MRAs Still Wrong on Prison Rape

(See the comments. The math portion of this math problem is correct. The “reading the word problem” part is incorrect.)

In December, I examined the claim that, if we include prison rape, the incidence of rape is higher in men than in women. The standard usage of this claim is to tell feminists to shut up when they’re talking about rape or to claim that feminist lie with statistics.

Recently, the old post has been getting new attention. As far as I can tell, what set this off was Christopher Glazek’s n+1 article on incarceration that included this statement:

In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.

So, according to the comments received since then, I’m just one more feminist lying with statistics, especially since someone, somewhere also looked at the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) and discovered that there are a lot of men who answered that their experiences match the definition of rape, as long as you don’t require rape to be defined as being penetrated. (For the record, this is a change I’ve been advocating for.)

This assertion that I’m lying with statistics runs into two problems, however. The first problem is that my post went up on December 1, 2o11. The NISVS survey was released two weeks later. The Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers that Glazek referenced in his article were, as far as I can tell, not officially published anywhere except the Federal Register (pdf). They are not reflected in the official National Inmate Survey (NIS) or National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC) reports.

This is probably due to the fact that the numbers in the Federal Register include an adjustment to reflect the fact that the prison population is a rotating population, increasing the number of exposures in a year in a way that the mandated procedures for the official reports doesn’t accommodate. That makes the higher numbers likely to be better estimates, but they’re still not easily available to anyone looking at the official sources.

The other problem with these numbers is that Glazek made his statement without doing the math or making sure the methodologies were similar. The 216,000 incarceration sexual assaults are indeed more than the 203,000 rapes and sexual assaults reported under the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) for 2008 (pdf). However, only 151,000 of the incarceration sexual assaults match NCVS sexual assault definitions. The remainder are “willing sex” with staff. They shouldn’t happen, any more than teachers should have “willing sex” with students, but the NCVS doesn’t survey the general population to determine the frequency of these events, so we can’t use them for comparison. [ETA: Since I ran these numbers in comment #39, here is a graph for this as well, using the NCVS basis.]

Rape Reanalysis--NCVS

Fortunately, however, the NISVS data does allow us to make this comparison, as it includes sexual contact with those in authority. That means that I can do the re-analysis that my commenters have (ever so politely and without suggesting that I was doing anything dishonest in the first analysis–or not) asked for.

Once again, in this analysis, sexual assaults in incarcerated populations are attributed to men and women by the relative population sizes. This isn’t accurate, as the NIS reports show women experience more assault per capita while incarcerated. However, the percentages of men and women assaulted are not broken down in the same way the data is cut for the adjusted BJS figures, and I’d prefer to not even potentially be unfair to the men in any of these figures.

This also likely undercounts sexual assault in incarcerated women in another way. Women tend to serve shorter sentences, which means that more of them rotate through jails and prisons in a year. The way the adjustments that produced the figure of 216,000 were done, shorter sentences led to larger increases in full-year rates. No attempt has been made here to apply that kind of adjustment.

Additionally, the NISVS data includes 519,000 attempted forcible rapes/penetration as a separate item for women but not for men. I haven’t used those here. That means the men’s stats all the way through include attempted forcible rape where the women’s stats do not. The questions used don’t specify any physical contact, so these numbers are not included in sexual assault totals for women either. [Edited for clarity.]

Given all that, this is what the totals look like.

Rape Re-Analysis

So the factoid is still wrong. Aside from that, rape in prison situations is still a problem. Rape outside of prison situations is still a problem. Rape anywhere that inequalities are created will continue to be a problem, and the sources of those inequalities need to be addressed if we want to decrease rape. We should still be talking about all of it, and a look at those of us who talk about social justice issues will generally find that we do.

MRAs Still Wrong on Prison Rape

68 thoughts on “MRAs Still Wrong on Prison Rape

  1. 1

    Reading through this there was only one thing on my mind …. and you summed it up better I probably would have in your closing paragraph. So I’ll just add on a damn straight!

