Friday, March 31, 2017
The other startling result was how many such men there were. In 10 different studies undertaken between 1985 and 1998, between 6 per cent and 14.9 per cent of male college students (who made up the majority of respondents) admitted to rape or attempted rape, and roughly half of this number had done so repeatedly. These studies relied on a standard questionnaire, the Sexual Experiences Survey, where the phrase ‘without their consent’ (or its equivalent) appeared in every question used to determine whether a man was a rapist. All such questions referred to vaginal, anal or oral sex. Furthermore, in personal interviews, men who admitted to non-consensual sex made no attempt to claim that there had been a misunderstanding. They knew their victims were unwilling. They were just terrifyingly bad at making the connection between non-consensual sex and rape.
What such studies discovered about the character of these men was less startling. Were rapists less empathetic than other men? Unsurprisingly, yes. Were rapists more self-centred and manipulative? To no one’s amazement, yes. Did rapists have negative attitudes towards women? Unastonishingly, also yes. On all these parameters, the difference between rapists and non-rapists was small but significant. The conclusion seemed to be that rapists weren’t monsters, totally distinct from normal men, but did tend to be (to use layman’s terms) misogynist arseholes. Again, this was not earth-shattering news.
It’s also not good news. If relatively common levels of callousness, selfishness and sexism can turn a man into a rapist, the problem seems insoluble. We might conceivably end sexism, but people have been trying to root out callousness and selfishness for thousands of years with no noticeable success.
I think I basically agree with this article. I would but the number at about 5 percent of men, a little lower than the low of 6 in the studies. This is based on my deeply insightful gut feeling. I like to think it's less than 10 percent. This 5 to 10 percent are essentially sociopaths, unempathetic, manipulative and without basic morals. Complete assholes, basically. Strangely, more men than women. But hey, this also means 9 out of 10 are not. And it's probably more like 95 out of 100.