David Futrelle

DV Debate: David Futrelle Fulminates; Loses Temper and Debate

Below is the entirety of a debate on domestic violence that I had with David “Manboobz” Futrelle.  It was a fun debate that served its purpose.  And part of that purpose was to demonstrate convincingly that in the world of blogging on men’s issues, David is an unknown now for the same reasons he will remain one for all time.

He’s a fucking moron.  He was, though, annoying enough to gain his 15 minutes of mediocrity.

Now that it’s over, it’s over.  He won’t be getting attention from AVfM again.

PE

And now for the debate.

David Futrelle of the blog Manboobz has agreed to enter a debate on the subject of domestic violence with me here at A Voice for Men. Since Mr. Futrelle maintains a blog in which he asserts that MRA’s have pretty much everything wrong, and in which he specifically claims he will, concerning MRA’s, “dismantle their rickety logic and dubious statistics,” it should follow that he will do just that on the subject of DV, starting right now.

During the brief negotiations it was decided that my excellent centerpiece article on domestic violence, and the research it was based on, will serve as the object of his dissent. For readers’ convenience I am posting the video version of that article and the research links here as well.

RESEARCH SOURCES

CDC Report- American Journal of Public Health

Martin Fiebert’s Annotated Bibliography

John Archer: Sex Differences in Aggression in Real-World Settings: A Meta-Analytic Review

NOTE: Access to Dr. Archers research is fee based!

Abstracts- If you want the complete studies, you have to pay.

Prevalence and Correlates of Physical Aggression During Courtship. ILEANA ARIAS, University of Georgia.  MARY SAMIOS, State University of New York at Stony Brook. K. DANIEL O’LEARY, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Basile, S. (2004).  Comparison of abuse by same and opposite-gender litigants as cited in requests for abuse prevention orders

Women who perpetrate intimate partner violence: A review of the literature with recommendations for treatment.

Michelle Carney, School of Social Work, Tucker Hall, University of Georgia.  Fred Buttell, Tulane University. and Don Dutton, University of British Columbia, Canada

Quote from abstract: Particular attention is paid to the cultural influences that shape our conceptualization of “domestic violence” and the fact that empirical research suggests that domestic violence has been falsely framed as exclusively male initiated violence.

As I stated in the article and video, the main assertions I am putting forth about domestic violence are generally as follows.

  1. All domestic violence not in self defense is wrong.

  2. Sex is not at all predictive in either perpetration or victimization of DV.

  3. Men are unfairly labeled as default perpetrators by the domestic violence industry, and ignored as victims, as can be easily supported with an examination of laws like VAWA and the dominance of female only DV services (funding).

  4. Finally, that feminist ideologues and feminist organizations are actively involved in keeping things this way, as evidenced by organizations like NOMAS, who joined an amicus brief to shut men out of services for domestic violence in California.

-

Mr. Futrelle has 48 hours to respond to this by emailing his response to me, which I will post in its entirety. There is no word limit, and Futrelle may respond to any of the preceding four points, or anything else he chooses directly from the video or article.

The debate will terminate after five exchanges.


David Futrelle, of the blog Man Boobz, [http://manboobz.blogspot.com/] replies:

Paul, you have delivered up a fairly standard-issue MRA argument on Domestic Violence, from your pro forma anti-feminist jabs down to the almost ritual invocation of Martin Fiebert’s sacred Annotated Bibliography.

Like most such efforts, your argument depends on a highly selective reading of the scientific literature on DV, virtually ignoring a huge number of studies — literally several thousand — that directly contradict your conclusions. [MK] You’ve ignored the serious methodological flaws of the studies you cite, and drawn conclusions from the research that the researchers themselves have stated explicitly are completely false. Your grand conclusion, that “domestic violence has nothing to do with what sex you are” could not be more wrong.

Let’s deal with the first two points first.

Anyone looking into the vast literature on the subject will be struck at once by the radically different conclusions researchers have drawn from their data.

One group of studies, the one that you relied on almost exclusively, advances an idea called “gender symmetry.” That is, they seem to show that men and women start fights, and land blows, in roughly equal percentages.

A second, and much larger, group of studies, finds men responsible for the overwhelming majority of DV. According to a nationwide survey conducted by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 22% of women said they had been assaulted by a current or former intimate partner at some point in their lives; only 7% of men said the same. [NIJ]

And that may actually understate the imbalance: indeed, one Department of Justice survey found that 95% of the victims of DV were women. These studies also find that women are injured far more frequently, and far more severely, by DV: one study of domestic disturbance calls involving injury found that women were injured 94% of the time; men, only 14% of the time. [APA]

There’s a good reason why we should take these studies more seriously than the ones you cited. Most of the “gender symmetry” studies are surveys conducted using a methodologically flawed research tool called the Conflict Tactics Scale, originally developed by researcher Murray Straus in the 1970s. Indeed, the vast majority of the studies examined in the John Archer meta-study you mentioned used the CTS. [MK]

Researchers using the CTS ask survey respondents about an assortment of specific acts of violence. What the CTS doesn’t ask about are the causes, contexts, or consequences of these acts of violence.

As a result, one critic notes, the CTS “equates a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs. It labels a mother as violent if she defends her daughter from the father’s sexual molestation. It combines categories such as “hitting” and “trying to hit” despite the important difference between them. Because it looks at only one year, this study equates a single slap by a woman to a man’s 15 year history of domestic terrorism.” [MYTH]

This problem is exacerbated by the lack of attention given to the motivations behind the violence. While both men and women use violence to express anger, a number of studies show that men are far more likely to use domestic violence to control their victim, to “show who is boss.” Other studies that look at motivation find that much female “violence” is in fact self-defense. [APA]

There are other serious problems with the CTS as a measure of DV. The first version of the questionnaire left out sexual assaults by current or former intimate partners, which according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) make up nearly 20% of all spousal assaults; such assaults are overwhelmingly committed by men against women. [MK] And the CTS also ignores violence that happens after partners separate, another critical omission, because violence tends to escalate, sometimes quite dramatically, after a separation. The NCVS found that separated women are 8 times as likely to face violence from an ex-partner than married women are from their husbands. [MK]

Researchers who use the CTS and similar surveys have acknowledged that their surveys provide only a limited look at DV as a whole, and that they do not capture much of the most serious kinds of abuse.

Unfortunately, the Men’s Rights Activists who have seized upon these surveys as evidence that women are equally abusive as men, ignoring these crucial caveats.

As a result, the researchers most involved in developing and refining the CTS over the years have explicitly denounced the opportunistic use of their findings by MRAs and others with an axe to grind against feminism. Murray Straus, for example, has noted that “the statistics are likely to be misused by misogynists and apologists for male violence.” [MF]

And you may recall Richard Gelles; he was one of the original developers of the CTS and has been one of the loudest proponents of the “gender symmetry” argument. You quoted him in your post to buttress your points. But he has been as scathing towards the MRAs who misrepresent his research as he has been to those who originally greeted his research with threats:

“The statement that men and women hit one another in roughly equal numbers is true, however, it cannot be made in a vacuum without the qualifiers that a) women are seriously injured at seven times the rate of men and b) that women are killed by partners at more than two times the rate of men….

[W]hen we look at injuries resulting from violence involving male and female partners, it is categorically false to imply that there are the same number of “battered” men as there are battered women. Research shows that nearly 90 percent of battering victims are women and only about ten percent are men… The most brutal, terrorizing and continuing pattern of harmful intimate violence is carried out primarily by men. [FAQ]

Straus, meanwhile, urges those citing his research to remember that women suffer far more from the consequences of abuse, and that because of this the “first priority in services for victims and in prevention and control must continue to be directed toward assaults by men [MS]

So, Paul, do you still think that “domestic violence has nothing to do with what sex you are?”

The point of all this is not to deny that men suffer from DV. They do, and though a much smaller percentage of men suffer from serious abuse than women, the suffering they endure is every bit as real. Men don’t have to suffer half of all serious abuse for their suffering to count; there is no need to exaggerate to make the point that we as a society need to take abuse directed at men more seriously.

The question is what is to be done about it. And it is here that the Men’s Rights movement in general, and you in particular, Paul, have failed completely, in many ways making the problem even worse. The solution to DV against men is not to publish articles with titles like “When is it OK to Punch Your Wife,” filled with explicit fantasies of male retribution against women. [EL] The solution to female violence is not more male violence.

And it is not to send angry MRAs to harass the donors to a DV shelter with phone calls in an attempt to get them to stop funding the shelter, as Glenn Sacks did to The Family Place, a DV shelter that ran some ads he deemed “misandrist.” Even if the ads were “misandrist” — and I don’t think they were — how is trying to make life harder for female victims of abuse possibly going to help male victims of abuse? [ALAS]

Shelters for women did not fall from the sky. They were not set up by a feminist matriarchy. They exist because individual women activists — and some men, but mostly women — built them, over much opposition, over the course of several decades, starting at a time when almost no one took DV against women (or men) seriously. Most shelters today run on shoestring budgets, and face the constant threat of violence from men angry at the women sheltered in them. Most, while not set up to handle male victims, try to help as best they can; the Family Place, the shelter targeted by Sacks, gives male victims vouchers for hotel rooms so they have a place to stay. [ALAS]

My challenge to the MRM is simple: if you really want DV shelters for men, and aren’t simply interested in scoring rhetorical points against feminists, build them. Don’t complain that feminists aren’t fighting your battles for you. Get off the Internet, get your hands dirty, and actually make a difference.

