Mary Koss: The Corruption Continues Manboobz Style


by Tamen

Sometimes I do futile things – like posting a comment on Manboobz (this time on some quotes about rape and consent from Farrell’s 1993 book The Myth of Male Power.) I posted the link to the Mary P Koss paper where she calls it inappropriate to call men rape victims unless they have been penetrated as a example of other crappy things about rape that were published in 1993.

That was considered an attack – they sure are a reactive bunch over there. Beside the invectives, quote-falsifications, quote-misattributions, incapability to comprehend ratios and general rudeness I was spurred on to check to what extent Mary P Koss still adhers to the prevalency methods sha layed out in that 1993 paper. I have earlier stated that I suspect she is and that she has and is serving as advisor and consultant at CDC has influenced CDC’s decision to classify “being made to penetrate” as not rape.

I’ll post the full comment I posted at Manboobz (even though it contains a paragraph on CSEW which restates what I’ve written in earlier comments in this thread) – it follows in it’s entirety here:

Pecunium(Manboobz commentator):

I do not think Consent is the appropriate term here because, the victim could claim that “He/ she was too drunk” for consent or “He/ she was asleep”, and get away with it on grounds of Technicality, and accuse the Perpetrator successfully, even when the Perpetrator did not necessarily Force the Victim.

I haven’t written that drivel and I find it absolutely galling and dishonest that you attempt to pass it off as a quote by me,

On to your question/challenge:

I’d say it doesn’t, not unless she is on the review panel for all grants for studies used by the CDC in aggregating data; and that definition is the only one she has ever accepted.

Moreover, since we know you’ve not actually read the study (and I’ve not read it), I don’t know that the quotation you used compltely explains the justifications for the operational definition.

The Koss paper which is behind a paywall is the 1982 where they looked at rape prevalency among college women. I have made no claim one way or the other about the content of that paper (I reported that Ampersand wrote that it included men in the sample after Aaliyah wrote that she thought it didn’t). The operation definition I quoted is not from that paper.

If you are talking about the “Detecting the Scope of Rape – a review of prevalence research methods” paper by Mary P Koss where the (inappropriate to call a man rape victim…) quote came from I can assure you that I’ve read it. You can read it as well since I linked it in my first comment on this thread. For you convenience I’ll link it again [redacted for copyright reasons.]

The paper has been cited numerous times, including by the CDC. The extent of how involved Mary P Koss has been and is with the CDC can be seen from her public CV.

Can you show that it has been accepted as the working definition for rape studies afterwards? Is it a current usage in the field?

No? Than go to hell.

You know, I really do wish I could bring up some studies which doesn’t use something to that effect as a working definition of rape. Do you know of any?

CDC apparently found it inappropriate to call it rape – or rather they think it’s an unique male victimization that is separate from rape. The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) does not even bother to include it in the survey even if it under Sexual Offenses Act of 2003 Section 4 is punishable with a sentence up to life (SOA 2003 doesn’t call it rape either). The latest CSEW did a split-sample experiment to test a new set of questions. The new questions had an option that male victims who had been made to penetrate could answer yes. The analysts classified those who answered yes to that question as NON-VICTIMS.

Because once havging used a shitty operational definition she can never again use a non-shitty one? Of course not, that might undermine your claim to it being, The One True Feminist Idea of Rape.

There is no One True Feminist Idea of anything. But Mary P Koss’ having an operational definition and arguing for it academically in peer reviewed journals and very possibly on advisory boards for federal agencies who conduct national surveys on sexual victimization and publish reports on the results is a tad bit more influental than Jane/Joe/non-binary feminist blogger/blog commenter who thinks it’s should be classified as rape.

As for Koss changing her mind since 1993, here is a quote from her paper co-written with Lehrer and Lehrer on sexual victimization of men in college in Chile published in 2010:

It would also be desirable to conduct further quantitative inquiry using the revised SES (Koss et al. 2007), which contains items that have been crafted with behavior-specific wording to elicit information on a range of SV experiences. This will make it possible to base men’s rape prevalence estimates with more specificity on acts that involve sustaining forced penetration, leaving less leeway for men’s individual perceptions of what constitutes ‘forced sex.’

In that paper an affirmative response(from male respondents) to:

Someone forced me to have sex using physical force.

…was coded as physically-forced sex.

Lehrer, Lehrer, Lehere and Oyarzún have, using the same 2005 dataset, written a paper called : Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Sexual Victimization in College Women in Chile.

In that paper an affirmative response (from female respondents) to:

Someone forced me to have sex using physical force.

…was coded as rape.