    How about you MRA people just stop this kind of apples and oranges contests and join the feminists and their allies (who I try to be a part of). We’d get a lot farther along and all be in a better place if you’d stop demonizing feminists and tried to actually work with them on some of these issues you claim to want to fix.

  2. F

    I’m sick of the perpetual “I’ve got it worse than you” one-upsmanship from privileged classes, who then proceed to tell the most heavily victimized classes to shut up and call them liars or worse.

    As long as MRAs treat feminists like the enemy, they aren’t going to get anywhere. Wrong target, idiots. Just keep shooting yourselves in the foot while the men and the system who victimize you stab you in the back. I’m sorry for the bad things that happen to you and yours, but you remain your own enemy, and kick the legs out from under those who are really trying to change things for the better. And that’s just the MRAs who have a cause other than whining about they way they can’t get away with the same old sexist crap. So you may want to consider distancing yourselves from those folks, who have poisoned your MRA label if it was ever a valid one in the first place.

  3. 4

    All it does is reinforce the point that rape culture is driven solely by male sexual violence. How is this a point against feminism, how does this help MRAs achieve the the goal of making women seem as sexually violent as men? TOTAL FAIL

  4. 5

    What Ben said.

    Even assuming that what they say is correct and prison rape is such a huge problem that it makes male on female rape look like a molehill, it doesn’t change the fact that rapists are overwhelmingly men.

    Of course, acknowledging the rapist as the person with the power goes against everything they want to do.

  5. 6

    Huh. The MRA makes a big deal about this? Then you’d think they would be spending less time in blog comment sections complaining about the “language police” and more time working for substantial prison reform.

  6. 7

    Chiroptera @6: Not to mention the fact that they’re complaining that people concerned with how language affects others are “wasting their time”. Making them doubly hypocritical.

  7. 8

    F @3:

    As long as MRAs treat feminists like the enemy, they aren’t going to get anywhere. Wrong target, idiots.

    Much agreement. However, I’d like to point out that myself, Stephanie, and numerous others actually advocate for better definitions for rape to include more male rape, and advocate against the gender roles that screw over so many men and women alike. Never mind folks like DuWayne Brayton, a single father who’s getting screwed over so many ways by the disadvantages of being a man. We are real men’s rights activists, only minus the anti-feminist dogmas.

  8. 9

    There’s another thing to this:
    Prison rape seems to be decidedly a third-world and USA problem. All other rape is one that happens world-wide.
    I’ve tried to look for data on prison rape in the UK and Germany and I didn’t find any.
    I don’t dare to hope that it never happens, but it seems to be a much smaller problem than in the USA.
    It’s a sign of the fucked-up US prison mentality: Stigmatize offenders, put them in prison and then deny them basic human rights and dignity.
    If large parts of the population believe that it’s “just desserts”*, then the systematic violation of human rights is tolerated and ignored. Because they don’t matter much, it’s almost as if they were women (that was a sarcastic remark, in case somebody failed to notice).
    Seems like the best prevention of prison rape is to put fewer people in jail, treat prisoners with dignity and to grant them access to the judicial system in case their rights are violated.

    *I’m wondering, in a system that incarcernates violent gang-members and harmless shop-lifters alike, who do those people think is going to be the victim and who the rapist?

  9. F

    Jason Thibeault #8

    Yes, I’m just going with the overwhelming connotations of MRA here (as opposed to men’s rights activists – a distinction with a difference in all dialogue I’ve seen). I’m not arguing against the idea that men suffer due to bad definitions or inequalities, or that people taking any sort of action against prison rape, directly or indirectly, don’t have a point. Because they do. PHMT.

  10. 11

    @ Giliell

    As horrible as this sounds it might just be that the US is ahead of the curve on actually recording such events and statistics.

    Correctional Services Canada and Statistics Canada for example apparently don’t collect statistics on it. Course even if they did prison rape would be the wrong term to search for cause rape isn’t the name of the crime here its sexual assault (for better and worse).

