Category Archives: Misue of NLP and Hypnosis

Whole Thinking, Politics, and Religion

There is an old adage that one should not discuss politics or religion.

I say that’s out-dated.

Frankly, in most places in our world right now, everything is political. In the US, where freedom is touted as the cornerstone of our culture, we still have some military personnel and GOP congresspersons who want to keep LGBT persons out of the military. We still have domestic terrorist groups who murder medical providers of legal abortions. We still have homelessness, poverty, crime, unemployment, massive intentional mortgage fraud, corporate and government corruption and an epidemic of legal noncompliance with labor laws.

I say the reason all of this happens can be explained by looking at a lack of Whole Thinking (TM pending). Whole Thinking can be measured by examining:
Critical Thinking Skills
Emotional Intelligence Skills
Use of Psychological Defense Mechanisms
and Intellectual Honesty

Or not. Those who do not think wholly or who have or choose to have incomplete thinking, are not using these skills or do not have these skills.

When a human being is lacking in critical thinking skills, intellectual honesty, emotional intelligence skills, and/or critical thinking skills – depending on the extent of this condition, they are likely to have extremely diminished intelligence and/or have a mental illness or personality disorder. If you have a serious personality disorder or mental illness that prevents you from thinking critically, you probably shouldn’t be a government leader. You cannot have it both ways.

The world’s religions all have extremely similar messages: do not harm others, be good to others, do not take more than your share, etc. Yet there is incredible distortion of those messages all in the service of hatred, greed, violence and more intentional fraud. Again, you can’t have it both ways. You cannot say you’re a christian and yet choose to further enrich the wealthy while denying basic financial and healthcare rights to the poor. You cannot say your’re a christian and burn the holy books of other religious traditions.

The US is supposed to be built on a foundation of the separation of church and state, and yet there are vast numbers of politicians who “refudiate” this and insist, incorrectly, that the US is “a christian nation”. These are symptoms of a lack of critical reasoning skills and intellectual honesty in most cases. Christine O’Donnell revealed that she truly believed that there was nothing in the US Constitution that insisted on the separation of church and state, and in her case, she seemed to truly believe this out of stupidity and ignorance, which is different.

When factually incorrect statements are made, it is done either out of stupidity or for fraudulent purposes.

Christine O’Donnell and others who make factually incorrect statements about important things like the US Constitution are as irresponsible as Islamic extremists who repeat factually incorrect statements about the Koran to illiterate young people in order to get them to join their cause.

Most GOP politicians, however, intentionally make factually incorrect statements in order to defraud voters. The GOP knows very well that the Bush Tax Cuts have been in place for the past ten years and have failed to create jobs or trickle down to the middle and working classes. There are multiple credible reports that are statistically valid and reliable which prove that tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans do not create jobs, stimulate the economy, or trickle down.

In fact, the tax savings for the wealthiest 2% of Americans often winds up in offshore banking accounts or invested into yachts or the purchase of a 5th home – sometimes the money is re-invested into corporations, which also do not pay enough taxes – and which frequently pay no taxes at all.

When there is intentional deception, we call this fraud. In England, making false statements in campaigns is unlawful. We need that law here.

Ideally, all US citizens would be informed by credible news sources such as Democracy Now!, F.A.I.R., Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, The Nation, and the Daily Kos. Unfortunately, many Americans watch FOX, listen to Rush, or otherwise allow themselves to believe absolute untruths about important issues that affect all of our lives.

That is why everything is political. School funding, sexuality, birth control, medical care, what is in our food, housing issues, laws about workplaces, sick time at work for employees, water safety, protection from injury or death from or at work, protection to keep oceans clean, the price of gas, who gets sent to war, etc. It’s all political.

An old classmate from junior high had something on her facebook page that said, “not interested in politics”. Really? Seriously? If someone told her that she couldn’t sleep with or marry the person she loved, would she suddenly become interested in politics? Probably. If the water from her faucet was making her children sick or was flammable, might she suddenly care? Probably.

The question is, how can those of us who understand that everything is political, that the GOP intentionally lies to voters, and that we all need to be mobilized in solidarity to protect our very lives and those of our children – get through to these people?

It isn’t easy because we are often up against a lack of whole thinking. When a person truly believes that the GOP cares about them even though they earn less than $250k a year and do not own a corporation, there is something very wrong with that person’s ability to think clearly, understand facts, use crtical reasoning skills, stop using denial as a defense mechanism and there may be a lack of emotional intelligence skills, particularly in the empathy and social responsibility hubs.

When a person is stubbornly unwilling to listen to facts that discredit and debunk their strongly held opinions, this is a combination of intellectual dishonesty, a lack of critical reasoning skills, and a large number of defense mechanisms being used.

Persons who intentionally deceive others without regard for the harm they cause are considered sociopaths. Studies have shown that many corporate leaders and workplace bullies are sociopaths. I put forth that most GOP politicians are also sociopaths.

When journalists cannot get a politician or leader to answer a question directly, there is something wrong. That person is unwilling to be discovered for the fraud he or she is. There is a very unhealthy willingness to think that one can dodge direct questions and get away with it.

Luckily, more and more Americans are waking up to the fact that sociopathic, dishonest GOP (and other) politicians are defrauding them of their mortgages, their workplace rights, their voting rights and their rights to liberty and justice for all.

There should be absolutely zero injection of anything religious into politics or government other than protections for the freedom of religion and laws to address civil rights violations based on freedom of religion. Given that the US has so many leaders in the GOP who actively engage in incitment of violence towards persons based on their religion, we have a serious problem. In any ordinary workplace, such comments could result in termination. GOP candidates like Sharron Angle and Jan Brewer need to be similarly held accountable for their hate speech. This is also an example of a lack of whole thinking. Angle and Brewer need to learn critical reasoning skills, emotional intelligence skills and how they are using their defense mechanisms in a way that makes them more sociopathically mentally ill than qualified for public office.

When religion is used to violate others’ rights, campaign for the GOP in violation of IRS tax codes or incite hate and violence by violating others’ civil rights, something is very wrong. This is also an example of a lack of whole thinking. The GOP loves to quote the constitution and the bible selectively. This is intellectually dishonest as well as lacking in critical reasoning skills. This is probably driven by the use of defense mechanisms; there is such a thing as racism psychosis. Therefore, there are also such things as sexism psychosis, LGBT psychosis, ethnic psychosis, Islamaphobia psychosis, etc. Homophobes have sexuality psychosis. These are mental illnesses and those with these mental illnesses should not be in governmental leadership positions.

The fact that voters respond favorably to the epidemic of psychosis in GOP leaders is indeed disturbing. Those of us who recognize the GOP for the hate-mongers and fraudsters they are, must continue to tell this to all those who have been duped by the GOP.

Those who engage in intentional fraud via public office need to be called out as purveyors of fraud and prosecuted as in the UK. Those who try to impose religion into US government, need to be censured. Those who incite hatred and violence also need to be censured.

The US needs to look at what works in other nations and stop this delusion that “we are number one”, when in fact, we are not number one in the important categories of life expectancy, health care quality, health care per capita expense, lack of crime, college graduation rates, labor laws, whistleblower protections, environmental protections, etc.

It is a salient fact that many GOP politicians and religious leaders who have been vehemently against LGBT rights eventually are found to be self-hating homosexuals. This does make one wonder what is in John McCain’s closet.

We see the workings of defense mechanisms daily in our politics and in religion. Luckily more and more voters are seeing through this and are calling hypocrisy, fraud, lying, intellectual dishonesty and manipulation when they see them. We need much more of this.

I don’t quite understand anyone who votes for the GOP given what they stand for. They are no longer the party of Lincoln. They are the party of corporate greed, civil rights violations and creating a permanent US Hooverville over which they and their billionaire cronies will preside.

They want to defund education to keep the electorate ignorant and unquestioning so they remain in power. They want to erode labor laws, whistleblower protections and civil rights protections so they can do whatever they want in their lives and in their corporations and so workers have no recourse.

It is true that throughout history, oppressed peoples have found ways to rise up against the kind of tyranny that the GOP seeks to impose on the US. They will not say this is their goal, because they know that if they did, they would lose 98% of their votes. So, they count on ignorant and uneducated voters to believe them.

The GOP seems to have forgotten the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the countless resistance movements in many other nations over the last thousand years. An oppressed people will not remain oppressed.

It is mind-blowing that many in the GOP consider themselves to be christians given that Jesus was a middle-eastern man who provided free healthcare, called on people to love one another and not judge each other, and was opposed to the economic oppression of anyone.

When you encounter a lack of whole thinking in yourself or others, think about it. When you see facts that are new to you; consider them and their source. Glenn Beck is on the air, but he does not speak facts. There are incorrect and untrue things on the internet. Not all news has journalistic integrity. Consider where you get your news.

A woman I knew when I was growing up considers all Muslims to be bad. She is a Jew and has a firm understanding of what bigotry is, when it comes to Jews, Blacks, LGBT persons, etc. But she does not see that her dislike of all Muslims makes her a bigot. We have had conversations about this a few time, and it appears that some progress is being made.

Progress. Progressives must do what they can when they can to break through the lack of whole thinking in the US. If that means pissing off family members, neighbors, classmates, friends, spouses, lovers, etc., so be it. It must be done.

Whole Thinking and Dysfunctional Family Dynamics and Conflicts: Conflicts Over Finances

This will be a series of blog posts that examines how Whole Thinking can help in situations wherein family members are helping each other with finances.

As a reminder, Whole Thinking (TM pending) is a way of thinking that involves critcial reasoning skills, awareness of psychological defenses, emotional intelligence, and intellectual honesty.

Families have similar dynamics to workplaces;
they are groups
they have inevitable conflict
there can sometimes be healthy and unhealthy competition and rivalries
ethics matter
there are pecking orders, whether we are aware of them or not
there can be abuse
there can be excellent functionality that serves all members and the whole group very well
there can be catastrophic dysfunctionality that harms all members and the whole group to a point of devastation
health issues effect and are affected by these relationships, dynamics, and conflicts
all members of these groups can learn and improve their conflict resolution skills
all can learn and improve their emotional intelligence skills
all can learn and improve their intellectual honesty skills
all can learn and improve their communication and interpersonal skills
all can work to understand what psychological defenses they are employing and to stop employing them when they cause problems

The things that break up most marriages are conflicts over sex and money. Conflicts about money can also harm family relationships. In this economy, many families are choosing to pitch in and help family members who have lost jobs, who have had their salaries cut, who have lost health benefits, or who have lost homes.

When helping a family member with finances, it is very imporant to have clear agreements. Such agreements can include any of the following:
If the money is a loan or a gift
If it’s a loan, when it will be paid back, in what amounts, how often, by what method, etc.
What those having the money loaned to them need to do in exchange for the money

This third one might mean doing some informal work (housecleaning, typing, research, childcare, errands, etc.) for those who have loaned the money – OR – it may a list of things such as this one:

1. Move into a less expensive apartment
2. Lessen or eliminate the cable bill, the phone bill, the electric bill
3. Sell any vehicles that aren’t being used
4. Collect any money from anyone who owes you money
5. Review your insurance plans (health, life, renter’s, home, car, etc.) to see if you can get better rates.
6. Lessen or eliminate cell phone usage
7. Sell whatever belongings you can
8. Make sure all adults who can work are working
9. If there are adults in the family who are not working, apply for any and all available jobs and do not turn down any job offer.
10. If there are any adults in the family who are unable to work due to disability, they need to do all they can to get on Social Security Disability or some other disability plan available to them through their spouse’s job, if at all possible.

It is a good idea to only loan money to family members who need to take actions like these in an incremental basis each time they complete one of the things on the above list – unless it is a dire emergency when all the money is needed at once.
It is also a good idea to outline how any conflicts will be handled ahead of time, because conflicts are very likely.

I had a situation in which I helped a family member with a large amount of money. Part of the agreement was that this person’s wife would accept any job offer she had. She told me very casually that she turned down three job offers because they only paid $9.00 an hour and were a 40-minute drive away.

I was livid. I told her this was unacceptable. This person had a long-term pattern over 12-plus years of not working very much and relying on her spouse to support her, even when a second income was very needed, as they lost their home, and as they had to declare bankruptcy. Even as they asked more than 5 family members to help them with money over more than ten years, she did not work regularly.

This created resentement in the family towards this woman, concern for the whole situation, and a great deal of unexpressed anger. All families need healthy ways of communicating about such things, and in a situation like this, tough love is what is called for along with Whole Thinking.

One must first check out the situation to see if one is reading it correctly and not overreacting. In this situation, this woman had barely worked over 12 years. She had gotten job offers and had failed to show up for them. She had gotten job offers and had turned them down for a variety of reasons. She claimed to be looking for a job, yet their voicemail on their home phone was not turned on. She claimed to be taking a free computer course at the local Dept. of Labor and then said that what she learned was a too-old version of the skills she needed. She claimed to be eager and willing to work at any job she could get.

And yet she turned down three jobs. When confronted about this, she became enraged and changed her story, saying that she didn’t turn down actual jobs, but job interviews. It doesn’t matter. She was in no position to turn down a job interview for any reason.

It is untenable that someone can ask to borrow money from someone or expect their spouse to be the only working marriage partner, while that person sits at home and rejects jobs and job offers. (particularly when there are no children to be cared for).

For one thing, it violated the agreement that was made when the money was loaned.

Family anger only worsened when it could be seen by this person’s facebook page, that she was playing facebook games all day, every day. The screen lists the time of each entry and action. This woman was not looking for jobs – or doing any of the other expense-reduction things she was assigned to do.

Continuing to lend or give money to someone like this is only enabling them. This is a very difficult situation if the other partner in the couple (who is working) is someone you care for and is the hard worker, whom you’d like to help out.

Reactions to being confronted with obvious yet painful truths can be extremely unpleasant, and so one should be prepared. It is very rare for someone with extremely dysfunctional behavior to respond with gratitude and calm when they are confronted.

When this woman was confronted, she said the following things to me:

“You’re a fucking bitch!”
“You’re a fucking bitch and I’m having an anxiety attack and it’s all your fault!”
“You’re in love with my husband and that’s why you’re doing this to me!”
“How dare you say what I do all day!”
“I’m not going to take just any job!”
“Now you’ve upset my husband!”
“I am not abusive!”
“You don’t know me!”
“You don’t get to tell me what to do!”
“You don’t know what I do all day!”

The thing is, this is not about telling her what to do or about any of the things she has come back with. This is about the fact that she made an agreement to take any job that was offered to her in exchange for being given a large amount of money that she and her husband needed and now she is being held accountable to the agreement she made.

End of story. This is a person who does not want to be held accountable and who will squeal like a toddler having a tantrum when she or he is held accountable.

When people do not honor agreements and don’t have a good reason for not doing so, there is an element of dysfunction there. I had to set a firm boundary and say that I would no longer be helping them with money because she violated the agreement. She should have taken any of those jobs, even if they were temp jobs lasting only one day.

There is a from of spousal abuse that does involve finances. When there are no children to take care of and one spouse refuses to work or do any household jobs, this is a form of abuse – unless there is a true disability that prevents equal sharing of duties.

When there is financial spousal abuse, it is often (but not always) obvious. If one spouse had no problem with money before he or she was married and suddenly has financial problems all the time after they are married, there is very likely some form of financial spousal abuse occurring.

This often takes the form of the abusive spouse handling the finances, bills, checkbook, banking, purchases, etc. These kinds of people will often max out mulitple credit cards, not pay the balances in full, refinance mortgages, purchase things they cannot afford for themselves and others, and keep the other spouse in the dark about how much money is coming in, going out, or exists in the form of their now-shared debt.

