Entries in Mythbusters: Media Representations (4)


Nancy Grace on female teacher "seduction" of male student (USA - YouTube)

This CNN news story shows an important shift in attitudes in at least one segment of the media which is explicitly pointing out the double standard of America's legal system and media regarding older females having sex with underage males v. older males having sex with underage females.


Beliefs on violence

Letter to the editor, Adelaide Advertiser, 1st September 2010:

Your article "Domestic abuse shame" (The Advertiser, 20/8) claimed that "the poor attitude of Australian men to violence against women is evidenced by a 2006 Victorian survey which found one in 20 believed women who were raped often 'ask for it'." This survey actually found that 6 per cent (about one in 20) people (not men) agreed with the statement "Women who are raped often ask for it". So, yes, there are still a few people who hold unacceptable beliefs about sexual violence against women.

However, there are far more who hold unacceptable beliefs about violence against men. The National Crime Prevention survey found that young people are more likely to say a woman is right to, or has good reason to, respond to a situation by hitting, than a man in the same situation. Overall, for situations where men might hit their female partners, 49 per cent of young people said that he would be right to, or have a good reason to hit her, in at least one of the situations presented. In situations where women might hit their male partners, 68 per cent of young people said that she would be right to, or have a good reason to, hit him in at least one of the situations presented. And while males hitting females was seen, by virtually all young people surveyed, to be unacceptable, it appeared to be quite acceptable for a girl to hit a boy (25 per cent of young people agreed with the statement "When girl hits a guy, it's really not a big deal").

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Iran backs down on stoning execution of woman (what about the men?)

Above is a link to the latest (justified) outrage about plans for a woman to be stoned-to-death for adultery in Iran. However, what you don't read about, and probably haven't heard about, is that Iran declared an official moratorium on executions by stoning-to-death for adultery in 2002. Since then, five men and one woman have been stoned-to-death for adultery.

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Do we ignore violence against men?

This Sunday is White Ribbon Day (WRD) and the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women. An international coalition of professionals and academics has come out in unequivocal support of anti-violence initiatives, but is concerned that this annual spotlight on violence against women tends to conceal the fact that males are far more likely than females to be assaulted or killed and make up a significant proportion of victims of domestic violence.

They are calling on the media to be aware that crime statistics, based on reports to police, are an inaccurate reflection of the extent of domestic violence within the community, as men who are physically assaulted by women are less likely to report it than are women assaulted by men. However, despite this underreporting, 29% of victims of notified domestic violence and 26% of intimate partner homicide victims are men – all of whom are absent in policy provisions. There is very little recognition of women’s violence, yet more than a quarter of physical assaults on women are committed by other women. There is also little acknowledgment that violence is most prevalent amongst young people, and is causally linked to social disadvantage, drug and alcohol abuse and mental health issues.

The coalition of experts is asking Australians to set aside the next 16 days to consider all victims of violence, no matter what their gender, age, ethnicity or sexuality. They are seeking the involvement of the entire community, including government, NGOs, and men’s and women’s groups, in the establishment of a new national broad anti-violence campaign.

You can download the media release here, or click here to read the background paper.