in response. Similarly, if some liberals complain about ‘humiliating deployment of female underwear’, that doesn’t mean that stress positions or isolation aren’t ‘torture’.

  57. >Being a father requires strength, love and the ability to prioritise the needs of others over your own. In other words, maturity.

    I’m not biologically a father. But if you think I’ve never had to manifest “strength, love and the ability to prioritise the needs of others over your own”, consider my previous post on facing your inner alpha and consider the path I chose with respect to Class Eleutheria.

    Leadership, to remain sound and healthy, has to be grounded in service to something other than the ego of the leader. This sounds like a moral claim, but it’s actually an almost mechanical consequence of the psychological wiring of human beings. Ego-centered leadership rapidly becomes unstable and self-destructive, not infrequently leading to insanity in the leader. We’re seeing the final stages of this sort of degeneration in Libya right now.

    As a leader, you have to take care of your people. Not just because that’ s the right things to do but because it’s how you maintain your own sanity under the pressure. “Maturity”, as you define it, is not an option – it’s a requirement.

  58. esr:

    While not all good leaders make good fathers (for some reason, some just can’t find those traits in them when it comes to a helpless but boring infant/child as opposed to someone they can respect on the battlefield) I’m willing to bet that most good leaders at squad level or below make excellent fathers and husbands. I never really thought of it that way until I saw both your comment and the one you responded to and put them together. I don’t remember much of your personal life ( I wikied you once) but I don’t recall you ever having a child. It’s rather sad in a way because I think you’d make a good father. Still, from your recent post on “alpha” I think, at least , it’s been YOUR choice.

  59. Nancy,

    Yeah–I know. In fact, there are even serial victims.

    I’m pretty sure it’s bogus to have them contribute N>1 times to a `% risk’ statistic, though; if we had 2 people to count, 1 of them had zero incidents, and the other had an incident every day for a year, that wouldn’t make the average risk between them 18250% for that year, or 1423500% `lifetime risk’. It seems like that’s just squashing too many dimensions down into one–re-quantising?

    It does make the chance of making it through the year incident-free 100% for the one and 0% for the other, though….

  60. @rozzin:

    Statisticians distinguish between prevalence (how many people are raped) and incidence (how many rapes occur).

    The 1/7 statistic from the NVAWS is for prevalence — they’re not counting serial victims twice.

  61. pete,

    I guess the actual difference (less than 5%) in the result is smaller than the amount of uncertainty in any of the input stats….

    It’s just that, when I see someone of esr’s general calibre picking what looks like a fudge-formula in preference to a more true one with a negligible cost-difference, I start thinking `Hunh? Am I missing something?’; Nancy’s response inclines me to think that I’m not alone on that. ?

  62. esr says that he’s calculating incidence, in which case nr is the correct formula. 1 - (1-r)**n is the correct formula for prevalence (assuming independence).

    Prevalence is probably the relevant parameter here.

    The distinction between prevalence and incidence doesn’t usually occur to people unless they’ve been exposed to it in STAT101. Also, the post was apparently written late at night. So I think we can forgive esr for not distinguishing the two.

  63. Aha, so that’s why people don’t use nice-to-the-eyes spacing in their formulae.

    Incidence: nr
    Prevalence: 1-(1-r)**n

  64. @ esr
    > As a leader, you have to take care of your people. Not just because that’ s the right things to do but because it’s how you maintain your own sanity under the pressure. “Maturity”, as you define it, is not an option – it’s a requirement.

    I don’t doubt for a moment that is true. And I admire the leadership role you have very successfully played for the open source software community in particular.

    But the point I was trying to make is that your specific espousals of masculine virtue omit (or at the very least heavily discount) any requirement for a man to love and nurture others. Being a good father and being a good leader share some characteristics but differ in others.

    To be clear, I do not think one has to be a biological father to demonstrate this ability – but it is interesting to me that fatherhood does not seem to be central to your conception of masculinity, whereas to me it is central.

  65. >it is interesting to me that fatherhood does not seem to be central to your conception of masculinity

    I’ve said over and over again that the center of masculine duty is to protect the weaker, to be strong for those who can’t be strong themselves. That the center of leadership is a duty of service. That right behavior derives from putting women and children first; it has to be that way or the kin-group and the nation and the species die.

    But because I don’t wax rhapsodic about changing diapers, or whatever symptomata of ‘fatherhood’ you have in mind, you nevertheless think fatherhood is not central to my conception of masculinity. The obvious conclusion from this is that you are a blithering idiot incapable of seeing past the end of your own nose.

  66. > But because I don’t wax rhapsodic about changing diapers, or whatever symptomata of ‘fatherhood’ you have in mind, you nevertheless think fatherhood is not central to my conception of masculinity.

    Nope, that’s not it.

    You clearly have a strong sense of service – of duty – and this is of course a significant part of fatherhood. I do not mean to imply otherwise.

    But – at least to me – the more important ingredient is love, which is
    what I, blithering idiot that I am, have apparently failed to communicate.

  67. >But – at least to me – the more important ingredient is love, which is
    what I, blithering idiot that I am, have apparently failed to communicate

    No. Instead, you have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of immaturity, and characterize the ethos of masculinity I advocate as ‘adolescent’. You can’t even keep the basis of your unmerited insults internally consistent, let alone related to facts.

  68. Yes, I think the ethos of masculinity you advocate has dangerous blind spots and, yes, is adolescent in concept.

    However, I did not intend to accuse you of immaturity and I apologize for the offence which you appear to have taken.

    (I have re-read my comments in this thread and am struggling to find any insults in my comments, unmerited or otherwise. You obviously disagree.)

  69. I remember a post of yours that claimed that, for the obvious evolutionary reasons, society values fertile women above tribe elders above young men.

    Your posts on masculinity appear to emphasize a willingness to meet violence with violence — an expendable young man’s role. While you also the virtues of being a tribal elder, it’s not in the context on masculinity.

    To the extent that your conception of masculinity emphasises adolescent roles, it’s fair to describe that conception as ‘adolescent’.

  70. Eric, it’s unfortunate when there’s that sort of expanded definition. Still, it didn’t happen by accident– there was and is a long history of women being told not to take various sorts of sexual intrusion seriously at all.

    This has contributed to rape because a lot of rape starts with the testing of boundaries rather than simple physical over-powering.

    Also, there are plenty of women who aren’t sure whether they’re entitled to object to actual rape because they aren’t sure whether they should care about being forced into doing what they didn’t want.

    As for torture, I believe you draw the line drastically in the wrong place and chose inappropriate examples for mockery.

    How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq should be of interest as a description of how competent rational interrogation gets done.

    And, to tie the topics back together…. it’s a better model of masculinity and/or maturity than the idea that you can do what you please (short of permanent damage) to prisoners because you hate them.

  71. @pete
    “Your posts on masculinity appear to emphasize a willingness to meet violence with violence”

    I agree with your criticism. To bring this back on topic, I feel a sense of understanding that guns solve women’s problems with rape.

    But a woman’s problems are not solved after she killed the son of the neighbors, an uncle, cousin, classmate, or teacher. Killing people might be considered the lesser evil, but it is never unproblematic.

  72. Hmm.
    I wasn’t aware the role of a soldier was an “adolescent” role.

    Sounds like a rather limited and sick insult towards soldiers to me. Not worshipping force is one thing; denying its necessity and reducing the risking of one’s life to “adolescence”..wow.

  73. @Clarence:

    There’s a difference between being willing to risk your life as a soldier if necessary and making that willingness the core of your sexual identity. Calling the latter ‘adolescent’ doesn’t mean I don’t admire the former.

  74. @ Clarence

    To be clear, I described as “adolescent” the sort of warrior-worship mentality that I fear can easily slip into advocating violence as the solution to (most) problems.

    I have nothing but the deepest respect for the young servicemen and -women who risk their lives in combat (whether or not you or I happen to agree with the politics of their deployment in a given case).

  75. >Yes, I think the ethos of masculinity you advocate has dangerous blind spots and, yes, is adolescent in concept.

    Then your blithering-idiot status is confirmed. “Adolescent in concept” cannot be stretched to cover an ethos in which protection and service to others is a core principle.

  76. >To the extent that your conception of masculinity emphasises adolescent roles, it’s fair to describe that conception as ‘adolescent’.

    That “to the extent of” is a nice attempt at weasel-wording. Now you can join tmcajavaney in the idiots’ corner.

  77. >To bring this back on topic, I feel a sense of understanding that guns solve women’s problems with rape.

    Of course they don’t. But they give her a powerful range of choices she didn’t have before, including a credible threat to kill that may deter the attempt. And at worst, she gets to choose between the problem of having been raped and the problem of having killed in self-defense, which is far better than no choice at all.

  78. >And, to tie the topics back together…. it’s a better model of masculinity and/or maturity than the idea that you can do what you please (short of permanent damage) to prisoners because you hate them.

    I have never proposed such an idea. Indeed, if you’ll read the comments attached to the post on defining torture, you’ll see that I explicitly rejected such a theory.

  79. That “to the extent of” is a nice attempt at weasel-wording. Now you can join tmcajavaney in the idiots’ corner.

    Insults instead of arguments. Par for the course I guess.

  80. @esr
    “which is far better than no choice at all.”

    Having a choice is good. But I think most people would prefer a choice in ways to prevent problems above a choice whether or not to shoot relatives and acquaintances. Somehow, options in this direction do not seem to come up in this discussion.

  81. But I think most people would prefer a choice in ways to prevent problems above a choice whether or not to shoot relatives and acquaintances.

    Gaining the ability to defend one’s self does not preclude also gaining other abilities that can help prevent problems.

    But the ability and willingness to shoot in defense is not simply adding the choice of shooting someone. Do you suppose that knowing someone has a gun and is willing to use it to defend herself provides just a little bit of deterrence to someone contemplating coercing a relative or acquaintance into submitting to a sexual encounter? Do you think maybe that knowledge adds a bit of heft to her saying “No!” when he starts trying to force himself on her? Do you think that feeling empowered rather than weak will encourage her to assert herself sooner in the process, and head off a “kill or be raped” scenario?

    Weakness does not promote peace. It encourages aggression.

    Somehow, options in this direction do not seem to come up in this discussion.

    Well, you’ve raised the sub-topic: What do you propose in the way of problem prevention other than strengthening the potential victims?

  82. @pete
    > While you also the virtues of being a tribal elder, it’s not in the context on masculinity.

    There appears to be a verb missing here–I can think of a few that fit, which did you mean?

  83. @The Monster
    “Well, you’ve raised the sub-topic: What do you propose in the way of problem prevention other than strengthening the potential victims?”

    In the USA, I would not really know. All I know from the US is old and originates from movies and TV, books like “Boys will be boys”. Mostly, that is indicating that there was a culture of, indeed, boys will be boys quite some time ago.

    Where I live there are campaigns to make girls aware of dangers like date rape drugs and “lover boys” (aggressive pimps targeting vulnerable school girls), procedures against sexual harassment, and other policies to get women to seek help when they feel threatened, and education of law enforcement to act effectively. Too much of this is still needed. I have no clue about the effectiveness of all these policies.

    Women do not carry guns here (it is illegal), but we do not have a higher rape incidence as far as I know. So if women carry around guns in the US, that does not seem to make a difference in the statistics.

  84. >So if women carry around guns in the US, that does not seem to make a difference in the statistics.

    In fact, we have on-the-ground evidence that it does. There was an epidemic of rapes in Florida in 1971-72 to which the state responded with a serious program to encourage concealed carry among at-risk females. The effect on the rape statistics was dramatic.

    Longitudinal studies of firearms laws and crime patterns have since shown that, while civilian concealed carry has a measurable suppressive effect on all violent crimes (including for example hot burglaries and felonious assault), the suppressive effect on rape is the most pronounced of all.

  85. All I know from the US is old and originates from movies and TV, books like “Boys will be boys”. Mostly, that is indicating that there was a culture of, indeed, boys will be boys quite some time ago.

    So all you know is what our entertainment industry tells you? Then you know less than nothing.

  86. @The Monster
    “So all you know is what our entertainment industry tell Then you know less than nothing.”

    It is not that bad, but essentially that is true.

    Which is why I am not in the habit of telling others how they should run their country.

    So I would not dream of telling you how to handle crime prevention or taxes.

  87. @esr
    “Longitudinal studies of firearms laws and crime patterns have since shown that, while civilian concealed carry has a measurable suppressive effect on all violent crimes (including for example hot burglaries and felonious assault), the suppressive effect on rape is the most pronounced of all. The Monster Says:”

    I do not want to get into an endless and useless discussion on guns. My point was that countries where carrying guns is illegal have no higher incidences of violent crimes. So, on a national level I do nt see much benefit.

  88. >My point was that countries where carrying guns is illegal have no higher incidences of violent crimes. So, on a national level I do nt see much benefit.

    Different countries have different baseline levels of criminality. The baseline varies according to factors such as ethnic homogeneity (decreases it) population size (increases it) and urbanization (increases it). This is why attempting to draw conclusions from comparisons about crime statistics is usually futile unless you are careful to do comparisons where confounding variables are equal.

    Thus, in this particular case, “countries where carrying guns is illegal have no higher incidences of violent crimes” would be an observation with very little predictive power even if it were true. You need to be comparing areas with the same baseline rates for the effects of legal civilian weapons not to be swamped by confounding variables, which is why the methodologically correct thing to do is longitudinal studies looking for before- and after-effects of changes in legal and cultural rules on civilian weapons.

  89. @esr

    “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Ernest Rutherford

    If so much statistic rigor is needed, how strong will the effect be? And why should a Japanese trust that their minimal crime rate will reduce further if they introduce widespread gun carrying? Because it works in the states? Why donn’t you introduce the Japanese system which seems to work very good? Because you say it won’t work in the states. So why would your solution work elsewhere?

    Your argument runs one of detterrance. If you are right, the same effect could be achieved by better police work and a change in the cost/benefit of crime.

    The downside of self selecting longitudal studies is that the results can only be extrapolated with difficulty to other groups.

  90. Things being done to make rape less likely– I don’t know how effective they are, but they might help.

    “No means no”– an effort to convince men that “no” should be taken seriously. I don’t know whether you’d count that as strengthening potential victims– I think that people are more likely to speak up if they believe they’re likely to be heard.

    Suggestion in re predator rapists– a campaign (so far as I know just happening on line– no public service announcements) for bystanders to keep an eye out for the most vulnerable women, in particular those who are drunk in public.

  91. >If you are right, the same effect could be achieved by better police work and a change in the cost/benefit of crime.

    Actually, that specific question has been investigated in the U.S., both with theoretical modeling and through observation of interventions like the anti-rape program in Florida in 1972. Arming civilians is so inexpensive, and has sufficiently few collateral problems, that it is next to impossible to come up with a plausible scenario in which increasing funding to law enforcement is as efficient.

  92. >“No means no”– an effort to convince men that “no” should be taken seriously.

    I don’t think this is going to be very effective, for a couple of different reasons.

