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It’s a species-wide problem!

The results of a world-wide analysis of violence against women reveals that it’s common, it’s widespread, and it’s serious.

Three in ten women worldwide have been punched, shoved, dragged, threatened with weapons, raped, or subjected to other violence from a current or former partner. Close to one in ten have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner. Of women who are murdered, more than one in three were killed by an intimate partner.

These grim statistics come from the first global, systematic estimates of violence against women. Linked papers published today in The Lancet and Science assess, respectively, how often people are killed by their partners and how many women experience violence from them. And an associated report and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, along with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council in Pretoria, estimates how often women suffer sexual violence from someone other than a partner, gauge the impact of partner and non-partner violence on women’s health and advise health-care providers on how to support the victims.

We’re thinking beings, and we’re aware of the problem (although a lot of people are in denial) — we ought to be able to change this behavior. And speaking as a biologist, it would be an interesting change, shifting the intra-specific social dynamics in powerful ways that would affect the course of our future evolution. Come on, who doesn’t want to do an experiment on our own species? Especially one that reduces fear and increases security?

(via August Berkshire)

Comments

  1. =8)-DX says

    Come on, who doesn’t want to do an experiment on our own species?

    I thought pretty much everything we do culturally, technologically, economically is a self-experiment on our own species. But yes, I think it’d be great to do this experiement on our species!

  2. CaitieCat says

    Come on, who doesn’t want to do an experiment on our own species?

    In my experience, those who don’t want to are those who value the status quo because it positions them comfortably above the fray.

    Unfortunately, those also tend to be the people with the GI Joe Kung-Fu Grip on the reins of power.

    It’s very hard to do an experiment when all the glassware and instruments have been locked up by power-mad Luddites.

  3. ChasCPeterson says

    It’s a species-wide problem!

    Species-wide, you say? Good thing behavior in our species, uniquely, is purely cultural and not in any way based in icky biology or evolution, like all those other species!

    We’re thinking beings, and we’re aware of the problem (although a lot of people are in denial) — we ought to be able to change this behavior.

    It’s certainly worth a try.

  4. says

    “We’re thinking beings”

    Have you met many of us?

    Yes we think occasionally, but I’ve always thought the ‘sapiens’ bit of our binomial was wishful …um… thinking.

  5. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    We’re thinking beings

    As individuals, yes. In large groups? Not so much.

    and we’re aware of the problem

    But (and this is a pulled-out-of-me-arse brown guess) a majority of men and a plurality of women think that there is no problem.

  6. says

    62 of my Facebook Friends are women

    “Three in ten women worldwide have been punched, shoved, dragged, threatened with weapons, raped, or subjected to other violence from a current or former partner.”
    – That means 9 of the people I love have been subjected to this

    “Close to one in ten have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner.”
    – This means 6 of those I love have been sexually assaulted

    “According to the WHO report, 42% of women who experienced violence were physically injured by their partners.”

    I want to cry when I see these statistics and reading the article and doing the “math” for as limited a circle as just my Facebook Friends makes me feel like I’ve been punched.

    The numbers may not truly work out to being exactly right for my Facebook Friends and I wish with all my heart that none of them have been hurt in this way but I know that isn’t likely to be true.

    Men, protect those in your life that you love, the way I love and try to protect those in my life. Speak out against this and don’t stay silent when other men in your life are doing these things. Because these numbers, these stats, they’re talking about “us”, and we have to change these numbers. We have to.

  7. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Anyone else notice that on these issues Chas’s number 1 priority is being an asshole?

  8. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @sally

    He can’t help it. He’s flooded with testosterone that makes his brian more aggressive and less empathetic so we should only expect such displays of petty calousness from his kind.

  9. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Sally #11

    I’ll raise $50 that we’ll also get social science bashing. and to make it a trifecta I’ll also bet we get whinging over those damn feminists and sociologists not respecting language via their stupid stupid jargon

  10. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Chas, there’s a time and a place; and it is not now, nor is it here.

  11. Anthony K says

    Good thing behavior in our species, uniquely, is purely cultural and not in any way based in icky biology or evolution, like all those other species!

    Good thing we can talk about it, like all those other species.

  12. Anthony K says

    Remember when Chas used to whine about ‘tribalism’, as if that were some mutable cultural dynamic, rather than biological behaviour seen across species?

    That’s because it affected him.

  13. EDB says

    This numbers are pretty alarming, and there is definitely a problem that needs fixing. But every time I see statistics like these, I’m always a little flummoxed at the lack of context.

    I mean, we’re worried about violence against women specifically because it’s disproportionate, right? If it wasn’t an issue of gender, we’d be worried about domestic violence, or violence in a more general fashion; so how much more violence is this than what happens in other contexts?

    If 30% of women are being assaulted by their partners, then what percentage of men are being assaulted in a comparable manner? 10%? 5%? Is it an enormous difference, like 0.5%? And I want to know other qualifiers, like how is this modified in same sex relationships? Is this men being violence because we’re uncontrollable, or is this women being subject to more violence because of the devaluing effect of patriarchal background radiation?

    I think understand the numbers better would help us move past that initial gut reaction of “how terrible!” and on to targeted solutions on how we can make things better. Or maybe this sort of thing is already taken in to account or isn’t relevant in some way, and I’m just not seeing it.

  14. CaitieCat says

    Sorry, Sally, my bad, I was entering the priors into my spreadsheet, and didn’t get them done before he could slip in with it.

    I’ll get it for the next thread, promise. I’ve been working on an Over/Under play, too, but it’s tricky because the games are of such widely-varying lengths.

