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Jan 13 2014

How do you measure willingness to rape?

I was sent this horrifying data table: an awful lot of people think there are circumstances in which force is legitimate to use in order to get sex.

whenisrapeOK

Now an interesting twist. The source for that table is defunct, but someone else bought the url fearus.org and has put together a fairly detailed analysis of the claims. Before you jump to the conclusion that it was some MRA trying to debunk it, though, read the analysis: it’s substantial and impartial. The original study by UCLA researchers does exist, but it’s more complex than this oversimplified version can accurately reflect.

The actual data contained answers that were on a 5-point scale, rather than just a simple yes/no, so there’s some crunching going on here. But let’s crunch it some more.

Excerpts from the paper reveal that only 24% of men categorically rejected all use of violence against women…so apparently, about 76% of us considered some of those circumstances a possible reason to rape. That is disturbing.

Also disturbing: only 44% of the women categorically rejected all uses of violence against them. So 56% have absorbed the idea that they can be at fault for leading men on? Weird.

Anyway, the fearus site is an interesting effort to dig into the original data. It’s a little off — it seems obsessed with the idea that it is a gross error to simplify a 5-point scale to a yes/no answer — but it does make the excellent point that it is disgraceful that it is so difficult to get access to the original, published scientific data.

96 comments

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  1. 1
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    With numbers like that it’s clear there’s no such thing as rape culture.

  2. 2
    voidhawk

    That’s chilling.

  3. 3
    ludicrous

    Those numbers are depressing. I hope someone reworks a survey like this with another box to check guessing how other younger (and older) people in general would respond with also a blank field to give their reasoning.

    The responses of the girls shows how devestating to their agency are the insidious pressures to accommodate sexism. I’d like to know what it would take for mra’s to turn over their bodily integrity to others.

  4. 4
    LykeX

    Simplified science reporting that glosses over the details. That’s new *sigh*

    Anyway, it’s still quite alarmingly high percentage of some degree of acceptance of the use of force. When asked this kind of question, it really should be a straight-forward “never”. It’s not like there’s a whole lot of ethical grey area, here.

    This is the kind of thing that allows the predators free reign. It lets people see what is obviously abusive behavior as part of the norm. Because it’s not “rape-rape”.

    Off-topic stray thought:
    Has anyone looked into whether people’s answers changed when presented with multiple scenarios as opposed to just one simple question? It occurs to me that giving many options, like in this case, might enforce the idea that some of them are reasonable. After all, if the answer is a straight “no” in all cases, why are they asking about all these specifics?

    I wonder if this could have an effect. Does anybody know if this has been studied?

  5. 5
    gussnarp

    I’m rather horrified that there are any men who consider it acceptable at any time other than the one they left out: “if the woman asked him to do that in advance and they have established a safe word upon which he will stop.” I get that we’re never really going to get to the 100% that it ought to be, but that the numbers are anything beyond a few fringe lunatics just depresses me.

  6. 6
    M. A. Melby

    1979

    Not surprised.

    Today? Doubtful.

  7. 7
    Stuart Farrimond

    1979: Terrifying nevertheless

  8. 8
    dianne

    Also disturbing: only 44% of the women categorically rejected all uses of violence against them. So 56% have absorbed the idea that they can be at fault for leading men on? Weird.

    Against them or against “women who lead men on”? There may be a difference in the minds of women who are answering the question.

    OTOH, I once had a discussion with a young woman who had an unintentional pregnancy who described the conception as “I told him [the guy trying to have sex with her] that I wasn’t in the mood since I’d just been raped, but he was too drunk to pay attention”. Note that she does not describe this incident as having been raped again. So clearly she’d absorbed the idea that force was ok if the man was too drunk to tell otherwise.

  9. 9
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Wow. That’s… wow. I would like to think things have gotten better since ’79 (I think they have, but it is an assumption based on nothing but my own experience). It’d be interesting to see modern data along the same lines.

    …it seems obsessed with the idea that it is a gross error to simplify a 5-point scale to a yes/no answer…

    Well in fairness, it is; but that doesn’t invalidate the conclusions, which are far more troubling than the researchers’ methods.

  10. 10
    Alteredstory

    I find it telling that the lowest number on the men’s side is “so turned on he thinks he can’t stop”.

    The story I hear a lot is basically that men “just can’t help themselves”, and this indicates that while a lot of people clearly believe that, a lot of men are perfectly aware of their ability to stop even when turned on.

    What makes that even more chilling is that the higher numbers indicate that the decision about whether or not rape is justified is a conscious choice made, not just “things happening in the heat of the moment”, and that most people are perfectly aware of that fact.

    It emphasizes that rape is not about sex, it’s about power and about the rapist taking what they think they deserve.

  11. 11
    twas brillig (stevem)

    Did they examine the possibility of the subjects misconstruing the phrase, “…force her to have sex…”? Like, when the woman is so drunk they can play around, pretend to force, then have sex. Would everyone realize that it is not force if both parties agree to the act beforehand? Would they get the same responses if they rephrased the questions to explicitly include violence (e.g. “hit her for sex”, “bind her…”, “knock her unconscious…”, etc.). Also, the subjects could be misconstruing the phrasing deliberately, as a form of denial, without lying outright. Rephrasing the questions more explicit might make even some hesitate to deny.

  12. 12
    M. A. Melby

    I suspect there are still people who think this way, but back then, rape was flat-out encouraged by movies and television. The fact that real attitudes reflected that is no surprise.

    Being forceful and violent was shown as a means of seducing a woman. She’d fight at first and say “no” at first, and then give in to your manly aggressiveness and afterward she’d be your girlfriend and wife.

    This was a trope.

    And the guy always “got the girl” in the end as a reward for his hard work – she was what he deserved and he would simply take it.

    Hope we get to a point where everyone finds that depiction of reality really creepy instead of compelling.

  13. 13
    M. A. Melby

    @11

    Steven, seriously? The question is very clear. The question is describing rape.

    If you changed the question to explicitly talk about beating the crap out of someone – then it changes the question from rape to beating the crap out of someone.

  14. 14
    dianne

    Does anyone know if the original paper is available somewhere? It would be interesting to see a more detailed analysis on the complete 5 point scale. I wonder, for example, how many men versus women gave an “always ok” to various questions. Also, has anyone repeated the study to demonstrate its generalizability and reproducibility?

