Saturday, September 25, 2010

Traditional Gender Roles Foster Sexual Abuse

While writing yesterday afternoon's post, I came across a fascinating study about traditional gender roles/Judeo-Christian culture and sexual abuse. I didn't have time then to really read it, but now that I have, wow. (It's actually a summation of 100 different reports. Um, meta study?)

More than 100 reports in the scientific and professional literature, involving more than 35,000
subjects, indicate that rapists, child molesters, incestuous parents, and sexually motivated
murderers are typically very conservative in their sexual and social values and sometimes more
religious than average—suggesting that in many cases traditional sexual morality is a
contributing factor in sexual abuse rather than a deterrent.

Alford, Jane, C. James Kasper, and Roger C. Baumann. 1984. “Diagnostic Classification of
Sexual Child Offenders.” Corrective and Social Psychiatry and Journal of Behavior Technology
Methods and Therapy 30: 2–12.
This study of 50 incarcerated child sexual offenders found that, while growing up, 65% attended
church daily, 33% attended church weekly, and only 2% attended church rarely. The offenders
found no conflict between religious devotion and sex with children.

Apparently, somebody needs to stop preaching John 3:16 and start explaining that sex with kids is bad.

Alford, Jane, Mary Grey, and C. James Kasper. 1988. “Child Molesters: Areas for Further
Research.” Corrective and Social Psychiatry and Journal of Behavior Technology Methods and
Therapy 34: 1–5.
This study identified three factors of child sexual abuse as having their roots in the use or misuse
of Judeo/Christian tradition: (1) patriarchalism places the man as head of the family and the
owner of his wife and childred; (2) boundaries between various sexual activities become
confused because all sex is considered sinful; (3) sexual activity within families is hidden behind
a curtain of secrecy.

That's a good point. In traditional gender roles, women are not in charge of their own bodies, their husbands or fathers are. It's not hard to see how easily that can become license to anything you wish, especially if consensual sex is viewed as bad.

This study quantitatively synthesized the results of 72 studies of rape attitudes, which included a
total of 19,944 subjects. Factors that predicted rape acceptance included traditional gender role
beliefs, adversarial sexual beliefs, needs for power and dominance, and conservative political

Again, I'm not shocked.

Finkelhor, David. 1979. Sexually Victimized Children. New York: Free Press.
One of the findings in this study of 530 female and 266 male college students was that girls
whose mothers punished them for asking questions about sex or for exploring their own bodies
were 75 percent more vulnerable to sexual abuse than other girls in the study.

It is a common tactic among fundys to prevent, sometimes violently, children from masturbating. (Children masturbate. It's totally normal. The only thing you need to do about it explain that there is a time and a place.) And, in the larger culture, it's surprisingly common for women to have never gotten out a mirror and take a look at their own genitals, to have no idea what various structures are, and to consider the entire area gross.

Gebhard, Paul H., J. H. Gagnon, W. B. Pomeroy, and C. V. Christenson. 1965. Sex Offenders:
An Analysis of Types. New York: Harper & Row.
This study included 1,356 convicted male sex offenders, 888 non-sex-offender prisoners, and 477
controls. The incarcerated sex offenders, like prisoners in general, tended to be less religiously
devout than the control group. However, 40 percent of the incest offenders against adult
daughters were devout. Moral inhibitions, fear, and lack of opportunity had deterred many sex
offenders from engaging in premarital sex. Heterosexual offenders against children (noncoercive)
were generally moralistic and conservative, holding to the double standard and good
girl/bad girl concept. Most opposed premarital sex. Incest offenders against adult daughters were conservative, moralistic, sexually restrained, religiously devout, and traditional. Heterosexual aggressors against children (who used force or threats) had a Victorian attitude: their sexual activity with their wives was constrained, with minimal foreplay; they often used prostitutes; they held to the double standard and the good girl/bad girl concept. Some rapists used the good girl/bad girl concept to their advantage: any girl who can be picked up easily can legitimately be forced to have sex. Repeat offenders had more prepubertal sex play than incidental offenders. But after puberty, repeat offenders had more inhibitions and worries about sex: they worried more about masturbation and had less premarital sex because of moral considerations and fear of disclosure. Perhaps because of this restraint, they developed more responsiveness to the sight and thought of females and became preoccupied with unconventional sexual activities.

I think we need more of this Liberal Agenda everyone keeps bleating about. The next time someone starts talking about traditional marriage and how it "protects women", you might want to point out that it does not.


  1. Every time I see stuff like this it just spins my head around. How someone could think themselves conservative, moral and upright and commit incest, rape or any form of sexual abuse is just simply beyond me. And the implied logic of these people, that a girl or woman who is easily 'picked up' just deserves whatever "he" wants to hand out, is so morally repugnant that it really beggars description.

  2. The part that I would like to read more about is the statistic that 75% of women in conservative households are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse than their counterparts.

