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  • I'm far from certain that female-perpetrated sexual assault of men is quite as "rare" a phenomenon as the author suggests. Lara Stemple and Ilan H. Mayer of the UCLA School of Law, examining data last year from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the CDC's annual surveys and four years' worth of the National Crime Victimization Survey's findings, noted that these revealed female perpetration in at least 35% of cases of rape or sexual assault reported by male victims. Recent campus-climate surveys by colleges and universities across the United States are yielding results in a similar range, with male victims indicating that their assailants were female in anywhere from around a third to more than a half of cases. Though her sample size is smaller, Siobhán Weare of Lancaster University has also brought to light, in an article published five months ago, significant levels of female-perpetrated rape on the other side of the Atlantic.

    While much work in this area remains to be accomplished, sufficient evidence exists to indicate that perceptions of the rarity of female-perpetrated sexual offending may owe more to a failure to look for it, or to take notice of it when it occurs, than the existence of an unusually low prevalence rate. Not so long ago, it was common to assert with much conviction that male rape in general was all but unknown outside correctional institutions -- a factor that contributed greatly to its invisibility. It would not do to be similarly dogmatic today, perhaps with no less damaging consequences, about its female-perpetrated subset.

  • All ideas will be considered, but may not be accepted.