Monday, September 14, 2009

A Final Word on Lisak

As I noted in my previous posts, Duke women’s center director Ada Gregory, in her damage-control letter to the Chronicle, cited the work of researcher David Lisak to bolster her . . . provocative . . . claim that elite universities face a particular threat from potential rapists because these institutions house more intelligent people than the general public.

As I also noted in my previous posts, not only did Lisak’s articles and papers that I read fail to prove this claim, but they provided no basis for it at all—Lisak did not mention rapists’ IQ or intelligence in the writings that I read.

Below are the synopses of Lisak’s other articles discussing his studies of rape and sexual assault. And, keep in mind, Lisak is hardly out-of-step ideologically with people like Gregory or the Group of 88, since he has endorsed a claim (that no actual crime figures support) that roughly 40 million American women have been victims of sexual assault.

“Motivational factors in nonincarcerated sexually aggressive men,” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology. 55(5):795-802.

Research on convicted rapists has demonstrated the importance of several key motivational factors in male sexual aggression. In particular, anger at women and the need to dominate or control them have been repeatedly implicated. Although anger and power have also been shown to be important in understanding college men who report sexually aggressive behavior, there has been little research on what underlies these motives. This research combined questions assessing these underlying motivational factors, as well as questions dealing with underlying sexual motivation and disinhibition, with a slightly modified version of the Sexual Experiences Survey (Koss & Oros, 1982). In Study 1, subjects were 184 male undergraduates. Factor analysis of the questions composing the four scales yielded four slightly modified scales. Scales measuring underlying anger, underlying power, and disinhibition significantly differentiated sexually aggressive from nonaggressive men but did not distinguish between men who were coercive, manipulative, or nonaggressive. In a replication on a smaller sample (n = 70), underlying anger, underlying power, and disinhibition again differentiated sexually aggressive from nonaggressive men.

“Motives and psychodynamics of self-reported, unincarcerated rapists,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 60(2):268-80, 1990.

Fifteen men, classified by self-report as rapists and attempted rapists, but who had never been arrested or convicted, were compared to a matched control group on standardized instruments and content-coded interviews. Differences in hostility toward women, power motivations, and hypermasculinity were similar to findings from studies of convicted rapists. However, results suggest a greater role for the father in the etiology of rape-associated dynamics than has previously been reported.

“Educational, occupational, and relationship histories of men who were sexually and/or physically abused as children,” Journal of Traumatic Stress. 7(4):507-23, 1994.

Ninety men (mean age 26) at an urban Northeastern university were administered a self-report assessment of their early sexual and physical abuse experiences, and their educational, occupational, relationship, and substance abuse histories. Subjects were classified as sexually abused according to criteria used by Wyatt (1985) and Finkelhor (1979). Sixteen men (17.8%) experienced sexual abuse alone, 22 men (24.4%) physical abuse alone, 15 men (16.7%) both sexual and physical abuse, and 37 men (41.1%) were classified as nonabused. Of the 31 men who reported sexual abuse, 24 (77.4%) were contact, the rest noncontact. Sexually abused men reported significantly greater difficulties than nonabused men at all levels of education: grade school, high school and college. They also reported more negative job experiences and more negative experiences in relationships. Physically abused men showed a similar but less pervasive pattern of difficulties. Substance abuse was significantly more prevalent among both sexually and physically abused men than among nonabused subjects.

“Factors in the cycle of violence: gender rigidity and emotional constriction,” Journal of Traumatic Stress. 9(4):721-43, 1996.

A sample of 595 men were administered self-report assessments of childhood sexual and physical abuse, perpetration history, gender rigidity and emotional constriction. Including noncontact forms of sexual abuse, 11% of the men reported sexual abuse alone, 17% reported physical abuse alone, and 17% reported both sexual and physical abuse. Of the 257 men in the sample who reported some form of childhood abuse, 38% reported some form of perpetration themselves, either sexual or physical; of the 126 perpetrators, 70% reported having been abused in childhood. Thus, most perpetrators were abused, but most abused men did not perpetrate. Both sexually and physically abused men who perpetrated manifested significantly more gender rigidity and emotional constriction than abused nonperpetrators. Men who reported abuse but not perpetration demonstrated significantly less gender rigidity, less homophobia and less emotional constriction than nonabused men.

"Repeat rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists,” Violence & Victims. 17(1):73-84, 2002.