Sources:

Specific sources for information and quotes, in the order in which they appear in the essay.

[MK]“Gender Symmetry” in Domestic Violence: A Substantive and Methodological Research Review, by Michael S. Kimmel, “VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, Vol. 8 No. 11, November 2002

http://www.xyonline.net/sites/default/files/Kimmel,%20Gender%20symmetry%20in%20dom.pdf

[NIJ] Selected Research Results on Violence Against Women (National Institute of Justice)

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/crime/violence-against-women/selected-results.htm#tjaden

[APA] Are Physical Assaults by Wives and Girlfriends a Major Social Problem? A Review of the Literature, by DANIEL G. SAUNDERS, VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN, Vol. 8 No. 12, December 2002

http://www.biscmi.org/aquila/Violence%20by%20women–Saunders.pdf

[MYTH] The Myth of the “Battered Husband Syndrome, by Jack C. Straton, Ph.D.

http://www.nomas.org/node/107

[MF] Claims about husband battering. by Michael Flood, DVIRC Newsletter, Summer 1999, Melbourne: Domestic Violence and Incest Resource Centre

http://www.xyonline.net/content/claims-about-husband-battering

[FAQ] FAQ: But doesn’t evidence show that women are just as likely to batter their partners as men?

http://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/faq-but-doesnt-evidence-show-that-women-are-just-as-likely-to-batter-their-partners-as-men/

[EL] When is it OK to Punch Your Wife, by Paul Elam, The Spearhead, September 14, 2010

http://www.the-spearhead.com/2010/09/14/when-is-it-ok-to-punch-your-wife/

[ALAS] Alas, a Blog: The Family Place To MRAs: “Instead of bashing women’s organizations, stand up and help somebody yourself.”

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NOYD-mQUFFgJ:www.amptoons.com/blog/archives/2008/12/04/the-family-place-to-mras-instead-of-bashing-womens-organizations-stand-up-and-help-somebody-yourself/+%22glenn+sacks%22+%22family+place%22+alas&hl=en&client=firefox-a&gl=us&strip=1

Other sources consulted:

REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY, by Martin S. Fiebert

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm

DIFFERENTIATION AMONG TYPES OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE: RESEARCH UPDATE AND IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERVENTIONS, by Joan B. Kelly and Michael P. Johnson, FAMILY COURT REVIEW, Vol. 46 No. 3, July 2008

http://www.2homekids.org/ARTICLE%20-Differentiation%20among%20types%20of%20intimate%20partner%20violence1.pdf

Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey, by Patricia Tjaden and Nancy Thoennes. National Institute of Justice Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Research in Brief, November 1998

http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles/172837.pdf

Measuring the Extent of Woman Abuse in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships: A Critique of the Conflict Tactics Scales, by Walter Dekeseredy and Martin Schwartz, VAWnet February 1998

http://new.vawnet.org/category/Main_Doc.php?docid=388

Domestic Violence Factoids, Richard J. Gelles

http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/factoid/factoid.html

Straus, M. A. (1997). Physical assaults by women partners:A major social problem. InM. R. Walsh (Ed.), Women, men and gender: Ongoing debates (pp. 210-221). New Haven: Yale University Press.

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/VB33.pdf

Processes explaining the concealment and distortion of evidence on gender symmetry in partner violence, by MA Straus – European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research, 2007

http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf

Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence, by Daniel J. Whitaker, PhD, Tadesse Haileyesus, MS, Monica Swahn, PhD and Linda S. Saltzman, PhD; May 2007, Vol 97, No. 5 | American Journal of Public Health

[Cited by Elam as CDC Report- American Journal of Public Health]

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/5/941

Sex Differences in Aggression Between Heterosexual Partners: A Meta-Analytic Review, by John Archer Psychological Bulletin 2000, Vol. 126, No. 5,

http://feminism.martinsewell.com/Archer2000.pdf

Homicides and Intimate Partner Violence : A Literature Review, by Lorena Garcia, Catalina Soria and Eric L. Hurwitz, Trauma Violence Abuse October 2007 vol. 8 no. 4

http://tva.sagepub.com/content/8/4/370.short

Female Perpetration of Violence in Heterosexual Intimate Relationships : Adolescence Through Adulthood, by Jessica R. Williams, Reem M. Ghandour and Joan E. Kub, Trauma Violence Abuse October 2008 vol. 9 no. 4

http://tva.sagepub.com/content/9/4/227

_________________________________

Elam Response- Part 1

Given that the terms of this debate allow me 48 hours to respond, I have decided to post my response in two parts. I think it is necessary because there is a problem here – an egregious one – that requires individual attention.

That problem, David, is that you are coming to the table to debate scholarly investigation of a social problem relying almost exclusively on opinions and conclusions, not of legitimate academicians, but of political ideologues with a rigid and predetermined view of the issue. Those ideologues do not seek truth, but only to mold selective data into conformity with their political agenda.

That fact compels me, before proceeding with anything else, to address this problem with credible proof of its existence, providing a compelling rationale as to why it (they) cannot be trusted to provide anything untainted by bias.

This ideological rigidity is fine for the sake of some internet debates, David, but sets a dangerous standard for social research and public policy, which is, after all, what we are ultimately discussing.

Let’s begin with an important, if rudimentary, understanding of feminist theory as it applies to domestic violence.

The pillar of feminist perspective about domestic violence is that it is an extension of patriarchy, and patriarchal dominance through physical intimidation in the home – exclusively by husbands against their wives. (Dobash & Dobash, 1979; Loseke & Kurz, 2005)

I will use only the preceding references for this assertion unless you contest the idea that feminist doctrine hinges on the patriarchal model of domestic violence and that it serves as the primary lens through which all research and review is seen. If you won’t stipulate this, I will provide ample additional evidence for it in my rebuttal to your next post. But if you accede that point, then you must also admit to the following:

The patriarchal theory of domestic violence absolutely mandates that research conclusions point to male on female violence only, or the theory that said violence stems from patriarchal power falls apart completely.

And so too would a lot of funding, from VAWA, to university departments, to DV shelter budgets across the western world. We must never forget that there is a huge financial interest in feminist hegemony over the DV issue.

This is the Achilles Heel of feminist “scholarship” on domestic violence, and quite frankly yours in this debate as well. It is a corner that I will assert right now that you cannot “unpaint” yourself out of, unless you acknowledge the bias of your current sources, then seek out, and provide, others.

The only thing I need do for this part of my response is to demonstrate that your sources are indeed gender ideologues and activists, bent on perpetuating the patriarchal model, which is quite simple and easy. And of course I can offer that while I am an activist, none of the studies I offered in my original article or video were conducted by anything other than academicians without a known political agenda.

The first bit of evidence that I offer as to the activist nature of your offerings is the fact that this is what they say about themselves.

First, you cite the National Organization for Men Against Sexism (NOMAS), an organization with ongoing affiliation with Michael Kimmell, yet another one of your sources. If you go to their website, you will find that their description, placed on the header of their home page, is Pro-feminist, Gay Affirmative, Anti-Racist, Enhancing Men’s Lives.

Their Statement of Principles is headed, in large red font, with

The National Organization for Men Against Sexism is an activist organization of men and women supporting positive changes for men.

In addressing men’s roles in advancing their cause, Brian Klocke of NOMAS writes the following:

“As suggested by Alison Jaggar and others, men must first learn the text of feminist theory. This learning must not only involve the traditional reading of seminal works in feminist theory by feminist authors but must also involve a learning of social and political experience from a feminist perspective. [bold text mine] Men should consult with feminist women when writing about feminist theory. Men should also support more authorship of feminist theory by women and challenge other men to see feminist theory as a legitimate and necessary practice that challenges men to end patriarchy. Above all, men need to engage with feminist theory and practice, letting it work on them, in order to liberate all genders and build a society constructed on justice and nourished by love.”

The activities of NOMAS clearly demonstrate their sincerity about maintaining a purely feminist first, anti patriarchal perspective of domestic violence vs. a paradigm that would foster outreach to all victims. In 2005 they joined an amicus brief in the Blumhorst case, in order to prevent the allocations of any monies in the state of California for the provision of support services to male victims of domestic violence. They don’t want a dollar of tax money to go to male victims, or for that matter, for the system to even recognize they exist.