  15. 15
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @M.A>Melby

    Yeah, the trope still exists to a certain extent; mainly in the weird idea that behaviour that is clearly stalkerish is actually romantic, somehow. You know, “The fact he keeps asking you out despite being told no a dozen times is really sweet! Aw!”. I have met women who think like this, and men who have internalised this and genuinely think persistence is the way to get the girl. Or maybe that should be the other way round. Either way, it’s a harmful trope that is presumably descended from that earlier, even more harmful trope.

  16. 16
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Ooops, fucked your ‘nym up. Sorry!

  17. 17
    ludicrous

    Alteredstory @ 10

    “It emphasizes that rape is not about sex, it’s about power and about the rapist taking what they think they deserve.”

    Rape not about sex? How about power AND sex? Sex is a given, an attack without a sexual aspect is not rape. Power is among a number of possible motivations that likely vary among rapists.

  18. 18
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re 13:
    yes, I am reading it too gently. maybe I’m wrong to hesitate over saying “force her to have sex” vs “hit her to have sex”. Maybe I’m guilty of only seeing the violence of rape and not rape itself as the whole of the violence, and rephrasing the question remakes it to be about the violence itself and not the sex involved. I was not advocating using the phrase “…beat the crap out of her…” nor other similar phrasing. Just replace “force her” with something more explicit and less euphemistic. Instead of “hold her down”, use “knock her down”, or “grip her” instead of of “hold her”. But maybe I’m just projecting how I might have read those questions to deny the reality of how sex/love was presented by all the media of my youth.

  19. 19
    Alverant

    @Thumper
    I agree about the tropes. In movies, TV, even advice columns I remember women being told to “play hard to get”, “don’t appear to eager”, “make him work for it”, and other phrases that seem to encourage stalker behavior when looked at in retrospect. It’s some idea that if a guy you’re attracted to asks you out, it’s socially bad to say “yes” right away for some reason. Women were told they needed to act aloof to keep him interested and “the chase” was important in a relationship; often by other women. I think they justified it by saying otherwise the woman would be considered “easy”. It was crazy.

  20. 20
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    stevem

    Many rapes do not have additional violence committed by the perpetrator. “Forced her” is plain enough language to make it clear it’s rape. You are perpetuating the myth that unless the person is *also* physically assaulted, it’s not rape.

  21. 21
    Amphiox

    The numbers are depressing but not surprising. One might hope that if it was done again in 2014 the results would be less depressing, but one isn’t holding out much of that hope.

    Not being a woman I can’t say from any personal experience, but I wonder how often it occurs that woman is with a man who initiates a sexual encounter, she says no, he ignores her, but somewhere along the line, for whatever reason, she decides to stop objecting, and then afterwards convinces herself that because of that second decision she actually did consent and so it wasn’t rape after all? Even when it of course is?

  22. 22
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @ludicrous

    What is meant is that sex is not the primary motivation, not that sex plays no part. The primary motivation is power, but sex obviously has to occurr for it to be rape.

    @Alverant

    Yeah, women’s mags are particularly bad purveyors of the trope. I nearly mentioned so in my first post, but can’t find real world examples so figured I wouldn’t. But since you back up the assertion I feel justified in making an anecdotal claim.

    It’s bad to say yes because slut shaming. That makes you “easy” and easy is bad. Women are expected to string the guy along for a little while before doing what they were always going to do and going home with him (assuming that’s what they were always going to do). Yes, it’s silly. It’s also incredibly misogynistic, because a guy is not expected to do the same thing. I don’t know what it is about women’s mags, but in my experience they seem very keen on preserving patriarchal gender stereotypes. []Perhaps because most of their subscribers wouldn’t read such fluff if they weren’t expected to? [/tongue-in-cheek conjecture].

    TV is also bad. American sit coms (I say American purely because I can’t think of any British examples off the top of my head; feel free to correct me) quite often have a “slutty” character, where the only joke is the fact they have a healthy sex drive and aren’t ashamed of it, and go home with guys a lot. Examples off the top of my head include Miranda in Sex and the City, and Penny in the first few seasons of The Big Bang Theory. A quick google turned up this list (which includes a token “male slut” so they can claim HuffPo isn’t sexist), and this one (yep, at least two people have taken the time to list “The five/ten Greatest TV Sluts”, for some reason).

    Some days I wonder if our culture gets anything about sex right.

  23. 23
    vaiyt

    Has anyone looked into whether people’s answers changed when presented with multiple scenarios as opposed to just one simple question? It occurs to me that giving many options, like in this case, might enforce the idea that some of them are reasonable. After all, if the answer is a straight “no” in all cases, why are they asking about all these specifics?

    Then again, if most people are so deficient in moral thought that they lose track of the moral wrong of rape when alternative scenarios are presented, these answers ARE revealing. Change the proposal from rape to cannibalism, and I guarantee you that the responses won’t deviate so far from 100% no.

  24. 24
    Roestigraben

    One other point: it says at the top that this was a survey of high school students, not the population at large. If you ask a bunch of teenagers with limited sexual experience of their own, they’ll probably resort to cliches and/or fantasies when answering hypotheticals like that, rather than being able to put themselves fully in the situation. That obviously does not mean that these results aren’t reason for concern – they must’ve gotten those ideas from the culture surrounding them, after all – but it’s probably another reason to doubt whether they’re representative.

  25. 25
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re 20:

    Forced her” is plain enough language to make it clear it’s rape. You are perpetuating the myth that unless the person is *also* physically assaulted, it’s not rape.

    AGREED! My phrasing was so poor; while asking them to rephrase more explicitly, my own phrasing was not explicit *enough*. What I meant to say, previously, was, “… the violence of rape is the sex itself, with or without any other physical (or verbal) violence.” I apologize for botching my previous comment so badly. I was trying to convey that I too am a victim of the myth of what is “real rape”. I did not mean to promote that myth, in any way. My writing skills failed me. I hope they didn’t also fail at agreeing with you and apologizing for my previous misphrasings (and at making clear what I was trying to say previously).
    [is this the way to dig myself out of the hole I've dug myself into?]

  26. 26
    sonofrojblake

    (I say American purely because I can’t think of any British examples off the top of my head; feel free to correct me)

    “Coupling”, written by current “Doctor Who” and “Sherlock” showrunner Steven Moffat, had the character of Jane, played by Gina Bellman (later of “Leverage”).