  15. Amphiox says

    Good thing behavior in our species, uniquely, is purely cultural and not in any way based in icky biology or evolution, like all those other species!

    This is a false dichotomy. Culture is a facet of biology and evolution.

    Furthermore, no one to my reading is claiming “purely” cultural. But humans do happen to HAVE culture, to an extent which arguably is unique.

    Since we have the good fortune of having it, why shouldn’t we use it?

  16. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Amphiox

    Since we have the good fortune of having it, why shouldn’t we use it?

    Because girl monkeys like playing with pots that’s why!

  17. says

    I do not claim that there isn’t a biological basis to the patterns we see. That’s why I say it would be an interesting experiment in evolution: cultural changes could lead to a slow, long term shift in the biology.

  18. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    If 30% of women are being assaulted by their partners, then what percentage of men are being assaulted in a comparable manner? 10%? 5%? Is it an enormous difference, like 0.5%? And I want to know other qualifiers, like how is this modified in same sex relationships? Is this men being violence because we’re uncontrollable, or is this women being subject to more violence because of the devaluing effect of patriarchal background radiation?

    Just asking questions, right?

    Woman on man violence does happen. Rarely. It is also unacceptable. Violence happens in same sex relationships. It is also unacceptable. Men can be violent because of fear, because of internalization of the dominant patriarchal paradigm, you name it. It is also unacceptable.

    It is also, to me, unacceptable that a post about violence against women is guaranteed to have someone show up and ask, “What about the men?” Well, that’s not what this post is about. Nor is it about the abuse of farm animals on factory farms. Nor is it about the US using drone attacks to target US citizens for extra-judicial killings. Nor is it about the attempts by the radical religious and social right to undermine US democracy. This is a post about violence against women. There are many unacceptable things on this earth. And other posts and comment threads address them. This is not one of those other threads. Understand?

  19. EDB says

    “Just asking questions, right?”

    Frankly, I’m offended. I’m not trying to state that “the men have it bad, too”. I’m not some moron who can’t see past the lens of his own experience. The question I asked was ‘what is the context’. Because the significance and context of this violence can also signify how to solve it. What we have here is “30% of women are assaulted by their partners”; what I want to add is “Women are x times more affected by domestic violence.”

    I understand that the MRA noiseboxes have made a point of trying to redirect every issue about women in to a pile of irrelevancy or reappropriate it at their problem, so I can understand why you might have a kneejerk reaction that I might be doing the same. But I wasn’t. If anything, I’m a glutton for data, and I want to understand the dimensions of the problem fully. Criticize me for that, if you want, but don’t snidely imply that I’m trying to derail the conversation.

  20. Anthony K says

    I understand that the MRA noiseboxes have made a point of trying to redirect every issue about women in to a pile of irrelevancy or reappropriate it at their problem, so I can understand why you might have a kneejerk reaction that I might be doing the same.

    Then it’s self-serving and silly of you to be offended at the implication that you might be doing the same.

  21. daniellavine says

    EDB@24:

    Here’s the “context” for you: three out of every ten women is affected by IPV. It should be fewer. As close to zero as possible.

    What more do you need by way of “context”?

  22. erik333 says

    @4 ChasCPeterson

    Good thing behavior in our species, uniquely, is purely cultural and not in any way based in icky biology or evolution, like all those other species!

    citation needed.

    Changing the culture will indeed change the selection pressures on the genome, so long as you know which buttons to push and which levers to pull – long lasting change might be achieved. Eugenics light kinda thing.

  23. daniellavine says

    There’s no need to compare the amount of IPV against men to the amount against women. It’s all terrible and it should all stop.

    The reasons for focusing on IPV against women from my perspective are largely cultural and (oh noes!) stem from living in a patriarchal society:
    -women are taught they should be subservient and many women internalize these lessons
    -women are paid less proportionally than men and so more likely to be dependent on a man’s income*
    -women are the ones who have children and, due to cultural assumptions about gender roles, are saddled with the lion’s share of childcare duties — this makes it even more likely for a woman to be dependent on a man and makes escaping from IPV a risky proposition not just for the woman but for any children as well

    I’m sure I’m missing a bunch. This isn’t about favoring women over men, this is about counteracting definite ways in which women have disproportionate difficulties escaping from IPV.

    *Just on average, part of this has to do with the fact that professions that are dominated by women are lower-paid and lower-status than ones that are dominated by men. This also helps explain the disparity in homelessness — many women choose to be dependent on men rather than be homeless which men can’t do as often (again on average) because of pay disparities.

  24. EDB says

    daniellavine@26

    I also think the number of people who die from car crashes should be lower; would you criticize someone who wants to know if it’s a failing of the vehicle or a failing of traffic law, or road condition? Is it seriously so rude to want to understand the why of the numbers — and is it really that difficult to see the benefit of that knowledge?

    I’m not saying we should be redirecting the efforts to reduce it, this is something I think should be a priority issue. PZ said “we’re aware of the problem […] we ought to be able to change this behavior.” Isn’t the next question, “How?”

  25. daniellavine says

    EDB@29:

    How does the comparison you’re trying to make have any bearing on that question?

  26. WharGarbl says

    @EDB
    #29
    Very condensed tl;dr;
    “More data = Good!”

    Lesser tl;dr caveat
    Always good for the people with the data, may NOT be good for the people the data is about.

  27. daniellavine says

    WharGarbl@31:

    Not even. EDB seems to be trying to claim that statistics on IPV against males will magically inform us about how to decrease IPV against women. That’s the particular data EDB is talking about.

    I’m all for more data but data’s only good if it actually addresses the problem you’re trying to deal with.