Somewhat outside the realm of DV, but highly germane to the issue of academic integrity has been the reaction from Michael Kimmel, on behalf of NOMAS on the issue of the emerging field of Male Studies, which intends to study the condition of the human male outside the sphere of influence of feminist ideologues.

personally wrote NOMAS president Robert Brannon about this, with questions about their organization and an informal invitation to support the Male Studies initiative. The response I got was from Michael Kimmel, who sent me a rather curt, dismissive email indicating that he and his associates were already in control of this field of study, as though the intellectual pursuit was their property.

Can you imagine that? What sort of academician assumes ownership of an entire discipline, and rules out potential research, collaboration and support, sight unseen, simply because he knows the individuals involved don’t align themselves with his personal sexual politics?

Allow me to answer that for you. It would be the same academician whose critique of CTS you rely so heavily on in your rebuttal; an academician who has lost all pretense to objectivity and academic integrity.

And that would be fitting with NOMAS in general. Another one of their members, Barry Goldstein, J.D., co chair of the NOMAS task force on child custody, had his law license suspended and was ultimately disbarred for perpetrating a fraud on a court.

And the circumstances of that fraud? He lied repeatedly to a court about evidence in, you guessed it, a domestic violence case against a man.

Goldstein can still be found listed on the leadership page for NOMAS.

Many of the others you mentioned, while maybe not as proprietary as Kimmell, or criminal as Goldstein, nonetheless emerge as ideologues of the same camp with the same political motives. Below are their names as links that demonstrate feminist ideological roots.

Daniel G. Saunders

Jack C. Straton, Ph.D (NOMAS Member)

Michael Flood

Michael P. Johnson

Patricia Tjaden

Nancy Thoennes

Walter Dekeseredy

Martin Schwartz

You have been provided, David, with ample studies, clearly conducted by persons without a political attachment to their work (at least you have not established such an attachment) and you need to respond in kind or your entire position becomes a sham.

Critiques of surveys, or of the CTS, are fine and needed to make your point, and I will indeed address those critiques, and more adequately than you will likely care for, within the deadline on my next post, as well as the DOJ stats, etc. But it needs to be clear from the beginning, you are putting Greenpeace on trial and trying to stack the jury with whaling execs. I won’t let it pass without calling you out on it.

Get some real research, David, and some untainted, credible critique.  And if, perhaps, you have a hard time finding anyone but gender ideologues that are challenging the soundness of the research in question, then you will have stumbled on yet another reason to rethink your position.

__________________________

Futrelle responds:

So, Paul, instead of actually responding to anything substantive, you:

*attack feminist scholarship that I didn’t actually cite

*rehash a tiff you had with one of the experts I quoted

*attack someone else completely irrelevant to the debate at hand because he happens to belong to an organization the the guy you had the tiff with also belongs to

*list a bunch of researchers that I do actually cite, but that you’ve somehow decided are evil ideologues and not to be trusted, without actually examining any of their work, simply because they have described themselves as “feminists.”

I guess your modus operandi is simple: when you have no ammunition, you start flinging bullshit.

Let’s run through the actual substantive disagreement underlying our debate.

You claimed that with regard to Domestic Violence “women are half the problem.”

I showed you, clearly and simply and logically, why this is not so. I made arguments. I offered evidence, from government surveys and peer-reviewed academic journals, backing this up.

Not only this, but I offered evidence of this from THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE to support your argument. They, too, say that male violence towards women is a bigger problem than women’s violence. They, too, recognize that the Conflict Tactics Scale (CTS) that they use in their research has limitations, particularly when it comes to making sense of the actual impact of abuse.

Fact is, there is NO credible researcher in the field who thinks “women are half the problem.” Not one. The people who invented the CTS scale don’t think that’s the case because, even if women hit half the time, they do far, far less damage than men, and cause far fewer injuries.

Let’s try a quick quiz: Who said the following?

Women are seriously injured at seven times the rate of men and … women are killed by partners at more than two times the rate of men….

[W]hen we look at injuries resulting from violence involving male and female partners, it is categorically false to imply that there are the same number of “battered” men as there are battered women. Research shows that nearly 90 percent of battering victims are women and only about ten percent are men… The most brutal, terrorizing and continuing pattern of harmful intimate violence is carried out primarily by men.

Was it: Michael Kimmel? Barry Goldstein? Daniel G. Saunders? Jack C. Straton? Michael Flood? Michael P. Johnson? Patricia Tjaden? Nancy Thoennes? Walter Dekeseredy? Martin Schwartz? Andrea Dworkin?

The correct answer is: None of the above! The person who said it was a fellow named Richard Gelles.

So who is this Richard Gelles? Here’s a short bio of him I found online:

Richard Gelles is currently a dean at the University of Pennsylvania and holds The Joanne and Raymond Welsh Chair of Child Welfare and Family Violence in the School of Social Policy & Practice.

He is an internationally known expert in domestic violence, and was influential in the passage of the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997.

He certainly sounds like someone whose opinion might be worth paying attention to, doesn’t he? I guess you already knew that, given that I’m quoting your description of him.

Question 2: Who said:

[Women are] physically injured to the point of needing medical attention seven times as often as husbands, they suffer psychological injury at much higher rates … [The] first priority in services for victims and in prevention and control must continue to be directed toward assaults by men.

Was it: Michael Kimmel? Barry Goldstein? Daniel G. Saunders? Jack C. Straton? Michael Flood? Michael P. Johnson? Patricia Tjaden? Nancy Thoennes? Walter Dekeseredy? Martin Schwartz? Andrea Dworkin?

I guess you probably figured out that was another trick question. It was Murray Straus, one of the three researchers who, along with Gelles and Suzanne Steinmetz, was most responsible for the whole “gender symmetry” thing.

Oh, but you know that, because you mentioned him in your post — though you spelled his name incorrectly. (It’s Straus. One “s” at the end, not two.)

As for the rest of your nonsense:

You reject the work of Michael Kimmel, because, as far as I can tell from your crazy convoluted account, he said in an email that Men’s Studies as a discipline has existed for several decades? Guess what! It HAS existed as a discipline for several decades. You may not like the ideological tendencies of some of those involved in it, but is has existed. I thought his note to you was quite polite, actually.

I’m not sure how any of this is relevant to our debate, or how this might somehow invalidate the findings of the article of his I cite. And neither do you, I bet, because you show no evidence of actually having read the paper in question.

And the others? I clicked on your links. Apparently they are indeed … feminists.

So that’s all it takes for you to reject their work without even looking at it? Work that has been published in actual peer-reviewed journals?

If you really think what they’re putting out is feminist propaganda, why not take it up with the editors of, say, Family Law Review, or Trauma, Violence & Abuse? Oh, but then you’d probably have to actually read the articles. Also, the editors would probably laugh and hang up the phone. Because “s/he’s a feminist!” isn’t much of an argument.

I don’t know if you know this, but not all feminists are like Andrea Dworkin. They don’t all think the same things. They don’t all hate men. (You may not believe this, but very few of them do.) They don’t eat babies.

Lots of people, of various ideological persuasions, describe themselves as feminists. Some Gallup polls over the last few decades have found as many as 30% of Americans describing themselves as feminists. Hell, Sarah Palin has described herself as a feminist. (Of course, she’s also described herself as a grizzly bear, but that’s a whole other topic.)

And guess what? Murray Straus, the guy who invented the CTS, and who is responsible more than any person for the notion of “gender symmetry” in DV … is also a feminist.

Let me repeat that: The guy who designed the research tool that underlies all the research you’ve cited to buttress your argument … describes himself as a feminist. Oh, sure, he’s no fan of the feminists who’ve attacked his research, not by a long shot; he’s absolutely scathing towards those particular feminists. But he still calls himself one, and he’s appreciative of what feminism has done in fighting domestic abuse. As he puts it:

[I]t is important to recognize the tremendous contribution to human relationships and crime control made by feminist efforts to end violence against women. This effort has brought public attention the fact that PV [partner violence] may be the most prevalent fom1 of interpersonal violence, created a world~wide detem1ination to cease ignoring PV, and take steps to combat PV. It has brought the rule of law to one of the last spheres of life where ‘self-help’ justice … prevails by changing the legal status of domestic assaults, by changing police and court practices from one of ignoring and minimization PV to one of compelling the criminal justice system to attend and intervene. In addition, feminists have created two important new social institutions: shelters for battered women and treatment programs for male perpetrators.

(The source for that, and for him calling himself a feminist? One of the articles by him I cited earlier. You can find out which by actually reading them.)

So if you’re going to throw out all the research I have cited that has been done by self-professed feminists, you’re going to have to throw out his work as well.

Now if instead you want to reconsider, and actually offer a real critique of the studies I’ve cited instead of dismissing them out of hand, then we might have an actual debate. “Feminists bad!” is not an argument.

First, though, you might want to address the fact that the researchers you tout as the best in the field have explicitly stated that their work should NOT be used to claim that women are “half the problem” in DV, that women on average are injured much more often and much more seriously than men, and that the bulk of the resources should be directed towards women victims.

Once you’ve done that, perhaps we can have a serious debate over the other research I have cited, one that involves an actual discussion of their claims and their methodologies.

