A recent study on childhood violence found that boys experience more sexual violence than girls. The Council for the Welfare of Children and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) conducted the study and released the results. The National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children focused on children in the Philippines. It revealed:
[…] that 21.5 percent of the respondents or one in five children experienced any form of sexual violence in any setting, may it be at home, school, workplace, community or during dating.
But of this number, 28.7 percent of the male respondents admitted to have experienced sexual violence, while only 20.1 percent of the female respondents said so.
The researchers did note that the higher prevalence of sexual violence in general could come from their definition of sexual violence. The researchers sexual violence as “taking photos or sex videos of being naked or engaging in sexual activities, unwanted touch, forced attempted sex, and forced consummated sex.” The first two include someone forcing the child to make the pictures or videos as well as the child doing it himself.
While that definition strikes me as broad, it does not alter the findings regarding sexual violence. Those results show that most of the sexual violence children reported involved touching of some sort. Continue reading →
According to a recent study, one in three boys who experience sexual abuse attempt suicide. Laura Anderson conducted the study to see what impact weight and sexual violence had on children attempting suicide. While she found no correlation between the two, she did discover that abused children are more likely to attempt suicide than their non-abused peers:
The study analyzed data from a Youth and Risk Behavior Survey that sampled more than 31,000 teenagers in 2009 and 2011. The research continued a preliminary study from 2011 that found similar results using a smaller sample of teens.
The poll surveyed students ages 14 to 18 and examined whether the two variables influenced suicide attempts within a year of the survey.
For boys, the study found:
3.5 percent of healthy-weight males with no sexual assault history attempted suicide. That percentage climbed to 33.2 percent for healthy-weight males with sexual assault history, which Anderson attributes to stigma, shame, possible gender role conflict if the attacker was male and the lack of an open support system. Weight alone was not a significant factor in suicide attempts for males. Only 3.9 percent of overweight males with no sexual assault history attempted suicide. For males who were both overweight and had a history of sexual assault, the percentage who attempted suicide was 33 percent.
For girls, the results were:
5.8 percent of healthy-weight females with no sexual assault history attempted suicide. The percentage rose to 27.1 percent for healthy-weight girls with a history of sexual assault. Weight influenced the suicide rate among women: 8.2 percent of overweight girls with no sexual assault history attempt suicide. However, both factors did not increase suicide rate: 26.6 percent of overweight girls with sexual assault histories attempted suicide.
Megan Head and Fiona Ingleby submitted a research paper to the journal PLOS ONE. The paper explored the postdoc positions offered to PhD graduates in the life sciences. It specifically focused on whether sexism affected the positions offered to female graduates. The journal rejected the paper, however, on the grounds that “the qulaity [sic] of the manuscript is por [sic] issues on methodologies and presentation of resulst [sic]”.
Setting the irony of that statement aside, the controversy erupted when the researchers published excerpts from the review online:
The reviewer makes objections to the way that the researchers interpreted the results of a survey of 244 people with a PhD in biology, which the authors use to conclude there is gender bias in academia.
In offering an alternative interpretation of the data, the reviewer says: “It could perhaps be the case that 99% of female scientists make a decision in mid-life that spending more time with their children is more important to them than doing everything imaginable to try to get one of the rare positions at the utter pinnacle of their field.”
The reviewer goes on: “Or perhaps it is the case that only some small portion of men (and only men) have the kind of egomaniac personality disorder that drives them on to try to become the chief of the world at the expense of all else in life.”
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 →
Several years ago I read a book called Female Sexual Abuse of Children. Michele Elliot edited the book. As I recall, the book gave two different views of the issue: one professional, the other from the victims.
The book relied on a handful of testimonials — I believe four women and one man — to describe the ways women sexually abuse children. However, what they shared painted a picture far different from what people expect. These abusive women were not angels. The abuse was not pretty and harmless. These women were not victims of controlling men forcing them to act. These women were just as vicious, violent, and predatory as many male child rapists.
For obvious reasons, Elliott’s book prompted a great deal of backlash. Here is a dedicated sexual abuse researcher and a feminist writing about women committing child rape. Elliott recounts the responses people had to her findings in an interview. Continue reading →
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)
A recent study conducted by Barnardo’s found a growing rate of sexual violence committed by girls:
Barnardo’s service says 11% of the 128 young people it helped last year after they committed sex assaults were young or adolescent girls.
It hopes its research will lead to improved treatment for those involved.
A psychologist who led Home Office sex offender research said girls’ problems had never previously been studied.
Over the last few decades, research has focused on adult male sex offenders and has been followed up with studies into adolescent boys and adult women.
But Barnardos’ Taith – a specialist service which helps children and young people aged between eight and 21 who commit sex assaults – said little was known about girls who abuse other children.
According to the article, Barnardo’s will release the results to the Welsh government and other UK agencies. However, the article does note some of the findings, such as some of the girls being more physically violent than expected. Continue reading →