Eventually, this will catch up to such a couple/family in the form of collection calls, foreclosure on a home, repossesion of purchased items, an inability to pay their taxes, and the need to declare bankruptcy. It may also result in homelessness followed by job loss and loss of healthcare benefits.

None of those kinds of crises happens overnight. One can easily compare such debt to the kind of gradual weight gain of an obese person. Most obese people do not start out obese. They gradually eat more and more and exercise less and less until eventually, they are obese, harming their health, their ability to work, their relationships, their social lives, and shortening their life spans.

Obesity and mismanaging money are very similar. Both are about having difficult controlling appetites. With obesity, there is difficulty knowing when one is eating too much and exercising too little. With mismanaging money, there is difficulty in knowing when one is spending too much and saving and/or earning too little.

Both are problems with appetites. Nobody wakes up one day and is 500 lbs; it is a gradual process. One hopes that if someone gains ten extra pounds they will do something about it instead of doing nothing about it until they suddenly gained over 300 extra lbs.

Similarly with managing money, one hopes that if someone has spent too much compared to what is being earned, that one would STOP spending immediately and get oneself out of debt before it becomes catastropic and results in bankruptcy, losing one’s home, and having to borrow from relatives and friends.

In today’s economy, many people are in terrible debt situations through no fault of their own; they want to work but cannot even get a job offer. They weren’t mismanaging their money; they just got laid off and haven’t been able to find work since then. I’m not talking about those people.

I’m talking about people who have mismanaged their money, who have maxed out credit cards, who are not working when they have had job offers, who say they’ll take any job, but then do not do so.

When this situation occurs, it is important to set boundaries with such people and let them know that the agreement has been violated and you will not be sending them anymore money because a job offer was turned down. It is a good idea to get all the facts before coming to this point. Make sure the job was a reasonable job and not a scam or pyramid scheme. Do the math to see if it would have been worthwhile to spend the gas money getting to the job. If all that checks out, it is wise to stop giving money to such a person.

This is a person who needs to not be enabled. This can be hard when you want to help the other partner in the couple who is working hard. You don’t want to punish that person, but you don’t want the lazy person who refuses to work to consider you the gravy train.

Tough love is needed. The person who is told he or she broke the agreement will likely not be happy. The other person in the relationship will have a response that will be very telling. If the financially abusive partner does not allow that person to speak to you, it is likely there is other abuse happening in this relationship of an emotional, psychological, and/or verbal nature.

Financial abuse is a serious problem and must be called out.

Many family members, particularly older family members, wrongly think the best approach is to pretend everything is okay. This is always a mistake.

The abused partner needs to know that his or her family sees the abuse, finds it unacceptable, and will welcome the abused partner into their homes if needed. The abusive partner needs to know the same things – but that the abusive partner is not welcome to live (or sometimes to visit) those homes of family members.

The abused partner may be confused, controlled by the abusive partner, and may not even realize he or she is in an abusive relatonship. He or she may even defend the abusive partner, saying things like “Well, s/he couldn’t continue in that field because it was just too stressful” or “Well, s/he is doing his/her best to get a job” or “I don’t mind working overtime or a second job”.

It doesn’t matter. If one person in a couple with financial problems is sitting home playing facebook games all day and the other person is working overtime and/or second jobs, something is very wrong. Before asking anyone for a loan or a gift of money, both people need to be working whenever possible.

When it becomes clear that one person will come up with any lie or reason why they can’t work or take a job, it is time to cut them off. Tough love is called tough love because it’s tough. It’s tough on everyone, but it is necessary when there is a financial abuser in the picture. It is extremely important, however, to maintain an unconditionally loving relationship with the abused partner and to offer to listen or help them if they need it.

As for lending or giving money again, that should only happen if the financially abusive partner is working. If not, you may decide to help if there are catastropic consequences such as impending eviction or homelessness. These are difficult decisions, and financial abusers are completely responsible for creating these situations and all the conflicts and unpleasant feelings that acccompany them.

Whole Thinking: Emotional Intelligence, Intellectual Honesty, Psychological Defenses, and Critical Reasoning Skills

All of these are interconnected and affect each other.

Let’s use these abbreviations for them as we continue: EI, IH, PD, and CR.

One cannot have sound critical reasoning skills and still be blinded by more than a few minor psychological defenses. One cannot be intellectually dishonest and have sound critical reasoning skills. One’s psychological defenses will affect one’s emotional intelligence, critical reasoning skills, and ability to be intellectually honest.

What examples of this do you see in your own personal or worklife?

Here are a few examples to think about:

The BP Oil Disaster has been called “not a disaster” by some politicians. We can see the lack of EI in this lack of empathy. We can see a lack of critical reasoning skills in this political dismissal of all reports on this disaster from environmental experts. We can also see a lack of intellectual honesty as hyperbole is used to compare this to Watergate, when those are not even comparable. What I believe drives this are psychological defenses in place that trump the skills of EI, IH, and CR.

A mother is furious that her daughter cannot attend her sister’s bridal shower. The mother forgot to tell her daughter when it would be. The daughter had plans and was unavailable. The mother became furious and displaced her anger at herself and at the situation onto her daughter. The mother said things like:

“I just thought you would be there”.
“but it’s your sister’s bridal shower”
“You don’t know how to be a maid of honor – why don’t you google that?!”
“You’re jealous and selfish”

So, what have we here? We have a mother whose psychological defenses and lack of EI are completely eclipsing any abilities she may have had to engage in intellectual honesty or critical reasoning skills.

If her latter skills (IH and CR) were stronger than her PD and lack of EI, she would simply be able to say, “Oh, I should have told you the date sooner. I know how busy you are. Oh well, I know you’ll send a gift. We’ll tell you all about it”.

Also, there is the fact that the way we respond to conflict (which is inevitable among humans and that is not necessarily a bad thing), is directly related to how much of our identity we ourselves impart into the conflict.

In the case of the mother, some of the other things she said were “I am a good mother” and “I’m not angry; you’re angry” and “this is not my conflict; this is your conflict”.

This woman (the mother)had the following beliefs about her identity and was not able to question them for herself:

1. Good people do not get angry
2. Good mothers do not make mistakes when planning bridal showers
3. Good people do not have conflicts
4. Conflict is bad
5. Anger is bad
6. I need to blame someone (because she didn’t know what else to do with her anger and it was too uncomfortable for her to take responsibility for her own mistake because she believes that a mother who makes such a scheduling error is a “bad” mother).
7. I cannot and will not acknowledge that I made an error
8. The bridal shower will be ruined if my daughter cannot attend
9. People will think bad things about me and us if one of my daughters is not at the bridal shower

What is wrong with all of these beliefs? They are untrue and limiting. What prevents someone from overriding deeply-entrenched psychological defenses and low EI by employing their IH and CR skills?

Several things:

Fear of learning, development and growth
Fear of acknowledging that the way we’ve been thinking or doing things before was not optimal
Fear of imperfection
Fear of acknowledging errors and feeling shame over those errors
Fear of acknowleding that what we were taught by our parents was not optimal
Shame in general
Disdain for intellect, learning, discovery, or psychology
Disdain for change
Disdain for and fear of the short-lived (but worthwhile) discomfort that can come from overcoming harmful psychological defenses

What else? Think about it.

When we are using Whole Thinking (TM pending), we are checking ourselves via our thoughts and feelings through the following filters:

The 16 subscales of Emotional Intelligence based on the Bar-On EQi, (I will examine these in a future post, but descriptions are elsewhere on this blog)
The Psychological Defenses (ditto),
Sound Understanding of Critical Reasoning Skills,
and we are checking with ourselves to see if we’re being Intellectually Honest.

Obviously doing this requires that we be familiar with all of the above. When we are, we become very practiced in doing this and what may sound like an onerous process can be done fairly quickly and become simply a very healthy habit that benefits oneself and others.

It’s as simple as “processing” something – only it is more than just taking the time to understand one’s thoughts and feelings; it is also holding our understandings of our thoughts and feelings (our whole perceptions) to standards around criteria that we know to be sound, healthy, and clear.

We already do this in our thinking regularly, but refining our thinking and stretching our thinking/feeling skills as well as better-integrating those (thinking and feeling, which influence each other), the more wholly we think.

Another tool that can help in the development of all of these learned skills is NVC (non-violent communication), which was created by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. There is a free course to learn NVC at and there are also links and posts about NVC on this blog going back to Spring of 2009.


10 Reasons to Learn NVC (Non-Violent Communication)

10 Reasons to Learn NVC:

1. Stay more centered, open and effective in conflicts

2. Have more fun, joy and pleasure

3. Experience less painful and shorter conflicts

4. Increase congruence between your values and actions

5. Move from conflict to mutual strategies

6. Have more awareness of your needs, wants and desires

7. Have your needs expressed and understood

8. Translate judgments into dialogues & requests

9. Increase harmony and understanding among others

10. Have a more wonderful life

Comprehensive Introduction to NVC

The NVC courses and weekends take us from the very beginning concepts to a deeper understanding of the purpose, meaning and implications NVC has in our lives and in the world. Learning groups practice responding and communicating consciously by expressing and hearing, based on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.

Through the introduction of concepts in combination with experiential exercises, demonstrations, role plays and more, participants learn the foundations and concepts of NVC and have first hand experience practicing, and ultimately developing skills to bring back into their lives.

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NVC can be understood as a “language” that helps us translate what others are saying about their feelings and needs – even if they’re not using NVC. This does require effort, and so not all interactions are ones in which most people use NVC.

NVC helps anyone who learns it better understand their own feelings and needs, have better awareness of others’ feelings and needs, and both think and speak in a new language that fosters understanding, cooperation, and better interpersonal relations in general.

Ideally, all persons engaging in conflicts will know and practice NVC, however, this is not always possible as very few people have learned NVC thus far.

Even when only one person knows and practices NVC in a conflict, it often has a positive effect on the conflict and the parties involved.

NVC is particularly helpful in family and romantic relationships as well as in workplace professional relationships. NVC was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, and he has used it to help improve group relations among those who have previously been involved in high-conflict situations such as ethnic and racial conflicts that have resulted in wars and genocides.

I encourage as many people as possible to learn and practice NVC.


How NVC, EI, and Sound Conflict Resolution are Effective in All Human Relationships

I highly recommend NVC (Non-Violent Communication) study and practice for anyone wishing to improve their self-awareness, have their needs met, improve their relationships and communication skills, and be more empathic to self and others. Perhaps most importantly, NVC teaches that we aim to have our needs met, but never at the expense of anyone else’s needs and that this is possible.

NYCNVC, founded and led by Certified NVC Trainer, Thom Bond, is an excellent source for NVC training. Please visit to learn more.

NVC TOOLS For Men and Women:
Please click on the letters “NVC” (below) to learn more about how NVC can help us all:

View more presentations from UCSC.

NVC Feelings List:

NVC Needs List:

Here is an example of why I recommend NVC:

I observe that many of us are in relationships and workplaces in which our needs are not met.
I observe that this is a great source of pain and stress for so many of us.

NVC has helped me learn that I also have core needs for mutuality, joy, well-being, self-expression, purpose, respect, integrity, trust, nurturing, and affection.

When I don’t have my needs met, I experience unpleasant emotions which can be difficult.
NVC taught me that I can identify my feelings which will help me identify my needs.
NVC also taught me that once I identify my needs, there are 10,000 ways in which I can get those needs met.
This is true of all human beings

It’s so simple, yet so profound.

We can all identify our needs and then make conscious choices that will help us get our needs met!

This improves all of our lives, relationships, families, workplaces, teams, groups, and communities.

I make this request of myself: that I continually check in with myself regarding how I am feeling in response to those around me. That I value my feelings and that I check in with myself regarding what my feelings tell me about my needs and whether they are being met or not. That I also value the feelings and needs of others and check in with them when we share a connection that is healthy for us both.

I further request of myself that I value myself, my feelings, and my needs very much–so much that I request of myself that I make conscious choices about my life, actions, relationships, workplace activities, friendships, and use of my time and effort that will meet my needs, but not at the expense of someone else’s needs.

NVC taught me that everything anyone ever does or says is to meet a need of theirs. This can help us understand those who provoke anger, sadness, shock, or disgust from us.

When we practice NVC, we honor our feelings and needs as well as those of others, and we learn simple ways to communicate about these in constructive ways.

We also learn in NVC that when we make a request of someone or when someone makes a request of us, the answers of yes OR no, must be acceptable, otherwise it is not a request, but rather a demand. Ask yourself if you make requests or demands of those in your life. Ask yourself if those in your life make requests or demands of you.

We also learn that when the answer to a request is a NO, that a “NO” is really a “YES To Something Else”. We may need to ask more questions to learn what that is. Communication – Non-Violent Communication.

Practice is key, as most of us were raised and taught the opposite of this. NVC also teaches us that EMPATHY has enormous healing potential. We can shift in conflicts with others. We can approach conflict with the curiosity of an anthropologist or journalist in order to help us understand the other person and connect with him or her.

HOWEVER! We can only offer empathy when we ourselves are not in need of it. If we are hurting and need empathy, we are simply not capable of giving empathy to others. What a wonderful world it would be if everyone was fully aware of their feelings and needs and if everyone was trained in how to give empathy to heal others and themsevles. We can also give ourselves self-empathy.

When empathy is given, conflicts can be resolved. There can be understanding. There can be healing.

Practice is KEY. NYCNVC offers practice groups for those committed to integrating what they learn in NVC class into their lives, which is not so easy when everyone around you has not studied NVC!

NVC can be life-changing. Studying NVC for only one weekend or for nine weeks in a nightly course with a Certified NVC trainer can change your life and give you simple, important tools to enhance your life, your joy, your work, and your relationships with yourself and others!

I hope you will visit the website of Marshall Rosenberg, PhD, who created NVC. It is listed on my blogroll. Please visit your local NVC Certified Trainer for more information! There are only 76 Certified NVC trainers in the US.

NVC works perfectly with sound conflict resolution procedures and with the 15 subscales of the EQi an Emotional Intelligence instrument developed by Reuven Bar-On, Phd. I will expand on how these work well together in future posts.

Kindest regards,

GAME OVER ~ What’s Wrong With “Game”, Seduction, and the Pick-Up Artist Industry

By Denise A. Romano

Let’s clarify a few things since there are a few blogs that are perpetuating lies about our position on this, shall we?

Lady Raine and I have done our best to answer your questions on her blog, but the same questions keep pouring in.

For those of you who are interested, here is a link to an excellent PBS program about Happiness: — This is what it says about relationships and their role in human happiness:

When we hear from more than 5 men who are PUAs or MRAs who denounce rape and all of the abusive Game techniques below, we’ll do a nice post all about them. And for those men, PUAs, and MRAs who denounce these methods, thank you for vocally doing so on various PUA and MRA blogs that enthusiastically incite rape and celebrate rape as a mens’ right. Until then, this is our message:

We’re NOT saying that ALL men or ALL PUAs are horrible; we know there are good ones out there. We’ve heard from a few whom we like very much.

We’re also NOT saying that ALL PUA “schools” are horrible, though we are saying that we believe MOST ARE negligent and misogynistic when it comes to recklessly failing to train men around CONSENT laws that relate to sexual assault and rape.

We’re also NOT saying men don’t have a right to want sex, to be attracted to women, to ask women out, to like sex, or to enjoy sex. However this does NOT mean men have the right to have sex with any woman they want. There’s a big difference between wanting and doing.

We’re also NOT misandrists, we don’t hate men at all, and we’re not bitter or hoping to put all PUAs or all men in jail.

We don’t want to “destroy” heterosexual dating and relating – we just want it to be ethical, safe and within legal bounds for both men and women.

This is also NOT about “thought crime”.