Do I expect you to actually address these substantive points? No. I don’t think you’re interested in an actual debate, because on some level you know your position is in fact untenable, and is not supported even by the research that you yourself cite.

But perhaps I should have guessed as much from someone whose response to Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to make tacky jokes about “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” replete with detailed descriptions of said bashing:

I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

And then make them clean up the mess.

Paul, I think it’s time for you to clean up your own mess.

————————————————

Elam Response:

A few quick items.  First to this from my recent article:

“I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

And then make them clean up the mess.”

And now, David, for the part of the article that you intentionally left out.

“Am I serious about this?

No.”

Just thought I would include that since you don’t seem to understand satire, or the literal, it seems.

Then there is this, from you:

“First, though, you might want to address the fact that the researchers you tout as the best in the field have explicitly stated that their work should NOT be used to claim that women are “half the problem” in DV, that women on average are injured much more often and much more seriously than men, and that the bulk of the resources should be directed towards women victims.”

First, where it concerns the incidence of violence, women are indeed half the problem, or more!  The research I offered to that effect still remains, and you have not debunked a single study just because you parroted some other ideologues critique of the method of gathering information.

If you want to debate the severity of injury, that is always possible, but this debate is a about incidence.  Given that we all operate that all domestic violence is wrong, injurious, dysfunctional and an overarching social issue, we must address the issue of all violence, not just narrow it down to the kind that suits your purpose for this debate.

Or are you proposing that the only violence we address is where there is an injury sustained?

And lastly, this:

So, Paul, instead of actually responding to anything substantive, you:

*attack feminist scholarship that I didn’t actually cite

*rehash a tiff you had with one of the experts I quoted

*attack someone else completely irrelevant to the debate at hand because he happens to belong to an organization the the guy you had the tiff with also belongs to

*list a bunch of researchers that I do actually cite, but that you’ve somehow decided are evil ideologues and not to be trusted, without actually examining any of their work, simply because they have described themselves as “feminists.”

Ah, no. What I have done is reveal the fact that the authors of your sources are biased, in fact that all gender ideologues are biased, and that their reaction to any non patriarchal, and thus not exclusively male model of domestic violence is predictably negative.  It is called research bias, and it is fair game here.

Remember this?

*attack feminist scholarship that I didn’t actually cite

One of your most prominent sources was from your main squeeze Kimmel. Your claim here about attacking scholarship you didn’t cite is bogus.

Now, regarding the critiques of CTS specifically, and aside from the fact that your “source,” Michael Kimmel, is clearly biased, yes, there are some limitations and difficulties with the information gathering.  That has been pointed out by Gelles and Archer, so there is no secret about it. But let’s take a closer look at the objections you raised. Or at least for what you are passing off as objections.

You say:

As a result, one critic notes, the CTS “equates a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs. It labels a mother as violent if she defends her daughter from the father’s sexual molestation. It combines categories such as “hitting” and “trying to hit” despite the important difference between them. Because it looks at only one year, this study equates a single slap by a woman to a man’s 15 year history of domestic terrorism.”

This is about as poor an example of the problem with CTS that can be found. Let’s try that statement with simple sex reversal.

As a result, one critic notes, the CTS “equates a man pushing a woman in self-defense to a woman pushing a man down the stairs. It labels a father as violent if he defends his son from the mother’s sexual molestation. It combines categories such as “hitting” and “trying to hit” despite the important difference between them. Because it looks at only one year, this study equates a single slap by a man to a woman’s 15 year history of domestic terrorism.”

I am sure you don’t get this David, but both of these descriptions are equally valid.  The only problem you can come up with is if you enter the analysis, as your quoted reference here clearly did, assuming that the male MUST be viewed as the default perpetrator.

Your first (borrowed) observation about CTS is a complete fail.

Now for the next.

This problem is exacerbated by the lack of attention given to the motivations behind the violence. While both men and women use violence to express anger, a number of studies show that men are far more likely to use domestic violence to control their victim, to “show who is boss.” Other studies that look at motivation find that much female “violence” is in fact self-defense.

This is simply a distinction without a difference as it applies to this debate.  We are not here arguing the motives for violence, but the incidence, especially in regards to sex distribution.  Many of the studies cited by Archer and Fiebert also found that much of men’s “violence” was in self defense.  Unless you are prepared to demonstrate that female violence in self defense is significantly more frequent than men’s, then you have actually said nothing with this.

Oh, and regarding the incidence of “who is the boss” type violence, Archer had he following to say:

“It is the alternative, supposedly context-sensitive concepts that lack clarity and operational definitions: It would not be worth reviewing the area, let alone undertaking a meta-analysis, if the only categories were those such as battering, psychological terrorism, and social disempowerment, advocated by White et al., because their meanings are imprecise and hence could vary from study to study.”

In other words, David, you can’t even qualify any standard that adequately defines violence that is from a perpetrator showing the victim “who is the boss,” much less that can be replicated from study to study. It is an utterly useless concept.

FAIL Part Deux.

Again, the motives for violence were never the focus of my article or video, except in the case of self defense, and thus not germane to this debate. But hey, you opened a door to another crappy idea on your part, so I was glad to take it.

We are also reminded by Archer that feminists are significantly less concerned with CTS in studies when they are the ones using it:

White et al. (2000) made a number of familiar criticisms of the CTS, a measure that they have used in their own research (White & Koss, 1991), as indeed have some feminist researchers when only male perpetration or female victimization is involved (see, e.g., DeKeseredy & Schwartz, 1998).”

And finally you offer this:

There are other serious problems with the CTS as a measure of DV. The first version of the questionnaire left out sexual assaults by current or former intimate partners, which according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) make up nearly 20% of all spousal assaults; such assaults are overwhelmingly committed by men against women. [MK] And the CTS also ignores violence that happens after partners separate, another critical omission, because violence tends to escalate, sometimes quite dramatically, after a separation. The NCVS found that separated women are 8 times as likely to face violence from an ex-partner than married women are from their husbands. [MK]

While adjustments have been made (the first version of the questionnaire) to compensate for some problems, there is actually some merit to this last block of crits. And it is hardly uncommon. The shortcomings of methodology are a constant in research, and to my knowledge there has never been any studies immune to this type of critique. But the question is, do these possible shortcomings constitute any sort of concrete reason to dismiss the entire body of research?

Are we going to reject the results of hundreds of studies entirely because they did not include violence after the relationship was over?

It is a subjective question, one on which the readers of this debate will simply be left to their own decision. But it seems clear to me that if we must dismiss on these grounds that there is hardly a shred of research on DV that we can count on reliably. And if that is the case, it actually does your argument much more harm than mine, as you would be stuck with proving that women are abused at all.

But it may be helpful now to examine some of the methodological shortcomings in feminist research, though after that examination readers my conclude as I have, that the expression “feminist research” is an oxymoron.

I do encourage readers to read the following carefully. It is a devastating indictment of what is going on in the world of feminist research. and it forms the backbone of  the twisted world view that Futrelle is here to push. We are not talking about the ordinary concerns of the methodological soundness, as one might find with say, CTS.  Rather it addresses coercion, intimidation, deception, misrepresentation and outright fraud. And it further refutes much of the critique against CTS.

From the findings of Murray A. Straus and Katreena Scott, Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: The Evidence, The Denial, and the Implications for Primary Treatment and Prevention, we have a list of the 7 most egregious practices in feminist DV research. To be fair, we can’t even call them flaws in methodology.  What they are is a representation of systemic and pervasive fraud, justified and practiced with histrionic brio in the name of outcome oriented activism.

