I put this in the round-up on Sunday but I thought it deserved an airing of its own. A study of 73* US college men has found that nearly one-third of them would rape if (1) they thought they could get away with it; and (2) it wasn’t called “rape”. Translation: they know that forced sex with a woman is rape but they would still do it. They would just prefer if you softened the term so they didn’t have to carry that around and be punished for it. But they know it’s rape.
*Small but not insignificant sample size.
In a small but disturbing survey conducted at the University of North Dakota, nearly a third of male college students said they would commit rape if they could get away with it — and if it wasn’t described as “rape.” ThinkProgress reports: “According to the survey, which analyzed responses from 73 men attending the same college, 31.7 percent of participants said they would act on “intentions to force a woman to sexual intercourse” if they were confident they could get away with it. When asked whether they would act on “intentions to rape a woman” with the same assurances they wouldn’t face consequences, just 13.6 percent of participants agreed.”
The study also looked at the men’s general attitudes towards women and found that, unsurprisingly, those who were willing to rape a woman were blatantly misogynistic, displaying open hostility and resentment for women. However, those who would commit rape but would not call it rape weren’t outwardly hostile but did hold “callous sexual attitudes” — a belief that women are objects and that sexual aggression is “an appropriate and accepted expression of masculinity.”
As the lead researcher says, “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.” While it’s unclear what we should do about the 13.6 fucking percent of respondents who are A-okay with being rapists, to reach the would-be predators who have managed to convince themselves that forcing people to have sex with you is just a normal part of “guys being guys,” education campaigns focused on defining consent and healthy sexual relationships could be promising. But, the researchers warn, since these men don’t see themselves as rapists, unless the programs can get real buy-in from the participants, they’ll “likely leave the men who could benefit most from these prevention efforts disengaged.”
Abstract from the:
exual assault is a problem on many college campuses, and many researchers have conducted studies assessing the prevalence of sexual assault perpetration and intentions to be coercive. Behaviorally descriptive survey items (i.e., ‘‘Have you ever coerced somebody to intercourse by holding them down?’’) versus labeling survey items (i.e., ‘‘Have you ever raped somebody?’’) will yield different responses, in that more men will admit to sexually coercive behaviors and more women will self-report victimization when behavioral descriptions are used (Koss 1998) instead of labels. Indeed, some men will endorse items asking whether they have used force to obtain intercourse, but will deny having raped a woman. There has been little research on differences between individuals to endorse a behaviorally descriptive item versus a labeling item. The present study uses discriminant function analysis to separate men who do not report intentions to be sexually coercive, those who endorse behaviorally descriptive intentions but deny it when the word rape is used, and those who endorse intentions to rape outright. Results indicated that participants can be differentiated into three groups based on scores from scales on hypermasculinity and hostility toward women. High hostility toward woman and callous sexual attitudes separated the no intentions group from those who endorsed either intentions to rape or those who endorses only the behavioral description of rape. The two types of offender groups were distinguishable mostly by varying levels of hostility, suggesting that men who endorse using force to obtain intercourse on survey items but deny rape on the same may not experience hostile affect in response to women, but might have dispositions more in line with benevolent sexism.
Ref: Edwards, S., Bradshaw, K. and Hinsz, V. (2014). Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders. Violence and Gender, 1(4), pp.189-193 (link).
p class="wordpresspost">(Orig. posted on)