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New nationally representative (age: 16-69) survey from Belgium introduces a new strategy to exclude male victims of rape - and still finds equal 12-month prevalence rates of completed rape.

August 24, 2021
145 upvotes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmid/34299811/

Just some more evidence that you need to read the primary sources if you want to be able to interpret stats. This is a strategy I have never seen before - quite creative, actually.

Let's see if you would've noticed:

Overall, the 17 items can be grouped into hands-off (eight items, e.g., sexual comments, voyeurism, exhibitionism, distribution of sexual images) and hands-on sexual victimization (nine items). The latter being further grouped into sexual abuse (four items: unwanted kissing, fondling/rubbing, undressing, and touching during care) and attempted or completed rape (five items: (attempted) oral penetration, (attempted) vaginal/anal penetration, being forced to penetrate someone else).

Sooo, quite clear, isn't it? They included mtp as a form of rape!

Well, and maybe a little typo... or is it? More on that in a second.

A belgian survey has once again tried to measure the prevalence of sexual violence in a nationally representative sample and has given 12-month-prevalences - which have been shown to be completely different from lifetime prevalences and thus should be prioritized when not wanting to give a history lesson. Keep in mind that not everything is as dynamic as this and thus older data on other things might still be very useful - especially if it is the methodologically or otherwise best info you have. The reason to dismiss lifetime rape stats is that we know that, be it in the US or in the EU, there are practically no similarities between lifetime and 12-month rape victimization stats (in the context of this paper, the term rape de-facto includes mtp).

So let's start with the good news: they classified what they called made-to-penetrate as rape. This should be standard and in no way praiseworthy, but unfortunately it isn't.

Edit: By the way, oral penetration was split off into its own item that now simply read "Someone had oral sex with me or made me give oral sex against my will."

Now to the problems:

a) As expected, fingering (simulation of intercourse by hand) was rape but jerking off (simulation of intercourse by hand) was not made-to-penetrate/rape. Same goes for dildo vs. fleshlight and body parts + objects as a whole. Even worse, they did count making one penetrate someone else with an object but not the penetration of an object with a penis. It is almost as if they're making fun of it at this point (though the jerking one might be more meaningful in terms of numbers).

b) They asked the questions as "did X against my will" instead of suggesting things like intoxifications, threats, abuse, etc. See appendix A: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8307212/#app1-ijerph-18-07360 For women, it is well known that a lot of these equate to "non-consent". For men, the concept of non-consent as a whole is still questioned (I will post another story on that later...) and they may thus be hesitant to call it "against my will" - after all, the stigma is that that should not even be an option and one "should have enjoyed it" instead. Others may have internalized the myth that an erection means wanting it. It is well established that men are conditioned not to allow themselves the victim-status and are multiple times as likely to deny their rape, even when the behaviors they described are de-facto rape or there a documented histories of abuse:

It is interesting that less than one fifth (16%) of the men with documented cases of sexual abuse considered their early experiences to have been sexual abuse, compared with 64% of the sexually abused women (Table 3). https://www.jimhopper.com/pdf/widom1997.pdf

Of those rape victims, around 9 in 10 did not allow themselves the term rape - despite excluding less recognized forms (envelopment). In a 2016 meta-analysis on women, female victims were found to be about 4 times more likely than that to allow themselves that term without excluding forms. https://www.reddit.com/r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates/comments/nlsy03/study_1_in_7_men_experience_attempted_or/

Male rape is one of the least discussed crimes in our society (Groth and Burgess, 1980)[...]
In addition, male victims may experience being raped as even more humiliating than female victims.[...] Reporting a rape to the police is at least as stressful for men as women (Groth and Burgess, 1980), but the extent to which victims subscribe to a male ethic of self reliance, reporting may be further depressed. As in nonsexual areas of their lives, men are generally expected to defend themselves against threats (Finklehor, 1984, p. 156-157). Along with this idea is the implicit belief that rape is synonymous with the loss of masculinity (Groth and Burgess, 1980; Adler, 1992). For these reasons, there may be substantial risk to the male rape victim’s self-concept in reporting this crime.[...] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023/A:1018837524712

Women equally rejected most male- and female-initiated strategies, but men were more accepting of female-initiated strategies. Results are explained in terms of sex role norms prescribing that men be initiators and women be gatekeepers in sexual interaction. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00289570