“Here’s how it works: The Pick-Up Artist devotee feels worthless. He is informed that self-worth may be secured by having sex with women agreed to be attractive by the Pick-Up Artist community. He is told that in order to have sex with these women, he must not “be himself”—remember, he is worthless. Instead, he must pay exorbitant amounts of money to learn the correct “tactics” not to gain self-worth—but to convince the women that it is they who are truly worthless. Only the Pick-Up Artist “master” wins here—he gets the cash regardless of the outcome of the sexual conquest, while feeling superior to his male devotees (who are, in turn, superior to all women).”


Here is a description of one man’s experience in the Seduction Community:

Don’t forget to take the quiz at the end of this post. For a much less expensive alternative to learning “game”, check this out:

It’s really very simple. The issues are:

1. CONSENT and Sexual Assaut/Rape: There are specific PUA books, e-newsletters, trainings, DVDs, lairs, bootcamps, and other “trainings” given by PUA “schools” that INTENTIONALLY teach men methods such as “ASD” (Anti-Slut Defense) and “LMR” (Last-Minute Resistance) and which also advocate the use of hypnosis and/or NLP (neuro-linquist programming) methods to psychologically and/or physically coerce women into having sex with them.

We see this is as negligent on the part of the PUA “schools” given that they are teaching men methods that could easily result in the sexual assault and rape of women. PUA trainers do not seem to be educating these men that their PUA actions could easily result in sexual assault and/or rape – and they are not even reviewing with these men what the legal defintions of CONSENT, Lack of Consent, Sexual Assault, Date Rape, and Rape are.

If you have sex with a woman too drunk or drugged to be in her right mind to consent to the sex, that is rape. See:

For those of you who don’t recall what we were all taught in 7th grade health class and what has been part of public education campaigns for decades, there are some links below to refresh your memory:


Here is what consent looks like:

(This is also excerpted at the end of this post).

PUA, James Sears, (Dmitri the Lover) and Paul Janka have been accused of sexual assualt. Other PUAs have also been charged with sexual assault. Will you be next or will you educate yourself and adhere to the law?

There is also a link to a UK (male) MD who states that “hopefully, using hypnosis as a method of seduction will now be considered as much of a crime as alcohol inhibited behaviour”:

What Men Need to Remember: NO MEANS NO. If she says no or moves you or your hand(s) away from her, YOU NEED TO STOP. You need to be SURE that a woman consents to sex with you before you proceed.

For all the PUAs and MRAs who claim they have no ethical obligations to anyone while dating and relating, do note that you are exhibiting sociopathic beliefs and behaviors:


Etymology: L, socius, companion; Gk, pathos, disease

a personality disorder characterized by a lack of social responsibility and failure to adapt to ethical and social standards of the community.

Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, 8th edition. © 2009, Elsevier.

2. We’ve also seen a shocking level of ignorance regarding sexually transmitted diseases. Remember:

A. Condoms do not protect against all STDs.

B. Women can become infected with STDs much more easily than men can due to anatomical differences.

C. Unprotected sex (without a condom) increases your and your partner’s risks of becoming infected with STDs.

D. Having multiple sex partners increases your risk and all of your partners’ risks of becoming infected with STDs.

E. Some STDs such as HIV, AIDS, and Hepatitis C can be fatal. People have been convicted of knowingly or recklessly infecting others with HIV and AIDS:

F. Some STDs that are not fatal can result in sterilization.

G. If you have multiple sex partners, you have a responsibility to let your other sex partners know this BEFORE they have sex with you so they can understand what they’re consenting to.

H. In my strong opinion, if you have an agreement with a woman to be sexually faithful to her and you cheat on her, YOU MUST TELL HER YOU CHEATED BEFORE YOU HAVE SEX WITH HER again, otherwise she is NOT able to consent to the sex with you under the conditions of your having violated your agreement with her. If you DO have sex with her after cheating sexually and you do NOT tell her this, in my opinion, you have raped her. As far as I’m concerned, this is true whether you’re married to her or not, and yes I would apply all of this to women as equally as to men.

3. The PUA “language” is degrading to women:

This is self-explanatory, but it’s very important to realize that this language comes from a belief system about women that has unfortunately been borrowed from extremist MRA (men’s rights advocates) groups. Many MRA groups use HATE SPEECH and are HATE GROUPS. To learn more about what the FBI has to say about HATE GROUPS, see the FBI paper on this blog under “Just for PUAs” and also on the sitemap. Also, see this link:

“Hypergamy” and the idea that women want to be treated with indifference or badly, negged, ignored, controlled, “led”, or kept on their toes is completely untrue.

Extremist MRA groups, whose blogs openly say FALSE things such as those below, have influenced the PUA industry and belief system. If you want to contribute to a body of evidence that the Y Chromosome is a birth defect, join the ranks of men who believe the following:

A. Women’s suffrage was the worst thing to happen to the US.
B. Hitting women turns them on
C. Women who sleep with you are sluts and whores.
D. Women who don’t sleep with you are bitches.
E. Women’s natural role is to serve men in every way including sexually.
F. All women hate men.
G. Men have the right to rape women.
H. Women have not contributed anything of value to the world; only men have.
I. Women are responsible for ensuring they are not sexually assaulted or raped.
J. Men have raped women since the beginning of time, women should expect that men will try to rape them.
K. Women only want men for their money and to mooch off of them
L. A Woman’s value is only in her beauty, her sexuality, and her ability to bear children and mother them.
M. No Means Yes or No Means Maybe
N. An equal relationship with a woman will result in the woman having more power and control
O. Women are irrational
P. Only men are logical and rational
Q. Men’s and women’s brains are extremely different
R. Evolutionary Psychology explains that women and men have biologically determined roles in relationships and society
S. Feminism will destory western civilization
T. Women need to be put back in their places, on their knees
U. All women want to destroy men and cannot be trusted
V. Marriage is unfair to men, monogamy is unnatural to men, and men have a right to be sexually unfaithful, but women do not.
W. Fathers are unimportant
X. Men have no rights in modern western civilization and it’s all women’s fault
Y. Men who are “alphas” live by this code: “bros before hos unless it’s a close”.
Z. Women cheat on and lie to men much more than men cheat on and lie to women

4. Many aspects of Game are Abusive:

Negging is abusive
Any form of manipulation is abusive
Lying is abusive
Using fake names is deceptive, which is abusive
Creating a false sense of comfort in a woman is abusive
Creating a false sense of attraction is abusive
Using any form of hypnosis or NLP is abusive
The concepts of ASD and LMR are abusive
The ENTIRE concept of “Speed Seduction” is abusive: You MUST respect the time a woman needs in order to naturally and genuinely feel comfortable with who you really are. You must NOT try to speed that process up.

5. Game teaches men that women are not human beings with feelings but, rather are “targets”, “prey”, and “lays” to be conquered, collected, and devalued as people. This is also connected to HATE SPEECH and HATE GROUP definitions. Be aware that many PUA and MRA groups also use methods used by CULTS to lure men in as customers.

They send witty free e-newsletters that seem to understand all of your problems with women. They talk to you like they’re one of your friends. They let you know that you can confide in them about your problems with women. They say they understand.

To see how CULTS operate, visit this blog’s pages on CULTS and JUST FOR PUAs. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid!!!

6. Unfortunately, we’ve heard from alot of PUAs and MRAs who claim that they are not required to behave ethically, to be truthful with women they’re trying to pick up, to use their real names, to be honest about anything, or to abide by laws concerning CONSENT, Sexual Assault, and Rape.

They’ve insisted that women alone are responsible for who they sleep with even if many PUAs are using deception, manipulation, and forms of psychological and physical coercion (i.e. any means necessary) to have sex with as many women as possible. Many of them claim that they have every right to do whatever it takes to get a woman to have sex with them. They’ve insisted that they have no responsibility to be ethical in their dealings with women.

This is a serious problem.

MEN: Are you responsible law-abiding adults or are you irresponsible criminals who will do whatever you can to have sex? Or are you something in between?

Any answer other than being a responsible law-abiding adult is unacceptable, abusive, and could easily land you in jail.

For more information on how to stop rape see: or

Healthy Alternatives:
If you are a shy man or a man who is awkward around women and you need help with that, do NOT waste your money on Game.

Instead, learn NVC (non-violent communication) – Join a group near where you live and/or do the FREE course at online in the privacy of your home. Also, further develop your Emotional Intelligence (EI):

Please click on “Nonviolent Communication” (below) to learn more about how NVC can help us all:

NVC Feelings List:

NVC Needs List:

To Learn More about Emotional Intelligence and How it Can Help Men and Women:

Also, read the following books:

She Comes First by Ian Kerner
The Guide to Getting It On
Getting Love Right by Terence Gorski
Boundaries and Relationships by Charles Whitfield
Anything by John Gottman
Coach Yourself to Success by Talane Meidaner
Anything by Stephen Carter
When Love Goes Wrong by Ann Jones and Susan Schechter
Unexpected Allies: Men Who Stop Rape by Todd Denny
The Macho Paradox by Jackson Katz

Also, join a good Men’s group such as NOMAS or another similar group.

Also, consider that if you are trying to date and relate to women who have no interest in you that you may be looking for love in all the wrong places. Instead of only caring about having sex with women or dating women who are not attracted to you, consider dating other women who are more attainable, who share interests with you, and who you do not need to game.

And, for all you MRAs out there, YES, I believe that women and men should be held to the very same behavioral standards, yes men can be raped by women, yes men should have equal protection under all laws as women do, and yes I believe in egalitarian relationships and an egalitarian society and culture.

Remember: “Only Men Can Prevent Rape — By Not Raping Women

A lot has been said about how to prevent rape. Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn’t have long hair and women shouldn’t wear short skirts. Women shouldn’t leave drinks unattended. Hell, women shouldn’t dare to get drunk at all. Instead of that bullshit, how about:

If a woman is drunk, don’t rape her.

If a woman is walking alone at night, don’t rape her.

If a woman is drugged and unconscious, don’t rape her.

If a woman is wearing a short skirt, don’t rape her.

If a woman is jogging in a park at 5 am, don’t rape her.

If a woman looks like your ex-girlfriend you’re still hung up on, don’t rape her.

If a woman is asleep in her bed, don’t rape her.

If a woman is asleep in your bed, don’t rape her.

If a woman is doing her laundry, don’t rape her.

If a woman is in a coma, don’t rape her.

If a woman changes her mind in the middle of or about a particular activity, don’t rape her.

If a woman has repeatedly refused a certain activity, don’t rape her.

If a woman is not yet a woman, but a child, don’t rape her.

If your girlfriend or wife is not in the mood, don’t rape her.

If your step-daughter is watching TV, don’t rape her.

If you break into a house and find a woman there, don’t rape her.

If your friend thinks it’s okay to rape someone, tell him it’s not, and that he’s not your friend.

If your “friend” tells you he raped someone, report him to the police.

If your frat-brother or another guy at the party tells you there’s an unconscious woman upstairs and it’s your turn, don’t rape her, call the police and tell the guy he’s a rapist.

Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, sons of friends it’s not okay to rape someone.

Don’t tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.

Don’t imply that she could have avoided it if she’d only done/not done x.

Don’t imply that it’s in any way her fault.

Don’t let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he “got some” with the drunk girl.

Don’t perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can, too, help yourself.”

–Author unknown.

If you’re a GOOD MAN out there who is a PUA or an MRA, we would LOVE to hear from you. We WANT to believe good PUAs and MRAs are out there.

Unfortunately, we’ve only seen evidence of very few good PUAs and MRAs and overwhelmingly disturbing evidence of many PUAs and MRAs who view women as non-humans who exist solely for their sexual pleasure to be discarded and collected as conquests and objects.

Men and Women who take these issues seriously will be doing the following:

1. Write to or email your State legislators and ask them to add “GENDER” to Hate Crime Statutes.

2. Write to or email your local police department’s Sexual Assault Units and show them this post about Game so they can be educated about new methods being used by sexual predators to rape women. Print out the links explaining the use of hypnosis. Ask the Police to conduct educational prevention seminars at middle schools, high schools and colleges as well as among police officers themselves.

3. Do the same with your local Rape Crisis organization and ask them to do educational prevention seminars at schools, colleges, and in workplaces.

4. Contact any military bases near you and show them this post and ask them to conduct educational prevention seminars for US troops.

5. Contact your local religious organization and ask the to conduct educational prevention seminars for men and women, including adolescents.

6. Contact VH-1 and send them a copy of this post along with a letter of protest regarding the television show, The Pick-Up Artist.

7. Talk to your friends and teenage children about how abusive Game is.

8. Contact nearby colleges and universities and ask them to conduct educational prevention seminars about Game.

9. Contact your legislators at every level and ask them to fully enforce all sexual assault laws around consent, deception, manipulation, and psychological coercion. Print out the links in this post for them.

10. Write to Evolutionary Psychologists and let them know how their scientific theories are being grossly distorted and used in attempts to justify unethical, assaultive, and criminal behavior among many (NOT ALL) men.

11. If you’re a PUA or an MRA, bring this to your group and discuss it with other men.

12. If you’re a man on a sports team, in a religious group, in a club, or in any other group of people, regardless of gender, discuss these issues with those in your group. Let them know to discuss these issues with their adolescent or college-aged children.

Women and Men have much more common ground than we do differences. There is NO reason for men to need GAME to date and relate to women. Women and men have much more in common than the extremist MRAs want us to think. Men and Women should be working together to ensure that all laws are fairly enforced for both women and men and that all women and men have equal rights in relationships, families, workplaces, and in all aspects of our cultures. See all Human Rights for Men and Women in Intimate Relationships on this blog.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment here or email me at


For more info on the law from the US DOJ, read below. There are a shocking number of men who actually believe that sex with a drunk or drugged woman is not rape. The blogger Robert Lindsay is an example of such a cretin.

Definition of Rape
1. Assault – The use of unlawful force or violence either as an overt act with the intent of inflicting bodily harm; or as an unlawful demonstration of violence, either by an intentional or by a culpably negligent act or omission, which creates in the mind of another a reasonable apprehension of receiving immediate bodily harm.

a. Sexual Assault – See “Indecent Assault.” For the purposes of this instruction, the term sexual assault will be used generically to include all of the terms listed in [1] through [4] below and applies to adult victims and perpetrators.

[1] Assault with Intent to Commit Rape – In assault with intent to commit rape, the accused must have intended to complete the offense of rape and to overcome any resistance by force.

[2] Assault with Intent to Commit Sodomy – An assault against a human being committed with the specific intent of completing the offense of sodomy.

[3] Indecent Assault – An assault with the intent to gratify the lust or sexual desires of the accused.

[4] Rape - An act of penile-vaginal intercourse by force and without consent. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

2. Intercourse – Physical sexual contact between individuals that involves the genitalia of at least one person.

3. Sodomy – An act whereby one person takes into his/her mouth or anus the sexual organ of another person (of the same or opposite sex) or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in the mouth or anus of another person or of an animal; places his/her sexual organ in any opening of the body other than the sexual parts of another person; or has penile-vaginal intercourse with an animal. Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense. From OPNAVINST 1752.1A, UCMJ Definition

Clinically, rape is regarded as an act which involves sexual activity in that genital contact is involved. However, rape is much more than just the sex act because it is also committed in order to fulfill nonsexual needs related to power, anger, and aggression. Rape involves hostility (anger) and control (power) more than passion. (3) Anger and a desire to dominate and control the victim are the primary motivations of the rapist. These factors are consistent with the victim’s experience of sexual violence. The victim feels violated. (4)

Concerning Rape (5)

Rape is one of the most frequently committed violent crimes and its incidence is steadily increasing. Hand-in-hand with the rising incidence of sexual assault is the rising fear among women of such victimization. A study of perceptions of violent crime among residents of Seattle, Washington, reported that all women fear rape, especially those under 35. They report that rape is a more terrifying possibility to them than any other crime including murder, assault, and robbery.