Method 1. Suppress EvidenceResearchers with a commitment to the idea that men are almost always the sole perpetrator, or whose commitment to increase services to women victims of PV is so strong that it overrides their commitment to science, as shown previously, often leads to concealing evidence that contradicts this belief. In addition, many researchers not committed to that ideology have withheld results showing gender symmetry to avoid becoming victims of vitriolic denunciations and ostracism (see Method 7 below). A typical pattern is to publish only the data on male perpetrators or female victims, deliberately omitting data on female perpetrators and male victims. This practice started with one of the first general population surveys on family violence. The survey done for the Kentucky Commission On The Status Of Women obtained data on both men and women, but only the data on male perpetration was published (Schulman, 1979). Among the many other examples of respected researchers publishing data on assaults by men and the data on assaults by women are Kennedy and Dutton (1989), Lackey and Williams (1995), Johnson and Leone (2005), and Kaufman Kantor and Straus (1987).Method 2. Avoid Obtaining Or Analyzing Data On Female PerpetrationDue to prevailing ideology that women are almost never perpetrators of PV and men are almost never victims, researchers designing surveys have typically asked female participants only about attacks by their male partners, and male respondents only about perpetration. To achieve this, the Canadian national Violence Against Women survey (Johnson & Sacco, 1995), modified the Conflict Tactics Scales by omitting the questions on perpetration by the female participants in the study. The American National Violence Against Women Survey (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2000) sponsored by the Department of Justice originally planned the same strategy.Fortunately, the US Centers For Disease Control added a sample of men to the project. But when Johnson and Leone (Johnson & Leone, 2005) investigated the prevalence of “intimate terrorists” among the participants in that study, they guaranteed there would be no female intimate terrorists by using only the data on male perpetration. Many other studies of PV have also omitted questions about female perpetration and male victimization. Many, agencies do not permit collection of data on PV unless questions on female perpetration are omitted. This may have been the reason that a comprehensive four site study of batterer treatment programs asked the women only about violence by the partner (Gondolf, 2002). This was a tremendous lost opportunity because it may be the only comprehensive study of male offenders which had access to their female partners.Method 3. Cite Only Studies That Show Male PerpetrationAnother method used to conceal evidence of gender symmetry is to selectively cite studies of male perpetration and avoid citing studies of female perpetration. US government, World Health Organization, and United Nations documents show that this method of concealment and distortion is institutionalized in official publications. For example, US Dept of Justice publications almost always cite only the National Crime Victimization study, which shows male predominance (Durose et al., 2005). They fail to mention the Department Of Justice published critiques which led to a revision of the survey. but which that only partly corrected that bias (Straus, 1999). Not only do Department of Justice publications on PV rely on data that they previously acknowledged is inaccurate for measuring PV, but they also ignore a major and more accurate study that they themselves sponsored – the National Violence Against Women .Survey. This study found that women perpetrate about 40% of PV incidents, which is close to gender symmetry in perpetrationThe widely acclaimed and influential World Health Organization report on domestic violence (Krug et al., 2002) reports that “Where violence by women occurs it is more likely to be in the form of self-defense (32, 37, 38).” This is selective citation because almost all studies that have compared men and women find about equal rates of self-defense. Perhaps even worse, none of the three studies cited provide evidence supporting the quoted sentence. For example, Study #32 (Saunders & Hanusa, 1986) shows that about two thirds of female perpetrated PV was not in self-defense. Study #37 (DeKeseredy, Saunders, Schwartz, & Shahid, 1997) found that only 7% of women said their violence was in self-defense. Study #38 (Johnson & Ferraro, 2000) is a review paper that has no original data. It cites #32 and #37, neither of which supports the claim.A closely related method is to present the results on female perpetration/male victimization and say nothing about those results. The 2006 US Department of Justice report on PV gives a chart showing trends for both men and women from 1993 to 2004 (Catalano, 2006b). The only thing said about trends in male victimization, i.e. female perpetration, is that “The rate of nonfatal intimate partner victimization for males increased between 2003 and 2004, returning to levels last seen in 1996 (and)1…for white males… (victimization)…increased between 2003 and 2004, from 0.5 to 1.1…” It is almost certain that that there would be a commentary and an extensive analysis if Nonfatal PV victimization of white females had increased between 2003 and 2004, from .5 to 1.1 victimizations per 1,000 i.e., if the female victimization rate had doubled. But the doubling in the male victimization rate was ignored.Method 4. Conclude That Results Refute Symmetry When They Do Not

The studies cited above, in addition to be illustrating selective citation, are also examples of the ability of ideological commitment to lead researchers to misinterpret the results of their own research. A study by Kernsmith (2005), for example states that “Males and females were found to differ in their motivations for using violence in relationships.” (p. 173), and that “female violence may be more related to maintaining personal liberty in a relationship than gaining power” (p. 180). Although Kernsmith’s Table 2 shows that women had higher scores on the “striking back” factor, only one question in this factor is about self-defense and this item is endorsed infrequently. Other more frequently endorsed items are about being angry (e.g., “to show anger”) and getting back at a partner (e.g. “to get back at your partner for hurting you emotionally”). In contrast to the idea that women use violence to maintain liberty, these finding suggest that women are more likely than men to use violence in retaliatory anger. In addition, Kernsmith’s conclusion ignores the fact that the scores for men and women  were approximately equal in respect to two of the three factors (“exerting power” and “disciplining partner”).Thus, Kernsmith’s study generally found the opposite of what was stated as the finding.

Method 5. Create “Evidence” By Citation

The Kernsmith’s study, the World Health Organization report, and the pattern of selective citation show how ideology can be converted into “evidence by citation” or what Gelles (1980) calls the “woozle effect.” A woozle effect occurs when the frequent citation of assertion in previous publications that lack evidence mislead us into thinking there is evidence. For example, subsequent to the World Health Organization study and the Kernsmith study, papers discussing gender differences in motivation will cite them to show that female violence is predominantly in self-defense, which is the opposite of what the research actually shows. But because these are citations of an article in a scientific journal and a respected international organization, readers of the subsequent article will accept it as a fact. Thus, fiction is converted into scientific evidence that will be cited over and over and further strengthen the woozle effect.

Another well documented example is the claim that the Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996) does not provide an adequate measure of PV because it measures only conflict related violence. Although the theoretical basis of the CTS is conflict theory, the introductory explanation to participants specifically asks participants to report expressive and malicious violence. It asks respondents about the times when they and their partner “…disagree, get annoyed with the other person, want different things from each other, or just have spats or fights because they are in a bad mood, are tired or for some other reason.” Despite repeating this criticism for 25 years in perhaps a hundred publications, we have not located any empirical study which has provided evidence showing that only conflict-related violence is reported. In fact, where there is both CTS data and qualitative data, as in Giles-Sims (1983), it shows that the CTS elicits malicious violence as well as conflict-related violence. Nevertheless, because there are at least a hundred articles with this statement in peer reviewed journals, it is treated as an established scientific fact.

Method 6. Obstruct Funding of Research That Might Contradict the Idea that Male Dominance Is The Cause of PV

An example of denying funding to research that might contradict the idea that PV is a male-only crime is the call for proposals to investigate PV issued in December 2005 by the National Institute of Justice. The announcement stated that proposals to investigate male victimization would not be eligible. Another example is the objection by a reviewer to a proposal one of us submitted because of             “…naming violence in a relationships as a ‘human’ problem of aggression not a gender-based problem.” When priority scores by the reviewers are averaged, it takes only one extremely low score to place the proposal below the fundable level. Others have encountered similar blocks; for example Holtzworth-Munroe (2005). Eugen Lupri, a pioneer Canadian family violence researcher, has also documented examples of the resistance to funding and publishing research on female perpetrated violence (Lupri, 2004).

Method 7. Harass, Threaten, And Penalize Researchers Who Produce Evidence That Contradicts Feminist Beliefs

Suzanne Steinmetz made the mistake of publishing a book and articles (Steinmetz, 1977; Steinmetz, 1977-1978) which clearly showed about equal rates of perpetration by males and females. Anger over this resulted in a bomb threat at her daughters’ wedding and she was the object of a letter writing campaign to deny her promotion and tenure at the University of Delaware. Twenty years later the same processes resulted in a lecturer at the University of Manitoba whose dissertation found gender symmetry in PV being denied promotion and tenure.

A PhD student working with Straus was warned at a conference that she will never get a job if she does her PhD research with him. At the University of Massachusetts, Straus was prevented from speaking by shouts and stomping. At two hearings held by the Canadian Commission On Violence Against Women the chairperson stated that nothing Murray Straus publishes can be believed because he is a wife-beater and sexually exploits students. When Straus was elected President of the Society For the Study Of Social Problems, a group of members occupied the first few rows of the auditorium and, at the start of the presidential address, stood up and walked out.

As a result of these types of harassment, there is widespread self-censorship by authors who fear that publishing politically incorrect data will undermine their reputation, or in the case of graduate students, their ability to obtain a job.

Also from Straus:

Lord et al. (1979) and Janis (1982) focused on judgments, not on academic studies. In fact, the notions of scientific objectivity and falsifiable hypotheses act, at least in principle, against the formation of “groupthink.

However, social scientists frequently become aligned with contemporary notions of social justice and attempt to fit their enterprise to the objectives of achieving social change. In so doing, they increase the risk of straying from objective reporting of data.

In domestic violence research, the sense that a greater good for women’s rights and the protection of women should prevail over scientific accuracy has provided this function of directing the search, data reported, interpretations, and applications of the data.

In concert with value-laden theories, the focus of attention has been on male violence and simultaneously has deflected study and acceptance of female violence. In effect, a paradigm (cf. Kuhn, 1965) has developed in the domestic violence literature in which perpetrators are viewed as exclusively or disproportionately male.

Any and all data inconsistent with this view are dismissed, ignored, or attempts are made to explain them away. The function of the gender paradigm originally was to generate social change in a direction that righted an imbalance against women (see Dobash & Dobash, 1978, 1979; Dobash et al., 1992; Patai, 1998; Walker, 1989; Yllo & Bograd, 1988). The result, however, has been to misdirect social and legal policy, to misinform custody assessors, police, and judges, to disregard data sets contradictory to the prevailing theory, and to mislead attempts at therapeutic change for perpetrators (see also Corvo &Johnson, 2003; Dutton, 1994; George, 2003).