    I was date raped by my uber-christian boyfriend when I was 20 years old. He was my first boyfriend ever and took horrible advantage of that fact. I know now that I would never have been in that situation if I had been taught that women are NOT subject to men and that it is ok to say no. Being taught that I must obey authority (male) without question, directly contributed to the situation. Even worse, sex of any kind was so stigmatized in my childhood/teen years that I didn't tell anyone for years because I felt so guilty and KNEW that it was my fault and I was a dirty guilty person for having sex.

    I know a few other women who have gone through similar experiences that should. not. have. happened. Yet they do because of the teachings that women are subject to men, that unthinking and unquestioning obedience to authority is a virtue, and that ANY type of sex (even unconsenting)is dirty and a sin.

  3. you will not have a PUBLIC FORUM

    NEW GAME WITH YOU LITTLE F*CKERS - SPEAK N DIE. Come see the latest DM videos for your viewing pleasure!


    And the Pope is 100% correct: The Nazis and the atheists both wish to ABOLISH FAITH....


    hawking is WRONG

    science cannot explain NOTHING!



  4. Wow! Men who are raised to think that women do not own their own bodies and that women are responsible their own lust are more likely to rape!Shocker!

    I must admit this does not surprise me I have known a disturbing amount of women who have meet their own rapists in church and feel that they can not report it. Due to the fact that no one would believe a 'godly' boy would do that.

    So yeah it's more common than you think

  5. Fundamentalists and social conservatives are evil. As others have made clear, when one is isolated, kept ignorant, and not informed of thier rights others will take advantage of them.

  6. I'm not surprised. Equality of the sexes is a fairly modern idea, as far as I know. It's not a big step from regarding women as property or not having souls at all, to regarding rape as a misdemeanor at worst.

    To me, it's a no-brainer: completely aside from all humanitarian concerns, society can only function in the long run if there is equality and respect. Yes, people want sex, and males are typically stronger than females and often have the power to rape them. But if they want to participate in society, that is, if they don't want to spend their life in jail, then they have to learn to respect others. It's pretty simple, and it should work.

    cheers from rainy Vienna, zilch

  7. I was abused by an atheist relative, but he used my own family's uber-fundamentalism as a way to make me think that I would only get in trouble if I told on him. He was right as well, in that years later when I did relate what happened, I was called a liar, or a slut who was obviously sending out the wrong signals at the time. This was after he'd been done for other child sex offenses as well. Was called a slut all my life anyway by my father, since (my unusually early) puberty, if I wore anything other than really baggy, long clothes. He's probably a sex case as well, just in a different way. *annoyed sigh*

  8. add comment moderation to your BS

    you will not have a PUBLIC FORUM

    NEW GAME WITH YOU LITTLE F*CKERS - SPEAK N DIE. Come see the latest DM videos for your viewing pleasure!


    And the Pope is 100% correct: The Nazis and the atheists both wish to ABOLISH FAITH....


    hawking is WRONG

    science cannot explain NOTHING!



  9. My sympathies Marzie, Aosteel23 and Anon.

    I'm of the opinion that there are evil assholes out there, who'll find an excuse for their evil opinions no matter their beliefs. But many of them are cowards: they won't actually go through with it, out of knowing that it's unacceptable, unless provided some way to rationalise it.

    That's where the conservative immoral minority comes in: convincing these people that women are property, and that all sex, not just rape, is sinful.

    Not that there aren't ways to rationalise it if you're not a conservative christian: someone twisted enough can rationalise anything. But the conservative movement catches those walking the line.

  10. something my stepsister told me, after i finally told her that her father raped me [strangely, my stepbrother and sister, his kids, were the FIRST people to believe me! i was shocked...] was that she wasn't surprised, because despite all of his various illegal and quasi-legal exploits [he led a bike gang, the Okie Clan, for 2 decades, had done every drug except heroin, slept with any and every woman available before, during and after his 1st marriage, may have been a pimp, etc] apparantly my stepfather was a VERY devout Xtian - and we, we weren't. my mom converted when i was 9. so my stepsister thinks the fact that i was pagan helped rationalize it to my stepdad - he OWNED me, since i was "his daughter by marriage" but it wasn't "incest", AND i wasn't a "good christian girl". i was a good pagan girl, but that didn't apparantly count.

    *WHY* is there a statue of limitations on rape and molestation, or at least one that's so short? Aosteel23 should have the opportunity to put that asshole in jail. EVERYONE should.

    the whole fundy mindset terrifies me. this is a huge reason why.


Comments are for you guys, not for me. Say what you will. Don't feel compelled to stay on topic, I enjoy it when comments enter Tangentville or veer off into Non Sequitur Town. Just keep it polite, okay?

I am attempting to use blogger's new comment spam feature. If you don't immediately see your comment, it is being held in spam, I will get it out next time I check the filter. Unless you are Dennis Markuze, in which case you're never seeing your comment.

Creative Commons License
Forever in Hell by Personal Failure is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at