    And: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GoodBadGirl

    I’d be fascinated to see the result of an equivalent survey asking “is it OK to punch a man in the face if…”:
    - he spilled your pint
    - he insulted your girlfriend
    - he hit on your girlfriend
    - he damaged your car
    - he supports a different sports team than you
    - you are playing rugby against him
    - he is obviously gay

    I suspect you’d see similar numbers, then and now. The fact of the matter is, a surprising and depressing number of people are of the considered opinion that it’s sometimes OK to be violent, that some things justify it. Not just rape, but violence generally.

  27. 27
    twas brillig (stevem)

    ” – he hit on your girlfriend”

    we mix violence terms in our terms for flirting, is it any wonder why so many “boys” are confused about the difference? [me too]

  28. 28
    twas brillig (stevem)

    ” – he hit on your girlfriend”

    we mix violence terms in our terms for flirting, is it any wonder why so many “boys” are confused about the difference? [me too]

  29. 29
    LykeX

    @vaiyt
    My answer got very long and since this is really off-topic, I’ve left it at Thunderdome instead.

  30. 30
    ludicrous

    ttb@22

    “What is meant is that sex is not the primary motivation, not that sex plays no part. The primary motivation is power, but sex obviously has to occurr for it to be rape. ”

    I understand what is meant but they don’t usually say that, they use an absolute, rape is NOT about sex, but about power.

    Would you care to say why you believe your explanation above is true. A cursory google suggests to me that the motivation(s) for rape is subject to ongoing debate. I assume a multiplicity of motivations for most behavior and wonder why rape would be an exception to that.

  31. 31
    robro

    Disturbing piece by Deborah Tuerkheimer in the Guardian concerning the legal definition of rape in many states.

  32. 32
    MadHatter

    @21 Amphiox

    Not being a woman I can’t say from any personal experience, but I wonder how often it occurs that woman is with a man who initiates a sexual encounter, she says no, he ignores her, but somewhere along the line, for whatever reason, she decides to stop objecting, and then afterwards convinces herself that because of that second decision she actually did consent and so it wasn’t rape after all? Even when it of course is?

    I can answer from personal experience and discussions with many other women from the time I was a teenager on, say starting about 17 years ago. This is the scenario of a lot of date rapes for women I know (and myself) through our teens and early 20′s. Partly because most of us seemed to have internalized the idea that we owed men if they took us to dinner, or we just had a nice night out (or a lot of other stupid reasons) and so we might say “no” but if they kept pushing you might not try to push them away. Often fear of potential anger/violence was involved. The other reason is internalizing the idea that if you’ve led him on somehow and therefore it couldn’t really be rape. You just didn’t really feel like having sex, but “oh well”.

    It took a number of years for me to admit to myself that several of my sexual encounters back at that age were in fact date rape.

    I would hope that the “using force” attitude has changed since the 70′s, but wasn’t there a recent survey showing teenagers were particularly likely to initiate sex through coercion and force?

  33. 33
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @sonofrojblake

    Thanks! Apologies to any USians reading; I didn’t mean to unfairly represent American TV, I just don’t watch a lot of telly so couldn’t think of any non-US examples.

    I have to admit, I would consider myself justified in your second example, should an attempt to reason said verbal attacker into apologising fail.

    @SteveM

    [is this the way to dig myself out of the hole I've dug myself into?]

    Yes :) you have proven that, unlike so many people, you can tell up from down.

  34. 34
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    No worries, stevem.

  35. 35
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @ludicrous

    I agree using an absolute is probably incorrect. And my explanation was merely an explanation of the phrase, not an indication in whether or not I believed it to be correct, so your request is kind of illogical. But as it happens I do agree with it, so I’ll answer.

    p1- It’s perfectly possible to get sex without raping.
    p2- The only element of rape that is not present in consensual sex is the subjugation of another’s will.
    c- Therefore, rapists must choose to rape because they enjoy the subjugation of another’s will.

    QED. It’s just logical, is it not? So I think that generally speaking it is true to say that the primary motivator is power, not sex.

  36. 36
    Alteredstory

    @ludicrous #17

    You’re right – there’s a sexual element, but people tend to confuse the motivations behind rape with the motivations behind consensual sex. Very often, you’ll hear rape dismissed as simply a result of the “evolutionary drive to breed”, despite a lack of evidence. I wasn’t as clear as perhaps I should have been, but I think that Thumper #22 covered it pretty well.

    There is also the fact, of course, that some crimes that fall under the heading of “rape” do not include any contact with the rapist’s genitals. Without getting too trigger-y, foreign objects fall under that heading as well. I don’t think that applies to this particular survey, but it seems to be something that confuses a lot of people when, for example, rape of men by heterosexual men occurs in the military.

  37. 37
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Alteredstory

    Not here in the UK, it isn’t. Over here if you’re not penetrated with a penis, you weren’t raped. Which is completely stupid.

    /tangential rant

  38. 38
    ludicrous

    Re: What constitutes rape,

    A situation I have not noticed mentioned is when the woman is completely passive in the encounter, no overt resistance, no overt cooperation, just seems to be ok with what happens.. Are there situations when a woman would intentionlly not want to disclose her preference, leaving it entirely up to him? In the absence of clear indication, would failure to ask for verbal consent constitute rape?

  39. 39
    gcstroop

    I am kind of curious as to the controls used for that particular data table. What I envision is a room full of males taking this questionnaire and they’re all snickering and laughing at each question. Whether they agree it’s right or wrong, they’re intentionally skewing the numbers. On the other hand, this leads to the other question of why any of them find rape amusing or laughable in the first place.

  40. 40
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    A situation I have not noticed mentioned is when the woman is completely passive in the encounter, no overt resistance, no overt cooperation, just seems to be ok with what happens.. Are there situations when a woman would intentionlly not want to disclose her preference, leaving it entirely up to him? In the absence of clear indication, would failure to ask for verbal consent constitute rape?

    Is this really necessary?

  41. 41
    Inaji

    M.A. Melby @ 6:

    Today? Doubtful.

    Please. Don’t be stupid. Click the following links. By the way, women are still taught to swallow systemic sexism every single day, and plenty of women still think in similar ways to those participating in the ’79 poll. Don’t be yet another person who finds a convenient handwave and mistakes it for a fix.

    Meet the Predators
    http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

    Predator Redux
    https://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

  42. 42
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    ludicrous @ #38: Wow, that comes off as really creepy. And kinda weasel-y. (No offense to mustelids.) What part of “clear consent” is difficult? And why, whenever the subject of defiining rape comes up, does there have to be a bunch of “does it count if…” questions that just seem like someone’s trying to rules-lawyer technically not-rape?

