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Old 06-23-2006, 09:44 AM   #16
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They all sound like biased sources, I kid - I kid - of course sexual assualt is not to be taken lightly.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:53 AM   #17
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Yeah, good thing you made that edit, I was REALLY going to lay into you.

My point is this: Say a woman in college, someone very much like myself, has 10 close friends. 5 of these close friends have confided in her that they've been victims of rape, either by their boyfriends or at parties or in some dark alley. Now say some man at the Justice Department is crunching his numbers and his unbiased computer says that the current rate for rape among women in my age group is 10% (I totally made up that number). Who is the expert? The computer guy who generated 10% or the college woman who knows that 50% of her circle of friends, representing the same age group, have been raped?

So yeah, I'm still curious to know who you would consider "experts" on the matter of rape. Personally, when I think of an expert I think of someone who deals with whatever we're talking about on a daily basis. In this situation, that means the experts are women who deal with rape or the liklihood of being raped every day, and their counsellors who see exactly how many women are raped but don't report it to police, thus the Justice Department.
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Old 06-23-2006, 09:59 AM   #18
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it would surprise me if in the 1970s and 1980s the percentage of not reported sexual assaults was considerably lower than it is now
85% definitely is a high enough percentage to at least suggest that there is a trend
what causes this trend and whether the exact shift in percentage is indeed anywhere as high as 85% would be impossible to say

I have been forced to study statistics long enough to be aware of the dangers, but it's hard to deny that something seems to be going on
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:08 AM   #19
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Can anecdotal evidence ever be taken broadly?

A woman at college who has 10 close friends may have a relatively narrow band in terms of what types of women she is friends with, and given that she is at college that environment where you have a lot of young men would skew the prevalence.

Counsellors too, even though they themselves are on the front lines and deal with it every day by virtue of what they do may deliever a skewed perception.

So you are left with statistics with very wide error margins versus anecdotal evidence - I would put what little stock there is in the statistics, but it doesn't change the underreporting of the crime or the need to vigorously pursue offenders.

It is a topic that evokes such severe emotional arguments - as it should - but that can also inhibit some avenues of investigation. For instance research on rape in an evolutionary context, a most valid piece of research, forced copulation to spread genes works, can be inhibited by sensitivities and the message that it is always and only about power and dominance and never about sex.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:15 AM   #20
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:16 AM   #21
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:19 AM   #22
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This article is fine and all if you want a clinical and narrow look at the issue. The emotion behind the topic isn't as hindering as a need to see in black and white. This article lost me as soon as it stated the most relevant difference between now and 1970 was porn. I geet the feeling you write off social studies, A_W, but truth is, this is a load of balls. There are such monumental changes in society from then to now which have nothing to do with porn. Porn is a man's thing, on the whole. This rubbish article is making a ridiculous leap from it with criminal activity and the societal shifts which have altered and affected reporting of violent crimes against (mainly) women. There are so many factors which affect it. Porn quite frankly, cant have a great deal to do with it. If you want answers as to why, then you're going to need to be willing to hear non black and white responses. An unexact science.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:23 AM   #23
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I don't know how they can say that when most rapes go unreported, either.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:24 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
It is a topic that evokes such severe emotional arguments - as it should - but that can also inhibit some avenues of investigation. For instance research on rape in an evolutionary context, a most valid piece of research, forced copulation to spread genes works, can be inhibited by sensitivities and the message that it is always and only about power and dominance and never about sex.
Your coldness toward the topic is typical of how you approach every issue, it seems. I'm not trying to attack you personally, but you appear chronically void of much emotion on emotional issues, preferring to be a clinical thinker - which is fine. You aspire to be a scientist. However, rape is not a science you can push your glasses up the bridge of your nose on. Perhaps there is 2 sides to your perceived inhibiting of avenues.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:26 AM   #25
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I was wondering why no one actually addressed this instead of focussing on whether or not we can trust statistics

I just think mankind has finally evolved a wee bit
don't think porn plays a great roll in this
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:27 AM   #26
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I think that they would both be concequences and not causes of social change - namely more open attitudes towards sexuality, change for the better.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:34 AM   #27
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i don't want to touch the porn angle on this, but can't we say it's a good thing when the reporting of rape has increased (yes, it's hugely underreported, so let's look at any increase as a good thing) while at the same time the actual number of rapes has decreased?

speaking as a man who always had a sort of detached viewpoint on this, since i'm not likely to have a woman accuse me of rape, (though i do know women who have been raped), but i think the decrease in numbers of rape is precisely due to the fact that people talk about it now, it's part of conversation, and any first-year orientation at nearly all colleges and universities gives undergraduates extensive information and statistics about rapes on college campuses, the whole "no means no" thing.

i think it's very encouraging -- obviously, education is working, and it's working most with men who i think we have to say are far more respectful of a woman's right to choose when she does and does not have sex in comparison to their 1970s counterparts, as well as being aware of the criminality of the act itself.

so how can we not look at this as good news? no, not perfect news, but a positive trend.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:36 AM   #28
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as for the porn, i think all we can extrapolate from this is that the increase of porn has not resulted in an increase of rape.

so it means that the feminists and the cultural conservatives were both wrong -- Andrea Dworkin and Phyllis Schafley were both incorrect.

i think there are negative effects to the mainstreaming of porn, but it doesn't seem as if rape is one of them.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:48 AM   #29
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Quote:
I think that they would both be concequences and not causes of social change - namely more open attitudes towards sexuality, change for the better.

Not only more open attitudes about sexuality, but women's sexuality in particular.

I could be way off but in the 70s porn was more about men dominating women sexually as a form of humiliation and control. These days mainstream porn is just plain old hedonistic sex and shows women enjoying it as much as the men. Could that have contributed to lower violent rape rates? Sure, but only as a by-product of the advancement of women in society and the acceptance by men of those new roles which pervade every aspect of life beyond porn.

In the 70s women simply serviced their men. Now a man's prowess in the bedroom revloves around how well he can please his partner. The type of porn out there reflects that.

So sure it may be a contributing factor to lower rape rates.

OR

The new open sexuality of women means they are more succeptible to rape and less likely to report it not wanting their sex lives scrutinized because as far as we think we've come, women who have sex are still labelled sluts.
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Old 06-23-2006, 10:57 AM   #30
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The porn is a product being sold off to consumers, it is going to be determined by market forces - what do people want to spend their cash on. What the individual consumer wants is shaped partly by social pressures. So it is not a cause but a related effect to social changes, specifically attitudes towards sex. For a mark of reference 1976 was hardly the beginning of the sexual revolution.

By back to the statistics if we assume that the rates of rape reporting have stayed the same then the incidence of rape has dropped. If the rates of reporting increased then the incidence really dropped a lot. If the rates of reporting decreased then actual rapes may even have increased.
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