This is a "clearinghouse" for fatherhood-related statistics. It is continually updated, and your assistance in reporting any errors or posting any pertinent statistic which is not located here to firstname.lastname@example.org is requested.
1) Statistics from COPS -- Coalition of Parental Support
2) While television and the movies gather headlines as the motivation behind teen violence, school administrators blame "family breakup" for violence in the schools. [2 Survey by the National School Boards Association as reported in the Washington Times, January 1994. 77% of school administrators blame "family breakup" for violence in the schools]
3) The quality of the early father-child relationship is linked to the son's and daughter's later adjustment in adolescence and adulthood. [ The Father Factor and the Two Parent Advantage: Reducing the Paternal Deficit, pg. 1. Henry Biller, Ph.D., Psychology Department, University of Rhode Island. April 15, 1994.]
4) As fathers have been excluded from their children's lives, with the marriage rate falling and the divorce rate rising, SAT scores have fallen to all-time lows while teen births and the crime rate have exploded. The divorce rate, teen birth rate, and the crime rate each doubled between 1975 and 1990. SAT scores fell in 1975 and then dipped below 900 for the first time in 1980. They have remained at that low level. [4 "Index of Leading Indicators." Washington Times. March 16, 1994.]
5) Subsequently, unwed pregnancy and childbirth have become a "job" for too many women.9 In 1960, only 15% of teen births occurred outside of marriage, in 1991, 69% occurred outside of marriage.10 More than 25% of all births are to unwed mothers.11 The failure rate among users of contraception is approximately twice as high among "poor" women as among "non-poor" women. [12 "Trends in Teenage Fertility", pg. 26. Child Trends, Inc., May 4, 1994.]
6) Teenage pregnancy rates reflect this trend. Data compiled by Child Trends, Inc. indicate that 18% of teen pregnancies resulted from a decision by the mother to become pregnant, 40% resulted from the mothers' ambivalence toward pregnancy, and 42% of teen pregnancies were terminated (abortion). [13 Facts at a Glance, pg. 2. Child Trends, Inc., January 1994. "Ambivalent teens were just a likely to have a baby during the next two years as teens who unequivocally wanted a child." 14 "Trends in Childrearing and Implications for Reform", State-Federal Assembly, National Conference on State Legislatures. Presentation by Child Trends, Inc., May 4, 1994.]
7) A study by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that "dead-beat dads" were really impoverished dads. In their comprehensive study, they found that "... 52% of the nonpaying fathers had incomes of less than $6,155 per year ... ." [18 Dallas Morning News, pg. 5. April 26, 1993.]
8) ... The PFS pilot experience ... lays bare several sobering realities about the potential of 'enforcement only' strategies for increasing (financial) child support collections from the parents of AFDC children. ... The hard truth is that many noncustodial parents do not pay because they have no income. Before they can pay, they need jobs.20 [20 Gordon Berlin, Senior VP, Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation. Subcommittee on Human Resources, House Ways and Means Committee. March 15, 1994.]
9) Check with Don King (email@example.com or 909-698-5834) - he has official State of California statistics that show only 3.4% of California fathers get custody. I guess all us California guys are three times worse than the rest of the nation.
10) DIVORCE The divorce rate is 10 times higher than at the turn of the century and 4 to 10 times higher than other industrialized nations, with 85% of those divorces being filed by the mother and 15% by the father. This suggests that the incentives for mothers to get divorced are about 6 times stronger than the incentives for fathers.
11) CHILD CUSTODY "Progress"!? Mothers get custody of our children 92% of the time in divorce, which is a 100% failure by fathers for all practical purposes. No matter what we did, we could not have lost any bigger than this, especially when "child support" is nothing mo re than disguised alimony which almost no woman pays.
12) "CHILD SUPPORT" PAYMENTS Because men receive custody of children so rarely, they pay more than their proportinate 92% share of child support payments. "Child support awards" paid by the man are much higher than those paid by the woman, and men are almost 2 times more likely to make those payments than women.
13) TAXES Because men constitute 58% of the workforce, and because they earn an average of 42% more than women, men earn 66.2% of the nation's total income and women earn 33.8%. Because of the way the graduated income tax works, the majority of men are in the highest tax bracket and the majority of women are in the lower tax bracket, so it is roughly estimated that men pay 75-90% of all taxes.
14) WELFARE Estimates for the percent of those receiving one or another form of welfare who are males range from 5-15%, while famales receive 85-95%. And this transfer of wealth from men to women essentially subsidizes welfare.
15) LIFE EXPECTANCY Even though women have a 7 year longer life expectancy than men, it is women's studies and women's health programs which get 100% of the gender-related health program spending, and not men's programs.
16) WEALTH Women hold 65% of the country's wealth today even though they earn only 33.8% of the nation's income.
17)INCARCERATION Men are convicted of crimes for which women are not equally charged, and receive longer prison sentences for equal crimes [from 5x to 20x times longer per some recent TV magazines].
18) SUICIDE The suicide rate amoung men is five (5) times higher than that for women, yet there are no for women, yet there are no "men's studies" programs to understand all of the reasons for this.
19) AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Affirmative action is discriminatory against men by design, and benefits women more than it does any other "minority group" [i.e., men are a "minority group" because they constitute 48% of the population, but affirmative action does not work to their benefit].
20) My attention to that bias was drawn about 15 years ago in mainland China by a primary school headmistress. I had noted the fairly universal gender-equality, with the blatant exeption of primary school teachers that were 99+% female. Her suggestion seemed to be: By age seven or eight boys have been so brainwased to accept the role dictated by women, that they can be safely let loose. I don't know about the USA, but here in Aussie the main enemy of equal rights for men are other men themselves that feel equal rights are "Unchivalrous" "Unmanly" etc.(While the women safely grin in the background). Maybe men have to be educated first. And nothing will change as long as the zero to seven's are under the sole influence of women, I think.
21) Faludi didn't bother to mention that the male suicide rate had been higher all along. The "suicide gap" between men and women only got worse. Roughly, over the last generation, men's suicide rate in the U.S. went from about 15 per 100,000 each year to about 19, while women's rate went down from about 7 to 5.2 or so. The observation that women's suicide rate peaked in 1960 was interesting, since this was the time of the so-called "problem that had no name."