Such fear is not necessarily misplaced. It is believed that perhaps twice as many criminal sexual assaults occur as are officially reported. Also official tallies do not reflect the number of deaths as a result of rape; these deaths are reported as murders. Every single minute in America, there are 1.3 forcible rapes of adult women; 78 women are forcibly raped each hour. Every day in America, 1,871 women are forcibly raped, equating to 56,916 forcible rapes every month. Every year in our country, 683,000 American women are forcibly raped. (See statistical page no. 16)

(1) Some specialists prefer the exclusively use of the term “sexual assault.” However, most victim advocates prefer stronger terms (e.g. “rape” for sexual assault and “murder” for homicide to tell it like it is).

(2) A member of The Chaplain’s Advisory Committee has advised that the Navy Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program manual could be very helpful in providing military specific information on this subject.

(3) Groth, Nicholas, and Birnbaum, Jean, Men Who Rape, New York: Plenam Press, 1979: 2.

(4) Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence: The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983: 7-8.

(5) National Victim Resource Center, Sexual Assault: An Overview, Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Justice, 1987.

Rape Myths

Despite the prevalence of sexual assault in the United States, a number of misconceptions surround this crime and its victims. Some of the most common myths include:

1. Rape is a crime of passion.

The notion that the rapist is controlled by overwhelming lust is far removed from the reality. Psychologists have found that the motivation behind sexual assault is most often the need to dominate and control, rather than the inability to control sexual urges. Rape is primarily an act of power and aggression, with the sexual aspects taking secondary role.

2. Women who are careful don’t get raped.

Rapes occur in a variety of places and situations during any hour of the day or night. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35 percent of all rapes occur in or near a victim’s home, and there are incidences of rape in offices, schools, and other work locations. While there are certain preventative measures women can take, even the most cautious women are not perfectly safe.

3. Rape is impossible if the woman really resists.

Most victims resist sexual assault in some way, but the rapist usually has the advantage of surprise and strength. Physical force is used in 85 percent of all reported rapes, and 25 percent of victims are threatened or attacked with a dangerous weapon.

In addition to the sexual attack, more than half who are physically assaulted, receive some injury. Such injury was more likely if the victim resisted.

4. Women secretly want to be raped.

There is a difference between romantic fantasy and brutal, violent reality. There also is a difference between the fundamental right of choice in one’s fantasy and the loss of control as a victim of sexual assault.

5. The rapist is usually a stranger.

Expert opinions vary. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a woman is twice as likely to be attacked by a stranger than by someone she knows. However, sexual assault by an acquaintance “date rape” is a serious and largely unreported occurrence. In a survey sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 6,159 college students at 32 schools nationwide were interviewed and reported that 84 percent of the victims of completed rapes knew the offender, most often (66 percent) as a date. Of these victims, 95 percent did not report the crime to the police. Similarly, the incidence of marital rape, as a form of domestic violence, goes largely unreported.

6. Women invite rape by dressing or acting seductively.

There is little correlation between physical attractiveness and the likelihood of becoming a victim. To believe that a woman “deserves” to be raped is to say that a wealthy-looking man “deserves” to be robbed.

7. If rape is imminent, the woman should relax and enjoy it.

This may be a fatal belief, according to interviews with murderers who sexually molested their victims. These offenders report that the victim’s compliance or non-forceful resistance were not deterrents to the murder, with survivors being those who forcefully resisted. Even in sexual assaults without homicidal intent, it is unreasonable to expect a woman to enjoy involuntary participation in a violent, terrifying crime.

8. Women “cry rape.”

The reality is that sexual assault is perhaps one of the most under reported crimes in relation to its actual incidence. BJS found that only about half of the victims of rape or attempted rape surveyed between 1973 and 1982 reported the crime to the police. Various other surveys also found that a vast number of sexual assaults go unreported, with even higher percentages of victims not reporting. In general, victims of “classic” rape, i.e., violent attack by a stranger, are more likely to report the crime than women raped by men they know, at home or in social settings. Thus, the notion that “a woman scorned” will hurl false rape accusations, considering the tendency of victims not to report out of shame or despair, is unlikely to be true.

Impact of Rape

The consequences of sexual assault for victims and their families and friends are profound. While any form of victimization is stressful, rape takes a particularly devastating toll on the self image, sense of independence, and overall emotional well-being of its victims long after any physical injuries have healed.

The Rape Trauma Syndrome describes the emotional, psychological, and social impact of sexual assault:

In the period immediately following a sexual assault, victims may respond by expressing fear, anger, and outrage or by adopting a controlled style of response, exhibiting little visible reaction. Despite outward appearances, this latter coping style does not reflect the victim’s inner turmoil in the wake of the assault.

During the first few days and weeks after a sexual assault, the victim may also experience acute physical symptoms. These include soreness, especially in the stomach, throat, arms and legs. Muscle tension often results in disturbances in sleep patterns, including problems getting to sleep, crying out at night, and mumbling during sleep. Generally victims feel distressed, irritable and jumpy. Loss of appetite is also common.

Initially, victims experience a sense of disorganization in which their lifestyles are disrupted by the rape crisis. Emotionally, fear dominates, but shame, humiliation, degradation, guilt, anger, self-blame and revenge are common. Given the intensity of these feelings, victims may be susceptible to mood swings.

Long-term emotional symptoms, ranging from mild to severe and beginning anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the rape, involve reorganization of the life shattered by the assault. One of the primary characteristics of this stage is difficulty in returning to daily schedule of activities. Victims often express and may act upon a strong desire to change jobs/schools.

General sleeplessness may continue, marked by dreams and nightmares. Fears and phobias may develop. Sexual concerns are widespread; it may be some time before victims resume their normal sexual patterns.

Those close to the victim have been found to experience similar reactions. In the immediate aftermath of a rape, the woman’s parents/spouse may exhibit physical and emotional symptoms just as she does. Crying, headaches, loss of sleep, and fear of violence are common, as are feelings of revenge and guilt. In the long term, the victim’s personal relationships are altered and may be shattered, as her significant others cope with their feelings toward the crime and the victim. Her family and friends may become over-protective or patronizing; other changes in usual inter-actions may occur. Personal or intimate relationships existing before the assault may be destroyed if partners fail to recognize the victim’s emotional and psychological needs. Thus, the woman may not be the only victim of a sexual assault; this crime may deeply affect those around her.

Stages of Adjustment
Each person going through a crisis of any kind progresses through stages of emotional adjustment. A victim may spend a great deal of time in one stage and only touch lightly on another, or may pass through a number of the stages over and over again, each time experiencing them with a different intensity. Furthermore, anyone close to the victim may experience these stages as well.

SHOCK “I’m numb.”

Offering information to the victim during this stage is not helpful, as she will most likely remember very little, if anything, about what occurs during this time.

DENIAL “This can’t have happened.”

Not yet able to face the severity of the crisis, the victim spends time during this stage gathering strength. The period of denial serves as a cushion for the more difficult stages of adjustment which follow.

ANGER “What did I do? Why me?”

Much of the anger may be a result of the victim’s feeling of loss of strength and loss of control over her own life. The anger may be directed toward the rapist, a doctor, the police, or anyone else, including herself.

BARGAINING “Let’s go on as if it didn’t happen.”

The victim sets up a bargain: She will not talk about the rape in exchange for not having to continue to experience the pain. In so doing, she continues to deny the emotional impact the rape has had upon her life.

DEPRESSION “I feel so dirty — so worthless.”

If the victim is warned of this stage ahead of time, she may not be so thrown by it. She may experience drastic changes in sleeping or eating habits, the indulging in compulsive rituals, or generalizing fears completely taking over her life. Professional counseling may be advisable. Though a painful time for her, this stage shows she has begun to face the reality of the rape. As she allows the negative emotions to surface, she should be reminded that these feelings are normal and will not last forever.

ACCEPTANCE “Life can go on.”

When enough of the anger and depression is released, the victim enters the stage of acceptance. She may still spend time thinking and talking about the rape, but she under-stands and is in control of her own emotions and can now accept what has happened to her.

ASSIMILATION “It’s part of my life.”

By the time the victim reaches this stage, she has realized her own self-worth and strength. She no longer needs to spend time dealing with the rape, as the total rape experience now meshes with other experiences in her life. (1)

(1) Roberts, Deborah, Adapted from Raped, Zondervan Publishing House, 1981: 157-159.

While there are no guaranteed steps that women can take to prevent rape, there are several things they can do to possibly avoid an assault.

Good Prevention Counsel

Remember that the perpetrator needs the opportunity.

Normal crime prevention safety tips — locking doors and windows, checking the back of your car before entering — should be habits, no matter how ‘safe’ the area or circumstance.

Follow your instincts.
Take immediate action if a stranger is acting suspiciously or if a dating situation is getting out of control. Don’t let concerns about being thought foolish prevent you from asking for help — security/personnel and police would rather answer a “false alarm” or escort you to your car than see you as a rape or murder victim.

Avoid dangerous situations.
The stranger outside your door with a compelling story can wait there while you make that “urgent” phone call for him. If circumstances require that you be out alone, especially at night, avoid dark or secluded areas and let others know where you are.

Don’t appear vulnerable.
Walk assertively and purposefully, staying in well-lit areas when out alone at night. Restrictive clothing and high-heeled shoes may be fashionable, but are useless if the need to run or fight arises.

Know your abilities.
Some women in our society have been raised to be passive and submissive (Note 1: Clergy whose theological position, rightly or wrongly, places emphasis here, should be advised). Learned helplessness can facilitate sexual assault. General fitness and self-defense courses are useful for developing personal strengths and decreasing the likelihood of becoming a victim. (Note 2: Self-defense training may be difficult for some clergy to recommend, in view of their emphasis upon faith in God. This is a practical theological issue that each must resolve.)

If Assaulted

Keep control of the situation.
Try to distract the attacker while planning an escape. Don’t rely on talk alone; most rapists are not going to pay attention to their victims’ pleas.

Attract attention.

Screaming, knocking over trash cans, sounding your car horn or making any other noise may bring help.

Remember that only the rapist, and not you, is responsible for the attack.
Even in a social situation, your personal integrity is more important than a date’s “ego.”

Communities can also take rape prevention measures. Many communities and college campuses have organized against rape. Public awareness and education programs, “escort” services to accompany women out alone at night, self-defense classes, and a heightened awareness of the problem all contribute to prevention sexual assault.

Sexual Assault and the Law
Rape prosecutions are generally made under State law, except for the comparatively fewer instances of sexual assault occurring in areas under Federal control, such as military installations and some Indian reservations. There have been major changes in the law regarding sexual assault in the past two decades, owing to an increased awareness of the problem and to increased consciousness that the law has not always served the victim. Between 1975 and 1980 almost every state in the United States

enacted some form of rape reform legislation, and changes continue to be made. Rape reform legislation generally seeks to facilitate prosecution and assure justice for the victim. Such reforms include:

Rape shield laws.
These laws restrict admission into evidence information concerning the victim’s past sexual relations. Most states require a hearing and judicial determination of relevance before evidence of the victim’s past sexual conduct can be heard by a jury.

Victim resistance.
Prior to reform, many states had borrowed the British common law definition of rape as the ‘carnal knowledge of a female, not his wife, forcibly and against her will.” Under this definition, prosecutions hinged on questions of consent and resistance that made convictions difficult and trials an ordeal for the victim. Reform removed the resistance requirement, deleting legal provisions that forced victims to prove they resisted sexual attacks to the utmost of their ability. The consent standard was also changed and rape was equated to other crimes in this regard.

Redefinition of rape.
Gender-neutral terms in new definitions redefined rape to enable prosecutions against both men and women for a wide range of behavior, including sexual assault with an object and homosexual assault. These changes created new crimes, termed “sexual assault,” “criminal sexual conduct,” or “sexual battery,” permitting prosecution of any sexual assault, not only those involving forced heterosexual intercourse.

Changes in penalty structure.
Reform introduced stair casing, or the gradation of sex offenses to prevent defendants from pleading guilty to reduced charges such as assault and battery, which give no clue to the crime’s sexual nature. Rather than one charge of rape, legislatures have developed a variety of degrees for sex offenses, depending upon the circumstances of the crime and the defendant’s culpability. These reforms also include sentencing laws, with some mandatory sentences or changes in modality such as sentences to treatment.

Not all reforms listed above have been adopted in every state. The statutes also vary in wording and operation. However, in assessing the impact of these reforms, one attorney noted that the number of reported rapes has approximately doubled since 1970 and tripled since 1960.

Factors Having a Negative Impact on Rape Victims

When Preparing for Court
What is presented below is in part a summary of parts of Chapter 5, “Getting the Case to Trial,” from The Victim of Rape: Institutional Reactions, by Holstrom and Burgess. It is based on a study of rape victims’ interactions with medical, law enforcement, and criminal justice system personnel and procedures. The book would be invaluable to anyone within one of those institutional settings who works with rape victims.

The rape victim who presses her case in court often has a difficult and discouraging job to do. There is attrition at each stage. Only a small percentage of cases ever gets scheduled in court. It is the unusual victim who remains enthusiastic to press charges through this whole time. The process of getting a rape case to trial acts as a way of “cooling out” the victim, that is, it dilutes her will for justice by making its pursuit more stressful than she can endure. This is changing, but in many places is still a major problem.

I. Cross Pressures on the Victim:

A. Pressure to Drop Charges

From assailant, his friends, defense counsel, or her own support network

“Mysterious happenings,” such as unexplained or obscene telephone calls

Threats, sympathy appeals, and even bribes may be used by the assailant or his friends

B. Pressure to Go Through with Court

From police or prosecutor

May contain threats (“If you don’t come to court, I may have to arrest you”) which may be stated “humorously”

Appeals to victim’s sympathies (“You can’t back out on me now”)

Appeals to victim’s sense of civic duty (“You need to help us get this guy off the streets so he won’t rape someone else”)
II. Delays

A. Psychic Energy Consumed

Wearing Victim Down. Rape victims find the long court process, and especially the many delays, wearisome and discouraging. They get emotionally prepared for court — “psyched up” — and then experience a letdown if the case is continued. The court process seems to last forever. Victims may feel worn down to the point where they no longer care what happens.

B. Monetary and Time Costs to Family and Friends

Court delays increase the financial and time losses for relatives and friends who accompany the victim to court. Each delay means more lost work or school time, lost pay, interrupted day, or expenses (baby-sitter, lunch, transportation).

C. Monetary and Time Costs to Victim

The cost of missing work or school is compounded by some victims’ desire to keep other people from knowing what has happened. Thus they are faced with the additional problem of getting time off without revealing the reason for the absence.

D. Degradation

The degradational costs of delay are not mentioned so explicitly by victims. Nevertheless, a sense of loss to the self does come through when one reads between the lines. It seems to come through most in comments having to do with the conditions of waiting. Victims may talk about sitting unnoticed (“We went to court and waited ’till 2 p.m. No one said anything to us.”) They may talk about waiting in the courthouse corridor (“It was just awful standing out in the hall that day.”), or about a wait that occurs during the appointment with the D.A., who may interrupt the interview for other business that takes priority.

III. Interview

A. Questions and Style — The manner and style adopted when interviewing a rape victim has a strong impact on how helpful her answers are and how she is affected emotionally by the experience. Questions asked in a supportive way without implying judgements about her actions or behavior are most effective. An effort should be made to put the victim at ease. Abruptness should be avoided.

