Our society is being swept up in an intensifying wave of ignorance and disinformation about rape. That ignorance and disinformation is putting the public's safety at risk. It is causing harm to everyone's children- including to YOUR children. The Ohio rape, like any other rape of a girl, boy, man or woman, is a chilling tragedy. The media's viral coverage of the story incited people to go into a frenzy of typing, posting, tweeting, sharing, ranting and blogging. Unfortunately, people have been lapping up any status, graphic, statistic, quote or rant that has shown up in their newsfeeds without stopping to question the source or the media frenzy they are perpetuating. This media frenzy is less focused on the victim and is instead focused on spreading more violence in the form of pushing political agendas, spreading disinformation about sexual violence and its causes, vilifying males and promoting demonization of the boys who committed the rape. The ignorance has reached such a pathological level that one blog post I saw was equating a two year old boy hugging a girl without her consent as being a precursor to rape!
Everywhere I look, I see posts about "teaching" boys not to rape, as if girls and women don't rape... And as if boys are born to rape and it must be "taught" and shamed out of them. Sound familiar? Remember the macabre Puritanical beliefs of centuries long ago that poisoned our culture with the belief that children were born "evil" and the "evil" needed to be beaten out of them? Centuries of brutal child abuse and cultural violence can be traced back to that psychotic belief. Most intelligent, thinking people have now caught up to the brain science that shows us that children are born to love and be loved; to be peaceful and benevolent. Most intelligent people have now caught up to the brain science that shows that violence is learned when children are its victims; that childhood trauma, abuse and violence permanently alters neurological and psychological development and can cause the very tragedy we saw in Ohio.
Or maybe people really haven't caught up to the brain science about children at all.
This painful Ohio story has lead me to believe that our culture is still centuries behind the brain science, steeped in icy religious tradition and cold modern political theory that dares whisper that some children are just bad. Or, more bluntly to what is being currently perpetuated, boys are bad.
Let me put these facts about boys and "the rape culture" bluntly:
If you don't want your son to rape, then don't rape HIM.
Don't allow ANYONE, woman, man, boy, girl, teacher, family member or babysitter to rape or sexually assault HIM.
If you don't want your son to rape, don't allow a doctor to sexually violate him by forcibly handling, attacking and cutting off part of his penis under the candy-coated tradition of "circumcision". Yes, that is rape! (If you are Jewish, don’t allow a mohel to cut and then suck on your son’s penis- Yes, that is rape, too, and religion is no excuse for rape. Consider a Brit Shalom instead.)
If you don't want your son to rape, don't shame his penis, his scrotum, his body, his bodily functions and his growing sexuality by using euphemisms for his body and its functions. Don't tell him his penis is bad, ugly or dirty either literally or by your facial expressions or reactions to him. Don't shame or punish him for masturbating. Don't make jokes about his body, his body parts, his bodily functions, male sexuality, male masturbation or about maleness.
If you don't want your son to rape, don't hit him, or allow ANYONE to hit or hurt him, especially on his buttocks. Yes, "spanking" is sexual assault. Don't commit or allow anyone else to commit any other form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse on your son.
If you don't want your son to rape, don't allow him to watch the viciously anti-male media on TV that makes sexual assault of males into comedy. Yes, shows and movies that show males being kicked in the testicles or males being sexually overtaken by overzealous females are promoting sexual assault of males.
If you don't want your son to rape, then treat him with love, compassion and respect. Meet his needs, keep your attachment relationship with him of paramount importance and do not expose him to people or environments that will hurt him, violate his human rights or overpower him into submission. Let your son cry. Honor all of his emotions. Nurture the deep sensitivity and empathy boys naturally have and tell him how beautiful and wonderful he is as a human being. When he is in adolescence, continue to nurture, hug, cuddle and hold him. When he is in adolescence, continue to treat him with love, tenderness, compassion and respect.
If you don't want your son to rape, let him know that his body is beautiful and marvel at his growth and development. Let him know that he has a right to his own bodily autonomy, that he has a right to privacy and the right to say no when someone touches him. Let him know that boys can be sexually assaulted, raped and hurt by women, men and even girls and boys. When the girls in middle school are years ahead of him in sexual development, protect his innocence from being violated before he is ready. Over the years, always provide the information about puberty, sex and the human body that he needs and wants. Show him art and anatomy books that depict the natural nude human body in a way that is not pornographic. Allow him access to these books. Let him know masturbation is a healthy and natural part of taking care of himself.
If you don't want your son to rape, then when he is in adolescence, keep an ongoing, positive and open dialog about sex and sexuality. Do NOT tell him that he is responsible for acting in a way that you would not expect out of your daughter. Tell him what you would tell your daughter: To respect his body, to respect his limits, that its OK to say no, to assert his limits with his partner, that "no means no" for both partners, that he should only date a girl or a guy who respects him and his limits. If you would tell your son that he must respect a girl's "no", then you must tell your daughter the same. If you would tell your son that he must respect girls, then you must tell your daughter to respect boys. If you don't want to promote rape, then there must be no double standards.
