The available information suggests that, in patriarchal societies such as our own, males subjected to the "You are a female!" treatment - whether it be sexual or a nonsexual sublimated version of the same thing - may manifest a high level of aggression and violence; they may also manifest a high likelihood of being violent with women, including rape. Although I have much information related to this phenomenon, more is available, and it would take about 6 months of work to collect, integrate, and present the information.
On August 22, 1992, The Calgary Herald devoted a full page to child sexual abuse, with a focus on four victims who were cycling across Canada to raise money and make people aware of this major social problem. Two important statements were made:
From eating disorders to alcoholism, prostitution to murder, many of society's worst problems and crimes are acted out by people who were molested in childhood.In the 1990 essay Rape: Prisoner of My Sexual Fantasies written by a male victim of paternal anal penetration, the author's highly problematic life is reported to have persisted until he discovered the repressed memory of his sexual abuse. The essay ends with:
The four [activists/victims] are convinced that as many as 90 percent of inmates in Canadian penitentiaries were sexually victimized as children (58).
Statistics tell us that about 70 percent of battering men either witnessed violence between their parents or were brutalized themselves. I can't prove it, but I know viscerally that most, if not all rapists have been raped themselves (02: 30).If this is true, it would certainly explain why, in our prison systems, inmates convicted of child sexual abuse have the highest probability of being assaulted, injured, or even killed. For some males, the rage motivating such behavior may be the result of repressed memories of child sexual abuse. Their RAGE may also be similar to the RAGE some male victims of child sexual abuse direct at gay males because they are believed to be the sexual abusers of boys.
It is likely that many of these enraged inmates are also the ones raping and/or sexually abusing physically weaker younger males. Although most people distinguish between an adult male raping a boy, and the same adult male raping another physically weaker (usually younger) adult male, both acts are quite similar. Some of the inmates wanting to kill child sex abusers may not fully recognize their own desires to do something remarkably similar: sexually using and abusing others as they were once used and/or abused.
There are potentially very negative consequences when adult males are raped and/or sexually abused, as many men have done to females of all ages. In this document, only one quotation (p. 23) was used to indicate the likelihood that such abuse may be producing males with a very high potential for violence, especially for being sexually violent with women. Unfortunately, the professional world has avoided the study of these men, mostly because the ones working with inmates have traditionally blamed them for having been raped or sexually used and abused. The victim blaming may also have been more common than it has been for victimized women.
The first group to address the issue of prison rape "People organized to Stop Rape of Imprisoned Persons" was formed in 1979 by Russell D. Smith, "a black prisoner who bad been raped throughout his life in reform school and later in prison." The director of the group, Tom Cahill, who was himself beaten, tortured, and gang-raped in prison, begins his essay with:
U.S. taxpayers are funding a criminal justice industry that is mass-producing rapists among other criminals. more than 26,000 adult males are raped daily in U.S. jails and prisons and even more boys are sexually abused in reform school. And the by-product of prison rape are murder, suicide, AIDS, psychosis and a cycle of violence that is spilling over walls of 'correctional' institutions. The overwhelming majority of males raped behind bars are heterosexual and many victims become rapists themselves in a demented attempt to regain what they consider their 'lost manhood.' If they continue the cycle of violence upon release, they are most likely to victimize women as preferred and easier prey. Thus sexual assault behind bars may be a major root cause for an increasing rape rate of women in free society. It may be the quickest, most cost-effective way of producing a sociopath or even a psychopath (17: 31).Many male victims of rape and/or sexual abuse as children, adolescents, or adults, have recognized the potential highly destructive consequences of such abuse. Therefore, all people concerned about social violence, and especially about male sexual violence against women, should be listening attentively. They should also be asking important questions and demanding that professionals produce unbiased research in this area.
