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Sex violence in the family and human trafficking in America

  1. PERSONAL IMPORTANCE AS A POET • I am an activist poet who exposes social problems through an emotional pull through imagery and the discussion of difficult topics. • An emotional pull gives the audience the potential to remember a topic they would have otherwise ignored or forgotten. • Audience has to make a choice—stay or leave. Either way they will probably think about the topic later. • Hopefully thinking about it will inspire social change that begins with the first step—awareness. (we cannot change something if we are unaware that it needs to be changed)
  2. WHY THIS IS A SOCIAL PROBLEM • Statistics for both sex trafficking and sexual violence both in the family and outside of it are not always accurate for several reasons. • First of all, many of the victims of both atrocities are unable to step up and speak out. • They could be shamed into believing that speaking out makes them appear as though they wanted it all along • They may also be threatened or abused to prevent them from doing so • Secondly, how many people are willing to admit that they participate in either promoting sex trafficking or having sex with a victim of trafficking? • Since so many instances of rape, abuse, and incest are not reported, the statistics are not able to accurately represent how staggeringly horrific this situation is.
  3. WHAT IS SEX VIOLENCE? My marriage and the family textbook defined sex abuse as a type of maltreatment that involves the child in sexual activity to provide sexual gratification or financial benefit to the perpetrator. It includes making a child watch sexual acts, fondling a child’s genitals, engaging the child in prostitution, committing statutory rape (having sexual intercourse with a minor), forcing a child to engage in sexual acts for photographic or filmed pornography, and engaging in incest. This category also includes sexual assault on a child by a relative or stranger
  4. • The media portrays sexual abuse typically happening to victims through a stranger, but the fact is “90% of all these offenses are perpetrated by family members, friends of the family, and other persons the child knows.” • If a person does not fight back they just wanted it anyway, so it really wasn’t abuse after all. COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SEX ABUSE
  5. COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT SEX ABUSE • Most rapes occur from black or Latino men. The truth is most rapes occur with the predator being of the same race as the victim. This misconception only perpetuates racial problems and stereotypes • Many people think that these crimes are punished by incarceration, but the truth is many offenders are rarely charged or imprisoned, largely because a child’s testimony is seldom accepted as evidence of incest. In addition, solid physical evidence is rarely available because the event is not reported and investigated quickly enough. • Some people believe that most children would report to their parents if they were being abused. In fact some sources suggest that only 3% of children report sexual abuse and 12% report rape to the police. These numbers are staggering, but much of the reason for this lies behind the fact that abusers tend to make the victim feel as though the victims themselves were the cause of the abuse, not the other way around. (Misplaced guilt)
  7. WHY DO PEOPLE RAPE? • A sense of power over someone else—and this power may make a child afraid to tell their guardian or parent about the situation. The child may feel threatened to stay silent, afraid they or someone they love may become injured if they tell. Predators often use their power to their advantage to keep their victims quiet. • One textbook suggests that poverty is “the single best predictor of child abuse and neglect. Most poor parents aren’t abusers, but children from poor families are 22 times more likely than children from higher incomes to be abused or neglected.” The reason for this statistic is that those who have money may be able to hide the abuse, but also those who are poor have more social stresses which may bring about the abuse. • The benefits for the predator often outweigh the cost. Since so many rapists do not get caught for their crimes, they can have their cake and eat it too, so to speak. With the statue of limitations placed on the time someone is able to report a rape, many get away with it because the victim is too afraid to speak up right away.
