Bibliography-Dohertyk9

1. Lazar, R. (n.d.). Project MUSE – Negotiating Sex: The Legal Construct of Consent in Cases of Wife Rape in Ontario, Canada. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/article/409073

Background: This article explores the way that cases of wife/partner rape are viewed and handled by the criminal justice system. The author seeks to show the extent to which “societal and cultural beliefs about sexuality, intimate relationships and marriage, and rape myths,” are reflected in how actors in the criminal justice system determine cases. She examines this by conducting a study of “fifteen defence counsel and seventeen Crown attorneys,” from different cities in Ontario, who (other than one) have dealt with numerous cases of sexual assault.

How I used it: This article informed me as to how difficult it is for judges to determine consent, particularly in cases of wife/partner rape. The terminology used in such cases is very different from that used in cases of violent rape and cases of stranger rape. The people interviewed in this article tended to identify with the rapist and worried about their own sexual relationships, rather than considering the victim’s point of view. It contributed to my understanding that societal views and personal views sometimes affect the criminal justice system’s ruling on rape cases, and also affect what terminology is used in these cases. This added to my argument that the terminology affects what is counted in the statistics and creates a huge disparity in statistics. 

2. Ehrlich, S. (2016, July 26). The Discursive Reconstruction of Sexual Consent – Susan Ehrlich, 1998. Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0957926598009002002

Background: This paper evaluates the ideologies that frame court proceedings in a sexual assault trial. It states that although the court has updated its perception of rape from the victim needing to actively resist in order for it to be rape, the standard of communication required for it to be rape is similarly constructed. In the trial that the writer examines, the defendant argues that the level of communication between himself and the women was insufficient for non-consent to be determined.

How I used it: This paper contributed to my understanding that before the definition of rape was updated to its current one, actors in the criminal justice system had difficulty determining whether or not miscommunication about consent could discredit charges for rape. The views of the courtroom were mostly reflective of the CJ actors’ interests in not restricting their own sexual relationships.

3. Travis, C. B., & White, J. W. (2000). Re-examining the issue of nonconsent in acquaintance rape. In Sexuality, society, and feminism (pp. 355 – 376). Washington, DC: American Psychological Assoc.

Background: This chapter examines consent as a social construct. It explains in detail the effect of cultural attitudes, cultural metaphors, societal myths, sexual scripts, and the legal system on the definition of consent and rape.

How I used it: This chapter contributed to my knowledge about what informs the definition of rape, which helped me to understand why so many different definitions for rape exist.

4. Travis, C. B., White, J. W., & American Psychological Association. (2000). Understanding the Unacknowledged Rape Victim. In Sexuality, society, and feminism (pp. 377 – 403). Washington, DC: American Psychological Assoc.

Background: This chapter seeks to explain how some victims of rape do not consider themselves to be rape victims even though they experienced what would legally be considered rape. It argues that personalities, sexual attitudes and experience, affective reactions, reactions of peers, use of alcohol or drugs, and counterfactual thinking affect whether or not a victim will consider himself/herself to be a victim.

How I used it: This chapter informed me as to the factors that influence a person’s perception of his/her own sexual experiences. It identifies the problem that no one’s numbers can be trusted due to confusion even by victims as to what constitutes rape.

5. Jordan, S. (2017, February 27). Rape culture is normalized across college campuses. Retrieved from http://www.statepress.com/article/2017/02/spopinion-rape-culture-is-normalized-on-campuses

Background:  This article argues that college students are desensitized to rape and therefore perpetuate rape culture. It states that “rape is about power, control and dominance.” It also cites that 1.2 percent of male students and 3.1 percent of female students at ASU have reported attempted or completed sexual assault.

How I used it: This article served only to inform me of potential societal responses to the concept of sexual assault and how some feminists may define it. The article makes bold claims that either have little to no basis in fact or that the author has not even attempted to prove.  

6. Carter, N. M. (2012). Intimacy without Consent: Lynching as Sexual Violence. Politics & Gender, 8(03), 414-421. doi:10.1017/s1743923x12000402

Background: This scholarly journal seeks to show that lynching has a tendency to involve not only violence, but also sexual violation of the victim, regardless of the victim’s gender. In addition, the race of the victim plays a large role; if the victim is black and male, the case is treated very differently than if the victim is white and male.

How I used it: This journal helped to prove that the definition of rape changes in different contexts; here, because the victim was a black male, something that by law would obviously be considered rape became a question.

7. Kelly, O. (2015). Party Rape, Nonconsensual Sex, and Affirmative Consent Policies. Americana : The Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900 to Present; Hollywood, 14(2). 

Background: This article delves into the prevalence of rape on college campuses. It explains the mindset of perpetrators and how often victims are discredited. It also describes how frequently victims of sexual assault are asked what they were wearing at the time of the assault, as well as the percentage of males that misinterpret the meaning of rape.

How I used it: The statistics involving how many males understood rape to be different from forcing a woman to have sex helped explain to me the power of terminology and the reason that many institutions change the words from rape to “sexual assault” or “sexual violence.” This furthered my understanding as to why different institutions will adopt differing definitions of rape and will utilize different terminology. It also pointed me to another valuable source.

8. Burgess, A. W. (1985). Rape and sexual assault: A research handbook. New York, NY: Garland Pub. 

Background: This book explores rape victims, their families’ responses and legal responses to the rape, the aggressors, and the mass media’s response to rape.

How I used it: This book largely contributed to my understanding of rape as it relates to everyone involved. It also provided useful statistics as to college-age men’s understanding of rape.

9. Burgess, A. W. (1988). Rape and sexual assault II. New York, NY: Garland Pub. 

Background: This book explores sexual victimization in colleges, factors involved in rape of prostitutes, self-blame of rape victims, sexual attitudes toward rape, and more.

How I used it: This book examined rape myths and sexually aggressive attitudes of college males. These determined how the college males defined rape, furthering my understanding that the definition of rape varies from institution to institution and person to person.

