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Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #1
Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

We are all familiar with a particular conservative argument in both India and the rest of the world (primarily from people in religious and highly patriarchal communities) that women who were raped must have been asking for it by wearing provocative clothing and behaving in an unbecoming manner. In some Islamic cultures, the women who are the victims of sexual assault receive punishment ranging from lashings to stoning and being buried alive, and the men are often absolved of their crimes based simply on their word that the woman whom they raped "temped" them by behaving inappropriately. The situation might not be so bad in most Hindu communities, but it does happen to a lesser extent, and the same mindset is present among the men. Sometimes in India the abused victim is forced to marry her rapist, thus dooming her to a life of torture, pain and humiliation (this happens in all cultural/religious groups in India).

The issue is connected to a general culture of oppression of women and is often used as a tool to keep them oppressed. It also takes place in the West where there is a far higher incidence of rape and abuse of women than would be apparent at first glance. Men in the West also make these disgusting justifications for rape.

Here is something someone said on a discussion on facebook today.

Quote:"Most sexual assaults are because people have put themselves in bad situations and then scream they were assaulted."

As we all know, the statistics on sexual assault are very clear that the vast majority of victims are women. The person who made the above statement is a man and an atheist who lives in California, one of the most progressive states in the United States.

Here are my thoughts on this phenomenon: These people who make these justifications are so barbaric and primitive in their thinking that they do not have the capacity to understand that feeling a sexual urge is not a license to assault another human being! To me, this seems like a pretty fundamental and given moral principle for any civilized human being (which reminds me, not one word about this is found in any of the great religious texts that are supposedly meant to teach us moral values). To these men, a woman is merely an object, so of course when they feel a sexual urge they do not see a person in front of them, just an object to be attained and used to satisfy their urges. This sort of objectification of women must then be justified through a systematic enculturation process involving religion and "tradition". Let us for a minute ignore the lunacy in the notion that all women who are raped must have been skimpily clothed (which could mean too much ankle in some cultures) and are trying to get any man to sleep with them. Let's suppose this is true, for argument's sake. How does this make it legitimate to rape these women? The only conclusion I can draw here is that these barbarians really do not even see women as people! What is more surprising is that such thinking seems to be fairly universal among men who are religious conservatives, and even among some who are not religious.

Please share your thoughts on this idea that women who are raped are somehow "asking for it" by being skimpily clothed and behaving in ways that arouse men. Also, how should this subject be addressed in society?

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 22-06-2010 12:39 PM by Ajita Kamal.)
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donatello Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

You've already nailed it when you say that these arguments come up in highly patriarchal societies, where women are seen as "lesser" and as objects rather real humans with feelings. I was myself appalled when I heard this argument from a woman once. Though in hindsight, it should not have been so surprising because that woman was a religious conservative. It is a cultural problem and exists because the moral standards of these societies are distorted and confused by religion (more likely), or are simply not evolved to the point where they really, and sincerely recognise gender equality and gender liberty.

The situation in Hindu communities, though not as outwardly violent as in Islamic cultures, is still extremely bad. The social stigma that rape victims and their families feel is enormous. People think it is somehow the woman's "fault" for getting raped.

It is quite easy to propose measures to address this that involve making stricter laws, better enforcement, etc. They are definitely needed, but IMO, the most effective way would be to change the prevailing cultural meme, and in effect, "upgrading" the moral standard. How do we do this? I don't know, but we could start with raising people's consciousness when they make this type of justification for rape and other violence against women. People who say such things in public should feel the pressure in the conversation from our indignation and anger.

