Friday, December 16, 2016

Research Blog #10 Final

Here is a link to my paper:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UManSHZkgvbJJzjN3xQdi-JSnb0lltDmnWVYye8qfx0/edit?usp=sharing

Abstract: A “perfect victim” of sexual assault is characterized as “a morally upright white woman who is physically injured while resisting... an act of violent, forceful penetration committed by a stranger during a blitz attack in a public, deserted place. (Du Mont, 469).” This outmoded concept is a result of widely held rape myths, or false beliefs pertaining to sexual assault which are rooted in sexism, racism, and homophobia. Rape myths dictate that victims and their assaults must fit into certain categories to be considered genuine, valid, or worthy of attention. When a sexual assault victim fits this definition, the victim is far more likely to gain the sympathy of the public and the action of law enforcement. Because male victims do not fit the parameters of the "perfect victim" myth, they are minimized and erased, and they are less likely to report their assaults. This makes them a perfect target for serial sex offenders.




Works Cited

  • Basile, Kathleen C., Michele C. Black, Matthew Joseph. Breiding, Jieru Chen, Melissa T. Merrick, Sharon G. Smith, Mark R. Stevens, and Mikel L. Walters. National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention, 2011. Nov. 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2016.
  • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2010-2014 (2015); ii. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2012-2014 (2015);  iii. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Incident-Based Reporting System, 2012-2014 (2015); iv. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Felony Defendants in Large Urban Counties, 2009 (2013).
  • FBI, “UCR Program Changes Definition of Rape.” FBI, 15 July 2016. Web. 25 Oct. 2016
  • Garnets, Linda, Barrie Levy, and Gregory M. Herek. Violence and Victimization of Lesbians and Gay Men Mental Health Consequences. ResearchGate. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sept. 1990. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.
  • Kassie, Emily. Male Victims Of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out ‘We're Up Against A System That's Not Designed To Help Us’. The Huffington Post, 27 Jan. 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
  • Lisak, David, and Paul M. Miller. Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists. Violence and Victims 17.1 (2002): 73-84. Web.
  • Lowe, Michelle, Paul Rogers, and Jennifer Gilston. Examining the Relationship Between Male Rape Myth Acceptance, Female Rape Myth Acceptance, Victim Blame, Homophobia, Gender Roles, and Ambivalent Sexism. ResearchGate. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Apr. 2012. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
  • Lowe, Michelle. Male Sexual Assault Victims: A Selective Review of the Literature and Implications for Support Services. Aggression and Violent Behavior 7.3 (2002):203-214. Print and Web. 10 Oct. 2016.
  • Mezey, Gillian, and Michael B. King. The Effects of Sexual Assault on Men: A Survey of 22 Victims. ResearchGate. Psychological Medicine, Mar. 1989. Web. 25 Nov. 2016.
  • Mitchell, Damon, Gordon C. Nagayama Hall, and Richard Hirschman. Attributions of Victim Responsibility, Pleasure, and Trauma in Male Rape. ResearchGate. Journal of Sex Research, Nov. 1999. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
  • Mont, Janice Du, Karen-Lee Miller, and Terri L. Myhr. The Role of Real Rape€ and €œReal Victim€ Stereotypes in the Police Reporting Practices of Sexually Assaulted Women. Violence Against Women 9.4 (2003): 466-86. Web.
  • Sable, Marjorie R., Fran Danis, Denise L. Mauzy, and Sarah K. Gallagher. Barriers to Reporting Sexual Assault for Women and Men: Perspectives of College Students. Journal of American College Health. N.p., Nov. 2006. Web. 15 Oct. 2016.
  • Saul, Heather. Kevin Kantor: Student Logs into Facebook to See Alleged Rapist under 'People You May Know'. The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 6 May 2015. Web. 30 Oct. 2016.
  • Smith, Merril D. Encyclopedia of Rape. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2004. Print.
  • Stemple, Lara, and Ilan H. Meyer. The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions. ResearchGate. American Journal of Public Health, June 2014. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Research Blog #9 Counter-Argument

My argument is:

 Male victims are far from the “perfect victim” narrative and are particularly affected by rape myths, and male rape and sexual assault is an issue largely ignored, erased, and highly stigmatized.  No male victim fits the mold of the "perfect victim" by our current societal standards, and due to this stigma they are less aware of risk factors, and even less likely to report an assault than female victims.  This makes these so-called “imperfect victims” desirable targets for serial sexual offenders, and places like college campuses, where rates of sexual assault are already abnormally high, are the perfect hunting ground.

Mary Koss is a prominent feminist researcher that believes otherwise.
Image result for mary koss interview

In this interview ( the first section begins at around 6:17 and lasts till around 7:40. Second section starts at around 8:15 and lasts till around 9:00.) she also seems to doubt that men are as affected by sexual assault as women are.
I am arguing that men are just as affected by rape as women, and that the belief that women can't rape or that men can't be raped by women is nothing more than a rape myth.