    “Also disturbing: only 44% of the women categorically rejected all uses of violence against them. So 56% have absorbed the idea that they can be at fault for leading men on? Weird.”
    Not that weird. I don’t think I’ve met any women (or men, or others) who didn’t think they led the rapist on, or deserved it, or were confusing in their “no” somehow.

  43. 43
    Arawhon, a Strawberry Margarita

    Ludicrous at 38.

    Yes, its rape. There is a lack of consent.

  44. 44
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Along the lines of “sex vs. power/intent”, I still wonder about something that happeened to me a year ago during part of my Endless Medical Procedures. (TW, I suppose, for disregard of consent, serious creepiness, gross gynecological procedures) After I’d told the tech doing my sonohysterography that I had been raped repeatedly and also had a phobia of what was about to be done, I asked if he’d stop if I asked. He said no, and did things like tell me to stop screaming from the pain, it would care the people in the waiting room, and I had tattoos, so it couldn’t be that bad, and then I dissociated. I remember blood everywhere, him making me apologize for being so difficult (with eye contact!) and then I went home in shock by myself.

    What happened wasn’t exactly sexual, but there was definitely the power dynamic, and my genitals being penetrated a lot. Though I’ll admit that I don’t especially want to count it among my rapes because the number’s already too high. And I need to schedule another one as soon as I read reviews of different clinics.

  45. 45
    Inaji

    ludicrous @ 38, please stop now. People who play the “is this rape? what about this, is that rape?” game here have an unfortunate stay. If you must do such shit, do everyone a favour and take it to Thunderdome. Otherwise, don’t indulge in every fucking hypothetical you can think of, okay? Thanks.

    And since it will probably be required:

    CCC (Crystal Clear Consent)

    * First of all: Understand that if you go forward with initiating sexual activity not knowing if consent exists, you may or may not be raping someone, but you have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that you are willing to rape someone. Black areas make you a rapist, grey areas make you willing to rape.

    * Making absolutely sure that consent is obtained and mutually agreed on. This does not include trying for consent when a person is not in condition to grant consent.

    * No doubts as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No guesses as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No assumptions as to whether consent was obtained.

    * No doubt as to whether any partner was capable of giving consent at the time.

    Crystal Clear Consent includes Fully Informed Consent. Consent granted under deception is not CCC, it is manufactured consent.

    * If you use deception to gain sex–impersonating another person, lying about contraceptive use, failing to disclose STDs–you are denying your partner the right to fully informed consent.

    * If you are not sure whether or not you have an STD, disclose this uncertainty. If consent is granted, take responsibility and use protection. Just because you didn’t know for sure is not a defense.

    * If you whine and wheedle about using protection a/o contraception, you are not in CCC territory. You are willing to rape.

    * Lying about or withholding information that, if known, would’ve resulted in dissent is rape.

    * If you consent to X activity under Y conditions and the other party changes those conditions to Z, then you have not consented to what is happening.

    Crystal Clear Consent Practices:

    * Understanding that consent may be withdrawn, by any involved party, at any time. Initial consent does not mean you get to carry on if consent has been withdrawn. In other words, people are allowed to change their mind at any point.

    * If you have not had sex with a given person before, mutually understood language with confirmation is the best way to attain Crystal Clear Consent. Relying on body language or assuming consent without clarification is nearly always insufficient with a new partner. As you get to know your partner(s) better, you will get better at reading nonverbal / nonlingual cues, but clear communication is still absolutely necessary. It is important to remember that rape can still be committed within the confines of a relationship, at any stage. Consent that is not communicated is not CCC.

    * If your partner is communicating something, do not assume that it has nothing to do with consent.

    * If you initiate or offer and are declined in the context of a specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtations setting, do not initiate or offer again until one of the following four occur:

    1. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering and been declined by you.

    2. the other party has taken a turn initiating/offering, was accepted by you, but after the activity lapsed you wish to restart.

    3. it is an entirely new romantic, sexual, or flirtatious setting.

    4. An amount of time has passed that is inverse to the number of times they have accepted your offer before. While it may be acceptable when dating to offer again in a week or in a closer relationship to initiate again after, say, one day [or whatever is the negotiated norm in said relationship] it’s not acceptable to ask someone again if you’ve just met them.

    * If you initiate or offer and are declined in a context that is not specifically romantic, sexual, or flirtatious, do not initiate or offer again. Seriously.

    * If you’re beginning a new relationship or going for a casual hookup, enthusiasm is key! Your new partner should be enthusiastically and happily involved with you. If no enthusiasm is present, it’s best to go for more communication and put off sex for a while.

    * A person who wants consensual sex doesn’t want to commit or experience rape, and a person who rapes does. Whether a given rapist wants their victim(s) drugged, unconscious, frightened, intimidated, trapped, manipulated or tricked, or just pestered until they give in, the rapist wants the end result to be that a rape happens. That includes being forced to penetrate someone else.

    * Contrary to what is often thought, consent is not difficult. If you still aren’t clear at this point, read this: http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/09/20/consent-is-hard/ and this: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/06/if-consent-was-really-that-hard-whiny-dudes-would-fail-at-every-aspect-of-life/

    * Don’t want to listen to us? How about MIT:

    Effective Consent is:

    – informed;

    – freely and actively given;

    – mutually understandable words or actions;

    – which indicate a willingness to participate in
    – mutually agreed upon sexual activity.

  46. 46
    What a Maroon, el papa ateo

    @gcstroop,

    The methodology is explained here.

    Interviewed by clinical psychology or social work graduate students
    Interviewers were in their 20s
    Interviewers were matched to adolescents by their sex and ethnicity

    I suppose it’s possible that some of the kids saw a slightly older peer and were trying to impress them with how worldly they were. But even if that were true, and the kids didn’t really believe this, that just shows the rape culture in action.

    I think that as a high school student in ’78 I would have answered that it’s never ok to force sex on another person, but even so I had some bad ideas about women and sex that I think I’ve managed to recognize and overcome. Still learning, though.

  47. 47
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @ludicrous #38

    Who was talking about what constitutes rape? We know what constitutes rape. Why, don’t you? I thought we were talking about the idea that the motivation for rape always involves power to a greater or lesser extent.