Aditya Manthramurthy
Web Administrator & Associate Editor
Nirmukta.com
(This post was last modified: 22-06-2010 10:02 PM by donatello.)
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astrokid.nj Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

There are many places where the "asking for it" idea is proferred. for e.g
The below blog reports how even though a university study concluded that "Promiscuous men more likely to rape”, its misconstrued by the journalist into the "asking for it" argument.
http://www.badscience.net/2009/07/asking-for-it/

In fact, that idea is quite well driven into people's brains (cultural evolution, of course). See the below blog (esp the videos) on a related issue, domestic violence.
http://jadehawks.wordpress.com/2010/05/2...-violence/

I will well and truly go with the scientific findings of "Promiscuous men more likely to rape". But that study deals with western societies. For India, I think that our conservativeness has completely altered us, and the male-female interaction during adolescence and beyond is nowhere near healthy, and thus I dont know how to analyze it any further.

Much as I hate to discuss the following point alongside a rape thread, I would at the same time like to hear from women, as to why many of them like to dress skimpily (I am talking about NYC skimpiness, for e.g. Not the quite conservativeness I last saw in India 10 years ago). Is it the weather? (I dont think so.. men live in the same weather too). Is it peer pressure to look more attractive? After all, the primary purpose of clothing/shoes is protection from the elements (i.e weather).

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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asafir Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

In my mind, I try to reconcile this assertion, Ajita, with some facts I know about rapists.

A man who is likely to have sex with a woman against her will is an opportunist first, and second, may also be obsessive, that is, a kind of stalker. As such, he is as likely to rape an old woman or a child as he is a stereotypically "sexy" woman.

We may be able to remember (or find) examples where men have taken advantage of old women in hospital, children under their care (priests? gurus?), or someone who is mentally ill. Women are not the only victims of rape! A teenage boy raped by a "respected leader"? Weaker man in a prison raped by the resident tough?

I'd have to argue that it is "culture" which makes others abandon a victim of rape. Islam promotes the abandonment of these victims; Christianity may not "promote" it with revenge killing culture, but it certainly fetishizes victimhood.

It is not necessarily biology. Yes, there could be genetic predisposition and the tendencies of "kin-selection", and so on, but turning against a victim is, in my experience, a learned skill.
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Post: #5
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

Ajia,while sharing the abovementioned conversation on your thread,I could sense the obnoxiousness of that guy much earlier.But this was the limit.
Is male chauvinism (this one is much more disgusting than the term indicates),the unnecessary baggage we are carrying from our evolutionary past?This is no absolving the male psyche from the perverted thinking it is habituated to but what does Evolutionary Psychology have to say in this?
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Post: #6
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

Ajita, undoubtedly the point you make is correct. But may be, may be, I am not sure, we are misinterpreting the issue. Of course, the person you mention has no excuse to have made such a stupid remark. Of course, its terribly chauvinistic, tribal and a stone age mindset to treat women as meat for a man's sexual gratification. And this is where most of the arguments of "dressing modestly" arise in India. But, lets look at it from a more Indian perspective:

let me put forth a situation that probably happened not so long ago. Consider a not so well educated villager brought up with traditional beliefs and mindset of a domineering patriarch...Say a car driver who moves into a big city with all the "modern" culture and what he deems as promiscuous, indulging and tempting lifestyle. Suppose this guy is appointed as a night shift driver of call center in this big city. He looks at the young working women who dress very differently and *seem* (note the emphasis) to be more inviting and "open" to men. All this prompts him to take advantage of the last woman he is supposed to drop after the night shift.

Now of course, a rape is heinous no matter what the situation or the relativistic lens we use. However, suppose women are aware of these men, who in spite of all the safety measures can take that last ghastly step, would it be not more tactically astute move to dress modestly. Please note I am not reacting to the direct issue posed here, rather, my argument is: if you are in a society such as India, where safety of women is a systemic problem, this comment as a standalone, put in context, can be understood. If women *know* that there are safety issues (which cannot be helped beyond a point) that puts them at risk at work or elsewhere AND *if* dressing differently helps their cause, then why not? Psychopaths who can rape women, would rape them anyway but *may be* incidents of eve teasing, sexual abuse (not amounting to rape) may drop.