But let’s take a look at the revised SES Koss et al would like to use instead on the Chilean dataset:

Here is a quote from the 2007 paper by Koss et al: Revising the SES: A Collaborative Process to Improve Assessment of Sexual Aggression and Victimization

We acknowledge the inappropriateness of female verbal coercion and the legitimacy of male perceptions that they have had unwanted sex. Although men may sometimes sexually penetrate women when ambivalent about their own desires, these acts fail to meet legal definitions of rape that are based on penetration of the body of the
victim. Furthermore, the data indicate that men’s experiences of pressured sex are qualitatively different from women’s experiences of rape. Specifically, the acts experienced by men lacked the level of force and psychologically distressing impact that women reported (Struckman-Johnson, 1988; Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1994).
We worked diligently to develop item wording that captured men’s sense of pressure to have sex and draw their responses into an appropriate category of coercion instead of to rape items. The revised wording is discussed in more detail later in the article.

No, apparently it’s still inappropriate.

Both the SES-LSV (questions included in linked article above) and SES-LVF (link does not ask any questions about men being made to penetrate women without the man’s consent. They do ask men whether they have been anally penetrated without consent.

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<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="3088">34 comments</span>

  • It’s really weird to talk about “legal definitions” and try to use them as an excuse when 47 of 50 states have gender neutral rape laws, as does the federal government. Some states don’t refer to the crime as rape (and the federal government doesn’t), but it is the same crime for the same sex act regardless of the sex of the perpetrator/victim. That is, in Florida (for example), if a man has PIV sex with a sleeping woman, it’s sexual battery; if a woman has PIV sex with a sleeping man, it’s sexual battery.

  • Sorry for double posting but Tamen (or any other Norwegian reading reader) have you read the discussion that’s been going on in Universitas with regards to prostitution?

  • Where is the comment you made on the Warren Farrell Manboobz post? Can you repost it here, on this blog?

  • No, I haven’t read the discussion specific in Universitas. But I have noticed that the discussion about the law making it illegal to purchase sexual services have re-surfaced. Not least due to Frøken X (Miss X), an escort girl who has writtes several opinion pieces on the subject, has outed herself. The different organizations for and by the prostitutes Pro Centre (Link to page in English) and PION are almost universally against the law and it has been pointed out that the number of prostitutes haven’t changed and that the law haven’t made the life any safer for the prostitutes, in fact they claim with persuasive argumentation that it has made the life more unsafe for them.

    For the police catching a client is very easy compared to catching any traffickers (which already was illegal by other laws) and I have to wonder if the anti-sex-purchase law (as it’s called) have had any negative impact on the effort and resources put into catching and prosecuting traffickers.

  • men’s experiences of pressured sex are qualitatively different from women’s experiences of rape

    Aaaaaand there it is. The ugly sexist bigotry shows itself.

    Here’s their justification/thought process:

    1) Men don’t complain as much
    2) therefore men aren’t suffering as much
    3) therefore unequal treatment of their issues is justified

    Does one even need to point out the fallacy in trying to compare two people’s (let alone two groups’) suffering? Or how about the fallacy in relying on reports by the victims to evaluate their level of suffering?

    And, as usual, the manboobz cowards don’t have the guts to crawl out of their safe little hole and stand up for what they say.

  • I really don’t see a point in directing people there as the commenters there really didn’t bring anything of substance to the table in the discussion other than reflexively attacking anyone perceived to be outside their group.

    Since you asked here is the initial (extremely inflamatory /snark) comment from me on Manboobz in it’s entirety:

    Another 1993 publication: Detecting the Scope of Rape – a review of prevalence research methods by well known researcher Mary P Koss where she states:

    Although consideration of male victims is within the scope of the legal statutes, it is important to restrict the term rape to instances where male victims were penetrated by offenders. It is inappropriate to consider as a rape victim a man who engages in unwanted sexual intercourse with a woman.

  • Yes, adi there it is.

    Also note the telling word choices:

    men’s experiences of pressured sex are qualitatively different from women’s experiences of rape

    Either they can’t conceptualize that men can be forced to have sex or they are just plain dishonest.

  • “men’s experiences of pressured sex are qualitatively different from women’s experiences of rape ”

    This is disgusting rape apology. How can they possibly know? And since they cannot know, making this statement as if they do know makes them liars. I thought it would come to this sooner or later.

  • Ah, yes the wording rubbed me the wrong way too but I skipped over it (they don’t deserve close attention).

    It’s not so much dishonesty as plain old fascism but instead of ethnicity, it’s gender that separates the Us from the Other. Everything else is a replica of the same crappy justification (attempts) that all fascist groups have made throughout history. People keep trying to tie feminism to left and sometimes right wing political worldviews but really it’s just fascism (which is neither – or both).

    Not only is feminism sexist, it can’t actually exist without sexism. If feminism actually treated men and women the same and really did assume that any apparent differences are culturally created, then their entire belief system couldn’t exist.

