Rape Culture Around the World

The first step in discussing any matter of social importance is to quantify it. This invites attack when applied to a topic as taboo as rape and sexual violence, but that is if anything all the more reason to do it.

International statistics on rape per 100,000 people are all but useless because – unlike, say, homicides – the definition of rape is so incredibly culturally mediated. I am sorry but it is implausible that even today’s Sweden Yes! has a rape rate 500 times that of Pakistan under any even minimally equivalent definition of the term. If you need to be explained why then you are a lost cause and are advised to stop reading now to avoid getting triggered.

To get something resembling reality we need to look at victimization surveys. To be fair, definitions of physical and sexual abuse presumably differ between countries where the husband has a legal right to physically discipline his wife (or wives) and countries where pressuring a non-working female spouse into following a budget has been criminalized as “coercive control.”

But things are now at least broadly comparable.

violence-against-women-who-2005One 2005 WHO study surveyed physical and sexual violence rates against women in Brazil, Ethiopia, Japan, Namibia, Peru, Samoa, Serbia, Thailand, and Tanzania during (a) the past 12 months and (b) ever. Of course as a WHO study they aren’t allowed to make any realistic conclusions – they tamely ascribed the comparatively very low rates of violence against women in Japan and Serbia to “different levels of economic development” (Serbia in particular being well known for its prosperity having been enriched by NATO bombs just 6 years earlier).

Only a very small (~2-3%?) percentage of Japanese and Serbia women reported being subjected to violence by their partners in the past year, although significantly more – ~15% in Japan, ~20% in Serbia – reported it for their entire lives (this despite Serbia being at war for most of the 1990s). In the African countries, 20%-50% of women reported being subjected to violence in the past year alone, and 40%-almost 70% during their lifetimes. Latin America and Thailand were generally in between Japan/Serbia and Africa.

It appears that there is a threshold level somewhere around the 25-30% mark of women reporting any experience of partner violence ever. Any lower, and the yearly risk of violence tends to be in the low single digits of a percentage; significantly higher, and it quickly ballons to 10%, 20%, or even more.

This is admittedly a small sample, but this was remedied by the latest WHO report in 2013 on Global and regional estimates of violence against women.


According to this report, about a third of women across the world have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner. The distribution was much as those of us who make a habit of noticing might have expected: Consistently high in Africa, the Middle East, and South and South-East Asia; much lower in East Asia and Europe; and the Americas in between.

They also had a more detailed breakdown by region and by the prevalence of (a) intimate partner violence and (b) non-partner sexual violence.


It is a mixed picture to be sure, but one pattern is clear: Rates of partner violence tend to be low in East Asia, Western Europe, and North America; middling in Central and East Europe, and in much of Latin America; and high in South Asia, Africa, and – yes – the Middle East. (Note also that 3 out of the 10 non-high income European countries included in the WHO figures for Europe are majority Islamic: Albania, Azerbaijan, Turkey. This might have inflated the Eastern European average by a bit. Without a more detailed national breakdown, it’s impossible to say.)

Although in terms of non-partner sexual violence the Middle East appears safe, this has a trivially simple explanation:



In short, there are reasons why women in the Middle East, South Asia, and apparently (if to a smaller extent) in Central America are segregated and kept out of the workforce. The rare stupid foreign woman who insists on making an exception is quickly schooled in local mores (just Google search “Tahrir” and “female journalist”).

That is because these societies – the ones European elites are importing en masse – have evolved their own set of solutions to the issues they have with violence against women.

Laugh at her as you will, but in a way the feminist/Green mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, is far more reasonable in her advice to women in an Islamizing country that they would do well to self-segregate themselves – keep men at an arm’s distance, stay in groups, avoid public gatherings – than her critics, the blank slate true believers, who imagine that a Pakistani youth plucked out of his village will automatically start behaving like a European when transposed to a German metropolis.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Bies Podkrakowski says

    Henriette Reker is reasonable?

    This is unexpected view on the situation, but…

    Yes she is. In this new, improved Germany her actions and advices are much more sound than I expected.

    Thats terrible, but this is the world Germans are making for themselves. And I was making fun from the poor, insane feminist trying her best in the new insane Germany. Sorry Henriette, you really are a light unto your nation. Keep up the good work!