Murthy

"Credulity kills" -- Carl Sagan
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donatello Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

astrokid.nj Wrote:I will well and truly go with the scientific findings of "Promiscuous men more likely to rape". But that study deals with western societies. For India, I think that our conservativeness has completely altered us, and the male-female interaction during adolescence and beyond is nowhere near healthy, and thus I dont know how to analyze it any further.

This so called conservativeness has resulted in rather severe sexual repression in conservative areas in India. On the one hand, we have rather candid sexual expression in many Hindu temples, the Kamasutra, etc and on the other hand current society censures all sorts of real people expressing themselves - MF Hussain paintings, Salman Rushdie's books, RSS crony parties like the MNS, Ram Sene and the Shiv Sena doing horrible things on Valentine's day, and a lot more. Rape in our society could also be a product of a highly sexually repressed male, encountering a more liberal woman in the cities. We live in a messed up society (at least those of us who are soldiering on in India Laugh).

Quote:Much as I hate to discuss the following point alongside a rape thread, I would at the same time like to hear from women, as to why many of them like to dress skimpily (I am talking about NYC skimpiness, for e.g. Not the quite conservativeness I last saw in India 10 years ago). Is it the weather? (I dont think so.. men live in the same weather too). Is it peer pressure to look more attractive? After all, the primary purpose of clothing/shoes is protection from the elements (i.e weather).

What really are you trying to explore here? Dressing is a form of expression, and people should accept it as such. There may be various reasons, but so what?

murthymail Wrote:let me put forth a situation that probably happened not so long ago. Consider a not so well educated villager brought up with traditional beliefs and mindset of a domineering patriarch...Say a car driver who moves into a big city with all the "modern" culture and what he deems as promiscuous, indulging and tempting lifestyle. Suppose this guy is appointed as a night shift driver of call center in this big city. He looks at the young working women who dress very differently and *seem* (note the emphasis) to be more inviting and "open" to men. All this prompts him to take advantage of the last woman he is supposed to drop after the night shift.

They may be "inviting" or "open" to interacting more freely with men, but where does the motivation to abuse, and torture a woman come from? If it is the patriarchy, the freedom that women are exercising may be seen as a sort of grave impertinence, which when pushed leads to rape? It is disgusting and ought to change.

Quote:Now of course, a rape is heinous no matter what the situation or the relativistic lens we use. However, suppose women are aware of these men, who in spite of all the safety measures can take that last ghastly step, would it be not more tactically astute move to dress modestly. Please note I am not reacting to the direct issue posed here, rather, my argument is: if you are in a society such as India, where safety of women is a systemic problem, this comment as a standalone, put in context, can be understood. If women *know* that there are safety issues (which cannot be helped beyond a point) that puts them at risk at work or elsewhere AND *if* dressing differently helps their cause, then why not? Psychopaths who can rape women, would rape them anyway but *may be* incidents of eve teasing, sexual abuse (not amounting to rape) may drop.

Yes, but this is where this argument, and the freedom of expression cause (of women) lead to a sort of vicious circle. The louder the "indecent dressing" argument is, the more the suppression of freedom, and louder the freedom of expression exercised by women, the more the sexual assaults? The core problem is the repression in our society, and that needs to be addressed. Civil society ought not to blow the "indecent dressing" trumpet louder than the "stop the repression" and "respect women as humans" trumpets.

Aditya Manthramurthy
Web Administrator & Associate Editor
Nirmukta.com
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astrokid.nj Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

(24-06-2010 03:21 PM)donatello Wrote:  What really are you trying to explore here? Dressing is a form of expression, and people should accept it as such. There may be various reasons, but so what?

Freedom of expression is not without its consequences.
If you go to a job interview dressed in your shorts, and totally unkempt in general, good luck getting the job. The interviewer would like to know what exactly you are expressing. Likewise, I am curious to know what exactly skimply clad women are expressing, coz such an act definetely has an impact (No.. nobody is justifying rape or sexual assault. I am just saying there are other impacts).