    It’s easily reproducible too and all the same arguments hold:

    1) Create an arbitrary division in the population (lets call them groups A and B)
    2) Create a belief system that defines current society to be organized to favor one side.
    3) Interpret/skew/make up numbers that support that belief system (you can ALWAYS do that – no matter how your groups were initially defined).
    4) Then claim to be fighting for the “disadvantaged” group with the goal of making them equal.

    All that wouldn’t be possible without FIRST creating the division.

  • Thanks for the tip about Universitas JE. I was not aware of that debate. I think prostitution, even for fairly emotionaly healthy women is a monumentaly studip idea, virtually guaranteed to mess up your life, even though it might not feel like it at the time. But the reopening of the debate arround how to deal with it is interesting and a debate that modifies the radfem view of Ottar that all the women are forced etc. is a good thing.

    While looking for the debate I found this:

    10% of female students consider prostitution and 16% consider working for hte sex industry. Probably most women that ever consider it look quite pretty so the proportion that would consider it if they rated themselves attractive enough must be way higher.

  • I don’t know about that. While I’m not a woman my attitude of “would if I could” would have made me answer yes to having considered it, despite not seeing myself as attractive enough.

  • So basically, in her 2007 paper she is relying on the legal definition she had earlier helped set in stone? Am I getting this right?

  • Basta: I don’t think that quite describes it. As far as I know she haven’t done any legislative work. But the thing is that in 2007 there were a lot of different legal definition of rape in the US as it is defined in state laws. Some of those laws include rape by envelopment (by just specifying sexual contacts, intercourse etc. as rape without specifying that the victim must be penetrated, some states does not include that, some states no longer define rape in their laws, but uses terms like sexual assault. So she had a number of legal definition of rape she could rely on, but she chose one where a pretty large subset (based on NISVS 2010 numbers) of male rape victims are excluded, she chose the legal definitions of rape that are based on penetration of the body of the
    victim, not for instanse Ohio’s rape law which does not have that requirement.

    As they so eloquently stated in that paper:

    We worked diligently to develop item wording that captured men’s sense of pressure to have sex and draw their responses into an appropriate category of coercion instead of to rape items.

    And even that failed seeing that none of the questions in the revised SES covers men being made to penetrate . The only possible one (and here I feel I am really stretching it) is this:

    Someone fondled, kissed, or rubbed up against the private areas of my body (lips, breast/chest, crotch or butt) or removed some of my clothes without my consent (but did not attempt sexual penetration) by:

    (the non-italics part would suspect make many male victims of being made to penetrate as the perpetrator in fact did attempt sexual penetration of themselves using the body of the victim)

    Neverthelsee, this would then equate being made to penetrate someone else to someone rubbing up against your butt at the bar or someone lifting up your shirt or your kilt. I’ve had someone lift up my shirt without my consent at a disco and I’ve had someone fuck me without my consent. Not the same!

  • Agh, fooled by the blockquoting formatting.

    It should be “the non-italics part…” in the sentence in paranthesis following the second blockquote.

  • Basta!, welcoem! It’s very good to se oyu here. Long time no see.

    Tamen, that is another really good bit you are pointing out, how Koss picked and chose legal definitions of rape that excluded RBE (We need an acronym for rape By Envelopment. I am getting tired of typing it out and certianly people ar etired of reading my misspellings.)

  • […] One might at first suspect that this discrepancy is an error caused by adhering to traditional sex role stereotypes, wherein men are perceived as more violent, and women as more helpless. This is contradicted by evidence presented in Ginko’s Genderratic post, Male Disposability – Mary P. Koss, Rape Apologist, Defines Male Rape Victims Out of Existence (and his followup post.) […]

  • I had a look. I got about five comments (by her) in, and she’d already been accused of internalized misogyny and been called a racist.

    This to a black woman (judging by her facebook avatar).

    Ladies and gentelmen, I give you the feminist pimp hand!

    (also she got told to go read 700+ comments if she wanted to participate. I think someone arounf here was discussing the whole ‘go read this ridiculous pile of largely unrelated writings if you want to comment’ silencing tactic recently)

  • Ooh Ooh Ooh, she addresses this point directly.
    Reproducing in full:

    Just an observation about the behaviour of the people here in general. I’m not upset or anything, just pointing out:
    Are any of you aware of how much your behavior here is just plain bullying? I presume you don’t think bullying is a good thing (correct me if I’m mistaken there). So why do you so readily engage in it?
    Bullying is an abuse of power. In your case here, you know that almost everyone reading/commenting is heavily biased against any kind of dissenting viewpoint especially from an outsider. Knowing this, with an at least ten to one majority behind you, you are aware you can get away with bigotry like dismissing a valid argument as “trolling” or “misogyny” without being challenged by anyone other than me. You also know that such a challenge from the accused always starts from a weaker position than if it had come from a 3rd person.