A major problem, however, is recognized when we scan the research indicating that the psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and social workers entrusted with the task of understanding and addressing social violence issues are generally not equipped with the sexual knowledge (68) needed to begin understanding related problems. They still do not understand the sexualities manifested by men who rape and/or sexually abuse boys and/or men, nor do they understand what the male victims of these socially created homosexualities will become. If many of the male rape victims eventually do to women what was done to them by men, it is possible that their sexual assaults on women are sublimated homosexual acts. Professionals, however, still do not understand how the mind works well enough to even understand why the victims of child sexual abuse are often more angry with their mothers than with the fathers who sexually abused them.
Tragically, the most profound lack of sexual knowledge is related to homosexualities (68), and this state of affairs is related to a professional history of constructing and believing the lies once needed to justify their socially created desire to cure - harm/destroy - homosexual people. They also placed incredible homophobic pressures on the few professionals daring to objectively study homosexuality, and they made sure that the few professionals concerned about gay and lesbian youth would feel threatened, even with respect to their careers. Therefore, much professional time and energy was wasted instead of being used to produced needed knowledge, and here we are in desperate need of understanding homosexualities, especially the homosexualities implicated in many forms of social violence.
At printing time, the results of an important Canadian study carried out by University of Guelph researchers were reported on in the Calgary Herald (December 3, 1992, p. A-15) under the title: Study reveals treatment gap. It was concluded that "male survivors and perpetrators of child sexual abuse in Canada are getting the short shrift when it comes to treatment..." Many reasons are given to explain the problem, ranging from that fact that "two-thirds of treatment professionals are women" who "may be more sensitive to female survivors than to males," to the fact that professionals have been poorly trained. "[L]ess than half of the treatment professionals received specific instruction in child sexual abuse in their professional education."
The problem is also compounded by the fact that most professionals do not have a good education in human sexuality, and they have little to no knowledge about male homosexuality as it now exists, or as it has existed in our culture and in other cultures. Yet, they are the ones dealing with the sexual abuse of boys, which is usually a "homosexual" experience. They are also dealing with the "homosexualities" possibly resulting from this, such as the sexual abuse and rapes of weaker males by "dominant" males in prisons, and the highly abusive corresponding heterosexualities these males may also manifest.
There is much more, however, that professionals must learn if they are to effectively address the results of child, adolescent, and adult sexual abuse and rape in males. They will certainly need a good education about human sexualities from a cross-cultural perspective. Once acquired, they may then eventually realize that, for boys, a good part of the trauma caused by sexual abuse often has little to do with the sexual acts, themselves, but more to do with how these boys were socially educated (indoctrinated) to interpret what happened.
One of the most important factors determining what "dominant" males do in prisons is their social indoctrination. At all cost, they must behave - homosexually - in ways not producing the socially taught dreaded homosexual self-label. What, however, would their homo-sexual behaviors be if they had not been taught a hatred-of-women gender-based homophobia? Would they then be producing so many male rape victims? What about the men who sexually abuse boys? How many of these victims would not exist if their abusers had not been homophobic? If they had perceived men having sex with men to be acceptable?
There are numerous questions to ask, and we now have the knowledge available to answer most of them. Unfortunately, from my studies, it is evident that most professionals dealing with sexual abuse are not equipped with the required sexual knowledge. Furthermore, as it existed not long ago with respect to gay males and lesbians, professionals could also be harming victims of child sexual abuse or rape much more than they are being helped. The help they are apparently receiving (or have received) may also be a deception.
On the surface, what mental health professionals do - labeled "therapy" - may appear to be positive. Not long ago, however, homosexual males and females could be observed crying about their sexual experiences, and they would later be seen joyfully praising therapists for having cured them of their homosexual affliction. Similarly, women who bad been sexually abused by their fathers could also be observed praising therapists for having convinced them that a real event was unreal, thus claiming to be cured of their psychiatric problems, when the opposite had occurred. Psychiatrists and psychologists do not appear to have leaned much from their history, making it likely that their historical blunders will be repeated in new ways, now with respect to many individuals who were sexually abused or raped as children, adolescents, or adults.
