Firstly, what do I mean by the term “fudging” in the context of this blog post?
- to present or deal with (something) in a vague or inadequate way, especially so as to conceal the truth or mislead and/or
- to adjust or manipulate (facts or figures) so as to present a desired picture.
So how do feminists and their allies, go about fudging statistics? Well the most common technique used, so prevalent that it’s virtually a hallmark of feminist literature, is to report statistics in relation to female victimhood in the absence of comparative figures for men and boys.
And now, in a worrying trend, more and more research projects undertaken by pro-feminist organisations don’t bother to investigate impacts on males or attitudes towards men (examples here, here, here, here and here). Clearly with corresponding data in relation to males unavailable then rapporteurs can easily deflect requests for contextual information. Information which would, in many cases, otherwise weaken their claims of gendered victimhood.
Thus biased researchers can represent a social problem as being gendered when it is not. And so the next researcher builds on existing incomplete research and concludes and/or implies in their report … this problem rarely affects men, or affects men in different & lesser ways, etc (but we can’t be sure because no data). And the cycle of gender bias in research, and subsequently in policy formulation, rolls on.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believe the reverse to be true, and that there is a ‘gender data gap’ with “male-biased surveys that fail to capture women’s perspectives, their needs and their economic value”. They provide a 3rd world example upon which I am not qualified to comment, but with regards to 1st world countries their proposition is laughable.
A paper by Dr. Murray Straus addressed the issue of feminists distorting domestic violence data. He identified the seven primary methods they used as being:
- To suppress Evidence
- To avoid obtaining data inconsistent with the Patriarchal Dominance Theory
- To cite only studies that show Male Perpetration
- To conclude that results support Feminist beliefs when they do not
- To create “evidence” by citation
- To obstruct publication of articles and obstruct funding research that might contradict the idea that male dominance is the cause of PV (see this post)
- To harass, threaten, and penalize researchers who produce evidence that contradicts feminist beliefs (see this post)
I was studying the readers comments in relation to a rather biased article about domestic violence. One comment was from a respected spokesperson on men’s health issues, Adam Blanch. Adam was talking about the latest ‘Personal Safety Survey‘ undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is what Adam had to say:
“Domestic violence is about people who are angry, jealous, distressed and mentally ill acting out their frustration. The motive for ‘control’ and ‘power’ is only present in a very small percentage of DV, and both sexes do it to the same extent.
The partner abuse state of knowledge Project, the largest and most comprehensive meta study of DV ever conducted, makes this information freely available at http://domesticviolenceresearch.org/pdf/FindingsAt-a-Glance.Nov.23.pdf
The entire Duluth model, which assets that domestic violence is about ‘Gender power relations’, has been so extensively disproven by legitimate researchers that no fair minded person without a ‘gender agenda’ could possibly subscribe to it.
PS. the ABS personal safety survey has some serious methodological issues that appear to have been built in, twice, to bias the outcome in favour of a ‘Gendered’ view of DV.
The 2012 report sampled less than 20% the number of women than men, down from 25% in the 2005 survey. though overall they increased the numbers for both genders for 2012, the male sample size is so small that many of the findings are unreliable again.
They were criticised for only using female interviewers in 2005, so in 2012 they trained a few male interviewers to be available on request. However, they don’t appear to have told the interviewees that they were available. This was based don ‘expert advice’ that both men and women would be more comfortable with female interviewers, these experts are unnamed. Who are they. Are they male? have they worked with male victims of abuse? What qualifies them as experts. I’ve worked with thousands of men, and I can assure you that most men will not reveal the same information to a woman that they will to a man.
This lack of transparency and sample balance is unacceptable for research conducted at this level.”
The Bureau shrugged-off this criticism and in September 2016 successfully obtained AHRC approval to only employ female interviewers in relation to a survey that encompasses the issue of domestic violence.
In ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics to discriminate against hiring men‘ it stated:
“Professor Triggs granted the ABS the exemption, accepting their submission, which included studies from not-for-profit groups, stating men were more likely to be perpetrators of DV and women were more likely to tell their stories to other women” And so disregarding the flipside … that male victims would be more likely to tell THEIR story to other men.
Please also read the related media release from the ‘One in Three’ organisation, as well as this article from Jasmin Newman.
This is hardly the first time I have encountered concerns raised by authoritative sources regarding the credibility of domestic violence research, and in fact it appears to be an ongoing issue.
Australia’s ABC has a reputation for pushing the feminist agenda, with one example being the article ‘Domestic violence of epidemic proportions a ‘national emergency’: campaign groups‘ by Ursula Malone and Juanita Phillips. Nothing like turning up the rhetoric to keep that government funding flowing through to feminists and their organisations during these difficult economic times. And all based on fudged statistics, in particular that “Domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45“.
That statistic was sourced from this 2004 report by VicHealth. Indeed, that report was essentially 44 pages of taxpayer-funded feminist bias wherein violence towards men was dismissed in one sentence in the preamble: “Although men are among the victims of intimate partner violence, evidence suggests that the vast majority of victims are women and that women are more vulnerable to its health impacts”. That statistic was discussed in this 2014 article by Greg Canning and in this scorching rebuttal of the Malone/Phillips article by Men’s Rights Sydney (also available on the AVfM web site).
Now let’s look at three examples of misrepresentation from Australian feminist advocacy group ‘Our Watch‘:
1. This well-written letter from Dr Greg Canning to Natasha Stott Despoja concerns serious omissions and misrepresentations in a speech that she gave on DV (28 November 2013) The letter is also reproduced in the VfM web site with readers comments. I am advised that a reply was never received from Ms Despoja.
2. This February 2015 article is laughably disingenuous and quite likely signals a new tactic by players in the Domestic Violence Industry: ‘Natasha Stott Despoja: ‘people are sick and tired of the statistics‘. Or in other words, ‘we are getting called-out for using false or misleading statistics too often now, so let’s publicly discredit all statistics and continue the argument on the basis of subjective and anecdotal evidence alone’.
3. In 2015 ‘Our Watch‘ launched a public education program called ‘The Line‘. The relevant web site features a section entitled ‘Myth-buster – Violence against women’. Myth #7 is that ‘Women often make false claims about domestic violence or sexual assault‘, wherein they state:
“The vast majority of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Given for example that only 17 percent of women who experienced sexual assault by a male perpetrator (in their most recent incident of violence) reported it to the police (ABS 2012), the actual percentage of false cases is likely to be tiny. By one estimate, the actual percentage of false cases as a proportion of all rapes (reported and unreported) may be closer to 0.005 percent.” (Flood, M, 2014)
An Australian MRA by the name of Paul Rogers brought this error to their attention stating (in part) that:
“Even Wikipedia doesn’t suggest that false rape allegations are as low as you claim, which is saying something. I have provided an excerpt below from Wikipedia to highlight that your claim is many orders of magnitude lower than even the lowest value claimed by most authorities … I urge you to state the truth rather than continue to cherry-pick outlier claims because they support your misandry.”
I should also point out that it’s not only feminist groups that engage is this sort of misrepresentation. In this media release, the advocacy group SAVE denounces the use of misleading information on domestic violence by none other than (then) President Obama himself.
Demonstrating the remarkably one-sided manner in which feminists view the world, in the following article a feminist journo criticizes a men’s rights group on their use of statistics:
Beware the dubious claims of this men’s rights group, by Sherele Moody (24 June 2017)
In a further blog post I look at the feminist predilection towards ‘tweaking’ the definition of terms such ‘domestic violence’ and ‘sexual assault’ in order to better support their claims of female victimhood and generally bolster public support: See Finessing definitions to preserve the image of female victimhood
The references listed below alternately discuss or exemplify bias against men, as perpetrated by journalists and others (often working in the sphere of domestic violence, sexual violence and related fields):
A Mathematician Says Activists Made His Paper Disappear Because Its Findings Offended Them (10 September 2018) and Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole, by Theodore P. Hill (7 September 2018) Note too the readers comments here.
