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Old April 8, 2013, 05:44 PM   #28
Join Date: May 16, 2000
Location: Washington state
Posts: 7,438

Criminals actually do choose victims based on sex. All victims are not alike, nor are all criminals the same. But all criminals choose victims most suited to the types of crimes they intend to commit.

That's important, because defensive handgun training isn't just about hitting the target. It's also about teaching students how to stay out of trouble. That means teaching basic awareness including some knowledge of criminal behavior.

Violence is primarily a male problem. Men are overwhelmingly both perpetrators and victims of violent crimes. Women are rarely chosen as crime victims, relatively speaking. But when a woman does become a victim of a violent crime, she's much more likely to be facing someone she "knows" (which does not mean ex-boyfriend or ex-husband, though those categories are included; it is just as likely or more likely to mean the creepy friend-of-a-friend, the pushy guy at the coffee shop, the stalker, or the unbalanced neighbor). This factor makes a huge difference on the mindset side. It needs to be taught very clearly, because there are some important decisions each person must make on their own personal journey into armed self-defense.

It also makes a huge and important difference on the awareness side of the equation.

In addition, a woman faces size and strength disparities more frequently than a man will. She is more likely to face asocial violence than social violence. She's also better enculturated to deal with social threats than non-social ones. Men are slightly more likely to face social violence, including simple threat displays. Dealing with these differences goes straight to the heart of the mindset factor. (Book recommendation: Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller.)

None of the above has anything to do with female squeamishness or male rudeness or any other social factor of classroom management. It's simply a recognition that male and female student face different threats and thus may need to learn different strategies for avoiding those threats. A narrowly-tailored curriculum makes it possible to meet student these specific needs very efficiently. In the past, we've generally ignored the specific needs of female students, calling the class "co-ed" but tailoring its contents for the types of violence men were most likely to face. That's one of the many reasons women have shied away from high end classes: because those classes were not designed with women's specific needs in mind.

As far as I can tell, this type of information is even more needed at the intermediate to advanced levels than it is at the beginning levels. You never outgrow the need to learn information, skills sets, and strategies designed to work best in your own circumstances.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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