In his TED talk: "Science Can Answer Moral Questions", Sam Harris has touched upon the 'great problem of women's bodies' http://www.samharris.org/ted_talk/. The in-your-face expression of women's bodies in the western culture isnt ideal either. So, understanding the reasons is important.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead
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Post: #9
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

Rapes (per capital) - most recent
Code:
Rank   Countries           Amount
# 1     South Africa       1.19538 per 1,000 people      
# 2         Seychelles         0.788294 per 1,000 people      
# 3         Australia            0.777999 per 1,000 people      
# 4         Montserrat         0.749384 per 1,000 people      
# 5         Canada              0.733089 per 1,000 people      
# 6         Jamaica              0.476608 per 1,000 people      
# 7         Zimbabwe          0.457775 per 1,000 people      
# 8         Dominica              0.34768 per 1,000 people      
# 9         United States      0.301318 per 1,000 people      
# 10    Iceland              0.246009 per 1,000 people      
# 56    India               0.0143187 per 1,000 people  
# 65    Saudi Arabia       0.00329321 per 1,000 people
Data available only for 65 countries


Rapes (most recent) by country
Code:
Rank    Countries         Amount
# 1         United States:     95,136      
# 2         South Africa:     52,425      
# 3         Canada:             24,350      
# 4         Australia:             15,630      
# 5         India:         15,468      
# 6         Mexico:             14,373      
# 7         United Kingdom: 13,395      
# 8         Germany:              8,615      
# 9         France:              8,458      
# 10    Russia:              6,978      

# 71   Saudi Arabia:      59  
Data available only for 84 countries


1. From the above tables, most rape cases (per capita and actual) are from liberal western countries. And again, not surprisingly, most conservative states are at the botton. So, it is only fair to infer that there is a correlation between rape and how women dress.

2. Most rapists do feel guilty for their act. That shows that their hormones were in control at the time of rape and in most cases the root cause is one of the following.
- Type 1 is influenced by deviant sexual arousal, which occurs when he has thoughts of violence against women. This type is likely to be extremely impulsive.
- Type 2 is motivated by cognitive distortions, or thinking errors; he mistakenly interprets events or information differently than other men would. He believes that some women enjoy being raped, or want to be raped. For this type, rape is part of a conquest, a way of demonstrating masculinity. Most date rapists are Type 2s.
- Type 3, says Hall, is motivated by anger or emotional discontrol. These men are so angry, especially at women, that the only way for them to deal with their anger is to act out sexually toward women. Not surprisingly, this type is the most violent and most dangerous.
- Type 4 is the repeat offender. He is most likely to have been physically or sexually abused as a child. He has difficulty establishing enduring relationships, and a history of chronic problems in schools or in his family. Type 4 men break a variety of rules, both sexual and nonsexual.


So, one has to understand that human body is one complex piece. We think we are in control of our mind and body but most times we are controlled by our hormones. Just because a man has a surge in hormones does not mean he has to view a woman like an object to quench his lust, with little regards to her feelings. But, it does not also mean that a woman has right to provoke the wild side of few men who can't control hormones. After all, you can't have fireplace in a wax house and expect it not to melt. :-)

Woman, of course, has right to dress the way she likes. But, unfortunately in the world we live in, she has to exerceise discretion.

Sources :
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_ra...per-capita
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap-crime-rapes
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/...nd-rapists
(This post was last modified: 25-06-2010 10:51 AM by uglyhunk.)
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

I want to respond to multiple points made here. I will break my thoughts into two posts because of time constraints, and I will try to catch up with the points omitted here at a later time. In this first post I want to address the points made by murthymail and astrokid.nj. It wil seem as though I am digressing throughout this post, but just humor me. These issues do not exist in vacuum and our entire way of thinking must often be examined to see things in the right light. I'm using this subject to think out loud while making my argument. Much of this is not essential here, but it is useful to be aware of in general

The Moral Premise
There are two qualitatively different levels of logic. One is concerned with the nature of objective reality and the other is concerned with inter-subjective ethics. The former is the realm of natural (or positive) science. However, when ethics is involved, the type of science is known as applied (or normative) science. Applied science has all the attributes of natural science, but includes a moral premise. This distinction is not intuitive. The failure to understand and apply it properly has, for example, been responsible for much confusion in economic theory.