22) What you suggest opens the possibility of a minor female to seek out a minor male child from wealthy family, and use him as a means of obtaining a part of that wealth. Our current Family Court system empowers women by 92% with the raising of children, (see the US Bureau of the Census, Series P-23, No 173, 1989; Child Support & Alimony, Bureau of the Census, Series P-60, No 173, September 1991). A system that places an unfair distribution of child care on the Non-Custody-Parent (NCP), without any form of tax relief or accountability where that support money is spent. It is that system which you advocate.
23) Point 1. Child support is an award of money that one adult pays another. It is ostensibly paid from Non-Custodial Parents (NCP) to Custodial Parents (CPs). Because of the FACT that men are not allowed by the State to become CPs (estimates range from 95-99% of custodial battles arrive at maternal physical custody; in Massachusetts, I'm *still* waiting to hear of a case where at the trial level a father is awarded sole physical custody in a contested case. Guess what! I heard of one Wednesday night! The context was that it made Lawyers Weekly because it was reversed on appeal! There were abuse allegations on both sides (of course), and the appeals court ruled that "battered women's syndrome' was not taken into account to explain the abuse that the mother allegedly perpetrated on the father. So. To the best of my knowledge, the rate is still: mothers 100%, fathers 0%. Also, bear in mind that when a father does win custody -- it's cause for national headlines! Remember the Michigan case last year? I've digressed enough so I'll leave it at that).
24) So, we have an environment where only one class of people, women, can be CPs (child support recipients), and the other class, men, can only be NCPs (child support payors). Hence, I state that ALL laws, policies, and what- have-you, including all state guidelined child support IS ILLEGITIMATE AND INVALID prima facie. We are talking about a thoroughly discriminatory environment against men.
25) I do not recognize this system of transfer of money as being anything that resembles something that the words "child support" *should* represent. So what exactly is it? In a time when it is politically incorrect for women to acknowledge any dependence on men, this euphemism was conjured up. We know what it is. It passes the duck test real well. It is POLITICALLY CORRECT ALIMONY, state-mandated at levels that make the worst alimony story of decades past pale in comparison. $9,000 a month for "child support" (recent Vermont case)? Who's kidding who? [Mark Charalambous Coalition for the Preservation of Fatherhood]
26) What struck me especially was Blankenhorn's statement that controlling for fatherhood status erases the relationship between poverty and crime, and between race and crime. That's worth mentioning. [Gordon Little]
27) $34 Billion Figures for "unpaid child support", from "Noncustodial Fathers: Can They Afford to Pay More Child Support?". It was written by Elaine Sorenson (202) 857-8564 of The Urban Institute. 2100 M Street N. W. Washington, D.C. 20037 (202) 833-7200. The study is a highly theoretical and hypothetical study which sets out to prove that noncustodial fathers can pay more child support. It did NOT PROVIDE OR PRETEND TO OFFER ANY ACTUAL EVIDENCE OF nonpayment of child support.
28) The data related to child support payments reported by the Bureau of the Census (Current Population Reports, Series P-23, No 173, 1989), show that 75 percent of all child support owed is paid.
President Clinton recently stated on national television, that $34 billion was owed in unpaid child support. This number is a fabrication and incorrect. [Jerry W. Lester, Ph.D. 2476 Bolsover, Suite 428 Houston, Texas 77005 (713) 528-6565]
29) This concept of child support debt non-payment by choice is not supported by a report from the Government Accounting Office (Report: GAO/HRD-92-39FS, January 9, 1992). On page 19 of that report the following reasons were given for not receiving payments:
30) The Associated Press cited the fact that 97% of the persons to be prosecuted by Maine under this child support collection law are fathers. That statistic was provided by officials of Maine. Do they explain why these statistics are so out of balance between genders? Most studies of fathers pre-divorce show that about 66% or two thirds of them want custody of their children. Read Richard Warshak's book, The Custody Revolution, for a description of some of the mistaken beliefs about the parenting abilities of men that result in sex discrimination in child custody decisions. Contrary to the equal abilities of either parent to nurture a child, the custody decisions after divorce give women sole custody in 90 percent of divorces. Parents retain joint custody in 5 to 7 percent of divorce custody cases. Only in 10 percent of all divorce custody cases are fathers able to retain their parental status. This loss of parental rights is not related to any crime or innate inability to nurture children. The loss of NCF parental rights is due strictly to the gender bias of the Family Court system.
31) I would ask you to consider the sex discrimination inherent in the practice of providing welfare payments to out of work mothers, and prosecuting out of work fathers for non-payment. I would also ask you to consider the logic of reducing the ability of NCFs to get or keep work, as a method which will increase child support payments. As shown above, two-thirds of the nonpayers of ordered child support can't pay. Laws such as those currently enforced in Maine, which strip professional and driving licenses from fathers who fall behind in child support payments, will help to insure that they never will be able to pay.
In contrast to the Maine policy, is one being used in parts of New York state, called Parents Fair Share. In the Parents Fair Share program, NCFs are provided with job training and given preference in state employment office job placement programs. The collection rate among fathers who have been helped in this program is near 90 percent. The collection rate reported in one Associated Press (Houston Post, July 3, 1994)article for Maine is $11.5 million out of $138.5 million, or less than 9 percent. The program of NCF assistance, Parents Fair Share, is ten times as effective in producing child support payments as the punishment program of Maine.
Soource: Technical Analysis Paper No. 42, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Income Security Policy, Oct., 1991; Authors: Meyer and Garansky
32) Only $50.00 of any monthly payment collected in Texas is turned over to the custodial parent. The rest is used to "reimburse" the state for welfare payments. The scam being perpetrated on taxpayers is as follows: Citizens, including NCFs, pay taxes to support child welfare payments. They agree to shoulder that financial burden because human beings care about children. They vote for laws to collect support due to children for the same reason. But state officials are keeping the money collected from NCFs. Using the excuse of poor children to pass harsh collection laws, allows them to effectively raise the amount of tax money collected from a particular group of citizens, NCFs. Money collected from "Deadbeat Dads" is paid into state general revenue coffers. So we see campaigns to raise taxes to pay child welfare, then laws to collect child support, but what is missing is the step which turns over all of the collected child support to the children in whose name it is collected. It is instead directed into the pockets of those bureaucrats enforcing the collection measures.