If you don't want your son to rape, then don't rape his intentions by putting adult connotations onto childish behavior; hugs and kisses by children are not sexual assaults! Don't rape his intentions by comparing awkward growing up errors and developmentally appropriate teenage behavior to adult sex offenses.
If you don't want your son to rape, then you must not rape his psyche with your own history, your hurt, your baggage, your biases, your beliefs, your traditions and your ignorance.
If you don't want your son to rape, you must not rape his mind with the disinformation, political agendas, traditions, stereotypes and anti-male bias in our culture. You must inform him when he's old enough developmentally to handle the information, that boys suffer sexual assaults and rapes equal to girls. Inform him that historically, sexual assaults, genital tortures and rapes of boys and men were some of the most brutal and socially accepted ever recorded. You must inform him that girls and women rape and sexually assault boys and men in much larger numbers than the crime stats and stats from human services agencies report. You must inform him that college age young men are just as vulnerable to date rape as young women and in some studies, young men report higher rates of date rape.
If you don't want your son to rape you must inform him that our society has traditionally silenced boys and men from reporting sexual assaults and rapes that they've suffered. You must inform him that when boys and men have reported, their reports weren't counted into rape and sexual assault stats- The FBI didn't even allow males to be included in their definition of rape victims until 2012!
If you don't want your son to rape, you must inform him that our society has covered up the research on female perpetrators for political purposes. You must inform him that when girls and women are caught sexually assaulting or raping, they are not held equally accountable to males who commit the same crimes. You must also inform him that few people stand up for boys or protest when people mock, laugh at and make comedy out of grown women raping and sexually abusing teenage boys. You must tell him when you see this sexism, you will stand up for boys and men.
If you don't want your son to rape, you must inform him that even though the mental health, medical, social service, human service, law enforcement, social justice and human rights fields know that boys legally suffer from Male Genital Mutilation in the USA, most everyone in those fields, including the United Nations, is silent about it. You must also inform him that all of those fields and organizations use biased literature, case stories, pronouns and statistics as well as false "facts" to make it appear that boys and men are not at risk for sexual violence. You must also inform him that even through all of those fields are aware that boys and men are not likely to report being the victims of sexual assaults and rapes due to shame and fear, there are no campaigns to do mass outreach to boys and men.
If you don't want your son to rape, then you must stand up against anti-male sexism when you see it politically. You must inform him that rape crisis agencies, "gender equality" organizations and anti-rape campaigns use sexist and hypocritical slogans such as, "End violence against women and girls" and push laws like the Violence Against Women Act. These slogans and names imply that sexual violence is a gender crime and that males are the sexual perpetrators and females are the victims.
If you don't want your son to rape, then make sure that, "No means no", "There's no excuse for abuse" and "Rape is rape" applies equally to both sexes. Make sure that when you use the words "rape culture", that you let your son know that part of the "rape culture" is our culture ignoring Male Genital Mutilation, male victims of rape and female perpetrators of rape. Let your son know that in 2009, when a 17 year old boy was lured and brutally raped in every possible manner, multiple times by a women and a man who were both school teachers, the story received no more than passing local coverage. No Facebook Pages named, "Not One More Boy", no graphics about male victims of rape, no Tweets with the hashtag "rapeculture", no anti-rape rallies, no "Teach Your Daughters Not to Rape" blog posts went viral- or were posted at all.
If you don't want your son to rape, then don't rape his mind by instilling it with hatred and violence. Instead of vilifying people who commit crimes such as rape, murder, war or genocide, model empathy and understanding for how hurt people hurt others when they do not have the compassionate people, resources and support to help them built the resilience to handle their hurt. By showing empathy compassion and love to your son and to others, even towards those who seem to deserve it least, you are instilling love, peace and compassion in your son. You are not condoning or "excusing" abhorrent behavior by empathizing with the human being.
Let's bring the media hype back down to the common sense level: The majority of males in this world will not ever rape. Most sexually abused people will not rape. However, the most severely traumatized children with the fewest resources and compassionate people in their lives are at risk for passing on the cycle of violence. If you want to teach your CHILDREN to love and respect all PEOPLE, then love and respect YOUR CHILDREN. Raise them on compassion, love, patience, respect, understanding, tenderness, sensitivity and kindness. Treat them that way and let them witness you treat everyone you meet in that manner, as best as you can. Children will grow to treat others the way their parents, families, educators and the culture treats them.