    For example

    There’s a story from france. Which I found using bable fish and . I’m curious if you searched in germain on germain sites when looking as I’d wager that might cut through some of your hurdles and find some results. Most search engines are tailored these days for better or for worse…

    So I wouldn’t necessarily say its solely a US thing.

  11. 12

    This is really an MRA argument? That because men get raped, too, somehow women don’t have the right to complain about rape?

    Seriously? Do they listen to themselves?

    Again, it’s not about the sex — it’s about the power.

    I’d be interested in seeing statistics on the sex of the perpetrator of the sexual assault. I’d bet a nickle the red bar would disappear.

    What would be the over-under on that bet? 1%? Would the statisticians even bother to create a check box?

  12. 13

    Kevin, women don’t disappear if you look at perpetrators. They’re not very well represented in rapes using physical force, but they’re decidedly present in those using coercion and intoxication, as well as among assaults involving unwanted touching.

  13. 14

    @Giliell, Michael D
    It’s my understanding that prison rapes and sexual assaults are virtually unheard of in the Japanese prison system, but I know that it is a problem in the U.K. I don’t know about anywhere else outside the U.S. though.

  14. 15

    Indeed and I’m not saying its a problem everywhere I’m just pointing out it might not be as absent as he supposes. I’m certainly not an expert on it. I’m just a guy that did a google search or two.

  15. 16


    Indeed and I’m not saying its a problem everywhere I’m just pointing out it might not be as absent as he supposes. I’m certainly not an expert on it. I’m just a guy that did a google search or two.

    First, I’m not a guy.
    She doesn’t suppose that it is absent. She supposes that it is a much smaller problem in other western countries. The fact that most other countries aren’t so eager to lock their citizens away might have something to do with it.

  16. 17

    The upsurge of activity on the original post may be due to the fact that I posted it to reddit, after the popular group of super-misogynists at /r/mensrights piped up one day with exactly the claim you debunked (that prison rape puts the number of male victims over the number of female victims).

    And now I gotta post this one, too.

  17. 18

    Aerik, there was definitely some Reddit traffic, and thank you for that. It got a second bounce after an MRA or two eventually noticed Glazek’s article. (For people who are so interested in prisons, it takes them a while to notice when they’re mentioned in the news.) Of course, that may have been people who came back once they had something they thought could refute your link.

  18. 20


    it’s not unheard of. There was one case in 2004 in Toyohashi Prison in Nagoya. I think, it was statutory rape as any sexual contact between a guard and an inmate is illegal.

    The Japanese Bar Association protested (In Japanese)

    The govt claims that it took steps to ensure that male guards never are alone with female inmates (which was the law before the incident)

    But there’s not much else that turns up, but don’t forget that conditions in Japanese jails in general are appalling and often protested by human right organisations.

    As far as Germany goes, “Vergewaltigung im Gefängnis” leads to plenty of individual accounts posted online, but there are no statistics, so I wouldn’t be able to say how common it is. There was a high-profile case in Siegburg in 2006.,2144,2808147,00.html

  19. 21

    (Japanese news sites seem to delete their articles accessible after a while, apparently, so the details are hard to piece together. I also came across the very famous case of Kazuko Fukuda, which happened in 1966, when she was 18 years old and in prison for robbery, she was raped by a Yakuza boss who had been let in by the guards. At the time, she wasn’t allowed to file a report, and the statute of limitations ran out. Later, in 1982, she committed a murder and was on the lam until 1997, sentenced to life after she was caught and died in prison in 2005. This was even made into a movie)

  20. 22

    Well, the biggest lapses that strike me are: The male population in US prisons is not anywhere close to matching the numbers of women and girls in the US in general, and simple numbers—-and any sort of knowledge of sexism—would tell one that a large pool of potential victims means the odds are against the basic argument.

    Secondly, the rapes counted by the FBI are reported rapes only. Everyone knows how low that is.