  28. EDB says

    daniellavine@30

    It’s relevant because I’m staring at a mostly blank canvas that just says “violence BAD”, and I’d like a clearer picture. If we can better understand when domestic violence occurs, we can better prevent it, right?

    Since we have numbers on women, my first instinct is to as what the numbers are for men, since it makes up virtually the rest of the significant set of data. And then I have to ask about the nature of heterosexual pairings if we’re going to be talking about violence on women, from men.

    To be perfectly honest, there’s no end to the data I’d like to see on this — how does income and education affect these numbers? Can we correlate other data relevant to feminism — like, in cultures where women are paid more equitably, do we see a similar reduction in domestic violence? It’s not like this is causeless — so what are the causes? Just saying that sexism is the problem doesn’t get us closer to solving it, unless you have some suggestion as to how to remedy it.

    Everyone can agree that violence is bad and we should stop all of it. And I think most people here will agree that women receive a disproportionate brunt of that violence and we should focus there. Staring at the problem and saying ‘we should do something’ isn’t exactly productive, though.

  29. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    Frankly, I’m offended. I’m not trying to state that “the men have it bad, too”.

    Then why did you bring up the subject of violence against men?

    The question I asked was ‘what is the context’.

    Which was the last thing you asked about. If you had started out by asking about the context with regards to why this violence happens, we might be having an informative conversation. But you started out with multiple questions about how many men are abused before you even asked about the why.

    What we have here is “30% of women are assaulted by their partners”; what I want to add is “Women are x times more affected by domestic violence.”

    Then why did you not ask that? Why did you start out asking how many men were abused?

    I understand that the MRA noiseboxes have made a point of trying to redirect every issue about women in to a pile of irrelevancy or reappropriate it at their problem, so I can understand why you might have a kneejerk reaction that I might be doing the same. But I wasn’t.

    You showed up on a thread in which the original post was about violence against women and your first question was,

    If 30% of women are being assaulted by their partners, then what percentage of men are being assaulted in a comparable manner?

    Which sounds an awful lot like, “What about the men?”

    I also think the number of people who die from car crashes should be lower; would you criticize someone who wants to know if it’s a failing of the vehicle or a failing of traffic law, or road condition? Is it seriously so rude to want to understand the why of the numbers — and is it really that difficult to see the benefit of that knowledge?

    You did ask about the reasons for it. After asking, “what about the men?” If you wanted to know why so many people die in automobile crashes, would you be asking how many die in bicycle crashes? Or skateboard wipeouts?

    How does knowing how many men are victims of partner abuse help us understand, or even affect, the number of women who are beaten, or raped, or otherwise abuse by men?

    Isn’t the next question, “How?”

    Your next question, though, was not “how?” It was,

    If 30% of women are being assaulted by their partners, then what percentage of men are being assaulted in a comparable manner?

    That does not read as a “How?” to me.

    But then, I am a liberal arts major and am notoriously dense when it comes to actually reading what people write.

  30. says

    Since we have numbers on women, my first instinct is to as what the numbers are for men

    Yeah, you should probably work on that. First instincts aren’t always the best ones.

  31. Anthony K says

    To be perfectly honest, there’s no end to the data I’d like to see on this — how does income and education affect these numbers? Can we correlate other data relevant to feminism — like, in cultures where women are paid more equitably, do we see a similar reduction in domestic violence? It’s not like this is causeless — so what are the causes? Just saying that sexism is the problem doesn’t get us closer to solving it, unless you have some suggestion as to how to remedy it.

    As somebody who actually works in public health on issue, yes, there is no end to the data we’d like to see. If we waited to see it, we’d pretty much have a perfectly effective tobacco reduction strategy right around the year 4234.

    What have you found with respect to the data, EDB? What do you know about anti-violence campaigns? They’re there, and they’re operating from better or worse data sources, depending on jurisdictions. What do you know about them?

  32. says

    Alternatively, if you want to helpful, instead of JAQing off, go find the numbers yourself and report back. Much more productive than “What about the men?” and “No seriously, what about the men is an important question to answer in the context of a discussion about violence against women!”

  33. Anthony K says

    What we have here is “30% of women are assaulted by their partners”; what I want to add is “Women are x times more affected by domestic violence.”

    So, you’re interested in relative risk. Do you have an intervention in mind that requires relative risk, or what’s your interest in that particular statistic?

  34. Anthony K says

    I should have said, “So, you’re interested in relative risk over rates.” Why? What’s the intervention you think requires RR over a rate?

  35. erik333 says

    @32 daniellavine

    Well, what is the problem you’re trying to deal with? Man on woman violence in straight couples exclusively? Can you not see anything informative in studying other scenarios? Are the other cases so completely unralated to man on woman violence that only magic can bridge the gap, or could there be substantial similarities in all of these (on surface) similar behaviours independent of gender combination?

    Unless you also know what the percentages are for man on man, woman on man, woman on woman (or if the victim has been the victim exclusively, and never a perpetrator) or how many partners the victims have had (e.g. one perp. might victimize a whole lot of women) you simply do not even have enough information to begin analyze the dynamic. We can of course guess what those figures might be, and decide to ignore them – but that increases the risk of handling these issues badly, and some victims feeling ignored and marginalized.

  36. WharGarbl says

    @EDB
    #17
    Data, at least for US.
    http://www.bjs.gov/content/intimate/victims.cfm
    In intimate relationships, female has about 4 ~ 5 times the rate of victimization compared to male (4.2 vs 0.9 per thousand).
    Combined victimization rate (sum of all four type): female = 19.4, male = 25.1 (per thousand)

    https://www.ncjrs.gov/spotlight/family_violence/facts.html
    http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf
    Since we’re talking about domestic violence, I’m guess “Intimate partners” is what to look for.
    Violence by Intimate partner (rape, physical, stalking) – 35.6% female victim vs 28.5% male victim
    Without going into too much details, in an intimate relationships, woman tends to get raped, man tends to get beat-up.