10. Ali, K. (2017). Concubinage and Consent. International Journal of Middle East Studies, 49(01), 148-152. doi:10.1017/s0020743816001203

Background: The text explains that wives and slaves in Islamic history had very different rights, even though slaves could be married off without their consent. Slaves could be treated far worse than wives and it would be perfectly permissible. However, their husbands needed to treat them better than their owners did.

How I used it: This text served only to contribute to my understanding of differences in definitions of rape.

11. De la Ossa, A. C. (2016). ‘Talk, listen, think’: Discourses of agency and unintentional violence in consent guidance for gay, bisexual and trans men. Discourse & Society, 27(4), 365-382. doi:10.1177/0957926516634549

Background: This article explains the focus on men in the explanations of sexual assault and consent made by Galop. It helps to put into words the traumatic experiences people in the LGBT community have.

How I used it: This article proves that there is always a neglected race, gender or sexual orientation when it comes to defining rape and consent. Because one type of person is always left out, the definition of consent always falls short of its intended meaning. In this way, the definition of consent is not universal and results in disagreeing definitions of consent, which greatly contributed to my understanding of my argument.

12. Young, H. (2010). R. v. A. (J.) and the Risks of Advance Consent to Unconscious Sex. Canadian Criminal Law Review, 14(3), 273-306.

Background: This article describes the risk of agreeing to sex before one of the partners becomes unconscious. It explains that any misunderstandings in the advance consent or mistreatment of the partner during the unconscious sex could result in rape and therefore unconscious sex should be automatically considered rape.

How I used it: This contributed to my understanding that even those who consent to sex can switch to nonconsent in a number of situations. This helped formulate my argument that rape is hard to define, which results in an array of differing definitions.

13. An Updated Definition of Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

Background: This archive explains the FBI’s updated definition of rape compared to its older definition.

How I used it: This source contributed to my understanding of the differences in definitions between the FBI and other institutions.

14. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Rape and Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Background: This source details the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ definition of rape and sexual assault.

How I used it: I used this source to compare its definition of rape to that of the FBI and other institutions.

15. Definitions|Sexual Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2018, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html

Background: This source details the CDC’s definition of sexual violence.

How I used it: I used this source to compare its definition to that of the FBI and other institutions.

16. Eichelberger, E. (2017, June 25). Men Defining Rape: A History. Retrieved from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/08/men-defining-rape-history/

Background: This source explains the history of the definition of rape as defined by men.

How I used it: I used this article to explain how society has struggled with the definition of rape over time.

17. Bekiempis, V. (2015, January 9). When Campus Rapists Don’t Think They’re Rapists. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/campus-rapists-and-semantics-297463

Background: This article discusses the way that terminology affects how a perpetrator will report intentions for sexual violence or how a victim of sexual violence will report an incident. It examines the oddity that men will agree with sexually violent or coercive behaviors but will deny rape.

How I used it: This article led me to scholarly sources that more effectively contributed to my argument.

18. Branch, J. (2018, April 12). Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/sports/football/nfl-cheerleaders.html

Background: This article details the claims made by Kristan Ware, a former NFL cheerleader, of sexual harassment within the NFL.

How I used it: This article helped to provide a real world situation in which my argument applied.

19. The Enliven Project – Sarah Beaulieu. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sarahbeaulieu.me/the-enliven-project

Background: This website provided a graphic detailing rape statistics.

How I used it: This graphic was useful in analyzing the inaccuracy of rape statistics.

20. Marcotte, A. (2013, January 8). This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/08/the_enliven_project_s_false_rape_accusations_infographic_great_intentions.html_infographic_great_intentions.html

Background: This article analyzes the flaws in an infographic displaying rape data.

How I used it: I used this to contribute to my argument that rape statistics cannot be trusted, especially if different sources are combined to draw conclusions.

21. Matthews, D. (2013, January 7). The saddest graph you’ll see today. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/01/07/the-saddest-graph-youll-see-today/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.88a8618f65b1

Background: This article analyzes an infographic to state how rare false rape accusations are. It admits that the infographic is misleading, according to a more recent analysis by Amanda Marcotte.

How I used it: This source was used in an analysis by Amanda Marcotte, that I used in my paper.

22. Tolentino, J. (2017, June 14). Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/bill-cosbys-defense-and-its-twisted-argument-about-consent

Background: This is an article detailing the defense that Bill Cosby is using to deny rape charges brought against him.

How I used it: I used this as a real world example of why imprecise language to describe rape is harmful.

23. The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict. (2018, April 25). Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/latest-cosby-courthouse-jury-start-deliberations-54717264

Background: This article details the ongoing retrial of Bill Cosby in regards to his alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand.

How I used it: The article states that the judge was asked for the legal definition of consent but was unable to answer. This contributes to my point that no one has an answer.

24. NCVS 1 [survey]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncvs104.pdf

Background: This is a survey conducted by the BJS seeking to gather statistics about unreported victimizations.

How I used it: I used this survey to explain how definitions vary simply based on wording.

25. New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: Students Are Less Likely To Be Raped. (2014, December 11). Retrieved from http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/11/new-doj-data-on-sexual-assaults-college-students-are-actually-less-likely-to-be-victimized/

Background: This article reports data found in a new study by the Department of Justice regarding whether students or non-students are more likely to be victimized.  

How I used it: I used this article to question the accuracy of its claim that non-students are more likely to be raped than students.

26. Rape statistics. (2018, April 3). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#United_States

Background: This is an article by Wikipedia detailing rape statistics from around the world.

How I used it: This source pointed me to a number of other valuable sources of information and also contributed to my understanding of the disparity in rape statistics.

27. NISVS Summary Reports|National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2017, September 25). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/summaryreports.html

Background: This is a state report summarizing rape data gathered from a survey conducted by the CDC.

How I used it: I used this to explain what percentage of women are raped according to the CDC.

Research-Dohertyk9

In America alone, another instance of sexual violence occurs every few minutes. Astonishingly, as reported by The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Approximately 1 in 5 women in the U.S. (19.1% or an estimated 22,992,000 women) experienced rape at some point in life.” This stems from, among other things, a lack of understanding as to what rape is, because no one knows what it is.

