Regular readers will be well aware of the sexual victimisation statistics – the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. This is (to the best of my knowledge) the world’s second largest sexual victimisation survey after the sexual violence modules in the Crime Survey of England and Wales. However it has the advantage of asking some specific questions that CSEW does not.
It was the 2010 CDC survey which famously found that the annual prevalence of rape of women was identical to the annual prevalence of men being forced to penetrate (mostly) women. Puzzlingly, the lifetime prevalence of rape of women was much higher than the equivalent statistic for men being made to penetrate. So the new statistics are out, and there’s not much to say except that the exact same findings have emerged again. The only difference is that all the relevant statistics are slightly higher this time than they were last time, although in all cases that is within the margin of error. So for the sake of record, they are:
Women raped ……………… 1.6% …………………19.3%
Men forced to penetrate …..1.7% ………………….6.7%
I thought it was worth a quick post just to say that this would help to answer doubts about the accuracy of the stats first time around. We are stuck with the puzzling matter of why there is such a gulf between the male and female lifetime prevalence rates when there is no gulf between the annual rates.
There’s a popular theory that men are more likely to wipe from their mind things that happened many years ago, and so are significantly less likely to report their abuse in a telephone survey.
There may be something in that, but I’m more inclined to put it down to the precipitous decline in annual rates of rapes in the US.
If I’m right, I’d expect the lifetime rates for the older groups of women to be vastly higher than those for the youngest groups – even though people are much more likely to be raped when they are younger. While the average is that one women in five will have been raped in her lifetime, this would be disproportionately concentrated among women who were in their teens and 20s in the 1970s and 1980s
I’ve yet to track down the data to confirm whether this is true, but if anyone else has any clues, I’m all ears.