Thanks for this, Kathy. I feel like you’ve taken multiple academic fields and worked them into one blog post, so I appreciate the length and detail. Also looking forward to shorter posts that tease out more concrete info and next steps.
To that end: would it be worth pulling apart the term “sexual violence” into a broader spectrum? Possibly:
sexual assault (unwanted touching, but not meeting above criminal standard)
sexual harassment (i.e. sexualized/objectifying conversation, but not touching)
gender-based implicit bias
For example, the EA who read pickup literature and then groped another person committed sexual assault. But EAs who espouse pickup culture in an EA forum/workplace would be committing sexual harassment.
I liked your thoughts on how sexual violence in EA networks has a cost of driving women out of the area, which thereby reduces impact on the field. Here, including harassment and bias could provide a more robust picture. Women who may not have been physically touched may experience a range of other gender-based aggressions that let them to abandon the movement: being interrupted, ignored, getting more online abuse, having a man repeat a comment and gain credit for it, etc.
Part of the reason I combined various types of sexual violence together is that there wasn’t enough research on all the different types for me to explore as broadly as I would have liked. Unfortunately, that’s an element that I cannot change even though I want to write more deeply on different types of sexual violence. I just did my best with the information that was available.
I have begun to wonder what proportion of sexism against women is coming from sexually violent men. Sexism is a risk factor for sexual violence. Hostility toward women is common among sex offenders. Some people who are excited by being sexually aggressive are also excited by being verbally aggressive.
I would not be the least bit surprised if getting rid of sexual violence also gets rid of a huge root cause of sexism.