B. Advice and Explanations – Rape victims by and large are unfamiliar with workings of the court. Most have not been to court before, and they do not know what to expect or what is expected of them. Adequate time (as determined by the victim) spent on advice and explanations will make the victim feel less threatened and vulnerable and enable her to be a more effective witness.

C. Pressure on the Victim and Victim Requests — Prosecutors occasionally put victims under considerable pressure, either to strengthen their story or to reduce the charges to a lesser offense. Such pressure may lead the victim to believe that her personal tragedy is being manipulated by the system and the true reality of what happened to her is not being taken seriously. A more effective way for the prosecutor (or support person) to deal with these or other problematic situations is to inform the victim fully and in a supportive manner of what the problems and options are and empower/encourage the victim to make the decision. Many rape victims experience a loss of control in their legal case as an extension of the rape itself, in which loss of control over their lives is a paramount issue. Providing victims full participation in the preparation of their cases is not only good therapy for them, but encourages the kind of cooperation needed for thorough planning and strong presentation. Empowerment is key.

D. The D.A.’s Role – from Interrogator to Counsel * — The data in this study suggest that there is a psychological payoff to victims when D.A.’s conceive of their role as legal counselors rather than as moral arbiters or interrogators. Five issues which victims say are of concern to them are: (1) indications of suspicion about their truthfulness, (2) judgmental commands, (3) explanations and advice, (4) privacy, and (5) general “style.” Sensitivity to these issues by the D.A. is likely to encourage the rape victim to be more willing to go through the court process.

* This advice is given to District Attorneys. Clergy will profit from it, however, as they serve in support roles.

Acquaintance Rape

Why Nice Men Force Sex on Their Friends (1)
The typical image of a rapist is a crazed maniac who jumps out of the bushes, brandishes a knife or gun and forces a woman to have sex with him. Images like this are strong and lasting but they mask the essential fact that most rapes are committed by acquaintances and lovers. The false image lives on because few rapes by acquaintances are reported: in fact those involved often do not recognize that a rape has occurred.

The legal definition of rape is a victim having sexual intercourse against her will and without her consent. (2) Sexual assault is defined as a sexual encounter other than intercourse (such as oral and anal sex) against the victim’s will and without his or her consent. In many states only a woman can be legally raped by a man, but the FBI estimates that 10 percent of all sexual assault victims are men. The victim does not have to be threatened with a dangerous weapon or be injured for an incident to be considered rape. Coercion or threat of force of violence are sufficient. (3)

Socializing factors

How can “nice” men with “good intentions” coerce someone to have sex? It is because men and women in the process of becoming social beings learn communication patterns that make acquaintance rape likely.

In our culture, men are taught to view women as either virtuous or sexually loose, which contributes to uncertainty about female desires. Men are taught to not take women seriously, that women do not really mean what they say. Young women are taught that males know more about sex than females, so the female should comply with the male’s demand. Both males and females feel certain behavior allows a man to force sex, such as the woman “leading the man on.”

These uncertainties are often based on the reluctance of women and men to express their feelings. Many times in verbal communication if something is clearly wrong with a woman (she is crying or slamming doors) and she is asked what is wrong, she may say “nothing” rather than express her true feelings. Men display this same type of behavior, expressing anger or frustration by punching walls or speaking through clenched teeth, but still saying nothing is wrong. The message is that in a situation where verbal and nonverbal messages are inconsistent, the verbal message is not accurate.

In sexual situations the verbal and nonverbal messages are frequently inconsistent. This inconsistency was often established when a boy was told by his mother, his teacher (usually female) or another woman in a position of authority to do something. If he didn’t the consequences would be severe. If the deadline was then extended or the consequence was not severe, he learned that those women did not mean what they said.

Some men do not believe a woman’s verbal messages in sexual encounters either. In fact, a man may actually feel he is doing a woman a favor by pushing her sexually: if she says no to a sexual overture, she may really want to say yes but is afraid she will be viewed as loose. He thinks she says no because she is worried about her reputation, not because she really does not want to have sex with him. So if he pushes her even if she is saying no, they will both ultimately get what they want: she will get sex without tarnishing her reputation, and he will be satisfied. In this type of interaction the male feels that he is acting as he should and would probably be surprised to find that some women really mean it when they say no.

Women and men also believe that men should know more about sex. If he tells her that “everyone else is having sex”, and that “something is wrong with people who don’t” she may be willing to have sex with him even though it is not what she wants to do.

There is also tremendous peer pressure for the male to have sex on a date. Even if he does not want to initiate sex, a man may feel he has to or his date will think he is gay. He is encouraged by other young men to “score” sexually to be considered manly. The woman, even if she does not want sex, may think that the man finds her unattractive if he does not initiate sex. These pressures are responsible for people having sex when neither want it.

It is difficult to reject group standards if one believes that the only way to be a valuable person is to be associated with others who are valuable. A young woman who has low self-esteem may date the captain of the football team in order to raise her value. If the male in this situation uses coercion by telling her he will not continue going out with her unless she has sex with him, she may comply to maintain her status as his girlfriend. “br1″>

When forced sex becomes “acceptable”

Some men feel that a particular female behavior permits a man to force a woman to have sex. Charlene L. Mulenhard of Texas A&M University and Richard McFall of Indiana University reported the results of a study in which 106 college students were asked to respond anonymously about acceptable behavior in dating situations.

The subjects were given descriptions of three types of dates that varied in respect to who initiated the date, where the couple went, and who paid. They were then asked if there were any circumstances in which forced sex was justified. Men rated intercourse against the woman’s wishes as significantly more justifiable when the woman initiated the date, when the man paid and when the couple went to the man’s apartment. (4)

UCLA researchers posed similar questions to teens. A high percentage of the male teens felt that forced sex was acceptable if the woman said yes and then changed her mind (54%), if he spent a lot of money on her (39%), if she “led him on” (54%), and if he is so turned on that he thinks he can’t stop (36%). (5)

Patterns in acquaintance rape

Groth and Birnbaum reported a three-stage pattern in rapists’ behavior concerning acquaintance rapes. First a rapist will invade a woman’s personal space (for instance, by putting his hand on a woman’s knee in a public place). This is common in fraternity parties and in bars when the music is so loud the couple must be close to hear each other. (6)

If the woman does not object, the rapist proceeds to the second stage in which he will desensitize her to the intrusion by escalating the behavior (moving his hands to her buttocks, for example). It is unlikely that she will tell him that she is uncomfortable with his “roaming hands” but she may feel uneasy as a result of this behavior and suggest going someplace less crowded. She does not want her friends to see how forward he is being, and she does not want to stay close to him. He may misinterpret her suggestion as her way to be alone with him. The third stage is when they are in an isolated place and the rapist attacks.

This is a general pattern in acquaintance rape, and though all victims and rapists are different, alcohol and drugs are often involved in incidents of acquaintance rape. In a study or rape in Canada, alcohol was used by half of all offenders and by one third of the victims (British Columbia Rape Prevention Project 1980). This is important for young adults since peer group expectations usually include consumption of alcohol at social events. (7)

Solution to the problem

There are many things men can do to view forced sex for what it is and to begin to try to stop it on a personal or societal level. First they must understand that forced or coercive sex is rape even if the partner is a friend or lover. It is never acceptable to force yourself on a woman even if you think she’s been teasing and leading you on or you have heard that women say no but mean yes. It is not “manly” to use force to get your way.

Women should be aware that their assertive actions may be interpreted by men as justification for rape. This does not mean that women should avoid using assertive behavior with men, but that they be aware of how assertiveness may be interpreted by men.

Since socialization is responsible for many sex attitudes, both men and women must be willing to explore importance of traditional socialization on their behavior. College men, for example, are exerting peer pressure to condemn, rather than condone the notion of women as conquest. Adult females who influence male children must be clear about messages, truthful about feelings and consistent in disciplining. Failure to do so may lead to young men not taking women’s verbal messages seriously.

Once these men become adults themselves they have the potential to influence the socialization of children. They can teach children about the importance of communicating their feelings clearly and consistently.

(1) Parrot, Andrea, “Human Ecology Forum,” College of Human Ecology.

(2) Burkhard, B. “Acquaintance Rape Statistics and Prevention,” A paper presented at the Acquaintance Rape and Rape Prevention on Campus Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

(3) FBI. Uniform Crime Reports, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office: 1982.

(4) Mulenhard, C.L. and R.M. McFall. “Dating Initiation From a Woman’s Per-spective,” Behavior Therapy: 1981: 12.

(5) Giarrusso, R., Johnson, P., Goodchilds, J., and Zellman, G. “Adolescent Cues and Signals: Sex and Sexual Assault,” a paper presented to a symposium of the Western Psychological Association Meeting. San Diego, CA: 1979.

(6) Groth, A.N. Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender. New York: 1979.

(7) British Columbia Rape Prevention Project “Rape Prevention Resource Manual,” based on a study of rape in Canada and Vancouver, MTI Teleprograms: 1980.

Marital Rape: The Misunderstood Crime

This form of rape that is still not receiving sufficient attention of professionals (clergy included), law enforcement, the courts or, often, even the victim herself. In a May, 1984, address, David Finkelhor, Ph.D., Associate Director of Family Violence Research Program, University of New Hampshire, and one of the nation’s leading authorities on sexual abuse, made the following statements.

“The depth of popular ignorance about the problem of marital rape runs deep… People are apt to think of marital rape, if they think of anything at all, as a bedroom squabble over whether to have sex tonight… But marital rape does have brutality and terror and violence and humiliation to rival the most graphic stranger rape.”

It is vitally important that clergy, who are often involved in marriage counseling, be aware of this damaging form of sexual assault. All the dynamics of rape outlined in this section also apply to marital rape, which is forced, non-mutual sex having the elements of power, anger, and aggression outlined on p.150. A text on this subject, Rape in Marriage, by Diana E. Russell, is listed in the bibliography at the end of this section. I Corinthians 7:4&5, which emphasizes mutuality in the sexual activity of married couples, can be helpful to Christian clergy in dealing with this subject scripturally.

Positive Clergy and Congregational Responseto Rape

Clergy and religious counselors can readily see, from the information in this section, how important it is understand the trauma of the victim of rape. Probably the most damaging pastoral response to a victim of rape is that of judgmentalism or of questioning as to what she did to invite the act. A sexual component, or whether or not the violation occurs within a relationship (casual or long term) does not minimize the act. It is assaultive and criminal. The victim of rape desperately needs compassionate, non-judgmental understanding and assistance.

Since the common misperception continues to exist, it is well to repeat that rape is not primarily a sexual crime. It is violent assault with a sexual weapon. The primary issues are power and anger, not sex. The resource section of the manual lists many good publications explaining this.

However, since rape involves a sexual act, and sexual conduct is a moral issue for the church, there can be a tendency on the part of clergy and congregations to see rape only in sexual terms. Nothing can be more damaging to the victim of rape.

Historically, the religious community has dealt with sexual morality around such issues as seductiveness, provocativeness, promiscuity, and even proper dress to avoid such conduct. Consequently, if rape is seen to be primarily sexual, there is a strong temptation to put some blame on the victim for inciting the perpetrator.

In the crime of rape, the victim rather than the violent assaultive perpetrator, is more likely to be given a share of blame than in any other crime. Clergy and congregations should definitely reject such a response.

First, it is important for the victim to receive law enforcement, medical and legal assistance. When possible refer to a rape crisis center. They will have specially trained counselors. Many rape victims are reluctant to report the crime or encourage prosecution because of that edge of blame, spoken or unspoken, that seems to be always present; as well as because of the humiliation of such an intimate personal violation. Clergy should remember that the successful prosecuting of a rape case could protect other innocent women. It may be very difficult for a rape victim to deal with the criminal justice process. The victim should receive strong support through the court hearings.

Exhibiting non-judgmental compassion and understanding, clergy and congregations can stand by the victim at every step from the medical examination through the prosecution. The violation of the person who has been raped results in some of the most acute trauma experienced from any violent crime. Because this crime violates the body, not only externally, but internally in the most intimate manner, triggering acute emotions, the victim of rape may often be out of control. To understand, and be quietly present, giving reassurance that the crime was not her fault is very helpful.

The victim’s family will also need a great deal of emotional support during the aftermath of the crime. Since the victim may now present a totally different personality, and shy away from even her husband’s most gentle and loving approaches, a good deal of counseling and understanding during this time is necessary. Clergy should be aware that there are therapists who specialize in rape issues, and that rape crisis centers are an invaluable aid. Congregational support groups can also be very helpful.

Since the business of faith communities is to deal with right and wrong, the strong temptation to judge is always present. But the business of the people of God is also to love, care for, support and comfort those who have been hurt. In the case of rape to indulge in the former is to preclude the latter.

Note: Adults who were molested as children are in need of specialized care. Self-help groups under the direction of knowledgeable therapists are particularly helpful. A good resource, in addition to those on the following pages, is Parents United, International, P.O. Box 952, San Jose, California 95108-0952, (408) 280-5505.



National Center on Women and Family Law

799 Broadway, Room 402

New York, New York 10003 (212) 674-8200

National Coalition Against Sexual Assault

912 N. Second Street

Harrisburg, PA 17102-8119 (717) 232-7460

Center for the Prevention of Sexual and

Domestic Violence

936 N. 34th Street, Suite 200

Seattle, Washington 98103 (206) 634-1903

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

P.O. Box 18749

Denver, Colorado 80218-0749 (303) 839-1852

National Organization for Victim Assistance

1757 Park Road N.W.

Washington, DC 20010 (202) 232-6682

National Victim Center (703) 276-2880

2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 300 1(800) FYI-CALL

Arlington, Virginia 22201 Fax (703) 276-2889

National Victims Resource Center

P.O. Box 6000

Rockville, Maryland 20850 1(800) 627-6872

Office for Victims of Crime

U.S. Department of Justice

633 Indiana Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20531 (202) 307-5983

The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services

P.O. Box 6736 (303) 333-8810

Denver, Colorado 80206-0736 Fax (303) 333-8805

FOR LOCAL RESOURCES clergy may contact the above mentioned organizations, the rape crisis and assistance centers, the sexual assault treatment programs of their community, or the victim and witness assistance coordinator of their district or state’s attorney’s office.

Rape/Sexual Assault Publications
NOTE 1: This list contains only a very few of the vast number of publications on the subject of rape. The inclusion of these publications in this manual does not imply endorsement by The Spiritual Dimension in Victim Services or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime. They have, however, been read and recommended by qualified professionals in the field.

NOTE 2: The bibliography in this manual under “Family Violence/Children” contains publications dealing with child sexual assault. The following deal primarily, though not entirely, with rape of adult women.

Brownmiller, Susan, Against Our Will, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1975.

McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If She Is Raped: A Book for Husbands, Fathers and Male Friends, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1984.

McEvoy, Alan and Jeff Brookings, If You Are Raped: What Every Woman Needs to Know, Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, 1985.

Walters, Candice, Invisible Wounds, Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1988.

Fortune, Marie M., Is Nothing Sacred? — When Sex Pervades the Pastoral Relationship, San Francisco, California: Harper & Row, 1989.

Adams, Caren, Jennifer Fay, and Jan Loreen-Martin, No Is Not Enough, San Luis Obispo, California: Impact Publishers, 1984.

Braswell, Linda, Quest for Respect, Ventura, California, Pathfinder Publishing, 1991.

Schwendinger, Julie R. And Herman, Rape and Inequality, Beverly Hills, California: Sage Publications, 1983.

Rape and Sexual Assault: A Research Handbook, New York: Garland Publishing, 1985.

Russell, Diana E., Rape in Marriage, New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., 1982.

Foley, Theresa and Marilyn Davies, Rape: Nursing Care of Victims, St. Louis: C.V. Mosby Co., 1983.