33) To match the value of welfare benefits, a mother with two children would have to earn as much as $36,400 in Hawaii or as little as $11,500 in Mississippi.
In New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Alaska, and Rhode Island, welfare pays more than a $12.00 an hour job--or more than two- and-a-half times the minimum wage.
In 40 states welfare pays more than an $8.00 an hour job. In 17 states the welfare package is more generous than a $10.00 an hour job.
Welfare benefits are especially generous in large urban cities. Welfare offers the pre-tax income equivalent of a $14.75 an hour job in New York City, $12.45 in Philadelphia, $11.35 in Baltimore, and $10.90 in Detroit.
In 9 states, welfare pays more than the average first year salary for a teacher. In 29 states, welfare pays more than the average starting salary for a secretary. In 47 states welfare pays more than a janitor. Indeed, in the 6 most generous states, benefits exceed the entry level salary for a computer programmer.
$$$ are pre-tax equivalent of welfare benefits for single mother over the age of 21 with 2 children, aged 4 and 1.
Hawaii $ 36,400 $ 17.50 per hour Alaska 32,200 15.48 Mass... 30,500 14.66 Conn... 29,600 14.23 DC 29,100 13.99 NY 27,300 13.13 NJ 26,500 12.74 RI 26,100 12.55 CA 24,100 11.59 Virginia 23,100 11.11 --- Penns 19,700 9.47 (#22 on the list) Ilinois 19,400 9.33 --- Texas 15,200 7.31 (#44 on the list) --- Mississippi 11,500 5.53 (#51, last)
Of course, the Cato Institute failed to include certain education benefits, job training benfits, child care costs, etc.
The Institute just listed the normal living expenses for a single parent and 2 children: AFDC cash benefits (Alaska was #1, followed by Hawaii and NY) Food stamp benefits (Hawaii was #1, followed by Alabama and Arkansas) Medicaid benfits (Louisana was #1, followed by OK and Indiana) Housing benefits (DC was #1, followed by Mass & Hawaii) Utilities benefits (Texas was # 1, followed by Vermont & Minn) WIC benefits (Hawaii was #1, followed by Alaska & CT)
Unfortunately, the Cato Insitute study does not define the total single-parent-welfare cost to each state.
The study's authors--Michael Tanner, Cato's director of health and welfare studies; Stephen Moore, Cato's director of fiscal policy studies; and David Hartman, CEO of Hartland Bank in Austin, Texas--conclude that if Congress or state governments are serious about reducing welfare dependency and rewarding work, the most promising reform is to cut benefit levels substantially.
34) In another announvement, Health and Human Services director, Donna Hhalala, has announced a one million dollar grant to the Texas Council on Family Violence to establish a NATIONAL hot line for domestic violence. The grant is paid for out of funds made available through the Violence Against Women Act. In a press release announcing the Hot Line, HHS stated, "In the United States, a woman is more likely to be assaulted, injured, raped or killed by a male partner than any other type of assailant".[That's your tax money at work! -Tom Williamson NCFM] 35) "One clear message from the accumulated divorce research is that children profit by continued exposure to both parents" Visitation and the Noncustodial Father - Mary Ann P. Koch, Carol R. Lowery, Journal of Divorce, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1984
36) "Children who were able to maintain post-divorce relationships with both parents were better able to adjust to the divorce." Visitation and the Noncustodial Father - Mary Ann P. Koch, Carol R. Lowery, Journal of Divorce, Vol. 8, No. 2, Winter 1984
37) "The continuing involvement of divorced fathers in families where mothers maintain physical custody has become recognized as an important mediating factor in the adjustment and well-being of children of divorce." The Effect of the Post Divorce Relationship on Paternal Involvement: A Longitudinal Analysis - Constance R. Ahrons, Ph.D., and Richard B. Miller, Ph.D., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 3, July 1993
38) "Children recover more rapidly from the emotional trauma of parents' separation when they maintain close ties with their fathers." Family Ties after Divorce: The Relationship Between Visiting and Paying Support - Judith A. Seltzer, Nora Shaeffer, Hong-wen Charing, University of Wisconsin, Journal of Marriage & the Family, Vol. 51, No. 4, November 1989.
39) "Adolescents who reported closer relationships with their non custodial fathers were assessed as displaying fewer internalizing problems." Interparental Conflict, Relationship with the Noncustodial Father, and Adolescent Post-Divorced Adjustment - Gene Brody and Rex Forehand, University of Georgia, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 11, No. 2, April - June 1990
FREQUENT AND ONGOING RELATIONSHIPS WITH *BOTH* PARENTS ALLEVIATES THE BURDEN ON THE MOTHER AND PROMOTES THE LIKELIHOOD OF INCREASED FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT FOR THE CHILDREN
40) "Fathers economic and social involvement with children diminishes some of the negative consequences of living with a single mother" Family Ties after Divorce: The Relationship Between Visiting and Paying Support - Judith A. Seltzer, Nora Shaeffer, Hong-wen Charing, University of Wisconsin, Journal of Marriage & the Family, Vol. 51, No. 4, November 1989.