Tragically, with respect to the sexual abuse of boys, professionals and the media are now making serious mistakes by linking the criminal activity of these boys to their apparent sexual abuse. The previously noted CBC program, Sunday Morning (p. 21), was doing this. The interviewed boy - a victim of child sexual abuse - was being used to justify "the link," but an exploration of his highly active homosexual sex life in the juvenile detention center was avoided, or censored if it was explored. Typically, these boys have not been revolting against their sex abuser(s), but against all society. Why? What did society do to cause such a significant revolt?
The answer to the enigma may lie in knowledge of so-called "sexual abuse" located in gay communities and gay books. Someday, I may write about the knowledge the experts in child sexual abuse have often rejected or censored. Furthermore, the mainstream media has also refused to explore and report on well documented realities as I discovered in 1991 when I spent six months making related requests to media authorities. Our laws have also been used to destroy a Canadian gay news magazine which dared to address a fact society denies. The operating principle continues to be: "THOU SHALT NOT BE AWARE!" and we will therefore certainly not solve some (all?) our major problems until we abandon this highly counterproductive and destructive aspect of ourselves.
Our history reveals that ongoing highly critical evaluations of what therapists are doing with clients should be mandatory. With respect to wife battery, for example, feminist professionals have been very critical of mainstream psychologists and psychiatrists. Their common victim-blaming attitudes have been attacked, and the same applies for their neglect of the fact that wife battery occurs within the context of patriarchy. Such criticisms were repeatedly made in FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON WIFE ABUSE edited by Kersti Yllo and Michele Bograd and published by Sage Publications (96). A major theme in this 1988 book is that "power and control" is a fundamental factor in wife battery (96: 19,115, 191,...), but it is also emphasized that "distinctions between 'sexual' and 'physical' assaults are considered false and/or arbitrary..." A "continuum" exists in the sense "that physical, verbal, and sexual coercion and assault are employed by men against women" (96: 115).
Male and female professionals who have a "feminist perspective on wife abuse" present serious challenges to traditional social scientists by suggesting, for example, that scientific "objectivity is the name men have given to their own subjectivity" (96: 36). Considerable evidence - also found in gay history - is available to support this assertion, except that the assumed "objectivity" psychologists and psychiatrists manifested with their acceptance that all homosexual people were "mentally disordered" was not exactly "male subjectivity." It was heterosexual male subjectivity rooted in their socio-religiously learned hatred for homosexuals, and especially for homosexuals who were "sexually passive," or "like women." Therefore, gay males have very good reasons not to trust mainstream social scientists, and feminists have also responded to these professionals in similar ways. One reason for this is explained:
Oddly, when assessing the impact of these [feminist] approaches today, it is sometimes difficult to observe their effect on the current practice of social science. Certainly, critical perspectives such as feminism have made significant inroads in the new academic scholarship, yet much social science, especially in the United States, proceeds as if nothing has changed. (96: 55)The social science establishment had also attacked feminism. "Feminist perspectives are often dismissed as one-dimensional, biased, irrelevant, extreme, and unworthy of consideration" (96: 65), and the same applies in terms of media's treatment of feminists. "Representatives of the Women's Aid Federations have experienced similar problems in having their vast cumulative experience and expertise often ignored by the media" (96: 68).
Feminist perspectives, like gay perspectives on various socially sensitive issues, are very challenging and often embody remarkable insights, but these new perspectives may not be entirely correct. As a rule, in these minority groups, like in the more mainstream groups, the concept of "being politically correct" applies, even though all these professionals must know, or should know, that being politically correct has generally been very detrimental to the human understanding potential and, therefore, to the solution of problems.
As a rule, feminist scholars who study wife abuse demand that the phenomenon be studied within the context of patriarchy, and that battery be viewed only as one of the ways men implement their power and control over women. I agree with this but, for feminists, the perception causes bias problems such as dismissing "pathological" factors used by some professionals to explain wife battery. As gay history teaches us, however, serious inner personal problems - often resulting from socio-religious indoctrination - may be so common in a society that we can end up believing that gay bashing, wife battery, and the many forms of rape must surely be a heterosexual male plot. Although there is considerable evidence to support this hypothesis, we still must not dismiss the varied socially induced 'pathologies' possibly present in the minds of men committing the worst crimes against women and gay males.