In the article, “The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict” by the Associated Press, the jury asks the judge what consent is:

The jury returned to a suburban Philadelphia courtroom less than two hours into its deliberations to ask for the legal definition of consent. Judge Steve O’Neill said he wasn’t able to answer it, telling jurors they’ve already been given the definitions of the charges they are considering.

It’s frightening to consider that even judges, the people we put in charge of determining criminal charges, don’t know what consent is. Although rape has existed since the beginning of humanity, and continues to exist worldwide, it does not have a standard, universal definition. Even within one country, and within the same system of government, the definition varies.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape as,

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

The FBI’s definition of rape as defined by the Department of Justice is,

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website defines “sexual violence,”

 Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent.

These are only a few of the myriad of existing definitions, but they illustrate just how different rape is based on the agency that is considering it. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients.  It would be difficult to argue that any one of these definitions is wrong, because there is no proof of a “right” definition. It is not the responsibility of simple observers of this phenomenon to provide the “right” definition.

Governments have struggled with the question of how to define rape since their beginning. In around 1780 B.C., laws stated that rape of a virgin was property damage against her father. In 1290, women who became pregnant from rape were not raped. In the 1300s, whether or not a woman was raped was affected by how promiscuous the woman was; a sexually active woman’s charges were less legitimate. After the 1300s, girls younger than 12 could not consent. In 1670, it was concluded that a man can legally rape his wife, because the marriage contract forfeited his wife’s right to consent. In 1814, it was decided once again that rape could be determined by pregnancy. In the 19th century, it was agreed that if the woman did not actively resist her rapist, she was not raped.

More inclusive definitions of rape have been created over time; the FBI’s definition listed above, for example, is an update from a older and less encompassing definition. Yet despite having a number of more inclusive definitions, we are still far from perfect in determining what sexual contexts can be characterized by these definitions. This is clear in the case of Bill Cosby’s retrial for the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand. The article, “Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent,” by Jia Tolentino, states,

Everyone agrees that, on the night in question, Cosby invited Constand over to his home; that he gave her three pills; that he digitally penetrated her without obtaining any sort of affirmative consent; that he left her passed-out body on the couch and went to bed.

This case is demonstrative of the power of terminology; according to the FBI’s definition, this situation is clearly rape: “Penetration, no matter how slight…without the consent of the victim.” Yet the entire argument of Cosby’s defense is not that he did not commit this act, but rather that it was in a “romantic” context, that Constand was lying as to the nature of her and Cosby’s relationship, that there was full consent given in the situation in question. However, regardless of whether or not the relationship was romantic, Constand was unconscious at the time of the penetration and therefore could not give consent, which is rape by all three aforementioned definitions above. The refusal to call the situation what it was according to the definitions of several reputable sources-rape-has allowed Cosby’s defense to formulate an argument that is at best absurd and at worst completely wrong. However, the nature of the definition of rape is that it will always be different based on who is defining it. If the legal system rules that in romantic contexts, penetration of an unconscious partner is in fact consensual, the system has merely created another definition of rape, which cannot be considered wrong, only different. In such a case, if Cosby could prove that his relationship with Constand was “romantic,” he would be innocent of that definition of rape.

Another case, that of former NFL cheerleader Kristan Ware, illustrates this same confusion of terminology that leads to ambiguity in consent. It is never specifically outlined that to be an NFL cheerleader, a girl must be open to sexual objectification, sexual harassment and molestation. Yet the situation of Kristan Ware conveys that our culture expects just that; the article “Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint,” by John Branch, states,

Ware said some Dolphins cheerleading coaches mocked her after other cheerleaders learned that she was a virgin, planning to wait for marriage to have sex. At a 2016 rehearsal for a fashion show at which cheerleaders modeled bikinis, Ware claims, she was dressed with angel wings — something Ware believes was a poke at her virginity — and then physically grabbed and verbally harangued by Grogan as she exited the runway.

If this response is expected, accepted even, then the NFL should create its own definition of consent. This new definition would state something similar to, “In accepting the job of cheerleader in the NFL, a female consents to the receipt of all forms of sexual language and sexual touching.”

Granted, the definitions created in this paper would likely never be adopted by any institution, but they serve to demonstrate how even the most clear situations can be skewed with unclear language. Because the legal system has not altered the definition of rape to exclude “romantic contexts,” it should be clear that by the existing scholarly definitions, Cosby has committed rape, yet actors in the criminal justice system still struggle with their determinations. It should also be clear that because the NFL has no contract explicitly stating that cheerleaders consent to “sexual language and sexual touching,” Ware’s case was one of illegal sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the number of definitions of consent and rape in existence serve to further confuse an already difficult concept.

If we start with radically different premises of what the definition of rape is, then we end up with radically different data. Wikipedia itself admits, “Data on the prevalence of rape vary greatly depending on what definition of rape is used.” This is why the number of reported rape cases varies so greatly between the different sources.

As a result of disparate definitions for rape, data are dissimilar. In the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence,” while the FBI accounted for only 85,593 incidents of “rape.” If the two had used the same terminology, or if the words, “sexual violence,” and “rape,” shared the same definition, they may have attained very similar numbers. But despite such an enormous difference in number between the two agencies, it can’t be said that either count is wrong.

Until a definition of rape is standardized and universalized, this trend will continue, and none of the statistics across the board will agree with each other. As it stands, few conclusions can be drawn from data, unless we choose to use only one source, with one definition, for our conclusions. Unless we achieve the universal definition, we will never come close to knowing just how many cases of rape truly exist in any given year. However, it is unlikely that such a definition of rape would ever come about, because of the differences in all of the institutions that define rape. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients. Each agency has entirely different interests in its definition for rape, and a universal definition may not best serve the needs of each agency. Take, for example, if the FBI’s definition of “penetration, no matter how slight,” was used for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person seeking mental health services for “attempted forced penetration,” which would be included in the CDC’s definition, is excluded from the FBI’s definition. The FBI’s definition would therefore be ineffective for the CDC to accommodate all of its patients.