Pooling data from four samples in which 1,882 men were assessed for acts of interpersonal violence, we report on 120 men whose self-reported acts met legal definitions of rape or attempted rape, but who were never prosecuted by criminal justice authorities. A majority of these undetected rapists were repeat rapists, and a majority also committed other acts of interpersonal violence. The repeat rapists averaged 5.8 rapes each. The 120 rapists were responsible for 1,225 separate acts of interpersonal violence, including rape, battery, and child physical and sexual abuse. These findings mirror those from studies of incarcerated sex offenders (Abel, Becker, Mittelman, Cunningham-Rathner, Rouleau, & Murphy, 1987; Weinrott and Saylor, 1991), indicating high rates of both repeat rape and multiple types of offending. Implications for the investigation and prosecution of this so-called “hidden” rape are discussed.

It is possible, of course, that somewhere, at some point in his career, Lisak made an extraneous reference suggesting that entities filled by people with higher IQs are more likely to feature rapists. But there’s nothing in his available articles, or in his published synopses, to reflect this fact; and, in any case, this line of thought is clearly not a major element of Lisak’s research.

I have no opinion, one way or the other, on the quality of Lisak’s research. But why did Ada Gregory reference him and only him to substantiate her claim that Duke, because it has intelligent students, has a higher percentage of rapists than the general population, when his research offers no significant basis for making such a claim?

One final point on Lisak’s research. Much of campus anti-rape activism has focused on the dangers of “date rape,” and the dangers in particular of alcohol both inhibiting actions and leading one partner to believe that the other has given consent, when in fact no consent was given. Indeed, this sense of the danger of “date rape” helps explain many components of Duke’s current sexual assault policy—namely the requirement that consent must be given (and, presumably, documented) at each stage of the intercourse process; or the Orwellian claim that “real or perceived power differentials between individuals may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.” [emphases added]

Yet in his research, Lisak challenges this traditional view of “date rape.” He contends that the typical campus “undetected rapist” is not a “Nice Guy” who “drank too much,” and raped as a result of “unpremeditated” “miscommunication,” so that it “won’t happen again,” but instead someone who “plans & premeditates his attacks,” “uses multiple strategies to make [his] victim vulnerable,” and “uses alcohol deliberately.”

If true, of course, the problem of campus date rape isn’t primarily one of a male student mistakenly believing consent was given, and a female student denying consent. Instead, it’s a problem of a female being victimized by a serial sexual predator whose behavior wouldn’t be altered no matter how many freshmen orientation skits by the Women’s Center he happened to attend. Such a view of campus rape, of course, requires less ideological crusading by politically correct administrators and more interaction between the campus and local law enforcement. Lisak does recommend such interaction. But his research does nothing to help bolster Duke’s new policy.

Again, I have no opinion, one way or the other, on the quality of Lisak’s research. But, given his findings, it is troubling—to put it mildly—to see Ms. Gregory cite Lisak and only Lisak as part of her recommendation that Duke’s new, guilt-presuming sexual assault policy should form a model for other colleges and universities.


Anonymous said...

Is Lisak a Communist?

Gary Packwood said...

Lisak is reporting findings where UNIVERSITY students were used as subjects along with SELF-reported rapists as subjects along side pooled data from multiple studies of SELF-reported rapists.

Where are the convicted rapists?

There are many captive audiences of convicted rape and sexual assault subjects just waiting to be studied!

They are in jail.

And I'll wager none of them ever made it through the admission process for any of the top ten schools in this nation.

Why do the alumni allow this type of Hocus-Pocus to rip at the fabric of all things Duke?

Perhaps the Methodists will come down off their pedestal and smite someone.

Anonymous said...

Ada Gregory's goal is not to prevent rape. It is to create an atmosphere in which all men will be sufficiently intimidated that they will allow people like Gregory to do whatever they want. Looks like it's working at Duke. For now, anyway.

Jungle Jim said...

When I was a grad student at Ohio State in the 1990s, they put plastic screens in the urinals in the mens restorooms that said "You are holding the power to stop rape in your hands".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

My theory is that Duke has a morbid fascination with drinking. The students need it for the release of tension, and the administration has many long-term policies and short-term rules to combat it. Ada Gregory and the Duke Women's Center have glommed onto the issue, without using any facts or even good guesses, to make themselves seem more relevant than they really are. It also gives them a way, unscientifically, to express their hatred of men.

Kilgore said...

Yes KC, quite right that the "circle the wagons from all men" call of the feminists is a bogus attempt to vilify men in general. Lisak's research shows that of the population they consider to be potential perpetrators a huge sub-set of that group of men were abused as children. Gregory would undoubtedly give a pass to any female who was abused as a child. The fact is that most feminists will give a woman with a history of being abused as a child a gold medal and a special place in their hierarchy. But now we see that men who have suffered a similar history are condemned and vilified as barbarians.

