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Response to MineralMan (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 01:13 PM

59. Sociopathy is not knowing that it's wrong in the first place

except in the abstract sense of being aware that other people think it's bad/wrong and that it's likely to bring down punishment.

This is why you're mistaken when you say only sociopaths do this. As you say, lots of people are capable of empathy and knowing that something is wrong and yet they do it anyway impulsively leading to shame, self-loathing and self-medication with alcohol or drugs. Some people know it's wrong and they're led astray by the crowd they're running with. They may never do it again, but they do it do the first time. There's an example in the other thread on DU of someone who knew it was wrong and raped people anyway.

And nobody has ever said, to my knowledge, in any of these threads that it is all men or even most men, who would rape someone given the opportunity. The point is that it is way too many men (35% of college aged boys in the survey cited) and that at least some of them would benefit from education and a culture of respect for women in a way that would reduce the number of rapes. 35% of the population are not sociopaths. And if 31% were less likely to engage in borderline rape/harrassment or were more likely to intervene or to correct their peers talking about it or to report it when they heard about, then there would in fact be fewer rapes.

Likewise, no one, not even sign girl, has said that girls shouldn't be taught self-defence in addition to boys being taught boundaries. Her point is that, at the moment, the emphasis is all on teaching girls as if this is exclusively their problem.

And there has been an obvious cultural shift that indicates that more progress can be made in this area. I notice it with older men I've worked with who are very loving with their own families (and hence not sociopaths) but would go absolutely apeshit if someone said about their mother, sisters, wife or daughters what they have said about other women. This is true with some younger men as well but I think it's less common and that's a good sign that education and shifting cultural norms works. It's just we need to keep doing it. And insisting there isn't a problem because "most boys get a good talk and that's enough" or "most boys know that rape is wrong" doesn't help.

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