  37. WharGarbl says

    @Anthony K
    #38
    Resource allocations?
    In a a very simplified way to analyze it, let’s say each $100 we spend on domestic violence against a specific gender reduces the rate of victimization by 10% (multiplicative, not additive.9), and we got $1000 to spend.
    Let’s assume population of 100 in each gender.
    Say if the victimization is something like 50% for female vs 10% for male. 60 victims in total.
    100% toward female: 50% * 0.9 ^ 10 = 17.4% female vs 10% * 0.9 ^ 0 = 10%. 28 victims left.
    50-50 split: 50% * 0.9 ^ 5 = 29.5% female vs 10% * 0.9 ^ 5 = 6%. 36 victims left.
    100% toward male: You get 50 victims at least.
    Obviously, weighting the resources toward prevent domestic violence against women is a better strategy.

    But if its a more even split, say 30% vs 30%.
    100% in either gender: 30% * 0.9 * 10 = 10.5%, 30%. 41 victims left.
    50-50 split: 30% * 0.9 * 5= 17.7%, 30% * 0.9 * 5 = 17.7%. 36 victims left.
    Even split wins out here.

    Of course, this didn’t take into several possible scenarios.
    1. It may be “easier”, given the same amount of resource, to reduce victimization against female than against male (or vice versa).
    2. The reduction in victimization versus the effort spent to combat it may not be suffering from diminishing return.
    3+. etc etc etc etc

  38. EDB says

    Ok, let’s quickly respond to a few individual posts. I didn’t realize that I dressed up as a woman-hating pinata when I came in here, today.

    Ogvorbis@34
    “Which was the last thing you asked about.”
    You’re rewriting history here, bub. The phrase ‘I’m always a little flummoxed at the lack of context.’ is literally the end of my second sentence in this post. My first sentence was an expression of concern, too. My comment @17 is still here, so feel free to reread it.

    You seem confused as to why I would want literal numbers before ratios, as though one doesn’t lead to the other. I’m not exactly sure how you gather statistics, but in my experience I can’t interprolate comparions between numbers without knowing the numbers *first*. If you have a better strategy, I’d be quite happy to hear it.

    “That does not read as a “How?” to me. But then, I am a liberal arts major and am notoriously dense when it comes to actually reading what people write.”
    Apparently, because you seemed to latch on to one line, imply that it was the first thing I said, and then continue kicking it as though I didn’t say anything else.

    SallyStrange@35
    Feel free to suggest a different instinct. What do you suggest as the next piece of data we could collect on this issue, and why do you think it would be more useful than investigating men?

    Anthony K@36
    “What have you found with respect to the data, EDB? What do you know about anti-violence campaigns? They’re there, and they’re operating from better or worse data sources, depending on jurisdictions.”

    I don’t know much about them, in honesty. Does that make my want for more statistics less valid? I didn’t say anything about a “wait and see” approach. I don’t think we should be trying to completely understand the problem before attempting to solve it, but I also think it’s pretty stupid to stop studying it and smash our heads against the problem because of limited resources.

    SallyStrange, again, @37
    “Alternatively, if you want to helpful, instead of JAQing off, go find the numbers yourself and report back.”
    First, how can we be stigmatizing “asking questions” in a community with a foundation in skepticism? Was there something magnificently Glen Beckian in what I asked that I missed?

    ““No seriously, what about the men is an important question to answer in the context of a discussion about violence against women!””
    I’m not in research. I don’t have the means to do any meaningful study on this matter, and I would not know how to approach it if I did. But, let me put it this way: if the ratio of domestic violence between men and women was 1:1, then this would not be a discussion about violence against women, it would be a discussion about VIOLENCE. And if the rate was 2:1 against women, we would know that trying to reduce violence in general and violence on women in specific would be a good use of resources. If the ratio is more like 10:1 against women, then clearly attempting to reduce violence in general would be a waste of time, because it wouldn’t help the most people.

    But I don’t even think that’s very important. I think getting the data on men would be a first step in figuring out the demographics of those who are most likely to be victimized, and those who are most likely to aggress those victims. Then we could target both groups more effectively — attempting to elminate the behaviors that cause abuse and attempting to remove the conditions that allow it to happen to those ‘at risk’.

    Does this still sound like I’m trying to make it about men? I’m asking in seriousness; because if this sounds like MRA rhetoric, I need to seriously re-evaluate how I’m communicating these concerns.

  39. WharGarbl says

    @EDB
    #45

    I’m not in research. I don’t have the means to do any meaningful study on this matter, and I would not know how to approach it if I did.

    Er… Google?
    Found statistics on domestic violence by gender in 10 seconds flat.

  40. Anthony K says

    I don’t know much about them, in honesty. Does that make my want for more statistics less valid?

    When you spend your time chiding people for talking about data rather than doing the primary work of looking for it, it makes your claim that you want moar statistics somewhat suspect.

    What does the CDC have for data? StatsCan? Other data agencies? If you don’t know, and expect to be spoon-fed, then yes, you appear to be JAQing off.

    Does this still sound like I’m trying to make it about men? I’m asking in seriousness; because if this sounds like MRA rhetoric, I need to seriously re-evaluate how I’m communicating these concerns.

    Yes. And yes.

