Jun 16, 2017

Why men harass women on the street


A study from UN Women and Promundo, an international research group, takes a look at the motivations behind why men harass women in the street, drawing its data from four Middle Eastern countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and the Palestinian region, per NPR's Malaka Gharib:

One striking revelation is that education, specifically being highly-educated, plays a major role:

  • "Young men with secondary-level education were more likely to sexually harass women than their older, less-educated peers."
  • "Around half the men they surveyed, for example, said they felt stressed, depressed or ashamed to face their families. Perhaps harassing women is a way to assert their power," suggests Gary Barker, Promundo CEO and co-author of the report.
  • "These young men 'have high aspirations for themselves and aren't able to meet them,' he says. 'So they [harass women] to put them in their place. They feel like the world owes them.'"

Other findings from the analysis:"[O]f the 4,830 men surveyed, between 31 percent in Lebanon to 64 percent in Egypt admitted to having sexually harassed women and girls in public, from ogling to stalking to rape.""Barker and (co-author Shereen) El Feki suspect that factors contributing to the behavior include the region's high unemployment rates, political instability and pressure to supply their family's daily needs.""The harassment is also a way for young men to 'get their kicks' says El Feki. When the men in the survey were asked why they sexually harassed women in public, the vast majority, up to 90 percent in some countries, said they did it for fun and excitement."Global effect: The study's authors also acknowledge that, although their analysis pulls specifically on countries across the Middle East, female harassment on the street is a worldwide issue and motivations are similar motivations for men of different cultures.

Why it matters: "We know quite a lot about women and girls but nothing about men and boys" when it comes to harassment, said El Feki. The authors hope understanding the motivations behind such acts can offer insight into how to prevent them.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.