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March 31, 2005

False Allegations Of Abuse Rare

Below are quotes from a psychologist who said that it is rare for children to make false allegations of abuse. I left out all but the pertinent quotes because this article is about The M Word, which I don't want on my blog. When you go to the link you'll see what I mean.

ABC News
Psychologist Testifies False Claims Rare

By LINDA DEUTSCH AP Special Correspondent

The Associated Press
SANTA MARIA, Calif. Mar 30, 2005 — The psychologist [...] testified Wednesday that it would be "extremely rare" for a child that age to make a false allegation.

[...]

[Psychologist Stan] Katz said that children over 5 rarely fabricate claims of molestation.

He said that accusers who appear to be truthful sometimes change their stories and embellish or exaggerate, while "children who make false allegations are usually consistent, almost scripted."

This coincides with existing research that shows that only 2 - 8% of all allegations of child sexual abuse are bona fide false allegations. See below:

According to the two best and largest studies on the subject, false allegations of sexual abuse are rare -- in the range of 2 to 8 percent [1,2]. That means the other 92%-98% are meritorious, and this 92%-98% comprised the 152,400 *substantiated* cases on record for 1993 alone [3] (and, bearing in mind that child sexual abuse is a highly *underreported* crime, these are just the cases we know about).

1. Thoennes N, Tjaden PG: The extent, nature, and validity of sexual abuse allegations in custody/visitation disputes. Child Abuse & Neglect 14: 151-163, 1990.

2. Everson MD, Boat BW: False allegations of sexual abuse by children and adolescents. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 28: 230-235, 1989.

3. McCurdy K, Daro D: Current trends in child abuse reporting and fatalities: The results of the 1993 annual fifty state survey. Chicago: NCPCA, 1994.

Katz also said that it is "extremely rare" for a child of 13 years to make a false allegation.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 04:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

At Least It Didn't Happen In World Of Warcraft

A Shanghai online game player stabbed to death another player who sold his cyber-sword (a "dragon saber") in the online game "Legend of Mir 3." The man "went to the police to report the "theft" but was told the weapon was not real property protected by law." When that didn't work, he stabbed the guy to death.

I know game players take their loot and characters seriously. As hard as it is to believe, high-level characters are worth lots of real money on eBay. There is currently a Dark Age of Camelot (DAOC) character on eBay for sale, and bids are up to $102.50. There are still two days left. According to the seller, "[t]his account has FIVE level 50s, three on Hib Gawaine and two on Mid Lancelot. (Buff Druid, Mana Elderitch, Light Ment, Warrior, Hunter)." This same seller has a second DAOC character for sale on eBay," and bidding is up to $100.00. There are two days left.

This guy will bring in over $200.00 for selling air.

My husband isn't currently playing DAOC, but he has a high-level character that he could easily sell on eBay if he chooses, and he could bring in a nice wad of cash. So, these people take their game playing very seriously, apparently, even to the point of murder.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)

News For Men Who Want To Control The Remote

Rather than fight with your wife over the TV remote, be like the paralyzed guy who had a computer chip implanted in his brain. "He can think his TV on and off, change channels and alter the volume thanks to the technology and software linked to devices in his home."

This reminded me of something strange that happened when I was a child. I had a cousin who was well off because her father came into a nice inheritence when his father died. She had all the latest toys - every Barbie in creation, a canopy bed, you name it. The family also bought one of the first TVs that used a remote control. The remote was about the size of a boat. It was huge. It also was the same frequency as my favorite charm bracelet. While she and I were playing (I popped her Barbie's heads off with my thumb, and that pissed her off.), the TV kept shutting off. My uncle would turn it back on, and within a few seconds it would shut of again. I figured out that my jangling charm bracelet was doing it. They'd turn the TV on, I'd shake my bracelet, and it would turn off again. The men watching TV thought something was wrong with the TV. I finally told my uncle, and did a demonstration. They thought it was funny, and went back to watching TV. The problem was the thing kept shutting off because I was having fun screwing with it. Finally, my aunt came over and took off my charm bracelet. At least I didn't get yelled at, even though I was purposefully jangling my charm bracelet to turn off the TV.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Golden Palace Casino Strikes Again!

"Golden Palace Casino announced today that it has added the latest acquisition to its manifest of preposterous eBay purchases by paying a 33-year-old US woman $15,199 to legally change her name to GoldenPalace.com."

The woman, Terri Iligan, "is a 33-year-old mother of five who says she got the idea when she found out how much it would cost to send one of her children to a golf school Tiger Woods once attended."

She won't be known as Terri much longer. It'll be Goldie.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 02:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

What Runs Through A Woman's Mind When She's Worried About Being Pregnant

Anti-abortion activists act as if women who get abortions treat their abortions like taking out the trash. No, it's not a light decision. She has her health, her life, her income, and her job to worry about. Read Cameron Hurley's post about a recent pregnancy scare she had to see what really goes through a woman's mind when she is contemplating an abortion. Luckily, Cameron did get her period, so she's relieved that she wasn't pregnant.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 09:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

N.Y. County Ordered to Stop Strip-Search Policy

N.Y. County Ordered to Stop Strip-Search Policy
New York Law Journal

A New York county has been ordered to suspend a policy in which all detainees, including those arrested on misdemeanor and traffic charges, are required to strip naked in front of a corrections officer. The county had claimed that since officials were not performing body cavity examinations they were not conducting a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. Judge David N. Hurd granted class action status to plaintiffs, about 2,500 of whom have been affected, say plaintiffs lawyers.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 07:13 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

The Moral Police Are At It Again

From Amanda at Panagon: get married or lose your job.

