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Who’s Lying, Who’s Self-Justifying? Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Allegations

Filed under: Gender Politics,Sex Abuse / CYF — JohnPotter @ 9:21 am Wed 17th September 2014

The Woody Allen sex scandal of 2013 triggered a national conversation on who to believe, with people lining up on each side as if they knew what really happened.

Based on recent research on how people navigate the often tricky waters of sexual negotiation, Dr. Carol Tavris shows that it is entirely possible in some sexual assault cases neither side is lying, but instead both sides feel justified in their positions.

This talk was considered one of the best ever given at The 2014 Amazing Meeting.


  1. Sometimes sex chemicals can drive behaviour so both parties end up in bed.
    However sometimes the males chemicals, especially if its a one night stand, can turn off the female.
    He is at 100%, she rapidly goes to 0%

    This is a disaster for both parties.
    The male needs to know that if it happens again, the first event will be looked at very differently.
    The female needs to know what’s happening to her as well, so it doesn’t happen again.

    Comment by The man in Absentia — Wed 17th September 2014 @ 7:45 pm

  2. A very good post John. An easy to understand video that describe it the way it mostly is.

    Moving along now to the reality of 2014 and for many years now if you dare to oppose or suggest any support or even common sense against the tide of popular belief, you risk everything. A fine example of this is what happened to the radio host working for Radio Live.

    For the most part men who only have to face an allegation of a sexual assault will be left with such a ruin life sometimes way before they face trial in some cases before they are even spoken to by police.

    Such destruction for what was explained in the attached video. Such a wretched life of despair to follow even if found not guilty.

    And now with the call to remove a jury and in their place put a single judge to get more borderline prosecutions over the line. It simply further removes the safeguards of false allegations or as the video describes drunken mutual sex that in the morning regretted.

    Comment by Lukenz — Thu 18th September 2014 @ 1:53 am

  3. It’s interesting then who defines society, lame female politicians, the media by what they do report and what they don’t report, the angry victims club.

    You have to go to a sceptics conference or an outlawed website to see and hear this – just as well it was a woman that said it – imagine the out roar of men promoting rape culture had it been a man.

    But is there a deeper problem, is this woman actually banished to a sceptics conference because of her opinion?

    Comment by Downunder — Thu 18th September 2014 @ 8:04 am

  4. I find it strange this is considered, “One of the best….” of anything, but I assume I am missing something here.

    There’s a caretaker of an Auckland Council hall that I find remarkable. I get to see him once a month, if he is there that day, and I spend as much time as possible listening to him share information with me and then I shake his hand and say, “See you next month”.

    Some people have an enormous amount of knowledge but because they love to learn as a hobby, and not a career, they are not recognised and we, humans, suffer because of it, IMO. I gotta say, “Perhaps I expect too much from professionals but thanks for sharing this”.

    Comment by julie — Sat 20th September 2014 @ 12:42 pm

  5. It is easier to find Dr. Carol Tavris speech, using the link below.
    Carol Tavris, Ph.D. – “A Skeptical Look at Pseudoneuroscience” – TAM 2012

    Published on Aug 8, 2012
    Social psychologist Carol Tavris, Ph.D. explores the funny, disconcerting, and dangerous implications of poorly-applied neuroscience research. Live on stage at TAM 2012.

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 26th June 2015 @ 6:35 pm

  6. Sorry correction:

    TAM2014 – Carol Tavris – Who’s Lying Who’s Self-Justifying

    Published on Aug 6, 2014
    Social psychologist and author Carol Tavris on “Who’s Lying? Who’s Self-Justifying?: Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Communications

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Fri 26th June 2015 @ 6:39 pm

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