The unreported nature of rape furthers the preexisting disparity in statistics. Some victims are more likely to report the crime than others. This is clear in an article that cites the Department of Justice’s statistics- “New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized,” by the Federalist Staff, compares the numbers from DOJ statistics and attempts to prove that non-students are more likely to be raped than students. It states,

The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.

However, within the article itself, it admits that, “Unfortunately, according to data from the BJS study, a huge percentage of sexual assaults — upwards of 80 percent for female college students — go unreported, and students who are victimized are far less likely to report the crime than are non-student victims.” It even goes so far as to list that 80% of students do not report rape, compared to 67% of non-students that do not report rape. If students are so much less likely than non-students to report rape, than how can it possibly be determined that non-students are more frequently victims of the crime? The data can be trusted to prove neither that students are more often victims of rape nor that non-students are. In addition, the accuracy of the percentages must be called into question as well; the rapes that are not reported can only be counted through surveys, which may include a greater number of circumstances than police reports. This contributes to increasingly skewed data.

The article, “This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong.” by Amanda Marcotte seeks to point out the shortcomings of an infograph displaying rape data. Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post published the infographic, created by the Enliven Project, that Marcotte’s article analyzes:

The article notes, “The graphic assumes one-rape-per-rapist,” “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” and “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” The impact of unintentionally misinterpreting the data is that it may be further misinterpreted; as the article points out,

Nearly one in five women have been raped, according to the latest substantive government numbers, and infographics like this might make people conclude therefore that one in five men is a rapist. In reality, a much smaller (though still troubling) number—an estimated 6 percent of men—are rapists. Your average rapist stacks up six victims. That’s hard to capture in an infographic, but could be clearer by just labeling the little dudes ‘rapes’ instead of ‘rapists.’

The second stated error with this particular graphic, that “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” explains that, “It’s hard to measure how many rapes go unreported, because, duh, unreported.” The article suggests that we use “government numbers” to make the number of unreported rapes more accurate; the only problem with this suggestion is that even the government numbers cannot be trusted because they immensely disagree with each other. Finally, the article mentions, “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” It explains that combining data and assuming that it can be summarized accurately is another way to horribly misinterpret data; the article states,

The problem is that the Enliven Project conflates ‘false reports,’ which only require the claim that a crime has happened, with ‘false accusations,’ which require fingering a supposed perpetrator.

These seemingly minor misrepresentations can result in incredibly inaccurate data; if the original numbers cannot even be trusted, the conclusions drawn from a combination of those numbers, which are not counting the same definition to begin with, are even more inaccurate.

Not only do these differing definitions produce different statistics, but also, the data can only measure rapes that are reported; they can say nothing about the rapes that aren’t reported. Even with the standardized and universalized definition of rape previously mentioned, we would still be unable to achieve completely accurate statistics. To do so, we would need to ensure that every case of rape is reported, and the data would start there, not accounting for previous years where this was not the case. If this was somehow possible, the data could then be trusted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would argue that it can accurately and reliably account for 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website even outlines a number of specific circumstances that fall under its definition of “sexual violence,” namely:

Completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted forced acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Non-physically forced penetration which occurs after a person is pressured verbally or through intimidation or misuse of authority to consent or acquiesce, Unwanted sexual contact, Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

This definition is clear and indisputable; instances of sexual violence can easily be determined on its basis. Statistics can be generated based on the rape counted by this definition.

But the clarity of the definition isn’t the problem; the problem is that there are many more definitions than this one by the CDC. Each definition is just as likely to be reliable when compared to itself, but equally unreliable when compared to others. Any data that sums up rape and draws conclusions using a variety of different sources is inaccurate, because the different sources are not even counting the same thing. CDC’s “sexual violence” is different than the FBI’s “forcible rape,” or simply “rape,” which is also different from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ “Forced sexual intercourse.” An additional problem arises when people attempt to count the CDC’s 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence” as rape and compare it as such; the CDC includes in its definition instances of “unwanted sexual contact” that may not require penetration, which makes it astronomically different from the BJS’s and the FBI’s definitions. Wikipedia explains the problem in its own terms even as it reports rape data in its article titled “Rape Statistics,”

Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics. Countries may not define forced sex on a spouse as “rape.”

The disparity in definitions often results from differences among agencies. The CDC is concerned with defining rape as it relates to public health, while the FBI is concerned with defining rape in relation to crime. If patients report rape to the CDC seeking medical attention, the CDC is unlikely to discount the patients’ claims of rape. Thus, the number of counted instances of sexual violence may be higher simply because the patients may consider a broader definition of rape, which the CDC inadvertently adopts by accepting patients’ claims. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks very specific questions related to rape that suggest a narrower consideration of circumstances that constitute rape. The BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey 1 asks its participants,

Have you been forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity by:

(a) Someone you didn’t know before
(b) A casual acquaintance
OR
(c) Someone you know well

The survey does not include the BJS’s definition of rape, or any examples of situations that would fall under its category of “forced or coerced,” “unwanted sexual activity.” Participants may underreport their instances of rape simply because they do not understand which situations fall under this category. The BJS is concerned with counting rape only to understand how many instances of crime are unreported, not to charge a person with the crime or to improve the victim’s health. This led to the simplified, “forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity” definition in its survey. This is radically different from its specific, official definition on its website:

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

Because agencies that define rape have entirely different considerations in their definitions, they utilize different terminology, account for different numbers, and come up with different statistics. Attempting to summarize data from several different agencies will only result in inaccurate data.

