Sunday, June 21, 2015

[czdotxdt] Same-sex organizations

Hypothesize that organizations which are open only to one gender do so so that their members may do their main activity without having to worry about the harms of rape.

This hypothesis allows useful predictions about how single-gender organizations will behave.

Note well that the hypothesis is to avoid the harms of rape, not necessarily to avoid rape itself.  We will elaborate on this distinction later.

The hypothesis predicts that in all-female institutions, men as guests or visitors will be subject to stringent restrictions on movement and behavior while visiting.  This is because the harm of men raping women is great.

In contrast, in all-male institutions, the hypothesis predicts that women as guests will not face as many or as stringent analogous restrictions.  This is because the harm of women raping men is not so great.

These predictions seem to be confirmed by policies in fraternities and in all-female residences associated with universities.

The hypothesis predicts that all-male institutions will have strict rules excluding gay men, or will resist the most strongly in repealing such rules.  This is because the harm of men raping men is great.

The hypothesis predicts that, in contrast, all-female institutions will not have strict rules excluding lesbians, or will quickly repeal them.  This is because the harm of women raping women is not so great.

These predictions seem to be confirmed by the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

The harm in the examples above are the harms inflicted on the victim by peers and the psychological loss of self-worth (a product of inculcation by peers) that occurs following rape: slut-shaming and gay-bashing.  These harms are strongly asymmetric by gender, which explains the asymmetry of the behavior of single-gender organizations in the examples above.

Finally, the hypothesis predicts that exceptions to the general behavior of single-gender organizations described above will occur where there are exceptions to the general mechanisms of rape causing harm, perhaps subcultures in which there is less gay-bashing of men or slut-shaming of women, or the opposite.  (Examples?)

If this hypothesis is true, it strongly suggests that efforts in solving the problem of rape are best directed toward decreasing the harm of rape, rather than decreasing its numerical incidence.  Unfortunately, this remains a taboo topic of discussion.

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