Let me give you an example.

Studying religion as a natural phenomenon is a natural (or positive) science. It is classified as such. However, if you ask the question "should I study religion as a natural phenomenon?", you are in the territory of normative science. This is because you are giving science a direction, a fork in the road, by placing it under the purview of a moral premise. It has acquired an application-oriented quality, because of this moral premise.

Now, the reason I state all this is because when discussing whether women who get raped are "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts", we are only concerned with deciding the moral premise. That is all that is within the purview of that question. This moral premise can be justified in pragmatic terms taking into consideration facts about the natural world, making it an applied science, but the moral premise itself is an emotional premise.

(BTW, Sam Harris is right about a good many things, but he is wrong about this subject, because he ignores the category error. He has been called out by established academics on his re-hashing of early 20th century scientism. If he publishes his up-coming book in a peer reviewed article- which he is of course not doing- logicians, ethicists and scientists would rip it apart, although there is no-doubt a small minority that will agree with him. Most academics are actually really dismissive of him, because he has simply ignored all relevant the literature on the subject in making his argument. He uses a lot of spurious arguments in his reasoning. Harris' arguments on this subject are neither new nor correct. Many people have made the same category error before Harris, notably all religious people in history who justified morality in non-subjective terms (pretty much all of them, since god is an objective claim) as well as all those who subscribed to Social Darwinism and eugenics.)

Category errors are not limited to morality, but also apply in other qualitatively distinct areas of logic. To extend the category error to an area other than morality, imagine thinking that 'blue' is a property of the universe because all humans perceive that particular wavelength and attribute a word to it. It would be like thinking that if blue were not an objective property of the universe, the concept of color itself is meaningless. Obviously this is not true. We can have perfectly meaningful lives under the knowledge that blue is an inter-subjective experiential state. The knowledge obtained from science helps tell us what wavelength of light corresponds with blue, but it doesn't give us the experience of blue itself. That experience is completely subjective. An external observer, like an alien for example, might perceive and experience that same wavelength in the way we perceive and experience purple, or salty or hot. But I digress....

Murthy, you said:

Quote:"Of course, the person you mention has no excuse to have made such a stupid remark. Of course, its terribly chauvinistic, tribal and a stone age mindset to treat women as meat for a man's sexual gratification. And this is where most of the arguments of "dressing modestly" arise in India. But, lets look at it from a more Indian perspective: "

The first part of that paragraph you are talking about the moral premise. This is the actual question we were talking about, and we are in agreement about the moral premise. But in the last sentence, you are implying that the same subject is to be discussed in Indian terms in the next paragraph.

Quote:"let me put forth a situation that probably happened not so long ago. Consider a not so well educated villager brought up with traditional beliefs and mindset of a domineering patriarch...Say a car driver..............."

You are not discussing the moral premise anymore, although you implied that you were. This is bordering on making the category error. When people make this error, they smudge the difference between the moral premise and the application of that moral premise in the real world. The fact is, the moral premise itself cannot be affected by the fact that Indians are bigoted or that men are barbaric. In fact, it is the moral premise that is used to make that determination that men are barbaric, in this situation. Answering the question "Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?" is strictly an inter-subjective area.

There is a lot more I want to say on this, but let me get to one more exchange.

astrokid.nj said:
Quote:Much as I hate to discuss the following point alongside a rape thread, I would at the same time like to hear from women, as to why many of them like to dress skimpily (I am talking about NYC skimpiness, for e.g. Not the quite conservativeness I last saw in India 10 years ago). Is it the weather? (I dont think so.. men live in the same weather too). Is it peer pressure to look more attractive? After all, the primary purpose of clothing/shoes is protection from the elements (i.e weather).
To which donatello said:
Quote:What really are you trying to explore here? Dressing is a form of expression, and people should accept it as such. There may be various reasons, but so what?
To which astrokid.nj said:
Freedom of expression is not without its consequences.
Quote:If you go to a job interview dressed in your shorts, and totally unkempt in general, good luck getting the job. The interviewer would like to know what exactly you are expressing. Likewise, I am curious to know what exactly skimply clad women are expressing, coz such an act definetely has an impact (No.. nobody is justifying rape or sexual assault. I am just saying there are other impacts).