 

References

An Updated Definition of Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

Branch, J. (2018, April 12). Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/sports/football/nfl-cheerleaders.html

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Rape and Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Definitions|Sexual Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2018, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html

Eichelberger, E. (2017, June 25). Men Defining Rape: A History. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/08/men-defining-rape-history/

Marcotte, A. (2013, January 8). This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/08/the_enliven_project_s_false_rape_accusations_infographic_great_intentions.html

Matthews, D. (2013, January 7). The saddest graph you’ll see today. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/01/07/the-saddest-graph-youll-see-today/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.88a8618f65b1

NCVS 1 [survey]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncvs104.pdf

New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: Students Are Less Likely To Be Raped. (2014, December 11). Retrieved from http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/11/new-doj-data-on-sexual-assaults-college-students-are-actually-less-likely-to-be-victimized/

NISVS Summary Reports|National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2017, September 25). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/summaryreports.html

Rape statistics. (2018, April 3). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#United_States

The Enliven Project – Sarah Beaulieu. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sarahbeaulieu.me/the-enliven-project

The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict. (2018, April 25). Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/latest-cosby-courthouse-jury-start-deliberations-54717264

Tolentino, J. (2017, June 14). Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/bill-cosbys-defense-and-its-twisted-argument-about-consent

 

 

 

 

 

Definition Rewrite-Dohertyk9

In America alone, another instance of sexual violence occurs every few minutes. Astonishingly, as reported by The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Approximately 1 in 5 women in the U.S. (19.1% or an estimated 22,992,000 women) experienced rape at some point in life.” This stems from, among other things, a lack of understanding as to what rape is, because no one knows what it is.

In the article, “The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict” by the Associated Press, the jury asks the judge what consent is:

The jury returned to a suburban Philadelphia courtroom less than two hours into its deliberations to ask for the legal definition of consent. Judge Steve O’Neill said he wasn’t able to answer it, telling jurors they’ve already been given the definitions of the charges they are considering.

It’s frightening to consider that even judges, the people we put in charge of determining criminal charges, don’t know what consent is. Although rape has existed since the beginning of humanity, and continues to exist worldwide, it does not have a standard, universal definition. Even within one country, and within the same system of government, the definition varies.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape as,

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

The FBI’s definition of rape as defined by the Department of Justice is,

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website defines “sexual violence,”

 Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent.

These are only a few of the myriad of existing definitions, but they illustrate just how different rape is based on the agency that is considering it. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients.  It would be difficult to argue that any one of these definitions is wrong, because there is no proof of a “right” definition. It is not the responsibility of simple observers of this phenomenon to provide the “right” definition.

Governments have struggled with the question of how to define rape since their beginning. In around 1780 B.C., laws stated that rape of a virgin was property damage against her father. In 1290, women who became pregnant from rape were not raped. In the 1300s, whether or not a woman was raped was affected by how promiscuous the woman was; a sexually active woman’s charges were less legitimate. After the 1300s, girls younger than 12 could not consent. In 1670, it was concluded that a man can legally rape his wife, because the marriage contract forfeited his wife’s right to consent. In 1814, it was decided once again that rape could be determined by pregnancy. In the 19th century, it was agreed that if the woman did not actively resist her rapist, she was not raped.

More inclusive definitions of rape have been created over time; the FBI’s definition listed above, for example, is an update from a older and less encompassing definition. Yet despite having a myriad of more inclusive definitions, we are still far from perfect in determining what sexual contexts can be characterized by these definitions. This is clear in the case of Bill Cosby’s retrial for the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand. The article, “Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent,” by Jia Tolentino, states,

Everyone agrees that, on the night in question, Cosby invited Constand over to his home; that he gave her three pills; that he digitally penetrated her without obtaining any sort of affirmative consent; that he left her passed-out body on the couch and went to bed.

This case is demonstrative of the power of terminology; according to the FBI’s definition, this situation is clearly rape: “Penetration, no matter how slight…without the consent of the victim.” Yet the entire argument of Cosby’s defense is not that he did not commit this act, but rather that it was in a “romantic” context, that Constand was lying as to the nature of her and Cosby’s relationship, that there was full consent given in the situation in question. However, regardless of whether or not the relationship was romantic, Constand was unconscious at the time of the penetration and therefore could not give consent, which is rape by all three aforementioned definitions above. The refusal to call the situation what it was according to the definitions of several reputable sources-rape-has allowed Cosby’s defense to formulate an argument that is at best absurd and at worst completely wrong. However, the nature of the definition of rape is that it will always be different based on who is defining it. If the legal system rules that in romantic contexts, penetration of an unconscious partner is in fact consensual, the system has merely created another definition of rape, which cannot be considered wrong, only different. In such a case, if Cosby could prove that his relationship with Constand was “romantic,” he would be innocent of that definition of rape.

Another case, that of former NFL cheerleader Kristan Ware, illustrates this same confusion of terminology that leads to ambiguity in consent. It is never specifically outlined that to be an NFL cheerleader, a girl must be open to sexual objectification, sexual harassment and molestation. Yet the situation of Kristan Ware conveys that our culture expects just that; the article “Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint,” by John Branch, states,

Ware said some Dolphins cheerleading coaches mocked her after other cheerleaders learned that she was a virgin, planning to wait for marriage to have sex. At a 2016 rehearsal for a fashion show at which cheerleaders modeled bikinis, Ware claims, she was dressed with angel wings — something Ware believes was a poke at her virginity — and then physically grabbed and verbally harangued by Grogan as she exited the runway.

If this response is expected, accepted even, then the NFL should create its own definition of consent. This new definition would state something similar to, “In accepting the job of cheerleader in the NFL, a female consents to the receipt of all forms of sexual language and sexual touching.”

Granted, the definitions created in this paper would likely never be adopted by any institution, but they serve to demonstrate how even the most clear situations can be skewed with unclear language. Because the legal system has not altered the definition of rape to exclude “romantic contexts,” it should be clear that by the existing scholarly definitions, Cosby has committed rape, yet actors in the criminal justice system still struggle with their determinations. It should also be clear that because the NFL has no contract explicitly stating that cheerleaders consent to “sexual language and sexual touching,” Ware’s case was one of illegal sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the number of definitions of consent and rape in existence serve to further confuse an already difficult concept.