La Trobe bans my talk on the fake rape crisis, by Bettina Arndt (2 August 2018) This article concerns the exaggeration of the incidence of sexual assault in Australian universities by the Australian Human Rights Commission and others.
ABC News and Washington Post intentionally excluded male victims from their already flawed sexual harassment survey (12 November 2017)
Gender bias in Australian Institute of Family Studies Experiences of Separated Parents Study (2 November 2017)
This is how NFHS made wives’ mood changes as marital rape (18 September 2017)
UW Researcher Claims The ‘Experiences Of Women’ Invalidate Peer-Reviewed Research (14 August 2017) USA
Flawed sexual harassment report undermines the change it seeks (12 August 2017) Australia
Biased Incompetence in CAFCASS and Women’s Aid Report (4 August 2017) UK
Why these professors are warning against promoting the work of straight, white men (16 July 2017)
Study finds ‘sexism’ in sexual assault research, but this time men are the target (10 July 2017)
Gender Bias in Science or Biased Claims of Gender Bias? (8 July 2017)
Peer Review: A (not so much) gender perspective (18 May 2017)
How to make anything a gendered issue, by Blaise Wilson (30 April 2017) Video
Irony Alert: Gender Bias Study by Women Researchers Suffers From Gender Bias, Peer Reviewers Say (18 April 2017)
Teacher advises student to “look for feminist sources” regarding wage gap (7 March 2017)
When care becomes control – financial abuse cuts across cultures (17 January 2017) As I state in this post, most papers on financial abuse ignore the reality of male victimisation, and this is yet another example. In the absence of conclusive proof that only women were victimised one would expect a researcher to survey men and women. Failure to do so, as in this and many other cases, is evidence of gender bias to support a particular ideological narrative.
It’s time to stop “counting dead women” and face the facts, by Jasmin Newman (28 December 2016)
BBC admits its viral “women write better code” story was fake news (28 December 2016)
New study making the rounds in the media claims patients taken care of by female physicians have reduced mortality
The US Department of Justice refuses to fund research into intimate partner violence against men, or the stalking of men (November 2016)
Girls feelings are far more important than the truth, by Mark Dent (12 October 2016)
Why feminists are so cagey about class (13 September 2016) UK
Why does the CPS report on violence against women include men in the stats? by Ally Fogg (7 September 2016) UK
Always beating up on men, by Bettina Arndt (20 August 2016)
Cutting to numb the pain of sex abuse: interviews with young women in drug treatment (12 August 2016) Australia. Although this article focuses on the needs of young women, the underlying research surveyed both genders. Whilst I have yet to review the findings in detail, my default position is one of disquiet regarding the merit of applying different fixes to men and women. Without a very thorough understanding of all contributing factors, esp. in relation to cause/effect, there is a real danger that we may misinterpret the true situation. Also, from what has happened in the field of domestic violence for example, there is a real danger of a monopolisation of all available resources for the treatment of women.
Half of women in UK have been sexually harassed at work, study finds (10 August 2016) They didn’t bother surveying men so the readers believe, by implication, that this problem only affects women. I wonder why would the authors they do that? See also ‘Report Claiming Half Of Women Harassed At Work Involved Hardline Feminist Group‘
Confirmation bias in research survey into men’s mental health which includes questions based on toxic masculinity and Duluth power and control wheel (24 July 2016) Australia. Post in Reddit mensrights forum concerning research undertaken by Melbourne University
There’s no hiring bias against women in tech, they just suck at interviews (1 July 2016) Oh dear this feminist research didn’t run according to the script
Washington Post: Men lie on surveys, women don’t (30 June 2016) USA
Female politicians (sometimes) receive more abuse than male counterparts, apart from when they don’t… (29 June 2016)
Jess Phillips MP and her alleged 600 rape threats (6 June 2016)
Feds Spend $548,459 Studying Male Students’ ‘Microaggressions’ towards Women (6 April 2016) This example from USA may or may not involve fudging, so sure does looks like a huge waste of public money. Related Reddit discussion thread here.