    One is the pattern of a very few recidivists committing a huge percentage of rapes. These are not creatures who are going to be stopped by any number of repetitions of “no”. They are predators; the noises coming out of the prey’s mouth will not dissuade them. A “No means no” campaign will, I think, have only a marginal effect and that only on the least coercive interactions.

    The other is that you’re going to run afoul of a very old and deep pattern in human mating tactics. The PUA people have zeroed in on it like a laser and I remember writing about it myself back in the 1980s on USENET. Enough of the time to matter, “no” from a woman does not in fact mean “no” – it means “you may advance to the next step in the dance only by passing this test of your determination”.

    You may wish it were otherwise, and I doubt there’s a male on the planet who doesn’t wish it were otherwise, but it’s so. The thing is, if you try to tell men that “no always means no” you will be directly contradicting their gut experience of how women actually behave.

    See the related PUA concept of “anti-slut shield”, which clarifies that a woman will often issue a fake “no” to a man she hopes will blow through it in order to not have to think of herself as a slut.

  93. After your stinging rebuttals I had promised myself I wouldn’t comment on this thread further. But really, Eric, “no means yes”? That’s about the most brutish thing I’ve seen you write.

  94. >That’s about the most brutish thing I’ve seen you write.

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

  95. Thoughtful: Do you realize that you just said that sex that is actually consensual – by all normal uses of the word – is rape, because the woman involved had low self-esteem?

    If the “pressure” to consent is not applied by the man in question (or is “pressure” of the variety of “please, I’d really enjoy it, don’t you want me to be happy?” rather than actual coercion), then why the hell should anyone consider that rape?

    (As Nancy said, it’s worth considering those pressured people, seriously, in our thoughts and discussions on proper sexual behavior.

    But it’s not, really, good to conflate “low self esteem maybe/partially/possibly/entirely made her say yes” with “actually forced to have sex”.

    Especially since the latter is trivially identified by onlookers and courts, and easy to judge appropriately [and very harshly].

    The former? Well, some/many men probably would never even guess that was her motivation.

    Combine that with “she, in fact, said yes with no coercion the other party could detect”, and you’ve just made it so that people can be rapists without ever even suspecting it, and not via wilfull blindness or psychopathy.

    (Indeed, if both partners were suffering from that, would they be mutually raping each-other despite both believing they were both consenting? And if that sort of absurdity is the end result of these definitions, isn’t that a reason to reject them, lacking any other strong reasons to accept them?))

  96. esr: They are predators; the noises coming out of the prey’s mouth will not dissuade them. A “No means no” campaign will, I think, have only a marginal effect and that only on the least coercive interactions.

    If this were the case, men who perpetrated rape would be aware that they were committing rape. This is apparently not the case. Note also that the rate found was one rape or attempted rape for every four men (the majority of which were committed by the same small cadre of offenders, as you said), which squares rather surprisingly well with the 1-in-4 chance for women of rape or attempted rape.

    I’ve also seen claims that women inflate these numbers in order to claim the victim card; this doesn’t explain why women would claim that a man has forced them to have sex, but not that they’ve been raped, or, for that matter, why men show the converse pattern.

  97. Tom Says:
    But really, Eric, “no means yes”?

    It is less common than no means no, but a lot more common than a reasonably clear yes. In real life, any male who waits for a clear yes, is likely a virgin.

    Reflect on the mating habits of cats. Among cats, not only does no mean yes, but also screaming, cursing, and viciously fighting off the tomcat with claws and teeth also means yes. Feline shit tests tend to be noisier and bloodier than human shit tests.

    Human mating patterns are flexible, and intermediate between those of other mammals. Most mating patterns observed in nature are within the human potential.

    Humans, unlike cats, keep the noise down for fear of interruption, however feline like mating patterns are not totally unknown among humans – observe that the man sent to death row for murdering his wife or girlfriend gets lots of marriage proposals in the mail, while the guy who gets the accountancy contract for a fortune five hundred company does not.

  98. >But it’s not, really, good to conflate “low self esteem maybe/partially/possibly/entirely made her say yes” with “actually forced to have sex”.

    It’s not just “not good”, it’s very bad. It deprives women of agency – reduces them to not being responsible for their own behavior. To my ornery libertarian self this seems a violation almost as nasty as rape.

    For the same reason, I’m troubled by the theory that drunken fumbles plus regrets the next morning equals rape. There comes a point at which requiring explicit and sober consent edges close to denying that women who choose to get drunk and accept passes from men have agency for their actions.

    Mind you, I say this as a man who’s been straight-up propositioned by a tipsy female friend and said in so many words “Yes, if you ask me again when you’re sober.” My personal standards are quite high, but then as an alpha with USPs I can afford a degree of choosiness in the matter of intoxication that J. Random Delta in a bar would be ill-advised to apply unless he wants to go home alone.

  99. I’m following up from an earlier comment I left on an earlier thread. In short, the facts are these: roughly 1 in 4 women are the victims of rape or attempted rape; somewhere between 1 in 10 and 1 in 6 are the victims of completed rape. The ultimate source for the latter number isn’t the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault; it’s a result originally found by Koss et al. and later replicated in at least three separate large-scale surveys, as described in the linked comment.

    The questions used in these victimization surveys to define rape are: “Have you engaged in sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to but were so intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or drugs that you could not stop it or object?”, “Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man threatened or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?” and “Have you had sex acts (anal or oral intercourse or penetration by objects other than the penis) when you didn’t want to because a man threatened you or used some degree of physical force (twisting your arm, holding you down, etc.) to make you?” There were other questions asked, but those are the ones to which a ‘yes’ answer counts as having been raped. Is this definitional flimflam?

    In general (and this has some handwaving to it; I haven’t formally done the legwork here yet), there are three tiers of rape statistics. Crime numbers such as the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports describe crimes reported to the police, which are a small proportion of actual rapes. Studies like the National Crime Victimization Survey also count events that people consider rape, but didn’t report to the police (the NCVS also has some other methodological problems when it comes to estimating rape, which I can go into a bit more detail about if you’re curious). Studies like the Mary Koss’s (and others that have replicated her results, such as the National Violence Against Women Survey additionally count events that meet the definition of rape (as given above) but which they didn’t call rape.

  100. esr: They are predators; the noises coming out of the prey’s mouth will not dissuade them. A “No means no” campaign will, I think, have only a marginal effect and that only on the least coercive interactions.

    grendelkhan:
    March 8th, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    If this were the case, men who perpetrated rape would be aware that they were committing rape. This is apparently not the case.

    Feminist bullshit. Feminists A tells feminist B about date rape, and feminist B then tells feminist A about date rape, which rape neither of them have experienced since they both lesbians built like overloaded diesel trucks. After each has told the other three times, they start to believe it. And if any women tells them what they do not want to hear, she must be suffering from false consciousness and needs to be pressured until her consciousness is corrected.

  101. >It is less common than no means no, but a lot more common than a reasonably clear yes.

    That’s well put.

    Many women are incapable of delivering an explicit “yes” because they’ve internalized the idea that doing so means you’re a slut. But the problem goes deeper than that – I think female coyness is instinctively grounded in a desire to signal (often falsely) that she wouldn’t screw around on a provider.

    jamesd left out a third kind of consent, which is silent reciprocation of the male’s sexual escalation. The usual female response sequence in the mating dance goes from “no means try harder” to “silent acquiescence with increasing kinesic encouragement” to, sometimes, explicit yes. Young men learn to be surprised if the explicit yes actually happens; it gets a little more common with age.

    This is not to say that no never means no – the sequence above describes a successful interaction, and many attempts at this fail. What I would say is pretty unusual is for no to mean no when a woman has been maintaining intimate kinesic range and continues to do so. Movement out beyond conversational distance followed by “no” is a more reliable signal.

  102. @ David Ritchie:
    >There appears to be a verb missing here–I can think of a few that fit, which did you mean?

    Hmmm… that was late last night — I think I was looking for a less pretentious synonym for “extol”, but my brain gave up.

  103. “It’s not just “not good”, it’s very bad. It deprives women of agency – reduces them to not being responsible for their own behavior. To my ornery libertarian self this seems a violation almost as nasty as rape.”

    I agree. Now, mind you, I’ve known women who have been raped (by my definition). One of them was a girl whose mother murdered her stepfather. For reason. She (the girl) was about 11 at the time.

    I’ve also known one woman who falsely declared rape. The rapist was never caught – her description evidently didn’t match anyone (and she swore she’d have said ‘no, that’s not him’ if they did find anyone), but her boyfriend offered to marry her when she turned up pregnant… (that was many long years ago). Far as I know, they are still married.

    But, I’m NOT “troubled by the theory that drunken fumbles plus regrets the next morning equals rape” Not troubled at all. I consider it arrant nonsense. Sorry. It just doesn’t equal rape. Even if a woman has low self esteem. (Or a man has low self esteem – it works both ways, you know). IMO, rape requires coercion. Not just charm, not just “I’m so drunk he/she looks good”. That’s stupidity, not rape.

  104. >Feminist bullshit.

    No, grendelkhan’s sources may be actually right that many rapists are unaware they are committing rape. I am undecided about this and need to study the question more closely; if one account by an adjudged mutiple rapist I’ve read is truthful about his own beliefs there are problems here that reach almost to the epistemological level.

  105. >Is this definitional flimflam?

    The second two cases, no. I have a problem with the first case, which should be clear from a few previous comments. The failure to separate out events involving actual coercion renders all that follows it suspect in my mind.

  106. James A Donald: Feminist bullshit. Feminists A tells feminist B about date rape, and feminist B then tells feminist A about date rape, which rape neither of them have experienced since they both lesbians built like overloaded diesel trucks. After each has told the other three times, they start to believe it. And if any women tells them what they do not want to hear, she must be suffering from false consciousness and needs to be pressured until her consciousness is corrected.

    When you’re done explaining how feminists are too ugly to rape and also gay, please take a look at the methodology of the surveys I outlined. The results are symmetrical across gender–that is, if you ask men, you get the same results as if you ask women. The questions have nothing to do with “date rape”; the statistics refer solely to situations in which force or threat of force was explicitly used or the victim was physically unable to resist them (according to the perpetrators).

    In real life, any male who waits for a clear yes, is likely a virgin. [...] Reflect on the mating habits of cats. Among cats, not only does no mean yes, but also screaming, cursing, and viciously fighting off the tomcat with claws and teeth also means yes.

    Huh. Somehow I managed to be de-man-flowered without any sort of ambiguity as to whether or not this was what she wanted. Anecdotal, I know, but I’m throwing it out there.

    Female cats do not physically enjoy sex. Female humans can. I think you may want to consider the possibility that you’re doing it wrong.

  107. >Huh. Somehow I managed to be de-man-flowered without any sort of ambiguity as to whether or not this was what she wanted.

    Your snark at jamesd is justified, but there is an issue here that won’t go away: what constitues consent? Appealing to the mating behavior of cats may be wrongheaded, but he isn’t wrong to aver that any man who waits for his first partner to say “Fuck me now!” is likely to die a virgin. Even if older, more experienced women allow themselves the explicit yes, it’s still not a common behavior in sexually inexperienced women, at least not by the reports I hear.

  108. Male cats qualify as rapists, by my definition…(There are a number of feral cats in my neighborhood; I’ve had ample time (usually in the middle of what I would consider sleep time) to study the mating habits of cats.)

    ” Even if older, more experienced women allow themselves the explicit yes, it’s still not a common behavior in sexually inexperienced women, at least not by the reports I hear.”

    I’m an outlier, I guess. First experience, I set it up, time, place, etc. (I’d wonder if I weren’t guilty of rape – or at least the old European ‘seduction’ if I hadn’t gotten such enthusiastic response.)

  109. First experience, I set it up, time, place, etc. (I’d wonder if I weren’t guilty of rape – or at least the old European ‘seduction’ if I hadn’t gotten such enthusiastic response.)

    Or maybe it was just the result of reading too much Heinlein at a young age. (Though that was before even Stranger – so it must have been telepathy or something.)

  110. esr: I am undecided about this and need to study the question more closely; if one account by an adjudged mutiple rapist I’ve read is truthful about his own beliefs there are problems here that reach almost to the epistemological level.

    If you’re interested, there’s a body of research on beliefs that rapists tend to have; I don’t have access to my usual resources at the moment, but the key phrase is, I think, “cognitive distortions”.

    I have a problem with the first case, which should be clear from a few previous comments. The failure to separate out events involving actual coercion renders all that follows it suspect in my mind.

    The original survey that Koss used asked “Have you had sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to because a man gave you alcohol or drugs?”; changing the wording to that given above gives roughly the same incidence (17% rather than 15%). I suppose that if you squint at it right, you might be able to read “Have you ever had sex that you wouldn’t have had if you were sober?” from that, but I don’t see how you can see men who answer positively to “Have you ever had sexual intercourse with someone, even though they did not want to, because they were too intoxicated (on alcohol or drugs) to resist your sexual advances (e.g., removing their clothes)?” as having made a silly mistake that’s open to interpretation and certainly shouldn’t be called rape–remember, the results here are durable whether you ask women about being attacked or men about attacking. (Of course, a much smaller proportion of men are involved in attacks than women, due to repeat offenders. Maybe this is part of why men express such disbelief at the prevalence of rape.)

  111. Kathy Kinsley: Or maybe it was just the result of reading too much Heinlein at a young age. (Though that was before even Stranger – so it must have been telepathy or something.)

    Huh. My partner at the time was a huge Heinlein fan. I tentatively draw the conclusion that if more women read Heinlein as adolescents, there’d be a lot more enthusiastic consent going on. I wonder how widespread this is.

  112. Hmm. Not sure. Heinlein, IMO, didn’t quite get women right. (A common complaint) But he DID do a very good job of explaining (at least to me) how men see women. And how important that “enthusiastic consent” IS to a (good) man. So, to deny that to a man I want would be… well. RUDE, at the very least.

  113. Funny enough, she’d fallen a bit away from the fandom by the time I knew her; she had a lot of nuance and skepticism to go with her “you should read this”. Maybe it’s easier to see Heinlein’s faults (much more obvious as an adult) than the really important things that matter to young people having their ideas shaped by his works.

  114. @esr Isn’t persuading women to say “fuck me now!” when they do mean it rather the point of Dutch/Swedish-style sex education?

    I wonder what the mores are like among lesbians – they seem to get laid, as far as I know. Perhaps looking at their processes might give us heterosexuals some insights.

  115. >If you’re interested, there’s a body of research on beliefs that rapists tend to have; I don’t have access to my usual resources at the moment, but the key phrase is, I think, “cognitive distortions”.

    I’m actually quite interested. The issue around cognitive distortions in belief would be interesting even if I were not trying to be analytical about rape statistics. Can you provide links?

    >(Of course, a much smaller proportion of men are involved in attacks than women, due to repeat offenders. Maybe this is part of why men express such disbelief at the prevalence of rape.)

    Which is also why your report about the question asked of men does not immediately persuade me. If the cohort of men involved in attacks is so much smaller, I don’t see how that answer can imply the same incidence. Not unless the male respondents are accurately filling in numbers for their rape counts.