In this document, I not only proposed that "repressed homosexuality" is a significant factor in the minds of some (many? most? all?) wife batterers and rapists, but I also explained how this element can be operating in the minds of these men. Yet, according to feminists, such ideas belong to the "politically unacceptable" Insight Model (96: 178-181). What, however, are these feminist professionals dismissing? A part of the model is presented:
Implicit in this approach is the notion that men have a very fragile sense of self that must be therapeutically bolstered before they can be expected to give up violent and other 'overcompensating' behaviors. This conception of abusive men derives in large part from sex role identity theory that holds that exaggerated, hypermasculine behaviors are rooted in men's unconscious anxiety about the 'psychologically feminine' parts of their personalities (Biller & Borstelman, 1967; Winick 1968) (96: 179).Although I do not agree with the proposed therapy for these men, the underlying concept is valid, and there is a predictable avoidance of equating an "inner repressed feminine nature" to "a homosexual problem" which should be addressed. The available research nonetheless reveals that for males, if a gender nonconformable (feminine) nature is present (meaning that it is not repressed), the probability is high they have consciously accepted their homosexual desires, will behave accordingly, and will have given themselves the "gay" or "homosexual" label. Unfortunately, feminist and mainstream professionals are probably not equipped with the knowledge needed to produce such insights, and the following conclusion is made:
The fallacy of such explanations is revealed by the fact that many men who are insecure, emotionally dependent, and afraid of intimacy do not batter their wives (96: 180).In response to this argument, I would say: No, they all don't batter their wives, but gay males who are "coming out," and the ones not even at this stage, do manifest traits like "insecurity" and "emotional dependence." Many will also exhibit hypermasculine attributes as a defense against the inner femininity possibly related to their denied homosexual desires. One of the major problems noted to exist in the gay community has also been "a fear of intimacy?" But how can a person ever be intimate with anyone if they are dominated by socially induced self-hatred? Furthermore, is it really a "fear of intimacy" problem when men manifest the non-love (non-intimate) sexuality they have acquired? Is it a "fear of intimacy" problem when a woman experiences a lack of intimacy with her husband, if he is in denial of his homosexual desires and if it is really not a woman he wants?
Feminists have manifested a great "politically correct" passion for rejecting "victim-blaming" with respect to wife battery and rape and, in this document, I have not blamed women for being battered and/or raped by men. Nonetheless, I have proposed that men who are violent with women are also victims, but feminists generally refuse to accept such ideas and the mind-set results in a serious blindness to the important knowledge needed to arrive at their major objective: the end of men's traditional violence against women. For example, such unrecognized relevant knowledge was given to challenge the idea that battered women are to be blamed for their experiences:
The kind of victim-blaming that says that women are passive recipients of violence is belied by the finding that the women did not score as stereotypically feminine (passive), nor did they have high mean scores on acceptance of passivity. In other words, these women neither described themselves as passive, nor were they willing to be passive.Feminist therapists have therefore been looking a gift horse in the mouth but fail to see the gift. They have also failed to postulate that numerous men who end up battering and/or raping their wives may have chosen women who are gender nonconformable, as implied in the above citation. This knowledge, combined with the informed suspicion that many batterers are repressed homosexuals, therefore yields the conclusion that these men, as could be expected, may have essentially chosen wives to use as substitutes for the males they would have preferred, and really want, although most wife batterers would vehemently deny this, as I would have probably done in my heterosexual stage. Yet, I was only attracted to females with certain gender nonconformable attributes. One gay male I know, for example, married a woman who was much more masculine than he was. Although people knew he was gay, it took him years to accept this fact about himself, to then get a divorce, and to end up having sex with males instead of a female substitute for the males he really wanted. [The battered women I know and reported on in this document are also gender nonconformable, but this fact may not be immediately apparent to an observer.]