    You’re beginning to worry me, so why don’t you clearly lay out your objections to our previous topic, and maybe you could also explain what motivated you to write your post #38?

    In answer to your post, I hesitate to speak on behalf of survivors, but just in case none have the spoons right now, some basic reasons would be fear for their lives, fear of violence, fear for the safety of loved ones, fear of hurting the attacker if they are friend/family of the victim (that seems incomprehensible on the face of it, but think about it), unconsciousness, or the victim simply may not realise it is rape (this more common than you’d think).

  48. 48
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Aaaand I took so long to write that, practically everyone has beaten me to it.

  49. 49
    Inaji

    What a maroon:

    that just shows the rape culture in action.

    Nothing has changed. In the Meet the Predators studies, it was college students, and the researchers found that as long as they didn’t use the word rape, they would admit to having raped a woman.

  50. 50
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Thumper: Well said, though you forgot one that I think is often also overlooked: knowing that their response is irrelevant to the rapist. If they are disinclined to listen to previous “no”s, the desire to get it over with can kick in.

  51. 51
    ludicrous

    42

    No, not lawyering. These discussions of rape cause some of us men to go back over some dimly recalled memories, in my case 50 -60 years ago.

    I think the reason for all the ‘does it count if’ questions is because there are questions that need clarifying. I think we are in the process of asking these questions for good reason, Would you have it otherwise?

  52. 52
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Well, if it lets you men realize that you, at the very least, didn’t know/care that much about consent, who cares how creepy and commonly used by guys who want to be technically-not-rapists it sounds?

    But sorry to be such a mean survivor, pointing out that consent is a pretty simple concept.

  53. 53
    ludicrous

    Sorry posted the last before seeing requests to leave. Gone now.

  54. 54
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @HappiestSadist

    Jesus. I am so sorry that happened to you.

    The second part of your first sentence seems to imply a question, especially in conjunction with your second paragraph; if you really want me to I’ll answer, but I’m really not comfortable giving my opinion on whether that was/wasn’t rape. That’s kind of up to you. That tech was certainly a complete arsehole who didn’t give a fuck about your consent or mental well being, though.

    On the “sex vs. power/intent”, my argument is that rape necessarily contains elements of both, whereas consensual sex obviously doesn’t contain the latter; so logically rapes, generally speaking, would be motivated by the latter rather than the former. Even if the rapist gets some sort of sexual thrill from the power imbalance, which I assume is common if they associate the two, the motivation is still the power imbalance because that’s what they can’t get from consensual sex.

  55. 55
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @HappiestSadist #50

    I clearly need to learn to type faster :) Yes, I did forget that and honestly hadn’t considered it. I was merely listing reasons survivors have given me in case, as I said, none had the spoons to answer.

    @ludicrous #53

    No one asked you to leave, just not to do hypotheticals. If you’re learning, then keep learning. Just try not to trigger anyone in the process.

  56. 56
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Thumper: Yeah, it is up to me in the end, and I do lean toward saying it was (if someone asked me my opinion, had it happened to them, I’d say it qualifies, but it’s up to them).

    Agreeing with the rest of your assessment about the power thing. Rapists don’t rape because they can’t get consensual sex.

  57. 57
    Alteredstory

    @Ludicrous#38

    A situation I have not noticed mentioned is when the woman is completely passive in the encounter, no overt resistance, no overt cooperation, just seems to be ok with what happens.. Are there situations when a woman would intentionlly not want to disclose her preference, leaving it entirely up to him? In the absence of clear indication, would failure to ask for verbal consent constitute rape?

    So I’m going to work from the assumption that this question is in earnest and not a way to weasel the words and justify rape. I’m answering because I think I have an experience that is directly relevant to what you’re talking about, and I think I went about it correctly.

    First of all, let me say that if preference is unclear, then you should take a tip from Louis CK when he said, “I’m not going to rape you on the off chance you’re into that”. I’ve got problems with him, but he’s got that right. If you’re in doubt, CHECK. If she refuses to say one way or another, then I would stop cold – there’s something going on there and you probably don’t want to just blunder into whatever it is.

    I’ve been in a situation where a woman, after a date and clear communication online over a couple days, came to my apartment for sex. For various reasons, when we started messing around, she was almost completely unresponsive. She didn’t kiss back, she didn’t really touch me, she didn’t move much, or make any noise. Personally, I’m not remotely into that. I found it to be very strange, and very off-putting, so I just stopped, and checked in with her.

    Without going into too much detail, she didn’t have the physical and vocal reactions to sexual activity that most of us learn through observation while growing up. She WAS into it, she DID want more, she DID want things to get a bit leather, but she wasn’t sure how to express it to me. So we talked a bit, set up a safe word, and continued on to have a rollicking good time.

    I checked in a few more times as we went.

    If a woman being non-responsive is a turn on to you, then you have to be really careful. It’s not necessarily your fault that it turns you on, or that it doesn’t bother you, but you HAVE to understand that a lot of people, when they’re in a stressful situation, just shut down.

    It’s not uncommon for someone if they’re feeling trapped, to just lose the ability to communicate their problem, either because they don’t think it’ll make a difference, or because they feel like just toughing it out is the quickest and safest way to get out of that situation.

    If you just carry on and that’s what’s going on in their heads then IT IS RAPE. No question. It is rape, and it is your fault for not checking in.

    If you check in, and that’s just how they respond, and it’s all very clear, and they know they can leave any time they want, and so on, then do what’s been consented to, but that’s a situation where you have to be really careful.

    The farther you get away from “vanilla” sex, the more you have to pay attention to safety. Don’t be Robin Thicke – if the line seems blurred, take the time to make it clear, because otherwise what you are doing, absent explicit consent, is raping somebody on the off chance that it’s not rape.

  58. 58
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    #57

    +1

  59. 59
    A Masked Avenger

    Thumper, #35:

    p1- It’s perfectly possible to get sex without raping.
    p2- The only element of rape that is not present in consensual sex is the subjugation of another’s will.
    c- Therefore, rapists must choose to rape because they enjoy the subjugation of another’s will.

    I hesitate to step into this one, but the logic there is incomplete. Nothing in your propositions imply “enjoyment” of subjugating another’s will. It’s equally possible that the rapist does not acknowledge his victim’s will in the first place–that he either regards her as more or less literally an object, or that he recognizes that she has a will, but simply doesn’t care.

  60. 60
    jodyp

    Why do these kinds of threads always draw out the guys that want to figure out when it’s okay to have sex with someone without their consent?

