More than a quarter of female undergraduate students from 27 schools experienced some form of sexual assault or misconduct on campus during their four years at college, according to a new survey by the Association of American Universities (AAU) released Monday.
I'm afraid I am very very skeptical about these statistics. The last time a major study was done on the topic of rape on campuses the questions were so ambiguous that it brought the numbers way up. They even considered being stared at as rape, completely ridiculous. The study was disproven by several other sourses but that didn't stop people and organizations from republishing the statistics from the faulty statistics.
I stringly agree with University of Texas at Austin president Gregory L. Fenves, "One sexual assault is too many." but I'm also strongly opposed to publishing faulty information. I think misinformation does more damage than good.
This frequency of assault is in line with other reports that I have seen. Alcohol is big part of the problem, especially for women. My advice to young women who attend fraternity parties is always go with another woman and insist that you stay together and leave together. Drink at your peril.
Yes, there is an enormous amount of "concept stretching" in what has come to be known in some quarters as the "Sexual Harassment Industry"; and a kind of cult-like mentality formed by generating fear and hostility towards men. There is a whole group of feminist founders who are horrified at what the field of Women's Studies has become. You will find recent discussion on Title IX in the Chronicle of Higher Education. Also, Laura Kipnis' article has generated heated discussion (and some retaliation). To really get into this, more of a book length treatment is needed. I suggest Daphne Patai's concise Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism, along with the updated 2003 edition of her and Noretta Koertge's Professing Feminism: Education and Indoctrination in Women's Studies.
Now, watch as my even daring to post links to critical viewpoints causes the sparks to fly ...
PS. A two minute perusal here indicates that the response rate was about 15% and the rate of reporting "experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation" is ~12%. The respondents will of course be heavily, perhaps exclusively, weighted towards those who have had experiences that they found somewhere in the range of frightening to uncomfortable. And, on what basis are we combining physical force or threats of physical force with incapacitation? And then, more to the point of what is going on with Title IX, what is it that we intend to do about it? If there is criminal behavior, then the criminal justice system should be involved rather than some kangaroo court run by administrators worried about losing their federal funding.
On the basis that they both resulted in non-consensual sex, AKA rape?
This reminds me of a campus anti rape poster I saw recently. There was a young man and a young woman on it. The poster stated that the boy was drunk, the girl was drunk. They had sex. The poster said that was rape. Only the young man was held accountable for his actions. Two drunk people have consensual sex, and in the morning we have one rapist and one rape victim. The boys actions now become considered consentual and the girl's becomes nonconsensual. Don't forget we have to blame the bar that served them, the University for not holding their hands throughout their time as students and the state liquor commision...because everyone is accountable except the young "adult" woman.
I have mainly focused my advice on young men who attend fraternity parties (or walk through the world in general), along the lines of "treat women well, and maybe they'll share some mysteries with you and we can all learn something..."
Contract law has provisions for people to get out of contractual obligations entered into when severely intoxicated, particularly if the intoxication was involuntary (somebody spiked your drink). So clearly there is a point on the spectrum of intoxication at which an adult cannot meaningfully understand and consent to a legal contract.
Are you saying there is no point on the spectrum of intoxication at which an adult cannot meaningfully consent to sex? Blind-drunk passed out on the floor, and it's still A-OK?
If you have sex with an enthusiastic drunk partner, you're probably not committing rape. But what you're telling the world is that you are willing to risk becoming a rapist, because you don't know exactly where that line of "too intoxicated to meaningfully consent" is for another person.
Yes, it's subjective, and if you don't like that, don't put yourself in a position where you don't even know if you're a rapist or not.
There is no place for subjectivity in the courtroom. The ambiguous nature of the laws mean that innocent people will suffer. And yes I don't like it, and that's why I speak against it. Obviously I'm not going to put myself in that position. But the way your statement is framed "Yes, it's subjective, and if you don't like that, don't put yourself in a position where you don't even know if you're a rapist or not." reminds me too much of the oft quoted "America, love it or leave it" Both these staeements ignore another choice "Love it or change it" We have the ability to make bad laws better, we have been doing so for several centuries.
In response to your question ....Are you saying there is no point on the spectrum of intoxication at which an adult cannot meaningfully consent to sex? Blind-drunk passed out on the floor, and it's still A-OK?
Of course there is a point of the spectrum, but it should not be a gender biased spectrum. Blind drunk passed out on the floor...