  116. >Isn’t persuading women to say “fuck me now!” when they do mean it rather the point of Dutch/Swedish-style sex education?

    I don’t know. And if true, the next question is “Does it work?”

    Because I think female coyness has a biological hook, I’m skeptical. But open to facts.

  117. >I wonder what the mores are like among lesbians – they seem to get laid, as far as I know.

    Yes, but they often don’t enjoy it very much. Google for “lesbian bed death”. Yes, it’s real; I have friends who identify as lesbian and some basis to know – including some history of attracting sexual interest from self-identified lesbians. Alpha with USPs and all that; it even works on dykes occasionally. And no, they weren’t built like overloaded diesel trucks!

    My impression is that signaling of consent is not a foreground issue for vanilla lesbians (the chocolate or BDSM kind is a different story). Sex is not a high-risk proposition for vanilla lesbians, the boundary with non-sexual cuddling is more diffuse than it is among heterosexuals, and sexual behavior is more symmetrical (less aspect of “A does things to B”). Because the dangers from transgression are less, the degree of anxiety around consent is as well.

    If an actual lesbian wants to correct me on this, I’d appreciate it.

  118. >if true, the next question is “Does it work?”

    Anecdotally, yes, Dutch and Swedish women are much more up-front about their sexual desires than British women. Their “no”s meant “no” more reliably, and they were more likely to say “yes” if that was what they meant. French women were even more ambiguous and difficult to follow than Brits, though that may be in part my language skills.

    I’ve not been across the Atlantic, so refuse to comment on American women; the only ones I’ve met have been in Europe and people on holiday tend to behave differently from how they do at home, while ex-pats are definitionally more adventurous in at least one dimension.

    Whether the cause of my experience is sex education, a more liberal sexual culture, my misperceptions, or an unrepresentative sampling, I have no idea. I haven’t seen any research or proper statistical evidence on the subject.

    > I think female coyness has a biological hook

    I suspect it does as well; that doesn’t mean that cultural factors cannot influence it as well. There are lots of things that have biological hooks that can be suppressed or altered by culture – male use of violence in status competition is one good example. Biology is not destiny, after all – taken to the extreme, that denies individual agency.

  119. >Because I think female coyness has a biological hook, I’m skeptical. But open to facts.

    I’m speculating here, but I think that when verbal behaviours contradict physical behaviours then “nature” is probably driving the physical and “nurture” the verbal.

    If this is the case then there is the obvious evolutionary reason to have sex with an attractive mate, but the coyness on the verbal level is do to social disapproval of female sexual agency.

  120. @esr:

    I suggest that it is unwise to ever say this:

    Enough of the time to matter, “no” from a woman does not in fact mean “no” – it means “you may advance to the next step in the dance only by passing this test of your determination”.

    without adding this:

    jamesd left out a third kind of consent, which is silent reciprocation of the male’s sexual escalation.

    I’m sure you’re not concerned about feminists misinterpreting you, but you should be worried that inexperienced males will act on the former without understanding the latter.

  121. >”willingness to meet violence with violence”

    There are only two ways to meet violence above the schoolyard level. With violence or submission. Anyone who doubts this has probably never faced actual violence.

    >”Insults instead of arguments.”

    Insults are just the thing for idiots who continue to ignore the arguments already made.

  122. >This is not to say that no never means no – the sequence above describes a successful interaction, and many attempts at this fail.
    >What I would say is pretty unusual is for no to mean no when a woman has been maintaining intimate kinesic range and continues to do so.
    >Movement out beyond conversational distance followed by “no” is a more reliable signal.

    It appears to me this is a problem (partly) of our own devising as men. If we more reliably stopped cold on a no, obeyed that lesson that “no means no”, then perhaps the fairer sex would be less inclined to engage in such coy games. “No means yes” only works because on both sides folks are playing the game.

    FWIW I have to side with those here saying they managed to get through life without having to play the “no means yes” game. Perhaps then explicit consent is more common these days than the last time you (esr) were playing the field?

  123. >There are only two ways to meet violence above the schoolyard level. With violence or submission. Anyone who doubts this has probably never faced actual violence.

    Way to miss the point. This isn’t about the appropriate response to violence. It’s about whether your masculinity should be based solely on your response to violence or also on the other 99.9% of things a man has to respond to.

  124. FWIW I have to side with those here saying they managed to get through life without having to play the “no means yes” game. Perhaps then explicit consent is more common these days than the last time you (esr) were playing the field?

    How do you know he isn’t playing the field now? He might be married, but for
    or all you know, he could be a practicing poly. :)

    Seriously, though, while I’m not surprised that there are people here who have never played the “no means yes game”, I’d also bet that people posting here are more likely to have an atypical experience in this regard, since the iq range trends above average here.

  125. I suspect it does as well; that doesn’t mean that cultural factors cannot influence it as well.

    Maybe it’s a hold over impression from earlier decades but i’d expect that, if anything, cultural factors would reinforce female coyness. Most obviously through the “girls that have sex are sluts” meme.

    And if it is a hold over from earlier decades then it’s interesting to point out that hollywood certainly hasn’t caught up yet (e.g. “Easy A”).

    I’m speculating here, but I think that when verbal behaviours contradict physical behaviours then “nature” is probably driving the physical and “nurture” the verbal.

    Another possibility is that the biological is driving the physical and rational is driving the verbal. Which is potentially but not necessarily the same thing.

    I’m sure i’ve read somewhere of a possible biological explanation for both which would revolve around the necessary investment in raising a child and thus driving a “make sure he’s serious about it” response. I can’t for the life of me think where however.

  126. I’d also bet that people posting here are more likely to have an atypical experience in this regard, since the iq range trends above average here.

    The high hacker quotient wouldn’t hurt either, even removing the IQ factor. I’d argue that not playing the “no means yes game” would at least weakly count as “entertain peculiar or idiosyncratic political ideas and actually try to live by them day-to-day”.

  127. >It’s about whether your masculinity should be based solely on your response to violence or also on the other 99.9% of things a man has to respond to.

    What a weird, constricted universe you must live in, projecting your limiting assumptions like that all the time.

  128. >The high hacker quotient wouldn’t hurt either, even removing the IQ factor.

    Hackers also have an excessive tendency to believe the behavior of others, including the women they meet, is related in a simple and rational way to objectives that are visible to the hacker. Heh.

  129. JonB> Another possibility is that the biological is driving the physical and rational is driving the verbal. Which is potentially but not necessarily the same thing.

    One theory I read (from the director of a psychiatric hospital no less) is that love tends to make women stupid. Women will tend to rationally choose not to have children, but, if the body can shut down that part of the rational mind, her conscious mind will be less capable of suppressing her biological urges.

    esr> What a weird, constricted universe you must live in, projecting your limiting assumptions like that all the time.

    This is how your writing on masculinity comes across. If it’s not an accurate representation of your conception of masculinity, and you think that your conception is sufficiently valuable that you want men like Tom, Winter, and myself to understand it, then you will need to communicate it more effectively.

  130. >you will need to communicate it more effectively.

    But no amount of talk about service, duty, and the obligation to protect others seems to reach you. No matter how many times in how many ways I explain that martial arts are about fostering an internal locus of control, you don’t get it. Regulars who know me personally repeatedly explain that I’m not a combative posturer but a humble student who seeks training from any who can outdo him, and you just slough that off.

    You refuse to process that these qualities are all part of the ethos of masculinity I champion – that a man in full is required to have tranquility in his heart in his heart and loyalty to his people, and humility, and dedication to something other than his own ego or self-image as a badass, or all his ‘manly’ accomplishments will turn on him and curdle as surely as water flows downhill.

    No, for you lot it has to be all about the violence; I can’t be anything but a posturing, immature, retrograde asshole, because otherwise you might actually have to confront the ways you squander your own potential as men and thus fail everyone around you on every single day of your lives. You spout politically-correct decadence and think it sophistication. You project your stunted, twitchy, effete selves on me and think you see my nature.

    And the final joke is that you imagine I need your approval.

  131. But no amount of talk about service, duty, and the obligation to protect others seems to reach you.

    You could clear it up with a simple statement. Do you believe that a nonviolent man can perform his services, duties, and obligations?

  132. @pete:
    > Do you believe that a nonviolent man can perform his services, duties, and obligations?

    Please clarify ‘nonviolent man.’ Do you mean a man who is a complete pacifist, or a man who only resorts to violence as a last resort? Or, as a different wording, a man who only uses violence when it is necessary?

  133. @esr
    “No matter how many times in how many ways I explain that martial arts are about fostering an internal locus of control, you don’t get it. ”

    Point them to the movie “Joe Somebody” with Belushi as the Martial Arts instructor. It is not much, but it might be a start.

    A good instructor will tell you that:
    “A fight avoided is a fight won”
    “It is better to hurt than to wound, better to wound than to cripple, better to cripple than to kill”

    But you might reflect on your presentation. If your message is always misinterpreted you can either change the audience or change the message. There are not many other options.

  134. >You could clear it up with a simple statement. Do you believe that a nonviolent man can perform his services, duties, and obligations?

    No. The possibility of crime, terrorism, individual madness, or a breakdown in civil order is always sufficiently present that a man’s duties may include the use of defensive violence. This does not require that he specialize in it, but it does require that he be physically, mentally, and morally prepared for it. To do less is to fail in his duty of care to his family, his neighbors, and his civilization.

    This position is often countered with the theory that the duty of defensive violence can be delegated to specialists such as the military or police. But while this is sometimes a pragmatically adequate answer, it is never an escape from the basic duty and moral responsibility. It is not nonviolent to allow others to do your violence for you. It is not ‘pacifist’ to rely on rough men to guard you while you sleep; it is a lie and an evasion unless you are prepared to take your turn at the duty and do the required violence with your own hands.

    You are required to take responsibility for using force to prevent aggressive violence in proportion to your power to do so. The blood you allow to be shed on your behalf is on your hands. The blood that may be shed because you failed in competence or courage is also on your hands. From the belief that these moral weights can be evaded flow most of the evils associated with violence, ranging from failure to effectively deter criminal behavior in the small up to acquiescence to genocidal tyrannies in the large.

    Facing this responsibility is difficult. Because the physical preparation is the least of it; more important yet is becoming mindful in a way that supports making correct life-or-death situations in clutch situations – and struggling, emotionally and spiritually, with the fact that right action may require you to kill. Anyone who doesn’t fear that possibility is a dangerous brute, but anyone who evades wrestling with it is a useless coward.

    The only alternative to facing that responsibility risks failing everyone and everything dear to you in the worst possible way at the worst possible moment. But the cumulative damage in non-extreme scenarios mounts up in more subtle ways. When men evade their responsibilities, societies lose their ability not merely to defend against external threats but to exert internal homeostasis against crime, madness, and pathological politics. Fear and evasion become normal; covert and overt repression follow, even as people fool themselves that they are too “sophisticated” to need violent means of defense. The trust network that is the fabric of society frays and weakens.

    Eventually, some gang of brutes takes over, laughing at the cant and cowardice of men who thought they could be “nonviolent” without cost.

  135. @esr
    “The possibility of crime, terrorism, individual madness, or a breakdown in civil order is always sufficiently present that a man’s duties may include the use of defensive violence. ”

    And a woman’s duty?

  136. grendelkhan Says:
    March 8th, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    When you’re done explaining how feminists are too ugly to rape and also gay

    Women, notoriously, are more flexible about the appearance of their sexual partners than men are. Also women are more flexible sexually than men. All or most women get turned on by a wide range of sexual deviations, while most men either accept no deviations, or are fans of certain very particular specific deviations. So if a women is ugly, her best bet is to learn to hate men and go lesbian – if you are an ugly woman, you will get more action that way. Of course some lesbians are pretty hot, but hot lesbians generally do not hate men, rather they like women too. Ugly lesbians generally do hate men, suggesting that they are commonly lesbian as a last resort. http://deathby1000papercuts.blogspot.com/2007_11_11_archive.html

    , please take a look at the methodology of the surveys I outlined. The results are symmetrical across gender–that is, if you ask men, you get the same results as if you ask women

    If you claim to get the same results on asking both genders, your data is made up, extracted under extreme pressure, or severely re-interpreted

    I examined research on a topic where it is much easier to get truthful and accurate data, data not subject to interpretation: Whether women always interrupt men, or men always interrupt women:

    There were a bunch of surveys that supposedly proved that contrary to stereotype, men always interrupt women and women seldom interrupt men. Then another researcher, Deborah Tannen, just as feminist, provided annotated and commented interpretations of recorded conversations. In these recorded conversations, women continually interrupted and talked down men, but the researcher annotated that their interruptions were supportive and contributory, unlike men’s interruptions, and that to view these interruptions as interruptions was phallocentric thinking. Men should learn not to regard women’s interruptions as interruptions, but as a form of contribution, and should not be irritated by them, while women were entitled to be irritated by men’s interruptions, since men’s interruptions were, unlike women’s interruptions, a form of domination and repression of women.

    And indeed, there was some truth in her argument, since the women’s interruptions always had the subtext “think about me, pay attention to me, like me, I am interesting and significant, I deserve to be the focus of attention”, while the men’s interruptions usually had the subtext “I am smarter and more knowledgeable than you are” – but the fact still was that even though men’s words were more aggressive and dominating than women’s words, nonetheless her survey still showed the men often had trouble getting a word in edgewise, that women talked a lot more, and interrupted a lot more than men did, that women interrupted each other a lot, and interrupted men a lot, that women tended to control the conversation at the expense of men, and do most of the talking, tended to talk men down.

    Supposing the Deborah’s survey on interruptions to be true, then all the previous surveys on interruptions were flat out bare faced frauds. So if all the other surveys were fraudulent, on a topic that it is easy to observe, and not hard to tell the truth about, then it seems likely that surveys on a topic that is harder to observe and difficult to speak truthfully about, but politically sensitive in much the same way, are likely to also be flat out bare faced fraudulent.

  137. >>You could clear it up with a simple statement. Do you believe that a nonviolent man can perform his services, duties, and obligations?

    >No.

    Consider a pacifist ER doctor. Making life and death decisions everyday, but not physically, mentally, or morally prepared to harm others.

    Not a real man? Failing his society?

  138. Eric, it’s sometimes possible to head off violence by non-violent means. How high are people’s responsibilities for becoming good at that?

  139. >Not a real man? Failing his society?

    Yes. He may think he’s not prepared to harm others, but he is free-riding on the harm that policemen and soldiers are prepared to do. Every day that he relies on a system that fields policemen and soldiers, the blood they shed is on his hands.

  140. >Eric, it’s sometimes possible to head off violence by non-violent means. How high are people’s responsibilities for becoming good at that?

    That depends on how well such skills are matched to the threat profile. Nonviolent means are preferable to violent ones, but tend to fail unless the subjects are pretty well integrated into the same social network of trust you are part of.

  141. >And a woman’s duty?