Some animals are more equal than others.

William L. Anderson said...

The 9:27 comment is spot on. That is exactly what Gregory and the Duke administration want for the university. Remember that Bob Steel said that he was going to "f*ck" the lacrosse players. To him and many others at Duke, they symbolized the kind of people that leftists want to intimidate.

A second reason that this has happened now is that Duke faces some severe financial challenges, and people are going to ask why the university is spending millions of dollars on things that have nothing to do with education and everything to do with an ideology that is utterly destructive to the educational process.

People like Steel and Brodhead have invested their careers in promoting this ideology, and they cannot understand why some people who almost were railroaded into prison might object. So, we get people like Ada Gregory, who has no business being within 20 miles of young people, making policy.

Anonymous said...

This campus from the outset of the lacrosse hoax has been about intimidation . . . look at the response of the so-called intellectual elite . . . they know nothing, they challenge no one in the truth . . . they cringe in the shrill sounds of a politically correct lynch mob . . . these are people of whom it might be assumed to have read The Crucible, and, yet, where is their courage. What do these horrible assumption say about how boys or men will be treated or taught . . . I am just sick of it.

Debrah said...

Dr. David Lisak is the eighth one down.

I often I read the opinions from people like Lisak and others...... they conduct themselves privately and what their personal relationships have been like.

So many psychologists and psychiatrists go into the field toward a quest to resolve some of their own issues.

Arousing and gripping, that.

bobo1949 said...

4 Men arrested in Hofstra Rape Case
Never did learn to use tags; here is the url:
From the photographs associated with the news story the alleged assailants are black. I was unable to determine if any of these men were members of the Lacrosse Team. The team is off to play Cornell in a 16 team tournament. Details are sketchy. The name and race of the 18 year old victim were not disclosed in the story.
The Hofstra Chronicle has not reported, at least electronically, on the assault.
I wonder what Ada Gregory will say about this case?

Anonymous said...

Hey, K.C.!

Congratulations on your Philip Merrill Award for scholarly excellence.

It's always good to see someone **strike with the facts** instead of spouting vague, mushy touchy-feely ideological musings and unbacked assertions masquerading as reality, cloaked in unintelligible gobbledygook ramblings and awash in emotionalism. Like a breath of fresh air after coming out of a cesspool.

-- Gus W.

No Justice, No Peace said...

Inre: "Is Lisek a communist?"

He, like the Klan of 88, may be more of a fascist. This story about the SS in Italy is instructive. "The rationale was always the same: the local people were harboring partisans..."

"Sant’Anna di Stazzema, (just doing what was ask of them…)

A few miles from the coastal town of Pietrasanta is the mountain village of Sant’Anna di Stazzema. There began on August 12, 1944, one of the most horrid strings of atrocities of the entire War in Italy. The Resistance had been active in the area and Kesselring had given free rein to local German commanders to use virtually any means they chose to take reprisals. A Waffen SS unit rounded up almost the entire population of Sant’Anna di Stazzema, which by that time consisted almost exclusively of women, children and elderly men. The young and middle-aged men had taken to the woods, joined the Resistance or had already been Shanghaied for labor in Germany. 360 people where slaughtered. It has been reported that among the bodies were those of several SS men who may well have been killed by their colleagues for refusing to partake in the murders. The SS then moved on to the village of Valla where they killed 107 more and San Terenzo where 53 more hostages were dispatched. Across the Appenines, numerous other villages were put to the sword, the culmination of the rampage taking place around Monte Sole and the town of Marzabotto southwest of Bologna where SS and Fascists murdered over 1800 people and burned farms and villages. The rationale was always the same: the local people were harboring partisans and mass reprisal was the way to back off the Resistance from constant attacks on the German rear as they tried to hold the Gothic Line." - “A LOYOLA ROME STUDENT’S GUIDE TO WORLD WAR II IN ROME & ITALY”, By Philip R. O’Connor, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago Rome Center.

Duke is full of white males who must be dealt with...

Don't the rape policy and the prior CCI provide the platform for leaders to "use virtually any means they chose to take reprisals?"

Thanks for asking 8:54

A Duke Dad said...

Dang !

This underage drinking issue is quite profound.

If the University will ruthlessly enforce all penalties for underage drinking, that will end all student rapes on campus.

There won't be ANY students left on campus -- all will have been expelled for alcohol violations.

Anonymous said...

Ortho Psychiatry is akin to astrology . Even 20 years ago,it was discredited