 

References

An Updated Definition of Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

Branch, J. (2018, April 12). Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/12/sports/football/nfl-cheerleaders.html

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Rape and Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Definitions|Sexual Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2018, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html

Eichelberger, E. (2017, June 25). Men Defining Rape: A History. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/08/men-defining-rape-history/

NISVS Summary Reports|National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey|Funded Programs|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2017, September 25). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/summaryreports.html

The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict. (2018, April 25). Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/latest-cosby-courthouse-jury-start-deliberations-54717264

Tolentino, J. (2017, June 14). Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/bill-cosbys-defense-and-its-twisted-argument-about-consent

 

Rebuttal Rewrite-Dohertyk9

Rape has existed since the beginning of humanity, and continues to exist worldwide. Yet despite having existed for so long, and in so many locations, it does not have a standard, universal definition. Even within the same country, with the same government, the definition varies. There is so much disparity in the definition of consent, and therefore the definition of rape, that no one’s statistics are worthwhile. The statistics cannot be compared for this reason.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would argue that it can accurately and reliably account for 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence,” which it defines as “a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website even outlines a number of specific circumstances that fall under its definition of “sexual violence,” namely:

Completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted forced acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Non-physically forced penetration which occurs after a person is pressured verbally or through intimidation or misuse of authority to consent or acquiesce, Unwanted sexual contact, Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

This definition is clear and indisputable; instances of sexual violence can easily be determined on its basis. Statistics can be generated based on the rape counted by this definition.

But the clarity of the definition isn’t the problem; the problem is that there are many more definitions than this one by the CDC. Each definition is just as likely to be reliable when compared to itself, but equally unreliable when compared to others. Any data that sums up rape and draws conclusions using a variety of different sources is inaccurate, because the different sources are not even counting the same thing. CDC’s “sexual violence” is different than the FBI’s “forcible rape,” or simply “rape,” which is also different from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ “Forced sexual intercourse.” An additional problem arises when people attempt to count the CDC’s 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence” as rape and compare it as such; the CDC includes in its definition instances of “unwanted sexual contact” that may not require penetration, which makes it astronomically different than the BJS’s and the FBI’s definitions. Wikipedia explains the problem in its own terms even as it reports rape data in its article titled “Rape Statistics,”

Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics. Countries may not define forced sex on a spouse as “rape.”

The disparity in definitions often results from differences among agencies. The CDC is concerned with defining rape as it relates to public health, while the FBI is concerned with defining rape in relation to crime. If patients report rape to the CDC seeking medical attention, the CDC is unlikely to discount the patients’ claims of rape. Thus, the number of counted instances of sexual violence may be higher simply because the patients may consider a broader definition of rape, which the CDC inadvertently adopts by accepting patients’ claims. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks very specific questions related to rape that suggest a narrower consideration of circumstances that constitute rape. The BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey 1 asks its participants,

Have you been forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity by:

(a) Someone you didn’t know before
(b) A casual acquaintance
OR
(c) Someone you know well

The survey does not include the BJS’s definition of rape, or any examples of situations that would fall under its category of “forced or coerced,” “unwanted sexual activity.” Participants may underreport their instances of rape simply because they do not understand what situations fall under this category. The BJS is concerned with counting rape only to understand how many instances of crime are unreported, not to charge a person with the crime or to improve the victim’s health. This led to the simplified, “forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity” definition in its survey. This is radically different from its specific, official definition on its website:

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

Because agencies that define rape have entirely different considerations in their definitions, they utilize different terminology, account for different numbers, and come up with different statistics. Attempting to summarize data from several different agencies will only result in inaccurate data.

References

An Updated Definition of Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Rape and Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Definitions|Sexual Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2018, April 10). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html

NCVS 1 [survey]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ncvs104.pdf

Rape statistics. (2018, April 14). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics

Reflective-Dohertyk9

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

I wouldn’t say that I was a beginner in writing when I began this course; I took a number of similar classes throughout high school, in addition to Composition I in the Fall 2017. However, Composition II has vastly improved my writing, challenging me in a way that many of my previous courses have failed to do. I was given and took advantage of many opportunities for feedback; the perfect example being my White Paper. I set out to prove an entirely different concept at the beginning of the semester; that rape wasn’t real because consent is impossible to define. By the time I attempted to write my definition and causal arguments, I was at a complete loss. Despite all of my research, I could not come close to proving that consent was impossible to define, or that this caused anything. Yet after a thorough conference with my professor, I had a much better understanding of what the data I spent so long researching actually proved. Because of feedback and an ongoing discussion of the data, I was able to clarify my argument and find a concept worthy of proving.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

Many of the class discussions were designed in a counterintuitive manner, a way in which I rarely seek to look at the world. I approached these discussions in the same critical way as everything I encounter, but I noted that they always required a lot of thought before I could determine whether to refute the idea or agree with it. At one point, when the professor posed that we “don’t have a thought in our heads,” I found it impossible to agree. I couldn’t leave the class without hearing some sort of support for his claim, because I had always considered myself to have much more in my head than “I’m hungry,” or any similarly basic, passing thought. The professor then explained to me that he considered more complicated arguments in our minds to be mental writing, an idea which I could not deny the logic of. After all, there is certainly a separation between passing thoughts and analyses of bigger concepts. I’ve spent the classes since thoroughly engaging in mental “writing” about the topics we have discussed, seeking to prove the validity or falsehood of the professor’s wholly counterintuitive concepts. A prime example of a concept that I approached in such a manner was that of “Stone Money.” Admittedly, I spent the majority of the time that I was listening to the audio shaking my head and scoffing. The summary of my bank account balance is a very real number to me. However, the explanation of the Yap’s monetary system, and then Brazil’s solution to its inflation crisis, and even the strange practices within United States itself struck me as odd, and I began to question whether money was real or imagined. I reviewed all of the evidence presented to me, and was even able to find new evidence to reinforce the idea and demonstrate that the Yap’s system is mirrored in our own system today. I haven’t looked at the pieces of green cloth in my wallet the same way since.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Nothing demonstrates the many facets of a single case better than the Safer Saws assignment. The audience wholly determined the argument. Steve Gass was outraged and argued that because he advanced the safety of saws, it should be implemented in all saws to prevent amputations, and he should be compensated for the idea. Product reviewers think that it would be ridiculous to demand the proposed changes from saw companies; it would tack on a hefty cost that severely cuts profit. The companies themselves don’t want to pay large sums of money for changes that could cause their bankruptcy. This assignment increased my awareness of just how multifaceted all arguments are. I was required to evaluate a myriad of different points, all with differing methods of portraying their argument; Steve Gass made a video displaying the effectiveness of his saw, even placing his own safety on the line to show his unwavering trust in his creation. Product reviewers attempted the same with the competition’s version of SawStop, but ultimately (and unwittingly) proved that Steve Gass’s technology was the more effective of the two. Other reviewers presented their arguments in articles, and/or utilized pictures of amputees whose injuries could have been prevented with SawStop technology. In conjunction with one of my professor’s lectures, the Safer Saws assignment facilitated my understanding that “a black sneaker is not the opposite of a white sneaker, because there is no opposite of a sneaker,” (Professor Hodges’s lecture.) I have since applied this to writing and reviewing my own works. I now always consider who my audience will be and what potential counterarguments readers might pose, so that I can adequately refute their questions before they are even asked.  