    Not the same as a man’s because women are efficient at different things. I’ve written before that humans are designed for layered defense of the young, men as outer guard and women as last-ditch defenders whose fighting capacity is almost never to be used because their limited childbearing capacity is too precious to risk.

    With modern weapons, women can make excellent civil first responders – the woman who took down the Fort Hood shooter is an excellent recent example. But a culture that relied on them equally with men for this would be making a dangerous bet that the underlying biology wouldn’t sustain. The Israelis, after some experiments in the 1970s and 1980s, found this out the hard way and no longer assign women to front-line units.

  142. @esr
    “Every day that he relies on a system that fields policemen and soldiers, the blood they shed is on his hands.”

    Although this is true in the “absolute” sense, there is a boundary to where a persons responsibility reaches.

    If I eat chocolate, I cannot personally be held responsible for the slavery that might have been behind the production of cocoa. The chain that connects me personally to the worker in the plantation is simply too long and too diffuse.

    In the same way, you cannot be held responsible for any war crimes committed, say, in some war zone by US forces if you were totally unaware of them, never condoned them, nor would have supported them had you known. (which is different from turning a blind eye and looking into the other direction)

    If you ignore this you fall in the same trap that extremists everywhere fall into: Because someone who claims to represent you committed horrible crimes, I can hold you responsible and take my revenge on you.

  143. >Every day that he relies on a system that fields policemen and soldiers, the blood they shed is on his hands.

    Returning approximately to topic, this thread started with rape statistics. If your ER doctor is on the scene of an attempted rape and his precious convictions prevent him from interfering with whatever violence is required to prevent it, the victim is justified in regarding him as an accomplice to the rapist.

  144. @esr
    “But a culture that relied on them equally with men for this would be making a dangerous bet that the underlying biology wouldn’t sustain. ”

    One facet often not considered is that if women fight, they end up being utterly ruthless. The instruction to teams arresting (RAF) terrorists was “shoot the women first”. The women were the most blood thirsty of the lot. There is a reason why Medea touches a nerve.

    It is the old wisdom your Lazarus expresses: Do not threaten a weak man, he will kill you.

  145. >The women were the most blood thirsty of the lot.

    Quite true, and in fact predictable from the last-ditch-defense role.

  146. >If I eat chocolate, I cannot personally be held responsible for the slavery that might have been behind the production of cocoa. The chain that connects me personally to the worker in the plantation is simply too long and too diffuse.

    I agree. The difference is that the ER doctor relies on policemen to keep the streets he walks safe and soldiers to defend his country every day. And, while slavery is not essential to the production of cocoa, violence is essential to making a peaceful space in which he can operate.

  147. @esr
    “The difference is that the ER doctor relies on policemen to keep the streets he walks safe and soldiers to defend his country every day. ”

    I agree. Although I do not feel obliged to condone all that is done in “my name”.

    However, some people are pacifist by heart, eg, Jehovah’s Witnesses (JW), and they are known to happily die rather than commit violence (although the JW can be inhumanly cruel on a psychological level). Such people are truly protected against their will.

    But I consider some of them, especially JW, the way I consider the feeble of mind and feel they cannot completely be held responsible for their actions. Others I simply do not understand enough to form an opinion on.

  148. @Winter
    > But I consider some of them, especially JW, the way I consider the feeble of mind and feel they cannot
    > completely be held responsible for their actions.

    Not holding a Witness responsible for the results his nonviolence implies that religious terrorists should not be held responsible for the results of their actions as well. Sounds pretty bogus, to me.

  149. @jsk
    “Not holding a Witness responsible for the results his nonviolence implies that religious terrorists should not be held responsible for the results of their actions as well. Sounds pretty bogus, to me.”

    I ascribe to the belief that people with mental handicaps should be considered incapacitated and cannot completely be held responsible for their actions. Which obviously depends on their handicap.

    I consider several forms of religion as being mental handicaps that cloud the mind.

    As the witnesses in general only endanger their own lives and in other respects try to be good citizens, I do not see why they should be punished for their handicap. This is rather different from other extremists who actually are out to inflict harm. There is a crucial difference between passive and active resistance.

    During WWII, many Witnesses were executed by the Germans because of their believes, often because they refused to partake in any violence. So they did not help their countries fighting, they also refused to help the enemy even if that would mean their death. Something that could not be said of many of my fellow countrymen of the time.

  150. How many ways are there to say
    Rape Bad
    Lies Bad
    Duty Good
    Honor Good
    Truth Good
    Testable data needed
    Clear definitions needed

    Freedom Good
    Liberty Good

    Thematic / Memetic behaviors and communications that uphold the above are Good
    If your comments produce a response that you feel is invalid, rethink your comments.

    A male ready to be violent to a Rapists, is a Good man.
    A male who is not ready to be violent to a Rapist is a Bad man

    Hypothetical one time only applies to a single actor questions Useless
    Asking someone to justify a twisted definition is Lame

    Don’t be lame

    With that out of the way, I have been thinking about how age and environment impact sexual issues in general, and how things have changed during say the last 25 years. None of the following is meant to rigorous, as they are based on my own observations and questions.

    50 years ago children were not afforded special protection, think street urchins, physically abusive parents, sex with prepubescent people an accepted perversion, young marriageable age, no special effort made to find missing children etc.

    50 years ago women were not afforded special protection, think physically abusive husbands, rape by associates dismissed with “he’s a good guy, not a rapist”, rape by strangers dismissed with “what was she doing there” no special effort made to address domestic violence etc .

    From childhood to the present I watched as all of these behaviors began to be recognized as ‘Bad Things’ and the closer we get to now, the more these behaviors criminalized, the more draconian the punishments. The more laws and ‘departments’ put into place, the more damage done. If only the predator gets damaged, a case could be argued for ‘just deserts’. Reports indicate the damage to women and children is now coming from the fixes, and increasing at an alarming rate

    We are not going to repair the damage without a clear understanding of the problem. Truth is not only Good it is Needed!

    Murph=)

  151. The methodology of studies on underreporting and overreporting of rape is notoriously dispute-prone. For a first approximation I will combine assumptions 39% reporting and 5.9% overreporting to reach an estimate of the the ratio between reported and actual crimes. There are reasons to suspect this is quite generous to rape alarmists, but I’ll do it anyway in order to generate the largest reasonable incidence numbers.

    (r + r*0.61) – r*0.59 = r*1.00 + r*0.61 – r*0.059 = r * 1.551

    Eric. Shouldn’t the bolded part be r*0.059?

  152. esr: I’m actually quite interested. The issue around cognitive distortions in belief would be interesting even if I were not trying to be analytical about rape statistics. Can you provide links?

    Thanks for your patience. I’m doing this pretty much from scratch, as I remember absorbing these ideas years ago, and I haven’t seen anyone else who’s done the legwork to write a publically-accessible lay summary of these issues. It’s entirely possible I’ve gone in the wrong direction; the following is certainly not a complete summary of the current status of scholarship on the issue. With that caveat in mind, let me know if this helps answer your questions.

    I don’t know what sort of library resources you have access to; if you can’t get to these journals, let me know and I’ll try to find summaries that reference them or preprints or whatever they have in the social sciences. One good place to start is Drieschner and Lange (1999), “A review of cognitive factors in the etiology of rape: theories, empirical studies, and implications”, Clinical Psychology Review, 19(1) 57-77. Because convicted rapists are a small (also disproportionately poor and criminal, i.e., having other offenses) portion of all rapists, these studies generally examine the correlates of self-reported likelihood of committing rape given the opportunity, and of previous offenses committed or attempted.

    Self-reporting of likelihood to commit rape correlates well with instruments like those used by Lisak and Miller, after Koss, as well as others. Burt’s Rape Myth Acceptance scale measures beliefs such as “women like being raped” and “if women didn’t really want it, they’d fight back more”; it correlates well with the aforementioned measures. (See Burt (1980), “Cultural myths and support for rape”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217-230; it’s been cited a lot since then.) Burt also put together other measures which correlate well, such as the Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence Scale, measuring how acceptable force and coercion are in relationships, and, perhaps most surprisingly, the Sex-Role Stereotyping Scale, measuring belief in traditional gender roles. (While at least ten studies found Burt’s scales to correlate with self-reported likelihood of committing rape, at least one didn’t. Then again, given eleven trials at an 0.05 alpha, there’s a 43% chance of at least one false negative.)

    See also Ryan (2004), “Further evidence for a cognitive component of rape”, doi:10.1016/j.avb.2003.05.001, which is a review of much of the same literature, especially section 1, “Rape-supportive beliefs”. Note also that the beliefs differentially held by rapists aren’t particularly culturally unacceptable; they’re just more fervent or extreme versions of relatively mainstream ideas. This is, in part, what feminists mean by “rape culture”; the attitudes that correlate with rape aren’t ludicrously outside of acceptable boundaries; rather than being pathological outliers, they’re well within our norms.

    Ryan quotes an anecdote from Scully, who interviews a (convicted, therefore, if anything, representative of a more pathological sample) rapist, who explains, “When you take a woman out, woo her, and then she says ‘no, I’m a nice girl,’ you have to use force. All men do this. She said ‘no’ but it was a societal ‘no,’ she wanted to be coaxed. All women say ‘no’ when they mean ‘yes’ but it’s a societal ‘no’ so they won’t have to feel responsible later.” The speaker in question was a man in his thirties who abducted and raped a 15-year old teenager walking on the beach.

    The idea that it would be unfairly onerous for a man to restrict himself to sex with women who don’t tell him “no, I don’t want to have sex with you” is, it seems, a marginally less insane version of the above belief. (Maybe it’s a generational thing, but this never seemed like an unfairly high bar to meet for me, and I was not up to my elbows in ladies in my adolescent years.) Perhaps there’s something in the intersection of rape-supportive beliefs and profound ignorance of social cues, but I didn’t find anything about that in the quick review I’ve done here.

  153. >This is, in part, what feminists mean by “rape culture”; the attitudes that correlate with rape aren’t ludicrously outside of acceptable boundaries; rather than being pathological outliers, they’re well within our norms.

    I was going to disagree with this on the grounds that using violence and threats of violence to coerce people into satisfying your desires is not within our cultural norms.

    Then I remembered compulsory taxation.

    Shit.

  154. esr: I was going to disagree with this on the grounds that using violence and threats of violence to coerce people into satisfying your desires is not within our cultural norms.

    The perpetrators don’t believe that they’re coercing other people into doing something they don’t want; a central set of myths is that the victim was really asking for it, really wanted it, and really liked it.

  155. >Perhaps there’s something in the intersection of rape-supportive beliefs and profound ignorance of social cues, but I didn’t find anything about that in the quick review I’ve done here.

    No, it has to be more than just “profound ignorance of social cues”. I know a lot of men who are profoundly ignorant of social cues who would be approximately as likely to beat a woman into tolerating penetration as they would to jump over the moon. There has to be another problem involved – extreme casualness and callousness about the use of violence (Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence Scale?). I don’t think I know anyone like that, not even the one self-described “high-functioning sociopath” I count as a friend.

  156. >The perpetrators don’t believe that they’re coercing other people into doing something they don’t want; a central set of myths is that the victim was really asking for it, really wanted it, and really liked it.

    I don’t see any way to reconcile this belief with the use of coercion that isn’t so bugfuck insane that enquiring into the nutter’s beliefs is pointless.

    Talking or seducing someone with an internal conflict into doing what they really want is one thing – hence, in a sexual context, the PUA concept of blowing through the anti-slut shield, and more generally Roissy’s concept of baiting a woman’s rationalization hamster. Use of force and threats is another. I think the really central question here is how these…creatures…maintain the belief that women ‘want’ something men have to beat them into submitting to.

    Ick. This conversation makes my trigger finger itchy. Protector instincts in my backbrain are really kicking in; I want to kill two-legged predators, and I’m frustrated that I can’t. It’s not a pleasant sensation.

  157. esr: I know a lot of men who are profoundly ignorant of social cues who would be approximately as likely to beat a woman into tolerating penetration as they would to jump over the moon. There has to be another problem involved[.] [...] I think the really central question here is how these…creatures…maintain the belief that women ‘want’ something men have to beat them into submitting to.

    I can’t speak directly to the quality of your intuitions, but it’s definitely not just ignorance of social cues–that can enable the problem, but it seems to stem clearly from a sense of being entitled to women along with a belief that they don’t actually mean what they say, and so their actions can be ignored. Maybe there’s less of a clear line between token “anti-slut shield” resistance and paralyzing terror than you think, especially since women are heavily conditioned not to “be difficult” or put up a fight in a lot of other situations (if she really didn’t want it, she’d have fought back harder, right?), and it’s very easy to rationalize when you’re already carrying around a lot of beliefs like that. Maybe there’s a common root cause at work, since a sense of entitlement and belief in rape myths are so highly correlated.

    Remember, a significant proportion of victims and perpetrators will say that, yes, there wouldn’t have been any sex unless there’d been force used, but they wouldn’t call it rape. (The classic popular work on the subject is Robin Warshaw’s I Never Called It Rape.) The capacity of people to justify their own actions and paint them in a favorable light is nothing short of amazing.

    I don’t think I know anyone like that, not even the one self-described “high-functioning sociopath” I count as a friend.

    Friends are pretty much the opposite of a random sample, but in your travels, it’s very likely that you’ve met at least one of the roughly one in sixteen men who show up as rapists or attempted rapists on the SES. One of the profound implications of Koss’s research was that rapists aren’t hundred-foot obvious.

    If the cohort of men involved in attacks is so much smaller, I don’t see how that answer can imply the same incidence. Not unless the male respondents are accurately filling in numbers for their rape counts.

    Could you clarify here? From the summary in the “Meet the Predators” article I linked above, of 1882 men, 120 were rapists or attempted rapists; 44 were single-time offenders, and the remaining 76 repeat offenders had a total of 439 offenses or attempted offenses between them. That’s 483 offenses or attempted offenses for 1882 men, which, with a bit of back-of-the-envelope handwavery, implies around 483 offenses or attempted offenses for every 1882 women, which is a rate of 25.7%, which, assuming the majority of women have a single offense or attempted offense committed against them, is compatible with what Koss et al. came up with.

  158. >Remember, a significant proportion of victims and perpetrators will say that, yes, there wouldn’t have been any sex unless there’d been force used, but they wouldn’t call it rape.

    That sounds like a different disconnect at work, and raises a different question: which is, if the victim refuses to call it “rape”, why should anyone else? If women are not allowed to own their sexual choices – even bad ones – why regard rape as a crime?

    >which, assuming the majority of women have a single offense or attempted offense committed against them, is compatible with what Koss et al. came up with.

    You’ve just restated my objection as an assumption. Unless the rapists are filling in rape tallies, we don’t in fact know this. And, on a priori grounds, it seems likely to me that women who signal vulnerability or engage in risky behaviors like public drunknenness will be highly likely to be victims in multiple incidents.

  159. >if the victim refuses to call it “rape”, why should anyone else?

    Because the State prosecutes criminals when they commit a crime according to law. The victim’s feelings don’t matter in this.

  160. >Statutory rape is a case in point.