    Something else just occurred to me: If you read about prison rapists they tend to view rape as an act that is defined in terms of active and passive, and the passive partner is the receptible, the man-turned-gay or into a prison bitch, which is sometimes what the victim is called. The rapist does not view himself as gay, because by forcing and penetrating or otherwise abusing another man, he has the power to change the victim’s identity. Sex is a matter of doer and done to. It is not a mutual act. It is conquest.

    These guys, in short, share a lot in common with MRAs, if they don’t actually identify outright as MRAs.

  21. Sig


    “This is really an MRA argument? That because men get raped, too, somehow women don’t have the right to complain about rape?”

    That’s just a false assertion that Stephanie made. Feminists use false assertions relating to rape and violent intent againt women as a political tool as routine.

    Stephanie as Im not allowed to comment here… Im going to be making multiple posts about the false assertions you have made relating to rape about myself and everyone else in the mens movement.

  22. 24

    I realize I am in hostile territory, but:

    First off, as to ginmar’s comment, comparing prison rapists to MRAs is like comparing feminists to wife beaters. The comment is just incomprehensibly insensitive.

    Secondly, in the article I wrote which linked back to the first one you wrote, I argued that sexual assault and rape was something both sides could actually find common ground on. We should stop victim sizing, arguing over who has it worse. In 1975, the DC Rape Crisis Centre did a lot to help the inmates at Lorton Prison. Today, I am working with another Rape Crisis Centre in an attempt to get trained rape councillors inside prisons, both men’s and women’s facilities.

    As to the basic premise of the article, which I think Kevin said “This is really an MRA argument? That because men get raped, too, somehow women don’t have the right to complain about rape?”

    No, this is not an MRA argument, in fact what most MRAs ask is that victims of prison rape don’t go forgotten in the social conversation concerning rape and sexual assault. (Yes, there is the issue of false accusations and the current campaign ‘men can stop rape’, but this is a different issue) But that is exactly what has happened, in fact it is still socially acceptable to joke about prison rape. I think that some of Stephanie’s tone is sensitive to this issue, and moreover I think to advocate for the end of prison rape would have positive impact on changing the tone regarding rape outside.

    If you watch the 1975 documentary rape culture, you’ll find the prisoners who experienced rape inside had a profound new empathy for women who were raped outside.

  23. 25

    Actually, yes, Kyle, it is an MRA argument. If you don’t use it, good for you, but denying it happens doesn’t help anyone.

    The argument goes like this:

    A: Why would you [e.g.] talk about Schroediner’s Rapist when you suggest men get to know a woman before propositioning her? That’s so sexist. Women shouldn’t assume all men are like that.

    B: Women don’t assume all men are like that, only that the men who are like that don’t helpfully wear signs to set them apart. Also, with a 1 in 5 lifetime incidence of rape in women and very little social or legal support post-victimization, a woman who is nervous is being quite rational indeed.

    A: 1 in 5? Please. Those statistics are completely made up. Plus, women lie. And besides: Prison rape is a huge deal! Why aren’t you talking about that?!? Talk about a real problem.

    The answer to that, of course, is that I do. I write about the manufacture of criminality and how that is used to justify inequalities. I draw attention to our inprisonment culture. I talk about the evils of unjustified authority–particularly with regard to rape. I encourage people not to vote for “tough on crime” candidates.

    I write about rape. I write about the fact that nothing justifies rape. I talk about the fact that rape becomes more common and more likely the more inequalities are present. I tell people that, no, rape jokes aren’t funny, not even when you’re joking about retaliation. I tell people that sex is not a right that trumps anyone else’s rights. I point out that consent is both important and very hard to meaningfully give when people don’t have autonomy.

    And given how much I talk about rape (see the category on this site), sometimes I’m going to be talking about things that are not prison rape, although they do, as you and I both point out, have some similarities. I have no intention of dealing kindly with the people who try to stop me from doing so.

  24. 26

    Sig, it’s nice to see that your response to the problem of prison rape is posts on Reddit saying I’m not an “athiest” [sic] because I’m a feminist. Very helpful.

