Friday, September 19, 2008

Get the Facts: Gender Affects Crime

Ongoing gender inequity in our society affects your risk from crime.

Over on the Burnt Orange Report, liberaltexan, who I believe is male, has an interesting post on male privilege.

Among the things he points out: Women are significantly more at risk from rape and sexual harassment than men are.

Certainly that means that we need to work together to change those numbers, but while we're doing that, individual women need to be aware of their risk and take steps to protect themselves. As I've pointed out before on this blog, the biggest rape danger to women is not from strangers -- even though that's our worst fear -- but from acquaintances.

Sexual harassment is in some ways a trickier situation, because while it includes many annoying but not dangerous actions, it can affect your career. To protect yourself, you must learn how to make a firm response when something happens -- most sexual harassment policies require that the victim let the attacker know that he was out of line. And you must decide when it's necessary to report an action and take further steps.

But before someone starts raving about how men are victimized by sexual harassment (Don't get confused by the movies, guys: as a fiction writer, I can tell you that all those stories of women harassing men are done because role reversal is more fun to write), let me point out one way in which that gender inequality comes back to haunt men:
Men are at much greater risk from homicide than women.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, 79 percent of murder victims in 2006 were male. In fact, the BJS says men were at greater risk for all kinds of violent crime except rape and sexual assault.

Men are often too cavalier about taking care of themselves, assuming that their strength and gender protect them. They, too, need to pay attention and learn the facts.

No comments: