Men are the victims of sexual assault at rates almost equal to those of women, domestically and globally, yet not only is this the most well kept secret of modern society but it’s compounded by the almost universal assumption that men are the perpetrators of rape and do not deserve the benefit of the doubt when accused.

Male Victims

Rape is a horrific crime, often considered second only to murder in the public imagination, but this perspective is based on two essential fallacies: 1) that most rape involves stranger violence with perhaps a weapon and physical force or the threat of bodily harm or death; and 2) that “innocent” women are its victims and predatory men its perpetrators.

 

Most Rape of Women is “Non-Violent”

There’s been more than enough research to demonstrate that, in the US, approximately 80% of the rape of women involves an intimate partner, relative or acquaintance, rather than a cold-blooded stranger lurking in the dark; that 80% to 90% of rapes don’t involve a weapon; and that 60% to 90% don’t result in any treated injury. We also know that nearly 75% of rapes are not reported to the police, and that the primary reason is that the victim did not consider the incident serious enough to report.

The latter is true because of the ambiguous or “gray” nature of partner, acquaintance and date “rape”, and the reality that both parties typically made decisions which led to the outcome, and hence legitimately feel partly responsible.

 

Men are Victims of Sexual Violence at Nearly Equal Rates

Where the research and the local, state, national and international anti-sexual-violence efforts are woefully lacking or non-existent, however, is in the rape and sexual assault of men and boys – by both women and men.

After decades of attention to sexual violence against women, from the college campus to the international arena, a perception has been deliberately cultivated that women are the only significant victims of sexual assault and that men are almost always the villains (even that all men are potential rapists, as the most radical feminists insist). This perception, which has insinuated itself into much recent US legislation as well as into UN and other international programs, demeans women by depriving them of personal agency and requiring they be protected by paternalistic bureaucracies, and demonizes men by painting them as either actual or potential sexual predators without human vulnerabilities.

This view of sexual violence merely perpetuates the very gender-based stereotypes that the women’s movement intended to ameliorate or eliminate.

 

Twice Raped

And it means that men are twice-raped. Men and boys are victims of sexual violence at rates few are willing to acknowledge, and are too-easily adjudged to be villains whenever a woman reports an unwanted or not-fully-consensual or ambiguously-consensual or regretted sexual encounter, often lubricated with alcohol – particularly on college campuses, where the greatest attention to sexual assault has been directed of late, and where a binge-drinking hookup culture predominates, with alcohol used specifically to suppress inhibitions.

 

I’ve summarized elsewhere on this site two very important sexual assault studies that contradict the stereotypes.

 

An Overview of the Data

  • In 2010, Human Rights Watch estimated that at least 140,000 inmates had been raped while incarcerated, 92% of the incarcerated are men, and the US has a higher percentage of incarcerated men than any other nation on earth.
  • More than 200,000 men are raped behind bars each year, according to the group Stop Prisoner Rape. (This compares with the approximately 80,000 rapes – almost all women victims – reported to police in the US each year.)
  • A 2012 report on “Sexual victimization among male college students” found that, of men at a midsized Midwestern university, 51.2% reported at least one sexual victimization experience since age 16.
  • In the 2012 National Crime Victim Survey, male victims experienced 38% of all sexual assault incidents serious enough to be labeled as crimes.
  • The 2011 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey of the CDC found that, in the previous 12 months, 5.5% of women and 5.1% of men reported some form of sexual violence. The CDC included an additional category of sexual violence, and found that the previous 12-month rate for men “made to penetrate” was 1.7%, while the 12-month rate of penetrative rape of women was 1.6%. Of the men who reported being “made to penetrate”, 82.6% of the perpetrators were women.
  • Each year, according to a review of the research, 19% to 31% of male college students experience some kind of unwanted sexual contact, and the vast majority of that is perpetrated by women.
  • Muehlenhard and Cook (1988) found that 46% of women and 63% of men had acquiesced to unwanted sexual intercourse, while Muehlenhard and Long (1988) also found that more men (49%) than women (40%) had engaged in unwanted sex.
  • Muehlenhard and Rodgers (1993) found that 34% of women reported having engaged in token resistance to sex, in which they said “no” when they really desired to have sex. US women acknowledge a 55% rate of consent to unwanted sex, which is consistent with the findings of 50% false rape allegations in university studies (Kanin, 1994) .
  • According to a 2014 paper published in the American Psychological Association journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 43% of high school and college-aged men say they’ve had “unwanted sexual contact”, and 95% of those say a female acquaintance was the aggressor. Of those, 18% reported sexual coercion by force (including by use of weapon), 31% said they were verbally coerced into sex, 26% said they’d experienced unwanted seduction, and 7% said they were compelled after being given alcohol or drugs.
  • Research consistently shows that Americans are more likely to find coercion of men by women acceptable, compared with the reverse. People describe coercive behaviors by men as aggressive but coercion by women as romantic and seductive.
  • Men who experience sexual assault or other violence by intimate partners are less likely than women to report the incidents to the police. They frequently think no one will believe a woman sexually assaulted them, are embarrassed at not being able to fend off an attack by a woman, or harbor fears of being perceived as “gay” or not masculine for not wanting to have sex.
  • The literature suggests that around one in five men who are sexually coerced experience long-term effects. For those who do, the fallout can be serious, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress. They report long-term effects of feeling nervous around women, staying away from relationships, and not trusting women.