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A former sheriff's dispatcher who quit her job after her boss found out she lived with her boyfriend is challenging North Carolina's law against cohabitation.

Debora Hobbs said she was told to get married, move out, or find another job after her boss found out about her living situation. The legal arm of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina filed the lawsuit Monday on her behalf.

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 07:11 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

Irony Alert

Sometimes the stories write themselves.

From Evan at Peek: "The Boy Scouts' national director who just recently sought to legally purge the group of gays has been charged with receiving and distributing child pornography."

Posted on March 31, 2005 at 06:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

March 30, 2005

Hyper-Masculinity And The Fathers' Rights Movement

Lauren at Feministe and Media Girl (in the comments at XX), pointed me to an interview of Stephen J. Ducat, author of "The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, & the Politics of Anxious Masculinity." While this interview is about "anxious masculinity" in the Bush administration, I thought what Ducat said could easily apply to the fathers' rights movement.

Stephen J. Ducat: In a culture based on male domination and in which most things feminine tend to be devalued, even if they are secretly envied, the most important thing about being a man is not being a woman. This powerful adult male imperative to be unlike females and to repudiate anything that smacks of maternal caretaking is played out just as powerfully in politics as it is in personal life. In fact, political contests among men are in many ways the ultimate battles for masculine supremacy. This makes disavowing the feminine in oneself and projecting it onto one’s opponent especially important. This femiphobia--this male fear of being feminine--operates unconsciously in many men as a very powerful determinant of their political behavior.

This culture of male domination and "anxious masculinity" is not new. Michael Lamb discussed it in the mid 1970s in his book "The Role of the Father," especially regarding father absence. Father absence was first studied during WW II, when fathers were leaving their families to go off to war. A big fear at that time which plays out today is that without adequate male role models, in particular their fathers, boys would grow up to be feminized. The feminine was devalued, much in the same way Ducat discusses hyper-masculinity as seen in politics today. During the time father absence studies were first being conducted, a major weakness of many of these studies relates to the techniques used to assess masculinity and femininity. Anxious masculinity in the fear of anything remotely feminine was in existence at this time. Lamb also noted that the father is the parent most concerned with the adoption of cultural values and traditional stereotypically defined sex roles. There was more worry about how boys reacted to father absence than girls. Lamb wrote that "studies of the effects of father absence have been said to show an element of sexism in that more attention has been given to effects on boys than on girls." There was a real fear that boys raised without the fathers' influence would not be "man" enough.

Take special note of this excerpt. Even fathers feared that their children would become "sissies" if left to the care of women. This attitude of the fear of the feminine is more than fifty years old.

"(Stoltz et al. (1954) - 4- to 8- year old children separated from fathers for first two years of their lives.) Interviews revealed that the boys were generally perceived by their fathers as "sissies." Careful observation of these boys supported this view. The boys were less assertively aggressive and independent in their peer relations than boys who had not been separated from their fathers. They were more often observed to be very submissive or to react with immature hostility, and they were actually more aggressive in doll play than boys who had not been separated from their fathers. However, the facts that the fathers were present in the home at the time of this study and that the father-child relationships were stressful make it difficult to speculate about what influence father absence per se had on the children's personality development."

The fear of the feminine in this quote is outweighed by the fact that the fathers were present and their relationship with their sons was strained. Aggression in boys was valued over cooperation.

"Anxious masculinity" plays out in the fathers' rights movement with the Superhero protests in the U. K. These men would rather parade around as men with super powers that they in reality do not have than do the nuts and bolts of childrearing. I think the choice of costume is important. You aren't going to see one of the guys scale a building dressed as Spongebob or a less hyper-masculine character. No, it has to be a character that is a hyper-masculine male. These men strut for the camera's, flexing their arms as if they have bulging muscles. They don't. I wonder if such display actually shows how inferior these men really feel about their own masculinity. Fathers' rights activists often say that they are "victims" of "the system." Do they feel emasculated when they don't get what they want? I think that the changing roles of men and women, especially in the parenting realm, threaten these guys, so they put on displays of hyper-masculinity to cover their anxiety. Their talk of "equality" is actually about controlling women and children through the court system. They don't really want to be "equal" parents. They want dominance over their ex-wives through the children, and they have learned how to use the court system to get their way.

Posted on March 30, 2005 at 08:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (70)

Fill Out My Prescription, Dammit!

Bitch Ph.D is one of many bloggers writing about pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions. She quotes a Washington Post article:

"He's a devout Roman Catholic and believes participating in any action that inhibits or prohibits human life is a sin," said Aden of the Christian Legal Society. "The rights of pharmacists like him should be respected."

What about my right to have my prescription filled? Your "moral issues" end where my health care begins. If you have a problem in your job filling out prescriptions because you find the person who wants to have the prescription filled "morally objectionable," get another job.

I haven't heard any cases of pharmacists objecting to fill prescriptions of Viagra. Why not? How do you know these men aren't cheating on their wives? There have been reports that men taking Viagra have cheated on their wives. What about men who buy condoms? Will the pharmacist demand to see a marriage license to be sure these men aren't having affairs or sex out of wedlock? Is the pharmacist going to grill these men to find out if they are being unfaithful, and then refuse to fill the prescription or hand over the condoms on moral grounds?

I don't think so.

The bigger issue of pharmacists refusing to fill birth control prescriptions is really about men taking control of women's reproduction. The "moral police" are doing that by rolling back the availability of abortion as well. Welcome to "The Handmaid's Tale."

Posted on March 30, 2005 at 08:07 AM | Permalink | Comments (20)