To prepare for the upcoming JusticeNYC Conference on November 1st, I worked with Greenwald & Associates to survey 300 men about sexual exploitation and some of their responses are surprising. Men agree that sexual exploitation of women is a big problem both in the U.S. and worldwide. It’s interesting that the majority of men believe men’s attitudes toward women is a significant factor. Furthermore, it’s clear that men have limited knowledge about the scope of the problems. I lay out some of the findings below. The full survey results can be found here.
61% of men believe sexual exploitation of women is a critical or major problem in the U.S. While it’s lower than the 77% who believe that it’s a critical or major problem worldwide, it’s a significant majority. It confirms that men largely acknowledge this problem and may be open to solutions to address it.
We asked men about different factors that affect sexual exploitation of women. They see poverty and broken homes as significant drivers (which they are), but it was surprising to note that 73% also identify men’s attitudes toward women as a critical or major factor. As I’ve discussed in other posts, when men treat women as sex objects, it leads to dehumanization, which has harmful outcomes for women. The data show there is an opening to challenge the attitudes men have toward women, which is one of the topics we’ll address at Justice NYC. We’ll challenge men to treat women the way they would want their daughters treated and hold other men to that standard.
While 73% of men responded that they were either fairly familiar or very familiar with the issue of sexual exploitation of women and its impact, there was clearly a lack of knowledge. Men either don’t know or tend to underestimate the impact of sexual exploitation on trafficking, abortion and poverty. For example, only 3% could identify how much more likely a child is to be in poverty when the family is led by a single parent. The child is actually 546% more likely to be in poverty. When men act as sexual narcissists and abandon women once they’re pregnant, the economic impact to the women and the children can be devastating. The survey shows that men are unaware of the scope of the problem.
In the coming days I’ll add more posts highlighting some of the specific survey results and why they’re significant as we challenge men to #endsexualnarcissism.