Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Professional Perspecive on Rape

Guest contribution by Dr. Yehoshua H. Breyer*

2010 study: One in four domestic violence cases are men (Daily Mail)
A few days ago I wrote about the sensitive subject of rape on campus and Rabbi Pruzansky's perspective on it. About which I was very critical. That post drew quite a variety of responses. One of which was sent to me privately by an experienced Orthodox  mental health professional that deals with cases of this type. He discusses a tangential issue that is rarely spoken of but is quite serious and more common than most people realize. You may recognize his writing style. I have featured his thoughtful words here before. With his permission I offer it here in its entirety. It follows.

I concur that true  rape is on the increase.  In fact, sexual activity has extended far beyond the boundaries that existed for centuries – a healthy and precious part of a loving emotional, marital relationship.  We have at the present countless forms of behavior that is recognized as sexual behavior, and the permissiveness about the entire subject, both the action, and the communication in verbal and image terms would be unrecognizable to earlier generations.  

Virtually all advertising is founded on some form of subliminal sexual message.  Books do not sell without something sexual in the content or marketing.  With the “new values” being set for America and other countries that consider all sorts of perversions legitimate, we are only facing something far more monstrous than just the “oldest profession”.

Among the problems here is the disconnect, often to the 100% level between physical intimacy and the emotional relationship.  If all of sex is about drama, entertainment, and the moments of physical pleasure, than there becomes the underpinning of addiction to it, where that becomes an end in itself.  Such experiences are, by definition, devoid of true meaning, and are fleeting moments of endorphin rush.  If there is no pursuit of something more lasting, this just gets repeated, and becomes the raison d’etre.  If the target participant is unwilling, then the option that is preferred is to overcome the resistance.  Whether that means physical force or some other form is irrelevant.  That is rape.

But there is another huge problem here.  I divert for a moment.  The field of domestic violence is becoming seriously damaged by a phenomenon that occurs whenever legislation is passed to create a new attitude and to lash back at a cultural pattern.  The DV system is flawed by bad research, that allows a limited amount of information to be recognized, despite scientific rigor.  

This model assumes that all DV (domestic violence) is perpetrated by the male against the female.  So there are no shelters for battered husbands, and there is not a single program in all 50 states to protect a husband that is being abused by his wife.  Existing DV programs deny the vast amount of true science that finds the male edge as perpetrators of DV at around 56%.  This means that close to 50% of reported DV is simply untrue.  And a few states have introduced legislation to make the false reporting of DV a crime that can be prosecuted.

Let’s get back on track.  Rape exists, is illegal, horrible, and is probably increasing.  And it is also underreported.  However, I also suspect that there is a percentage that is too big to ignore of false reports of rape.  It is too easy to do that, and no one needs to prove a thing.  This has already been documented, even in a case that was covered in national media.

The subject has too many complicating factors.  I hesitate to buy into anyone pushing a single agenda.

*not his real name