1) ideally you should know better than to drink that much. Yes I conceed that sometimes it happens and someone does not deserve to get raped because they made a mistake. But that person still has to assume some of the responsibility. If I get drunk and jump in front of a car, am I not at least partially responsible for getting run over?
2) with all the discussion about campus rape (fact or fiction), should a girl not try a little harder not to end up that drunk? Shouldn't she try to make sure she has caring responsible friends around her when she goes out to drink? When I hear that there has been a seris of shark attacks on a certain beach, i generally think twice about going swimming there.
3) Every one of us that leaves our home to go out drinking takes a risk. Every drink we take the risks go up. We risk getting into a violent fight, we risk getting into an accident and we risk getting raped.
4) Alcohol is known to lower ones inhibitions. Those wanting to lower their inhibitions should consider the consequences of having our inhibitions lowered. Guess what, inhibitions are there for a reason. I think, actually i know, that many girls get drunk before having sex so they have an excuse for their actions. They have decided to have sex before they have stepped out the door. Sometimes the next morning they feel guilty and decide to call it rape. I am not saying this is always the case, there are genuine cases of rape, but there are ingenuine cases as well.
Yes, it's subjective, and if you don't like that, don't put yourself in a position where you don't even know if you're a rape victim or not.
If there were no place for subjectivity in the courtroom, there would be no place for judges in the courtroom. We could just look at the legal checklist, and cross-reference it with the punishment table and call it a day.
Take a look at what you have to do to get a contract invalidated because you were drunk. There's no exact legal definition of "too drunk" because people are not all the same, so there's no way to codify the number of drinks that are too many.
Instead, you have to convince a judge that you were too intoxicated to consent to the contract, and the judge is a lot more likely to agree with you if it was the person you signed the contract with buying you all those drinks.
Ask a lawyer if it's okay to buy someone drinks just before you sign a business contract with them. They'll tell you that if you want an ironclad contract, don't buy them drinks, don't agree to anything if they seem drunk, and make sure they have enough time to consult with their own lawyer before they sign the contract, if you want the court to take your side in any future contract dispute.
Your advice to young women is completely sensible. But it always seems to be the women that people want to give advice to. How about some advice for the young men: If you have sex with a drunk woman, especially if you bought her the drinks, and double-especially if at no point do you get clear and explicit consent from her, then you are making the decision to allow her to decide after the fact if it was rape or not. Should a boy not try a little harder not to end up in that situation?
Women have to protect themselves from rapists, and men have to protect themselves from false accusations of rape. So far, women are unjustly raped FAR more often than men are unjustly accused. While I am all for improving the legal system, we must not do so in a way that makes it even harder for actual rape victims to see justice done. It's hard enough already.
You brought up some interesting legal points i wasn't aware of concerning contracts, interesting. For the most i agree with your comments. The most pertenent is that both men and women need to take care not to end up in these situations. I think that both should share in the responsibility of making sure an evening of entertainment does not turn into a major regret. That being said, both should also share in the accountability as well. Posters stating that only men are accountable for their actions while drunk is irresponsible, sexist and unfair. It is not up to all of society to babysit women who get too drunk, just like it is not up to all of society to take care of a man who gets too drunk. A man who drinks too much and damages property on his way home is still expected to be held accountable for his actions. A woman who wakes up in a strangers bed has got to take some of the accountability for having got there. If humans just followed very basic rules almost all of these problems would disappear overnight. 1) There are laws against public drunkeness, obey the law 2) Don't go out drinking alone, especially if you are a woman. You use the buddy system while swimming, use it while drinking in public. 3) If you see someone has been drinking a lot, feel free to give them your phone number for another time when they are sober, but do not try to engage in a sexual relationship that evening.
But unfortunately humans don't like to follow the rules, and even more unfortunately the like even less taking accountability of their actions once they have broken the rules.
P.S. As far as your comment about people always wanting to give advice to women and not men. I'm afraid i don't agree. Almost all the posters and fliers on subjects of rape and domestic violence are geared towards men. If you were to believe the on campus posters or government social service posters, you would think that men are never the victims of domestic abuse and that women are never the perpetrators. This way of thinking is so popular that most of society is unaware of the actual statistics on domestic abuse. Men are definitely the target in most of the articles, and as i said before they are also the ones being held accountable. I'm completely for getting the cases of rape down as close to zero as we can, but i don't believe man shaming is the way to do it...its societies problem and society needs to work together to fix it.