Sensitive topic revisited: studying rape

One of the values of Twitter (and there ARE many downsides): on occasion, someone will take on a very sensitive topic and do so in a detailed, logical way. Here is an example:

Yes, the “bumper sticker” answer is “Rape is about power and not about sex.” But that is just a bumper sticker answer, and frankly the sentence, due to the shortness of the saying and the complexity of the topic, is necessarily ambiguous.

Now I actually agree with two common interpretations of that sentence:

1. Being sexually aroused does NOT entitle you to sex, sexual touching, etc. and
2. Sexy attire and/or flirtatious behavior really isn’t a risk factor of becoming a rape victim.
There was a time when this point didn’t make sense to me, but the data bears this out:

Below you will find statistics, information and studies regarding the
relation of rape and the blame on clothing.

Utah State University Sexual Assault and Anti Violence Information

Myth: Rape victims provoke the attach by wearing provocative clothing

– A Federal Commission on Crime of Violence Study found that only
4.4% of all reported rapes involved provocative behavior on the part
of the victim. In murder cases 22% involved such behavior (as simple
as a glance).

– Most convicted rapists do not remember what their victims were wearing.

– Victims range in age from days old to those in their nineties,
hardly provocative dressers.

Utah State University

Click to access myths_facts.pdf

So I agree with those interpretations. But “sex” has a biological meaning as well..a clinical one. And yes, there is evidence that this is a strategy used by some maladjusted males to propagate their genes, which, well, on an evolutionary level, sex IS about gene propagation. Think about it: there is evidence that Neanderthals and homo sapiens mated..and I doubt there was formal courtship in practice in those days. And yes, forced copulation happens in nature and has been studied:

Scientists have elucidated the mechanism by which female ducks thwart forced copulations.

Unwanted sex is an unpleasant fact of life for many female ducks. After carefully selecting a mate, developing a relationship and breeding, a female must face groups of males that did not find mates and want nothing more than a quick fling.

Now a team led by Patricia Brennan, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, has described the morphology of the duck penis and found how the physiology and behaviour of female ducks can help to prevent unwanted sperm from being deposited far inside the oviduct.

And this behavior has been studied in primates:

Despicable, Yes, but Not Inexplicable:
Reviewed Work: SEXUAL COERCION IN PRIMATES AND HUMANS: An Evolutionary Perspective on Male Aggression Against Females by Martin N. Muller, Richard W. Wrangham
Review by: Craig Stanford
American Scientist
Vol. 97, No. 6 (November-December 2009), pp. 498-500

Link to another review.

Of course, this caused some tension between the social scientists and the biologists, and many of the wokes will flat out dismiss this as patriarchy …male privilege science, etc.
And while I am not a biologist, what they say makes sense to me; “morality” is a human construct and there is no reason nature is bound to it.

Where I think the hard feelings comes from is that some conflate “genetic origins for” with “well, it must be ok then.” After all, male lions will sometimes kill a female lion’s cubs (one conjecture: in order to bring the female back into heat), and that would (rightfully so) be considered a severe crime in any decent society.

Saturday Deadlifts and snow

Let me be clear: I resumed deadlfing after a long hiatus; I had reached a rather pedestrian 425 (in the gym) as a 21 year old (200 lb), discovered it again as a 35 year old (320 or so at 230 lbs of bodyweight) but gave it up as it hurt my back. I then noticed the trap bar, tried some and was hooked again; this time, instructional videos (like this one) have enabled me to train without hurting my back. But…confession..with low handles or with the straight bar, when I started I could not even get 225 (at 190-195 lb. of body weight).

Years of distance running, distance walking, and upper body lifting ..but I neglected to practice this.

My back is weak and legs are weak. I can do a set of 6 goblet squats with 70 lb, but my best barbell squat: 95 lb, which is less than I clean and press. I’ve got issues.

So my new obsession with deadlifting is NOT “oh, look at me..I am strong” but rather “I am trying to correct a body deficiency.” I’ve done that before; after rotator cuff issues, even a single pull up caused me pain. Now I can do sets of 10 and 15. And when I first started goblet squats: a set of 6 with 25 was…challenging.

So here goes:

Today I worked out in my home gym. Tools: straight bar (44 lb), two big collars (11 lb for the pair), bumper plates (45 lb), smaller plates of 22, 11 lb. Hex bar: 44 lb (checked this on a scale), spring collars for the hex, and 44 lb. cast iron plates.

Straight bar, conventional stance:

5 x 145
5 x 189 (“no bounce reps’)
4 x 233 (good, solid, no bounce reps)
3 misses at 255; second miss I actually got it to my knees but surprised myself and wasn’t ready to pull it all the way)

Straight bar: Sumo style:

5 x 211 (failed to touch one rep)

Straight bar: Romanian

6 x 167 (I could get below the knees before I felt the “rounding” starting)

Hex bar

6 x 176 (confession: I just got my new hex bar and wanted to try it out; easy, no knee pain)

Only slight worry: “tug” on my right side; lower part of the rib..does NOT appear to be serious.

Then, 5 mile treadmill walk in 1:01:19; final mile was 11:47. This was decent for a walk; it is yucky outside:

The weather has been weird. We went from 50’s on Wednesday to the teens on Thursday. Then it warmed; then we got 3 inches of fluffy, dry snow yesterday afternoon (see the above; it was dry when I walked to the office at noon). Now it got well above freezing and rain; cold front is coming in which will put us in low single digits.

Tammy (a racewalking friend) teased me with this snow shovel photo (she lives in Utah)

Cassie teased me earlier..a few months ago.