In his TED talk: "Science Can Answer Moral Questions", Sam Harris has touched upon the 'great problem of women's bodies' http://www.samharris.org/ted_talk/. The in-your-face expression of women's bodies in the western culture isnt ideal either. So, understanding the reasons is important.

This is a classic case of making the category error, not surprisingly since Harris is mentioned. The truth is science is extremely important in determining what the various factors are that we take into consideration when determining the moral premise- factors such as suffering, sentience, quality of life, length of life etc.). The science is also extremely relevant when an applied solution is needed to determine what is to be done. But the moral premise itself is determined by how we feel about women being raped, no matter what the reason that men ascribe to that rape. It is a purely emotional choice. You may rationalize it one way, just as a rapist may rationalize his own way, but that doesn't make the moral premise itself objectively true. It is always subjective, like 'blue', and must be decided upon based on inter-subjective agreement. In the case of rape, the moral premise that I propose for intersubjective agreement is that rape cannot be justified as good under any circumstances (except in complicated moral thought-experiments that philosophers use to confound themselves).

Although astrokid.nj accepts the moral premise, he declares that the way women dress may have many impacts and causes that are relevant. In truth, the way women dress is indeed relevant, but not to the moral premise itself!. It may be relevant (in theory, although I disagree in practice) as a practical issue that needs to be taken into consideration when solutions are sought. This distinction is important, because as far as the moral premise is concerned we should not be talking about the way women dress in the first place. None of that can justify rape, according to the moral premise that we have all accepted. We can only talk about the way women dress or the way men behave from a practical application-oriented perspective, given the moral premise that nothing can justify rape.

Donatello is, as I am, concerned with the moral premise alone. Murthy and astrokid.nj are asking other questions that seem to imply that the moral premise can be conditional. This is why it seems like there is some sort of justification going on. The problem here is that because of the complicated nature of the subject, we have little nuance in going about asking the right questions. It takes a lot of careful study of logic and scientific philosophy to see these distinctions. Both sides of this discussion are important, but the line must be clear. How women choose to dress may be something that can be discussed as a practical way for reducing the suffering of women, but no act of a woman can be relevant when deciding the moral premise on the subject of rape.

Lastly a brief note to vvjoshi: Evolutionary psychology is a very misused area of biology, and it has garnered a terrible reputation precisely because of misapplication in cases like these. I was not long ago a graduate student in Evolutionary Biology and have taken PhD level courses in Population Genetics, Evolutionary Ecology and so on, and I am well aware how EP should not be used. Still, you are right that EP has valuable information to provide us with a reason for why men behave the way they do. Again, in order to avoid making the category error, we must preface this section by saying that the moral premise remains, and the EP perspective is irrelevant as far as that is concerned. I had originally meant to discuss this subject with you here, but the conversation between donatello, murthymail and astrokid.nj drew me to make this post. I will try to get to your points when I have time.

Sorry for this overly long and often irrelevant post. As I said, there are many issues going on here and its hard to see them all clearly without knowing enough philosophy to make our questions meaningful.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 25-06-2010 01:26 PM by Ajita Kamal.)
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Ajita Kamal Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

