Bulletin Board v257

Ayaan to Liberals: Get Your Priorities Straight — Few figures on the intellectual scene today are as controversial or as compelling as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A Somali-born author, speaker, activist, and former politician, Ali, 45, became a hijab-wearing radical Islamist as a teenager in Kenya, then a liberal atheist as an immigrant in the Netherlands; the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001 led her to a final break with faith.

B.C. teacher suing over ‘unimaginable hardship’ after false accusations of rape, torture — A Vancouver Island teacher falsely accused of sexual assault and torture by a Grade 9 student — accusations that were later shown to be ripped off from TV episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — is seeking compensation for more than two years of “unimaginable hardship.” In an arbitration hearing last year, the student described a series of sadistic rapes that left her beaten and bloody, as well as torture, including waterboarding and being buried alive.

Binghamton woman accused of sexual abuse of infant — A Binghamton woman is accused of sexually abusing an infant boy and producing child pornography. Thirty-four year-old Latasha Mitchell was charged in federal court recently after a complaint was made on the New York child abuse hotline. She was arrested by Binghamton Police in February for allegedly committing a criminal sexual act in connection with the child abuse. Continue reading

Bulletin Board v246

Adolescence: The secret life of boys — I was a cute child, I guess. When I got to school my older cousin took me aside. He said some older boys would come after me—for sex. “That’s how it works,” he said. “It’s dangerous for new boys.” He told me I had to make sure I was never alone. He said, “Don’t go to the toilet alone. Don’t let a senior boy call you out alone.” He told me what places to avoid.

Alabama woman convicted in children sex abuse ring — The conviction Wednesday of an Alabama woman accused of being part of an incestuous sex ring provided graphic evidence about horrendous child molestation, but it didn’t answer a baffling question: What happened to a young victim who is missing and presumed dead? Jurors took two hours to convict Wendy Wood Holland, 35, of sodomy, sexual abuse, sexual torture and child endangerment. She showed no emotion when the verdict was read.

Babysitter Accused Of Raping 10-Year-Old Boy Claims ‘He Forced Himself On Me’ — A babysitter accused of raping a 10-year-old boy is claiming that she was forced into the act. Marybeth Rataic, a 25-year-old Connecticut woman, was said to have had “three or four sexual encounters” with the pre-teen in question, but she shares a different side of the story. According to a report from NBC Connecticut, Rataic claimed that the 10-year-old had a crush on her and “forced himself on her while they were wrestling and tickling each other.” Continue reading

Shocking finding: Working dads want to spend more time with their kids

Originally posted on April 6, 2013

How pathetic that someone even researched something as painfully obvious as this:

“Modern Parenthood: Roles of Moms and Dads Converge as They Balance Work and Family,” is based on a survey of more than 2,500 American adults and an analysis of the American Time Use Survey, which measures the amount of time Americans spend doing various activities.

Almost half the dads surveyed, 46 per cent, reported feeling like they didn’t spend enough time with their kids, compared to 23 per cent of moms who thought the same thing.

In the past, work-life balance was seen as a women’s issue, said Wendy Wang, a research associate with the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. But she pointed to the fact that half of working fathers reported finding it very or somewhat difficult to balance work and family.

“Dads are doing more at home, and then they still do a lot at paid work,” she said. “They’re facing the same issues that mom used to face.”

And the study found that half the dads would prefer to stay home, but had to work because they needed the income.

Continue reading

Post-Conviction DNA Testing and Wrongful Conviction

Originally posted on March 4, 2013

Over on Feminist Critics, Clarence linked to a piece The Spearhead featured concerning the wrongful conviction rate in homicide and sexual assault cases. The Post-Conviction DNA Testing and Wrongful Conviction report reviews sexual assault cases from from 1973 to 1987 in Virgina. The report found that between 8 to 15 percent of sexual assault cases resulted in wrongful convictions:

DNA testing produced a determinate outcome for 230 of these cases, in which there were 250 convicted offenders. In 56 of those convictions the convicted offender was eliminated as the source of DNA evidence, and for 38 convictions that elimination supported exoneration. Thus, we find that in Virginia cases resulting in a convicted offender between 1973 and 1987 where evidence was retained in an unbiased sample of 715 homicides and sexual assault convictions—

  • The convicted offender is eliminated as a contributor for a probative evidence item in 8 percent (n=56) of convictions.8
  • The convicted offender is eliminated as a contributor for a probative evidence item, and that elimination is supportive of exoneration, in 5 percent (n=38) of convictions.

For nonsexual assault homicide cases, a determinate finding about a convicted offender being a source of a DNA profile was reached in only 23 out of 293 convictions (8 percent), making it too rare to make declarative statements about the likelihood of potential wrongful conviction in those homicide convictions.