  41. CaitieCat says

    Does this still sound like I’m trying to make it about men? I’m asking in seriousness; because if this sounds like MRA rhetoric, I need to seriously re-evaluate how I’m communicating these concerns.

    Yes. You do still sound like you’re making it about men.

    The post is about violence against women. Your entire point has been about adding the statistics about men to the thread. How you can fail to see that this is very clearly exactly what it’s been characterized as by people who’ve seen it quite probably a literal thousand times before is utterly beyond me. You’ve had people explain it half a different ways, and you’re still fighting your corner insisting that you totally didn’t mean what every other person on ther thread saw you meaning.

    Put down the shovel, whydontcha? And maybe engage with the “what about the men” stuff when someone posts about violence against men? Because frankly, we don’t give a shit if it’s twice as common for women to be beaten by their partners or fifteen times as common – women are still the topic of interest in this post. There’s an entire Internet out there waiting for you to do your own research and make all the posts about men who are victims of domestic violence you like. You don’t have to do it on this thread about violence against women.

    Is that clear enough?

  42. says

    First, how can we be stigmatizing “asking questions” in a community with a foundation in skepticism?

    Oh my gawd, seriously?? Yes, we can be stigmatizing asking the same questions over and fucking over again, especially if it has already been answered over and fucking over again in a community with a foundation in skepticism!

    The figures are out there. You want to be a skeptical hero? GO GET THEM! Do NOT come in here, blast some ignorance around, then play the “skeptier-than-thou” card, and expect to be patted on the head for it.

    For the record, your line of questioning is distinctly MRA-ish. They like to claim that rates of DV are about equal between men and women – that is, about as many men get abused by women as vice versa. They often use a “WATM” opener as a segueway to introducing their bogus claims, which rely on misinterpreting a couple of flawed studies. In fact, the “Finally Feminism 101″ FAQ has a section devoted to addressing this claim specifically.

    The main thing you’ve accomplished with your line of questioning is to reveal your ignorance. You wanna be a REAL SKEPTIC™? Then be less ignorant and don’t make other people do your homework for you.

  43. EDB says

    Anthony K@47
    “it makes your claim that you want moar statistics somewhat suspect.”
    Right. Glad to know. I thought these comments were meant to be conversational, but next time I’ll make sure to have a full list of citations before I say hello.

  44. says

    if the ratio of domestic violence between men and women was 1:1, then this would not be a discussion about violence against women, it would be a discussion about VIOLENCE.

    Right, IF. But it’s not. Basically what you’ve done here is the equivalent of jumping into a discussion about climate change to ask if we’re really for sure certain that atmospheric CO2 has heat-trapping capabilities.

  45. Anthony K says

    I thought these comments were meant to be conversational, but next time I’ll make sure to have a full list of citations before I say hello.

    Did you say hello? I didn’t see that comment. I just saw ones saying how fucking hungry you were for data that’s readily available, paired with a distinctly odd lack of having looked for any numbers.

    But in the future, if you want to people to take your claim that you’re a numbers guy seriously, you should invest in some preliminary work at finding some numbers. Y’know, walk the talk and all that.

  46. EDB says

    CaitieCat@49
    “How you can fail to see that this is very clearly exactly what it’s been characterized as by people who’ve seen it quite probably a literal thousand times before is utterly beyond me.”

    I don’t usually delve in to comments. I usually find that on topics where I have authority, there is no discussion, and topics where I have no authority, I am ignored. This experience of being at the center of a morally motivated lynch mob is new to me. It’s admittedly pretty confusing, too, because on one hand I just want to lash out of the darkest of vitrolic hate that I have at my finger tips, but on the other hand, we’re all on the same side and doing that would be stupid, and counter productive.

    “You’ve had people explain it half a different ways, and you’re still fighting your corner insisting that you totally didn’t mean what every other person on ther thread saw you meaning.”

    Well, magically, that is what happened apparently. I’m trying to contextualize my remarks. Clearly I fucked up, although I think if this was a totally brand new conversation and not a rehashing of a problem that has already been discussed for years, my interests would probably have been viewed with less… automatic hate.

    “maybe engage with the “what about the men” stuff when someone posts about violence against men?”
    I… am at a loss. Does that conversation ever come up? And more importantly, does the conversation of “The whole picture of domestic violence” get investigated, ever? My origin comment stems from the fact that I ONLY ever hear about the statistics on women without context of how the other half of the population is affected. I don’t just want to be shocked at the number of women who are victimized, I want to understand what the problem is.

    “There’s an entire Internet out there waiting for you to do your own research and make all the posts about men who are victims of domestic violence you like.”
    Holy hells; this is the stuff that’s making my blood boil. Where did I say that I wanted to talk about male victims? How many times do I have to reiterate that I think we should be prioritizing the issue of violence against women? Are you just carrying on with the momentum of what you think I think?

    “Put down the shovel, whydontcha?”
    No way; swinging this thing around is the only defense I’ve got, apparently.

    SallyStrange@51
    “For the record, your line of questioning is distinctly MRA-ish. They like to claim that rates of DV are about equal between men and women – that is, about as many men get abused by women as vice versa.”
    But I didn’t claim that. I’ve repeatedly said the opposite. Stop yelling at me for things I didn’t say.

  47. Anthony K says

    By the way, EDB: did you look at the links I provided? Did you see the answer to” what I want to add is ‘Women are x times more affected by domestic violence.'”?

    It’s there.

  48. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Morally motivated lynch mob

    Fuck

    You

  49. CaitieCat says

    Yes. Absolutely. Having people point out that you did something stupid and your ass is showing is exactly identical to being hauled out, beaten, mutilated, and hanged from a tree in front of cheering spectators.

    Exactly.