  25. 27

    Kyle, if you don’t like the argument, you’re in the wrong movement. Just deal with it. MRAs routinely say that rape is made up and that women actually abuse men worse than men abuse women. If you’re going to belong to such a loathsome movement, don’t whine when you get called on it. It comes with a territory.

  26. Sig

    The posts on reddit were about you making false and irrational accusations relating to rape against a large group of people.

    Also, prison rape can happen on a victim on a daily basis so you are comparing two different types of figures. That 216,000 figure could easily translate into millions of rapes, and most likely does. Which I suspect is the rationale behind the Human Rights Watch claim.

  27. Cel

    Some problems with your arguments.

    “A: Why would you [e.g.] talk about Schroediner’s Rapist when you suggest men get to know a woman before propositioning her? That’s so sexist. Women shouldn’t assume all men are like that.

    B: Women don’t assume all men are like that, only that the men who are like that don’t helpfully wear signs to set them apart.”

    Not all women, only some, operate under Schrodinger’s Rapist—which is undeniably sexist despite your opinion. Second, the qualifier in the second part of your sentence basically sums up to “Women don’t assume all men are like that, but actually they do.”

    Please don’t use double-speak and dishonest arguments.

    “A:….Also, with a 1 in 5 lifetime incidence of rape in women and very little social or legal support post-victimization, a woman who is nervous is being quite rational indeed.

    B: 1 in 5? Please. Those statistics are completely made up. Plus, women lie. And besides: Prison rape is a huge deal! Why aren’t you talking about that?!? Talk about a real problem.”

    1 in 5 is in fact basically made up from the Koss study, includes both attempted and completed rape, includes “having sex while intoxicated that you later regretted”, etc.

    It’s completely false to say that women receive little social or legal support after being assaulted (sexually or otherwise). I would ask why you feel the need to make so many lies, but I imagine it’s because if you don’t, you have no argument.

    Sorry, but simply presenting facts in a sarcastic manner does not make them false.

    But more importantly – I haven’t seen MRAs bring up prison rape in response to Schrodinger’s Rapist or to “1 in 5.” And you will be unable to provide any evidence of that.

    What I have seen is MRAs bringing up prison rape in response to “Women are overwhelmingly the victims of rape.”

    That’s a valid response, since it is a relevant fact that disproves the statement.

    In reality though, you don’t need to use prison rape to disprove the statement “Women are the vast majority of rape victims” or even the statement “Men are the vast majority of rapists.”

    In reality, men are much closer to being 50% of rape victims than 10%, and women are much closer to being 50% of rapists than 5%. Excluding prison rape.

    On page 18 Table 2.1, 1.1% of women were raped within the last 12 months (and the CDC counts attempted penetration as a woman being raped, which is false).

    On page 19, Table 2.2 1.1% of men within the last 12 months were made to penetrate a woman against their will (which they lied and did not classify as rape even though it is).

    Of those men, about 80% were raped by women only.

  28. 31

    Congratulations on both claiming the 1-in-5 stat is a lie and citing the NISVS survey that finds the same results in order to demonstrate your rate of female rapists (which I already stipulated in these comments). Please pick one.

  29. 32

    I know that there are a lot of idiots in the men’s rights movement, but that is no reason to brush aside their legitimate grievances.

    False Rape accusations are a huge problem, and to bring attention to the issue is not the same as saying that women never get raped or that rape isn’t a real and genuine issue faced by both sexes.

    I have known two people very close to me whose lives were ruined by false rape accusations levied against them. How is it sexist or misogynistic in the least to want it to become more difficult to make false claims with complete anonymity and no negative consequence? All I ask is that the accused’d identities be as protected as the victim’s until such time as they are found guilty. An accusation of rape can completely ruin a person’s life regardless of their guilt. No innocent man should have to be unjustly labelled a rapist. I don’t see how that is an extreme position in the least, unless of course you believe that all men are rapists..

  30. Cel

    Sorry, you actually haven’t addressed what I said.

    Yes, the 1 in 5 stat is a lie.