We find that DNA testing of items in these cases leads to a determinate conclusion in more than half of the sexual assault convictions (including homicides with a sexual assault). Thus, we focus much of our analysis on the sexual assault offenses. We find that in convictions in Virginia between 1973 and 1987 where evidence was retained in a sample of 422 convictions for sexual assault

  • The convicted offender was eliminated as the source of questioned evidence in 40 out of 422 convictions (9 percent).9
  • The convicted offender was eliminated as the source of questioned evidence in 33 out of 422 convictions (8 percent) and that elimination was supportive of exoneration.
  • The convicted offender was eliminated as the source of questioned evidence in 40 out of 227 convictions (18 percent) where a determination could be made from the DNA analysis.10
  • The convicted offender was eliminated as the source of questioned evidence in 33 out of 227 convictions (15 percent) where a determination could be made from the DNA analysis, and that elimination was supportive of exoneration.

The two most important numbers in the bullets above show the rate at which convicted offenders were eliminated as the source of questioned evidence and that elimination was supportive of exoneration. This occurs for 8 percent of all sexual assault convictions in the sample and for 15 percent of all sexual assault convictions where a determinate finding was made. We note again that additional facts about the case not included in the forensic file may ultimately include the convicted offender. However, given that these are sexual assault cases where the profile was determined to be male and excluded the convicted offender, we anticipate this will be relatively rare. (p. 5-6)

Continue reading

The Invisible War’s ironic invisible victims

Originally posted on February 11, 2013

The 2012 documentary The Invisible War delved into the topic of sexual violence in the military. The film won much acclaim and several awards. The film focuses primarily on female survivors, but also featured two male survivors. However, both of them have a complaint about the film:

“We’re being abandoned by (director) Kirby Dick. The guys feel betrayed,” said Michael Matthews, a 20-year Air Force veteran who, in the movie, tells of his 1974 gang rape by three other airmen. The publicity campaign hawking the film — and its Academy Award candidacy — includes a website that shows the faces of six female victims of military sexual assault, and no male survivors of that crime, as well as formal screenings to which only female victims have been asked to attend, Matthews said.

“What the (bleep) is that about? They don’t list any of the men on the website. He’s making millions of dollars but he’s not bringing any of the men to any these appearances all over the country like he’s bringing the women,” Matthews told NBC News. “I appreciate them putting us in the movie but, now, the men are not being represented at all. He has turned his back on us. And the movie, some of it, is hurting us.”

I have yet to watch the film, but based on the reviews I suspected that the focus was exclusively on women and that any men featured in the film were at best throwaway mentions. It is a truly terrible thing because most of the men raped in the military do not come forward. The film could have helped change that, particularly since the air and attitude of silence is so prevalent with male victims in the military.  Instead, it appears the filmmakers and their predominantly female executive producers decided to paint sexual violence in the military as something that only men do to only women.

And in case people think I am being unreasonable, there is this: Continue reading

Bulletin Board v218

Brave Worcester man who was raped speaks out — A COURAGEOUS father has spoken of his rape ordeal in the hope other male survivors of sex attacks will come forward. Pete Shirley, of Bromyard Road, St John’s, Worcester, refuses to let the attack destroy him and hopes that by waiving his legal right to anonymity he will encourage other men to report rape.

CAPS offering Male Survivors therapeutic support group this spring — Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Penn State is offering a group this spring for male students who have had unwanted, abusive or confusing sexual experiences at some point in their lives, which may still be affecting them.

Editorial: The war on young boys — The Obama Administration, through Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U S. Attorney general Eric Holder, have issued new guidelines designed to end or at least restrict “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies in schools. Continue reading

A Dose of Stupid v95

It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:

CDC: MRA claims that “40% of rapists are women” are based on bad math and misuse of our data

Our dear David Futrelle appears to have too much time on his hands. He decided to challenge men’s rights activists over their concern for male survivors of sexual violence:

Recently, MRAs have tried a new strategy, seizing on data from The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, a massive study conducted in 2010 under the aegis of the Centers for Disease Control, to claim that “40% of rapists are women.

Men’s rights activists have talked about the survey since December 2011 when it was published, so their commentary is not “recent”. Secondly, the data from the survey shows a much higher rate of female-perpetrated sexual violence than expected. According to the survey:

For male victims, the sex of the perpetrator varied by the type of sexual violence experienced. The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences, approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpetrators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators (data not shown). (p.24)

If one adds up the numbers, women commit 57% of all sexual violence against males. The CDC researchers decided to exclude being made to penetrate from rape, although most states legally count the act as rape or whatever the highest sex offense statute is in the state. As such, if one counted that act along with that the researchers defined as rape, one finds that women commit 43% of rape against men.

So it is not as if the men’s rights activists citing the 40% rate got it from nowhere. Continue reading