Although it could be said that feminists have not recognized the "homosexuality factor" in wife battery, there are exceptions to the rule. Del Martin, who authored the first book on wife battery, BATTERED WIVES in 1976, did note this factor, but only as an addition in the 1981 edition of her book. Martin, most probably because she is lesbian and is therefore aware of the incredible power of learned homophobia, was influenced by Letty Cottin Pogrebin's book GROWING UP FREE: RAISING YOUR CHILD IN THE 80s. Martin describes the knowledge acquired and her related insight:
[Pogrebin] suggests that the compelling force behind sex role rigidity is homophobia - fear and intolerance of homosexuality. She says this fear, which inhibits pro-child attitudes in the most well intentioned parents, is based on the fear that sex roles determine sexuality, that specific ingredients make a child homosexual, and that homosexuality is one of the worse things that can happen. Pogrebin analyses these assumptions, compares them with research findings, and concludes that they are unsubstantiated myths. She also shows how homophobia forces us into conformity, emphasizes differences and divisions between men and women, and contributes to men's contempt for everything feminine.These ideas are rooted in sex role research and are generally rejected by feminist for an assortment of reasons, including political ones. It is, however, difficult to accept these ideas when their authors, like Martin, do not spell out what it really means when she writes: "It actually conditions boys against heterosexuality..." The suggestion here is that homosexuals are being produced, but Martin may not want the reader to make this conclusion because the word "against" is in italics. Yet, she does state that the process involved may "sometime inspire [cause???] just what the parents are hoping to avoid," which is homosexuality. Obviously, Martin is being careful, mostly because she is entering the domain of having to be "politically correct" in the gay world to which she belongs. [She co-authored the 1972 book, LESBIAN WOMAN with her longtime companion Phyllis Lyon, and both were very active in the gay liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s.]
Taking Pogrebin's analysis a step further, I make the connection between homophobia and domestic violence. Homophobic men, who repress traits that may in any way be labeled 'feminine,' become obsessed with male identity, and power with the masculine ideal. They must constantly prove their manhood and lash out whenever they feel it is challenged.
[Authors note: This is exactly how the dominant males in prisons who batter, rape, and/or sexually abuse other males behave when they are reproducing the relationships they were having with women in society.]
While men are socialized to be powerful, the reality is that few of them really get to exercise power in our society. Consequently many of them are like pent-up volcanoes ready to erupt. Wives, who are supposed to meet all their needs, are easy, available targets for their rage. Pogrebin says we should stop worrying about how to raise a heterosexual child. By using stereotypes as a vaccine against homosexuality, we try to mold children into illfitting behavior patterns which can be psychologically damaging and sometimes inspire just what the parents are hoping to avoid. The entire system of male supremacy makes it harder to love the other sex. It actually conditions boys against heterosexuality because society is so relentlessly for 'masculinity.' It fosters the Battle of the Sexes - a war no one ever wins (56: 260-261).
Martin is also being politically correct when she gives a sort of 'equality' to "the Battle of the Sexes," instead of stating that this is the battle men have been waging against women, the evidence suggesting that women are still losing the war. Martin also does not state that these men hate women, as anyone would certainly conclude if they were dealing with white people who were manifesting "contempt for anything black or native." Therefore, Martin cannot move to the next and most important question. "If these men hate women, who do they love? What can be expected from men who love each other so much?" How about a strong male bonding desire (drive?) which has been manifesting itself since early childhood?
