Can I voice my doubts without getting flamed?


9 comments posted

Chaos around the Superdome reminded of something read in Experimental Psychology, Fourth Edition, Barry H. Kantowitz, West, p. 451. Studies by John Calhoun at the NIMH found disturbing behavior in rats in crowded conditions. "Female rats were unable to build proper nests and often dropped infant rats. These infant rats died where they were dropped and were often eaten by adult rats." "Probers were also homosexual and hyperactive. Thus, the independent variable (high density) caused strange maternal and sexual behaviors (dependent variables) to evolve." There is another good reference which I will look for today.

David's picture
Posted by David (not verified) on 18 September 2005 - 12:14pm
Superdome continued

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, 1954, is an allegorical novel about boys stranded on an island. "..., the boys revert to savagery complete with primitive rites with ritual murder." From Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia, Third Edition, Harper & Row, 1987, p. 581.

David's picture
Posted by David (not verified) on 18 September 2005 - 5:55pm
While some of the rape

While some of the rape and/or murder stories may have circulated due to panic, and were probably exaggerated in the telling (think Telephone), I have a hard time dismissing the possibility in its entirety.

I don't have the book with me (The Psychology of Good and Evil, by someone w/ the last name Staub, I think), so I can't name or describe the case precisely, but...

A while ago (like over 10 years I think) in NYC, there was this rape case, where this 20-something girl was raped and murdered in a courtyard that something like 80 windows looked out on. People stood there, people watched, people did nothing. Nobody even called the police for a long time. It's fucked up as all hell, and even though we spent about 2 weeks on it in one of my classes a couple years ago, nobody could make any sense out of why people would stand by and do nothing. There are tons of theories, but I have a hard time accepting any of them, because it makes the human race seem pretty irredeemable.

So, just because there were most likely people around every time someone was raped doesn't at all mean that anybody would've stepped in to stop it. Also refer back to the Lord of the Flies scenario. Crazy, crazy things happen in fucked up situations like this. Including rape, even murder, with onlookers.

ferdette's picture
Posted by ferdette on 18 September 2005 - 9:23pm
that story

that story took place in the 60's....I don't know how to start to look it up, but I will. Her name was something ridiculously white american (like mary sue) and just made the rest of America sick to its stomach. It probably wouldn't have reached our sociology classes if it had been say, Maria Consuela or some such similar name from a disenfranchised group.

Still, those people chose to close their windows and stay inside (still outrageously horrible!!!), while I'm wondering about one guy committing rape in front of a bunch of people. If there were more than one, or they had guns, I could understand.

I would be very much relieved if all these stories were part of the Telephone exaggeration that Ferdette mentions. And I do understand that sort of hysteria arising in a group of frightened people. It's a hysteria of words.

gballsout's picture
Posted by gballsout on 19 September 2005 - 6:18am
I saw an interview with

I saw an interview with someone there, one of the few authorities, who happened to be the head of the sexual crimes division of NOPD. He said no rapes were reported, in the Superdome at least.

Makes sense. Everyone was searched and weapons removed before they were allowed in.

I hate to discount stories of rape, but in this case I still haven't seen confirmed reports it happened.

KathyF's picture
Posted by KathyF (not verified) on 19 September 2005 - 8:19am
Kitty Genovese

The crime ferdette refers to was committed against Kitty Genovese.

Here's the CourTV link on it:

Fred Vincy's picture
Posted by Fred Vincy (not verified) on 19 September 2005 - 10:07am
that story

You are referring to this event: "Probably the best-known example of failure to help occurred on March 13, 1964, at 3:20 A.M. Catherine (Kitty) Genovese was returning from her job as a manager of a bar. As she walked across the street from her car to the apartment house where she lived, a man with a knife came up to her. She ran; he chased, caught, and stabbed her. Genovese screamed for help, and lights came on in the windows of many apartments that overlooked the street. The attacker retreated temporarily but then came back to his bleeding victim." Social Psychology, Sixth Edition, Baron & Byrne, Allyn and Bacon, 1991, p. 352.

David's picture
Posted by David (not verified) on 19 September 2005 - 11:46am
I don't doubt that some

I don't doubt that some things occurred, but I also think that the level of violence has been exaggerated out of all reason--better to beat up the African American community with. Also, people who aren't actually in a desperate situation tend to love hearing gory details about those who are.

And this is a nitpick, but as a Spanish person it drives me nuts because it happens so often: the name is not "ConsuelA" but "ConsuelO".

Crys T's picture
Posted by Crys T (not verified) on 20 September 2005 - 5:08am
I believe in nitpicking, heh. :-)

"not ConsuelA" but "ConsuelO"."

oH! right, for a surname. Ok, understood. thanks.

gballsout's picture
Posted by gballsout on 20 September 2005 - 12:30pm