41) "Paying child support, visiting and participating in childrearing decisions are activities that "go together." "Fathers who engage in any one of those three activities are likely to engage in the other two activities perhaps to maintain parallel responsibilities with those fulfilled by fathers who live with their children." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991 42) "Paternal visitation has been found to consistently be positively related to payment of child support." The Role of Paternal Variables in Divorced and Married Families - Amanda Thomas and Rex Forehand, American Journal of Othopsychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 1993
43) "90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the child support due." U.S. Bureau of the Census: 1988
44) "79.1 % of fathers with visitation privileges pay the child support due." U.S. Bureau of the Census: 1988
45) "Fathers who have frequent contact with their children are also more likely to discuss the children with the mother." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991
46) "Fathers who visit their children are most likely to have a voice in major child-rearing decisions." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991
47) "When both parents share the social and economic responsibilities of child care, children appear to adapt better to their changed living arrangements than when mothers bear these responsibilities alone." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991
48) "Friendliness [between parents] increased with greater contact frequency" Post-divorce Relationships between Ex-Spouses: The Roles of Attachment and Interpersonal Conflict - Carol Masheter, University of Utah, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Volume 53, (February 1991): 103 110
FREQUENT AND ONGOING RELATIONSHIPS WITH * BOTH* PARENTS HAS A POSITIVE EFFECT ON CHILDREN'S DEVELOPMENT
49) "Fathers have much to offer their adolescent children in many areas, including their career development, moral development, and sex role identification." Increasing Our Understanding of Fathers Who Have Infrequent Contact With Their Children - James R. Dudley, Professor, University North Carolina, under a grant from Temple University, Family Relations, Vol . 40, No. 3, July 1991
50) "Fathers who spend time with their children teach them values." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991
51) "Fathers and children who maintain close touch through visiting communicate regularly in other ways as well." Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father's Role after Separation - Judith A. Seltzer, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Journal of Marriage and the Family, Vol. 53, No. 1, February 1991
52) "Frequent contact with the father is associated with positive adjustment of the children." The Effect of the Post Divorce Relationship on Paternal Involvement: A Longitudinal Analysis - Constance R. Ahrons, Ph.D., and Richard B. Miller, Ph.D., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 3, July 1993
53) "Fathers play a significant role in terms of adolescent functioning" The Role of Paternal Variables in Divorced and Married Families - Amanda Thomas and Rex Forehand, American Journal of Othopsychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 1993
54) "Males who reported high levels of inter-parental conflict and a good relationship with their fathers were perceived [by their teachers] to have fewer internalizing problems. A similar set of results emerged for the female adolescents" Interparental Conflict, Relationship with the Noncustodial Father, and Adolescent Post-Divorced Adjustment - Gene Brody and Rex Forehand, University of Georgia, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 11, No. 2, April - June 1990
55) "Significant correlations were found between the father's reports of positive relationships with their adolescent offspring and teacher reports of less anxiety/withdrawal on the part of the adolescents." The Role of Paternal Variables in Divorced and Married Families - Amanda Thomas and Rex Forehand, American Journal of Othopsychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 1, January 1993
56) In 1988 divorces filed involving families with children, 64.9% were filed by women, which is down from 71.4% filed by women in 1975; 28.8% were filed by men, which is up from 25.6% in 1975; and 6.3% were filed jointly, which is up from 2.6% in 1975. [National Center for Health Statistics, Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 38, No. 12 (S) 2, May 21, 1991.]
57) WASHINGTON -- In 1970, 12 percent of kids under 18 lived under a single-parent family; in 1995, 36 percent of kids live this way.
Children are most likely to live with a never-married parent (35 percent) as with a divorced, single-parent (37 percent).
DURING THE PAST DECADE, MORE AND MORE CHILDREN ARE LIVING UNDER A SINGLE-PARENT HOUSEHOLD
Two Census Bureau reports -- published each year -- keep up with the trend: - HOUSEHOLD AND FAMILY CHARTERISTICS: MARCH (P20-477),
58) THREE OUT OF TEN MOTHERS ON AFDC BEGAN CHILDBEARING BEFORE AGE 18
WASHINGTON -- Approximately 29 percent of the 3.8 million mothers 50 to 44 years old who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) had their first child before they turned 18, according to Census Bureau _STATISTICAL_BRIEF_ .
Never-married mothers were 48 percent of the mothers in the 15 to 44 year age group on AFDC. The 1.8 million never-married mothers supported 4.2 million children, or an average of 2.4 children per mother.
Entitled "Mothers Who Receive AFDC Payments -- Fertility and Socioeconomic Charateristics," the BRIEF focuses on mothers in the childbearing years.
Covered are mother's age, race and ethnicity, education, and poverty status. It also focuses on foreign-born mothers receiving AFDC.
AFDC mothers tended to have more children than those who did not receive AFDC payments. The AFDC mothers average 2.6 children each compared with 2.1 children born to mothers not receiving AFDC. Altogether, 9.7 million children were dependent on mothers receiving AFDC.
59) Recently completed study by CATO (?) Institute reveals that in 9 States, money received by welfare recipients EXCEEDS the starting salary for a TEACHER!...and in all 50 States, exceeds the minimum wage.
60) As to Old Age Survivors Insurance (the traditional social security) and the Disability Insurance programs (they are reported together for reasons known only to the government). There were 36.5 million recipients in 1992. Of those 25.7 million were retired. Retired men numbered 13.4 million. Retired women numbered 12.2 million. Spouses (read wives) numbered 6.1 million. So men = 13.4 women = 18.3 the rest are children of retired or deceased workers. Another form of social security payment SSI is paid to disabled or blind individuals who earn below $446/month. Almost 60% of the recipients are mentally retarded or mentally disabled. Not separately listed are those disabled by drug addictions. There is also no gender breakdown. So if the cost of maintaining women is higher ( seven years longer support) why doesn't the government charge equitably higher amounts for women in the system than for men. Any reasonable insurance program would base its charges on its costs or payouts. But we see here a hidden mechanism to transfer money from men to women.
61) The Battered Statistic Syndrome by Armin A. Brott -- appeared in the Washington Post, July, 1994 By now, everyone knows about the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. But there's a third victim of these tragic killings: the truth about the prevalence of domestic violence and female victimization, a truth that is daily being maimed almost beyond recognition by the irresponsible use of statistics.
Consider, for example, the wildly varying statements being issued on all sides regarding the number of women who are supposedly beaten by men in the United States. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, for example, estimates that more than half of married women (over 27 million) will experience violence during their marriage, and that over one third (over 18 million) are battered repeatedly every year. Shocked by these statistics--both of which are frequently quoted in the media--I called the NCADV and asked where they came from. Rita Smith, the group's coordinator, told me these figures were only ""estimates.'' From where? ""Based on what we hear out there.'' Out where? Battered women's shelters and other advocacy groups.
