1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' post for w/c 11th Feb is here.
    Dismiss Notice

Why we victim blame -- and why Larry Nassar shows we shouldn't

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Cheshire, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. Cheshire

    Cheshire Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,163
    Likes Received:
    10,037
    Although talking of Nassar's victims, a lot is relevant to our situation, IMO.

    That is something that is at the core of the BPS theory I think, we must have done something wrong that caused us to be sick, because if we hadn't we wouldn't be sick. We must have broken some unwritten rule. So anything that could be seen as a rule breach in our life is interpreted as a potential cause of our illness.

    http://www.espn.com/espnw/voices/article/22172044/why-victim-blame-why-larry-nassar-shows
     
  2. TiredSam

    TiredSam Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    5,009
    Likes Received:
    23,972
    Couldn't help being reminded of someone when I read this.
     
    Lidia, MEMarge, DokaGirl and 12 others like this.
  3. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    5,986
    'Secondary victimisation' is also related to power dynamics. Part of what we see in the current medical mismanagement of ME relates to a struggle to assert power and control.

    On the whole I have been very lucky to have had supportive experiences of doctors, only having had two negative experiences in twenty five years of ME. I may have had an easier time of it than most being a man, but one of my two negative experiences seems relevant here.

    I was a subject, over twenty years ago in an experiment looking at the potential for I think fish oil dietary supplement to help with ME. I regularly visited a Sheffield hospital to get the supplements and have blood taken. The researcher was, I think, a medical doctor. Each visit I was given the supplement, I have no idea if I was in a treatment or a control group, completed questionnaires, had an open ended interview and had my blood taken. What puzzled me was that the researcher was keen that I should agree that ME was a psychological condition, to such an extent that I wondered what the real purpose of the research was.

    There was the strangeness of a researcher apearantly believing something inconsistent with the research she was undertaking. At that point I was willing to believe in the possibility that there were significant psychological factors involved but I was not willing to concede that it was a purely psychological condition. Indeed the researcher's intransigence and lack of objectivity had the opposite effect over several weeks of convincing me the biomedical factors were the main basis.

    The first blood test was taken from my arm with me seated with just the sleeve rolled up. As the researcher appeared to get more frustrated with my failure to accept her model of ME the blood taking became increasingly an exercise of asserting power. The second time it could only be taken with me stripped to the waist, the third time with me stripped to the waist and lying down, with each progressive assertion of power the researcher actually denied that the previous way of taking blood had occurred. I never found out what the next stage might have been.

    I dropped out of the research at that point and was never contacted to ask why.

    Obviously in this research context I was just free to walk away, whereas in many situations, for example in children with ME the threat of child protection procedures, the unequal power dynamic means walking away is not an option.
     
    Mithriel, feeb, NelliePledge and 29 others like this.
  4. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    4,473
    Could this 1999 study out of The University of Sheffield have been the one?

    The role of essential fatty acids in chronic fatigue syndrome. A case-controlled study of red-cell membrane essential fatty acids (EFA) and a placebo-controlled treatment study with high dose of EFA.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10071170

    If so, using Google Books, you can find further information on it and a previous study of fish oil for CFS beginning on page 24 of "The Pharmacotherapy of Common Functional Syndromes: Evidence-Based".

    In the book it says that five participants dropped out of the latter study (1999) because of "lack of change in their condition." :confused:

    Under author information at the link above, the affiliation of the first author of the 1999 study is "The University of Sheffield, Section of Psychiatry, Northern General Hospital, UK"

    Basically, this was supposed to be an attempt to confirm a positive study about CFS and fish oil that had been conducted at the University of Glasgow nine years earlier, in 1990.

    I'm sure they gave it their all, but they found no effect for the combination of fish oil and primrose oil on CFS.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
    Mithriel, MEMarge, DokaGirl and 8 others like this.
  5. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    5,986
    Thank you.

    Yes it terms of timing it sounds as if it must have been the one, though I can't be absolutely certain as I did not keep any paper work. The attempting to replicate a previous Glasgow study rings a bell, though my memory is not always reliable.