With the exception of addressing the DOJ stats, which I will do in my next post, it is clearly time to move past the research. The case has been made on two key issues here.  One, there is no successful refutation of the valid research that supports the conclusions in my original article and video. Futrelle attacked on the grounds of flawed methodology, tried to shift the argument from incidence to severity, and relied on personal insults. In the end he has only succeeded at demonstrating that he is an ideologue, not interested in the amelioration of domestic violence, but in furthering the politics of misandry, at the despicable expense of men, women and children caught up in this social illness.

Second, it has been more than established here that he just another part of a culture of unprincipled activists that are seeking to attack and undermine both research and researcher, because that research is now exposing lies they have been fostering for so long. Additionally, we are now on the slow road to those distortions of reality being corrected, something these people will fight to the end for ideological and financial reasons.

The important thing in my mind at this point is to identify and explain what is really happening with these activists, people like Futrelle, who can look at all this information and dismiss it in favor of maintaining a false set of beliefs.

We need to ask why, when male victims of DV are a well documented fact of life, would these people seek to deny they exist and even take whatever action necessary to ensure that help is unavailable to them or to their chidren.

The answer to that, at least in my opinion, is groupthink.  Futrelle and the others have had their capacity for critical thought, their human compassion and indeed their personal integrity compromised because rather than exercise common scrutiny when examining information, they have become a part of a collective of non thinkers with tunnel vision; a simple cell in a groupthink brain. It is a seriously debilitating condition with significant individual and far reaching social implications.

It is the same phenomena that allowed masses of people to justify slavery in their minds, countless wars, the collective festering and mindless hatred in 1936 Berlin, and many other forms of social malady.

More on this as we continue to peel back the layers of deception from Futrelle’s mindset in the next post.

————————————————————–

Futrelle Responds:

Your reply to me is once again an exercise in missing the point.

Let’s rehash the debate, such as it is, so far:

You: A large number of studies show that women hit men as often as men hit women, therefore women are half the problem.

Me: Those studies have serious methodological flaws, and do not address the context of consequences of DV. Women are injured far more often and severely than men. These facts are readily acknowledged BY THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT. Because of that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT do NOT think women are “half the problem.”

You: Some of the studies you cite are from known feminists, therefore I will dismiss them without even reading them. Also, Michael Kimmel once sent me an email I thought was really rude, and someone in an organization he also belongs to did some bad shit.

Me: Huh? Did you not hear me when I pointed out that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT state quite plainly that women are injured far more often and far more severely than men? And that, because of this, THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT do NOT think women are “half the problem?” Also, “feminists=bad” is not much of an argument.

So that’s the story up until your latest post. So let’s dig into that one.

First, I will just point out the obvious once again: You STILL have not dealt with the fact that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT do NOT think women are “half the problem.” You can say whatever nonsense you want about the evils and the biases of feminist research, but unless and until you deal with this simple fact, you have not offered a rebuttal to my main point. No amount of rhetorical obfuscation can conceal this point, not even equating me with slaveholders and/or Nazis, as you do in your conclusion.

So let’s go through this again. The flaws in the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) I have mentioned are readily admitted to by those who use the tool, and by Straus and Gelles, TWO OF THE PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT. They acknowledge that the CTS:

*Does not address the context or consequences of the violence.

Proof? Here’s Murray Straus, who invented the CTS, and who is ONE OF THE PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT, frankly acknowledging this fact, in precisely those terms: “The number of assaults by itself . . . ignores the contexts, meanings, and consequences of these assaults.” [quoted in APA cited above]

Straus also says:

Female assault rates based on the Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS) can be misleading because the CTS does not measure the purpose of the violence, such as whether it is in self-defense, nor does it measure injuries resulting from assaults.

[From Straus, 1997, cited above]

When Straus set out to specifically research injuries suffered by both partners, he found that man-on-woman violence caused many times the number of injuries as women-on-man violence. This is him again, speaking of himself in the third person as is sometimes the case in academic research:

Stets and Straus found a rate of 3 percent for injury-producing assaults by men and 0.4 percent for injury-producing assaults by women. Somewhat lower injury rates were found by Brush for another large national sample-l.2 percent of injury-producing assaults by men and 0.2 percent for injury-producing assaults by women. An “injury adjusted” rate was computed using the higher of the two injury estimates. The resulting rate of injury producing assaults by men is 3.7 per 1,000 (122 X .03 = 3.66), and the rate of injury producing assaults by women is much lower-O.5 per 1,000 (124 X ,004 = 0.49). Thus the injury adjusted rate for assaults by men is six times greater than the rate of domestic assaults by women.[Straus, 1997]

Other problems of the CTS:

*It does not deal with the most severe forms of violence, which Gelles himself plainly acknowledges are mainly caused by men. I have quoted him twice above on this topic; I will not bother to quote him again.

As for the study you mentioned that found that, within their sample, 70% of the violence in relationships where only one partner was violent was caused by women, here is one critical take on the study that highlights this issue. The questions on the survey, the critics write:

do not capture all forms of violence that occur between relationship partners, including many of the more severe forms of partner violence … Questions about emotional, verbal, psychological, or sexual aggression were also not included. Similarly, only a single item assessed injury to victims and it focused on injury frequency and excluded injury severity and whether medical attention was needed or sought. Thus, it is unclear whether the data presented here would be similar had the violence and injury assessment been more thorough or if different forms of violence had been measured and analyzed separately. [CDC2]

Who are the critics here? You should know: it’s the authors of the study themselves, in their writeup of their own research.

Further, the CTS:

*Ignored sexual violence, a major component of violence between intimate partners, and again a form of violence dominated by men. (While the CTS has been revised, many of the older studies cited by Archer and Fiebert used the original form)

*Does not deal with violence that occurs AFTER separation. Numerous studies show that violence can escalate, sometimes dramatically, after separation. This is a major limitation of the CTS, as this sort of violence can be especially brutal. One study reports:

A higher percentage of women than men are physically abused, harassed, and stalked after the relationship ends. In a random U.S. survey, 4% of the women and 0.5% of the men reported being stalked by a current or past partner (Tjaden & Thoennes, 2001). In a random survey of the Canadian population, 24% said that violence became worse after separation,

37% said it stayed the same, and 39% said it occurred for the first time (Statistics Canada, 2001).Women in this study were significantly more likely to be severely victimized: 60% of women and 25% of men required medical attention. The results of the National Crime Victimization Survey show that violence against separated women is more than 8 times higher than rates for married women (Bachman & Saltzman, 1995).[APA]

As for the most severe form of violence — murder — one survey notes, “homicide rates are higher for women who have separated from their partners than for women in intact relationships … and this heightened risk of homicide following a separation is not found for men.”

[Source: the Kelly and Johnson paper I cited above.]

So this is a very serious limitation of the CTS research. You ask: “are we going to reject the results of hundreds of studies entirely because they did not include violence after the relationship was over?”

My answer is no. Are the studies conducted using the CTS worthless? Not at all. They just have limitations. In addition to not taking into consideration post-separation violence, there are two other very serious limitations: they don’t do a good job of capturing the more serious kinds of violence in relationships, and they don’t measure injury rates. Therefore they cannot be relied on to provide a comprehensive answer to the question “who abuses more?”

One last point:

I absolutely DO NOT agree that the DV debate is about whether or not men or women strike one another “equally”, at least according to a survey method that ignores or obscures many of the more severe forms of violence, and does not measure the CONSEQUENCES of this violence.

In the end, I think that it is precisely this, the consequences of the violence, that matter most. The severity of the violence is critical, and so is the intent. If someone, male or female, slaps their partner lightly on the face in the heat of an argument, that’s unquestionably a bad thing, but it is not as bad as if that person beat their partner black and blue. Both are counted as “violent” by the CTS, but there is a world of difference between these two kinds of violence. These sorts of distinctions matter.

And again, THE RESEARCHERS YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT agree that men cause far more injuries than women, both physical and psychological. Yes, some women are extremely violent batterers. Yes, domestic violence against men, even when it doesn’t result in injuries, should be taken seriously. But most of the victims of the most severe violence, as Straus and Gelles have both plainly stated, are women. I cannot see how you can possible conclude that women are “half the problem.”

As for Straus’ complaints about the reactions of some feminist researchers to his work: Does he have a good reason to be angry? Yes. Do his complaints mean that all research conducted by feminists should be dismissed out of hand? Absolutely not. (Besides, as I pointed out earlier, Straus still considers himself a feminist, and you’re certainly not rejecting his work.) Do his complaints apply to any of the specific research I have cited in my posts here? No. Do these complaints somehow change the fact that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT believe that women suffer far more from DV than men? No.

If you want to make the case that any of the specific research I have cited is simply feminist propaganda, you cannot just assert this. No matter how often you repeat this specious argument, the fact that some feminist research is tainted by ideology does not mean that ALL or even much research by feminists is so tainted.