Common sense should tell you that asking women at a shelter whether they've been hit would be like asking patrons at McDonald's whether they ever eat fast food. It would be irresponsible and intellectually dishonest to apply those answers to the country as a whole. But when there's a sensational story to run, common sense and intellectual honesty are rarely taken into consideration.
Even those who have a public responsibility to be accurate on these issues sometimes falter. According to Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services, for example, 4 million women are battered each year by their male partners. But where did Shalala get her figure? From a 1993 Harris poll commissioned by the Commonwealth Fund. Two percent of the 2,500 women interviewed said they had been ""kicked, bit, hit with a fist or some other object.'' Apply that to the approximately 55 million women married or living with a man and you get a total of 1.1 million. So where did the other 2.9 million come from? They were women who said they had been ""pushed, grabbed, shoved, or slapped.'' That's a form of abuse, to be sure, but is it what most people would call battering?
By far the worst distortion of the numbers of battered women comes from Miami talk show host Pat Stevens, who appeared on a segment of CNN's Crossfire show called ""OJ on the Air'' in June. Stevens estimated that when adjusted for underreporting, the true number of battered women is 60 million. No one bothered to tell Stevens--or Crossfire's millions of viewers--that 60 million is more than 100% of all the women in this entire country who are currently in relationships with a man. Instead, Stevens' ""estimate'' and the other ""facts'' on battered women all serve to fuel the claims that there's an ""epidemic of domestic violence'' and a ""war against women.''
How many battered women are there? ""Because many feminist activists and researchers have so great a stake in exaggerating the problem and so little compunction about doing so, objective information on battery is very hard to come by,'' writes Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women (Simon & Schuster, 1994). But Murray A. Straus, head of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, and Richard A. Gelles, a sociologist at the University of Rhode Island, who have been tracking spousal abuse for over 20 years, have come up with what are widely believed to be the most accurate estimates available--the National Family Violence Survey (NFVS).
Their Survey, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, found that 84% of American families are not violent. In the 16% of families that do experience violence, the vast majority of that violence takes the form of slapping, shoving, and grabbing. Only 3-4% of all families (a total of about 1.8 million) engage in ""severe'' violence: kicking, punching, or using a weapon.
Moreover, a recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that 44% of ""severe violence'' to wives did not cause any injury, and 31% caused only a slight bruise. Still, Straus and Gelles estimate that about 188,000 women are injured severely enough to require medical attention. That's a horrifying number of victims, but it's a far cry from 4 million, or 18 million, or 60 million.
Another commonly accepted ""truth'' about domestic violence is that 95% of the time, women are the victims and men the perpetrators. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Family Violence Survey--as well as numerous other studies--have found that men are just as likely to be the victims of domestic violence as women. But aren't these women just defending themselves against their more violent partners? Straus and Gelles found that among couples reporting violence, the man struck the first blow in 27% of cases; the woman in 24%. The rest of the time, the violence was mutual, with both partners brawling. The results were the same even when the most severe episodes of violence were analyzed. They were also the same when only the woman's version of the events was considered.
Even more interesting are Straus' findings, released earlier this month, that men's violence against women--even as reported by women--has dropped 43% between 1985 and 1992. Over this same period, in contrast, assaults by women against men increased by about 28%. Straus concludes that ""part of the reason may be that there has been no effort to condemn assault by wives parallel to the effort to condemn assaults by husbands.''
So where did the claim that 95% of domestic violence is initiated by men come from? From the U.S. Department of Justice, which collects data on the number of reports of domestic violence. But as women's rights groups rightfully claim, reports are not always an accurate measure of the severity of the problem. Certainly, some female victims of domestic violence fail to call the police, fearing retaliation by their abusers. But other Justice Department studies have shown that men, too, are reluctant to ask for help, reporting all kinds of violent victimization 32% less frequently than women.
Confessing to being beaten up by another man, however, is a piece of cake compared to admitting being victimized by a woman. After all, men are socialized to ""take it like a man.'' As a result, men tend to report only the most extreme abuse. ""They wouldn't dream of reporting the kind of minor abuse--such as slapping or kicking--that women routinely report,'' says Suzanne Steinmetz, director of the Family Research Institute at Indiana University/Purdue.
Another example of how data on female victimization is distorted, is the claim that ""domestic violence is the most common cause of injury to women.'' The source for this claim is a 1991 study of extremely poor, inner-city African-American women in Philadelphia--which doesn't even find that domestic violence was the leading cause of injury. ""And even if it did,'' says Dr. Jeane Ann Grisso, one of the lead researchers of the study, ""I'd never apply that conclusion to the total population of American women.'' Nevertheless, Grisso's study has been widely cited as proof that there's an epidemic of violence against women.
Some advocates have taken Grisso's study one step further, claiming that as many as 50% of women's hospital emergency-room admissions are the result of ongoing abuse. At the source of this so called fact are several studies done in the 1970's by Evan Stark and Anne Flitcraft, co-directors of the Domestic Violence Training Project at the University of Connecticut. They compiled their data by going through old medical records in urban hospitals and estimating how many women were battered by using what they called an ""index of suspicion.'' Christina Hoff Sommers has analyzed Stark and Flitcraft's methods and writes: ""if a woman was assaulted but the records do not say who hit her, Stark and Flitcraft classify this as a case of "probable' domestic abuse; if she has injuries to her face and torso that are inadequately explained, they classify it as "suggestive of abuse.''' Apparently no one considered the possibility that someone other than a husband or boyfriend might have been responsible for the woman's injuries.
Compare Stark and Flitcraft's results to those reached in a 1992 survey of 397 emergency rooms in California. Nurses were asked to estimate the number of patients per month who have been diagnosed with injuries caused by domestic violence. Estimates ranged from two per month for small hospitals to eight per month for large ones. The California study concluded that the number of perceived domestic violence victims was so low because many health professionals are poorly trained in recognizing domestic violence. That may be correct, but it's doubtful that it would account for the enormous difference between a handful of domestic violence cases a month and the claim that such cases account for 50% of all women's emergency room admissions.