Those are just a few examples and many papers around the issue still use discriminatory definitions - which could mask the actual severity of the issue. Still though, suggesting specific behaviors such as peer pressure, intoxification, etc. is likely needed to account for the fact that men are likely to downplay it to something less than "against my will" as a coping strategy as well as to please social requirements regarding men and consent. Additionally, be it laws, law enforcement or friends and family - men have a good chance to be invalidated throughout the process, potentially inciting internalized uncertainty regarding the acceptability of the behavior. Just to be clear: different strategies were asked about - but after the victimization items. Also note than men were more likely to respond that none of the given strategies applied (see "other" as an answer in table 6), again stressing the need to include the male perspective when constructing surveys.

c) This is the most... surprising one and I'm genuinely a bit confused that they actually did this. The typo you might have noticed - i.e. them not putting (attempted) in front of made-to-penetrate as they did with all the others (despite claiming to have collected completed and attempted rape numbers and classifying mtp as rape)... It was not a typo and it is missing in the text, the survey items (Appendix A) as well as the results (Table 4). They excluded attempted made to penetrate yet included attempted penetrations and did not report any numbers by completed / attempted. Instead, all items were added up. So let's sum up the items on completed rape ourselves.

As shown on Table 4: Among completed rape, using the mentioned and discriminatory definitions, the 12-month-prevalence was 1.4% for men (0.1% were anally penetrated) and 1.5% for women (0.1% were made-to-penetrate).

Including the convenient forms of attempted rape - keep in mind what I said about this measure before - raises these numbers to: 1.7% for men and 2.2% for women.

Thus, once again we have no idea how high the rape numbers among men actually are, yet the numbers found are very similar to those found in the US (Edit: a bit higher as the CDC numbers combined completed and attemped cases) and suggest at least equal victimization.

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Post Information
Title New nationally representative (age: 16-69) survey from Belgium introduces a new strategy to exclude male victims of rape - and still finds equal 12-month prevalence rates of completed rape.
Author DistrictAccurate
Upvotes 145
Comments 15
Date August 24, 2021 5:45 PM UTC (1 year ago)
Subreddit /r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates/new-nationally-representative-age-16-69-survey.1060510
https://theredarchive.com/post/1060510
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates/comments/pasbbk/new_nationally_representative_age_1669_survey/
Comments

[–]Oncefa2left-wing male advocate 24 points25 points  (6 children) | Copy Link

The CDC stats are for attempted and completed rape (/ mtp).

I wonder if there's a societal bias at play for the attempted category though. For example, some women may believe that someone wanted to rape them (making her a "survivor"), when really she was in no danger and that person would have never considered something like that. It's just that society tells women to be afraid all the time so that's how they view their experiences. On the other hand, maybe men are less likely to contextualize their experiences as "attempted made to penetrate" if they fought someone off. They might think she was just trying to kiss him when he didn't want to be kissed, when in reality she was trying to go further than that (perhaps she believed he would be intoxicated enough for her to take advantage of him). Making it an attempted rape incident that will go unreported in this type of survey.

And that is compounded on top of men not wanting to call it rape, thus indicating that the male assault numbers are likely underestimated despite already essentially being equal to the female numbers. And despite studies like this being biased in their methodologies. Just because of how society conditions men and women to see things before we even start asking them about their experiences (a topic known as epistemic biases).

[–]DistrictAccurate[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

I wonder if the numbers are broken down for fondling / oral sex / etc in some of their data tables, and if we could "fix" their numbers and see what the results are.

See the questions and Table 4. Fondling is not an item that accurately addresses the differences in definition, though that would still need to be discussed. In terms of intercourse, the outside of the penis corresponds to the inside of the vagina.

Also the CDC stats are for attempted and completed rape (/ mtp).

True, they are a bit lower then.

The reason we have closer gender parity for completed sexual assault is because that isn't open to as much interpretation.

Citation needed? Doesn't get much closer than equal.

I would also disagree that sexual assault would not be up to interpretation as much - looking at how openly it is perpetrated with tons of bystanders reinforcing the acceptability of the behavior. Well - the same holds true for rape at times (nsfw): https://www.reddit.com/r/MensRights/comments/oyrlhh/video_showing_a_woman_raping_a_man_got_hundreds/

[–]Oncefa2left-wing male advocate 5 points6 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I edited my post I guess when you were responding because I saw where you added all of that up in that OP. At first I thought it was quoted in the study itself.

My point in the last paragraph was just that men and women view things differently, in large part because society tells them to view things differently.

A drunk woman who's pulled away from an aggressive guy at a party may be told that he's a predator. Whereas a drunk guy who fights off a "slutty" woman at a party may not think anything of it. Both people may be victims of alcohol assisted attempted rape. But only one of the two will contextualize their experience that way.

