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nisvs_color_200Well that statement could be true if we really where allowed to just make up definitions the way the CDC is trying to.  Less than 20 women have been “Forced to penetrate”, and if we define that and only that as rape less than 20 women have been raped in the lifetime data published by the CDC.

Man Boobz has published a letter he received from the CDC attempting to disprove my claim (and many others) of 40% of rapists are women.  So lets deconstruct that response to see if it’s valid, hint, it’s bullshit.

Lets start with my headline.  The number of rapes.

The difference between “rape” and “being made to penetrate” is that in the definition of rape the victim is penetrated; “made to penetrate” by definition refers to cases where the victim penetrated someone else.

At least half of my post on 40% of rapists being women dealt with this.  Rape IS NOT ‘forcing carnal knowledge upon a woman’.  This is a sexist bigoted and harmful definition of rape, but it’s still effectively the one being used by the CDC in their report.  Rape is forced to have sex, non-consensual sex.  Describing the mechanic of a woman having sex as the definition of rape is simply bigoted.  Now there was the possibility of really screwing with the numbers and presenting a bad case.

in NISVS we define rape as “any completed or attempted unwanted vaginal (for women), oral, or anal penetration through the use of physical force (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threats to physically harm and includes times when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.”


Made to penetrate is defined as including “times when the victim was made to, or there was an attempt to make them, sexually penetrate someone without the victim’s consent because the victim was physically forced (such as being pinned or held down, or by the use of violence) or threatened with physical harm, or when the victim was drunk, high, drugged, or passed out and unable to consent.”

That language mirrors each other very well.  Both are inclusive of the means and methods and attempts.  This is where the MRA argument could have but did not go wrong.  “Forced to Penetrate” was not broken down into sub groupings, “Rape” was.  0.5% of women where “Completed Forced Penetration”.  Comparing this 0.5% to the 1.1% of men “Forced to penetrate” would have been a misuse of the data.  The number for men included drugged and failed attempts.  The “Completed Forced Penetration” number does not.  The apples to apples comparison is “rape” to “forced to penetrate”  Both are inclusive of means, methods and attempts.  Both are 1.1%.

The claim that “Less than 20 living women have been raped” is every bit as true and valid as “Only 1.4% of living men have been raped”.  That is both are pure and utter bullshit.  Unmitigated bigotry.

So the First point they made is pure bullshit.  If we just spin in the other direction, rape is something that happens to men, not women.  The rate of women being forced to penetrate is insignificantly small.  If we allow people or organizations to make up definitions to suite confirmation bias, then this is a valid interpretation.

Now that we have confirmed that 50% of victims really are male, that the attempt to disprove this is bigoted bullshit, lets look at 40% of rapists are women.  The CDC makes 5 points on this labeled A-E.

A.      While the percentage of female rape victims and the percentage of male being-made-to-penetrate victims were inferred from the past 12-month estimates by combining two forms of violence, the percentage of perpetrator by sex was taken from reported estimates for males for lifetime (a misuse of the percentage of male victims who reported only female perpetrators in their lifetime being made to penetrate victimization).  This mismatch of timeframes is incorrect because the past 12-month victimization cannot be stretched to equate with lifetime victimization.  In fact, Table 2.1 and 2.2 of the NISVS 2010 Summary Report clearly report that lifetime rape victimization of females (estimated at 21,840,000) is about 4 times the number of lifetime being made-to-penetrate of males (estimated at 5,451,000).

So this starts out with some more subtle bullshit.  I’m going to call the CDC out on it anyways.  The Rate of “Rape” and “Forced to Penetrate” where not Inferred.  These rates where directly and correctly quoted directly from the report.  No inference needed when we atumblr_mjybnq3RNJ1s3zonro1_500re working with DIRECT QUOTES.

The real point is time frame mismatch.  The only numbers in the report for perps was lifetime data, but the equal numbers of victims comes from past 12 month data.  This is a real problem.  The problems are two fold, first the CDC does have the data on the gender of perps for the past 12 month data, but didn’t publish it.  This leads to some assumptions that could be, but are not necessarily flawed.So there is the potential for error, but no correction.  If this inference was actually incorrect it would have been super simple to present the correct data, the data for the 12 month group, and disprove the claim.  This was simply not done.