There's no question that many women who have been severely battered are afraid to leave their batterers--either because they are economically dependent, or because they fear further abuse. In one of their ""fact sheets,'' the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence tells us that women who leave their batterers ""increase by 75% their chances of getting killed.'' When I asked her to explain that figure, the NCADV's Rita Smith admitted that that statistic isn't true at all, and that the Coalition has no concrete evidence of the effect--if any--leaving a violent partner will have on a woman. I then asked Ms. Smith whether it bothered her that her organization was responsible for spreading an imaginary statistic. ""Not really,'' she said. ""We think the chance of getting killed goes up and we're just trying to make a point here.''
In a very small number of tragic cases, abusive men do kill their partners. But women aren't the only ones killed in domestic disputes. A Justice Department study released earlier this month showed that 41 percent of spousal murder victims were male. Battered women's advocates claim that those women who kill their husbands do so only out of self-defense. But in an extensive study of women imprisoned for murder, Coramae Richey Mann, a researcher at the Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University/Bloomington found that only 59% claimed self-defense and that 30% had previously been arrested for violent crimes.
As for the perception that women who murder their husbands are treated harshly by the justice system, Dr. Mann found that few female domestic homicide offenders receive prison sentences, and that those who do rarely serve more than four or five years. These findings were are confirmed by a recent Los Angeles Times article. The article, which quoted Justice Department sources, reported that women who kill their husbands were acquitted in 12.9% of the cases, while husbands who kill their wives were acquitted only 1.4% of the time. In addition, women convicted of killing their husbands receive an average sentence of only six years, while male spousal killers got 17 years.
Why are these statistics being battered? ""The higher your figures for abuse, the more likely you'll reap rewards, regardless of your methodology,'' says Dr. Sommers. Those who create and disseminate inflated statistics are often invited to testify before Congress, they're written about in the New York Times, and some even get to be interviewed on Oprah.
Not everyone who manipulates data does so for personal gain. Some are simply trying to get people to sit up and pay attention to the plight of battered women--a truly important goal. But to do so, they've created a false epidemic. If advocates confined themselves to the truth--that 3-4% of women are battered each year--domestic violence might still be regarded as the unfortunate behavior of a few crazy men. But if enough people are led to believe that 19 or 50 or 100 percent of women are ""brutalized,'' the only logical conclusion can be that all men are dangerous and all women need to be protected.
Is it OK to lie shamelessly if your cause is a noble one? Is half a solution better than no solution at all? On the one hand, lying about the extent of the problem of domestic violence has had some very positive effects, opening the public's eyes as well as their wallets. Battered women are now the hottest story in town and Congress is about to pass the $1.8 billion Violence Against Women Act which, among other things, will fund toll-free hotlines, battered women's shelters, and education and training programs. It's certainly possible that none of this would be happening if advocacy groups stuck strictly to facts.
On the other hand, even supposedly harmless ""puffing'' can have been some extremely negative consequences. Inaccurate discussions about domestic violence, for example, can quickly turn into smear campaigns in which almost every man who hasn't exhibited his natural vicious and misogynist tendencies yet, is expected to do so at any moment. Members of Congress, seeing a golden opportunity to appease a large block of voters, have chosen a quick solution rather than attempting to correct their constituents' misapprehensions. The Violence Against Women Act, for example, doesn't devote a nickel to the same kind of special protection for men, even though males make up 75% of all murder victims and 61% of the victims of all violent crime.
Women, too, are being hurt by the lies. Having fought so hard to be taken seriously and treated as equals, women are again finding themselves portrayed as weak and helpless--exactly the stereotypes that have been traditionally used to justify discriminating against them. As the author and feminist critic Katherine Dunn writes in the current issue of The New Republic, ""The denial of female aggression is a destructive myth. It robs an entire gender of a significant spectrum of power, leaving women less than equal with men and effectively keeping them "in their place' and under control.''
Worst of all, the inflation of domestic violence statistics produces a kind of ratchet effect. The same people who complain that no one listens if they don't exaggerate only find it that much more difficult to get people's attention the next time around--which in turn seems to justify another round of exaggeration. Eventually, the public either stops listening altogether, or finds the statistics too absurd to believe. And when we're trying to alleviate the tragedy of domestic violence, the last thing you want anyone to do is laugh.
Can any of you gentlemen point me in the direction of documentation that could help me investigate and refute and/all of these claims if they prove to be false? The environment around here e (in Ann Arbor) is *very* hostile towards Men's Rights primarily because these sorts of stats go unchallenged.
Hope this helps --------------------------------------------- Armin A. Brott
62) For instance, using one state as an example (yeah, yeah, yeah, just one state, but the trend is the same in other states):
As to the welfare issue, might we quote from the Congressional testimony of David Burgess, MSPH (Ways and Means Committee, 1995): "... welfare should not be a substitute for father, instead father should be a substitute for welfare."
Consider what this means. Single father homes constitute 4% of households, single mother homes constitute 37%, and two parent homes constitute 59%. Simple algebra illustrates that the children of single mother households are 8.5 times more likely to end up in juvenile prisons than children of single father households.
BUT -- this illustrates that the children of single father households are 35% less likely than the children of two parent households to end up in juvenile prisons.
63) The US Office of Technology Assessment commissioned Howard Dubowitz, through a health program to evaluate child abuse. This report dated May 1987 entitled "Child Maltreatment in the US" points out that:
The increase in mother-headed households and the corresponding decrease in father-headed households parallelled a 158% increase in child abuse and neglect in the 8 years from 1976 to 1984. This is evidence of a problem from father-absence. The study concludes that 2.3% of sexual abuse of girls was by biological fathers, and 17% by stepfathers. In other words, girls in custody of divorced and remarried mothers were 7.4 times more likely to be sexually abused, as those who remain in father-headed households. It reports 37% of child maltreatment occurred in mother-headed households, versus 23% in all US families. It reported that 44,700 children were sexually abused in 1979 which was .07% of all children below the age of 18 years.
