In these 34 states, police officers can legally have sex with detainees
Should police officers be able to get away with having sex with detainees?
Should police officers be able to get away with having sex with detainees? That seems like a no-brainer—no, they shouldn't. Cops have badges, guns and—at least presumptively—the law on their side. Detainees may have inalienable rights but, because they are being held against their will, often feel powerless and anxious. In those circumstances, there is no way to distinguish consent from coercion.
For prison guards, probation officers and other professions with an inbuilt imbalance of authority, nationwide prohibitions against sexual contact between officials and their captive clients are in place. Not so for police officers. In these 35 states, cops caught having sex with detainees can claim consent was given. Often, the courts agree.
This map, produced by Buzzfeed, was prompted by the story of Anna Chambers. One September night last year, two plainclothes NYPD detectives sniffed out that she and two male friends were smoking weed. The boys were sent off, Anna was handcuffed and led into the back of a police van. She claims she was told to undress and raped by the two officers.
DNA collected at the hospital after the incident matches that of the two detectives, who have since left the NYPD and have been charged with rape. Despite material evidence of sexual intercourse, this is not an open-and-shut case. There is no federal provision against police officers having sex with persons in their custody, nor does the State of New York have any such law on its books.
Considering the evidence, that is a glaring omission. Reports by the Cato Institute indicate that sexual assault is the second-most reported form of police misconduct in the U.S., after excessive use of force.
In 2015, after a year-long investigation, the Associated Press revealed that in the six-year period from 2009 to 2014, about 550 police officers had lost their badges for rape, sodomy and other types of sexual assault; and a further 440 for possession of child pornography and other sex crimes; or sexual misconduct such as propositioning citizens, sexting juveniles, or having consensual but prohibited sex while on duty.
That number was “unquestionably an undercount because it represents only those officers whose licenses to work in law enforcement were revoked”, wrote the AP. “Not all states take such action”.
The perpetrators included state and local police, sheriff's deputies, prison guards and school resource officers (no federal officers were included in the survey). Victims included motorists, schoolchildren, women in legal trouble, police interns, and prison inmates. About one-third of the de-certifications resulted from incidents with juveniles.
The AP article cited a 2011 report by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, suggesting the job itself creates both the opportunity for sexual misconduct by police officers – given their power, independence, irregular hours and interaction with people deemed less credible – as well as offering them cover after the fact, via the loyalty that impels officers to shield each other from accusations.
Warning that “tolerance at any level will invite more of the same conduct”, the IACP recommended that policies specifically address sexual misconduct by serving police officers, as well as perform more stringent screenings of candidate police officers.
Having recognised the loophole and its deleterious effects, a number of states have taken steps to close it – albeit fairly recently in some cases: Oregon in 2005, Alaska in 2013 and Arizona in 2015). The other 13 are Washington, California, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
In the other 34 states, plus DC, police officers can claim they were 'seduced' into having sex by detainees. It is not unlikely that the defendants in the Anna Chambers case will use that line of defense when the case goes to court in the next few months.
In quite a few previous cases, that strategy has paid off: since 2006, at least 26 officers have been acquitted or have had charges dropped based on the 'consent defense'.
Meanwhile, the Anna Chambers case is spurring change – no doubt also linked to the outrage and revelations following the Weinstein case. The hashtag #policetoo has started to trend. Nationwide, more than 20 police officers have resigned or were fired because of alleged sexual misconduct. And a New York City councillor is proposing a bill to make sex between a police officer and anyone in their custody illegal in New York City.
None of which changes the fact that the defense attorneys in the Anna Chambers rape case are dredging her past and social media posts for 'dirt' and will likely call her testimony in question in cross-examination, in line with the defendants' current claim that there was “no non-consensual sexual encounter”.
Strange Maps #885
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Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
Dominique Crenn, the only female chef in America with three Michelin stars, joins Big Think Live.
Having been exposed to mavericks in the French culinary world at a young age, three-star Michelin chef Dominique Crenn made it her mission to cook in a way that is not only delicious and elegant, but also expressive, memorable, and true to her experience.
New experiments find weird quantum activity in supercold gas.
Quantum Mechanics, Onions, and a Theory of Everything<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="036ae7b8dd661df2d125a3421a0299ba"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bcVruA0AJ-o?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Researchers say that moral self-licensing occurs "because good deeds make people feel secure in their moral self-regard."
Books about race and anti-racism have dominated bestseller lists in the past few months, bringing to prominence authors including Ibram Kendi, Ijeoma Oluo, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Robin DiAngelo.