Research Blog #8 Case

I have two cases in my paper, and my main one is the sexual assault victim Andrew Brown.

This is the article I am using. (Huffpost isn't always great but this article is fine) It's called "Male Victims Of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out‘We’re Up Against A System That’s Not Designed To Help Us’" by Emily Kassie.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/27/male-victims-sexual-assault_n_6535730.html

The case of Andrew Brown demonstrates the danger of repeat offenders and the need for change. Brown was a freshman at Brown University in 2011. On his sixth night of freshman year, he went to the communal bathrooms to brush his teeth. Another student “came up behind Brown, grabbed his crotch and moved him into the bathroom stall. Frozen, Brown protested but did not fight back, scared of what would happen if he did. For 15 minutes the stranger assaulted him... All he remembers is being unable to speak or act. ‘I just remember focusing on the stall door, knowing that he was between me and my escape.’” Following his assault, Brown suffered from panic attacks and “berated himself, wondering if he could have done more to stop it.”

After meeting with a counselor for a couple of months, he decided to file a formal complaint with his university, who eventually expelled his assailant. However, after the expulsion, it came to light  that the perpetrator was a serial offender: the university had previously received two sexual assault complaints against the same student, but had only handed out a one-semester suspension. One of the victims, known only as Brenton, said: “I was happy that he got suspended, but I didn’t think it was enough. I knew there were even more people he had gotten to,” Following the publication of Brown’s story, a fourth victim came forward, who said the same assailant had harassed him, stalked him, and threatened his life. The University was “aware of the perpetrator’s history of harassment during the first two sexual misconduct hearings and still only imposed a one-semester suspension on the perpetrator” (Kassie). Had the University taken proper action, Andrew’s assault would not have taken place, and this represents the danger of serial offenders and the need to cultivate an environment of openness and communication for assault victims.

Literature Review #5

1. Image of Janice Du Mont
Image result for janice du mont
2. Du Mont, Janice, Karen-Lee Miller, and Terri L. Myhr. "The Role of “Real Rape” and “Real Victim” Stereotypes in the Police Reporting Practices of Sexually Assaulted Women." SAGE Journals. Violence Against Women, Apr. 2003. Web. 17 Dec. 2016.

3. Abstract: Some feminists have argued that rape myths constrain women’s reporting of sexual assault to the police. The authors investigated whether myth-associated characteristics of sexual assaults play a role in police reporting behaviors of women. A sample of 186 sexual assault cases seen at a hospital-based sexual assault care center in 1994 was analyzed using logistic regression. A positive association was found between reporting a sexual assault to the police and two overtly violent components of the “real rape” myth: the use of physical force and the occurrence of physical injury.

4. Janice Du Mont worked at the University of Toronto. She has published many articles regarding sexual assault.

Karen-Lee Miller works at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Terri L. Myhr worked at the University of Toronto.

5. Real Rape = a term which defines what constitutes a legitimate sexual assault based on false rape myths.

Real Victim = a term which defines what constitutes a legitimate victim based on false rape myths

6. "Rape mythology characterizes rape as an act of violent, forceful penetration committed by a stranger during a blitz attack in a public, deserted place. The victim is portrayed as a morally upright White woman who is physically injured while resisting." (469)

"Stewart et al. (1996) suggested that the decision to report to the police is related to a woman’s concurrent assessment of the assault vis-√†-vis the “real rape” and “real victim” myths: A woman must believe that she is a real victim before she can view the assault itself as a real rape." (480)

"We also found that women who were physically coerced, that is, had their clothes torn and/or were slapped, kicked, hit, or choked, were approximately three times more likely to contact the police than those who were not." (479)

7. Though this study focused on women, it helped me to form the frame for my paper: the "real victim" or "perfect victim". It helped demonstrate that these rape myths do in fact influence victim reporting.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Blog #6 Visual

This graphic illustrates the findings of the 2010 NIPSV Survey, which are pretty shocking. When I first started researching this topic, I really had no idea that the numbers were that drastic, because many of the statistics thrown around regarding male victims don't include different forms of sexual assault, which are the types which make up the bulk of the numbers for males. This underscores how urgent the issue really is and how shocking that this is so under researched and underreported,

Blog #7 Research Post

The focus of my paper revolves around the terms "perfect victim", "real rape", "rape myths". I am writing about how these related concepts, which are embedded within our cultural view, stigmatize rape and create an environment where rape and assault victims are more likely to self-blame and minimize their assault, and therefore unlikely to report their assault to the authorities. In this environment, rapists (many of whom are repeat offenders) can continue to assault people unpunished while their victims stay quiet for fear of negative judgement. Male victims are particularly affected by rape myths, as male rape and sexual assault is an issue which is largely ignored, erased, and highly stigmatized. Many people don't even believe that a man can be sexually assaulted, and gay or bisexual male assault victims are often even further marginalized and stigmatized. No male victim fits the mold of the "perfect victim" by our current societal standards, and because of this they are even less likely to report than female victims ("Male Sexual Victimization: Examining Men's Experiences of Rape and Sexual Assault" by Karen G Weiss). Rape myths actually make males perfect victims for predators, and places like college campuses, where rates of sexual assault are already abnormally high, are the perfect hunting ground.