  8. SOME SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICS According to 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse; Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident; During a one-year period in the U.S., 16% of youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized; Over the course of their lifetime, 28% of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized; Children are most vulnerable to CSA between the ages of 7 and 13. (That’s 2nd grade to 7th or 8th grade)
  9. WHAT IS SEX TRAFFICKING According to the book Sexual Enslavement of Women and Girls Worldwide “The term 'trafficking' does not adequately describe its central feature: the denial of freedom to an individual. The term implies some kind of movement rather than the loss of liberty and agency for the women used for sexual exploitation. The unpunished violence, probability of death, loss of freedom of movement, and transfer between owners/masters for money or good without informed consent certainly meet the criteria for slavery. Quite simply trafficking turns human beings into commodities." • start at 2:59 stop at 5
  10. DEFINITION OF TRAFFICKING According to the U.S Department of State, if even ONE of these conditions are met, trafficking has occurred: Process Way/means Goals Recruitment Threat Prostitution Transportation Coercion Pornography Transferring Abduction violence/sex exploitation Harboring Fraud Forced labor Receiving Deception Debt bondage (unfair wages) Deceit Slavery Abuse of power
  11. COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TRAFFICKING • Sex trafficking is the same thing as human smuggling. While sex trafficking may encompass transporting someone illegal into the country for use, it is not a necessary component of sex trafficking and does not always happen. (There are a lot of prostitutes that are pushed into the business in America and then cannot get out) • Sex trafficking only happens overseas or abroad. The truth is, many American girls are just as vulnerable for trafficking as girls in China and other countries. Many times victims are put into slavery because they are of low socioeconomic status and are struggling to survive. The predator may promise them a life of hope if they join them, but when the victim comes to America, or does what the predator says, they quickly find out they are being trafficked, and they have no way out.
  13. FACTS • There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in history. Including the slave trade. Just because it was abolished here during the Civil War in America does not mean that it doesn’t still happen. Nothing will change if we don’t DO SOMETHING. • The average age of entry into sex slavery in the US is 12- 14 years old. In other countries, children as young as four are coerced into the business. Virginity is prized, and they may attempt to present a child repetitively as a virgin to earn more profits from their sale. • It has been estimated that there are approximately 27 million slaves world wide
  14. In the United States, because there is such a correlation between child sexual abuse and child prostitution, a lot of times it might be somebody who has that ability to figure out which are the vulnerable girls, whether it’s eighth, ninth, tenth graders. Maybe they have been abused at home. Maybe they’re willing to run away from—mom has a new boyfriend or what have you or they might be wrestling with an addiction. The pimps seem to be able to look at the women around them, look at the girls around them, find that vulnerability. But then, they basically offer glamour, a better life, even love. So it’s very similar to what we see with international trafficking as well. It’s basically they offer hope, and they deliver with a nightmare. —Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. State Department
  15. WHERE DOES SEX TRAFFICKING HAPPEN IN THE U.S.? Some of the most common places I found were: • Massage parlors (usually Asian women are put in brothels in the back. Since the parlor pays taxes and runs like a normal business in the front, sometimes the government is unaware of these activities) • With the creation of Craigslist and other websites, unwanted sexual exploitation has become an even grater problem • Not all prostitutes or strippers want to be in the business. This is when sex trafficking happens. Many of them are tricked into the business when they come from other countries, or they are forced into staying because of financial obligations and fear. ….and these are just three ways. There are many, many more.
  16. MY HYPOTHESIS We live in a strong media-hungry culture where the dehumanization of both women and men, nudity, and public displays of sexuality are acceptable. Constantly being exposed to these images and concepts allows for increased acceptability of these actions, almost propelling the idea that these fantasies are normal, and acting upon them is basically just a human reaction to our stimuli.
  17. THE STUDY • This study was conducted in Italy in three different parts. The first study was conducted to show that “only female sexual objectification is dehumanizing and that both male and female participants engage in the process.” • The study was published in 2011 • First study: • 173 participants (87 female, 86 male) all heterosexual • All native-speaking Italians ranging from 18-32 years old • Third study: • 80 heterosexual male and female participants • 19-30 years old
  18. THE STUDY Those who participated in the first study were asked to take a SC-IAT test, which is measures someone’s hidden prejudices and emotions. It is divided into four test blocks, the first block asking participants to press the animal key or the human key to categorize the photos presented. Half of the participants saw only male photos, the other half only saw female photos. In the third study, each participant was presented a photo of a woman and her information on her degree, interests, and extra-curricular activities. Participants then were presented a sex prime with some being control words such as wood, wave, water, etc and another group that contained a slightly sexual meaning. Participants then judged five female target photos and for each photo were asked to rate them on a 7 pt Likert scale on how sexy, arousing, beautiful, vulgar, superficial the woman was. Afterwards, another SC-IAT test was performed.