(25-06-2010 10:48 AM)uglyhunk Wrote:  Rapes (per capital) - most recent
Code:
Rank   Countries           Amount
# 1     South Africa       1.19538 per 1,000 people      
# 2         Seychelles         0.788294 per 1,000 people      
# 3         Australia            0.777999 per 1,000 people      
# 4         Montserrat         0.749384 per 1,000 people      
# 5         Canada              0.733089 per 1,000 people      
# 6         Jamaica              0.476608 per 1,000 people      
# 7         Zimbabwe          0.457775 per 1,000 people      
# 8         Dominica              0.34768 per 1,000 people      
# 9         United States      0.301318 per 1,000 people      
# 10    Iceland              0.246009 per 1,000 people      
# 56    India               0.0143187 per 1,000 people  
# 65    Saudi Arabia       0.00329321 per 1,000 people
Data available only for 65 countries

[/code]

1. From the above tables, most rape cases (per capita and actual) are from liberal western countries. And again, not surprisingly, most conservative states are at the botton. So, it is only fair to infer that there is a correlation between rape and how women dress.

Disclaimer: I understand that we are not talking about the moral premise here. We are just analyzing facts.

Firstly, this data actually shows much less of a correlation between rape and how women dress than it does between rape and crime in general. South Africa is the murder capital of the world. The US has really high per-capita crime rates for the developed world. Zimbabwe, Dominica, Jamaica and Seychelles have really high crime rates as well. Saudi Arabia has really low crime rates (due to their extremely strict punishments) and actually on a per-capita basis, so does India (at least when it comes to violent crimes). Crime in general seems to be the real reason you see this correlation.

Secondly, there is a lot more nudity in Western Europe than there is in the US, Canada and Zimbabwe (I don't know about the rest). Also, Iceland has an average summer high temperature of 16 C and much lower in the winter. It makes no sense for it to be on the list. If nudity was a significantly important reason, the Western European countries such as Germany, France, Italy and Spain should be on that list, at least above the US and Canada. In fact, there is probably more year-round nudity in India than there is in most of the US. In much of the US and Canada, much of the year is too cold for much nudity. Another interesting fact that destroys the correlation is that there is 3 times less per-capita rape in sunny California where many of the famously nude American girls walk around all day, than there is in Pennsylvania which is frigid for half the year and much more conservative than California. I cherry picked this statistic, only to demonstrate that such misapplications of statistics is pretty easy. It is essentially a form of confirmation bias.

Thirdly, there are many other factors that are involved in these things. Young women in the West are out late at night in dingy bars or with their boyfriends. Simple logic- more women out, more chances for men to rape them. Most cases of rape in the West are by someone who knows the woman, often an angry boyfriend or even husband. Many of the cases of rape are fueled by alcohol (which would explain Saudi Arabia, wouldn't it?).

Finally, we must consider is this is just the number of reported cases. In a traditional conservative environment, there is tremendous pressure to not report a rape. Even many parents hush up the rape and marry off the girl to the nearest single boy. This is the real reason why there is less rape in Saudi Arabia as well. In a civilized democracy, having sex with someone under the age of consent is statuary rape. In Saudi Arabia it is a man's right. I bet you that only a small fraction of the rapees that take place in those parts of the world are actually reported, especially considering the serious punishment that the women face for adultery. They are held as the perpetrators.

But all this said, I am not rejecting the idea that there may be some significant effect that dress may have in increasing the incidence of rape. However, I believe that there are many other more important factors. Still, it remains irrelevant as far as the moral premise is concerned.

The change must be in the way we address the barbaric acts of the men (predominantly) who commit rape, not in the way we address the way the victims (most often women) behave. Let's look to the Europeans for inspiration when it comes to protecting women, not the Arabs.

"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
(This post was last modified: 25-06-2010 01:23 PM by Ajita Kamal.)
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Post: #12
RE: Are Women Who Get Raped "Asking For It By Dressing And Behaving Like Sluts"?

Ajita,

In my previous post, I should have mentioned "one of the inferences". It was a breif statistical analysis which was refined further in your reply.

(25-06-2010 12:50 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:  Let's look to the Europeans for inspiration when it comes to protecting women, not the Arabs.
Just to clarify, I never even implied Arabs as the bechmark.

In fact world is more beautiful with liberated women all around Happydance
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