Estrich, Susan Real Rape, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1987.

Ledray, Linda E., Recovering from Rape, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1986.

Fortune, Marie, Sexual Violence, The Unmentionable Sin, New York: Pilgrim Press, 1983.

Surviving Sexual Assault, Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, 1985.

Taking Action, What To Do If You Are Raped, Santa Monica: Santa Monica Hospital, 1982.

McCahill, Thomas and Linda C. Meyer, The Aftermath of Rape, Lexington, Maryland: Lexington Books, 1979.

This document was last updated on March 19, 2007

Criminal Justice – The Quiz

1. Jane Goodall spent 30 years in the wilds of Africa observing chimpanzee behavior. In those 30 years, how many rapes did Goodall see among the chimpanzees?

(a) More than a hundred rapes,
(b) An occasional rape,
(c) No rapes.

In 30 years observations, Jane Goodall never saw one rape among the chimpanzees, our closest primate cousins. Though it’s not possible to draw firm conclusions about human behavior from animals, Goodall’s findings, and many other recent studies, get us questioning the old myths we have about rape. One of the most persistent myths about rape is that male biology and primitive male sex urges drive men to rape. But current information indicates that rape is more a learned act of sexual violence that comes out of social beliefs that men have a right to dominate and control women. The fact that rape is learned means that we can work to change the underlying beliefs and eliminate rape from our communities.

2. When was the first national study done on rape in the United States?

(a) 1939,
(b) 1955,
(c) 1992.

The first national study on rape, called “Rape in America”, was done in 1992 by the U.S. Department of Justice. The fact that as a nation we went to the moon and explored deep into the structure of molecules before we ever seriously asked questions about rape shows how strong is our society’s urge to ignore the subject of rape, to ignore the victims, and to ignore the search for solutions to stop rape. One reason there is such a strong tendency to avoid looking at the realities of rape is because these realities clearly expose the very violent means by which many men dominate and terrorize women. Although more people are now willing to talk about rape, we all still have to keep pushing our communities to stay focused on the important work of analyzing and stopping rape.

3. What percent of rapists are male?

98% of rapists are male. Though boys and men are sometimes victims of rape, even in these cases the rapists are almost always male. Some people believe that the reason most all rapists are male is because woman aren’t physically capable of rape. But if you think about it, women are equally capable as men of using a weapon to order another person to have sex against their will. Yet it’s extremely rare for women to do so. One reason most all rapists are male is because in male dominated societies males are taught in many ways that they are entitled to dominate women. Females aren’t taught they are entitled to dominate men.

4. True or False. Constantly bringing up the male versus female aspect of rape is not a good way to talk about rape because it just angers all the men who don’t rape.

False. The male versus female aspect of rape needs to be at the center of discussions about rape because it is sexism and the inequalities between males and females that drive rape. In the same way, it would have been impossible to stop the lynching of black people without talking about racism and white people’s domination of blacks. Men and boys who don’t rape have a very heroic role to play in eradicating rape in our society. They need to join with women in the fight for women’s equality. But first they must get over their anger about discussing the facts of male domination of females. There are many men and boys who have done that, and they are making an important difference.

5. What is meant when it’s said that all women and girls are victims of rape even though some women and girls have never been raped.

The rape of one woman is a degradation, terror, and limitation to all women. It’s similar to the group fear and oppression that terrorized all black people as a result of some black people being lynched. Most women and girls limit their behavior because of the existence of rape. Most women and girls live in fear of rape. Men, in general, do not. That’s how rape functions as a powerful means by which the whole female population is held in a subordinate position to the whole male population, even though many men don’t rape, and many women are never victims of rape.

6. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.

The interesting thing about the answers people give to this question is that most responses will be an admonition to females about how females should alter their behavior to prevent rape. People will answer things like, “Never go out alone at night.” “Stay alert.” “Don’t linger on the streets.” “Don’t tease guys sexually.” “Always lock your windows and doors.” “Always park where there is good lighting.” “Always communicate clearly and assertively that you don’t want sex.” “Carry a whistle.”

Very few of the answers will pertain to how male behavior should be changed despite some very obvious facts: Rape won’t stop until male behavior changes. Restricting girls’ freedom is unfair. Restricting girls’ freedom never has and never will stop rape. Almost every one of the suggestions above are based on false assumptions about rape, and, in reality, do very little to protect girls from rape. Finally, constantly telling girls what they should do to prevent rape sends the harmful message that females, and not males, are responsible if they get raped.

7. So try that question again. Name three things that can be done to prevent rape.

There are many, many things that can be done to prevent rape. Here are three:

A. Protest all degrading and discriminatory treatment of women and girls.
B. Make sure there is equality between boys and girls in the home and school. If, for example, girls have to do more housework than boys, it sends a message that girls are supposed to serve boys, and as the boys get older they think girls should serve them sexually too. Girls and boys must be treated equally.
C. Integrate male dominated institutions at the top. When women hold half the power, rape and rapists will no longer be condoned.

8. In the United States, families set a teenage girl’s curfew on an average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy’s curfew. Why is this so?

The reason most often given for setting a teenage girl’s curfew on the average of two hours earlier than a teenage boy’s curfew is to protect girls from sexual assault. In fact, just a generation ago, if a rapist was known to be loose, it was common for cities to put out a citywide order for all females to be in their homes after sunset.

These city wide curfews of a generation ago and the earlier average curfews for girls today are just one of many examples of how restrictions are imposed on females’ freedom because of rape, instead of imposing restrictions on males’ freedom. Restricting girls’ freedom more than boys’ freedom is unfair and harmful to girls. It sends the message to both boys and girls that boys can do what they want and girls have to pay the price. This message doesn’t prevent rape. In fact, it’s one of the attitudes which perpetuates rape. Besides, it doesn’t even make sense that girls should be at home earlier than boys. When you think about it, there are a number of late night dangers that affect boys much more frequently than girls, like deadly car crashes.

9. Can you think of a word that is used to describe males that has the equivalent meaning of the words “whore” or “slut” as used to describe females?

The words “whore” and “slut” are very degrading terms used for females who don’t keep a tight control on their sexuality. There are no equivalent degrading terms for identical sexual behavior by males. The constant trashing of women’s and girls’ sexuality with words like “whore”, “slut”, and “bitch”, is not only immediately degrading to the individual, it also contributes to a climate which fosters rape. When free expression of female sexuality is defined as trash, and free expression of male sexuality is defined as good, then it’s much easier for men and boys to rationalize doing whatever they want sexually to women and girls.

10. If a fourteen year old is being very sexy and flirtatious with an adult, and feels love for the adult, why is it a crime for the adult to have sex with the teenager?

An adult cannot have sex with a youngster for much the same reason that its against the law for an adult to make a contract with a youngster. There is no way a youngster can set limits on an adult, can foresee the consequences, or protect themselves in the relationship. As such, any adult that has sex with a fourteen year old is automatically in a criminal and abusive relationship with the child.

11. Which is more damaging to the victim, a rape committed by a stranger or a rape committed by someone known to the victim? And why?

Five out of six forcible rapes in the U.S. are committed by someone known to the victim, like a husband, father, brother, neighbor, teacher, uncle, or boyfriend. Even today, many people don’t think that rapes committed by someone you know are as serious as those committed by a stranger. Though it’s impossible to say which rape is more damaging, being raped by someone you know can be a more intense betrayal of the victim, and can cause the victim to lose fundamental trust in those around her, and to lose trust in herself. One of the reasons rape by someone known to the victim is often not taken as seriously as rape by a stranger is because of the lingering view of women as the property of the men in her life. In fact, when a woman is raped by a stranger, some husbands and fathers still react like they are the victim, because some other man took their property.

12. True or False. Police and other authorities take rape very seriously.

True and False. Some police and authorities take rape very seriously, but way too many continue to protect rapists and ignore the victims and the crime. Just last year 2000: In New York City, TV news video showed police ignoring women’s pleas for help when the sexual assaults were occurring right in front of the officers’ eyes. In Philadelphia, journalists discovered, and Philadelphia Police finally admitted, that the department had recently dumped upwards of four thousand rape cases. In northern California, the press revealed that Catholic bishops for decades have covered up priests’ sexual assaults of children and parishioners in their care. Though there have been some improvements in the last ten years, officials of male dominated institutions, like police, district attorneys, school principals, church leaders, and company managers, continue to have a strong tendency to protect the rapist and sacrifice the victim. This is one of the main reasons rape continues to exist.

13. True or False. Rape is a very easy accusation to make, and a very difficult crime to prove.

False. This is a very old and very frequently repeated myth about rape. According to the FBI, less than 2% of rape reports are false, about the same low percentage as with most other crimes. The myth that rape is an easy accusation to make serves to wrongly undermine women’s credibility and the need for women to talk about their experience with rape.

Rape is also not a difficult crime to prove. In the first place, there’s usually no who-done-it since the victim usually always knows the perpetrator. In the second place, because the victim and perpetrator usually know each other well, there a number of investigative techniques available to detectives which take advantage of that relationship.Too many police and district attorneys continue to tell the public that rape is a difficult crime to prove in order to make excuses for not prosecuting rape.

14. What percent of rape victims do not report to police?

In the U.S., 84% of forcible rape victims do not report the crime to police. Rape is the most under-reported serious crime in the nation. And even when rape is reported, it has a lower conviction rate than robbery. Most rape victims don’t report the rape because they fear that they will be blamed for the rape, that the rape won’t be taken seriously, or that she will be stigmatized by the rape. Unfortunately, unless a rape victim gets good support from friends and proper response from authorities, it’s still true that many rape victims will be ostracized, blamed, and treated with disregard.

15. If a friend comes to you and says she or he has been raped, what should you do to help?

If you are a youngster, rape is too serious and complex for you or your friend to handle on your own. So the best thing you can do is tell your friend that rape is very serious, and and then encourage your friend that she or he needs to tell an adult who can help. If your friend won’t tell an adult, you should tell. At the same time, try not to tell all the other kids.

If you are an adult, believe your friend. Help her find help. And if she wants, always accompany your friend, or find other helpful people who can accompany your friend, whenever she goes to authorities, employers, school officials, union officials, family members etc. to deal with the rape. Just your physical presence will greatly reduce the risk that your friend will be treated badly. It will also give her the comfort and support she needs.

Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis,
Women’s Justice Center,

Guest Post – More on Love and Fear from Dr. Srinivasan Pillay

This is part 2 to Dr. Srinivasan Pillay’s Part 1: On Love and Fear
Oringinally posted on the Huffington Post

by Srinivasan Pillay
Certified Master Coach, Psychiatrist, Brain Imaging Researcher and Speaker

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on the reasons that love may turn to fear. They are: (1) Attachment and ownership: that creates fear of loss; (2) Trust: that creates fear of disappointment; and (3) The flow state of being in love: that creates fear of loss of control. These are just some of the many reasons that love can turn to fear, but if we look at these more deeply, how can we think about them? And what can we do about them?

The subject of attachment has long been written about and if we merely go with “what we are”, we usually default to one of three types of attachment based on our brain chemistry and genetics, psychology and social experiences: secure, anxious or avoidant. My experience is that everybody has different degrees of all three, but as you can see, anxious and avoidant attachment styles are fear-based styles. To the extent that loss of ownership is one of the reasons we become afraid, we need to deeply examine the dynamics of ownership. For example, we tend to like things more after we own them than before we own them and the reward system of the brain activates more when this happens. This has been called the “endowment effect”. Thus, in ownership, some distortion of value is occurring that makes the fear of loss even greater. This is not the only problem with ownership-it violates a fundamental principle of life: that we subjectively attribute an immortality to a very mortal relationship. We act as though we are going to take things and people with us when we die. In the recommendations section below, we will examine how we can address this challenge.

In terms of trust, this stems in part from attachment, but also, because “trust’ creates good feelings and releases the same hormone (in men and women) that facilitates birth and breastfeeding. But trust is also based on an assumption: that we always know, and we don’t. Furthermore, it is also based on the assumption that there are no secrets between people who love each other-which is a noble but unrealistic expectation of any human psychology. Research shows that secrets, after all, perpetuate the same phenomenon as ownership. They make you love what you are keeping secret even more. Yet, they also perpetuate a sense of non-sharing in the person you are keeping the secret from and a drum-roll that something bad may happen. Trust and fear are always competing for the attention of the emotion processor in the brain-the amygdala. But what is the solution here? We will look at this a little later.

And then there is the “flow state”- that “in the zone” feeling that you feel when your life seems so much in place. At last-even the sun seems brighter and the worst day of your life seems okay because you are in the flow state of love. Until-of course-you suddenly start to get disoriented as though you are gliding on endless cross-country skies wondering when exactly you are going to fall. And surprise, surprise – you do. So you see there are some basic themes here that lead us into our recommendations.

Recommendations: 1. In all three bridges, love turns to fear when the attention switches from the other person to you: “I may lose”, “I may be disappointed”, ‘I may fall out of flow”. Is this the invitation to fear-the switch from concern about other to concern about self? Do we care more or less about ourselves when we care for others? Conventional wisdom has it that we must care for ourselves-and I agree with that. But outside of the morality of right and wrong, it simply feels better to care for others than ourselves. 2. In all three bridges, attention switches from what we have loved (and is still there) to what we hate. Why is it so much easier to remember the bad things than the good things? Evolutionary protective mechanism? Perhaps. But in any case, it would behoove us to train our brains to remember the good things more often. Yes, it will feel “false” but it is not more “false” than the bad things that you remember. It just takes effort. 3. In all three bridges, it would be helpful if we could simply not be victims of time. It is as though time breeds insecurity, in part, because it reveals the complexity of people we might have polarized when we were in love. But does time really reveal the complexity or distort the simple vulnerable beauty of those who disappoint us? At the core, are not most human brings simply unable to integrate what it is about being human in as consistent a way as we would like? And if we know this about ourselves-truly know this-why would we expect something different from others?

This is just an introduction to the thinking about when fear turns to love, but in essence, I am suggesting that we don’t have to “seek out” a spirituality of being human. It is already there-suffocating and begging beneath our fears to be released to ourselves. A connection to our dreamy, timeless selves, biologically, also connects us to the most intuitive parts of our brains. And if we look a little closer, we may see that we are not “in love’ or “afraid” but really, we are the bridges that facilitate this to and fro on a daily basis. What if we ceased to become these bridges and moved to a perspective that would allow us to “observe” or “experience” these emotions. What would that do?

Bio: Srinivasan Pillay

Dr. Srini Pillay is an internationally recognized executive coach, public speaker, psychiatrist, and brain imaging researcher who is focused on the fields of personal and organizational transformation. His aim is to help people and corporations achieve their dreams by drawing on his expertise that addresses the intersections of coaching, biology, psychology and spirituality.

As a “Certified Master Coach”, Srini is on the faculty of the “Behavioral Coaching Institute” where he teaches business executives internationally from a variety of different companies, including Fortune 500 companies, the art of coaching, with a special emphasis on using neuroscience to enhance communication, decision-making, and transformation.

As a Psychiatrist, Srini trained at Mclean Hospital, Harvard’s largest psychiatric training hospital. He graduated with the award for the most scholarly work during his residency. He was also one of the top three award winners nationally. After graduating, Srini became the “Director of the Mclean Hospital Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Program”, where he gained national and international recognition for his expertise in stress and anxiety. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has a clinical practice in Cambridge, MA.

As a Public Speaker, his knowledge of burnout, layoffs, anxiety and stress has been sought out by the media. He has made numerous television appearances and he has been quoted in the Boston Globe, Newsweek magazine and Men’s Health magazine on stress and anxiety. has featured him as an international expert on their new health internet site. He is a regular columnist for the living section of the Huffington Post.