  61. 61
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Way back up @#15 Thumper:

    mainly in the weird idea that behaviour that is clearly stalkerish is actually romantic, somehow

    Related to the “persist and she’ll eventually give in” trope is the equally terrible and stalkerish trope “don’t worry if your love is unrequited, if you’re a good guy, stick around, be her friend and she’ll eventually come to her senses and fall in love with you”. It perpetuates the notion that women are vending machines ready to dole out sex to all comers as long as you put in the right (or right number of) coin(s) or wait around long enough with a downcast expression.

    And I agree with A Masked Avenger. I think a lot of rapists are not in it for the power of subjugating their victims, they’re just not concerned overmuch with whether or not their partner is consenting. They feel entitled and are perfectly content to have consensual sex, but if she’s withholding, it’s her problem not theirs.

  62. 62
    sonofrojblake

    @Thumper, 33

    I would consider myself justified in your second example, should an attempt to reason said verbal attacker into apologising fail

    Thank you for confirming my speculation. For you, a purely verbal insult directed at someone else is sufficient justification, for you, for punching a man in the face.

    Violence – not just sexual violence, ALL violence – is something a HUGE proportion of people just accept is justified, even people who might otherwise consider themselves rational, reasonable people.

  63. 63
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @A Masked Avenger

    You know, you’re right. I did specify “generally”, my logic being that since most rapists are serial rapists it points to them enjoying rape more than sex. But if they just don’t care about their victim’s consent, rather than being turned on by it, and just see it as sex, I suppose there’s nothing that stops them just repeatedly using the same tactics to “get sex”, is there? In which case they would be serial raping without enjoying the power imbalance.

    Still, that is hypothetical. More research needed to confirm, methinks; but not now, I’m tired. Thanks for pointing out my illogic though.

    @jodyp

    I think because of what ludicrous said at #51.

    These discussions of rape cause some of us men to go back over some dimly recalled memories, in my case 50 -60 years ago.

    I think deep down they know full well that what we’re saying makes sense. They deny it because to admit it would be to admit they have raped someone (not suggesting ludicrous is necessarily a rapist). But they’re panicking, because they don’t want to be, so they ask anyway, and then try to dismiss the answer.

  64. 64
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Not surprised at all
    Sadly
    I remember watching old James Bond movies a year or two ago and I went holy fuck what is he doing stop assaulting and raping!!!
    There were so many scenes that went like he makes a move, she says no, he goes on, she struggles, he physically forces himself unto her and suddenly she wants to fuck him.
    I needed to be over 30 and educated by the Horde to even notice how sick and disgusting that was, and those were the scenes millions of men and women grew up with as “romantic”, because, hey, James Bond, he can have every woman!
    Duh, if he can have every woman, why does he have to pin them on the bed by force.

    Happiestsadist
    I am truely sorry for what happened to you.
    *safehugs*

  65. 65
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @sonofrojblake #62

    Yep. And the worst thing is, I know full well it’s illogical. But emotionally, I still feel justified. It’s a very strange feeling, that kind of disconnect between your “logical brain” and “emotional brain”, for want of better phrases.

    Also, I should clarify; I wouldn’t feel justified just hitting them, but I would feel totally justified in confronting them in the almost certain knowledge that it will result in a fight. Another hang up I have is that I never throw the first punch, which again makes sense from an emotional perspective and not at all from a logical perspective.

  66. 66
    M. A. Melby

    @41

    By “doubtful” – I mean, I doubt that those numbers would be the same. I’m not doubtful that rape culture still exists or that some respondents to those same questions would answer similarly now as they did then.

    Thanks for the links, however, I read those articles a while ago. They are informative articles, I hope others go read them.

  67. 67
    A. Noyd

    MadHatter (#32)

    This is the scenario of a lot of date rapes for women I know (and myself) through our teens and early 20′s. Partly because most of us seemed to have internalized the idea that we owed men if they took us to dinner

    And a lot of guys will push you to accept being treated to dinner so that you “owe” them and they can push for sex later.

  68. 68
    sonofrojblake

    I wouldn’t feel justified just hitting them, but I would feel totally justified in confronting them in the almost certain knowledge that it will result in a fight.[...]Another hang up I have is that I never throw the first punch

    You have a fantasy of how things work that is as dangerous to you as a “she wants it really” attitude would be to women. Worse, in fact, because stepping up to someone and then giving them the first hit for free could literally get you killed. They’re both fantasies based on the macho image of what a “real man” does – doesn’t take no for an answer, doesn’t throw the first punch, doesn’t start a fight but always finishes it. Blah blah bullshit. Seriously – give that some second thought. I don’t intend to pursue this exchange further as it’s drifting off from the point of the thread, and I think I’ve made the point re: *violence* is actually more acceptable than we think, in any form.

  69. 69
    nutella

    @44 HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I’m so sorry that happened to you. I had the same procedure today and it was a bit painful but very respectfully and professionally carried out by the nurse and sonogram technician. Just to remind you that it doesn’t have to be like that.

    Some day I hope you have the spoons available to report the cruel and incompetent tech that you had the bad luck to encounter.

  70. 70
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Thank you, nutella and also Giliell. *hugs back to Giliell*

    Thank you for the reminder as well, nutella. I’ve had a lot of really good medical experiences, and it’s good to know about others who’ve had the same thing and it wasn’t awful. I’ve thought about reporting the tech, but it was over a year ago, and I also don’t remember his name. (I am AWFUL at names.)

  71. 71
    ludicrous

    Thumper @63

    Your mind reading act would likely garner more applause in a theater.

  72. 72
    A. Noyd

    HappiestSadist (#70)

    I’ve thought about reporting the tech, but it was over a year ago, and I also don’t remember his name.

    I should think his name would be in your medical file. (And if the hospital doesn’t track which techs perform which procedures, that’s something else to be upset with them for.) It’s understandable, though, if you just want to leave it alone.

  73. 73
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @HappiestSadist:

    I’m trying to catch up a little on this stuff today, and wouldn’t you know it? Another rape thread. And another friend telling another story of absolutely repellent behavior.

    May you have all the support of which you could possibly avail yourself.

  74. 74
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Thanks, Crip Dyke. I feel a little weird and like I’ve made the thread All About Me and derailed, honestly. I was lucky enough to have amazing, supportive people, immediately after and since.

