Remember this entry?:
Women Would NEVER…or?
Some of the comments on those two news items in that entry coincide with a comment made on another News Item I posted today:
Young People Have Unwanted Sex World (tags: Children, sex, dissertation, Sweden ) Henric C abearsdayinthenews.wordpress.com
One in seven Senior High School girls have had sexual intercourse against their will. Among boys of the same age it's one in seventeen.
The very first comment was: "BOYS! NO MEANS NO!!!" - no shadow shall fall on the woman who said it, she later came in and apologized and said that she should have included the girls too, and not singled out the boys - so don't think badly of her.
The point I am using her comment to make is that it is all too common that people have knee-jerk reactions to news stories about unwanted sex.
People simply assume that if we are talking about unwanted sex, we are talking about girls not wanting sex, and boys forcing them to have sex.
Sexism - pure and simple sexism.
Not that most people will admit to being sexist, so they very often try and "save themselves" by referring to a statistical body which will confirm the idea that more girls than boys are being sexually abused and that the abusers are either men or boys.
The fact is that the statistics is skewed. The statistics has an agenda.
The fact is that the male gender-role doesn't allow for victimization and the female gender role encourages victimization.
The fact is that we really don't know exactly how many girls or boys are being sexually abused, either by their peers or by an adult they trust.
What we know is that more females report being subjected to unwanted sexual attention than males - but we have no way of knowing if this is a true indicator of an imbalance in the victimization, or if what we can glean from the statistics are the "white numbers" and that there are "black numbers" we are unaware of.
Even an anonymous survey of 4000 Swedish Senior High School Student is a blunt and inaccurate instrument.
The young people being surveyed may very well be lying, consciously or subconsciously remembering incidents where the gray zone between wanted and unwanted is closer to the truth than they are willing to admit even to themselves.
The adult who wrote the survey may consciously or subconsciously have written the questions in a manner that will skew the statistics in the end.
Why am I saying this?
Because we are all victims of the ideas of what is proper or expected of our respective gender-role.
Boys will more often that not write off unwanted sexual attention as not really being unwanted, because boys are (still) taught to take their self-realization as males from the sexual attention they get from girls (or women).
Girls will more often than not write off wanted sexual attention as not really wanted, because girls are still taught to take their self-realization as females from the idea that they are not really sexual beings.
So they will lie.
A boy will lie about not wanting the sexual attention from a teacher because he experienced an erection when she (or he) fondled him.
A girl will lie about wanting the sexual attention from a teacher because she has a crush on him (or her).
Both genders will lie about what actually happened (positive or negative) out of fear of what parents, peers and the school might say if they knew.
So, in the end we cannot really trust any statistics - it was not for nothing that Samuel Clemens said: There three types of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics.
The best we can do is to make an effort to not apply those horrid gender-roles to our views when we hear about sexual abuse or sexual activity, and try to remember to assume that what is true for one gender is true also for the other.
Unless we do we will never experience true Gender Equality.