Only ignorance and propaganda believes that shaming, bullying and force feeding 50% of the population the commands, "Don't rape" and "Respect women" is the way to stop rape. The only true way to stop rape is to protect, respect, nurture and heal ALL of our youth... and to treat ALL children the way we wish them to someday treat others: With love, compassion, kindness and respect.
A sampling of the research and news you haven't seen about rape and sexual assault
High rates of female-perped sex abuse in backgrounds of male sex offenders 93% chose females after http://www.canadiancrc.com/Female_Sex_Offenders-Female_Sexual_Predators_awareness.aspx
Men coerced into sex almost as often as women, more men coerced into oral sex http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=f926b44a-39c9-4c7d-bc44-24001f40c213
Sexual coercion of men and women- High rates of coerced sex of men http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID45-PR45.pdf
The Controversy Over Domestic Violence by Women http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/CTS21.pdf
Risk Factors for Physical Violence Between Dating Partners: Implications for Gender-Inclusive Prevention and Treatment of Family Violence (References that despite over 200 studies finding that women are equally and slightly more violent than men in relationships, the research is ignored) http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID28-PR28.pdf
Sexual Abuse of Boys (under-reported) http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/280/21/1855.short
Study of sexual abuse of boys by mothers (under-reported) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213489900343
Books about female sexual perpetrators (all note bias in the human services, social services, research fields, law, justice system, etc.) http://www.jimhopper.com/male-ab/#fem
The Long-Term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse by Female Perpetrators A Qualitative Study of Male and Female Victims http://jiv.sagepub.com/content/19/10/1137.short
Ohio Mother Charged with Raping Infant Son http://www.mlive.com/news/us-world/index.ssf/2011/09/ohio_mother_charged_with_rapin.html
Mother Raped Own Daughter for 'Sex Education' http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/120110/mother-rape-daughter-porn-films-cybersex-sex-education
Woman Who Raped Boy 200 Times Sentenced to 9 Years http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/woman-rapes-boy-almost-200-times/
"Meet the Female Pedophile" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpr3hr0K30
Male Victims http://www.ncdsv.org/publications_malevictims.html
CITIVAS Study: Women and Men: Who Are the Victims? (Domestic Violence, Labor Market issues- UK) http://www.civitas.org.uk/pdf/cs09.pdf
Boy victims of sex trafficking ignored http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Part+Four+Boys+forgotten+victims+with+video/6350524/story.html
DV awareness and funding and services blocked: http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf
“86% of the victims of female sexual predators aren’t believed, so the crimes go unreported and don’t get prosecuted. Considering these facts, arrest statistics for child sexual offenders by gender are meaningless.” - “The Sexual Abuse by Women of Children and Teenagers“, UK TV programme – Panorama – BBC1 – 10 pm Monday, October 6th, 1997 http://www.canadiancrc.com/Female_Sex_Offenders-Female_Sexual_Predators_awareness.aspx and http://www.canadiancrc.com/Newspaper_Articles/BBC_Child_sexual_abuse_by_women_06OCT97.aspx
LawFirms.com, Teacher Sex Offender List, http://www.lawfirms.com/female-teacher-sex-crime-offenders-and-scandals.html
Female Perpetrators and Male Sexual Abuse Victims: Society’s Betrayal of Boys http://kalimunro.com/wp/?page_id=1550
"The big list: Female teachers with students, the most comprehensive account on Internet of women predators on campus" http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=39783
Female and male teaching couple in California lured a 17 year old boy and raped him several times: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-04-23/news/29484681_1_hot-tub-teaching-couple-school-and-davidson-shepard
Mom Pleads Guilty to Raping 4 Sons: In this case, the mother, who plead guilty to raping her four sons in 1997, is allowed to walk for 16 years of time served. Her conviction was originally overturned: http://www.wmur.com/news/29886665/detail.html
Anesthesia not used for MGM: http://www.moralogous.com/2012/03/06/hey-baby-just-bite-down-on-this-stick/
The psychological impact of circumcision http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.0830s1093.x/abstract
Male Circumcision: Pain, Trauma and Psychosexual Sequelae http://hpq.sagepub.com/content/7/3/329.short
Circumcision: The Hidden Trauma http://www.circumcision.org/cht.htm
Circumcision Decision Maker http://circumcisiondecisionmaker.com/circumcision-facts/what-happens/
Penile and Foreskin Neurology http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD2yW7AaZFw&feature=player_embedded Boys equal victims historically of torture and sexual assault by adults http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/08_infanticide.html
Male Genital Mutilation: The American Academy of Pediatrics Says OK! http://www.laurieacouture.com/2012/09/male-genital-mutilation-american-academy-of-pediatrics-says-ok/
FBI Changes Definition of Rape to Include Male Victims (2012) http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-06/fbi-rape-definition-adds-men/52398350/1?csp=34news