Before sending your daughters off to college, a prerequisite should be a rape self-defense course and a concealed handgun license. A recent report revealed that nearly one-third of college men admit they might rape a woman if they could get away with it, as a new study on campus sexual assault claims. Of those men, however, far fewer will admit this if the word “rape” is actually used during the course of questioning.
According to Newsweek, approximately 32 percent of study participants said that they would have “intentions to force a woman to sexual intercourse” if “nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.” Yet only 13.6 percent admit to having “any intentions to rape a woman” under these same circumstances. With the exception of one survey that was not counted because of inconclusive answers, all of the men who admitted to rape intentions also admitted to forced intercourse intentions.
The authors of this study note the difference relies on whether or not they described what constitutes sexual assault, versus whether they simply called it rape. For this study, the researchers defined rape as “intercourse by use of force or threat of force against a victim’s wishes,” as reported by Huffington Post
The paper, “Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders,” was released recently in the journal Violence and Gender. The research comes amid heightened scrutiny of how institution of how institutions of higher learning handle sexual assault on campus. Though there is not an exact number, research such as the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study suggests that as many as 20 percent of undergraduate women suffer sexual assault. That study is almost ten years old so the percentage had most likely increased.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, almost 20 percent of women in the United States have suffered rape. This 20 percent is for woman that actually reported being raped. Far more rapes go unreported and a study by The Department of Justice states that 80% of college females do not report their rape as reported by CBS News. The survey also notes that some 43.9 percent of women “experienced other forms of sexual violence during their lifetimes, including being made to penetrate, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual contact, and non contact unwanted sexual experiences.”
The researchers asked the study participants whether they endorsed forced sex and whether they endorsed rape, as well as a number of questions meant to gauge their levels of hostility and sexual callousness toward women. They found that those men willing to admit to intentions to rape harbored hostility, such as the belief that women are manipulative or deceitful and had “angry and unfriendly” attitudes toward women.
Meanwhile, the men who admitted to an intention to rape only if it’s described as an “intention to use force” tended to have callous sexual attitudes, described in the study as viewpoints that “objectify women and expect men to exhibit sexual dominance.”
“Those people that do say that they might use force to have sex with someone, but they wouldn’t call it rape, they seem to exhibit high levels of callous sexual attitudes and almost the opposite of hostility,” says Edwards. In the study, the authors say this group appears to be hyper-masculine; in other words, they might think that acting sexually aggressively is the right way for a man to act.
Edwards cautions that this research is preliminary, because the sample group is very small: 86 men participated in the study, but only 73 were analyzed due to missing data. Because more than 90 percent of the participants were white and all described themselves as heterosexual, the study has demographic limitations. The team hopes to conduct this research on a larger scale, Edwards says. In the meantime, “the No. 1 point is there are people that will say they would force a woman to have sex but would deny they would rape a woman,” Edwards tells Newsweek.
Psychologist David Lisak, a forensic consultant and law enforcement trainer renowned for his research on sexual violence, who notably determined that some 90 percent of campus rapes are committed by repeat offenders, says the study might help scholars ask more effective questions when they research campus rape.
“When you assess male college students, you will find some very, very troubling attitudes and beliefs,” he tells Newsweek. “Regardless of whether or not these contribute directly to sexual coercion…challenging them and addressing them and educating students about them is absolutely critical.”
Lisak says researchers must study whether campus rape prevention programs that address these attitudes correlate with a decrease in sex assaults. Read in The Inquisitr about a brave college rape victim who protested at her college and brought awareness to this obvious epidemic at colleges everywhere.