Neither Chaitra Shenoy's "Myths belittle female population, problems relevant to culture" (Daily Bruin, 5/11/01) nor Barrie Levy's "Bruin ad Misleading" (Daily Bruin, 5/11/01) do much to defend feminist statistics against the evidence presented by the Independent Women's Forum in its April 18 Daily Bruin ad. The research?based, methodical IWF ad tells us what serious researchers already know??that feminist statistics and claims are often terrible distortions based on unprofessional and dishonest methodologies.
Shenoy repeats the discredited feminist factoid that "30 percent of emergency room visits by women...are the result of injuries from domestic violence". The origin of the figure is a 1984 article "Domestic Violence Victims in the Emergency Department" in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It turns out that 38% of the 492 patients who make up the "30%" figure were men! The survey is also flawed because it was a small sample taken at only one, violence?plagued and poverty?stricken inner?city Detroit ER. The survey's authors never claimed that it was comprehensive or representative of the population as a whole.
When the Family Violence Prevention Fund did a survey of all 397 ERs in California hospitals and asked the (mostly female) Nurse Managers how many female patients whom the managers believed were DV victims were treated in an average month, the total averaged between two (for small hospitals) and eight (for the larger ones).
Shenoy attacks the IWF for disputing the feminist claim that women make only 75% of what men do for the same job but provides little substantive evidence. As I explained in my recent LA Times column ("Is Pay a Function of Gender Bias?", 5/12/01) and in more detail in "Wage gap reflects sacrifice of men, not discrimination" (Daily Bruin, 6/2/99), men make more money than women largely because full?time employed men work, on average, eight hours a week (or over 400 hours a year) more than full?time employed women. In addition, full?time employed women have, as a whole, 25% less job experience than their male counterparts. Also, men are the victims of over 90% of American workplace deaths and serious injuries and many of these "male" jobs pay more than other jobs at the same relative skill level specifically because of the hazards involved. The 75% figure compares apples and oranges by adding up what the average full?time employed male and average full?time employed female earn. Both the IWF and the Cato Institute did studies with realistic comparables??comparing men and women who worked the same number of hours in the same job and at the same level of experience--and found the gender wage gap to be less than 2%.
Shenoy also has been misled about rape figures and attacks the IWF for debunking the infamous "1 in 4 college women victim of rape or attempted rape" hoax. As I explained in three Daily Bruin articles (3/8/99, 4/13/99, and 11/9/99), the famous 1 in 4 figure comes from a 1985 survey by feminist Mary Koss which was sponsored by Ms. magazine. I wrote to Koss (12/3/99) and while she still defended her work she herself confirmed for me that her rape/attempted rape figure includes women who were not in any way forced to have sex but instead "had sexual intercourse when [they] didn't want to because a man gave [them] alcohol or drugs." Many dissident feminists have protested this infantilization of women and asked “how does a guy ‘giving you’ a drink mean you have to drink it and keep drinking until you've had enough that you'll have sex ‘because of’ the drinks?” To get “1 in 4" feminists turn a consensual act--drinking and having sex--into “rape”. Researchers have noted that if we use Koss’ definition of “rape” and apply it to men, a large percentage of college men are “raped” too. When Tina Oakland, director of the UCLA Center for Women and Men, defended “1 in 4" against the IWF (“Women’s groups demand apology from Bruin for ad”, Daily Bruin, 5/17/01) she cited the AMA and the Department of Justice, even though the source for both is, in fact, Koss.
Real rape figures are hard to estimate because, as Shenoy correctly notes, many women understandably do not report rape. The most methodologically sound and unbiased estimates, as I mentioned (with sources) in my previous articles on rape, place the percentage of women raped at about 4% over a lifetime??not 25% by mid?college career. The total number of reported college rapes on all American campuses combined is less than one per campus per year.
Shenoy also believes feminist distortions on domestic violence. As I explained in my articles "Domestic violence is harsh reality for men also" (Daily Bruin, 5/12/00) and "Cancer, violence major problems for men; research money is needed for both sexes" (Daily Bruin, 5/17/99), most child abuse and murder of children is committed by women, not men, and domestic violence against men by women is roughly equal to that of men against women. I also presented studies which show that violence in lesbian couples is at least as high as that in heterosexual couples.
According to the US Department of Justice, 70% of confirmed cases of child abuse and 65% of parental murders of children are committed by mothers, not fathers. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adjusting for the greater number of single mothers, a custodial mother is five times as likely to murder her own children as a custodial father.
Longtime domestic violence researchers Richard Gelles and Murray Straus, who were once hailed by the feminist movement for their pioneering work bringing domestic violence against women to national prominence, have repeatedly found thatfemale domestic violence is as prevalent as male domestic violence, in both minor and serious assaults.
Psychology professor Martin Fiebert of California State University, Long Beach compiled 117 studies (http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/) which found that women were as responsible for initiating and engaging in domestic violence as men.
Researchers, including Dr. David Fontes, the director of Stop Abuse for Everyone (SAFE), have also found that only a small percentage of female batterers batter in self-defense (www.safe4all.org).
Shenoy also overstates the prevalence of domestic violence against women in our society. What she doesn't realize is that feminist domestic violence studies are notoriously inaccurate because they lump together common, trivial acts which men and women do equally (such as slamming doors, yelling, etc.) with serious abuse in order to get high figures, which they then present to the public as strictly serious abuse and as strictly male.
The IWF's ad isn't "hurtful to a huge chunk of our student and faculty population" (Shenoy), nor does it "ferment intolerant, anti-woman... sentiment and action on campus" (Levy) and "incite hate" (Levy). Instead, the IWF is a valuable dissident voice which should be heard not only in the Daily Bruin but in the Women's Studies classroom as well. The Daily Bruin was correct to stare down the feminist would-be censors and print the ad. What are Shenoy, Levy, Oakland and the Women's Studies Department so afraid of?
Glenn Sacks is a men's and fathers' issues columnist and a . His columns have appeared in dozens of America's largest newspapers.
Glenn can be reached via his website at www.GlennSacks.com or via email at .
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