    And one very damning to your thesis. Do you really want to analogize all women to minors with whom we criminalize sex because we don’t think they’re competent to make their own decisions?

    The law is meant to be the servant of liberty, not a source that can be referred to for moral authority in itself. No victim, no crime.

  161. If women are not allowed to own their sexual choices – even bad ones – why regard rape as a crime?

    In many jurisdictions if you shag a woman who is severely intoxicated who wouldn’t have shagged you otherwise — even if she ripped her clothes off and threw herself at you, crying out “please do me” — congratulations, you are now a rapist. The woman is considered by law to have been to impaired to have given informed consent, and you are supposed to understand this and wait until she’s sobered up before attempting to get in her pants.

    There are also women who know they were forced into sex, but do not want to mention the R word — perhaps for fear of retribution from the rapist, or other psychological reasons.

  162. >The woman is considered by law to have been to impaired to have given informed consent, and you are supposed to understand this and wait until she’s sobered up before attempting to get in her pants.

    I find this disturbing. Not because I want to or have ever wanted to shag a drunken woman, but because it infantilizes women.

  163. >if the victim refuses to call it “rape”, why should anyone else?

    Because the State prosecutes criminals when they commit a crime according to law. The victim’s feelings don’t matter in this.

    As regards this, I always preferred the case that ESR stated more eloquently than I am capable of here. A crime is injurious to the victim; if the victim says that there was no injury, then there was no crime. The idea of a victimless crime should be a contradiction in terms, but due to a confusion of mind in modern society it isn’t. (By “victimless crime” I’m not referring to prostitution, the common usage, which is its own whole set of issues, but to, for instance, violations of drug laws and gun control laws, which hurt no one, involve only possession of items that are not unreasonably dangerous (as, for instance, storing large quantities of chlorine trifluoride would be), and, quite often, are carried out in solitude on the property of the offender.)

    In many jurisdictions if you shag a woman who is severely intoxicated who wouldn’t have shagged you otherwise — even if she ripped her clothes off and threw herself at you, crying out “please do me” — congratulations, you are now a rapist. The woman is considered by law to have been to impaired to have given informed consent, and you are supposed to understand this and wait until she’s sobered up before attempting to get in her pants.

    The morality of this case can be debated, but on the surface it appears to be very like the prohibition of statutory rape, which is very much a “protection” of the “victims” despite their own protests.

  164. @esr:

    Facing this responsibility is difficult. Because the physical preparation is the least of it; more important yet is becoming mindful in a way that supports making correct life-or-death situations in clutch situations – and struggling, emotionally and spiritually, with the fact that right action may require you to kill. Anyone who doesn’t fear that possibility is a dangerous brute, but anyone who evades wrestling with it is a useless coward.

    I was fortunate? enough to have a life-altering experience at the tender age of 18. I was bicycling down a serene 7 lane street (south Congress in Austin) in the rightmost lane, when an approximately 30 year old idiot in a little pickup truck felt compelled to nose in right in front of me so hard I almost hit him. He yelled at me to get off the road, so I turned off on a side street, and he just followed me. Realizing that he wasn’t going to just leave me alone, I stopped, and he got out of the truck and started haranguing me about how I should ride on the sidewalk (actually illegal in the business district, and damned difficult, with huge steps on the sidewalk on this section of the road, in any case) and not on the road. I explained I was actually supposed to be in the road, and he shouted “You don’t buy any gas! You don’t pay any of the taxes that pay for the road!”

    At this point, I was starting to come to a slow burn, so I said as coldly and slowly as I could “Well, there are a couple of things wrong with that theory. I don’t know whether you think a Cadillac has more rights to the road than your little toy pickup just because it uses more gas, but I don’t. And in any case, the gas tax pays for highways, but these local roads are paid for by property taxes. I don’t think you own any property in Austin; in fact, I don’t think you own any property anywhere!”

    He hauled off and hit me with a roundhouse. After that, I don’t know what happened. I tried many times to remember but I just can’t. I blacked out, and only came to because he was yelling at me really loudly to stop. I was off my bicycle, on top of him, and just wailing on his face for all I could give it.

    I was rattled for a very long time about that. It really bothered me that my loss of control meant I could have killed the guy without even knowing it. I like to think that if a similar thing happened today I would have more awareness and control, but I long ago came to terms with the idea that the instincts of a natural born killer lurk deep inside me, and at some point they might prove useful.

  165. @esr:

    This might be a little long, and I apologise if it remains off-topic.

    >Not a real man? Failing his society?

    Yes. He may think he’s not prepared to harm others, but he is free-riding on the harm that policemen and soldiers are prepared to do.

    I object to the use of “free-riding” in this context — this is specialisation for mutual advantage. Is someone “free-riding” if they don’t know first aid?

    Every day that he relies on a system that fields policemen and soldiers, the blood they shed is on his hands.

    I actually agree that society needs “sheepdogs”. But the optimum number of sheepdogs is not 100%. You disagree with specialisation in this context, but specialisation is efficient. If our hypothetical doctor feels compelled (in order not to fail in his “duties as a man”) to spend time preparing to respond to violence, a task for which he lacks comparative advantage, then there will be a cost in lives not saved at the margin.

    I want to be very clear here: if he finds himself in a position where violence is required to prevent harm to another, I agree that he has a duty to protect(*). Where I disagree is in his duty to prepare for such a low-probability event.

    The trust network that is the fabric of society frays and weakens.

    Here we come to the crux of the matter: the fabric of society is held together by more threads than the commitment to meet violence with force. Most of the work is done by upholding and enforcing norms against force and fraud.

    A mature conception of masculinity appreciates every form of sacrifice that maintains our civilisation. A conception of masculinity that glorifies the use of force by denigrating men whose strength lies elsewhere has blind spots when it comes to upholding norms.

    You seem to think that every man’s duty is the same, differing in extent but not in kind depending on his abilities. However, you recognise that since women are different they have different duties. But the differences is character amongst individual men are greater than the differences in average character between men and women. This means we need to respect a range of masculine roles, including your role in teaching self defence and including grendelkhan’s role in improving norms by raising awareness.

    I need to tread very carefully with my next claim, and I’m asking you to read it as intended (i.e. without hostility): I believe that, in the narrow context of “rape statistics”, grendelkhan is acting in a more ‘manly’ fashion than anyone else here. He is taking the literature in the area seriously, in the sense that he is reading it carefully enough and deeply enough to understand how the researchers came up with their numbers. He does not appear scared that what he learns will require him to modifiy his behaviour, or that others will look down at him for those modifications.

    [ (*) @jsk: I believe that violence must be available as a last resort (and can even, in rare circumstances, be optimal as a first resort), but I think that within a stable society pacifism as a minority opinion is a minor mistake, possibly even beneficial for Overton window reasons.]

  166. There are also women who know they were forced into sex, but do not want to mention the R word — perhaps for fear of retribution from the rapist, or other psychological reasons.

    If a woman is subjected to non-consensual sex, she is in a catch-22: if she describes her experience she is a “rape victim”, or, even worse, a “rape survivor” with all the attendant psychological harm; if she doesn’t use the word “rape” she is left with the sense that she was wronged, but without the language to express why.

    This is exacerbated if she verbally, but not forcefully, denied consent, and displayed submissive body language, as she is biologically and socially conditioned to do. She will have seen women in similar situations criticised: “if it was rape, why didn’t she fight back”?

  167. I’ve thought of this for quite awhile, pete.

    It would best if we were to define “rape”, because I really think some of Grendalkhan’s studies as well as some feminists are very “loose” with the interpretation. This is in part how one gets the larger numbers, after all if I’m in the missionary position with a woman, there’s an element of “force” involved, force is also undefined in many of these studies, and I would say rather overdefined in some of the laws.

    In fact, we can’t really say anything about the incidence of rape in the general population at all for two very good reasons:
    A. Most studies of rape take place in very specific places and subcultures which are outside the norm, such as college campuses and thus can’t necessarily be extropolated to the whole population ;
    B. There’s a tremendous difference observed between the reported numbers of rapes , women’s observed daily behavior and the amount that appear in most surveys which leads me to suspect that many of these surveys have either poorly designed questions, abuse of the data, or both.

    Rape is a tremendously politicized crime, there’s also often a tendency to try expand the definition. For instance, everyone here would agree that if a woman is passed out from intoxication she can’t meaningfully consent, however should BOTH parties be intoxicated but neither party be “passed out drunk” or if one party is intoxicated but not “passed out” drunk and the other is not, whether or not this is rape will depend very much on what philosophical beliefs one holds about consent. To me it is obvious that if a woman is not passed out drunk she is every bit as responsible for whatever sex she gets into as much as she is responsible if she gets in a car, drives, and kills someone. The alternative to me is infantalizing women, and in that case we’d be better off not allowing them to drink in the first place. In fact, the states , (while all agreeing on my first case) are very split on the subject of alcohol and consent, and thus its easy enough to “massage” some rape numbers up by making sure to take a survey only in a state where any amount of alcohol mitigates all consent , ask a question or questions that include that scenerio, and add that to the number of “rapes” in your survey, when in fact , the very same behavior in a neighboring state would be perfectly legal.

    In short GK and others are blowing a lot of smoke. There’s no indication that most women outside alcohol filled or college environments (And college usually takes place during some of the years that women are most likely to be raped anyway 18 to 22 or thereabouts) are at any appreciable risk of rape, certainly not if rape is defined in any traditional fashion.

    As for rape culture, the same “rape culture” that feminists like to claim exists also enabled the lynching of innocent black men on the word of white women not even a century ago. That some rapists may have problematic beliefs that mirror those of the larger society says nothing more than you’d find if you examined the beliefs of murderers and yet we don’t claim there’s a “murder culture” in the US. Lastly, I find it hypocritical: if there’s a rape culture, there must surely be a false accusation culture as well based on the amount of them that happen.

  168. >I long ago came to terms with the idea that the instincts of a natural born killer lurk deep inside me, and at some point they might prove useful.

    And the important point: you didn’t kill.

    In fact, you behaved exactly correctly in all respects. Despite being angry, you kept control and you didn’t escalate. When presented with aggressive force, you handed back a beating that I’m sure has made that guy think twice about unloading on strangers ever since. And you didn’t kill or seriously injure, because the aggression presented to you was not enough to justify that much counterforce.

    You behaved exactly as a man should, and made the world a little safer and better place. I would be proud of any of my students who did similarly, especially at the age of 18.

  169. >> Yes. He may think he’s not prepared to harm others, but he is free-riding on the harm that policemen and soldiers are prepared to do.

    > I object to the use of “free-riding” in this context — this is specialisation for mutual advantage.

    Object all you want, but it’s free riding.

    Free-riders always have an excuse, but that doesn’t change their status.

    > Is someone “free-riding” if they don’t know first aid?

    Yes.

  170. esr: if the victim refuses to call it “rape”, why should anyone else?

    Koss, perhaps anticipating this question, describes it as being similar to the reasons that researchers ask drinkers if, for example, they habitually miss work due to hangovers, or if they suffer from withdrawal if they discontinue drinking, rather than asking if they’re alcoholics. The situations are analogous in that using the word carries with it baggage; for instance, an alcoholic is obliged to admit that either they’ll seek treatment, or they’re explicitly refusing treatment; a rape victim is obliged to confront the idea that she’s the “kind of girl” who gets raped.

    For another example, consider the social-research term “men who have sex with men”; sure, they may preferentially have sex with men absent any situational coercion (e.g. prison), but they’re not homosexuals, y’know?

    The question of interest is how often the events described in questions 8-10 of Koss’s SES occur, not how often victims can bring themselves to admit that they were raped in situations which, objectively, meet the definition. That’s an interesting question, but it’s not the question of “how prevalent is rape?”.

    You’ve just restated my objection as an assumption. Unless the rapists are filling in rape tallies, we don’t in fact know this.

    They did fill in rape tallies–the gender-flipped SES that Lisak and Miller asked includes questions about how many times the events had occurred; that was how the study identified a small minority of men as being prolific repeat offenders. Is there some aspect to this that I’m missing? If you’re curious as to how many victims are repeat victims, there are works like Daigle, Fisher and Cullen (2007), “Repeat and Multiple Sexual Assault Victims: The Role of Lifestyle-Routine Activities and Incident Characteristics”, which uses source data from the Sexual Victimization of College Women study, which in turn used the behavior-oriented type of question that Koss used.

    Is there a particular hypothesis you’re forming here?

  171. >I object to the use of “free-riding” in this context — this is specialisation for mutual advantage. Is someone “free-riding” if they don’t know first aid?

    Not the same ethical case. The correct parallel would be someone who occasionally needs first aid, but thinks his morality is superior because he refrains from giving first aid to others.

    The implication I drew from the original scenario is that we are supposed to consider the ER doctor noble for being “nonviolent”. I am attacking precisely the fundamental, nigh-inescapable hypocrisy of claiming to be “nonviolent” while relying on defensive violence by others.

    >I actually agree that society needs “sheepdogs”. But the optimum number of sheepdogs is not 100%. You disagree with specialisation in this context, but specialisation is efficient. If our hypothetical doctor feels compelled (in order not to fail in his “duties as a man”) to spend time preparing to respond to violence, a task for which he lacks comparative advantage, then there will be a cost in lives not saved at the margin.

    How do you know that? Being competent at defensive violence saves lives, too – quite possibly his own, given the rather grim parts of cities that hospitals tend to be embedded in. And the amount of time required is not large. Basic pistol proficiency, for example, is readily gained in six to nine hours of training. If we presume our our doctor is an intelligent man who follows directions as well as the typical hacker, I could teach him the basics in three hours. Thereafter, two hours a month to build and maintain skill. I would recommend some unarmed self-defense as well – that can substutite for time he’d otherwise spend jogging or working weight machines or whatever and isn’t a huge investment either.

    But the most important investment of time only needs to happen once. It’s the transition of consciousness he does when he stops deluding himself that he is – or even can be – “nonviolent”. The main difference between a sheep and a sheepdog isn’t specific techniques but a cast of mind, the acquired wisdom that there are values precious enough to be worth dying for and worth killing for and that right action to defend others (or himself!) may require either. And when you stop thinking of police and soldiers as servants or inferiors who do that icky violence thing and honor them for dedicating themselves to the guardian role more completely than you or I can do.

    (One way your doctor may notice that he has crossed over into this different kind of consciousness is if military men occasionally ask him out of the blue if he is a veteran, clearly expecting the answer to be “yes”. This happens to me. I suspect it begins to happen to all civilian sheepdogs after a while. It’s the watchfulness showing, I think – the defender’s knowledge that he is never entirely off duty.)

    >Here we come to the crux of the matter: the fabric of society is held together by more threads than the commitment to meet violence with force. Most of the work is done by upholding and enforcing norms against force and fraud.

    Of course. But that enforcement always cashes out in the same way. Talking people into good behavior has to be underpinned by the knowledge that they will suffer violent consequences for bad behavior, otherwise it doesn’t stick. Both ends of the tit-for-tat strategy have to operate for peace to be a stable condition.

