Sex buyers are more likely to commit rape than others

  • September 05, 2015
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Sex buyers are more likely to commit rape than others


Men who buy sex are more likely than others to report having committed rape and other aggressive sexual acts, and they show less empathy for prostitutes, according to a study.

According to the researchers behind the work, buying sex is a basically predatory practice that shouldn't be legalized. They are backing the “Nordic” approach toward prostitution, which punishes the buyers rather than the sellers.

The comparative study of 101 men in the Boston area who buy sex and 101 men who do not concluded that sex buyers' perspectives are similar to those of sexually coercive men.

“Our findings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men who are at risk for committing sexual aggression,” said Neil Malamuth, co-author of the study, published online Aug. 31 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

“Both groups tend to have a preference for impersonal sex, a fear of rejection by women, a history of having committed sexually aggressive acts and a hostile masculine self-identification. Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for women in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other women,” said Malamuth, a professor of communications studies and psychology at the University of Los Angeles California.

Other studies have linked a lower level of empathy among men to sexual aggression toward women.

It's long been debated whether prostitution is a job or sexual abuse. The new findings tend to support the latter view, the authors said.

“We hope this research will lead to a rejection of the myth that sex buyers are simply sexually frustrated nice guys,” said Melissa Farley, the study's lead author and executive director of Prostitution Research and Education, a San Francisco-based nonprofit.

Had the study found no differences between the views of men who buy sex and those who don't, it might have given credence to those who advocate legalizing and regulating prostitution, said Farley.

“However, given the significant levels of sexually aggressive attitudes and behavior found in sex buyers, a more progressive legal policy would be like that seen in Sweden and Norway, where prostitution is understood as a predatory crime against economically and ethnically marginalized women,” she said. “The Nordic model arrests sex buyers but decriminalizes those in prostitution and provides them with exit services.”

One man who bought sex and was interviewed for the study compared the transaction to disposing of a coffee cup after he had finished drinking from it. “When you're done, you throw it out,” he said.

Another said of women in prostitution, “I think a lot of times they feel degraded. I mean, the ones I know have no self-confidence, so they feel less than a person, and more like a commodity.”

Malamuth said the study confirmed the predictive ability of many of the risk factors for sexual aggression he has studied for the past 35 years. His Confluence Model characterizes men who are at higher risk for committing sexual aggression. It emphasizes several key risk factors, including antisocial behavior, a preference for impersonal sex, treating sex more as a sport than as part of an intimate relationship, and “hostile masculinity,” which includes traits such as a narcissistic personality, hostility toward women and a desire to have power over women.

The men in the study were described as relatively knowledgeable about coercion and sex trafficking, and about many of the reasons that women entered prostitution.

The researchers screened more than 1,200 men to reach two groups of men who were similar in age, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The men were assurred anonymity and each was interviewed for about two hours. The study was funded by Hunt Alternatives, a private foundation.

Source : http://www.world-science.net/

 

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