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

The visual rhetoric assignment embodies this core value. The professor asked the class not to listen to the audio as we analyzed our chosen videos, allowing whatever bias the music created to be removed from our individual analyses. Because he requested that we stop the video and note it second-by-second, I was able to learn much more about the visual argument that the video presented. In my original analysis, I simply described the details and didn’t pose any questions as to the meaning of the video; any sort of argument it displayed was lost on me because the content didn’t seem to imply much of anything. Looking deeper into the first second, I was more engaged with the visual work and asked a number of questions in relation to the video. Although the video I chose for my visual rhetoric assignment seemed to borrow its theme from an outside source, the video that we analyzed in class made clear to me what I should ordinarily be able to take out of a visual argument. I have to admit that it was impressive how many subtle messages were hidden in every second of the video; if we hadn’t stopped the video every second, I might have missed them. This assignment undoubtedly allowed me to hone my ability to recognize these seemingly insignificant details and add them into my own works. In my revision of my visual rhetoric, I noted many more details that were not clear to me in my first draft.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

 Those who grossly misinterpret or skew data to support their own weak argument, who try to convince me of blatantly false information, or glaring contradictions, instantly lose my respect. Personally, I seek to avoid such grave mistakes by prioritizing citations and accurate representations of content. As an author, I would loathe inaccurate interpretations of my own writing, so I make sure to conscientiously review my use of quotations or paraphrasing to avoid subjecting the author to that same frustration. Throughout the semester, I have cited sources in each written assignment, even including the sources that I used very minimally. My White Paper is a compilation of all the sources I have reviewed to educate myself on my topic. I intend to use only a select few of them in my complete research paper, but have noted them nonetheless. I would expect anyone else to do the same. 

Grammar Exercise-Dohertyk9

 

“If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child it increases the risk that they’re child will grow up hostile towards others. And its not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse; a large amount of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves. The reason for this negative behavior is because the children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling lifes disappointments. If you aren’t raised with coping skills, your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches. The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”, is that everyone gets the child they deserve.”

Rule 1:  There/Their/They’re

“If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child it increases the risk that they’re child will grow up hostile towards others”

Error: they’re should be their. If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child it increases the risk that their child will grow up hostile towards others”

Rule 2: Its/It’s

“And its not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse”

Error: its should be it’s or it is. And it’s not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse”

Rule 3: The reason is because

The reason for this negative behavior is because

Error: Because means for the reason that. So instead this sentence should read, “The reason for this negative behavior is” or “This negative behavior is because”

Rule 4A: Pronouns and Gender

“If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child”

Error: The author attempted to avoid the gender problem, but didn’t make the sentence plural. It should read: “If primary caretakers have negative attitudes towards their children,” or “If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward her child,”

Rule 4B: Pronouns and Number

“If a primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward their child”

Error: There is only one primary caretaker. It should read: “If primary caretakers have negative attitudes towards their children,”

Rule 5: Count and Noncount Nouns

“a large amount of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves.”

Error: Children can be counted, therefore we should use the word “number” rather than the word “amount.” “a large number of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves.”

Rule 6: To/Too/Two

“your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Error: Incorrect use of the word “to.” Instead, the word “too” should be used here. “your much too likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Rule 7: Periods and Commas Inside the Quotes

“The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”, is that everyone gets the child they deserve.”

Error: The comma should be within the quotes. “The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers,” is that everyone gets the child they deserve.”

Rule 8: Then/Than

“If you aren’t raised with coping skills, your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Error: Wrong version of “then” is being used here. “Than” should be used because it is a comparison. “If you aren’t raised with coping skills, your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ than if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Rule 9: Affect/Effect

“The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”,”

Error: Wrong version of “affect” being used here. We should be using the noun, “effect,” not the verb, “affect.” “The effect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”,”

Rule 10: Your/You’re

“If you aren’t raised with coping skills, your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Error: The contraction for “you are” should be used here. No possession is taking place. “If you aren’t raised with coping skills, you’re much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Rule 11: Single quotes/Double quotes

“your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Error: The only time we use single quotes is within double quotes. “your much to likely to act inappropriately” then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Rule 12: The Banned 2nd Person

“If you aren’t raised with coping skills, your much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if you have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Error: Use of the 2nd Person. “If children aren’t raised with coping skills, they’re much to likely to act ‘inappropriately’ then if they have developed more reasonable approaches.”

Rule 13: Plurals and Possessives

“The reason for this negative behavior is because the children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling lifes disappointments.”

Error: Possession is indicated with an apostrophe. “The reason for this negative behavior is because the children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling life’s disappointments.”

Rule 14: Subject/Verb Agreement

“The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”, is that everyone gets the child they deserve.”

Error: The word “everyone” is actually singular, not plural. Therefore, “they” should not be used. “The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”, is that everyone gets the child he/she deserves.” or “The affect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers”, is that we all get the child we deserve .”

