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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 1, 2006

“but according to available statistics, the incidences of abused men are lower than those of abused women.” Holly, comment to Shari’s Blog.

True, statistically. The question is what does the statistician consider abuse? Is he/she counting incidents reported to the police or did he/she take an anonymous poll from a World-Wide statistically representative population? Or, worst case scenario – he/she only counted incidents that led to actual legal charges.

My guess is that he/she counted incidents reported to the Police and /or incident that led to legal charges.

This presents us with some real problems:

1. Violence is defined by the denominator ‘men’ – which means that ‘violence’= ‘what men would do/are most likely to do’. This means that actions that cause just as much damage, if not more, but does not fall within the category of ‘what men would do/are most likely to do’ does not register on the ‘violence-meter’ on our statistician’s chart. Subsequently it is not included in the statistics.

2. Women are women, which means they are less likely to ‘do what men do and/or are most likely to do’. They have their own array of ‘violent actions’ that differ from that of men. They even have a couple that are almost unknown to be practiced by men.

3. Men and boys are less likely to report incidents of domestic violence or abuse, especially if the perpetrator is a mother or a spouse.

4. Women are still seen as ‘untouchable’ or ‘incapable of being violent’, which means that men and boys who do report abuse or domestic violence are less likely to be believed.

Now, if we stop defining violence from thepoint of view of what men might do, and instead look at the results of any kind of negative treatment of people as children or in spousal relationships, and if men and boys reported as often as women and girls, and if the idea of women as non-violent saints was erradicated – we would most likely come up with a 50-50 ratio in terms of statistics.



2 Responses to “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics…”

  1. Holly said

    Good points, Shadow Bear. I can see where I should have been more specific by saying that according to available reported statistics, the incidences of abused men are lower than those of women. In no way was I trying to minimize or deny that men and boys are abused.


  2. Dov Aryeh said

    I didn’t think you were, Holly, you ‘omission’ made for a good point of origin for my Blog Entry.

    I don’t think I have ever seen you, or Shari for that matter deliberately denying that boys and men are abused too 🙂

    But you are two rather exceptional individuals – you can’t imagine how many women I have discussed this with, who hang on to the statistics as if they were the unadultered word of G-d(dess), not realizing that Statistics is all dependent on the material being surveyed.

    Do I think that the Statistics are being deliberately skewed? No, I don’t, I truly believe that the Statistics look the way they do because of faulty material and erroneous premises for that material.

    That can be amended with education – which is my reason for posting these things in my Blog.



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