  19. THE STUDY • When the first study is combined with the second one, “these findings insinuate that when a sex goal is activated, men tend to focus on a woman’s appearance and her sexual functions.” • Different studies mentioned in this article have shown that when a sex goal is activated in a man, they tend to behave more aggressively.
  20. DEFINITIONS Objectification: “when objectified, women are treated as bodies that exist for the use or consumption of others, stripped of their individuality and personality Dehumanization: “involves viewing others as less than human.” It’s almost an animalistic viewpoint towards certain humans. SC-IAT test: A psychological test used to study hidden prejudices against a group of people by using a single category topic—such as prejudice against homosexuals, for instance. Usually the test is performed at a computer, where a photo is presented and two word are located at the top corners of the screen. The participant selects the word they associate with the photo, therefore testing the subject’s association with a concept to the words presented. Sex goal: while the study does not indicate what this means, it could be assumed it is the suggestion of sex before viewing dehumanizing photos in the study.
  21. APPLICABLE THEORIES Feminist theories: Theoretical perspective that analyzes socially constructed expectations based on variable such as gender roles, social class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation Ecological Theory: examines how a family influences and is influenced by its environment Social Learning Theory: A theory that suggests that people learn attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through social interaction; learning is the result of reinforcement, imitation, and modeling.
  22. WHY THESE THEORIES WORK When all three of these theories are combined and compared with the findings of the first and third studies some things can be further understood: 1. The third study mentioned that with the sex goal initiated, men felt more aggressive after seeing the dehumanized photos of women. Some web definitions of the word aggressive are: --a feeling of hostility that arouses feelings of attack --violent action that is hostile and is usually unprovoked --deliberately unfriendly behavior
  23. WHY THESE THEORIES WORK 2. Our media is pumped full of dehumanized photos of women. They are present in music videos, magazines, and billboards, nearly everywhere. And while the media isn’t the only cause for sex violence, the connection made in the study between aggressiveness and dehumanized women makes it clear that constantly being exposed to these concepts allows for rape to become more acceptable. 3. If rape is belittled as being something second nature or as a reaction to a woman wearing a teeny dress and high heels, it takes the blame away from the man and sometimes wrongfully placing the blame solely on the woman for the man’s response.
  24. WHAT IS RESULT OF THIS STUDY • We live in a predominantly acceptable rape culture. • Definition of rape culture: • “Rape culture is a term used within women's studies and feminism, describing a culture in which rape and other sexual violence (usually against women) are common and in which prevalent attitudes, norms, practices, and media condone, normalize, excuse, or encourage sexualized violence. Examples of behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, sexual objectifying, and trivializing rape” • A rape culture almost makes sex violence seem natural, and that any fantasy a person has should be able to be acted out. It makes women out to be objects rather than people, and opens the doors for the dehumanization of those on display.
  25. WHY A RAPE CULTURE IS NOT OKAY • Men are sometimes not held responsible for their actions, because “she provoked me” • Women can become constantly fearful of the possibility of being raped or being victimized. • With the introduction of sexualized violence, as talked about previously in this class, the weak and young are more susceptible to being preyed on because they are easy targets.
  26. WHAT CAN WE DO? • Raise awareness for both sex trafficking and rape for child and women. When we speak out we inspire others to DO SOMETHING about the problems at hand. • Women should join up with someone they trust when going to bars or walking around in a city at night. Carry pepper spray, learn self defense, and protect yourself. There is no reason to be afraid, but a little preparation never hurt anyone. • Teach your children that is okay to speak up if they feel uncomfortable with something an adult is doing to them and BELIEVE them. • If you suspect trafficking is happening in your area, report it.
  27. SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY • The reasons behind why there is the potential for detrimental consequences when a man is sexually attracted to a woman. The study suggests that “one possibility could be found in the complex link between power, sex, and aggression.” • If differences in brain structure is an attribute to why men are more likely to be the aggressor and women are more likely to be the victim. •