“If primary caretakers have negative attitudes towards their children, there is an increased risk that their children will grow up hostile towards others. And it’s not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse; a large number of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves. This negative behavior is because the children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling life’s disappointments. If children aren’t raised with coping skills, they’re much too likely to act “inappropriately” than if they have developed more reasonable approaches. The effect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers,” is that we all get the child we deserve.”

Causal Rewrite-Dohertyk9

If we start with radically different premises of what the definition of rape is, then we end up with radically different data. Wikipedia itself admits, “Data on the prevalence of rape vary greatly depending on what definition of rape is used.” This is why the number of reported rape cases varies so greatly between the different sources.

The Department of Justice reports the FBI’s definition of rape as,

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states, “Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent.” It explains a number of situations that are considered to be sexual violence:

Completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted forced acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Non-physically forced penetration which occurs after a person is pressured verbally or through intimidation or misuse of authority to consent or acquiesce, Unwanted sexual contact, Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape as,

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

As a result of the disparate definitions, the data are dissimilar. In the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence,” while the FBI accounted for only 85,593 incidents of “rape.” If the two had used the same terminology, or if the words, “sexual violence,” and “rape,” shared the same definition, they may have attained very similar numbers. However, despite such an enormous difference in number between the two agencies, it can’t be said that either count is wrong.

Until a definition of rape is standardized and universalized, this trend will continue, and none of the statistics across the board will agree with each other. As it stands, few conclusions can be drawn from data, unless we choose to use only one source, with one definition, for our conclusions. Unless we achieve the universal definition, we will never come close to knowing just how many cases of rape truly exist in any given year. However, it is unlikely that such a definition of rape would ever come about, because of the differences in all of the institutions that define rape. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients. Each agency has entirely different interests in its definition for rape, and a universal definition may not best serve the needs of each agency. Take, for example, if the FBI’s definition of “penetration, no matter how slight,” was used for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person seeking mental health services for “attempted forced penetration,” which would be included in the CDC’s definition, is excluded from the FBI’s definition. The FBI’s definition would therefore be ineffective for the CDC to accommodate all of its patients.

The unreported nature of rape furthers the preexisting disparity in statistics. Some victims are more likely to report the crime than others. This is clear in an article that cites the Department of Justice’s statistics- “New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized,” by the Federalist Staff, compares the numbers from DOJ statistics and attempts to prove that non-students are more likely to be raped than students. It states,

The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.

However, within the article itself, it admits that, “Unfortunately, according to data from the BJS study, a huge percentage of sexual assaults — upwards of 80 percent for female college students — go unreported, and students who are victimized are far less likely to report the crime than are non-student victims.” It even goes so far as to list that 80% of students do not report rape, compared to 67% of non-students that do not report rape. If students are so much less likely than non-students to report rape, than how can it possibly be determined that non-students are more frequently victims of the crime? The data can be trusted to prove neither that students are more often victims of rape nor that non-students are. In addition, the accuracy of the percentages must be called into question as well; the rapes that are not reported can only be counted through surveys, which may include a greater number of circumstances than police reports. This contributes to increasingly skewed data.

The article, “This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong.” by Amanda Marcotte seeks to point out the shortcomings of an infograph displaying rape data. Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post published the infographic, created by the Enliven Project, that Marcotte’s article analyzes:

The article notes, “The graphic assumes one-rape-per-rapist,” “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” and “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” The impact of unintentionally misinterpreting the data is that it may be further misinterpreted; as the article points out,

Nearly one in five women have been raped, according to the latest substantive government numbers, and infographics like this might make people conclude therefore that one in five men is a rapist. In reality, a much smaller (though still troubling) number—an estimated 6 percent of men—are rapists. Your average rapist stacks up six victims. That’s hard to capture in an infographic, but could be clearer by just labeling the little dudes ‘rapes’ instead of ‘rapists.’

The second stated error with this particular graphic, that “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” explains that, “It’s hard to measure how many rapes go unreported, because, duh, unreported.” The article suggests that we use “government numbers” to make the number of unreported rapes more accurate; the only problem with this suggestion is that even the government numbers cannot be trusted because they immensely disagree with each other. Finally, the article mentions, “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” It explains that combining data and assuming that it can be summarized accurately is another way to horribly misinterpret data; the article states,

The problem is that the Enliven Project conflates ‘false reports,’ which only require the claim that a crime has happened, with ‘false accusations,’ which require fingering a supposed perpetrator.

These seemingly minor misrepresentations can result in incredibly inaccurate data; if the original numbers cannot even be trusted, the conclusions drawn from a combination of those numbers, which are not counting the same definition to begin with, are even more inaccurate.

Not only are definitions of rape significantly different from each other, so as to produce different statistics, but also, the data can only measure rapes that are reported; they can say nothing about the rapes that aren’t reported. Even with the standardized and universalized definition of rape previously mentioned, we would still be unable to achieve completely accurate statistics. To do so, we would need to ensure that every case of rape is reported, and the data would start there, not accounting for previous years where this was not the case. If this was somehow possible, the data could then be trusted.

 

References

An Updated Definition of Rape. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.justice.gov/archives/opa/blog/updated-definition-rape

Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) – Rape and Sexual Assault. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=317

Definitions|Sexual Violence|Violence Prevention|Injury Center|CDC. (2017, March 22). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/definitions.html

Marcotte, A. (2013, January 8). This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/01/08/the_enliven_project_s_false_rape_accusations_infographic_great_intentions.html

Matthews, D. (2013, January 7). The saddest graph you’ll see today. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/01/07/the-saddest-graph-youll-see-today/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.88a8618f65b1

New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: Students Are Less Likely To Be Raped. (2014, December 11). Retrieved from http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/11/new-doj-data-on-sexual-assaults-college-students-are-actually-less-likely-to-be-victimized/

Rape statistics. (2018, April 3). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#United_States

The Enliven Project – Sarah Beaulieu. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sarahbeaulieu.me/the-enliven-project