    From the report:

    “Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration.”

    As stated, attempted penetration is not rape, any more than attempted murder is murder. And sex while drunk or high is not rape.

    But that doesn’t address my points, I’ll repeat:

    1. It’s false for you to claim that MRAs bring up prison rape in response to “Schrodinger’s Rapist” or “1 in 5”, and you will be unable to provide evidence of your claim.

    2. It’s false for you, or anyone else, to state “Most rape victims are women, most rapists are men.”

  31. 35

    I don’t even know where to begin with all the MRA crap all over.

    It’s completely false to say that women receive little social or legal support after being assaulted (sexually or otherwise). I would ask why you feel the need to make so many lies, but I imagine it’s because if you don’t, you have no argument.

    Where is this support they think they rake in after a rape—which apparently you believe doesn’t happen?

  32. Cel

    Well, I might point to the countless counselling services, women’s hospitals, hotlines, etc. that exist, most of which are exclusively (either explicitly, or de facto) for women.

    I could point the special laws that protect women and not men (VAWA, ex parte “no proof” restraining orders that evict men from their own homes).

    I could point out that in some countries, such as England and India, women get money for making a rape claim even if it’s later disproved. (England = 11 thousand pounds).

    Maybe that’s nothing to you, I don’t know.

  33. 37

    Yeah, that Shroedinger’s Rapist argument I used as an example never, ever happens.

    As for how we’re going to define rape, all I ask is that you be consistent across gender. You cited the NISVS statistics to say that a large number of women are rapists. You don’t get to cite that statistic based on what men said happened to them, then decide those definitions don’t work when it’s something that happened to women.

    Also, you’re gone until you understand what “most” and “false” mean.

  34. Sig

    From r/mensrights

    “She claims that the rotating population inflates the numbers, but then later claims the rotating population hides the real rape rates for women.
    She pointed out women are raped 2-3 times per capita than men, but ignored that men outnumber women ~20 to 1, and are 4-5 times more likely to be raped in the first 24 hours.
    She points out that the two studies used different definitions of sexual assault. Well that’s primarily because it included definitions of sexual assault normally applied only to women and created an analogue to apply to men.
    She then disregarded “attempted forcible rape” because the description didn’t explicitly include contact. I might be crazy, but attempted forcible rape seems to imply that contact was required.
    THEN she appeared to just add the statistics from the two studies, as if it wasn’t possible there was overlap.
    In other words, she was either dishonest or incompetent in her analysis. I’m thinking a little of both.”


    “I read her original article and this newer one and I cannot even begin to explain to you how misleading her “analysis” is. First of all, if you notice she does not include ANY of her calculations. She vomits a bunch of words and then HERE YOU GO lays out a bar graph for which she has not provided a single calculation in terms of how she derived those numbers.
    Her chart has almost 4 million women being raped every year. The National Crime Victimization Survey has less than 200,000 women being raped every year. She’s over-stating the number of rapes as surveyed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics by 2000% percent. She claims that she’s getting this number from the NISVS, or the recent CDC report of sexual victimization. She doesn’t say whether she’s using the NISVS data for the most recent 12-month period or the lifetime data. Another glaring omission and error. My guess is she used whatever data showed the most female rapes.
    Notice how she craftily switches her comparison data from the NCVS survey to the CDC’s NISVS report. It’s two different reports with two different methodologies. In her original article, she stated that the BJS’s NCVS was the proper data source to use to compare the BJS’s prison survey data. Now she wants to use the NISVS data. Why? Because the NISVS data shows more rapes than the NCVS data does. The NCVS is a more comprehensive survey compiled by the Department of Justice, just like prison inmate surveys. The NISVS is a CDC report.
    If you want to do the calculations yourself, you can download and read the reports yourself. The prison rape data comes from the following reports: Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09, Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth, 2008–09, and the United States Department of Justice, Initial Regulatory Impact Analysis for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Proposed National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape Under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). The NISVS and NCVS data are available on the CDC and BJS websites.
    Do the calculations yourself and you’ll see that she’s full of shit.”