    I am being perfectly civil and always refraining from personal attacks of any kind. Yet I’ve been accused of being a racist, a misogynist, having internalized misogyny, being a troll, knowing nothing about the subject, saying nothing but “you’re wrong” etc. and all of those without the slightest basis in reality. It’s pure dismissal and suppression of criticism.

    You know very well that a more neutral commentariat would never let you get away with so much bigotry unchallenged. Yet here you are piling it on while fully aware of that. Hence you abuse power just like bullies do.”

  • Sans-sanity,welcome and thanks for that contribution! That was juicy.

    And thank you for going throguyh so much of that comment thread and saving me the nausea. You know, if you spend much time there you’re name may take on real meaning. Their shit is catching.

    That little exchange is a perfect example of something that is wrong with a lot of feminsts effort – it is too personal and social as opposed to actual analysis and contribution. By that I mean that it is more about belonging to the group and abiding by group norms – endlessly changing BTW in order to keep everyone anxious about their status – protecting group members and the group itself from criticism, and attacking outsiders to reinforce their mebership and dispaly the badassedness of the group. It has taken a lot of feminism from sisterhood to sorority.

  • I think Karin is absolutely awesome. She brings up some really interesting points. I read through the whole thing (though there’s LOADS of mutual accusations of lying and stuff like that). I left her a supporting comment but it might never make it through.

    I think her question about political representation really gets to the bottom of the problem. She argues that men aren’t better represented in politics than women just because more men are doing the representing. And then she asks all of those manboobz believers, if they believe that men are inherently less able or willing to represent women just because they’re men.
    None of them have the guts to answer even though she repeats it over and over. They make up one stupid excuse after the there to avoid it.
    And it’s a great question. Because if they say no, then there’s no reason to care about how many of politicians are male or female. And if they say yes then they admit to being sexists and have to explain why being male necessarily makes men unable to represent women (funny what that says about male feminist).

    There are also some really funny blunders by the manboobz believers.
    Here’s a cool exchange:

    pecunium: Liar. You did make it. Had no one challenged it then it would be standing as an, apparently, valid; acceptable, claim.

    THAT is your evidence? That HAD no one challenged it, then I (according to you) WOULD have used it as a backup for a different claim? You’re funny.
    So now apparently I must own up to fallacies that would but didn’t emerge, if I made a claim that Pecunium believes I would but didn’t make. And for not doing that, I’m called a liar.
    It really is time for you to concede this one. The ship isn’t only sinking, you’re practically trying to lift the titanic and say it’s unsinkable. But thanks for being so amusing.

    Or this one:

    provide actual evidence that women have all the power?
    Karin: Why should I provide evidence for something I never claimed?
    Pecunium: You did claim that women have more representation than men.

    What a mindless crowd of liars.

  • AC, I’m liftring your whole comment to finish the post I am making out of Sans-sanity’s comment. Very, very good points, you two.

  • Someone in there did actually say that yes, men are unwilling or unable to represent women because they are men. Their reason was because men can’t get pregnant, so they can’t understand the issues surrounding childbirth and motherhood. Karin points out that this, even if it were valid, would only indicate that men would have a harder time representing mothers, not women in general, and it also ignores trans people and infertile women.

    This in a comment thread where they first refer to Karin as a dude, then (when called out on it) switch to those heinous zie/zir pronouns. Interesting how something meant to be inclusive of genderqueer people can be used to deny womanhood to someone clearly representing themselves as female…

  • “Their reason was because men can’t get pregnant, so they can’t understand the issues surrounding childbirth and motherhood”

    Unh hnh. So why should female legislators be allowed to vote on a declaration of war (or any other non-veterans)?

  • “and it also ignores trans people and infertile women”

    And then they accused her of cis sexism for asking if men’s genitalia somehow prevented them from representing the interests of women.
    It’s inconsistancies like this that tell you if you’ve got people who actually care about the issues they talk about, or iif they’re just using them as a stick for your back.

    PS, thanks for the welcome Gingko, but I should mention that I’m ‘Jared’ who comments her occasionally. Sorry for the sock-puppet, but I’ve been using this handle increasingly else where and entered it accidentally. I think I’ll make the switch as it’s handy to be consistant.

  • “PS, thanks for the welcome Gingko, but I should mention that I’m ‘Jared’ who comments her occasionally. Sorry for the sock-puppet, ”

    Ah. But you’re not a sock puppet if yoyu identify yourself.

    “It’s inconsistancies like this that tell you if you’ve got people who actually care about the issues they talk about, or iif they’re just using them as a stick for your back.”

    Thi sis the essence of concern trolling. They don’t really give a shit about these people except as instruments. It’s the same as the way feminists tout their support for gay issues.

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