November 7, 2018

JOHN LEO: Why This Is A Very Scary Time For Young Men.

When a recent Canadian study of about 30,000 students between 7th and 12th grade found that more boys than girls were victims of physical dating violence, the reaction was one of disbelief. Accusations of male sexual harassment were exploding from the university campuses to the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, begetting the #MeToo movement.

The most memorable perpetrators of sexual assault against women committed heinous acts: some women had been drugged and raped; others had been fired after they rebuffed an overt sexual assault. But many other acts were considered by both men and women to be normal fun and flirtation. During the media frenzy, abuse against men was never even reported as a footnote as men—good and bad—were accused and labeled as sexual predators.

In the past 38 years, more than 270 studies, with an aggregate sample size of more than 440,000, have found that “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners” from teenage years on. Since studies of teen dating violence began in the eighties, researchers have found that female high school students are four times as likely as male high school students to be the sole abuser of the other sex (5.7% vs. 1.4%).

The best studies of dating violence differentiate by the severity of violence (according to the Conflicts Tactics Scale). For example, a study conducted by Caulfield and Riggs found that 19% of women vs. 7% of men slapped their female partner. However, when it came to kicking, biting or hitting their partner with a fist, 13% of women vs. 3% of men engaged in those more severe forms of violence. The more specific the questions are, the more both sexes acknowledge the women were between two and three times as likely to hit, kick, bite, or strike their partner with an object.

Among all populations, most violence was mutual. But when it was unilateral, it was more likely to have been initiated by the woman. For example, in a study of over 500 university students, women were three times as likely (9% vs. 3%) to have initiated unilateral violence.

Yet these studies have rarely made headlines.

Female privilege.

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