HYPOTHETICAL ANALYSIS If the divorce rate were to be reduced by 90% from 1.2 million divorces per year to 120,000 per year, at 1.8 children per divorce over 10 years there would be 21.6 million fewer children of divorce in the next decade. Since 92% of custody awards are currently to mothers, 19.9 million children who would have grown up in mother-headed households would instead remain in 2-parent families. The remaining 120,000 divorces per year over 10 years which persist represent 2.16 million children. If these children were to be placed in the custody of their fathers rather than their mothers and step-fathers, a total of 23.76 million children who remain in father-headed households who otherwise would have been in single-mother households. This by itself would reduce sexual abuse of girls by [23,760,000 child x 50% female x .07% abuse rate x(17% - 2.3%)], OR 1,222 girls.
Placing 23.76 million children in custody of fathers, who otherwise would have been in mother-headed or step-father headed households, also reduces the other 80.7% of sexual abuse of girls. If the presence of a father acts as a deterrent to 50% of these abusers, then [23,760,000 child x 50% female x .07% abuse rate x 80.7%], OR 6,711 fewer girls would be sexually abused.
64)Per Judith Sherven, Ph.D. and James Sniechowski, Ph.D. WOMEN ARE RESPONSIBLE, TOO
Forty-one percent spousal murders are committed by wives.
The 1985 National Family Violence Survey, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and supported by many other surveys, revealed that women and men were physically abusing one another in roughly equal numbers. Wives reported they were more often the aggressors. Using weapons to make up for physical disadvantage, they were not just fighting back.
While 1.8 women annually suffered one or more assaults from a husband or boyfriend, 2 million men are assaulted by a wife or girlfriend, according to the 1986 study. The study also found that 54% of all violence termed "severe" was by women.
The Journal for the National Association of Social Workers found in 1986 that among teen-agers who date, girls were violent more frequently than boys.
Mothers abuse their children at a rate approaching twice that of fathers according to state child protective service agencies surveyed by the Children's Rights Coalition.
Because men have been taught to "take it like a man" and are ridiculed when they reveal they have been battered by a woman, women are nine times more likely to report their abusers to authorities.
The women's movement claims it's goal to be equal rights for women. If that is so, then women must share responsibility for their behavior and their contribution to domestic violence. Otherwise we remain in a distortion that overshadows the truth. Only the truth will show us the way out of the epidemic of violence that is destroying our families and our nation.
In defending their point of view they are often disingenuous. They will rely on a domestic-violence researcher, like Murray Straus, who, in a widely-used 1986 study, reported that "a man's assault on a woman is far more likely to cause serious injury."
However, they do not reveal that it was Straus who also found, in that same study, that "women are about as violent within the family as men," and furthermore that "violence by wives has not been an object of public concern. It has not been defined as a problem."
Rather than face the dilemma squarely, feminists classify references to battered males as backlash, relegating the issue to the status of an aggravating diversion and describe the men as "whiners." With that, the real injury done to men becomes irrelevant.
65) FEMALE-HOUSEHOLDER FAMILIES MOST LIKELY TO STAY POOR, CENSUS BUREAU SAYS
Persons in female-householder families were the most likely demographic group to be chronically poor, according to the results of a survey released today by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau.
One in five female-householder families (19.5 percent) reported income below the poverty threshold during the 24-month period of 1991-92. That was more than any other age, race, or Hispanic-origin, employment, disability, or family status group discussed in the report.
The finding is reported in "Dynamics of Economic Well-Being: Poverty, 1991 to 1993" (P70-45), based on data collected in the Survey of Income and Program Participation.
Compared to persons in female-householder families, 1.3 percent of persons in married-couple families were poor for all 24 months in 1991-92.
The median time spent in poverty during this period for persons in female-householder families was 6.4 months compared with only 3.9 months for persons in married-couple families.
The Office of Management and Budget determines the official poverty index for families based on such factors as family size, family income, number of children under 18 years old, and the consumer price index. Chronic poverty refers to a situation in which families stay below the poverty cutoff every month during the 1991 to 1992 period.
66) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:--Some Things Have Always Been Equal.-- by John A. Rossler
The serious examination of violence in the family began in the mid '70s with studies by Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz that challenged many of our preconceived notions of violent men. Also challenged was the stereotype, the anathema of feminists, of the "little women," docile and passive compared to her husband. Whereas these original researchers suspected violence was a major problem in American families, consistent with our violent society, surprising was its high incidence: at least one act of violence occurred in 16% of families in the last year and 28% since the beginning of the marriages ("Societal Change and Change in Family Violence from 1975 to 1985 As Revealed by Two National Studies," Straus and Gelles, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 8/86.)
More surprising was the virtual equality of offenses by wives to husbands. Wives committed 48.5% of all violent occurrences, and 54.8% of all violence termed "severe." In her 197778 Victimology article, "The Battered Husband Syndrome," (p.501) Steinmetz (U. of Delaware) reveals "The data from the nationally representative sample (Straus et al., 1977)... found wives slightly higher in almost all categories (of violence) except pushing and shoving."
"Gathered data plus insights gained from in-depth interviews, suggest that women are as likely to select physical violence to resolve marital conflicts as are men." (Ibid., p. 505)
67) Report to the Chairman, Committee on the Budget, U.S. Senate BUDGET ISSUES - GDP ANALYSIS BROADENS BUDGET DEBATE GAO/AIMD-94-41
As our analysis of the data shows, the United States in 1970 and 1989 ranked last among the nine countries in gross fixed capital formation as a share of GDP
Health care consumption presents a sharp contrast to the findings about gross fixed capital formation: health care consumption in the United States has grown dramatically as a percentage of GDP
The United States ranked second among seven nations\3 in both 1970 and 1987 in resources devoted to education although the differences between the various countries is generally small
Economic Allocations Across Countries (1990 or most recent year for which data are available, percent of GDP) Transportation Non resid Resi Communicati Health Defense Educa consump Other Country Year ential dential cations tion tion ------- ------ ----- ----- ----------- ----- ------ ---- ------ ---- Australia 1990 17 5 10 8 2 5 54 0 Canada 1987 14 7 11 8 2 6 50 1 France 1988 15 5 11 8 3 5 51 1 Germany 1989 15 5 9 8 2 4 50 6 Italy 1990 15 5 8 7 2 5 57 1 Japan 1990 26 6 6 6 1 3 50 1 Sweden 1989 16 5 10 8 2 5 53 1 U.K. 1990 16 3 11 6 4 4 58 -2 U.S. 1989 12 4 11 11 6 6 50 -1
68) MEN'S RESOURCES HOT-LINE - NCFM maintains a hot-line for men, who can call about any type of problem facing them. The number is (516) 794-5151.