    >A mature conception of masculinity appreciates every form of sacrifice that maintains our civilisation.

    Certainly this is true. But it’s only trivially true. You wave this observation around as though it implies that I should not advocate more men being sheepdogs as part of their duties. But…hm, perhaps I can best illustrate this with a hypothetical.

    I don’t think anyone denies the duties of mature masculinity include mentoring young men, whether they’re your own sons or boys unrelated to you who look to you as a role model. Now I want you to imagine that I live in an alternate universe where American culture has evolved along a different track. There’s tremendous cultural investment in the idea that men are responsible to be defenders. Everybody shoots, and skill at hand-to-hand combat is more common than the ability to cook. Crime rates are really low; as was said of the Mongol Empire, a virgin could walk from one end of the country to the other stark naked with a bag of gold in each hand and arrive unmolested. But during the last sixty years, something unhealthy has been happening, and there is now tremendous cultural pressure for men to stop mentoring boys. “Leave that to the professionals,” we’re told. “They do a better job. And being that interested in boys is unhealthy. Might mean you’re a predator.”

    In that universe, it is quite likely that I would be raising hackles by insisting that a man’s duties include being as strong and effective a role model for boys as possible. If your analog were to say to me, “Eric, why don’t you talk about the necessity of being a defender as much as you do about the necessity of mentoring boys?” my answer would be nobody has damaged that understanding, so I don’t have to try to repair it.

    If the day comes in this universe when I think men have remembered the duty of the defender thoroughly enough, perhaps I’ll bear down on another duty of masculinity. But in the meantime, it’s damn silly to criticize me for focusing on restoring a part of the cultural ideal of masculinity that very clearly has been damaged, and to our extreme detriment as a society.

  172. >Is there a particular hypothesis you’re forming here?

    Not yet. Just asking questions in order to understand the fact pattern better. Clearly I’m going to have to do more reading.

    When I asked “if the victim refuses to call it “rape”, why should anyone else?” you don’t quite seem to have grasped the point of my question. I wasn’t asking about methodology. I was asking on what grounds these “victims” are implicitly being denied agency – denied the right to decide for themselves whether they wish to regard whatever happened as a crime requiring redress and have that decision be respected.

    I’m disturbed by the assumption of the researchers that, in effect, they get to choose the ethical category in which these events fall, regardless of what the opinions of the participants were. I’m even a little concerned about this in their dismissals of the men’s accounts, but I’m very much concerned about them obtruding their judgments upon the women. I do not intend melodrama when I tell you this seems like a form of rape itself.

  173. @esr You seem to have an embedded assumption in your 3:01 am comment that the women cannot regard it as morally/ethically wrong and/or criminal without being prepared to call it “rape”.

    It is entirely possible that the women do regard it as a crime requiring redress, but do not choose to use rape as the word describing that crime, reserving rape for the “stranger, with violence, out of the blue” case that is the standard stereotype of rape. It is, moreover, also possible that the idea that the things that happened to them could be considered a crime worthy of redress has not occurred to them.

    To take an extreme example (untypical, of course, but sufficient to illustrate that this category exists), if a woman reports to the police, a prosecutor elects to prosecute, and then the man is found not guilty, she may well say that she was not raped – after all, the court made that determination, didn’t it? But if you ask her if she was “violated” or if what was done to her “should have been criminal” then you get a yes.

    [Of course, that's anecdotal, but anecdote is sufficient to demonstrate the existence of a category]

  174. @esr
    “as was said of the Mongol Empire, a virgin could walk from one end of the country to the other stark naked with a bag of gold in each hand and arrive unmolested. ”

    There are many places on earth where a virgin could do that now. Especially as she would be so conspicuous that no-one would dear come close to her. Except that, contrary to the Mongol times, people are not allowed to walk the streets naked.

    I know of a European girl who made a trip of several days through sub-Saharan Africa on public transport (the bus). On her own, unarmed etc. For the locals, she was conspicuously carrying the equivalent of a bag of gold. She told she encountered nothing negative beyond people trying to sell her things.

    Btw, this, or something like this, has been said of many empires, from the First emperor of China, the rule of Medes and Persians etc.

  175. >But if you ask her if she was “violated” or if what was done to her “should have been criminal” then you get a yes.

    OK, you have pared away some of the cases I was concerned about. I don’t think you’ve covered all of them yet, though. I’m going to have to read the literature to be sure myself.

  176. esr Says:
    I’m disturbed by the assumption of the researchers that, in effect, they get to choose the ethical category in which these events fall, regardless of what the opinions of the participants were.

    The research procedures used on the question of whether men interrupt women or women interrupt men illustrate the research procedures employed on rape:

    Deborah Tannen, describing a conversation where the males are continually interrupted:
    “The model of conversations as an enterprise in
    which only one voice should be heard at a time
    is at the heart of mysogynic stereotypes”

    She tells us that the women’s voices are
    “overlapping in a highly cooperative and
    collaborative exchange”

    It was, however, evident that the men did not feel the interruptions to be cooperative and collaborative, but she assures us:
    “that even when the effect of overlap is perceived
    to be obstructive, the intent may have been
    constructive”

    The research on women interrupting men inclines me to disbelieve the research on men raping women.

  177. @James A Donald
    “Deborah Tannen, describing a conversation where the males are continually interrupted:
    “The model of conversations as an enterprise in which only one voice should be heard at a time is at the heart of mysogynic stereotypes””

    She just attacked the hearth of Conversation analysis, the very branch of social science she applies. And it is totally bogus. The whole point of a conversation is turn taking. If you do not engage in turn taking you should take up singing.

    And overlaps have nothing to do with gender roles. Overlaps occur often because of cooperation, the next speaker has already parsed the utterance of the current speaker and starts her turn. But that is not interruption. The other form of overlap is when confirmation “backchannel” utterances are given (hm, yes, oke etc.). But that neither is an interruption. That both types of overlap are distributed differently according to gender, status, or cultural upbringing is a truism unrelated to mysogynic stereotypes.

    The only real interruptions, where one speaker takes the turn away from another, are strongly related to status and power, indeed. You do not interrupt the king, but he interrupts you. But it is extremely difficult to map real interruptions to misogyny as it is also strongly related to self-image and cultural roles (Swedes seem to never, ever interrupt others).

    In short, bogus assumptions lead to bogus science.

  178. @esr:

    The implication I drew from the original scenario is that we are supposed to consider the ER doctor noble for being “nonviolent”. I am attacking precisely the fundamental, nigh-inescapable hypocrisy of claiming to be “nonviolent” while relying on defensive violence by others.

    Not quite what I meant. We are meant to consider the doctor noble because of the lives he saves. The question is, do we denigrate him, despite the lives he saves, because he would prefer that others, better equipped than he, take on the sheepdog role?

    If the day comes in this universe when I think men have remembered the duty of the defender thoroughly enough, perhaps I’ll bear down on another duty of masculinity. But in the meantime, it’s damn silly to criticize me for focusing on restoring a part of the cultural ideal of masculinity that very clearly has been damaged, and to our extreme detriment as a society.

    It looks like our misunderstanding boils down to this: you think I’m criticising you for advocating the sheepdog role; I think I’m criticising you for denigrating those who choose other roles.

    In terms of your hypothetical, imagine you were advocating mentoring by calling sheepdogs “stunted, twitchy, effete”. Might detract from your message, no?

    @Andy Freeman

    > Is someone “free-riding” if they don’t know first aid?

    Yes.

    At least you’re consistent!

  179. @esr, Andy Freeman etc

    I am getting the feeling that any Libertarian society will have stronger social pressures than anything we experience from the current non-Libertarian states. If I am considered an anti-social Free Rider when I do not know First-Aid or refuse to spend their time at a shooting range, that could go quite a long way to explain why people might prefer paying taxes and be done with it.

    (this is irony, for the humor impaired)

  180. Coincidentally, while I was reading through this conversation here, the other day, Diane Rehm came on the radio with an interview of Stacey Lannert (there’s now also a transcript online), about killing her rapist father, the years leading up to that, the years beyond that….

    The interview-description/-summary:

    At the age of 18, Stacey Lannert shot her father twice while he slept. He had sexually abused her from the age of 8, but the final straw came when he also began raping her younger sister. Lannert confessed and was found guilty of first-degree murder. The judge later said the mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole was severe for someone her age and somewhat surprising considering the sexual abuse by her father. At age 36, she was given a shot at redemption when the outgoing governor of Missouri commuted her sentence. Stacey Lannert tells the story of how she learned to be free while living behind bars.

  181. @Winter: You know these “Libertarian society” social pressures of which you speak, were actually mainstream in the US (and for cultural reasons, I would suspect this is true for the Anglosphere, as well as the Germanic and Scandinavian worlds as well) just a few generations ago, right? Just substitute “bum” for free-rider, at least for an American.

  182. > I am getting the feeling that any Libertarian society will have stronger social pressures than anything we experience from the current non-Libertarian states. If I am considered an anti-social Free Rider when I do not know First-Aid or refuse to spend their time at a shooting range, that could go quite a long way to explain why people might prefer paying taxes and be done with it.

    One problem with that argument is that the non-Libertarian states don’t have less social pressures – they have more. They’re funded via taxes and often result in coercion.

    Note that libertarians are far more tolerant socially of non-believers than the “fund it with taxes” folk. The latter not only think nothing of shunning, they’ll then bring in the state to force their opinion.

  183. @Andy Freeman and Greg

    Come on, obligated First Aid and gun training?

    And in general, laws and social pressure tend to be complementary. Reduce one and the other creeps in.

    People living close together requires adaptation. One way or another. And it matters whether it is 1 person per square km or 350, or 5000.

  184. @Winter: Have you ever even met anyone who doesn’t live in a city? The longer this thread goes, the more seriously I have to ask the question….

    I’m a city kid- in fact I grew up in the only city that matters. (I’m only partly joking. Can you guess where?) But I’ve *been* outside that city, known people who lived in other places, visited them and *paid attention* to their lives and attitudes. And a man, living on a family farm or ranch, who didn’t know at the last the basics of using a gun and treating wounds (among many other skills you would find shocking) would be considered, to be polite, useless.

    It crosses political boundaries. I once spent a week or so living with some very generous folks in Canada. They were religion-hating, state-worshipping Marxists. They happened to live in a relatively rural area, and augmented their income by farming. And compared to an American city-dweller, they were rabid DIY’ers- they had to be to survive, where they were. Firearms and first aid would be just scratching the surface of the skills they expected from members of their household.

  185. To try to generalize- it’s only increasing dependency on gov’t provided emergency services that has allowed the current indifference to things like firearms knowledge and first aid skills, to develop at all. When you live out where it takes 45 minutes for the sheriffs deputy to respond to an emergency call and there are no ambulances at all, it clarifies the need to LEARN certain things. Especially if you hope for your children to survive to reach adulthood- relatively minor injuries can become life threatening if a hospital is sufficiently far away and you don’t know how to stabilize them. Leaving aside human threats, the non-urban world is still full of potentially troublesome animals (coyote’s are no laughing matter and their population and range is expanding ENORMOUSLY) and if nothing else rabies is always something to keep in mind.

    Really, anyone who does not take for granted that first class municipal emergency services will always be available, now and forever, has to laugh at your attitude of deliberate helplessness. (And even in cities with good services with response times in minutes, that’s not enough. One catch phrase used by people to justify carrying concealed weapons is that “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away”- and they’re right.)

  186. >Really, anyone who does not take for granted that first class municipal emergency services will always be available, now and forever, has to laugh at your attitude of deliberate helplessness.

    Indeed. Both the Aegis and Polaris fission fragments of my sword school teach first aid as part of basic training. Goes with weapons skills very naturally and functionally.

  187. Thanks for advocating for our blog, Clarence.

    in Britain, rape is legally defined so that it can never be done to man,

    I suspect you’ve misremembered. In fact rape in England and Wales is legally defined to that it can only be perpetrated by a male, i.e, it’s defined as penetration with a penis. If this is done to another male, then this is rape.

    I’m not sure what the situation is in Scotland, which is a bit embarrassing because I live here, or in Northern Ireland. Until very recently, Scotland had a very narrow definition by which only males could rape, and only females could be victimised, however this may have changed.

    …they uphold Koss’s studies…

    Up to a point. I disagree with the ‘standard’ objections articulated by Gilbert, Roiphe, Hoff Sommers, and many others but I have objections of my one, specifically to Koss’ view of men only as perpetrators and women only as victims. Another point, which isn’t against Koss per se is that the data is twenty-five years old. The incidence of rape has fallen precipitously in that time.

  188. > Come on, obligated First Aid and gun training?

    I didn’t say or imply obligated.

    Feel free to pay someone to take care of you.

    > People living close together requires adaptation. One way or another. And it matters whether it is 1 person per square km or 350, or 5000.

    Yes, it does. However, unless you’re living in a police station and a hospital, you’re relying on yourself and the kindness of others.

  189. Clarence: It would best if we were to define “rape”, because I really think some of Grendalkhan’s studies as well as some feminists are very “loose” with the interpretation.

    Where did you get this idea? Koss et al. used a ten-question scale called the Sexual Experiences Survey, or SES, the relevant questions of which I pasted above. One might think that the original eighth question was ambiguous, but a clearer rephrasing gave the same results, as I explained.

    A. Most studies of rape take place in very specific places and subcultures which are outside the norm, such as college campuses and thus can’t necessarily be extropolated to the whole population ;

    This is incorrect; the National Violence Against Women Survey, for example, did not survey a specific subculture, and its findings were in line with other studies of that nature. I see above that you claim it’s “a political, not scientific, document”; is there a specific reason for this?

    B. There’s a tremendous difference observed between the reported numbers of rapes , women’s observed daily behavior and the amount that appear in most surveys which leads me to suspect that many of these surveys have either poorly designed questions, abuse of the data, or both.

    What do you mean by “observed daily behavior”? Given that the results have been replicated by at least three major large-scale studies after Koss et al.’s original publication, by what right do you defy the data? Why do you conclude that the studies
    are in error, rather than your beliefs?

    You go into considerable detail about a definition of rape as “sex with a woman who has consumed any alcohol”; while I’m sure it’s been proposed somewhere (Jeff Read also brought it up), it’s completely irrelevant here. The SES and similar instruments don’t use that sort of definition. Schwartz and Leggett asked, “Have you engaged in sexual intercourse when you didn’t want to but were so intoxicated under the influence of alcohol or drugs that you could not stop it or object?” (they got the same results as Koss et al. did when they asked the original version); the “1 in 4 women are the victims of attempted or completed rape” does not and never has relied on this definition.

    As for rape culture, the same “rape culture” that feminists like to claim exists also enabled the lynching of innocent black men on the word of white women not even a century ago.

    Are you trying to make the point that “rape culture” is evil, or doesn’t exist any more, or what? In any case, “rape culture” refers to, as you say, problematic beliefs that mirror those of the larger society, specifically those that justify the commission of and deny the prevalence of rape. What exactly are the analogous beliefs that enabled the lynching of innocent black folk? The closest things that come to mind are myths like “black men find white women irresistible and will attack them given opportunity”, which, while obviously bad memes, don’t really tie into the sorts of memes listed on, for example, Burt’s Rape Myth Acceptance scale.