Australia’s most shocking statistic: Sexual abuse and domestic violence against women with disabilities (20 March 2016) Australia. Makes zero mention of the existence of abuse of disabled boys, implies perpetrators are male. More about this article in this other blog post.
When Passionate Advocates Meet Research on Diversity, Does the Honest Broker Stand a Chance? (9 March 2016)
Happy IWD, Now Remember, You’re A Victim (8 March 2016) Video
Radio NZ Careless about Domestic Violence Figures (8 March 2016)
Anti-abuse campaign targets university students (22 February 2016) Australia. Typical of Our Watch research this survey appears designed to deliver a pre-determined finding of gendered female victimhood. The article reports one part of the picture, but where are the responses to (for example) how many boys were pressured “to do sexual things”? Whether girls respect the ability to consent in relation to boys who are drunk, etc.
Action Opportunity: Please Seek The Truth About Male Victims of Domestic Violence, and Defend the Honesty and Integrity of Australian Scientific Research (8 February 2016) Petition to the Australian Research Council
(I believe there to be a question mark over the extent to which the Australian Research Council is itself free of gender bias. I say this not in terms of funds provided to male versus female researchers, but in terms of social research projects with a feminist orientation being strongly favoured. Consider the examples provided of feminist research mentioned in this other blog post, as well as this article which will be discussed in a future post. The author of this article presenting a feminist-concordant perspective on the gender pay gap was also ARC-funded. These spreadsheets look at the nature of projects funded by the ARC)
Q&A: Australian of the Year David Morrison fires up over claim domestic violence data shows decline (2 February 2016) David really must be a feminist, with his ‘who needs statistics anyway’ line (when those statistics don’t support the feminist narrative)
‘Destroy the Joint’ feminist web site inflates the number of Australian women killed in situations of domestic violence (2 February 2016)
How feminists and a Police Commissioner’s Office conspired against male victims of domestic violence on Twitter (5 January 2016) UK. The second part of this investigation is here.
Domestic Violence is not on the rise (16 December 2015)
Clementine Ford is a Fraud (11 December 2015) See also this blog post
Children’s Rights Commissioner urges national focus on children affected by domestic violence (7 December 2015)
“The Children’s Rights Report being released today found one in every 28 people had also experienced sexual abuse as a child, while a further 23 per cent of children have witnessed violence against their mother”. This conveniently neglects to mention that as many Aussie kids have seen their mum hit their dad as vice versa (See footnote 7)
‘The Hunting Ground’s’ laughable response to me (30 November 2015) USA
Victim-blaming rampant in Australians’ attitudes towards violence against women – study (25 November 2015) And what of victim-blaming when men are the victims? And of community attitudes regarding violence towards males? Guess we’ll never know because the last thing feminist researchers want to do is provide context for their claims of female victimisation.
Wikipedia is anti-feminist because its editorial policy doesn’t allow you to just make things up …. “conventions exclude and silence feminist ways of knowing and writing” (September 2015) Reddit discussion thread and linked article.
Mary Koss doesn’t think women can rape men and boys (5 September 2015)
Open letter to the Victorian Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, by the One in Three organisation (17 August 2015) On exaggerating the extent to which female violence is attributable to self-defence
Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources (28 July 2015) USA
In this June 2015 paper the One in Three advocacy group recounts the bias and antagonism they faced whilst contributing to the Australian Senate Inquiry into Domestic Violence
The Guardian Australia corrects domestic violence article (17 April 2015)
ABC misleads. No, it’s not more dangerous to be a woman, by Andrew Bolt (14 April 2015) One of the precious few examples of an Australian journalist pointing out the distortion of data by feminists. And here and here are examples of the types of pro-feminist articles that Andrew was railing against.