    A. Noyd: It should be, but I’m honestly not sure I wanna go through that while I’m simultaneously dealing with the health stuff that’s led me to need another one.

  75. 75
    Konradius

    I have two problems with this that I havn’t seen in the previous comments.
    The first is that while people are asked ‘Is it all right’ I wonder if at some point the question might not be morphed to ‘can you empathise’. This is especially true for a question that is supposed to have a binary answer but is ranked on a 5point scale.
    Because yes, I can empathise, while I would never do this and would most vigorously deny any of it is ‘all right’.
    My bigger problem though, why wasn’t the question asked like this:
    Is it all right if a female is held down by a male and is forced to have sex with him if…
    The question that was asked primes the reader to empathise with the male. The question as I wrote it primes the reader to empathise with the female.

  76. 76
    craigmcgillivary

    I think it is probably relevant that the study was conducted in 1978. Hopefully there has been some progress in the last 35 years.

  77. 77
    ck

    I hope the clipping is just paraphrasing the question actually used in the study. It uses the word “force” which I assume is supposed to imply “without consent”, but those aren’t always connected as gussnarp mentioned (i.e. the weird, wild world of kink).

    That said, I’m not sure such a clarification (assuming it did not exist) would have made much of a difference in the results given the attitudes I’ve seen commonly expressed even today. Sadly, the idea that a man who buys a woman a meal on a date is owed sex, and may take it by force if she refuses, isn’t uncommon even thirty-five years after that study. Redo the survey today, and I imagine you might see some improvement in the right direction, but I imagine the rate of change would be nearly glacial.

  78. 78
    Terska

    MTV’s show about teen pregnancy has led to a significant drop in teen births in recent years. Perhaps a show about rape could produce similar results.

    Fewer teen births

  79. 79
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    HappiestSadist (@50)

    If they are disinclined to listen to previous “no”s, the desire to get it over with can kick in.

    I can confirm this from personal experience. The “if I just roll over and let him do it, it’ll be done and over with, maybe he’ll leave me alone after” thing. (Coupled with “I don’t want to make him get angry and violent”.)

    TBH, I just want to forget any of it happened.

    Also, I apologize if this comment was triggering for anyone else. It was hard for me to write.

  80. 80
    congenital cynic

    Those are seriously fucked up responses. Horrible from the males, but bad from the females. We need to raise better men. Embarrassing. Disgusting.

  81. 81
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    WMDkitty: *safe hugs and solidarity fistbumps* I was speaking from experience as well. It’s not enough for there not to be a no, let alone no physical resistance.

  82. 82
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    So, trigger warning, I guess, even though i rarely use them and this is a thread about rape:

    Thinking about HappiestSadist @50 and WMDKitty @79, it makes me want to add an item to the instrument similar to:

    Under what circumstances is it okay for a guy to hold a girl down and force her to have sexual intercourse?

    …after a fight if he’s trying to make up?

    I write the above in the language of the original study, though I would be interested in the results (independent and comparative) of a gendered and a non-gendered version of the question.

    My abusive ex threatened me with a knife to get me to confess to having contemporary sex with someone other than that ex. I hadn’t had that sex. I didn’t confess. After several minor wounds and a lot of vicious, ineffectual, but scary-as-hell slashing, I was a terrified mass on the floor. My ex wanted to have sex to “make everything better”. My statement that I wasn’t exactly in the mood was portrayed as a refusal to accept a heartfelt apology. My ex then would refer back to the knife wielding after other explosive instances of abuse, asking if I wanted to be happy together or if I wanted us to fight like that night.

    It’s the certainty in my ex’s voice that I would be the party in the wrong that makes me wonder how many people think that this kind of rape is the responsibility of a victim to tolerate?

  83. 83
    ck

    Further to my #77, if redone today, it might be best to avoid the references to “held down” and “force” altogether, since the means by which someone violates another’s body against their will isn’t quite as important as the fact they did not agree to it. The ideas of “legitimate rape” rely on the violence, and it would probably be best not to invoke that if you wanted to gauge people’s attitude to rape today.

  84. 84
    ck

    @Crip Dyke,

    Wow. Terrifying story, and I’m glad you survived that ex. It’s terrifying what can lie just below the surface of people you think you know.

  85. 85
    SallyStrange

    I was 19 when I awoke in a tent in Florence, Italy, to find the two guys who’d offered me shelter penetrating me with their fingers and attempting to rape me.

    Despite the fact that I’d specifically said, “Yes, I do need a place to sleep tonight, but no sex, okay?”

    And yet it took me another 6-7 years to call that wrong, and 10+ to label it sexual assault or rape.

    Because really, what did I expect? Going into a tent with two guys I barely knew.

    So yeah. Not surprised by the results.

  86. 86
    weatherwax

    I remember reading years ago that in similar tests the approval levels were much smaller if the questions actually used the term rape.

    Is it OK to rape a woman because you bought her dinner? No, absolutely not. But force her to have sex? Oh, that’s OK.

    So maybe that’s one place to focus some education.

  87. 87
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Rape is bad, you see. Rape is something that bad people do. And I’m not a bad guy. I’m not a rapist.

    The bitch owed me sex, though. So it was fair for me to take it.

    But that’s not rape. Because she owed it to me. And besides, rapists are bad people and I’m not a bad person.

  88. 88
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    @Granny

    Thus Caine’s persistent efforts, such as in this very thread.

    You’ll find that a lot of us do consent education – with our children, with our peers, with our students, with our sibs, with our parents. Join in, we want all the efforts.

  89. 89
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Konradius

    Because yes, I can empathise, while I would never do this and would most vigorously deny any of it is ‘all right’.

    There’s something wrong with you in that case. Because really, xou can empathise with somebody who rapes a woman? What part are you feeling empathy for? The pinning down? The forcing? Or the getting your dick wet no matter what?

    My bigger problem though, why wasn’t the question asked like this:
    Is it all right if a female is held down by a male and is forced to have sex with him if…
    The question that was asked primes the reader to empathise with the male. The question as I wrote it primes the reader to empathise with the female.

    If they had just asked the right question then all those people wouldn’t look so terrible…

  90. 90
    Alteredstory

    @Konradius #75

    The question that was asked primes the reader to empathise with the male. The question as I wrote it primes the reader to empathise with the female.

    That’s the point – our society’s attitude towards rape – the permissiveness, the victim-blaming, the old Bond films mentioned above – all of that stems from a default towards empathy with men, and NOT with women.