    You ask why no one proposes a notional “murder culture”; are there myths analogous to those about rape? The closest thing that I can imagine were the accusations that people like Larry Jones made in “File 18″, that there was an epidemic of about fifty thousand yearly ritual homicides in the United States which were being covered up for various sinister reasons. (It’s not really analogous; no one’s claimed that there’s a mustache-twirling plot to cover up rape–it’s more of a prospiracy than a conspiracy, to use Eric’s terms.) The gripping-hand difference, of course, is that, in fact, there is no epidemic of ritual Satanic murder in this country, while there is a remarkably high prevalence of rape.

    You seem to think that “rape culture” is merely a shibboleth, and I’m sure it’s frequently used in a sloppy fashion, but it really does have a formal meaning, which I explained above.

  190. Come on, obligated First Aid and gun training?

    I am opposed to military conscription. It is a form of involuntary servitude that any honest reading of the Thirteenth Amendment would find unconstitutional. Only one argument in favor of the draft has ever had any weight with me: “In the event of a major emergency, we don’t have time wait to get volunteers and then train them.” I would of course counter with what my dad told me about how the day after Pearl Harbor, people were lined up around the block at the recruiting station in his hometown, and one of the recruiters came out, counted… and said “all you from this point on, come back tomorrow!”

    But there is an important point there. I add a pinch of Heinlein and come up with this modest proposal: Before people graduate from HS, they should learn:

    0) American Sign Language, which can be used to converse with hearing-impaired people or in a noisy environment, as well as silently communicate with others in a martial context. The kids should learn this in grade school while their language acquisition skills are strongest.
    1) First Aid
    2) Basic survival skills.
    3) Firearm safety, marksmanship, maintenance (both with pistols and rifles).
    4) Unarmed combat skills.
    5) Basic military discipline, small-unit organization to achieve an objective. Be able to give and take orders, and know who should do each in a given situation.

    Graduation, demonstrating fundamental competence in these areas, earns the vote. And you have a large pool of people trained and ready to respond to emergencies without having to force them into some term of service.

    (For those with physical handicaps, some slack may be allowed on the standards for graduation.)

  191. esr: I wasn’t asking about methodology. I was asking on what grounds these “victims” are implicitly being denied agency – denied the right to decide for themselves whether they wish to regard whatever happened as a crime requiring redress and have that decision be respected.

    Richard Gadsden covered this pretty well, but I’d like to add that the dispute seems to echo the riddle asking how many legs a dog has, if you call a tail a leg. (The dog still has four legs, of course.) What are the sorts of cases that you’re worried about? Note that anyone defined as having been raped has answered affirmatively to one of the last three questions on the SES, which seem like pretty clear-cut cases. I doubt that the women in the study were individually told “you’ve been raped!” if they answered affirmatively, in any case.

    James A Donald: The research procedures used on the question of whether men interrupt women or women interrupt men illustrate the research procedures employed on rape:

    I’m trying to be charitable here, but I can’t see how you could have read the upthread notes on methodology and come away with this idea. I’m not familiar with Tannen’s work, I don’t have much particular interest in delving into it at present, and you’ve completely skipped over the part where you explain how Tannen’s work somehow reflects on Koss et al., on Lisak and Miller, on all the researchers who’ve accumulated the relevant mountain of evidence. Is it that someone involved may have been a feminist, and you simply see fit to tar them all by association?

  192. @Greg
    “@Winter: Have you ever even met anyone who doesn’t live in a city? The longer this thread goes, the more seriously I have to ask the question….”

    Like over half of the human population, I do live in a city. Between me and the Urals live some 700 Million people. There is little scope for “wilderniss” from here to the Urals. I have been travelling around, but as most people live in cities, that is where I usually end up.

    @Greg
    “Firearms and first aid would be just scratching the surface of the skills they expected from members of their household.”

    And your point is? If I were living there I would learn that too. But I am not living there.

    FYI, I did a number of First Aid courses but see no point in making that obligatory except as part of high school training. As for guns, if I enter a building carrying a gun they call the police. And if I see someone doing that I would call them too.

    If public services break down in my part of Europe for any prolonged time, half of the population will die. No amount of DIY, First Aid, or Gun training will help in that. There are simply too many people living in a small place.

  193. pete: I believe that, in the narrow context of “rape statistics”, grendelkhan is acting in a more ‘manly’ fashion than anyone else here. He is taking the literature in the area seriously, in the sense that he is reading it carefully enough and deeply enough to understand how the researchers came up with their numbers.

    Thanks; that’s a lovely compliment. I’m glad my research is appreciated. I’m stunned by the prevalence of handwaving and arrant bullshittery on the topic. Of course it’s possible that the entire field is built on foundational errors, but I’m not going to be convinced of that by obvious flimflam, like the bit about Tannen above. (Maybe if none of us could in any way check Koss et al.’s work, or if there weren’t multiple replications of the results, mushy attempts to suss out guilt by association would be the best anyone could do. But that’s not the case.)

    He does not appear scared that what he learns will require him to modifiy his behaviour, or that others will look down at him for those modifications.

    You’re too kind. My own anecdotal experience has been that a surprisingly high proportion of women I’ve been good enough friends with to discuss the topic had been molested or raped. (Also, interesting to note in retrospect, a significant number of them didn’t use the word “rape”.) I didn’t have the experience growing up that some other men here had wherein they were expected to disregard explicit refusals from prospective partners, so I don’t have to overcome the idea that I may be a rapist who didn’t know it. I recognize that I have it a lot easier than some other guys in the thread. Having had to relinquish a cherished belief I didn’t even know I had a few months ago, I can sympathize with how much it hurts.

    Darren: I have objections of my one, specifically to Koss’ view of men only as perpetrators and women only as victims.

    I don’t see what bearing that has on the results; the National Violence Against Women Survey, despite its name, looked at violence against both men and women, perpetrated by both men and women, and came up with similar numbers. (The view of women as solely victims is less wrong than the view of men as solely perpetrators, as men are disproportionately victimized by other men.)

    Another point, which isn’t against Koss per se is that the data is twenty-five years old. The incidence of rape has fallen precipitously in that time.

    Based on what? More recent studies of incidence (e.g., the National Women’s Study) seem to find the same results as Koss et al. did. Are you basing this on falling crime reports, as shown in, for instance, the FBI’s UCR?

  194. @Winter:
    >>Firearms and first aid would be just scratching the surface of the skills they expected from members of their household.
    >And your point is? If I were living there I would learn that too. But I am not living there.

    I thought that example was pretty obvious- for people who don’t let themselves be infantalized by gov’t services, common sense and survival trump politics.

    >FYI, I did a number of First Aid courses but see no point in making that obligatory except as part of high school training.

    I see your problem. When we talk about something being expected of a non-free-riding individual, you assume that there has to be a LAW, that there has to be some kind of government-enforced mandatory “obligation” for it to mean anything. Which kind of sums up your problem in a nutshell right there.

    >If public services break down in my part of Europe for any prolonged time, half of the population will die.

    And if the sun goes nova we’ll all fry, yada yada. There’s always an excuse for choosing to be helpless. How about a more likely event- what if services break down for a day? (Say a very bad storm, like the one we had here in the Eastern US in late December.) Or if services break down for a week? (Like say if there were a really big French-style strike.) Or if services were even partially degraded for a month? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave

  195. >Basic pistol proficiency, for example, is readily gained in six to nine hours of training. If we presume our our doctor is an intelligent man who follows directions as well as the typical hacker, I could teach him the basics in three hours. Thereafter, two hours a month to build and maintain skill

    A Cooperism: Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician

    From Complete Book of Shooting by Jack O’Connor with Jeff Cooper, second edition 1982, Coopers’ part: Shooting the Handgun,

    page 311: Learning to shoot a pistol well is a major project. While I have supervised the training of thousands of service people, who had no choice, I have also known some scores of individual civilians who asked my help only to give up in dismay when they found out how much work was involved.

    page 316: DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Ten careful squeezes each morning and ten each evening. Aim for the center of a light switch on the opposite wall, and make each squeeze a perfect surprise break.
    Also: With one range session every two weeks, plus conscientious homework, you may be able to … place thirty shots in three 3-inch groups by the end of six months … By this time you have completed step one …

    and from 317: The foregoing is just one of many programs, but it is a good one. It should take about two years and about 4000 rounds.

  196. Erik@ You might want to ask what ‘basic pistol proficiency’ means before trotting out what looks to be a contradictory source but actually is not. You really ought to know better- learning to shoot truly well (which is what Cooper was talking about) is about acquiring hacker-level skills with a gun.

    You might as well suggest that only hackers be allowed to use computers- setting a bar unrealistically high to frighten and intimidate is *not* helpful.

  197. >Learning to shoot a pistol well is a major project.

    Depends on what you mean by ‘well’. Colonel Cooper was a great man, but he was ex-military and thinking in terms of elite military proficiency standards. This simply doesn’t match the threat profile civilians generally face, and overtraining has costs.

    To begin with, most civilian self-defense situations involve very short ranges – 7-10 feet. There wouldn’t even really be a lot of point in training our hypotheitical ER doctor in conventional marksmanship, except insofar as that helps develop comfort with the weapon and good safety practice. Short-range point shooting and good target discrimination under stress are far more important.

    I encourage my students to train to as high a level of proficiency as they find interesting. But the base level needed for civilians to be effective at basic self-defense is not anywhere near as high as Cooper implies. And a good thing, too!

  198. > A Cooperism: Owning a handgun doesn’t make you armed any more than owning a guitar makes you a musician

    There’s your problem – Cooper is a fetishist.

    > Learning to shoot a pistol well is a major project.

    Irrelevant because shooting well isn’t necessary. Shooting “good enough” is.

    In other news, IPSC is a game. (In real-life, 9mm can be acceptable and you’ll never have a race gun. And, you can turn at the waist – you don’t have to move your feet.)

  199. @Erik van der Harst:

    The typical homeowner has a much closer target than what you find at a range. And, with at least 6 shots, a 3 inch grouping isn’t at all necessary. The first and only shot can probably be a clean miss and all you will see is the back of a rapidly retreating would-be perp.

    In short, for what most people need, the kind of master Jack O’Connor teaches simply isn’t required.

    But you’re absolutely right — any homeowner who is really worried about mastery of a pistol should just get a sawed-off shotgun. Those, you don’t even need to fire once. Just rack one into the chamber.

  200. From “Jeff Cooper’s Commentaries
    Previously Gunsite Gossip
    Vol. 1, No. 9 October 1993″

    Family member Dr. Werner Weissenhofer reports from Vienna. It seems that a felon armed with a 357
    revolver robbed a bank. As he left the bank, he was accosted by a policeman whom he murdered with one
    shot. Great excitement ensued, with the felon taking hostages and racing madly around from one store to
    another. When the forces of law and order had been mobilized and surrounded the goblin, a policeman
    volunteered to trade himself to the goblin for two hostages. This offer was accepted, at which time the felon
    fired at the policeman and seriously wounded him. The forces of law and order opened up with everything
    they had, which was mostly AUG and Glock fire. Shortly, the goblin killed himself with one round. He had
    fired three times and achieved three hits. The police, according to their official report, fired 1,261 rounds
    without drawing blood

    You might conclude the Viennese police cannot shoot for toffee but Cooper quotes other instances where 10 US police fire 30 rounds at an armed criminal from 10 feet away and get 3 hits.

    I have never shot a gun in my life except for friends’ air pistols when I was a teenager but from what I have read from the experts you will shoot a whole lot worse under pressure (adrenalin etc.) than you do at a paper target. This is why you need the 3 inch group on the paper to get a hit at all on an attacker.

    And as for Gregs’ You might as well suggest that only hackers be allowed to use computers- setting a bar unrealistically high to frighten and intimidate is *not* helpful.

    Being marginally competent with a computer is unlikely to get you (or anyone else) killed, with a gun you need to (Cooper again) “perform to a higher standard”.

  201. He had fired three times and achieved three hits. The police, according to their official report, fired 1,261 rounds
    without drawing blood.

    The good guys managed to scare the bad guy into killing himself without even hitting him. I think you just made my point for me that the average homeowner doesn’t actually need to be able to hit his target.

  202. > He had
    fired three times and achieved three hits. The police, according to their official report, fired 1,261 rounds
    without drawing blood

    Unless you’re claiming that the perp had significantly greater training than the police, that incident doesn’t support your argument.

    Your other error is the assumption that every shot was intended to hit the perp. See if you can figure out why the vast majority probably weren’t.

    Next, consider what each was trying to accomplish and their relevance to self-defense. Consider – the police were shooting at someone who was under cover. How many self-defense incidents fit that profile?

    Yes, it’s hard to shoot someone who is barricaded in a building. Are you really concerned with defending yourself against someone in that situation? (Hint – they’re not a threat to you.)

  203. >Being marginally competent with a computer is unlikely to get you (or anyone else) killed, with a gun you need to (Cooper again)
    >“perform to a higher standard”.

    You never did address the objection to using Cooper as a source, to quote, “he was a fetishist”. Obsessive, even.

    What you very likely don’t know is that Col. Cooper had a vested interest in promoting the notion that, when it comes to firearms training, there can NEVER be enough. I say that, because he founded a for-profit (yes, and expensive) firearms training Academy, and even after he sold it he continued to be employed as a firearms trainer (he even returned to his old school, when the ownership changed a second time).

  204. @Greg
    “There’s always an excuse for choosing to be helpless. How about a more likely event- what if services break down for a day? (Say a very bad storm, like the one we had here in the Eastern US in late December.) Or if services break down for a week? (Like say if there were a really big French-style strike.) Or if services were even partially degraded for a month? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave

    I have lived through these. And I was not aware of guns being of any help.

    Medical help and First Aid were available as needed. People were very well able to organize help on a local basis. We do not see society breaking down whenever the utilities break down. Problems that result from long term power loss or water and petrol distribution cannot be handled on an individual basis. Hint, I am living several meters below sea level. If the pumps stop, everything gets flooded.

    And all the Mad Max DIY survival skills that are thrown around are only really useful if there is enough space around to get food and water. Getting clean water and enough food for a few hundred million people living in NW Europe is not done DIY style. At such times we would be glad if we can reach such spacy surrondings. But that would be a 500 mile hike for me, and a hundred million other people, in any direction.

    I really think I can make myself more useful to society in other directions.

  205. @Winter: You still don’t understand. The only person talking Mad Max is you, so let go of the strawman. Apparently you need some more help understanding.

    Certain things really are part of basic life skills- knowing how to defend yourself, how to treat basic injuries and/or illnesses. They go along with certain very basic preparations, like having self-defense tools, medicinal supplies (first aid supplies, a medical thermometer, maybe a few others), a few days worth of food and water in the house. This level of preparation does not require major effort or dedication of any large fraction of your resources (of time, money, mental effort) to achieve. Also, this level of preparation is outside of modern urban centers with excellent emergency services, considered (with justification) to be the simple basic prudence of responsible people who want to be able to look after themselves, their children, their neighbors, and not be a burden to anyone- in other words, this was the baseline of any free person.