What about the men? White Ribbon, men and violence: A response to Dr Michael Flood by Men’s Health Australia (undated) Very detailed rebuttal of an ‘expert’ whose work is often trumpeted by Australian feminists in support of their cause
Why do we believe such terrible things about men that can’t be true? (24 March 2015)
How To Lie And Mislead With Rape Statistics: Part 1 (25 January 2015) and Part 2 (27 January 2015) Recommended reading
Feminists love statistics – the real sexual assault and violence statistics in Australia (13 January 2015)
NSW Police fail victims of domestic violence with flippant social media post (20 January 2015) Australian feminist journalist attacks NSW Police for recognising male victims of domestic violence. Somebody fetch me a sick bucket
Jane Gilmore should stop with the rubbish domestic violence games by Jim Muldoon (25 November 2014). Jane Gilmore is an Australian feminist writer, and in April 2015 she wrote another article, this time attacking the ‘One in Three’ advocacy group and their findings in relation to the extent of male victimisation.
Domestic violence Woozles (factoids) in Australia (25 November 2014) Concerns the feminist claim that DV is the leading cause of death and injury for women aged under 45, and on the same theme:
Criminal suspicion: Domestic violence leading cause of injury to women (undated)
False claims undermine good causes by Claire Lehmann (24 November 2014)
1 in 4 women admit to violence in relationships (7 November 2014) Video by Tom Golden
The following collection of reddit discussion threads detail moderator bias and censorship in relation to threads/posts concerning domestic violence and child abuse – See example 1, example 2, example 3, example 4, example 5 and example 6 (27 October 2014) Includes the following quote from a moderator responding to a query as to why a post was removed: “It needs to be the right information from the right people. Here’s a shorthand guide: if you are an MRA or TRP, you need not bother posting. If your information may tend to make women look bad, same.”
New Anglicare WA Report finds over half of DV victims are male for some forms of abuse (28 October 2014) Yet despite this the report’s recommendations ignore male victims and female perpetrators
National Domestic Violence Statistics” page only has one statistic where males are a part of the victims. Can you find it? (27 October 2014) Reddit discussion thread and linked ‘fact’ sheet
The top 5 feminist myths of all time (8 September 2014) USA
Acid attacks: telling only half the story (26 June 2014)
Press regulator: Criado-Perez abuse claim was misleading (11 October 2014)
Domestic Violence Lies from Ottawa (22 January 2014) Video
Youtube video showing talk by Donald Dutton discussed fudging of statistics by feminist workers in the domestic violence industry (2008) Highly recommended viewing.
Commissioner Ken Lay’s professional misconduct (8 December 2013) Australia
The feminist advocacy “research” scam (20 June 2013) USA
Dishonesty in the Domestic Violence Industry, 2006 (Australia)
Do we ignore violence against men? G. Andresen and M. Woods (21 November 2007) This paper makes mention of the use of biased statistics by the ‘White Ribbon Campaign’, which is also mentioned in this 2008 discussion thread
Government deception won’t reduce family violence (June 2011)
How Government’s lie about domestic violence – Australia (17 August 2009)
Feminists deny truth on domestic violence (30 May 2006)
This is a good submission prepared by the Mens Rights Agency addressing the issue of the anti-male bias within domestic violence agencies – absolutely recommended reading
Harvard publishes a study showing women perpetrate more DV, and then the study mysteriously disappeared (A reddit discussion thread from 7 June 2014) and here is a link to an article about that Harvard study that includes a link to a saved copy of the actual study itself (and here is a link to study summary)
Refuting 40 years of lies about domestic violence by Dean Esmay (19 December 2012)
Male domestic violence victims suffer from wrongful gender bias
Are domestic violence figures bogus? (22 February 2014) Includes discussion of the notorious ‘intimate partner homicide is the leading cause of death for African-American women ages 15 to 45’
Processes explaining the concealment and distortion of evidence on gender symmetry in partner violence by Murray Strauss (14 July 2007)
Domestic violence study suspended by UNSW for breach of ethics (14 April 2014) Further background to this matter can be found here
I spoke to hundreds of men about rape and domestic violence (24 September 2014) Note that this is a different survey to that discussed by Adam Blanch earlier. It is certainly feasible that interviewers might influence survey respondents. It hardly fills one with confidence about the reliability of the results when interviewers are prepared to go on record with such strong views on the matter being investigated.