    This survey is useful because it follows that incredibly well-established pattern, and then makes the results of it explicit.

    It primes the reader to empathize with the male point of view – just like almost everything in our society over the last few hundred years (at least) has done, and it gives a direct, blunt illustration of what you get when that happens.

    It shows how that default to sympathizing with the male point of view leads to acceptance of rape.

    It shows how the default to not considering women as people in their own right leads to dismissal of rape and assault charges.

    The very thing that you are complaining about is THE WHOLE POINT, because almost every aspect in our society – even today – “primes the reader” to empathize with the male, AND “primes the reader” to dismiss or even vilify the female.

    That’s what “rape culture” means.

  91. 91
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @sonofrojblake #68

    Not throwing the first punch is not the same thing as standing still and letting them hit you. But you’re right; it’s illogical, and I’m aware of that. When thinking about it clearly I am able to realise that these are values I’ve absorbed from my upbringiing and culture which are illogical and in some cases directly contradict the rest of my system of morality. But when I’m in a confrontation, I’m angry and not using logic, so they are the values which dictate my actions. As I say, I’m aware of it, and try to work on it.

    @ludicrous #71

    What are you talking about?

  92. 92
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    To those who shout “but it was 1979, surely things aren’t like this now!”, I will point out that I was told, in exactly those words, that I owed my rapist sex. (TW: TMI, rape details) For breaking up with him, and because he came over to my house while I was (apparently near-death) sick, to “take care of me”. Which amounted to lots of rape (not sure how many, something about fever delirium), and telling me I probably didn’t need to see a doctor. But I owed him. He then told me I was making him feel bad (and made me apologize) for not being able to have an orgasm while delirious from fever and between bouts of agonized pain and expelling blood and pus.

    Konradius: I’m not sure why you think that you find it so easy to empathize with rapists, and how you feel the wording makes rapists look bad, is supposed to be an indictment of the survey.

  93. 93
    David Marjanović

    I have to admit, I would consider myself justified in your second example, should an attempt to reason said verbal attacker into apologising fail.

    …This is so irrational and so evil that it simply didn’t register the first time I read it.

    Seriously, this concept of honour is the Root of Most Evil. It has killed tens of millions of people.

    Another hang up I have is that I never throw the first punch, which again makes sense from an emotional perspective and not at all from a logical perspective.

    I don’t understand. How is it logical to ever throw the first punch?

    I have two problems with this that I havn’t seen in the previous comments.
    The first is that while people are asked ‘Is it all right’ I wonder if at some point the question might not be morphed to ‘can you empathise’. This is especially true for a question that is supposed to have a binary answer but is ranked on a 5point scale.
    Because yes, I can empathise, while I would never do this and would most vigorously deny any of it is ‘all right’.

    I’m honestly curious what exactly you empathise with. Just scientific curiosity.

    My bigger problem though, why wasn’t the question asked like this:
    Is it all right if a female is held down by a male and is forced to have sex with him if…
    The question that was asked primes the reader to empathise with the male. The question as I wrote it primes the reader to empathise with the female.

    That’s not the effect it has on me. I read it as “is it all right if specifically a female is held down by specifically a male“…

  94. 94
    LykeX

    I don’t understand. How is it logical to ever throw the first punch?

    If it’s clear that punches are going to be thrown, whether you start or not.

    Chances are, whoever throws the first punch will win. Once you’ve been punched, you’re temporarily disoriented and the other guy gets a chance to punch again… and again… and again…
    So, if there’s no way to avoid the fight, it’s best to start it, simply for reasons of survival. To make it clearer, if someone pulls a gun at you, clearly intending to kill you, would you wait for them to shoot first?

    Of course, this creates certain problems regarding how to judge if the other person is on the edge of violence or not. For example, I’ve noticed that some people consider certain things (pushing, shoving, etc.) as more or less an extension of verbal interaction, whereas I consider them a prelude to much more serious business.
    This is also context-dependent. E.g. I remember a game of football where I tackled another guy fairly hard. When we got up, he shoved me and seemed ready for a fight. Apparently, the tackle had crossed his line from game to fight, while I thought we were still playing.

    This can create unfortunate miscommunications, where various people have different ideas about how far the interaction is from turning really violent. As a result, a person may consider himself to be in mortal danger (and therefore justified in using lethal force) when the other person in the interaction thinks that they’re still at the level of non-violent disagreement.

    This is another reason to limit gun ownership. The harder it is to kill someone, the less likely that such misunderstandings will result in someone dying.

  95. 95
    LykeX

    My bigger problem though, why wasn’t the question asked like this:
    Is it all right if a female is held down by a male and is forced to have sex with him if…
    The question that was asked primes the reader to empathise with the male. The question as I wrote it primes the reader to empathise with the female.

    I’m not so sure. It seems to me that the effect of your phrasing is to separate the forcing from the male individual. I.e. it divorces the action from personal responsibility. The woman is forced (somehow, by some undefined entity) to have sex, rather than somebody (a specific individual) forcing her.

    I might agree that the original question primes in a certain direction, but I don’t agree that your version is clearly in favor of the woman. I think I’d prefer “…if a female is held down by a male and he forces her…”

  96. 96
    Konradius

    @Giliell ‘There’s something wrong with you in that case’

    Not really. Humans can empathise with just about anything. I’d have to presuppose pretty misogynistic ideas (which I don’t hold myself) to do that, and I don’t like to do it graphically*. So yes, if I envision women as coin machines that supply sex then I would be able to put in a star in that piece of paper.
    But I don’t and I wouldn’t.

    Which ties in to the second point I made. Media does a pretty bad job of giving women the opportunity to be in places where they can be empathised with. And it’s not that I complain about the study because it paints a bad picture. I complain about everything but the study that makes it harder for anyone to identify with the female in the study.
    And actually my expectation for the study with the rewording I suggested is that still more than zero stars (which is the number to strive to) would be awarded. This because of the over saturation of the male perspective in our culture.

    @LykeX The intent was to seperate the forcing from the forcer to the victim. So in stead of the OP version that could be paraphrased as ‘is it ok to rape?’ the question becomes ‘is it ok to be raped’

    And the point is not to remake the study to give the required outcome. I’d like to give the OP version and the changed version to random people and have an exit talk featuring ‘WTF were you thinking?!?!’ if they awarded a star anywhere…

    *e.g. I would not be ok roleplaying a rape scenario with a woman asking me to.

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