Consider this: Women attempt suicide four times as often as men, but men succeed three times as often as women. Men out number women 25 to one in the prison system. Two thirds of all grade repeaters are boys, women out live men by eight years (largely due to issues involving life style), 80% of the deaths of boys between the ages of 15 and 24 are caused by accidents, suicide and homicide (in that order) - Note: These statistics are not the current year, but these facts have remained very consistent for a long period of time.
69) Even in cases where both parents agree to joint custody, 33% are awarded to the custody of the mother anyway, and even in cases where both parents agree to father custody, 13% are awarded to the custody of the mother. [Anne Mitchell, Attorney, single mother, founder FREE]
70) As to Old Age Survivors Insurance (the traditional social security) and the Disability Insurance programs (they are reported together for reasons known only to the government). There were 36.5 million recipients in 1992. Of those 25.7 million were retired. Retired men numbered 13.4 million. Retired women numbered 12.2 million. Spouses (read wives) numbered 6.1 million. So men = 13.4 women = 18.3 the rest are children of retired or deceased workers. Another form of social security payment SSI is paid to disabled or blind individuals who earn below $446/month. Almost 60% of the recipients are mentally retarded or mentally disabled. Not separately listed are those disabled by drug addictions. There is also no gender breakdown. So if the cost of maintaining women is higher ( seven years longer support) why doesn't the government charge equitably higher amounts for women in the system than for men. Any reasonable insurance program would base its charges on its costs or payouts. But we see here a hidden mechanism to transfer money from men to women. Dr. Jerry Lester
What you present here is a vital piece of information which is CRUCIAL to solving our social pathology, which is due in part to gender inequality in productivity, earnings, and federal spending. In this era of feminists' demands for gender equality, they should get it. And it cannot be equitable to propose that such payments be divided proportionately to the mere population of each gender (e.g., if women are 52% of the population then they should receive 52% of the benefits), IF their proportionate CONTRIBUTION is significantly smaller in the first place.
Rather than dividing federal funds by POPULATION, such funding should be divided by CONTRIBUTION. If men earn 65% of the income in the country, but because of the graduated income tax pay 75% to 85% of the taxes, then true gender equality demands that men as a group receive 75% to 85% of the benefits. Assuming that the lower (75%) figure is accurate, then the $360 Billion welfare tab must be reapportioned as follows:
IF men pay more than 75% of the taxes, then even MORE than $234 Billion must be shifted from females to males to arrive at an equitable proportion. This is about $3,600 per working male per year, or $108,000 per working male over his 30 year career. And if this amount, rather than subsidizing welfare queens year after year, had been successfully invested at an average rate of 6% per year, it would now be worth more than $300,000. If each of the 65 million male US workers had been able to KEEP this money rather than forking it over to Uncle Sam, and if each one had saved it in a modest savings plan, Personal Savings, rather than being $212 Billion, would now be $19,712 Billion (i.e., more than $19 Trillion).
Any other scenario would not represent "equality", and we want "equality"? Can our social pathology be reduced with this lopsided inequality? It would be pure unadulterated sexism to propose that it can. But clearly this is more than an "equality" issue. Personal Savings is the lifeblood of any democracy, and we don't have any. With a Public Debt of $4.8 Trillion on which interest payments would sop up our total Personal Savings in several months, "Personal Savings" is just an accounting error. And fatherlessness would not be such a major problem if those who earned it were able to keep and invest it. The fact that females live 7 years longer than males and cost more in medicare, or collect 58% of Old Age Survivors Insurance, would be remedied with this gender equitable solution. [Editor's Note]
70) This data is from "Advance Report of Final Divorce Statistics, 1989 and 1990," National Center for Health Statistics, Sally C. Clarke In 1990, from 19 reporting states, percent of custody:
As we know "joint custody" often means maternal custody in practice. So a safe estimate on the basis of these figures is that mothers get custody between 80 to 85 percent of the time. Note that fathers get custody only 8.7 percent of the time.
71) Statistics from Governor Wilson's Focus On Fathers Summit -- Burbank, California -- June 13, 1995
Wade Horn, National Fatherhood Initiative
Divorce has severe consequences on children. We must change the way we look at it. We are running out of time because soon majority of children will be raised in single-parent "families".
WE MUST STOP PUNISHING MEN. A woman on welfare who marries a man on minimum wage takes a 30% income reduction. WE MUST ENFORCE PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT. The issue is father contact, not money. [Standing Ovation]
Sherman Block, Sheriff, Los Angeles County
Tony Chipelow, Casey Foundation
Patrick Fagan, Heritage Foundation
Reginald Brass, Founder, My Child Says Daddy
Timothy Johnson, 13, Big Brother Program
Wolfgang Hirczy, Senior Policy Advisor, FREE
Officer Frank Dipaol, LAPolice Department
Eloise Anderson, Director, Dept. Social Services
David Blankenhorn, National Fatherhood Initiative
Ken Canfield, Pres. National Center for Fatherhood
Governor Pete Wilson, California
The Governor promised a review of the judicial system and a "judges' college" to make sure the judicial system does not remain a part of the problem.
73) Children who grow up without a father present, even when adjustments are made for income, are 75% more likely to need professional assistance for emotional problems, twice as likely to repeat a grade of school, and more likely to suffer a wide variety of other disorders including anxiety, peer conflict, and hyperactivity. [1 National Center for Health Statistics, June 1991. Study of 17,100 children in various family structures. Children living with a mother and step-father fared worse on most indicators.]
74) Cathy Young states rates of domestic violence are roughly equal between spouses.