B.      An arithmetic confusion appears when multiplying the two percentages together to conclude that the product is a percentage of all the “rapists”, an undefined perpetrator population.  Multiplying the percentage of male victims (as derived in step 1) above) to the percentage of male victims who had female perpetrators cannot give a percentage of perpetrators mathematically because to get a percentage of female rape perpetrators, one must have the total rape perpetrators (the denominator), and the number of female perpetrators of this specific violence (the numerator).  Here, neither the numerator nor the denominator was available.

Again with the perfect knowledge problem.  This calculation did require one assumption.  An assumption I will clearly state.  Men and women are equal.  Just as people are people regardless of gender, rapists are rapists regardless of gender.  With this assumption, that the patterns of rapists are similar regardless of gender, we can make the calculation.  There is no way to determine the raw number of rapists from the data set, but we most decidedly can come to a ratio of male perps to female perps.

C.      Data collected and analyzed for the NISVS 2010 have a “one-to-multiple” structure (where the “one” refers to one victim and the “multiple” refers to multiple perpetrators).  While not collected, it is conceivable that any perpetrator could have multiple victims.  These multiplicities hinder any attempt to get a percentage of perpetrators such as the one described in steps 1) and 2), and nullify the reverse calculation for obtaining a percent of perpetrators.

The exact same problem as “B”, just stated differently.  We don’t have perfect knowledge.  So Just as people are people regardless of gender, rapists are rapists regardless of gender and victims are victims regardless of gender.  With out the data to disprove this assumption, it is a valid assumption.  There is potential for error, but the potential for error does not prove error.

D.      As the study population is U.S. adults in non-institutional settings, the sample was designed to be representative of the study population, not the perpetrator population (therefore no sampling or weighting is done for the undefined universe of perpetrators).  Hence, while the data can be analyzed to make statistical inferences about the victimization of U.S. adults residing in non-institutional settings, the NISVS data are incapable of lending support to any national estimates of the perpetrator population, let alone estimates of perpetrators of a specific form of violence (say, rape or being-made-to-penetrate).

Well if this was actually true, then there would not have been the information on perps in the report.  The perp data was collected, it was analyzed and it was reported.  It may not be the best data, but it reasonable and applicable to use the data to get an estemite of perps.  If there was not data on the perps, it would not have been part of the report.

E.      Combining the estimated past 12-month female rape victims with the estimated past 12-month being-made-to-penetrate male victims cannot give an accurate number of all victims who were either raped or being-made-to-penetrate, even if this combination is consistent with CDC’s definition.

Besides a disagreement with the definitions of the various forms of violence given in the NISVS 2010 Summary Report, this approach of combining the 12-month estimated number of female rape victims with the 12-month estimated number of male victims misses victims in the cells where reliable estimates were not reported due to small cell counts failing to meet statistical reliability criteria.  For any combined form of violence, the correct analytical approach for obtaining a national estimate is to start at the raw data level of analysis, if such a creation of a combined construct is established.

Almost a point.  The reason that the cells where unreliable was the sample size was to small.  The less than 20 women “Forced to penetrate” and the less than 20 men “Penetrated by force” would have no affect at all on sample sizes so large they are rounded to the thousands.

Now, the last line is correct.  The correct approach would be to start at the raw data level of analysis.  The problem with this is money.  Analyzing raw data take a great deal of time and man power.  I don’t have the 20 people on staff and 100,000 dollars needed to really make a go of it.

In shoVAWArt the Letter Man Boobz got from the CDC was pointing out the assumptions made in the calculation for 40% of rapists are women, with out actually presenting any information to disprove or even mitigate the assumptions.  The only real problem is that My Analysis of the numbers does not conform to the feminist preconceived notions of rape and does not support their confirmation bias.

Post Script: Just to be clear.  Millions of women have been raped.  Millions of men have been raped.  The claim in the post title “less than 20 living women have been raped” is sickeningly wrong, just as the claim that only 1.4% of living men have been raped.  The intent was to make it clear how skewed bad definitions can really be.