    What a bonus to the atheist community you are. With rational thinking like that, we’re sure to end religion any day now.

    You fucking racist bag of crap. Go shit in a different sandbox.

  50. daniellavine says

    EDB@33:

    Staring at the problem and saying ‘we should do something’ isn’t exactly productive, though.

    of course, that’s not what I actually did. See my post @28 for example.

    Done with you after this particular bit of sliminess.

    erik333@40:

    Well, what is the problem you’re trying to deal with?

    Please re-read the OP if you’re having trouble staying on topic.

    Can you not see anything informative in studying other scenarios?

    Sure, but unless you can demonstrate directly how that’s related to IPV against women it would be off-topic. That was all I was pointing out to EDB.

    Are the other cases so completely unralated to man on woman violence that only magic can bridge the gap, or could there be substantial similarities in all of these (on surface) similar behaviours independent of gender combination?

    Are you JAQing off or is there a point to this line of questioning? If there is a point perhaps you should just make the point and skip the JAQing off. For example, if there is some reason to believe that statistics on IPV against men would suddenly and magically reveal some sort of solution to IPV against women you could just state that reason.

    Unless you also know what the percentages are for man on man, woman on man, woman on woman (or if the victim has been the victim exclusively, and never a perpetrator) or how many partners the victims have had (e.g. one perp. might victimize a whole lot of women) you simply do not even have enough information to begin analyze the dynamic.

    I disagree. Could you please make an argument for this thesis instead of merely asserting it?

    We can of course guess what those figures might be, and decide to ignore them – but that increases the risk of handling these issues badly, and some victims feeling ignored and marginalized.

    I already gave reasons for discussing male on female IPV independently of other types. Care to address any of those?

  51. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    automatic hate.

    Don’t confuse mockery and derision with hate. You’re not powerful enough to hate.

  52. Ogvorbis. Just plain Ogvorbis. No extras. says

    EDB:

    And, what makes me even more likely to dismiss you as an MRA ‘Whataboutthemenz?’ jerk is the fact that, when you have been told that what you are doing is wrong on this thread, rather than actually, well, apologize and engage the topic at hand, you have chosen to, instead, double and triple down with the idea that we cannot know what it means that 3 in 10 women are the victims of this particular form of violence without knowing how many men are victims. So we have thread derailment into ‘whataboutthemenz?’, we have doubling down, and we have accusations of dishonesty towards people like me who tried, without being accusatory or vicious, to correct you. So fuck off, asshole.

  53. says

    “For the record, your line of questioning is distinctly MRA-ish. They like to claim that rates of DV are about equal between men and women – that is, about as many men get abused by women as vice versa.”
    But I didn’t claim that. I’ve repeatedly said the opposite. Stop yelling at me for things I didn’t say.

    I didn’t say you said that, you dolt. I said you started out the same way as the people who say that.

  54. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    “To be hated” I should have said.

    Also, wtf, I didn’t see any examples of you being ‘hated’ upon. Cite some. I saw your “request for data” met with skepticism about your motives being sincere and innocent. And then you laid down the track of self-serving persecution.

    Your whole schtick seems to be playing out an intentionally fabricated narrative of “just asking questions and look how harshly and irrationally these feminists treat me!” That’s the hole you’re digging. Put the shovel down and stop with your microaggressions peppered through all but your initial comment.

  55. Anthony K says

    Sorry, EDB, but we’re not auditioning for the role of “victim”, and frankly, as you failed your audition for the role of “glutton for data” because you didn’t do the background work, I don’t see how you’re likely to get any other parts.

  56. EDB says

    “You fucking racist bag of crap. Go shit in a different sandbox.”
    Huh. So I’m sexist, and racist, and some other ists at this point, too.

    I… I don’t get it. I really don’t. I came in here this morning, all like, “I wish I understood this better!” and… this whole thing was the result. I mean, I get that a lot of people here are embattled, and I apparently dropped some poor choices of words. And while a few people actually decided to drop links that answered my initial question — thanks, by the way — I was mostly attacked for things I didn’t mean, and then things I literally couldn’t have even implied.

    I’m clearly doing no good here, so I’m stopping here. But before I go, I’d like to say I’m sorry if any of my comments offended any of you; it was not my intent. Sometimes you do harm accidentally, and since I clearly cannot bridge the gap between what I wanted to talk about and where this… conversation (I guess) went, I’m just going to bow out and cede to my ignorance, since that’s what everyone apparently wants. I won’t comment again in this thread, and I’ll probably be a while until I’m motivated to discuss anything in here; take that as a victory, if you like, you’ve run me off.

    Two parting thoughts:
    – Thanks again to those who tried to engage; it just happened a little too late for me to comment meaningfully; didn’t mean to ignore you.
    – Did I actually do something to justify being called racist, or was that just an angry insult? If it’s the former, I append a second apology; if it’s the latter… well, that’s in poor taste.

  57. Anthony K says

    Does that conversation ever come up?

    All the fucking time.

    And more importantly, does the conversation of “The whole picture of domestic violence” get investigated, ever?

    Ah, you read neither the CDC nor the StatsCan links I provided.

    “Glutton for data” indeed. How does the term “lying little twerp” grab you?

    My origin comment stems from the fact that I ONLY ever hear about the statistics on women without context of how the other half of the population is affected.

    Do your parents still dress you or are you at all capable of autonomous action?

    I don’t just want to be shocked at the number of women who are victimized, I want to understand what the problem is.

    If that were true, you would have LOOKED AT THE DATA.

    Lying little twerp.

