Grabass, Rape, and Stuff I Don’t Understand

I am thinking of opening a new rubric on this blog: “Stuff I don’t understand.” It’s needed because the press often omits doing its job of analyzing the news it reports on and of checking, even for superficial credibility. Much of what I hear and read makes no sense.

Here is an example:

For days, the news has been filled with reports of an epidemic of sexual abuse in the military.

The word epidemic means something like: “Large numbers and growing.” Right?

One startling number: 40 % of the victims are male members of the military.

So, I have to ask: Who is doing it to the guys?

(I don’t ask who is doing it to the women. We know the answer: Most men, or at least, many men are born rapists.)

Several possibilities:

1 The roughly 15% of military personnel who are female have unleashed their lust on the 85% who are male;

2 The military houses a large number of male homosexuals who don’t know boundaries and hit on other men who are presumably heterosexual, in the hope that they, the victims will figure out that they are really, really homosexual.

3 The small minority of male military homosexuals are like the little boy accidentally locked up in the cookie pantry sampling here and there with abandon. The sampling would include a fair share of grabass, of course.

Which do you believe is closer to the truth? Now, think hard: Is any of this credible at all?

Myself, personally, I believe in the rotten apple theory of the truth: If there is a single rotten apple in the barrel, there is no reason to think that the other apples in the barrel are perfect.

Recently, I was accidentally sitting in a bar next to a woman who must have been in her late fifties. Neither of us was inebriated. She informed me casually that one woman in three had been molested as a child. Of course, I asked her why she believed that. She told me that there are “statistics.” I asked her why she believed the statistics.

“Because it happened to me,” she said.

Was there any reason to continue any conversation with that person? Think rotten apples.

In today WSJ (5/20/13) a very brave military lawyer, a Marine officer, spreads out the numbers behind the alleged epidemic and shows the absurd, ridiculous ways in which they came about.

She tells us among other things that the actual number of recorded sexual assaults in the whole military for 2012 (that’s complaints, not convictions) was : 3,374.

That’s for more then one million members.

That might not be enough, in my book, for a youngish population. It may indicate a low libido we don’t want in our fighters.

We now have military that is so sensitive that it does not mind reporting absurdities far and wide. It’s a little frightening.

In case you wonder: I am against all forms of sexual assault in spite of occasional levity. I especially think it should be repressed in the military because it undermines solidarity in the ranks. I am against trivializing the real problem of sexual assault by calling anything “sexual assault.” (A pat on the top of one buttock is not rape.) I firmly believe that there are no crimes without criminals. If a crime is allegedly committed, someone did it. One who reports crimes of any sort has an obligation to think about who the one(s) might be. See above.

Ref. : Captain Lindsay L. Rodman: “The Pentagon’s Bad Math on Sexual AssaultWSJ 5/20/13 P. A17.

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About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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11 Responses to Grabass, Rape, and Stuff I Don’t Understand

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    Your reference leads to a pay-to-read site. Perhaps you could give a synopsis.

  2. McHenry says:

    I recently brought this topic up with an aqua intense of mine that spent many years in the marine corps. They held numerous titles, did at least 2 24 month tours, and spent time working on the board that handles these kinds of cases in the marines, all in the last decade. They have since retired.
    My friend doesn’t talk much about their previous military life, and I don’t intrude, only ask a question or two should the topic come up. So, the other day I took a shot when military equality came up between us. My friend was not aware of the current accusations in the media, as they avoid the news, apparently to keep some sanity in their post military life.
    About rape in the military, this is what they had to say:
    A term spent working with military rape victims towards prosecution is limited to 6 months versus combat tours that tend to be closer to 20 months. This was presumed to be due to the psychological stress placed on those working w victims.
    Most of the victims they personal dealt with we’re female. The rough estimate my friend thought was correct is that of 10 females in the military, 6 have been sexually assaulted (touched), and 2 additionally were sexually harassed on a verbal way. Of these, less than 1 case sees any sort of resolve, other than “what happened happened”.
    My friend had numerous cases in which they were sure to “cross every t, dot every i” on the overwhelming evidence for conviction, and still the case was dropped.
    In regards to the stat that 40% are male victims, my friend says it is not gay males or male on male rape, rather straight males punishing soldiers who they discover to be or deem to be gay. These assualts often happen by way of broom stick, or pool cue, or any other objects convenient for peer punishment by probing.
    My friend had one such case personally, where a mans insides were ruined. There were at least 5 men involved, 3 had finger prints on the pool cue and broom handle, both of which had the victims blood on them. One man had cut his finger in the assualt, and his DNA was found on the victim. There was also a witness, and one of them men in the group was so horrified he offered to testify against his friends. The case was dismissed.
    The victim was less than honorably discharged.
    My friend knew a number of gays in the military, and concluded that letting it be known was unsafe for reasons like the situation above.
    About the lack of prosecutions, my friend did have this to offer: that, in the marines at least, there is an internal handling of punishment by way of force.
    An 18 year old girl new to the corps, and a bit flirty, was violently raped one night by a fellow soldier. The commanding officer on the base collected the higher ranks, of which my friend was one, and told them the story was to be kept quiet and away from the media. It was not to leave that room.
    Once the commander had left, the first sergeant (who is not of higher rank but almost always spent 15 years longer in service) informed the rest of the staff that they were to handle it.
    My friend says for the rest of the rapists duty, every time he was seen he had broken fingers, bruises, cuts, you name it. So, there is evidence that some justice is being done.
    That is all, just a recap of some things I heard the other day.