Article about repeated anti-male bias by a judge hearing domestic violence cases
If manipulating and misrepresenting statistics to suit an agenda was a crime then the feminist authors of this “fact-sheet” should be in jail. Many of these so-called facts are debunked in papers listed in this other post about domestic violence, whilst others demand the smallest measure of common-sense to confirm just how misleading they are.
Womens Aid UK actively tries to discredit statistics of male victims of domestic violence (reddit discussion thread and linked article dated 15 June 2014)
“A third of family murders involved a female as the killer. In sibling murders, females were 15% of killers, and in murders of parents, 18%. But in spouse murders, women represented 41% of killers. In murders of their offspring, women predominated, accounting for 55% of killers” (Source)
The paragraph above was extracted from a 1994 publication, not because patterns of gender perpetration have changed greatly but because the feminist filter has been imposed so completely now, that we only see articles like this one that present statistics in a manner suggesting that women are the perpetual victims of oppressive male malevolence. (Refer to Reddit discussion thread here)
Misrepresentation of Gender Bias in the 1989 Report of the Gender Bias Committee of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, by Mark B Rosenthal (23 November 2005)
These final linked articles address the predominant influence asserted by feminists in conducting research, and in the subsequent formulation of DV policy:
Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research (undated) USA
How feminists shaped Australian government policy on domestic violence (A doctorate thesis from December 2004)
“A brilliant funding strategy” – How and why feminists took over the domestic violence movement Interviews with Erin Pizzey, Senator Anne Cools, Warren Farrell and others (Youtube video)
Domestic violence, predetermination, and the feminised bureaucracy (Peter Zohrab, 2008) The same author has written many other papers about domestic violence in New Zealand.
Regarding the table below … hardly an ‘epidemic’. The only increase is in male victimisation. It’s no wonder that, in pushing its ‘epidemic’ barrow, the Domestic Violence Industry increasingly relies on statistics generated by help-line call centres instead. And of course we can trust the integrity of those sources.
“Advocacy research consists of collating available evidence or producing new information to support a pre-determined policy position. Advocacy research is commonly carried out by pressure groups, lobby groups and interest groups (such as trade unions) and, occasionally, by political parties, journalists and academics – especially those working in the social policy field.”
Catherine Hakim (2000). Research Design: Successful Designs for Social and Economic Research. pp. 8–9.
“It is difﬁcult to criticize advocacy research without giving an impression of caring less about the problem under consideration than do those who are engaged in magnifying its size. But one may be deeply concerned about problems such as rape, child abuse, and homelessness yet still wish to see a rigorous and objective analysis of their dimensions. Advocacy research that uncovers a problem, measures it with reasonable accuracy, and brings it to public attention performs a valuable service by raising public consciousness. The current trend in advocacy research is to inﬂate problems and redeﬁne them in line with the advocates’ ideological preferences. The few impose their deﬁnition of social ills on the many – seeking to incite moral panics. This type of advocacy research invites social policies that are likely to be neither effective nor fair.”
Gilbert, N. (1997). Advocacy Research and Social Policy. Crime and Justice, 22, 101-148
My initial post about domestic violence within this blog can be found here, whilst other DV-related posts can be located by clicking on the ‘domestic violence’ tag at the bottom of this page. It is suggested that this post also be read in conjunction with:
On the censorship of non-feminist perspectives and opinions
Finessing definitions to preserve the image of female victimhood
Gendered, gendered, gendered: The word that fuels the feminist machine
Achieving personal financial security is important for everyone, but dodgy research helps no-one