How many men are rapists?

Ampersand, on Alas a Blog, points out that studies show 4.5% of men are rapists, and that this is not a small matter just because the number looks small.

When I’ve spoken to men, I’ve tried using this example:

Imagine that one out of 25 men have at some point in their lives attacked and tortured an Oregonian. You don’t know which ones had done it – you just know it’s about one in 25. And they had done it simply because they had wanted to, and they consider people from Oregon to be just that worthless.

Now imagine you were born in Oregon.

How safe would you feel in your daily life? What would it do to your feeling of security and safety, knowing that “only” one out of 25 of the men you stand in line with at the bank, the male cashiers you meet at the grocery, the male cops patrolling the streets, the male students you take classes with and the male professors you learn from, and your male co-workers at the office, has attacked someone like you, because they were like you?

5 thoughts on “How many men are rapists?

  1. Joerg July 3, 2014 at 06:10 Reply

    I would feel quite safe. At least 95.5% safe to be exact. Probably even more safe than that since I live in an environment that also contains women and children, not just men. A better question would be “how safe do people feel around me”? That of course is impossible to answer since nobody knows what’s in anyone’s head. And there are plenty of examples of random aggression, eg road rage, king hits. Thus I’m not quite sure what the above ‘Oregonian’ example is supposed to demonstrate. That we live in a dangerous world?

  2. oopster74 May 9, 2015 at 02:15 Reply

    Does that figure of 4.5% cover the entire world / population, as rape is viewed differently in different countries and cultures, ie in the western world (UK, most of Europe, USA) see rape as being unwanted sexual acts forced upon a person, whereas in some countries, it’s viewed as “a mans right” to have sex with his wife as and when he chooses and she should just lie back and “think of England”. My point being that the percentage will be higher in some places and lower in others and a breakdown of the figures would give a better understanding (not that I’m expecting you to give figures for every country or culture).

    • Francois Tremblay May 9, 2015 at 02:40 Reply

      The abstract to the study being referred to can be read here:
      http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/ccp/55/2/162/

      It seems that it is US only.

      • oopster74 May 9, 2015 at 02:52 Reply

        Thanks. 4.5% seems like a small number, but if you take into account the population of the USA, then it’s a scary number. I’d hate to know what that percentage is in those other countries where rape is almost acceptable.

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