Fantastic Article on Teaching Consent

Yes Means Yes has a Fantastic article on teaching consent as a part of sex education.

They walk through how a curriculum of teaching some basic concepts to young men in school…

  1. Teach young men about legal consent
  2. Teach young men to see women’s humanity, instead of seeing them as sexual objects for male pleasure
  3. Teach young men how to express healthy masculinity
  4. Teach young men to believe women and girls who come forward
  5. Teach males about bystander intervention

… could help reduce the number of rapes, even though it probably won’t stop serial rapists from committing their crimes.

Studies of predatory males show that most rapists know they are committing crimes, and don’t care whether they have a yes or no consent. BUT… Predators rely on something that researchers have labeled “Social License to Operate”:

The Social License to Operate is the set of beliefs that make rape seem like a continuation or extension of normal sexuality, instead of an aberration and personal violation. By normalizing rapists and rape, by blurring the lines between rape and sex, we create a culture where instead of responding to the crime like we should, there’s always room to argue for and or excuse or mitigate the rape and the rapist.

Basically, Predators rely on stereotypes about women being sluts, about our judgement towards women who drink, and our willingness to not understand what is and isn’t a crime to get away with their serial rapist criminal behavior.

Teaching basics about consent makes it harder for serial rapists to use our societies Social License to Operate by making non-rapists more vigilante about how rapists engineer situations to get women into vulnerable positions.

Continue ReadingFantastic Article on Teaching Consent

Todd Akins triggers some good writing, at least

You’ve heard about Todd Akins, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri, right? The guy who actually said:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Obviously there’s been a big reaction to that douchebaggery all over the internet, and dude has since tried to walk back his comments, so I don’t need to go into that noise.

Here’s some cool writing that has come out of this “discussion” about rape, though.

Eve Ensler: Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine…

Jessica Valenti: The Seven Stages of Feminist Grief (Todd Akin edition)

Mallory Ortberg at The Awl: Other Things Missouri Representative Todd Akin Believes To Be True About The Uterus, Besides Its Ability To “Shut Down” A Legitimate Rape

Anne Gerhart, Washington Post: Rep. Akin’s comments just the latest attempt to define rape — and women

Mary Elizabeth Williams, A guide to “legitimate” rape — This is a nice spelling out of what rape laws around the country are for the uninformed.

Continue ReadingTodd Akins triggers some good writing, at least

Indiana Tops Nation For Sex Assaults Of High School-Age Girls

Via Shakesville a report on sexual violence against high-school age girls from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts Indiana at the high the highest percentage of crimes at 17.3 percent of girls in grades 9 through 12 have been raped. I’m trying to find a link to the original report from the CDCP. But here is a CBS news story on it. Shakesville also points out the correlating information that Indiana leads the nation on abortion restrictions, so those young women who become pregnant as a result of rape will have a difficult time dealing with the aftermath.

UPDATE: I didn’t find the info under sexual violence on the CDC site, but I did find it under data sources on this page on Youth Violence. There is a PDF file on that page called Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2009 that contains a summary of statistics on page 6, and a table of more detailed statistics broken down by state on page 50 that matches the information in this story. If you’re concerned about the date of 2009, note that this survey was completed then, but there was subsequent analysis, and the report on the survey itself was more recently published.

Indiana Tops Nation For Sex Assaults Of High School-Age Girls « CBS Chicago.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (CBS) — In Indiana, girls have a higher chance of becoming the victim of sexual assault than almost any other place in the country.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Michele Fiore reports, 10.5 percent of all American high school-age girls have been forced into sexual intercourse, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But the rate vastly exceeds the national average in Indiana, where 17.3 percent of girls in grades 9 through 12 have been raped.

Kinsey Institute Director for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction Julie Heiman told the Bloomington, Ind., Herald-Times that she was “shocked” at the statistics.

The Herald-Times also pointed out that researching the issue is a challenge, given that up to 50 percent of sexual assaults against women are never reported, and Indiana is one of three states – along with Mississippi and New Mexico – where law enforcement is not required to report sexual violence to the FBI.

Researchers also emphasized that 80 percent or more of rape and sexual assault involves people who know each other, not strangers, the newspaper reported.

Following the release of the CDC report, Indiana University researchers are now calling for more sex education and assault prevention efforts.

The Indy Star has a report on the same study, with some additional quotes. Still no link to the original study.

Continue ReadingIndiana Tops Nation For Sex Assaults Of High School-Age Girls

Confusing Sex and Rape

The New York Times addresses a topic that feminists have been trying to illuminate for years – the use by journalists of the word ‘sex’ in descriptions of non-consensual criminal acts that more properly should be called “rape” instead, and the importance of correcting that error for our common understanding of what constitutes a crime involving rape.

Some readers, responding to The New York Times’s first reports on the case, strongly objected to wording in the articles that, in their view, either underplayed the details or wrongly applied the language of consensual sex to the narrative.

The objections focused on the most severe of the accusations against Mr. Sandusky, a former Penn State assistant coach. According to the grand jury report, he subjected a boy estimated to be 10 years old to “anal intercourse” in locker room showers at the university in 2002.
Jennifer Crichton, a reader from Manhattan, said The Times’s initial article on Nov. 5 missed the mark when it described the testimony of a Penn State graduate assistant about the incident. As The Times put it, he told the grand jury that he saw Mr. Sandusky “sexually assaulting a boy in the shower.”

“Why is this described as ‘sexual assault’ and not as ‘rape’ “? Ms. Crichton wrote.

The importance of course is that sex is a consensual act between two persons who have given informed consent. “When the facts warrant it, journalists should be as specific as possible, they should avoid using the language of consensual sex and, when appropriate, they should call a rape a rape.”

Continue ReadingConfusing Sex and Rape

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  • After reading through this article – nope. Everything I know about him is right. Rapist and Criminal. This is telling: "I went back to Brownsville with my reality-TV-show crew, they're doing a segment about my childhood racing pigeons, and Brownsville's all upscale now. They got surveillance cameras, buildings that were abandoned cost, like, a million now, and I'm thinking, My life must've been a lie, 'cause there's nothing there that looks like my childhood. This white woman come up, and I'm thinking, Wow. When I was a kid, she would've been robbed and raped and left for dead. This is a real strange scenario, and I just wanted to cry. I'm like, "Who am I? Where's my heritage?"
  • CogTool is a general purpose UI prototyping tool with a difference – it automatically evaluates your design with a predictive human performance model (a "cognitive crash dummy").
  • "Andy Schlafly, son of controversial conservative figure Phyllis Shlafly and founder of Conservapedia, the ideologically oriented alternative to Wikipedia, has found a new bugbear: the theory of relativity. Shlafly insists that Albert Einstein's world-changing idea, elegantly expressed in the equation E=mc2, is part of a pervasive and long-held liberal conspiracy to make people have abortions and stop believing in Jesus. "
  • "While on the House floor criticizing the aid package on Tuesday, Pence pointed to a jobs fair he hosted yesterday in his district as an example of Americans "reaching for a better future." He failed to mention, however, that a number of the employers present at the job fair were recipients of stimulus funding. Democrats say Pence's job fair is yet another example of Republicans taking credit for jobs created by the stimulus while at the same time criticizing the program."
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