    Are you telling rape lies and using rape victims as a political football Stephanie?

  35. 39

    Okay, this one is being let through because the innumeracy and lack of reading comprehension demonstrated are just too funny.

    The 2008 NCVS report (since they’ve taken the final tables offline as far as I can tell) shows 164,240 female victims of rape and sexual assault and 39,590 males. Taking out the willing sex with prison employees as noted above, and proportioning the remainder of the assaults strictly by the number of men and women incarcerated in each type of facility (prison/jail/juvenile) in the 2008 surveys mentioned above, you get 7,195 forcible rapes of women (1,808/4,998/389) and 62,605 of men (24,392/34,202/4,011). You get 3,414 other rapes of women (1,270/1,887/257) and 32,686 of men (17,130/12,913/2,643). You get 4,510 other sexually abusive contact of women (1,311/2,933/266) and 40,490 of men (17,689/20,067/2,734). That means that when you include NCVS data and the expanded BJS incarceration data matching the NCVS definitions, you get 179,000 rapes and sexual assaults in women and 175,000 in men.

    You get the same answer.

  36. 41

    36, I find it extremely amusing that men whine about womens’ services for women, when it was women who set up those services, because men could not, and now MRAS are using them as another avenue to attack women.

    Do provide a cite for your claims about Britain. I won’t be holding my breath.

  37. 42

    It is hardly fair to compare a department of justice study based on self reporting to a CDC study based on anonymous survey. Both used very different methodologies and weighting in their estimations of rape. For instance the Department of Justice has estimated the number of rapes that occur outside of prison and place it lower than the number of rapes they estimate occur inside of prison. The article you have outrightly declared to be untrue compares those two figures based on research from the same body. Until the date that CDC perfom a study on prison rape using the same methodology as their study on intimate partner violence it is very inaccurate to point to one study as the absolute truth.

    Also the CDC study has been rebuke a number of times now for it’s inaccuracy and poor research methods, detractors range from SAVE to washingtonpost editorials.

    Also ‘Willing’ sex with staff isn’t rape in your book, even though it legally counts as rape? That grand then lets just erase anyone who is raped via a power differential since you don’t really think that it’s rape. Hell lets get one of the crazy MRAS in that only believe it’s rape if theres life threatening force used and we can greatly reduce the numbers of rapes across the board.

  38. 45

    Uh, dude, can you read? The comment I reply to says that women rake in the cash for making false accusations ‘even if it’s later disproved.’ And the site that you cite has as one of its headings ‘ending false accusations.’ Yeah. Bullshit. False accusations are rare. Any group that treats them like they’re major is not to be trusted.

  39. 46

    Ullere, maybe you missed that it was MRAs who wanted me to use the NISVS numbers? Just like you missed that your comment was posted two below mine that show the same results using the NCVS numbers? Just like you missed that I didn’t say that willing sex with an authority figure wasn’t rape but only that it wasn’t included in NCVS numbers? Feel free to find a reputable source that does report that statistic by gender outside of incarcerated populations if you’d like to see that comparison.

  40. 47

    a) it is shameful and offensive to compare victims of prison rape violence (and women victims of rape-rape) to non-forcible date rape victims. Prison rape is like Austrian Mr. Fritzl’s rape den, where victims are LOCKED up with their rapist for years and can easily be assaulted while asleep.

    It also seems that many prison rape victims get raped multiple times daily and rented out to various men on a weekly or daily basis.

    A total constant slavery. Also total and infinite brutality.

    Imagine you know you are with a rapist and are forced to SLEEP in the same cell. This is like putting a rat and a snake in the same cage.

    Are you aware that getting raped in prison was a serious fear for Mike Tyson? Raping Mike Tyson in the ass would be the ultimate trophy for any man. And 8 guys with shanks holding down mike while asleep is not just an impossible feat.