    In relation to me, they had no information as to why I dropped out, which was directly related to the behaviour of the researcher I saw.
     
  6. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,624
    Likes Received:
    24,237
    I'm confused :confused:. Can't imagine who you might mean :p.
     
  7. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,624
    Likes Received:
    24,237
    Blaming the victim is also a very standard behaviour of abusers.
     
    Lidia, MEMarge, DokaGirl and 10 others like this.
  8. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    4,473
    Yes. When I used the confused emoji above [:confused:], it was entirely because their explanation of "lack of change in their condition" sounded like an odd, perhaps "catch-all" reason for 10% of the participants to drop out of a trial in which it was known going in that there was a 50/50 chance of getting a placebo (the 5 came from both arms of the trial). On the other hand, the "lack of change in their condition" explanation just happened to support their finding of "hey, this stuff is useless!" :cautious:
     
  9. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    6,151
    If the institution is not bad, why is it protecting predators? :mad:
     
  10. MErmaid

    MErmaid Guest

    Messages:
    1,419
    Likes Received:
    7,412
    Location:
    Under the Sea
    If I may edit your post:

    If the institution is not bad, why is it ELECTING predators? :mad:
     
  11. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    1,790
    Location:
    Tasmania
    Yes I was confused by the choices available.
     
  12. Allele

    Allele Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    9,148
    A thousand outraged upvotes to both of you.

    The problem is deeply systemic; how ever did we get here?!?!
     
  13. Little Bluestem

    Little Bluestem Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    6,151
    Actually, I've reconsidered. The institution in not bad. "Bad" does not begin to cover it. It is the embodiment of greed and evil. :emoji_money_mouth:
     
  14. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    3,465
    Strange, and inappropriate behaviour, @Peter Trewhitt, re the person who drew your blood. Or was this part of the protocol in the study? Very odd at any rate.

    And, I thought I had trouble with blood draws!
     
    Peter Trewhitt and MEMarge like this.
  15. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    3,465
    Totally agree - fault finding, blaming the victim; a bully's game.
     
    MEMarge likes this.
  16. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    855
    Likes Received:
    6,730
    Primrose oil might make patients worse.
     
  17. DokaGirl

    DokaGirl Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    3,465
    We isolate the victims by blaming them for being wronged. We also isolate, or single out the wrong doer by viewing them as rare or unusual.
     
    Peter Trewhitt, Lidia and Inara like this.
  18. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    5,986
    My interpretation was, given the way my blood was taken changed from session to session in such a way as to increasingly assert the doctor's authority/control, that it was a choice, even if not a conscious choice, so unlikely to be part of the research protocol. What was most bizarre was that she denied that blood had ever previously been taken with me sitting up with just my sleeve rolled up.

    Also, given the researcher's insistence that I agree my ME had a psychological basis in the context of a study looking at the effect of dietary supplements, it certainly felt like the method of taking blood was being used as a way of 'punishing' me for not accepting her view point.

    At the start of the study, I believed that my ME involved a combination of biomedical factors and psychological factors, indeed I had previously paid privately for a course of psychotherapy. But the researcher's obvious need for me to believe that the causation was entirely psychological, and her failure to accept/recognise the aspects of my condition that seemed self evidently to require biomedical explanation had the ultimate effect of helping me to understand that the causes of ME were definitely biomedical and any psychological factors related only to coping.

    [Added - I probably should have made some formal statement/complaint and explained why I was dropping out of the study, but at the time I was still working full time so pushing my energy to its limits. Also I was both employed by the Health Authority and worked as a visiting lecture for the University involved.]
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  19. Trish

    Trish Committee Member

    Messages:
    10,204
    Likes Received:
    56,441
    Location:
    UK
    It sounds to me as though that doctor was playing some sort of weird power games with you, @Peter Trewhitt. And I'm a bit surprised she was doing the blood draws herself. Don't they usually get their minions (aka nurses) to do this?
     
  20. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    589
    Likes Received:
    5,986
    Perhaps they were doing the research on a limited budget, so did not have money for nurse support.
     
    Little Bluestem, DokaGirl and Trish like this.

Share This Page