  2. About the Pakistani youth comment, I would add something that you are probably aware of but that is not mentioned in the article. People are not entirely dumb; whether the migrant from a culture prone to violence against women checks himself or lets himself go depends to some extent on their estimate of how likely they are to be punished and how desirable it is to rapidly integrate into the local milieu. For example, I would wager (without any data obviously) that if Syrian refugees arrive in small numbers in a very well-policed East Asian country and are explicitly told (by earlier migrants, first and foremost; and by everyone else they meet) that the local Nipponese police (I am NOT referring to actually-existing Japan, whose police are actually thought of as something of a soft touch) treats criminals VERY harshly and tends to “find their man”, and is never told that he has a right to rape Nipponese women because Nippon is responsible for all his woes…well, that man is very likely to behave rather better than the average ethnic-Nipponese-trash living in the neighborhood. In ALL the “better behaved” countries, the local underclass regularly beats women under their control, and especially so when drunk.
    But this newfound code of good behavior does not apply to the bride he may import later from back home. SHE may get it bad. I would wager (again, without data, but with multiple anecdotes known to me) that girls from back home brought to marry working class migrants in Nipponia will be mistreated at rates that may be even higher than girls back home (though may or may not be higher than those of the local underclass).. Actual physical beating may be deterred by fear of the Nipponese police, but barely so. Girls will know their place, or will face a lot of disciplining. Since they too are not dumb, and the messaging is clear and is reinforced by the in-laws of all description, most will not need to be actually beaten.
    On the other hand, upper class educated migrants will have my head for even imagining that such a scenario exists.

  3. Random thoughts that came to me after this comment:
    1. Is there some way to distinguish between violence against women in the streets and violence at home? Is it possible that domestic violence (which is most of the violence in all of the above stats) is NOT that different between migrants and local Europeans living in the same (mostly underclass) neighborhoods? This would seem to be the anecdotal impression certainly (given all the accounts of “he comes home drunk and beats me up” found in ethnic European literature). What is likely to be very different is the value-set about assaulting women on the street. People from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East (but not necessarily from SE Asia?) come from societies that implicitly accept that women are prone to being attacked if they are caught in the open without protection from males guardians (and so, when they are out like that, are “asking for it”) and have public behavior codes that make such situations unlikely by teaching women to stay away from such situations (not work with strange men, not walk alone at night, etc etc). Add to that the widespread belief (taught, like most modern beliefs, first and foremost by Europeans) that “Europeans are responsible for whatever bad state you are in” and it is not difficult to see why gangs of young migrants would convince themselves that they are not breaking any moral code by assaulting that woman in the subway station. Thus enlarging the circle of possible attackers beyond the usual percentage of inherently criminal/violent/sociopathic individuals.

    1. It is very likely that older fresh migrants are actually more respectful of authority and “law and order” than the average underclass citizen of the host country. It is the younger males (and especially the second generation kids) who have fully imbibed the victimhood-revenge-superiority package.
    2. That people in the situation that exists would imbibe/generate such a package of beliefs is perfectly in line with what we know of humans and human nature (and not specific to Africans or South Asians in some genetic sense). i.e. a different set of social policies, educational policies, expectations etc would tilt this situation in a different direction (though only if numbers were relatively low?). But given the current state of sociology etc, this is exactly what is not likely to happen. The remedies applied will be ineffective because they are based on false models of what is happening.
      Something like that. These are random thoughts, not well thought out analyses.

    From an (imaginary) olympian height, all of which is human, all too human.

  4. Razib Khan says

    in supporting what omar says, when i was young my parents bemoaned with some ambivalence about how harsh american authorities could be on child and wife beating. not being stupid they refrained for these activities. it was clear their own parents had not been abstainers, and as i said, they were not nearly as condemnatory (they’ve been in this country for 35 years so i’m probably speaking in past tense from what i can tell as they’ve ‘evolved’).

  5. Social media complaints forced it into being a story and major investigation against the will of the media and police who were present but did not dare do anything except enforce fireworks safety. . Journalism is the most competitive occupation there is, and I expect senior German police commanders have pensions second to none.

    The German liberal establishment / authorities will see this publicity about immigrants sexually assaulting women as proof that men assault women, but only the attacks by immigrant men get paid attention to.

    Expect the media to inject racial balance through a deluge of front page stories about German men raping German women and immigrant women (if there are any such stories to be found). German police will be encouraging women nationwide to report rapes and three guesses which cases will be prosecuted on the most serious charges.

  6. “In short, there are reasons why women in the Middle East, South Asia, and apparently (if to a smaller extent) in Central America are segregated and kept out of the workforce”

    This is basically incorrect regarding India. Workforce participation of women is high especially in rural agricultural areas (even if not credited), and in urban higher income occupations. Economically, it would be impossible to farm and survive in rural India without working women.

    This should not mean to imply that violence against women in India is small. The idea that they are segregated out of the workforce is laughable, and occurs only for the highest income castes, and some significant extent, North Indian Muslims. Segregation of gender is not the driver for violence; it is the religion, caste and culture, and lack of education.

  7. Workforce participation is similarly high in rural pakistan (and rising in urban Pakistan as well), but that does not mean they take no precautions. They move in groups, avoid isolated spots, use male guardians in some situations, cover themselves, etc …and they still get groped and ogled and occasionally raped (though they would be foolish to report it if not seriously hurt or publicly seen…in all other situations, as you of course know, they will prefer to hide the fact).