    • McHenry says:

      Aqua intense= acquaintance. Thanks spell check

      • McHenry: Again, you post material without telling us what you think. The number of male members of the military involuntarily sodomized with a pool queue or other inanimate objects each year is in the neighborhood of : 10,000; 1,000; 100; 10?

  3. A week later, McHenry has not answered my simple question. I will take it upon myself to end him a email to make sure he has seen the question. Will report.

  4. McHenry says:

    Well. I think you had written that some 40% of victims are male, which would mean a whole heck of a lot get pool sticked.
    Based only on talking with my friend, I don’t think it could be that many, or hardly any, maybe 100 in the whole military. But I don’t think gays are assualting their straight counterparts.
    My friend referenced only a couple of gay male victims and seemed to imply the majority were female. But, I also heard it was well known among gay males in the military that being found out was asking for punishment.
    So, I think when males are sexually abused, the majoity of these cases is straight males punishing homosexuals.
    I think this is a small percentage of total sexual assault victims though, I’d guess maybe 1%.

    • Keep going, McHenry. At issue is the crediblity of the whole report that creates an alleged crisis.

      If the number of alleged male victims is absurd, why believe any of the report?

      As I said, keep going.

  5. McHenry says:

    You are right. There are some real inconsistencies going on. I was in the middle of summing up a comparison of rape statistics between the military, US society, and US prisons, but in doing the math, I found this oddity:

    From http://www.rainn.org/statistics, home of this anti-rape organization that boasts this headliner on the top of its site: “RAINN: The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. One of “America’s 100 Best Charities” -Worth magazine”, here’s a few numbers I’ve taken and added up:

    They say every year, 208000 people are victims of rape in the US, out of a total population of 290.11 million (US census, 2003….I don’t think the year matters here.)
    Ok, so, that means every year .071 percent of our population is at least partially raped.
    The site also claims 1 in 6 US women is the victim of rape (at least partially) in their ENTIRE lifetime.
    So, how long would it take to reach a total of 1/6 women raped out of the total population of women in the US (assuming women are 1/2 the population.)?
    Well, half the population would be 145.1 million, times 17% (1/6 women) is 24.6 million.
    At a rate of 208000 rapes per year, it would then take 118.6 years before 1 in 6 women held true.

    Huh?

  6. McHenry says:

    I also did some similar math to compare the rates of sexual assualt in US prisons, colleges, normal society, and in the military. I used numbers from places like the department of justice, though, as my previous post shows, who knows on their accuracy.
    Anyway, here’s the ranking:
    Colleges (apparently) are the top, with about 25% of the student body experiencing sexual assualt, prisons are next, at 14%, and normal society has a rate just slightly higher than the military, at about 0.1%. (I tried to figure for # rapes/thousand people/year.)
    So, the military kinda comes off with flying colors in the statistics.

    • McHenry: Far from me the idea of trying to stall you but a full-scale study of the incidence of rape in different segments of society is a different endeavor from checking the plausibility of raw government numbers.

      Telling what is is technically much more complex than telling what cannot be.

      As I said, you ought to go to graduate school.

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