While the title of this report leaves MUCH to be desired, this study done by Campus Advocacy Network at the University of Illinois - Chicago, is very revealing and important.
I’ve heard some people say that rape is not really a “cultural” or “structural” problem in the U.S., because the only men who commit rape are those who have been abused by their mothers or who are mentally or psychological ill.
Not only is this incorrect and insulting to people with psychological disabilities, it is also absolutely incorrect. Rape is not an aberration in our society. It is an organic outgrowth of a society which systematically oppresses women, treats them as inferior, degrades their humanity, dismisses their opinions and views, and generally renders them as subordinate to men. Such dehumanization of women, such misogyny, sends the message that women’s ideas/wants are not to be taken too seriously. Women are nags, annoyances, whiners, and it is simply better for men to ignore what they say most of the time.
Ignoring what someone says; dismissing someone’s stated wishes and desires. Isn’t it clear that this phenomenon can all too easily get carried over into the sexual domain? If a man wants something from a woman, it’s his right to simply take it … and all the more so if he will never be caught or punished!
This is not to say that ALL men actually do commit rape. Far from it. But a permissive attitude towards sexual assault DEFINITELY exists throughout our society, and is accepted by a large number — if not the majority — of men (and is internalized by even a large number of women, as well), including those at the very top of our society in the political, cultural, media, and economic realms. It is this general culture of sexism and misogyny which needs to be combated, and which forms the basis for the flourishing of sexual violence.
Please read through the following survey:
- A survey of 6,159 college students enrolled at 32 institutions in the U.S. found the following: (ref 4)
· 54% of the women surveyed had been the victims of some form of sexual abuse; more than one in four college-aged women had been the victim of rape or attempted rape;
· 57% of the assaults occurred on dates;
· 73% of the assailants and 55% of the victims had used alcohol or other drugs prior to the assault;
· 25% of the men surveyed admitted some degree of sexually aggressive behavior;
· 42% of the victims told no one.
- In a survey of high school students, 56% of the girls and 76% of the boys believed forced sex was acceptable under some circumstances. (ref 5)
- A survey of 11-to-14 year-olds found:(ref 5)
· 51% of the boys and 41% of the girls said forced sex was acceptable if the boy, “spent a lot of money” on the girl;
· 31% of the boys and 32% of the girls said it was acceptable for a man to rape a woman with past sexual experience;
· 87% of boys and 79% of girls said sexual assault was acceptable if the man and the woman were married;
· 65% of the boys and 47% of the girls said it was acceptable for a boy to rape a girl if they had been dating for more than six months.
- In a survey of male college students:
· 35% anonymously admitted that, under certain circumstances, they would commit rape if they believed they could get away with it (ref 6,7).
· One in 12 admitted to committing acts that met the legal definitions of rape, and 84% of men who committed rape did not label it as rape.(ref 6,7)
- In another survey of college males: (ref 8)
· 43% of college-aged men admitted to using coercive behavior to have sex, including ignoring a woman’s protest, using physical aggression, and forcing intercourse.
· 15% acknowledged they had committed acquaintance rape; 11% acknowledged using physical restraints to force a woman to have sex.
- Women with a history of rape or attempted rape during adolescence were almost twice as likely to experience a sexual assault during college, and were three times as likely to be victimized by a husband. (ref 9)
- Sexual assault is reported by 33% to 46% of women who are being physically assaulted by their husbands.(ref 10)