  8. well, that man is very likely to behave rather better than the average ethnic-Nipponese-trash living in the neighborhood. In ALL the “better behaved” countries, the local underclass regularly beats women under their control, and especially so when drunk.

    I don’t know that this is true of the native underclass in developed countries. At any rate, what’s the basis for your suggestion that the native underclass in developed countries is just as prone to wantonly sexually assault women in public en masse?

  9. What is likely to be very different is the value-set about assaulting women on the street. People from Africa, South Asia and the Middle East (but not necessarily from SE Asia?) come from societies that implicitly accept that women are prone to being attacked if they are caught in the open without protection from males guardians

    Gang sexual assaults against women in public suggest a different degree or kind of aggression and temperament than domestic abuse.

    Unless there were tendencies to sexually assault women in public, the mere belief that women are prone to being assaulted should not result in attacks.

  10. So given that chavs/working class Irish and the Merkel youth beat up their girlfriends/children/spouses at the about same rate as you as implying what’s so bad about accepting the Merkel youth, given that they will just blend in with the existing white trash population.

  11. How promiscous are white women compared to urban Chinese, Korean, or Japanese women?

  12. There is a bit of difference between India/China and Pakistan. Rice farming and very tiny plots with small amounts of mechanization means women are as omnipresent as men in farming, urban/rural construction, etc. The gradient of female participation is high in Punjab and increases from Indo Gangetic plain to the south (and onto SriLanka) and east. Women walk around uncovered without being worried about ogling being groped etc. Many of the female issues in India are in Delhi/Haryana/UP region where clannishness is stronger than caste considerations. The point in my comment was that female participation in the workforce is not correlated to ugliness against women. Experience on Pakistan (or even Jatland/UP) does not provide insights for all of India. We know of thousands of Indian and Srilankan women working alone in the middle east and not significantly impacted (except a few cases). The actions towards women are not created by segregation, but by what is taught to the men by families, religion and culture.

  13. I think I specifically noted this exact difference. Native “Nipponese-trash” may indeed beat wives and girlfriends when drunk, but their public behavior is still better. Culture, expectation, messaging (explicit and implicit) from the media and other sources, policing, etc.. all these matter.

  14. Sorry to burst your WHO balloon Anatoly Karlin.

    Your source missed the world’s two largest ‘rape cultures’ – India followed by United States. According to women rights groups – In India a woman is raped every 30 seconds, and in United States that crime is committed every 70 seconds.

    India’s rape culture can be found all over Indian society – among ordinary people to high-ranking officials. For example, The Indian Express, reported on June 14, 2013, that wife of an Indian Navy Lt. Commander had accused her husband with forcing her to get “sexually involved” with his senior officers (as a bribe for his promotion, I suppose). She is holder of a MBA degree.

    In November 2012, a 13-year-old “untouchable” girl was gangraped by several individuals in Indian state of Punjab. She remembered the rapists but the local police refused to investigate the incident.

    In December 2012, a 23-year-old para-medical student was gang-raped by six people in a moving bus in New Delhi. The girl later died of her injuries.

    Last month, a 5-year-old girl was abducted, raped and tortured by a 20-year-old Manoj Kumar. He kept her in his room for 40 hours and then left her locked inside the room. Fortunately, a neighbor of the rapist her heard her cries and rescued her.

    In April 2013, a 20-year-old was abducted from New Delhi. She was beaten and drugged before being gang-raped by five unidentified persons for a week inside a hut in Hindu holy city of Haridwar.

    Some Indian social experts blame India’s rape culture on country’s gender ratio, imbalanced by distorted by sex selection in favor of baby boys. In 2011, only 914 girls were born per every thousand of newborn boys whereas 30 years ago the ratio was 962:1000. Currently, India has 37 million more men than women….


  15. Anatoly Karlin says

    Your stories about how Columbus found mosques when he came to America are far more interesting and entertaining.

  16. He writes an awful lot of rubbish on these threads, but fair’s fair – he’s right about northern India.

  17. reiner Tor says

    I first saw him at The Occidental Observer, apparently he hangs around white nationalist and alt right sites to spread Islam there. I for one don’t envy this task he gave himself. Trying to convince white nationalists to choose Hillary over Trump might be a more fruitful endeavor.

  18. Anatoly Karlin says

    Though there’s a few “Islam will tame western women” types in nationalist and alt right circles – Hitler was famously pro-Mohammedan, for that matter – so I don’t think his cause is 100% as hopeless as it might first appear TBH.

  19. It was easy to be pro-Muslim before mass Muslim immigration, just as it was easy for the Puritans to be pro-Jewish.