  58. CaitieCat says

    You compared being called out for your stupidity to being lynched, a real thing that happened to real African-Americans, thus self-aggrandizing AND dehumanizing others at the same time. An interesting exactor to hit, but don’t expect any sighs of distress when the door hits your ass on the way out.

  59. Anthony K says

    I… I don’t get it. I really don’t.

    That’s because you’re not actually a “glutton for data”, you’re a lazy, lying little twerp.

  60. throwaway, extra beefy super queasy says

    Getting back on topic.

    Even if the rates of DV against men were the same as against women, how does that change our approach toward solving DV against women in particular?

    Is there also some threshold value where it becomes OK to talk about DV against women as different from DV against men? Maybe if the rate is double that of men? Triple? One and a half times? Does it matter what type of violence, what the motivation was, how damaging to the other person it was? Should we let that play a role in determining how much outrage we should have about DV, or should we be equally outraged when a man is scratched during the course of marital rape?

    This is why your thirst for data is being met with hostility. You are asking only for rates, but not explaining what those rates could tell us, nor how a similarity or difference in rates would change our narrative of how we talk about the circumstances surrounding the incidences.

  61. says

    Sigh, frankly I do not care if someone is an MRA or not, one thing I really cannot stand is when people decide to sit around playing the “victim” rather than addressing anything that was actually said. Especially in cases like this where the user has had their questions answered and they continue to moan about how hated they are and how mean everyone is without showing any effort to learn about the subject.

    It reminds me of a posts on Greta’s blog yesterday:
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/greta/2013/06/24/accepting-ron-lindsays-apology/
    where someone commented saying they, as a white, bearded man, felt hated in the feminist community, sounded a bit like an MRA type, and decided to moan about how mean everyone was, and ignored the content of every post.

  62. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No way; swinging this thing around is the only defense I’ve got, apparently.

    Considering you have had nothing cogent to say so far, you shutting the fuck up, like any intelligent person would do, would not inhibit the discussion one iota, and help it since one asshole is no longer wasting posts with ignorance.

  63. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    Thank GOD we didn’t bother talking about the actual post! Epidemic abuse of women – pshaw! who care about THAT? EDB has *questions* and *feelings* about himself, naturally. Thank you, EDB, for making this all about you.

    And Caitiecat, gimme five!

  64. jefrir says

    I don’t usually delve in to comments. I usually find that on topics where I have authority, there is no discussion, and topics where I have no authority, I am ignored.

    Perhaps if you went into comment threads with the aim of listening, rather than talking, you would have better luck.

  65. Anthony K says

    I usually find that on topics where I have authority, there is no discussion

    This part is probably true. I doubt that there are that many threads on EDB’s genitals, though I must admit I haven’t done much of a meta-analysis #gluttonfordatafail

  66. gillt says

    To Anthony K, SallyStrange and rest…thanks for taking the time to provide some high quality links; not for EDB’s sake but for the learning lurkers.

  67. says

    Did I actually do something to justify being called racist, or was that just an angry insult?

    The “lynch mob” comment might just possibly have had something to do with it. Maybe.

    First, how can we be stigmatizing “asking questions” in a community with a foundation in skepticism?

    The problem isn’t asking questions. The problem is when people ask certain kinds of questions in a manner that acts to disrupt actual discussion of the subject. It’s the fact that it’s damn near impossible to have any kind of discussion of a subject pertaining to women without some asshole coming along and asking about the poor menz. It’s happens every damn time.

    So, this may be the first time you’ve asked a question like that, but it’s the billionth time we’d have to listen to it. It’s getting old and we’re running out of patience.

  68. Anthony K says

    You’re welcome, gillt. (Honestly, trying to navigate Statistics Canada’s can be a pain in the ass, so I’m delighted when I can find recent stuff on topic.)

  69. says

    So let me get this straight: EDB wants information (but not enough to read it). He wants to be fair (but not enough to try and figure out what fair means.) He wants to talk about male survivors of violence (when it derails a discussion of female survivors of violence.) He gets ignored when he wants to comment and if he’s disagreed with, it’s the same as being dragged out of his house by a mob and killed.

    Poor baby. Someone was trying to talk about violence against women and he couldn’t make the conversation about his interests. He’s even being made fun of, for lying about his intentions and derailing the conversation.

  70. says

    Even if the rates of DV against men were the same as against women, how does that change our approach toward solving DV against women in particular?

    Our approach should be different depending on whether the rates are the same or not. Basically, domestic violence is something that happens to women because they are women, at least in part. Men are exposed to many other forms of violence – but it’s worth noting that in both cases, men are overwhelmingly the perpetrators of the violence. Though there are undoubtedly biological factors (fuck you and your stupid false dichotomies, Chas) that predispose men more towards violence more than women, we also have strong evidence that the cognitive abilities of men and women are more similar than different. So what we can gather from this is that there are cultural narratives all across the world that communicate that women are a safe target for violence, that violence in intimate relationships is appropriate and acceptable, and also that it’s appropriate and acceptable for men to inflict violence on other people in various contexts.

  71. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Forgive my ignorance, as I think this might be something that actually exists but have we considered starting a wiki to just accumulate links and citations that come up on any given topic? That way not only is it on hand for people who want to review later but not scour through a thread but also we can now just have a “Now shuddup” post on every thread of those topics just with a link to any FAQ answers?

  72. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Did I actually do something to justify being called racist, or was that just an angry insult?

    I think I hear the hyperbole police coming to take him away to Exagratraz

  73. says

    But on topic for the post: that much prevalence does not surprise me. As far as sweeping, society wide changes, I’d love to see the continued glorification/sexification of consent. The more important a clear and enthusiastic yes is, the more control women will have over their sexuality. Since many societies explicitly try to link submission or violence and female sexuality, I can’t help but feel that untying those two a little would help reduce some violence against women.