In this document, I postulated that many men who batter and/or rape women are homosexuals whose repressed and denied homosexualities are linked to purged, repressed, and denied "feminine" attributes. Such males hate femininity (females) and love masculinity (males), and they would therefore be expected to have a great affinity to bond with the only ones they love: MEN. In FEMINIST PERSPECTIVES ON WIFE ABUSE, it is noted that wife batterers in group therapy have such an incredible affinity for male-bonding that male-bonding will inevitably occur in therapy groups for wife batterers, and that this process will also totally subvert all therapeutic objectives. It is therefore requested that therapists do everything possible to prevent it (96: 244-46). This observation of male-bonding also confirms the perspective of "feminist activists" who have noted that "male-bonding (is] solidarity in the oppression of women." Nothing, however, is written about the "hatred of women" and "homosexuality" components involved in male bonding, although the hatred of women is somewhat implied.
In gay scholarly work, on the other hand, and especially because "homosexuality" is not a taboo item for many gay-identified males, great insights into male bonding have been articulated. Jonathan Dollimore, in his 1991 book SEXUAL DISSIDENCE, renders one very insightful perception written by Mario Mieli in 1977:
As for male bonding, this is a grotesque expression of 'paralysed and unspoken homosexuality, which can be grasped, in the negative, in the denial of women, whom [males] speak of phallocratically ... reducing them to a bole, i.e. to something that does not exist. The suppression of homoeroticism is here always bound up with the oppression of women by men. The negated homosexual desire makes its emergence via the negation of women' (p. 211).Sadly, when dealing with wife batterers and rapist, most therapist, even if they are feminists, are still not at a "perspective" stage where they will fully accept that these men hate women. The therapeutic objective is therefore to apparently turn wife batterers and/or rapists into men who supposedly love women, thus failing to recognize that these men should be encouraged to bond and see how much they love each other, and also recognize their incredible hatred for women. Unfortunately, such therapy would receive the infamous politically incorrect "You are promoting homosexuality" label. What is so unacceptable, however, with helping men recognize and accept their inner homosexual desires, when such desires exist?
Doing this is, in fact, exactly what our society - parents, educators, and religious leaders - should have done with all gay males, including the ones who married women only to later come to terms with their homosexuality. All these men have been victims of socially taught homohatred: self-hatred for these males. Wife batterers and rapists are also revealing similar attributes but no one is asking: "If they hate women so much, who do they love? The answer to this question is obvious but, as so many gender conformable - even gender nonconformable - gay males report about their "coming out" experiences:
You tell people you're gay and they don't believe it! They don't want to believe it! Especially if you are very masculine.This phenomenon, however, is not surprising. Many gay males - the ones who have been the most knowledgeable about inner homosexual desires - also spent years in denial, which may have included the sexual use - abuse - of women as just "holes," and this applies for about 60 percent of self-defined gay males. The rate should be close to 100 percent for most males still in the infamous closet and playing the infamous and often mandatory heterosexual game.
Given our history of teaching homophobia and homohatred, we could therefore not blame homosexual males ending up in one or more of the many closets they report to have been part of their history. Yet, most homosexual males are still in some kind of closet, most often an intra-psychic phenomenon characterized by various degrees of denial, the sexual use (abuse) of women, male bonding, and the very common "homohatred" projection phenomenon.
Pierre J. Tremblay
NOTE: In this document, I have not addressed battery in gay and lesbian relationships, which is a little known aspect of the "social violence" problem. There is much to be learned from this phenomenon, especially about the relationship of learned sex roles to violence. This includes how acting out dominant and passive roles sexually may lead to the initiation of battery and/or rape by dominant males in some gay relationships. Such an analysis would shed more light on wife battery, and it will both supplement and complement the thesis presented herein. About 50 pages of writing and some research, however, would be needed to insightfully explore this "social violence" problem.
I thank you for taking the time to read this document. If you have benefited from the information and ideas presented, please write me a note. If you wish to discuss concepts presented, I would be willing to do this. Additional information is available and many of the concepts presented. I am also seeking criticism to be included in a future CRITICISM AND RESPONSE section of the document.
I thank Richard Holman for his help
with my work. He gave me the support I needed to keep studying major social
problems so that, as I often told him with great optimism occasionally
tainted with pessimism: "If I keep working at this, I'll understand it!
The human brain can understand anything and everything."