    However, over the past few decades local services have gotten so good that it’s become common for people to forget how to fend for themselves. In fact, you may see it as a rational calculation- but you’re wrong. Your cost-benefit analysis regarding personal preparedness greatly overstates the costs (I can say this for a fact, going by your statements) and also seems to understate the benefits (I doubt you understand them).

    The benefits come in several forms, some direct and rather utilitarian, some less obvious. The direct benefit is that you are less dependent on the immediate provision of government emergency services. Mind you, I did not suggest you were completely independent (you seem to instinctively reach for some Mad Max TEOTWAWKI totally self-sufficient off-the-grid insanity when anyone talks about preparedness- you’re either deliberately dishonest or you’ve quaffed some koolaid somwehere), as we simply have too many people for them all to survive if our tech base were to take any steps back. But what some preparation gets you is *buffer*- if the system experiences any local or temporary hiccups (and these are more common than you seem to understand) you can easily ride them out.

    The less obvious benefits are mental, and operate on both an individual and a collective level. Taking for granted that, no matter what happens, someone will “take care of you”, puts you in a position and inclined toward a mentality of, dependency. Learned helplessness is *never* good for an adult. It’s also the first step in losing touch with reality, the mindset that “the world is SAFE” that can come from living in a cocoon of safety provided by the -taken for granted and overlooked- efforts of others, and leads to tragedy (and surreality, which, to borrow a phrase, is a sign of impending paradigm collapse) when people with it move outside the cocoon and start making decisions based on it. It’s bad enough when the decisions are on a strcitly local level, ex: when urbanites move to Alaska and prevent the culling of moose and bears from built-up areas, then wonder why people in built-up areas start getting killed by moose and bears. Similar situations involving major predators abound, from cougars in Colorado to bears in NJ. It’s worse, much, on a regional or national level. And voters who make decisions based on unjustified assumptions about how safe the world is are much less dangerous than voters who make decisions based on dependency.

    A nation of people with an outlook of independence and self-reliance is much healthier (and safer, and with better prospects for the future) than a nation of people who expect to be taken care of. There is no shortage of historical examples.

    Just so you know, strong social pressures (which you deprecate) are the only thing that make any kind of welfare state (which you favor) viable over any time period at all. The fate of a welfare state is to collapse under the weight of parasites- the only thing delaying that are strong social pressures that heap shame and scorn on ‘freeloaders’ and ‘bums’, pressures most common in cohesive, homogenous societies with a strong work ethic. These pressures fail to work completely when the lure of welfare benefits (and relatively open borders) allow numerous outsiders, who do not share the same cultural background, especially the work ethic, to enter. Just this situation is leading to critical services in major US cities to start to fail- as anyone who has ever genuinely NEEDED an emergency room can tell you. So if you actually want to KEEP those services on which you have come so serenly to depend, either close your borders, pursue policies of aggressive assimilation, or (ideally) both, and *don’t* underestimate the positive power of social pressure.

  206. @Greg
    “They go along with certain very basic preparations, like having self-defense tools, medicinal supplies (first aid supplies, a medical thermometer, maybe a few others), a few days worth of food and water in the house.”

    Let us see how far your advice goes in East Coast Japan after the worst of the worst disaster:
    - Self-defense tools: Completely useless
    - Medicinal supplies: Nice to have. Not known to be seriously lacking though
    - Water and food at home: We have a government campaign telling people to do that

    So what is really missing in Sendai? Water, food and good nuclear power plant technicians.

    @Greg
    “A nation of people with an outlook of independence and self-reliance is much healthier (and safer, and with better prospects for the future) than a nation of people who expect to be taken care of. There is no shortage of historical examples.”

    Like modern day Japan?

    @Greg
    “strong social pressures (which you deprecate) are the only thing that make any kind of welfare state (which you favor) viable over any time period at all. ”

    A misunderstanding. I do not deprecate social pressure, I just found Libertarians wanting to ostracize people for not spending their time on gun and First Aid training and ironic. Indeed, I favor a welfare state like I favor insurance.

    @Greg
    “The fate of a welfare state is to collapse under the weight of parasites-”

    Parasitism is a major evolutionary force. It can bring down any “ecology”, human or otherwise.

    @Greg
    “Just this situation is leading to critical services in major US cities to start to fail- as anyone who has ever genuinely NEEDED an emergency room can tell you.”

    I understood emergency rooms services in the USA were breaking down because they are flooded by uninsured patients. But I would not known. Over here, they do tend to work.

    @Greg
    “So if you actually want to KEEP those services on which you have come so serenly to depend”

    I do, so I happily pay for their operation. And if something goes awfully wrong, I will happily volunteer my time to restore them. It seems you forgot that Europeans support the welfare state because they want to help those in need. Not just for private profit.

  207. >@Greg
    >“A nation of people with an outlook of independence and self-reliance is much healthier (and safer, and with better prospects for the >future) than a nation of people who expect to be taken care of. There is no shortage of historical examples.”
    >
    >Like modern day Japan?

    How old are you? Seriously. Your smugness is only exceeded by your ignorance of fact, current and especially past. The shallow non-responses, the attempt to argue by “gotcha”, the perpetual insulting tone.

    To make one last effort to educate you, modern day Japan just suffered a terrible natural disaster. But Japan (the gov’t and the people) are aware that they are in a location that leaves them subject to such things, so they PREPARE. And they take such things seriously, on both a gov’t and individual level. It can be difficult to mentally weight actual versus potential alternate results (how many people get the concept of opportunity cost?), but try. Imagine how bad natural disasters that hit Japan would be if they (gov’t and people both) didn’t bother to prepare for them- no building codes, no sensors and warning systems, a populace that takes everything for granted…

  208. @Greg
    “How old are you? ”

    Not as old as eric, but not by much.

    @Greg
    “the perpetual insulting tone.”
    Insulting? Read some of the responses to my comments if you want to see insults.

    I take great pains to remain polite, and if I fail, I apologize for that. But rhetorics requires that to get a message across, you need to use certain style tools that draw the attention of the reader. These tools depend on the context and expectations of the readers. In this blog this means I will try to make people stand to their words, the gotcha’s you mention. I never expect people to be perfect and see no point in attacking minor mistakes in an argument. If I use a Gotcha, it is in a point that I think is important for the argument. In this thread, I see the Japanese as an important and well known example of my point.

    @Greg
    “Japan would be if they (gov’t and people both) didn’t bother to prepare for them”

    As (welfare) states go, Japan is a good example of people who are at the heavy side of the spectrum. The Japanese expect their company, state, and family to take care of them. Japan is notorious for its government handouts to buy votes. I admire them, and feel very sad about the disaster that hit them. And, as things go, Japanese society (state+people) are responding in an orderly and effective fashion. I am fully confident the Japanese will be able to sort this disaster out and clean up.

    But the Japanese flouted every “advice” about self reliance, gun training etc. giving in this thread. That is why I chose them as an example.

  209. *sigh* I was going to let this one go, but I want to clear a few things up.

    You’re wrong about the Japanese. Individual Japanese are self-reliant, hard-working, energetic, persistent… just extremely industrious. They’re also capable of enduring great hardship without complaint (I mentioned self-reliant, right?). All told, they’re tough, capable and tenacious as hell. They do NOT expect to be taken care of, they more than expect to carry their own weight. What they expect is to be TOLD WHAT TO DO. It’s a cultural thing. It can be a little confusing. (Japanese are also, in my experience, remarkably bad at anything resembling introspection or self-knowledge. But that’s a hint at a previous discussion.)

    The Japanese attitude towards individual use of force is also a bit peculiar compared to ours, and is also a cultural thing with deep roots. You have a tendency to equate ‘preparation’ and ‘self-reliance’ exclusively with firearms. That’s an error. As I said, the Japanese have long experience with natural disaster and take preparedness for disaster seriously on both an individual and a collective level. Your example does not prove what you seem to think it proves.

  210. @Greg
    “You have a tendency to equate ‘preparation’ and ‘self-reliance’ exclusively with firearms.”

    Sorry, but we are just talking past each other.

    Nothing you wrote about the Japanese is new to me. I know native Japanese, and I have been there (in Japan). And I do not make that equation, I would never do. I just see the whole “self-reliance==guns” written here in this blog. Maybe another misunderstanding

    My only point is so simple: Japanese people will organize in hierarchical groups, ultimately a state. They rely on each other, and see that reliance as a mutual obligation. In this they are like any other people, just with a different emphasis. I expect the same from my fellow countrymen (maybe I am too optimistic, I hope I never are in a situation to find out).

    And their reaction to this terrible disaster was quite predictable: A complete collapse of infrastructure and massive death and destruction leads to a very orderly behavior. With technicians risking their lives to contain nuclear reactor meltdowns for neither glory nor money. Nothing like Mad Max.

    Why do you think Britons or Germans would be any different?

  211. Eric, how do you (personally) train people when to shoot and when not to in various situations? I’m curious. The principles (once you get past the legalities, which are not simple and do vary from place to place) are surely going to occupy a substantial part of that training.

    Grendelkhan, thank you for carefully doing the work here that I’ve been too specialized lately to do.

    As for me, I don’t carry deadly weapons because I know that I lack the judgment to use them appropriately. Instead, I rely on the paid efforts (and sometimes the kindness) of strangers, as in virtually every other facet of my life. As does nearly everyone else.

  212. >Eric, how do you (personally) train people when to shoot and when not to in various situations?

    That training begins with the basic safety advice: never point a weapon at any person you are not prepared to kill.

    I don’t actually teach ethics directly when I teach pistol. Part of the reason for this is that I’m careful who I teach – people known to me, or present at a Geeks With Guns event where the population has already been selected for high intelligence and internal locus of control. I don’t have to tell these people that firing a weapon at a human is only justified by a credible threat to life or liberty; they already know this.

    Another part is that I think teaching the ethics of firearms use by indirection is in most ways more effective. Anyone who takes pistol from me will get this message repeatedly: Be mindful, be calm, be aware of the consequences of your actions. When the bullet flies there are no takebacks. Intentions do not matter, only results.

  213. I’m not speaking of what people know, but of how to condition the correct behavior under stress when the time to make a judgment is short. (We do know how to do this for soldiers, but they operate under different rules.) How do you know that the people you train will react correctly (in general, I don’t expect perfection) in the heat? How do you know that *you’ll* act correctly in the heat? These questions are not rhetorical.

    Oh, and just to quibble, of course results aren’t all that matter. When you have sufficient justification to fire a gun at A, but hit B instead (where there is no such justification), that’s a very different event from firing a gun at A without justification and hitting B, though it looks the same to B.

  214. >How do you know that the people you train will react correctly (in general, I don’t expect perfection) in the heat? How do you know that *you’ll* act correctly in the heat?

    I don’t know these things. But I have confidence on statistical grounds. Outside a 3% minority of highly deviant people who have correlated problems with drugs, criminal behavior, accident-proneness, and domestic violence, misjudgments with weapons that result in death or grave injury are extremely rare. Rare enough that they get individual coverage in newspapers, unlike (say) auto accidents.

  215. Winter:
    > If I eat chocolate, I cannot personally be held responsible for the slavery that might have been behind the production of cocoa. The chain that connects me personally to the worker in the plantation is simply too long and too diffuse.

    There are quite a number of people who would disagree with you on this, some quite vehemently. I’m not sure where I fall on the continuum, but your phrasing seems to deny that you believe it is one…

  216. Rozzin:
    > At the age of 18, Stacey Lannert shot her father twice while he slept. He had sexually abused her from the age of 8, but the final straw came when he also began raping her younger sister. Lannert confessed and was found guilty of first-degree murder.

    I find it pretty amazing that Lannert was found guilty; that’s the sort of case that’s tailor-made for Jury Nullification.

  217. 40-60% of rape allegations are false, according to the False Rape Society.
    http://falserapesociety.blogspot.com/
    That makes a lot of sense if you think of all the incentives & encouragements for women to make false accusations of rape in the modern age of feminist governance.
    Vindictive revenge.
    Victim status/ a badge of honour.
    Supporting the sisterhood.
    An excuse for poor behavior, regretted sex, being unfaithful,
    Money
    …etc

    Moreover, what is rape exactly?
    If you ask a feminist:

    “I claim that rape exists any time sexual intercourse occurs when it has not been initiated by the woman, out of her own genuine affection and desire.”-Robin Morgan

    “Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.” — Catherine MacKinnon (American feminist, scholar, lawyer)

    “All men are rapists & that’s all they are”-quoted from the main character. “The Woman’s Room” Marilyn French, Author
    http://feministhate.tripod.com/id51.htm

    “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.”-Catherine MacKinnon

    Also, consensual sex at 9:00 PM is actually rape at 9:00 am the following morning if the woman regrets it.

    Oh, & men, carry a calculator with you from now on & ask your date what her weight is so you can figure out her blood alcohol level because if women are intoxicated to any degree, they lose their ability to consent to sex apparently & anything that happens is SOLELY YOUR responsibility.

  218. Razlo-MRA, none of that copypasta has the least bit of bearing on the SES-based statistics being discussed upthread. The situations you describe, where either of the partners said that the sex was consensual, and that it didn’t just happen because someone was too incapacitated to resist, are not covered in the statistics described.

    Furthermore, the vast majority of these rapes are not reported, and aren’t described by the victim as such. I don’t know what kind of benefit women are supposed to get when they never say they’ve been raped–not even to themselves–and never accuse anyone. I encourage you to look at the research; it’s unexpected and fascinating in a variety of ways.

  219. Ted Ts’o made a similar argument about rape statistics not too long ago.

    He got in major trouble for it.

    The hacker community now has women in prominent positions, and a growing number of people of both sexes who are concerned about the discrimination against women within the community. Most of these believe in the 1-in-4 statistic.

    It doesn’t matter how you choose to divvy up the statistics; the opinion leaders on this issue have adopted a broad and inclusive definition of “rape” that, among other things, includes virtually any sexual intercourse with someone too chemically impaired to meaningfully give consent (which is also the standard of the law). In order to meet the moral standards of the community, this is the definition you must hew to.

  220. >Most of these believe in the 1-in-4 statistic.

    Anyone who think this will do anything to make me change my mind or keep my mouth shut has not developed even the faintest beginning of a clue about who I am.

  221. I don’t think I could ever expect you to change your mind, not after your repeated vigorous defense of the Bush Administration’s attempts to gerrymander the definition of “torture”.

    But the fact remains that by the prevailing moral standards of today your perspective is monstrously anti-woman and, in fact, the perspective of a rape apologist.

  222. >But the fact remains that by the prevailing moral standards of today your perspective is monstrously anti-woman and, in fact, the perspective of a rape apologist.

    Fuck off and die.

  223. Pingback: The true meaning of moral panics • bring back unix

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