In this post, you do actually make several specific arguments about specific research. You note that the genders could be reversed in the quote I used about how the CTS “equates a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs, etc” and it would still be true. Of course, but as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, both Straus and Gelles acknowledge that women suffer far, far more severe violence than men, so that in the vast majority of cases in the real world, the more severe abuse described in that quote will in fact apply to male perpetrators and female victims.

On self-defense, again, studies vary, but as you will see below, Straus and Gelles believe that women are far more likely to strike back in self-defense.

On “who’s the boss” violence: Yes, there are some conceptual differences in how best to measure this, but the studies that we do have find men much more likely to use violence to control their partners. In the world of social science research, this is hardly a FAIL, as you put it. It simply means we need more and better research. Of course, we ALWAYS need more and better research. If you know any studies that find the opposite, I’d like to see them.

I will end with a quote from an article co-authored by Straus and Gelles that I find particularly illuminating. Again, to remind you, these are the GUYS YOU CITE TO PROVE YOUR POINTS:

Perhaps the most controversial finding from our 1975 National Family Violence Survey was the report that a substantial number of women hit and beat their husbands. Since 1975 at least ten additional investigations have confirmed the fact that women hit and beat their husbands. Unfortunately the data on wife-to-husband violence has been misreported, misinterpreted, and misunderstood. Research uniformly shows that about as many women hit men as men hit women. However, those who report that husband abuse is as common as wife abuse overlook two important facts. First, the greater average size and strength of men and their greater aggressiveness means that a man’s punch will probably produce more pain, injury and harm than a punch by a woman. Second, nearly three-fourths of the violence committed by women is done in self-defense. While violence by women should not be dismissed, neither should it be overlooked or hidden. On occasion, legislators and spokespersons . . . have used the data on violence by wives to minimize the need for services for battered women. Such arguments do a great injustice to the victimization of women. [quoted in MK]

Speaking of which: Your “Bash a Violent Bitch Month” nonsense. I plainly referred to it as a joke. That doesn’t really make it any more acceptable, nor does it suggest to me that you take violence against women very seriously.

————————————————–

Elam: Last response

Note: His Majesty King David got mad at being held to the same standards as others and walked on the debate. Either that or he just got scared and ran. Boobz is out, and the cause goes on all the better for it.

Futrelle begins, with apparently enough anger to melt his cap lock key in few places, by asserting yet again that he thinks I am not paying enough attention to his objections to the studies I offered as evidence of gender symmetry in domestic violence.  Says Futrelle:

Those studies have serious methodological flaws, and do not address the context of consequences of DV. Women are injured far more often and severely than men. These facts are readily acknowledged BY THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT. Because of that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT do NOT think women are “half the problem.

Here David simply takes a normal part of post research scrutiny – critique of methodology – and attempts to entice us to play make believe with him that the methodological flaws were so severe as to render the entire body of several hundred studies useless and untrustworthy.  He does so citing statements by the researchers themselves.

I think this confuses David because he may not be accustomed to seeing routine academic accountability.  He concludes that because Gelles, Straus, et al, pointed to aspects of their work where they observed in hindsight an opportunity for improvement, that they were actually disavowing and discrediting their own results. They were not.  They were simply practicing the good ethics of principled researchers.  But now Futrelle is attempting to spin that into a sweeping and disingenuous dismissal of their results.

But of even more apparent concern to David is the fact the researchers collectively agree that women are injured more frequently and severely when IPV occurs.  He is presenting this common sense observation as some sort of mandate to accept that women are not equally responsible for IPV, even though he acknowledges they initiate at least half of it.

And this is where David’s ignorance leads him directly into intellectual quicksand.

It’s the whoever gets hurt the most is the rightest, position, which is about as thoughtful as, well, say, claiming that domestic violence is all men’s fault, simply because women are less capable combatants.

Serious injury as a result of DV represents a very small portion of DV victims, with the majority being female. But DV that does not result in physical injury does not equate to DV that has no consequences. Indeed, the consequences of “non injurious” DV, the kind that occurs with gender symmetry, can be harmful enough to the adult victim, but catastrophic for children who, due to gender politics, become collateral damage.

Children and teenagers who witness violence at home are at significantly greater risk of emotional, social, behavioral and academic difficulties. They are also at much more risk of being abused by the offending parent. Children are negatively impacted by the role modeling of parents who use violence in problem solving and tend to end up either being either violent or abused as adults themselves.

Children who experience early school failure, conduct difficulties, social withdrawal and other similar problems are much more likely to continue a pattern of dysfunctional behavior, which can lead to drug use, truancy, teen pregnancy and criminality.

None of this is contingent on whether the violence they witness is physically injurious.

This is one of many reasons you have heard, and correctly so, the mental health system mantra that all violence is wrong.

Failure to comprehend this, which David glaringly demonstrates, forms a faulty, female centric mentality common to a good many service providers and profiteers in the domestic violence industry.

Can you possibly understand that, Mr. Futrelle? This is not just about women. It is not about who can be first to produce a visible bruise.  And as long as people like you take the unconscionable position of playing gender politics with identifying victims and perpetrators, it will be at the unnecessary expense of those who have already been harmed the most.

Accurate assessment of the abusive environment is essential to needs identification and appropriate intervention on violent households.

Now, again, Mr. Futrelle, it has been acknowledged that women are injured more often and more seriously in the course of IPV incidents.  That was never in dispute.

But  you are seriously coming here to argue that we should all but ignore everything else and blindly dedicate the overwhelming share of our understanding and our resources to women because a comparative fraction of them turn up with more bruises, often as a result of mutual combat?

The very thought of it is obscene.

Next, I turn to what I think is an incredibly avoidant and shallow reaction to the damning evidence regarding the seven most egregious research practices by feminist ideologues involved in DV research, as written by Straus.

First, I will just point out the obvious once again: You STILL have not dealt with the fact that THE VERY PEOPLE YOU CITE TO SUPPORT YOUR ARGUMENT do NOT think women are “half the problem.” You can say whatever nonsense you want about the evils and the biases of feminist research, but unless and until you deal with this simple fact, you have not offered a rebuttal to my main point. No amount of rhetorical obfuscation can conceal this point, not even equating me with slaveholders and/or Nazis, as you do in your conclusion.

I also find it confusing, almost comical that Futrelle is at this point almost rabidly hammering away at the idea that I should heed the words of the very researchers whose research he has dismissed with near equal vehemence.

To the DOJ study in a moment, but first, what I said about feminist research was not nonsense. It was valid, documented, highly relevant and points to no less than rampant corruption in the academic community you so depend on for your information.

To add to that (as if I really needed to), I am going to include here a stellar video made by Tom Golden, LCSW.  It is an exemplary piece of work, painting a clear picture of the multiple ways that scholarly pursuits have become fraught with sexual politics, and why, as a group, we need to be very mindful of what lies under the surface of claims made by all ideologues regarding violence against women.

Nonsense, Mr. Futrelle? Well, perhaps, but it is not coming from me.

Almost all the rest of David’s post was continued hammering at CTS, which has exceeded the level of dead horse beating a few times over at this point.  It is stipulated that CTS, like all research devices, has shortcomings.  That being said, I have also demonstrated that this does not justify the Chicken Little scenario that Futrelle is so feverishly shooting for.

I stand completely by my original assessment.  Domestic Violence- Women are Half the Problem.

And the DOJ study doesn’t alter that fact either.

Before I dig into that study too much I first need to reveal that it has a serious problem up front.

It’s a CTS based survey study.  That is right, I kid you not.  The one supposedly non ideologically influenced offering that David and has touted – as though it were some sort of anti-MRA Kryptonite – uses the same basic methodology for gathering information as the studies that David has been trying so fervently to discredit.

Tell me David, is this where I get to copy and paste all your redundant, repetitive and regurgitated objections to CTS, and then just dismiss the DOJ without an honest examination?

Never mind. I won’t do it. Call it a values thing.  Besides, there are plenty of other reasons to take the study to task.

First of all, this one could very easily have been the object of one of Tom’s videos.

We get kind of a hint in the beginning, to wit:

Violence against women first came to be viewed as a serious social problem in the early 1970s, in part because of the reemergence of the Women’s Movement. In unprecedented numbers, scholars trained in such diverse disciplines as philosophy, literature, law, and sociology began to examine violence against women in the context of a feminist ideology. Despite the resulting outpouring of research on violence against women, particularly in the areas of rape and intimate partner violence, many gaps remain in our understanding of violence  against women.

Yes, in this the very first paragraph of the study, they identify not as academicians, but feminist ideologues. With a profound lack of erudition that can only be rooted in hubristic hegemony, they inform readers from the beginning that this is a political action. Straight from jump.

OK, though, since we have established during the course of this “debate” that this is nothing less than we should expect from these people, let’s take a brief, very brief look at what they do have. Thankfully, what they have is well presented so it takes little effort to get the picture.

First, here is a chart of lifetime incidents of rapes and assaults by sex.

Click for full size

As you can see, with the expected exception of rape, when it comes to the experience of being assaulted, across the board it appears that men have it a good bit worse than women on average.