    I also dare say that there is huge under-reporting. So many men just accepted their fate and “voluntarily” serve their owners in jail, that they don’t even call it rape.

    b) add to this that prison rape is popularly an accepted part of punishment. This prompted me to publish a provocative Stop Prison Rape! Legalize Corporal Punishment (Whipping). It is more honest to dish out judicially determined whippings then to expect the prison thugs to do the punishing for you.

    c) the new rape definitions backfire agains women. In my own anecdotal surveys, most men I know have been “raped”. Lots of women will not take “no” as an answer from a bed-mate, if they are horny. “Honey, I am tired” or “honey, I already came, please stop now” are routinely ignored. Most men just find this funny and are unaware they are getting raped.

    According to feminist credo, one has to raise men’s awareness of the crime to stop the under-reporting.

  41. Sig

    We are having this conversation because we are talking about prison rape. You are talking about prison rape because you want a proxy to attempt to discredit mras, what are you doing to stop prison rape?

  42. Sig


    You are using prison rape as a proxy to attack mras. Aside from exploiting it and abusing data to minimize it, what are doing about prison rape?

  43. 54

    So you admit you’re a liar about rape. Wonderful.

    By the way the NVAWS (the predecessor of the NISVS) was saying much the same thing about men being raped as the NISVS and that survey is ten years old.

  44. 56


    I’m confused. Why are a bunch of guys trying to convince you how horrible prison rape is when I believe you mentioned in the OP that prison rape was, in fact, horrible and you are against it?

    Also, I always find it weird when people oppose activism for a single issue on the grounds that that kind of activism isn’t activism for something else, entirely.

    What’s up with that?

  45. 59

    El: where is Stephanie saying anything about how people should behave, aside from the parts where she says “rape is horrible”, implying people shouldn’t rape people?

    Why do MRAs need to make this a contest? Especially when, as Stephanie’s well and truly proven with the very numbers they cite, they’re totally and completely wrong about who’s “winning” that contest? Why can’t they just fight prison rape, instead of fighting feminists because they’re not fighting prison rape? Especially when these feminist targets ARE, in fact, fighting prison rape?


  46. 60

    Why are MRAs turning it into a contest? Because if they can claim that at the least women victimize men as much as men do women, then there’s no such thing as sexism against women, despite the overwhelming percentages of men in power. MRAs want more, though: they want to claim that women abuse men in far greater numbers than men do women, so they can claim to be victims.

    And Stephanie, just FYI, David Byron has been trolling feminist websites since the late nineties with his incredible hatred of women. He’s been banned everywhere, and rightfully so.

  47. 61

    He is here, too, after claiming that ignoring a woman saying “I don’t want that” is merely “rude.” That comment was such a ridiculous non sequitur, however, that I let it through.

  48. 62

    Oh, just wait. He’s notorious in feminist circles for the sheer bile of his hatred for women, though he claims he hates only feminists. It’s almost entertaining because it’s so surreal.

  49. 64

    I have no idea how I got linked here, but I’m glad I did. Thanks for your analysis, Stephanie. Thanks for the sheer hilarity of your comments, MRAs.

  50. 66

    I hope I do not get tossed into the flame war here, and I still hope somebody is reading this. I think Stephanie handled the graphs very well and was pretty fair in handling the data. Also the final paragraph is something worth repeating over and over.

    Anyhow, there is one thing in the data I need some help with. Namely the female forcible rape data from the NISVS used as the basis for the second graph. If I read the comments correctly you go by these numbers:

    “On the other hand, if you only want to look at forcible rape for whatever reason, that still doesn’t get you to more rapes in men. The NISVS data has 1,401,000 forcible rapes in women and 1,267,000 forcible rapes in men in the 12-month survey period.” (

    I totally get the 1,267,000 number. It says so in table 2.2, however the 1,401,000 got me puzzled. Shouldn’t it read 1,270,000 like in table 2.1? I am not sure where the additional 131,000 come from. It seems as if something was added to the forcible female number and I have no clue what. You do compare rape with made to penetrate right? What did I miss? ( )

    Thanks in advance.

Comments are closed.