Srini has also been a “brain-imaging researcher” for the past fifteen years. He has had numerous publications and has been nationally funded. He continues this work as a consultant to the University of Utah with his former mentors from Harvard.

Currently, Srini is starting a company called “NeuroBusiness group” that is focused on providing information, assessment tools and software, coaching and consultation services that draws on research grounded in psychology, coaching and the neurosciences to promote personal and organizational transformation. He is finishing a self-help book based on scientific research to assist people in overcoming fear. The book is scheduled for release late in 2009 or early 2010.

In addition to recently writing four original screenplays, Srini is currently completing the making of a documentary movie and composing the music for it. His passion is in integrating the science and art of life and bringing a realistic, hopeful and transformational message to the people he encounters. His deepest belief is in the power of love for transformation.

Contact information:

Guest Post from Dr. Srinivasan Pillay on Love and Fear

by Srinivasan Pillay,
Certified Master Coach, Psychiatrist, Brain Imaging Researcher and Speaker

This article was previously posted on the Huffington Post.

Love and fear are seemingly disparate emotional states, yet they seem to have a close relationship to each other. On the surface, love is a positive emotion that fosters a connection between people, whether they are parents, lovers, friends or family of any kind. Fear, on the other hand, does exactly the opposite. When we fear someone or something, we want to do anything other than connect with the feared person or object. In contrast, we want to stop the fear from inhabiting our bodies and we do whatever we can to avoid the feared person or situation. Yet, love often gives rise to fear, and fear has been known to give rise to love as well. Why can such apparently opposite emotions give birth to each other and what is the connection that keeps them alive in this “creative” relationship? In focusing on romantic love, I will discuss some of these bridges. In this, part I, I will focus on when love turns to fear.

When we are first in love, we feel the confidence of the attachment. We feel the great joy of being with someone and the good fortune of being able to see them again and again. But as this joy increases, so does the attachment. And for many people, this attachment creates a fear of loss. It is at this point that love comes to give rise to fear – when we lose the joy of the connection and want to hold onto it. This seems paradoxical, but is not. Rather than allowing the power of our whole beings to foster the connection, we invoke mainly conscious thought processes of “trying not to lose”. Thus attachment or desire for ownership is the first bridge from love to fear.

In the human brain, the amygdala registers emotion. When we are afraid, the amygdala activates. When we trust, the amygdala becomes “calmer”. When we are calm in love, this “trust” center in the brain is on cruise control, but when we start to deepen our connections, we sometimes create reasons to question the trust and the “trust” center becomes restless. How long will you actually be with this person? Will they always be in love with you? What if they leave once they get to know you more deeply? These questions disrupt the trust (and the amygdala) and the love that once was starts to turn into fear. The fear of being disappointed. Since love is a continuous negotiation of trust as the relationship gets deeper and deeper, any lessening of trust converts love into fear. Thus, trust (or the absence of it) is the second bridge that connects love to fear.

Love is also a flow state. It lightens one’s burden in life and creates a feeling of freedom where we seem to appreciate things more and feel grateful for what we have. However, this lightness can also be unbearable, as Milan Kundera has noted in his book: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”. It is a bit like skiing and not knowing how to stop. When we question this flow, we effectively hit the brakes, and the brakes in this case are fear. Love becomes fear when we question the flow state. Effectively, we become uncomfortable with not “knowing” and when we start to analyze how we are doing what we are doing and ask other questions (Where is this going? What will happen to us?), we pull ourselves out of the power of the unconscious into the sludge of the conscious brain. Thus, questioning the flow state is the third bridge that connects love to fear.

With these bridges in mind, how do we close the gates to fear and should we? Whether we should or not, the truth is that we are often driven to. Conventionally, we do so in the following ways: To deal with the “ownership” anxiety we may, in the more extreme cases, marry, for example. But this seems to do little for protecting us from fear. To deal with “trust” fears, we try to be as self-revealing as possible, but this also compromises one’s own personhood. And to deal with the flow state, we schedule times for flow: vacation, sex, or date-nights. But can you really schedule flow? When you give up the mystery, aren’t you moving away from the original source of that positive emotion? Next week, we will take a closer look at strategies we can use to deal with these challenges, but here is an outline of what we will address: (1) Can we get over ownership by “detaching” spiritually? (2) Why should commitment precede trust? (3) How can we understand flow states more deeply so that we are less intimidated about them?

Bio: Srinivasan Pillay

Dr. Srini Pillay is an internationally recognized executive coach, public speaker, psychiatrist, and brain imaging researcher who is focused on the fields of personal and organizational transformation. His aim is to help people and corporations achieve their dreams by drawing on his expertise that addresses the intersections of coaching, biology, psychology and spirituality.

As a “Certified Master Coach”, Srini is on the faculty of the “Behavioral Coaching Institute” where he teaches business executives internationally from a variety of different companies, including Fortune 500 companies, the art of coaching, with a special emphasis on using neuroscience to enhance communication, decision-making, and transformation.

As a Psychiatrist, Srini trained at Mclean Hospital, Harvard’s largest psychiatric training hospital. He graduated with the award for the most scholarly work during his residency. He was also one of the top three award winners nationally. After graduating, Srini became the “Director of the Mclean Hospital Outpatient Anxiety Disorders Program”, where he gained national and international recognition for his expertise in stress and anxiety. He is currently an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and has a clinical practice in Cambridge, MA.

As a Public Speaker, his knowledge of burnout, layoffs, anxiety and stress has been sought out by the media. He has made numerous television appearances and he has been quoted in the Boston Globe, Newsweek magazine and Men’s Health magazine on stress and anxiety. has featured him as an international expert on their new health internet site. He is a regular columnist for the living section of the Huffington Post.

Srini has also been a “brain-imaging researcher” for the past fifteen years. He has had numerous publications and has been nationally funded. He continues this work as a consultant to the University of Utah with his former mentors from Harvard.

Currently, Srini is starting a company called “NeuroBusiness group” that is focused on providing information, assessment tools and software, coaching and consultation services that draws on research grounded in psychology, coaching and the neurosciences to promote personal and organizational transformation. He is finishing a self-help book based on scientific research to assist people in overcoming fear. The book is scheduled for release late in 2009 or early 2010.

In addition to recently writing four original screenplays, Srini is currently completing the making of a documentary movie and composing the music for it. His passion is in integrating the science and art of life and bringing a realistic, hopeful and transformational message to the people he encounters. His deepest belief is in the power of love for transformation.

Contact information:

In Response to Questions About How NVC/EI Can Help Men Attract Women:

this post has mysteriously disappeared and now I have to recreate it.


An Invitation to Men: Please Comment On Your Understanding of & Experiences Using “Game”


Please comment below and let me know the following:

1. What form of “Game” did you study (instructor, book, website, other)?

2. What brought you to “Game”?

3. How did “Game” help you?

4. Were you taught anything that you believed to be unethical? If so, what and why?

5. Have you ever had a negative experience with “Game”?

6. What do you think of the “PUA/Game” language?

7. What do you think of the numeric rating system for women?

8. Has a “Game” instructor ever provided you with a legal/medical definition of rape?

9. Has a “Game” instructor ever provided you with statistics on how many women in the US are raped?

10. Have you ever been mistreated by a woman you were dating or in a relationship with? Was this before or after you learned “Game” – or both?

11. Have you ever had a satisfying, loving relationship with a woman? Was this before or after you learned “Game” – or both?

12. When answering this last question, please consider each term below to refer to people regardless of gender (rog).

If you could change any laws in the country you live in that have to do with any of the following, please list what laws you would you create around the issues of:

Physical Assault
Sexual Assault
Verbal Abuse
Emotional Abuse
Child Custody
Domestic Violence
Birth Control
Voting Rights
Hate Speech
Hate Crimes
Child Pornography
Regular Pornography

I look forward to your responses.


One PUA School’s Story: Dimitri the Lover’s History of Sexual Assault, Weapons, and Psychiatric Evaluations:

Dimitri The Lover’s History Of Sexual Assault, Weapons Stockpiling And Psychiatric Evaluations
By Moe

Well, over the course of a day Dimitri the creep behind a couple fake-seemingly funny voicemails revealed himself to be Dimitri the douchebag with disciples, who revealed himself to be Dmitri a.k.a. James Sears. And yeah, if all the “there’s nothing wrong with me” talk on his voicemail wasn’t a red enough flag for you, maybe the 1986 concern of the military psychiatrist who evaluated him during his enlistment in the Canadian Army that there was “something seriously wrong” with him is? But don’t take it from those shrinks; his psychiatric evaluation when he went to med school states that he got drunk and high on call, made “numerous random and obsessive telephone calls” to women during which he would (only sometimes) jerk off, and was generally immature and narcissistic — but not enough to deny him a medical license.

Maybe they didn’t know about the mace, stun gun and EMPTY HAND GRENADE CANISTERS cops reported finding in his room after he tried to enter a female officer’s dorm? Anyway, he failed to “grow up” much, spending his residency masturbating six or seven times a day at work and garnering complaints from female patients, one of whom finally pressed sexual assault charges, to which he pled guilty and got out of practicing medicine. So he could work as a “medical investigator” offering a second opinion on… SEXUAL HARRASSMENT SUITS.

UPDATE: The Toronto Sun re-posted the story on its wesbite.

The Toronto Sun

The most promiscuous women, according to Dimitri’s website, are saleswomen (especially real estate agents), nannies, schoolteachers (especially elementary and early childhood education), nurses and lawyers (criminal and civil litigation in particular).

Dimitri charges $40 to attend one of his weekday meetings, $269 for an annual membership to his “lair” and as much as $2,997 plus GST for a two-day workshop advertised on his website,, where “Dimitri The Lover creates a powerful identity for you that women will find irresistible.”

Also from the website:

“Learn the secret physical, verbal and psychological techniques used by Dimitri the Lover to seduce, pleasure and sexually enslave women,” says one of his program outlines.

Or this: “A man’s ‘basic operating system’ is composed of ‘rapist’ and ‘murderer’ programs which have been hard-wired into his brain.

And here’s a snippet from his marketing materials:
“Dimitri The Lover is the ONLY pickup guru in the world WITH PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS TO BACK HIM UP who has conducted IN-FIELD MEDICAL RESEARCH ON SEDUCTION!!!” he proclaims in another.

However, his troubled past and medical credentials are hardly worth bragging about.

Dimitri the Lover’s real name is James N. Sears.

By 1986, Sears was in the Canadian Armed Forces and while still a third-year medical student was evaluated by a military psychiatrist who suggested there was “something seriously wrong” with Sears.

He was shunned by fellow students because of his behaviour. A female officer complained he repeatedly tried to enter her room, and military police found “a can of Mace, several knives, two empty smoke grenade canisters and an electronic stun gun” in his room following an incident.

As a result of his antics, Sears had to repeat a year of medical school. Despite documented reservations, he graduated from U of T as a doctor in 1988.

During his internship at Doctors Hospital in Toronto, Sears skipped duties, drank while on call, indulged in “inappropriate self-use of prescription drugs,” according to the College hearing record.

Sears was judged “immature” in a subsequent psychiatric assessment and it was noted he displayed “inappropriate behaviour towards female staff members,” and was viewed by peers as “un -trustworthy, cynical and narcissistic.”

He underwent psychotherapy and was admitted to Ottawa’s National Defence Medical Centre in 1990 for evaluation and treatment.

There, “record was made of numerous, random and obsessive telephone calls to women during which he would sometimes masturbate,” and evidence suggested “prescribable substance abuse,” according to the College hearing records.

However, after a conclusion of “no clear evidence of major psychiatric illness,” Sears was cleared to return to medical practice.

Medical Defintion of Rape:

Please note this part: “Date rape is a sexual assault in which the victim is psychologically pressured…..before the rape.” (below).

Definition of Rape

Rape: Forced sexual intercourse; sexual assault; sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor. Rape may be heterosexual (involving members of opposite sexes) or homosexual (involving members of the same sex). Rape involves insertion of an erect penis or an inanimate object into the female vagina or the male anus. Legal definitions of rape may also include forced oral sex and other sexual acts.

Heterosexual rape usually refers to an assault in which a male forces himself upon a female, and homosexual rape usually refers to an assault in which a male forces himself upon another male. However, both terms (heterosexual and homosexual rape) have been used to refer to an assault in which a female forces herself upon a male or a female.

Sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor is known legally as statutory rape. The adult can be found guilty of statutory rape even if the minor was a willing partner.

Gang rape is a sexual assault in which several persons force themselves upon a victim.

Date rape is a sexual assault in which the victim is psychologically pressured, drugged or sedated before the rape. Date rape is so-named because it often involves a dating couple. The male may spike a female’s alcoholic beverage, making her unable to resist his advances or even unable to remember the rape.

Would-be date rapists have used sleeping pills to sedate their intended victims.

In addition to adding sleep-inducing medications to alcohol, date rapists also have combined them with marijuana, cocaine and other drugs.

Rape can also occur in a marriage. Typically, the husband forces himself on his wife at a time when she is unwilling to have sexual intercourse.

Victims of rape suffer physical and mental trauma.

Physical trauma may include cuts, bruises and abrasions in the pelvic area as well as elsewhere on the body.

Mental trauma may include overwhelming feelings of humiliation, embarrassment and defilement.

Rape victims should seek treatment at a hospital. There, doctors and nurses can treat the injuries, administer antibiotics to prevent sexually- transmitted diseases, and provide counseling or any other additional therapy (mental or physical) that the patient requires.

The hospital team’s evaluation and report will help document the condition of the patient for legal purposes.

“Rape” is derived from the Latin word “rapere” (to seize).

Last Editorial Review: 1/26/2000

Please Join An Ongoing Discussion about PUA (Pick Up Artist) and MRA (Men’s Rights Advocates) Groups

There are very specific reasons why I have decided to focus on this on my blog, and these are:

1. To provide credible, accurate information to women and men on healthy dating and relationship skills (which also relate to workplace and family skills) because this benefits us all as well as children, families, and our larger society and culture.

2. To provide an alternative that is either free or much less costly to men who seek guidance in dating and relating from the PUA industry, which I have found to be disturbingly misogynistic and misandrist.

3. To address misogynistic and misandristic aspects and misinformation in the PUA industry as well as extremist MRA (men’s rights advocates) groups in an intellectually honest manner and provide accurate credible information, citations, and statistics to those readers who are open to receiving those. To also debunk the misinformation provided by PUA and MRA groups and engage in honest, fair discussion if and when there are points of disagreement.

Also, to empathically respond to those experiences, feelings, and unmet needs in men that contribute to them finding such groups attractive. This also means addressing misinformation and misguided advice provided to women in dating and relating.

4. To find common ground between men and women who have strong feelings about all of these issues – or who simply feel confused or uncertain about the many (often unhelpful and unhealthy) gender messages, theories, and norms that confront all of us in our daily living and our culture (and which have a larger impact than most of us acknowledge on our individual, family, and children’s health).

5. To begin a respectful and civil dialogue that allows for disagreement, inquiry, error, investigation, questioning, rethinking, reconsideration, communication, and learning.

6. To educate men and women about issues of privilege around gender, race, ability, age, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. and to examine how our own critical thinking and Emotional Intelligence/NVC skills can prevent us from becoming involved in Hate Groups, groups with undue influence, or supporting Hate Speech.

To understand the dynamics of power and control as these intersect with issues of identity intrapersonally (Carter and Helms model), interpersonally, in groups, and systemically.

7. To find common ground regarding definitions and understandings of abuse, what sources of information are credible and are not, how we determine the credibility of source information, and understand the spectrum of human responses to issues concerning the many layers of intersections of identity issues and power/control – and how these can affect us emotionally, psychologically, and cognitively.