    The other thing I’d like to see is a continued trend of openly, publicly shaming violence against women. The more shameful it is, the better. And not just shameful with the message that you should hide it from the public.

  74. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @MouthyB

    Will check out later. If it’s not what I’m looking for maybe I’ll try to start such a project.

  75. Azuma Hazuki says

    @22/PeeZee

    That’s rather the point, isn’t it? Epigenetic changes, held long enough, might become genetic ones? I remember reading something earlier about elephants beginning to eat grass (as opposed to leaves) before their dentition changed to accomodate it (grass has been beefing itself up with silica and is rather hard to eat…).

    Not that I think Lamarck was correct, but given what we know about epigenetics, maybe if we finally get our cultural and memetic house in order, we’ll start to have larger frontal lobes and smaller adrenals?

  76. jand says

    Home sweet home. I made the mistake of first reading the comments in Scientific American. OMG fucked sideways. If you haven’t done so, take a look. First post takes on the OP because it’s “not science” etc. etc.
    In spite of the EDB derail, at least you can breathe here at Pharyngula. I really wonder where some people get the idea that this blog’s following is “a pack of wolves” and (recently heard) a “lynch mob”.

  77. says

    *sigh* I guess it’s nice to know that there will always be at least one damned fool demanding to know WHAT ABOUT THE MEN???!?

    We won’t be able to solve the problem of violence against women until we can get d00dz to shut the fuck up for once, I’m afraid.

    (No, I’m not feeling cynical tonight, why do you ask?)

  78. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Epigenetic changes, held long enough, might become genetic ones?

    Only if those changes are in the ova/sperm line. Elsewhere in the body, meaningless to progeny.

  79. Amphiox says

    Epigenetic changes, held long enough, might become genetic ones?

    It is not because they are “held long enough”.

    Epigenetics work by changing gene expression in the offspring. By essentially “pre-setting” a particular pattern of gene expression so that the offspring is born with it already in place, rather than having to have some environmental input trigger the alteration in gene expression.

    In such a setting, a mutation can make the “pre-set” fixed, analogous to writing RAM into ROM, if you will.

    For example, if an epigenetic change results in a gene being turned off, a mutation could later arise that knocks out the function of that gene, essentially making that gene “always off”. Alternatively, if an epigenetic change results in a gene being turned on, a mutation could make that gene constitutively active, such that it is “always on”.

    In a setting of sustained and consistent epigenetic input, such mutations would be wholly neutral. They won’t affect the offspring’s actual gene expression at all, because epigenetic factors were already making those same alterations in gene expression. But the “fixed” variant may spread through the population by genetic drift. At some point in the future, the epigenetic inputs may change, such that the epigenetic affect on the offsprings’ gene expression is lifted in many or even all cases. But in the “fixed” variant, the same gene expression pattern that used to be established by epigenetics will persist, as it is now “hard-coded” into the genome without the need for epigenetic fiddling.

  80. Azuma Hazuki says

    @93/Amphiox

    A-HA! That explains a good deal.

    So would it be more likely with than without epigenetic factors for an actual mutation to happen and “stick?” I would think that if the environment were such that a given epigenetic change were favorable, it would mean that if the mutation equivalent were ever to arise, it would find itself “among friends” already, no?

  81. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @85. mouthyb, :

    But on topic for the post: that much prevalence does not surprise me. As far as sweeping, society wide changes, I’d love to see the continued glorification/sexification of consent. The more important a clear and enthusiastic yes is, the more control women will have over their sexuality. Since many societies explicitly try to link submission or violence and female sexuality, I can’t help but feel that untying those two a little would help reduce some violence against women.

    The other thing I’d like to see is a continued trend of openly, publicly shaming violence against women. The more shameful it is, the better. And not just shameful with the message that you should hide it from the public.

    Seconded by me.

  82. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Seems to me that cultural change can be made via memes*, education and setting the examples ourselves & isn’t related to biology or genetics.

    * In the original view of memes as culturally transmitted concpets and customs a la Dawkins rather than this new view of memes as just funny internet images / graphics / lines & fads that seems to have overtaken (?) the original definition.

  83. khms says

    This is one topic that really should not have been derailed by discussing EDG … but unfortunately, that already happened. (And unfortunately, this usually happens on this kind of topic, when emotions – entirely justifiably – run high.)

    And now I’ve read most of the posts related to that (until a bit after his (I’m assuming it’s “he”) good-bye), it has turned into one of those “I’ve been silent too often” cases.

    What did EDB wrong?

    * He should have looked for the data himself.

    * He should not just have assumed that, to the usually well-educated Pharyngula commentators, it would be reasonably clear why the kind of context data he was looking for would have been useful, or that approximately one sentence of explanation would be enough.

    * He could have reacted better to the attacks (though very few people could manage that).

    What did he not do wrong?

    With the exceptions listed above, pretty much everything he was accused of.

    People always deny that unfair group attacks happen at Pharyngula: this was pretty much a picture-book example.

    EDB didn’t derail the thread. You who attacked him did.

    Not that I expect to change anything. The group denial is strong here.

    Oh, and you’re free to say bad things about me now. It’s unlikely I’ll respond. I can’t see what would be the use of it.

    While the main topic hits my emotions as well, this kind of dispute poisons the comment threads enough for me that I can’t see myself trying to read more of it. Very tribal and as such very affirming for the tribe members, I’m sure, but attacking everyone who looks slightly different if you squint the right way is not my thing at all. Far too patriarchy in nature.