Last May, with considerable trepidation, I wrote an article about what seemed to be extraordinarily high rates of rape in Africa.
The original data came from a study by South Africa’s Medical Research Council in 2009, which found that more than a quarter of South African men — 27.6 per cent — admitted that they had committed rape. Almost half of those men had raped two or three women or girls. One in 13 had raped at least 10 victims.
Over the next couple of years, I ran across a couple of other less-detailed studies suggesting that the problem was not just South African. A report from the eastern Congo in 2012 said that over a third of the men interviewed — 34 per cent — had committed rape, and an older report from Tanzania found that 20 per cent of the women interviewed said they had been raped (although only one-10th as many rapes were reported to the police).
So I wrote a piece called “An African Iceberg” in which I said that this was a phenomenon that needed urgent investigation continent-wide — but it did occur to me to wonder if there were similar icebergs in other developing countries. The only figures that were available for developing countries elsewhere were official ones, and those normally only record the number of women who tell the police they have been raped. Most don’t.
Women are reluctant to report rape in any society, and in traditional societies much more so. The South African study was the only one that had adopted the strategy of asking men directly. Maybe if the same sort of study were done in other continents, I thought, it would return equally horrifying figures. And lo! Somebody else had the same thought, and the resources to do something about it.
The new report, conducted under the auspices of four United Nations agencies co-operating as “Partners for Prevention,” was published last week in the online version of The Lancet Global Health, a respected British medical journal. The study was undertaken quite specifically to learn if the South African figures were duplicated in developing countries outside Africa.
The researchers chose six countries in the Asia-Pacific region: China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. As in the South African study, the word “rape” was not used in the questionnaire. The 10,178 men interviewed were asked if they had ever “forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex” or “had sex with a woman who was too drunk or drugged to indicate whether she wanted it.”
There were further questions about forcing a wife or girlfriend to have sex (which is also rape), about gang rape, and about raping males, but for simplicity’s sake let us stick with the questions about what the researchers called “single perpetrator rape” of a woman who was neither wife nor girlfriend. The answers varied from country to country, but the overall picture was clear. Africa (or at least South Africa) is all alone out there.
In most of the Asian countries involved in the study, between two and four per cent of the men interviewed said that they had raped a “non-partner” woman. That falls into the same range that prevails, one suspects, in most developed countries (although their reported cases of rape are much lower).
There were some local peculiarities, like the fact that in rural Bangladesh men are more likely to get raped than women. China came in surprisingly high, with six per cent of the men interviewed admitting to rape, but that may be related to the growing surplus of males in a society where the gender ratio has become very skewed: there are 99 large Chinese cities where more than 125 boys are born for every 100 girls.
But Papua New Guinea was right up there with South Africa: 26.6 per cent of the men interviewed had committed “single perpetrator rape” of a non-partner woman. And the other numbers were just as startling: 14 per cent of Papua New Guinea men had participated in a gang rape, and 7.7 per cent had raped a man or boy. So Asia, as a whole, is quite different from Africa on this count — but Papua New Guinea is practically identical.
What is so special about Papua New Guinea? It is a country with an extravagantly large number of different tribes and languages. It is an extremely violent country, where most people live in extreme poverty. It is a place where the law is enforced only sporadically, and often corruptly. And it is a place where traditional tribal values, patriarchal to the core, reign virtually unchallenged among a large part of the population. Remind you of anywhere?
Well, you already suspected that this was at the root of it, didn’t you? You just didn’t want to say so, for fear of being accused of being racist, anti-African or something of that sort.
But it does need to be said, loudly and repeatedly. Women and girls are more likely to be the victims of sexual violence in Africa than almost anywhere else, and the only way to change that is to change the behaviour of African men. By persuasion if possible, but also by enforcing the law.
WE WERE WATCHING THIS MOVIE IN GYM AND THE MAIN CHARACTER WAS LIKE “I’M TIRED AND HUNGRY AND HORNY” AND ME AT THIS OTHER CUTE GUY IN THE BACK JUST BOTH GO “SAME” AND LOOK AT EACH OTHER AND I WINKED AND EVERYONE WAS SO UNCOMFORTABLE BUT I WAS LAUGHING REALLY HARD AND THIS IS WHY I DONT HAVE FRIENDS
Too many people learn about war with no inconvenience to themselves. They read about Verdun or Stalingrad without comprehension, sitting in a comfortable armchair, with their feet beside the fire, preparing to go about their business the next day, as usual.
One should really read such accounts under compulsion, in discomfort, considering oneself fortunate not to be describing the events in a letter home, writing from a hole in the mud. One should read about war in the worst circumstances, when everything is going badly, remembering that the torments of peace are trivial, and not worth any white hairs. Nothing is really serious in the tranquility of peace; only an idiot could be really disturbed by a question of salary.
One should read about war standing up, late at night, when one is tired, as I am writing about it now, at dawn, while my asthma attack wears off. And even now, in my sleepless exhaustion, how gentle and easy peace seems!
“What we intended was to look after our elementary necessities of life, in the same way that England looked after her own interests in order to make one-fifth of the world subject to her, and in the same way that the United States brought an entire continent and Russia brought the largest inland territory of the world under their hegemony. The only difference between the policies of these countries as compared with ours is that we demanded parcels of land such as Danzig and the Corridor which were taken from us against all rights, whereas the other powers are accustomed to thinking only in terms of continents.”—
Joachim von Ribbentrop : Nuremberg Trials - Closing Statement (via reichsmarschall)
Anyone who know the maps of the time, see that germany needed to take it’s territories back in order to have coal and generally run itself as a country. America devoured other territories just because it wanted a bigger land. Not greed, survival, that should be a better common understandment of that.
Something I’ve been reading up on recently in my quest to provide backgrounds for my drawings is Disney’s focus on pools of light in backgrounds, the idea being that backgrounds, while important and containing valuable information, are set pieces. A background on its own isn’t…
people of tumblr, I need some more music. My favourite bands are the wonder years, mychildren mybride, daggermouth, the story so far, have heart, mxpx, a day to remember, trapped under ice, the holly springs disaster, the ghost inside, defeater, terror, harms way, lionheart, old memphis may fire and set your goals. Really just any good pop punk or hardcore would be lovely. and some southern would be awesome too
so much hard core and emocore, well i won’t offer only this type of bands because I’m more of a indie and southern guy. anywho. Have you tried Four year strong (especially ” (…) (on a saturday)” song /can’t quite remember the full title of their best song but, youtube is there and you still got fingers to type and search, and anyway they got a bunch of good songs. also in a more emo-core direction there is “raised by the wolfes” by some band, which i forgot the name also.
"Your sex is on fire" of Kings of Leon show they are friggin’ awesome and should be respected even thou you don’t like, and for a fusion between your "Bite the bullet" and "listen to the south" needs (which are good one’s btw) Try: Maylene and the sons of disaster. and maybe before that wolfmother.
i got other bands but i don’t even know if you’re cheking this reply out or if I’m in the right direction so, yeah.