I was first introduced to the concepts of rape myths in the article "Examining the Relationship Between Male Rape Myth Acceptance, Female Rape Myth Acceptance, Victim Blame, Homophobia, Gender Roles, and Ambivalent Sexism" by Michelle Lowe, Paul Rogers, and Jennifer Gilston. Rape myths are a collection of false beliefs surrounding sexual assault, and especially plague male sexual assault. They are based on harmful negative stereotypes and concepts, and are often rooted in sexism and homophobia. Rape myths surrounding male sexual assault are often related to the belief that men are strong and dominant and women passive and weak, so when it comes to sexual assault, men are categorized as predators and women as victims. According to Male Sexual Assault Victims: A Selective Review of the Literature and Implications for Support Services” by Michelle Davies, men are believed to always want sex, and following that myth are incapable of being sexually assaulted by a female because a) they are always seeking sexual contact and b) they are stronger and therefore cannot be physically dominated by a female. If a man claims to be sexually assaulted by a woman, his masculinity is brought into question as well as his sexual orientation (the same goes for straight men assaulted by men, or gay men assaulted by men). Since females are considered to be physically and emotionally more vulnerable than males, so according to rape myths a male victim cannot be traumatized to the same extent as a female victim. No matter what combination of perpetrator-victim gender and orientation, or no matter the relationship or lack thereof between perpetrator and victim, rape myths dictate that a man cannot be a victim.


The article "The Role of "Real Rape" and "Real Victim" Stereotypes in the Police Reporting Practices of Sexually Assaulted Women" by Janice Du Mont et al. is where I first read about the terms "real rape" and "perfect victim", which are characterized by rape myths. The article defines these two terms as "an act of violent, forceful penetration committed by a stranger during a blitz attack in a public, deserted place. The victim is portrayed as a morally upright White woman who is physically injured while resisting (Steketee & Austin, 1989; Weis & Borges, 1973; Williams, 1984)." Any victim who does not fit the mold of the perfect victim is less likely to report their rape or assault, which is one of the reasons why the concept of the perfect victim is such a harmful one.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Literature Review #4

1. Image of the authors.
Image result for Anna Magda StudzinskaDenis Hilton

2. Studzinska, Anna, and Denis Hilton. "Minimization of Male Suffering: Perception of Victims and Perpetrators of Opposite-sex Sexual Coercion." ResearchGate. Sexuality Research and Social Policy: Journal of NSRC, Mar. 2016. Web. 4 Nov. 2016

3. The reading is about the minimization of male suffering as a result of unwanted sexual contact. Studies reveal that male victims of sexual assault are negatively impacted just as much as female victims, but female victims are perceived to suffer more than men after after a sexual assault.  The authors conducted studies in which they gathered how participants perceived the perpetrators as well as the severity of victims' suffering. The studies found that perpetrators who assaulted females were perceived more negatively than perpetrators who assaulted females, and female victims were perceived to suffer more than male victims.

4. Anna Studzinska:

Research Project Manager
University of Social Sciences and Humanities · Faculty of Psychology
Poland · Warsaw

Denis Hilton:

Professor of Psychology
University of Toulouse II - Le Mirail · Cognition, Langues, Langage, Ergonomie (CLLE-ERSS) · Axe E, Contexte social et r√©gulation de la cognition
France · Toulouse

5. SH: Sexual Harassment

MMS: Minimization of Male Suffering

6. " Research on effects of all types of SH shows that its victims suffer from numerous psychological and somatic problems, which include, but are not limited to, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, headaches, and decrease in sleep or weight loss (Pina and Gannon 2012; Willness et al. 2007; Charney and Russell 1994)." (4)

"It should be noted that even though SH is more frequently experienced by women, men are not only victims of SH but the number of claims of SH of men is also increasing (Foote and GoodmanDelahunty 2005). Several studies show men of different ages and backgrounds to be victims of different types of SH." (5)

"As predicted, sex of the victim influenced the perception of their suffering. We observed that all of the scales measuring perceptions of the victim’s state overall showed results consistent with the hypothesis; i.e., a female victim was perceived to suffer more than a male victim. However, men and women differed in the kinds of distress they attributed more to women. Thus, female participants evaluated the female victim as suffering significantly more from depressive symptoms than the male victim ... whereas the male participants evaluated the depressive symptoms to be similar for both male and female victims." (9)

7. In my paper, I'm arguing that this incorrect perception that males do not suffer as a result of sexual assault contributes to male sexual assault being taken less seriously or even believed to be impossible. This study will help me to demonstrate the fact that many hold the belief that men are not affected by, or are largely unaffected by sexual violation and unwanted sexual contact. This plays into the notion that men are perpetrators and females are victims, and that men are emotionally stronger than women, and therefore unaffected by sexual assault, while women are weaker and emotionally vulnerable.