Louise's Feminist Musings

Notes on feminist news & issues

Men in Asia Were Asked If They Had Raped and Why

The earlier post about this was in Dutch because an article about this research appeared in a Dutch paper. However, I think everyone should read this. Excerpt taken from the research paper http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X%2813%2970069-X/fulltext :

We have presented information about perpetration of rape of non-partner women and of men from a large representative sample of men from the general population in a multicountry study. The prevalence and patterns of perpetration varied substantially between countries and sites. Rape of women in marriage was much more prevalent than was non-partner rape. In most countries and sites, between one in five and one in eight men had ever raped a woman, although in Papua New Guinea this proportion was much higher. Comparable research from South Africa showed that more than one in four men (28%) had ever committed rape.2 Overlaps between rape of men and of women non-partners were pronounced. Overall, more than half (57·5%) of men who had ever raped did so for the first time as teenagers, with this rate varying between 33% and 66% by site. This proportion is lower than those reported in South Africa and the USA (75%),2, 18 but still reinforces the need for early rape prevention if one is to intervene before the first rape is committed. Overall, nearly a quarter of men who had raped had been punished with being sent to prison for having done so, although the duration of their imprisonment is unknown. These data suggest surprisingly high conviction rates compared with those in other countries19, 20 (eg, in South Africa, only 3·2% of adult rape cases reported to the police and 4% of child rapes result in a conviction,20 and in comparable research with men 12·9% disclosed having ever been imprisoned for rape2), but do not suggest that the threat of prison or detention is a strong deterrent against rape perpetration. In view of the high prevalence of rape, prevention strategies need to focus on the structural and social risk factors, and prevention of perpetration of rape from ever occurring, rather than relying on prevention through responses.
The high prevalence of rape in Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and Jayapura (Indonesia) could be related to previous conflict in these settings, but this link is unclear. In Papua New Guinea, many forms of violence are highly prevalent, including non-partner rape in non-conflict-affected areas, general interpersonal violence, and sorcery-related violence.21—23 The cultural legitimacy of multiple perpetrator rape (known in pidgin as “lainup”) in mainland research has been described by other investigators.21 Indeed, reports of multiple perpetrator rape as a cultural or subcultural practice has also been reported in Cambodia (“bauk”)24 and South Africa (“streamlining”),25 and high rape prevalence is probably rooted in aspects of culture related to sexual entitlement and sex relations. This idea is made more likely by the acknowledged reasons for rape, which showed that men mostly raped because they wanted to and felt entitled to, found it entertaining, and at times viewed it as “deserved” punishment of women. The responses were very similar to those from South Africa where these questions have also been asked.2
The factors associated with rape and the PAFs also suggest that gendered practices associated with sexual dominance are especially important. Rape of men and of women was strongly associated with partner numbers, transactional sex, and use of physical violence against female partners, as was rape of intimate partners.13 Men with these factors had higher rates of rape in South African longitudinal research,26 where these behaviours are interpreted as not merely expressing sex seeking, but rather as concepts of masculinity that emphasise proven heterosexual performance and dominance over women.2, 11, 27 These masculine ideals often also draw attention to performances of strength and toughness, which are expressed in fights between men with weapons.28, 29 On a cautionary note, PAFs have an underlying assumption of causality, but because this study was cross-sectional, we cannot ascertain whether or not the associations are causal.
Poverty, indicated by present food insecurity and low educational attainment, was especially associated with multiple perpetrator rape and rape of men, and with physical and sexual partner violence.13 Although we reported poverty to be not associated with single perpetrator rape, its importance has not been consistently reported in resource-poor settings.2, 26, 30, 31 In situations of poverty, however, sub-cultures of gang membership and drug use can develop, which provides a context in which dominance over women and other men might be emphasised to compensate for otherwise perceived disempowerment.9, 11, 26, 30, 32, 33 The overlap between rape of men and multiple perpetrator rape of women suggests a shared origin. They can both often be gang acts, in which rape of men might demonstrate (hetero)sexual dominance, rather than necessarily homosexuality.30 Gay or effeminate men are disproportionately victims of such attacks.34
Rape perpetration against women was associated with men’s own victimisation, especially abuse in childhood. Sexual abuse in childhood has been previously linked to rape of women,11, 35, 36 but our findings show that physical and emotional abuse are also important. Physical abuse in childhood has not been consistently associated with rape perpetration.8, 33, 35, 36 The link with emotional abuse and neglect in childhood has not been previously shown,37 but it was a risk factor for rape in three countries, and for rape of intimate partners.13 To protect boys from abuse is crucial for the long-term prevention of violence against women and girls. Being raped or coerced into sex when older was associated only with rape of men and rape of a non-partner woman in three countries, but not in the regional analysis overall.
Alcohol misuse was associated with single and multiple non-partner rape perpetration in the region overall, and in models of four of the countries (Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea), and with intimate partner violence perpetration.13 Substantial research has been undertaken into the role of alcohol in rape perpetration; the existing consensus is that it is a situational factor that reduces inhibitions, and alcohol misuse is associated with particular dominant masculinities.38 Another associated factor was low levels of empathy, which leads people to commit acts of harm against others. A notable difference between partner and non-partner rape is that relationship-specific variables—eg, quarrelling and controlling behaviours towards a female partner—were not associated with non-partner rape or with male rape.13
** For some reason there has appeared an ad below that some of you will get to see. This is an ad that I have no control over and that can’t be removed (I tried). I can’t even see it myself, I only see a notification that there is an ad. My apologies, especially if it is some awful sexist shit. Please don’t click on it in any circumstance! **

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2013 by in English items, Men's Assault on Women, Research and tagged , .
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