8. To encourage empathy, healing, learning, growth, understanding, civility, respect, awareness, and the use of critical reasoning skills and sound conflict resolution skills.

9. To provide credible healthy tools for interpersonal, couple, family, workplace, and other group use such as EI skill development, NVC practice, and credible psychological exercises (based on credible brain research) and to facilitate the use of critical reasoning skills in response to challenges found in:


Thank you,

To Learn More about Emotional Intelligence and How it Can Help Men and Women:

Please click on “Nonviolent Communication” (below) to learn more about how NVC can help us all:

NVC Feelings List:

NVC Needs List:

The Excellent Work of Jackson Katz

Jackson Katz is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education with men and boys, particularly in the sports culture and the military. An educator, author and filmmaker, Katz is co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. MVP is the most widely utilized sexual and domestic violence prevention program in professional and college athletics. It has been implemented by seven NFL teams, including the New England Patriots, as well as the Boston Red Sox and several other Major League Baseball clubs.

Katz also directs the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the United States Marine Corps. His award-winning educational video Tough Guise, his featured appearances in the films Wrestling With Manhood and Spin The Bottle, and his nationwide lectures have brought his insights into masculinity and gender violence to millions of college and high school students. He is also the author of an influential new book, entitled “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help,” published by Sourcebooks in 2006. Since 1990, he has lectured at over 950 colleges, prep schools, high schools, middle schools, professional conferences and military installations in 44 states.

Katz holds academic degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Harvard University, and is currently a doctoral student in cultural studies and education at UCLA. A native of Boston, he lives with his family in the Los Angeles area. For more information see

Below are some excellent excerpts from his website:

Ten Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence

1. Approach gender violence as a MEN’S issue involving men of all ages and socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. View men not only as perpetrators or possible offenders, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers

2. If a brother, friend, classmate, or teammate is abusing his female partner — or is disrespectful or abusive to girls and women in general — don’t look the other way. If you feel comfortable doing so, try to talk to him about it. Urge him to seek help. Or if you don’t know what to do, consult a friend, a parent, a professor, or a counselor. DON’T REMAIN SILENT.

3. Have the courage to look inward. Question your own attitudes. Don’t be defensive when something you do or say ends up hurting someone else. Try hard to understand how your own attitudes and actions might inadvertently perpetuate sexism and violence, and work toward changing them.

4. If you suspect that a woman close to you is being abused or has been sexually assaulted, gently ask if you can help.

5. If you are emotionally, psychologically, physically, or sexually abusive to women, or have been in the past, seek professional help NOW.

6. Be an ally to women who are working to end all forms of gender violence. Support the work of campus-based women’s centers.
Attend “Take Back the Night” rallies and other public events. Raise money for community-based rape crisis centers and battered women’s shelters. If you belong to a team or fraternity, or another student group, organize a fundraiser.

7. Recognize and speak out against homophobia and gay-bashing. Discrimination and violence against lesbians and gays are wrong in and of themselves. This abuse also has direct links to sexism (eg. the sexual orientation of men who speak out against sexism is often questioned, a conscious or unconscious strategy intended to silence them. This is a key reason few men do so).

8. Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about multicultural masculinities, gender inequality, and the root causes of gender violence. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.

9. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media.

10. Mentor and teach young boys about how to be men in ways that don’t involve degrading or abusing girls and women. Volunteer to work with gender violence prevention programs, including anti-sexist men’s programs. Lead by example

Copyright 1999, Jackson Katz.
Reprint freely with credit.

Gender Violence Prevention Education & Training


The Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Model is a gender violence, bullying, and school violence prevention approach that encourages young men and women from all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds to take on leadership roles in their schools and communities. The training is focused on an innovative “bystander” model that empowers each student to take an active role in promoting a positive school climate. The heart of the training consists of role-plays intended to allow students to construct and practice viable options in response to incidents of harassment, abuse, or violence before, during, or after the fact. Students learn that there is not simply “one way” to confront violence, but that each individual can learn valuable skills to build their personal resolve and to act when faced with difficult or threatening life situations.

The MVP Model originated in 1993 with the creation of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Program at Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society. With initial funding from the U.S. Department of Education, the multiracial MVP Program was designed to train male college and high school student-athletes and other student leaders to use their status to speak out against rape, battering, sexual harassment, gay-bashing, and all forms of sexist abuse and violence. A female component was added in the second year with the complementary principle of training female student-athletes and others to be leaders on these issues.

Why the initial focus on working with student-athletes? Ever since battered women’s programs and rape crisis centers established their first educational or “youth outreach” initiatives in the schools in the 1970’s, one of the key challenges they have faced is the apathy, defensiveness – and sometimes outright hostility – of male athletic directors, coaches, and student-athletes. While men and young men in the school-based athletic subculture have hardly been unique in their reluctance to embrace gender violence prevention education, they typically occupy a privileged position in school culture, and particularly in male peer culture. As such, male student-athletes – especially in popular team sports such as football, basketball, hockey, baseball, wrestling, and soccer – tend to have enormous clout when it comes to establishing or maintaining traditional masculine norms. Their support or lack of support for prevention efforts can make or break them.

For the past decade, the MVP Model has been utilized by the parent MVP Program at Northeastern University, as well as by dozens of other schools and school systems in Massachusetts, Iowa, Colorado, Washington, and elsewhere. It has been implemented in hundreds of educational settings with diverse school-based populations of boys and girls, men and women, working together and in single-sex formats. It is important to note that although it began in the sports culture, and retains some sports terminology, by the mid-1990’s MVP had moved from a near-exclusive focus on the athletic world to general populations of high school and college students, and other institutional settings.

Focus on Bystanders

MVP utilizes a creative “bystander” approach to gender violence and bullying prevention. It focuses on young men not as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, but as empowered bystanders who can confront abusive peers – and support abused ones. It focuses on young women not as victims or potential targets of harassment, rape and abuse, but as empowered bystanders who can support abused peers – and confront abusive ones. In this model, a “bystander” is defined as a family member, friend, classmate, teammate, coworker– anyone who is imbedded in a family, school, social, or professional relationship with someone who might in some way be abusive, or experiencing abuse.

The heart of the model is interactive discussion, in single-sex and mixed-gender classes and workshops, using real-life scenarios that speak to the experiences of young men and women in high school, college, and other areas of social life. The chief curricular innovation of MVP is a training tool called the Playbook, which consists of a series of realistic scenarios depicting abusive male (and sometimes female) behavior. The Playbook – with separate versions for boys/men and girls/women – transports participants into scenarios as witnesses to actual or potential abuse, then challenges them to consider a number of concrete options for intervention before, during, or after an incident.

Many people mistakenly believe that they have only two options in instances of actual or potential violence: intervene physically and possibly expose themselves to personal harm, or do nothing. As a result, they often choose to do nothing.

But intervening physically or doing nothing are not the only possible choices. The MVP Model seeks to provide bystanders with numerous options, most of which carry no risk of personal injury. With more options to choose from, people are more likely to respond and not be passive and silent – and hence complicit – in violence or abuse by others. Many young men and women, and people in US society in general, have been socialized to be passive bystanders in the face of sexist abuse and violence. This conditioning is reflected in the oft-heard statement that a situation “between a man and a woman” is “none of my business.”

One historical antecedent of this belief is the English common law doctrine that a man’s home is his castle, and that family matters are properly confined to the domestic sphere.

MVP sessions can only begin to explore this and some of the other deeply rooted cultural characteristics that contribute to bystander “apathy.” But one of the crucial aspects of MVP discussions – which are typically interactive and animated – is that focusing on specific cases of abuse can often lead to open, wide-ranging discussions about masculinity, femininity, gender relations, abuses of power and conformist behavior.

In single-sex sessions, racially diverse groups of young men and women discuss such questions as: why do some guys seek to control their girlfriends through force or intimidation? Why do some guys sexually assault girls? How do cultural definitions of manhood contribute to sexual and domestic violence and other sexist behaviors? How do cultural definitions of womanhood contribute to women’s victimization – or their resistance to same?

But the focus always goes back to the bystanders. For example, why do some young men make it clear that they won’t accept that sort of behavior from their peers, while others remain silent? How is the silence of peers understood by abusers? What are some of the informal policing mechanisms in male peer culture that keep young men from speaking out about these issues? In female culture? What message is conveyed to victims when the abuser’s friends don’t confront him? On a related note, why do some heterosexually identified men harass and beat up gay men? Does the accompanying silence on the part of some of their heterosexual peers – male and female – legitimize the abuse? Why or why not?

Unlike prevention efforts that target young men as perpetrators or potential perpetrators, MVP has the potential to expand dramatically the number of young men willing to confront the issue of men’s violence against women. This is a result of the MVP philosophy of working with men as empowered bystanders – not against them as potential perpetrators. This positive approach has the effect of reducing men’s defensiveness around the discussion of these issues, which provides the basis for the emergence of more proactive and preventive responses.

At the same time, the focus on girls and women as empowered bystanders – not victims, potential victims or survivors – can give them fresh new ideas about how to be supportive to their peers, as well as help inspire them to be leaders in their peer culture, as well as with younger girls.

Practical Applications

The MVP Model can be utilized in numerous educational settings. The MVP playbooks and trainer’s guides are customizable for diverse populations of students. Currently, materials are available for high school boys and girls. In some cases, these materials can be used with middle-school students as well. (MVP classes and workshops with middle school students are typically conducted by MVP mentors who are high school students).

Training of Trainers: High Schools

MVP trainers at Northeastern University or in Jackson Katz’s Long Beach, CA-based organization MVP Strategies conduct intensive, on-site two-day trainings of trainers with high school personnel, including teachers, coaches, counselors, administrators, public safety staff, parents, and others. The highly interactive trainings introduce the participants to the MVP philosophy and teaching/mentoring methods. Participants are given the opportunity to lead mock MVP playbook sessions with their fellow trainees.

Once the high school personnel receive the MVP Strategies training, they should be prepared to implement MVP with their students in the following ways:

They can recruit a cadre of sophomores and juniors – boys and girls – with existing or developing leadership ability. This group of prospective MVP “mentors” should be from a number of different peer groups and social cliques, representing a cross-section of the school population. Once the students have applied for participation in the program and received parental approval, the trained school personnel can hold a one or two-day retreat in the spring or summer to introduce MVP, teach the students how to use the materials, and lead small-group discussions based on the MVP playbook. This retreat can be followed by weekly or biweekly educational sessions for several months. The goal of these trainings is to prepare the mentors to facilitate interactive discussions in the fall with incoming 9th grade students, using the MVP playbook. (This is currently the most popular model being used in several high schools in Jefferson County, Colorado.)

PLEASE NOTE: MVP mentors are not expected to be subject-matter experts on gender violence or bullying prevention. Their training prepares them to facilitate discussions on these issues with other students. The most important role they play is to provide younger students – and their peers — with the space to talk about important day-to-day issues like how to be supportive friends, how to respond to incidents of actual or potential abuse or harassment, what to do about threats or rumors about school violence, and how to create a student-powered, positive and harassment-free school climate.

School personnel who have completed the MVP training of trainers can lead one-time or multiple MVP sessions with athletic teams, student government leaders, members of various student organizations, or other formal or informal groups. Student mentors can present/facilitate with these groups as well.


Implementation of the MVP Model has been formally evaluated in various institutional settings, including several high schools, college campuses and the United States Marine Corps. The high school/middle school version is currently being systematically evaluated in several schools, although there is a wealth of anecdotal and qualitative evidence for its effectiveness. The standard MVP evaluation is a pre and post-test that measures attitudes and behaviors that relate to the role of bystanders in creating and sustaining peer culture climates that discourage abusive behavior and reward pro-social, proactive responses to situations of harm or potential harm. For an example of an MVP evaluation, go to For more information about MVP evaluations, write to

Lessons Learned

One of the most important lessons learned in thirteen years of MVP is the need for early buy-in and follow-through on the part of key administrators and faculty. MVP trainers can come from outside of the school and provide interesting and rich learning experiences for students, in the course of a few days or over a period of weeks. But for the MVP Model to truly transform a school climate, educators need to be committed to training a new cadre of student mentors each year, and provide them with the ongoing support they need.

One way to achieve this buy-in is to invite key athletic personnel, administrators, and teachers to participate in an MVP training of trainers as early in the process as possible. This training can be framed positively as a leadership training. By defining the issues of gender violence and bullying prevention as leadership issues for educators as well as students, it is possible to garner the support of a broader spectrum of male – and female – allies and supporters than has been common to date.

By Jackson Katz

Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity:
While the social construction of femininity has been widely examined, the dominant role of masculinity has until recently remained largely invisible. Tough Guise is the first educational video geared toward college and high school students to systematically examine the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S. at the dawn of the 21st century. In this innovative and wide-ranging analysis, Jackson Katz argues that widespread violence in American society, including the tragic school shootings in Littleton, Colorado, Jonesboro, Arkansas, and elsewhere, needs to be understood as part of an ongoing crisis in masculinity. This exciting new media literacy tool– utilizing racially diverse subject matter and examples– will enlighten and provoke students (both males and females) to evaluate their own participation in the culture of contemporary masculinity.

Tough Guise was named one of the Top Ten Young Adult Videos for 2000 by the American Library Association. It has become a staple in college communication, sociology, gender studies, psychology, criminology and linguistics courses, as well as numerous high school courses. It is regularly used by educators in the battered women’s and rape crisis movements, and counselors in the batterer intervention field. It has been seen by over 3 million people.
Produced by the Media Education Foundation, go to MEF to purchase.

Wrestling With Manhood: Boys, Bullying, and Battering
(with Sut Jhally): Wrestling with Manhood is the first educational program to pay attention to the enormous popularity of professional wrestling among male youth, addressing its relationship to real-life violence and probing the social values that sustain it as a powerful cultural force. Richly illustrating their analysis with numerous examples, Sut Jhally and Jackson Katz – the award-winning creators of the videos Dreamworlds and Tough Guise, respectively – offer a new way to think about the enduring problems of men’s violence against women and bullying in our schools. Drawing the connection between professional wrestling and the construction of contemporary masculinity, they show how so-called “entertainment” is related to homophobia, sexual assault and relationship violence. They further argue that to not engage with wrestling in a serious manner allows cynical promoters of violence and sexism an uncontested role in the process by which boys become “men.” Designed to engage the wrestling fan as well as the cultural analyst, Wrestling with Manhood will provoke spirited debate about some of our most serious social problems.
Produced by the Media Education Foundation, go to MEF to purchase.

Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies, and Alcohol
(with Jean Kilbourne): In its portrayal in popular culture, alcohol offers a release from inhibitions and a path to happiness, wealth, maturity, creativity, athletic success, independence, and sexual freedom. In reality, the abuse of alcohol diminishes and destroys those very qualities and is linked to 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries, and 70,000 sexual assaults among students each year. Using numerous examples from Hollywood movies, MTV Spring Break, sitcoms, and advertising, as well as interviews with college students, award-winning media critics Jean Kilbourne (Killing Us Softly 3, Slim Hopes) and Jackson Katz (Tough Guise) discuss the way that alcohol abuse has been normalized in the lives of millions of young people. Spin the Bottle is the first educational program to step beyond an analysis of “binge drinking” to focus on techniques that alcohol marketers use to link the product to the fragile gender identities of young men and women. It also offers young people concrete strategies to counter the ubiquitous presence of alcohol propaganda and, in so doing, inspires them to take back control of their own lives from the influence of cynical manipulators.
Produced by the Media Education Foundation, go to MEF to purchase

Jackson Katz’ website materials reprinted here with permission from Jackson Katz.

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