Now had both of them woken up in bed with their attacker the next morning, there would be less confusion about what happened (although the guy might still be less likely to see it as rape).

[–]oggyb 6 points7 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

if they fought someone off

That's what I thought too. Men are more likely to be able to fight off a female attacker, and, less likely, a male attacker. If they fight them off, they saved themselves from XYZ and didn't become a victim. It might be hard to convince that person they were a victim of an attempted XYZ.

[–]Tamen_ 5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Fighting off a female attacker comes with its own perils. I've heard male victims tell that their female rapists told them that they would scream "rape" if the man didn't relent. Pushing a woman forcefully off and perhaps leave a bruise on her is risky as someone who doesn't give a shit about your consent is likely to not give a shit about falsely accusing you of attacking them.

[–]problem_redditorright-wing guest 9 points10 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Also, men can and do freeze when being attacked. Also also, women can and do force themselves on men when said man is incapacitated and literally unable to fight them off.

Of course, when you tell people about that they then express a huge amount of disbelief about how penetration could occur if the man is incapacitated, because of misconceptions about erections as well as the possibility of achieving penetration with or without an erection.

People just seem to almost instinctively, automatically reject male victims, and there is this huge culture of disbelief, dismissal and trivialisation when it comes to female-on-male rape. This is including but not limited to people gaslighting the male victim into believing that they weren't raped or alternatively that their experience was good for them and they should feel happy about it.

Or that they're a woman hater who just wants to take the "victim spotlight" away from women because how dare you ask for any shred of compassion for and recognition of male victims. Feminists do this a lot. If you dare to suggest male victims are (gasp) common, they'll level that accusation at you.

I've had seriously dismaying discussions with family and friends on the topic who didn't even believe it could happen.

The question then comes up as to why I'm so invested, after all I have never experienced female-on-male rape. Which is incredible to me - apparently caring about other people other than yourself and not wanting to see their experiences neglected and trivialised and laughed at is abnormal.

EDIT: added more.

[–]Tamen_ 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

The question then comes up as to why I'm so invested, after all I have never experienced female-on-male rape.

Let me guess, you too has experienced this question being raised prior to you revealing whether you've been a victim of rape or not - just with the baseline assumption that you've never experienced rape.

[–]MathematicianNo4277 12 points13 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you for that, it's awesome to include non american stats on here.

[–]LettuceBeGrateful 7 points8 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Fantastic write-up. If I'm reading the source correctly, the row titled "any rape" is either misleadingly or mistakenly mislabeled, because it includes attempts as well.

This is the kind of B.S. that my keeps my friends in angry denial about the existence of male rape victims. So frustrating.

[–]Rogerjak 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Your friends deny the existence of male rape victims? How?

[–]LettuceBeGrateful 4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Sexist ideology mixed with a misguided desire to monopolize victimhood for women. There's absolutely nothing logical about it.

[–]JangLinn 2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Has any surveyor ever bothered asking how many men mtp felt physical pain during the encounter? Or how many picked up an STD after the rape?

[–]Oncefa2left-wing male advocate 2 points3 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Rates of physical injury and psychological harm are pretty similar, the later possibly being higher in male victims due to the culture of denial and lack of support around the topic. And the former being a little lower. I assume physical injury refers to all forms of injury and not just injury to the genitals.

There are studies about that quoted in this study:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Male_Studies/comments/p47o0x/on_the_sexual_assault_of_men/

[–]JangLinn 2 points3 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thanks, I've seen that study thrown around before but didn't bother looking into it because I thought it'd just be a rehash of the 2010 CDC numbers.

Reading it- are male prison rape victims included in the serious injury statistic?

I was asking about physical pain in a stereotypical mtp scenario and how it compares to physical pain felt by women in penetrative rape scenarios. Many people when thinking about mtp cant really wrap their heads around how it would be uncomfortable so some studies explaining that rather than just pure numbers would be better for convincing people as to why they should care about these types of things.

[–]Oncefa2left-wing male advocate 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Reading it- are male prison rape victims included in the serious injury statistic?

I'm honestly not sure. And funny enough you're not the first person who's asked me that. I've never dug that deep into that part of the research, I just know it exists and where to find it if anyone wants to look at it.

I understand your question but I don't know how you'd compare it. Even consensual sex can be painful for a guy though. We usually don't think about it because we enjoy how it feels more. But you can be sore during and afterwards. And if the experience isn't enjoyable for you, then that's what you'll be focused on.

Surely most guy have hurt themselves before and know what a sore penis (and testicles) feel like though. And that's probably just the tip of the iceberg in terms of severity.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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