Now, let’s take a look at the incidence of intimate partner violence during the participant’s lifetime.

Click for full size

As you can see, at the top of the list women were more than three times as likely as men to have been the victim of IPV when considering all forms of assault.

And as you go through the breakdown of different types of assaults, everything from pushing and shoving to being shot, the numbers consistently point to women being at greater risk.

Case closed right?

Wrong.  To their credit they did factor weigh for under reporting. To their disgrace they did not figure it in to the graphs.  What they did provide, very visibly, was the following:

Click for full size

And so there you have it.  A rough sketch of the math will lead you to a very familiar situation.

Domestic Violence- Women are half the problem.

But the real kicker comes in with the headline, as follows:

Click for full size

And there you have it.  The data, as always, points to the same thing.  But the conclusion; the energy; the focus and concern goes only to women.

Just like we heard and saw from Tom Golden. Just like we see in the corrupt and dishonest actions of feminist researchers; just like we see from organizations like NOMAS; just like we see in legislation like VAWA, and just like we hear from a narcissitic little shit like David Futrelle. No matter the truth, no matter the consequences, or even if it is our children that suffer them, women are vics, men are perps.  Your guilt is in your nutsack, your privilege in your pussy, and you’re a hater, demonizing women and wishing them ill if you dare to say otherwise.

I have one more piece to write on this subject. I am going to take a couple of days off and then I am going to go to work on it.

What could come out of this, no, what should, is more than just pointing to the problem and calling foul.  We need ideas, real ones, that offer us a path to start walking should the day ever come that we can just reach out and help people who need it, regardless of their sex, and in defiance of the really horrible people that have taken a serious social ill and turned it into an ideological freak show.

What I come up with may well just sit and gather cyberdust as we continue endlessly on this insane but commonly traveled road. It may even deserve to.

But I want to try.  After all, isn’t that what we are supposed to do with the impossible?

Our best, I mean.

About Paul Elam

Paul Elam is the founder and publisher of A Voice for Men, the founder of A Voice for Men Radio, the AVfM YouTube Channel, and appears weekly on AVFM Intelligence Report, Going Mental with Dr. Tara Palmatier and monthly on MANstream Media with Warren Farrell and Tom Golden.

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  • Nergal

    “I’ve dug up a report by Statistics Canada on Family Violence 2009. I found something rather odd. I don’t know if it is a linguistic trick; some sort of verbal subterfuge. Perhaps someone here can help me out. Here is the quote:

    Male family members were identified as the accused in a sizable majority of family-related sexual (96%) and physical assaults (71%) against children and youth.

    Upon reading that, my automatic understanding was that male family members were the perpetrators of said assaults. But taking another look I noticed something odd. It does not say they were perpetrators. It says they were accused. ”

    Another thing they do is use expressions like “male family members” to mean people like mom’s new boyfriend. Or they say “the father”, when they actually mean the step-father.

    The person LEAST likely to abuse children is their biological father. All the data backs this up. When talking about sexual abuse, mom’s boyfriend commits the majority of it, when talking about physical abuse,neglect, or child murder, the child is most at risk of being victimized by the biological mother.

    Again,there is no controversy surrounding these statements. It has been pretty much universally agreed upon.

  • fainsleep

    I, for one, truly hope that after David F. calms down he will come back and sincerely try to re-read the arguments presented by Paul E. with reason and objectivity. I cannot help but feel a deep misery for someone so guided by a blind passion rooted within something as culturally and socially destructive as feminist ideology. I hope that even if he doesn’t admit it verbally or through anything written, David at least tries to consciously reason with the facts and truths evident within Paul’s writings. I hope that David can someday find the courage to confront the lies and the injustices inherent within many systems in place in this age. My deepest hope, however, is that peoples across the world and of all demographics will recognize and confront these issues beforehand, and not as an afterthought while picking up the pieces of a broken Western civilization. I can assure you if we as a people cannot find the prudence to change, change will come regardless, but not after we are put through the fires of shame and regret.

  • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

    “Accused” is a big catch all. We could likely do the same thing with those numbers (or more) that we can with rape.

    Just cut them in half to factor weigh for the lies and you have a good place to start.

  • gender foreigner

    Dear Paul Elam:

    Thank you so much for your continuing sound academic and practical contributions to the civilization of discussion of gender issues: I admire you. (Don’t let this go to your head–I suspect it won’t–but it is true.) You plant good seed and in me (and I’m sure, in others) it is growing (hopefully) to become mature trees.

    Again, thank you, Paul Elam.

  • http://manboobz.blogspot.com/ David (manboobz)

    Paul:

    You do not have my permission to post my debate contributions on your site any longer. Since you do not have legal ownership of any of my writings, I expect you to take them down immediately.

    I will put my debate contributions up on my own site. You will be free to link to them, of course, and say anything you want about them.

    I wrote you about this before, and got no response. I expect a response this time.

    • http://www.avoiceformen.com Dr. F

      Do not have your permission ?

      Narcissist radar is whooping.

  • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

    I got your response, hanging.

    You offered them up to participate in a debate, one that you publicly agreed to, and one that you kept submitting to after you knew they were being posted here.

    But I tell you what, I am going to make a speshul deal, just because you are a speshul kind of manboob. If you want to cover the expense of me culling out all the responses, and compensate me for the damage done my intellectual property – the debate I hosted- and considering I invested significant time and obviously high dollar talent in the whole affair, then we can make a deal.

    Here are the expenses as I see them.

    Time and stellar talent invested in my part of the debate – $10,000

    Wading though your ill informed feminist drivel – $15,000

    Watching you get humiliated in front of thousands – Priceless

    So, there is a PO Box address under my donation button. Send your certified check or money order in the amount of $25,000 and I will honor your request.

    Seriously, you must be out of your mind. Of course, I understand that you must be desperate to turn the clock back to the moment you agreed to this debate and have the chance again to say no.

    But this is not the world of wishes.

    Now, like I said before. Quit posting to this blog, unless you prefer the feminist mangina page.

    You are always welcome there.

  • B. R. Merrick

    Holy cow. I mean, just… holy cow.

  • B. R. Merrick

    B. R. Merrick:
    Holy cow. I mean, just… holy cow.

    I was referring, of course, to Mr. Futrelle’s previous comment, which is now only visible on the previous page. (But I guess it refers to everything else here as well.)

  • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

    Yeah, I have been thinking of setting the comments to display all of them on one page. What do you think, B.R.?

  • B. R. Merrick

    Well, that would certainly help out posters like Mandy, who can’t click on the “previous comments” links to save their lives.

    :)

  • Roland3337

    There’s been some debate about the value of this debate. I personally think there was a hell of a lot of value. But there are those that thought it was a waste of time and energy because he was such a mental midget.

    But think of it this way, Paul: this Dave Futrelle’s freelance writing career is over. Stick a fork in him. He is done. He may limp along for a few weeks, and he may move on to other topics. But his name will be forever linked with this flame-out-fail of a disaster.

    Is it at all possible that you finally managed to shut up a feminist? Is this somehow a weapon that could be used in future battles? There are some important implications here.

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  • jim4146

    Paul, in a nutshell, you kicked his ass. Bravo.

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  • http://www.cyclotronmajesty.net CM

    Well It looks like you won Paul. This debate is going down as a template resource for all future debates. You really have build something strong here. It will take a long time to fully make use of everything that has been accomplished here. GOOD WORK!

    I disagree with David’s main point that since men can inflict more physical damage that this means men are the perpetrators and women the victims. There are many kinds of damage and violence a person can do, physical is just the most obvious…

    Too bad he ran out. I think you really made some very good arguments… I guess it went as far as it could…

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  • !!SPARTA!!

    lolol sucks that he lost his nerve so early, I really wanted to see what his response would be to your last response, which I think was actually the strongest one

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  • http://avoiceformen.com Paul Elam

    @ !!SPARTA!!

    Check his blog. He just posted a link to it here (after being told that chickenshit feminist quislings cannot post here) so I have banned him.

  • Oddsock

    See Paul, you should have listened to your Uncle Oddosck. A waste of your valuable time and talent, however, apart from gaining a slight satisfaction in you destroying this numpty and his/her POV on DV. What I take from your debate is a good benchmark as to how far men have developed/improved emotionally and increased maturity. Not so long ago many men would have gone silent or become totally confused by the feminist debate tactics. It is clear now that men, as ever, simply adapted learned and upped the anti. Perhaps time would be better spent raising awareness among other men as to our current shitty position and where we want to go ? Debating feminists is so 1980’s who cares what they think?  

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  • http://www.avoiceformen.com/ David King

    Very well. Would you care to enumerate the criteria on which he failed, or is this just rhetorical flourish?

    Competitive debating is not about what is true or what is objective, only about persuasiveness (for which, read ‘what you can get away with’). But you’d know that, being the expert and all.

  • DrX

    Please explain. Futrelle did not address Elam’s point anywhere in his responses.