 

Male Rape and Human Rights, by Lara Stemple, February 2009

[Lara Stemple is the Director of Graduate Studies at UCLA School of Law, and directs the Health and Human Rights Law Project. Previously, Stemple was the Executive Director of Just Detention International, and a Post Doctoral Fellow at Columbia University’s Program on Sexuality, Gender, Health and Human Rights. She also served as the Senior Advocacy Officer at the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, and worked briefly for the domestic and international programs at the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women, and is the Deputy co-Director of the UC Global Health Institute’s Center of Expertise on Women’s Health and Empowerment.]

Summary of Her 3,000-Word Essay

For the last few decades, the prevailing approach to sexual violence in international human rights instruments has focused virtually exclusively on the abuse of women and girls. In the meantime, sexual violence against males continues to flourish in prison and other forms of detention. Men have been abused and sexually humiliated during situations of armed conflict, such as the highly publicized Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq. Childhood sexual abuse of boys is alarmingly common; in fact, the vast majority of those abused at the hands of Roman Catholic clergy in the United States were boys. And sexual assault against gay men remains unchecked due to assumptions that, as was once commonly assumed about women, gay men who have been raped must have “asked for it.”

Numerous instruments in the human rights canon, including UN treaties, resolutions, consensus documents, and general comments address sexual violence while explicitly excluding male victims. [This] reifies hierarchies that treat some victims as more sympathetic than others, perpetuates norms that essentialize women as victims, and imposes unhealthy expectations about masculinity on men and boys. Paradoxically, neglecting male rape is bad for women and girls.

Given the lack of societal concern about male rape and the hesitancy of male victims to report, data about male rape is wanting. We do know that the most recent US prevalence estimates indicate that 15.2% of those who have experienced rape in their lifetime are men.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Justice found that 92,700 adult men are forcibly raped each year in the United States, and that approximately 3% of all American men – a total of 2.78 million men – have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey found that 11% of total sexual assault victims are male.

The World Health Organization gives a higher estimate for males, asserting that between 5% and 10% of men throughout the world reported a history of childhood sexual abuse, while acknowledging that most studies have been conducted in developed countries. Other international estimates of childhood prevalence of sexual abuse indicate that between 3% and 29% of males have been affected.

Prisoner Rape

Prisoner rape is an alarmingly widespread human rights abuse that has received little attention within international human rights law or human rights scholarship. It is a common phenomenon in the United States in particular, and men, because they constitute more than 92% of prison inmates, are overwhelmingly the victims.

A study of state prisons found that approximately one-in-five male inmates reported a pressured or forced sex incident while incarcerated. Seven percent were raped. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) survey found that 4.5% of the nation’s state and federal prisoners experienced sexual victimization in only a twelve-month period. Given that approximately 2.3 million people are incarcerated in the United States – the highest per capita rate in the world – the scope of the abuse is profound. The United States also holds approximately 200,000 people per year in immigration detention, another site of sexual abuse.

Vulnerable inmates sometimes engage in a practice known as “protective pairing” in which the weaker inmate provides sex to a dominant inmate in exchange for protection from assault by others. Treated like the perpetrator’s property, victims have been forced into servitude that includes prostitution arrangements with other prisoners.

Researchers have bemoaned the lack of data on prisoner rape in countries throughout the world. One study of male prisoners in New South Wales, Australia revealed that 26% of inmates between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five experienced sexual assault in custody, and 8% reported that they were assaulted weekly or daily.

Victims tend to be effeminate, young, and inexperienced. They are often raped in holding cells at the court, in transport vehicles on the way to prison, or upon arrival to the prison. Reports from some prisons allege that officials sell access to vulnerable inmates and accept payoffs to allow rape to occur.

Conflict Situations

Male rape also occurs in situations of armed conflict. In armed conflict, perpetrators are more likely to be captors from opposition forces, whereas in the domestic prisoner rape context, the perpetrators are most often, though not exclusively, other inmates. Early research on violence during conflict situations was predominantly gender-blind, often ignoring women’s experiences altogether. Later analysis that began to attend to gender portrayed men solely as aggressors and perpetrators, and women as peacekeepers and victims.

Civil society has been particularly slow to address the concerns of these victims. For instance, one review found that 4,076 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) around the world address rape during wartime and other forms of political sexual violence. Of these, only 3% mention the experience of males in their informational materials, typically as a passing reference.

This lack of attention to sexual abuse of men during conflict is particularly troubling given [that] it has been documented throughout the world, including in Chile, Greece, Croatia, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Iran, Kuwait, the former Soviet Union, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the former Yugoslavia. For example, an astonishing 76% of male political prisoners surveyed in El Salvador in the 1980s reported at least one instance of sexual torture.

In the wake of another conflict, 21% of Sri Lankan Tamil males receiving service at a torture treatment center in London reported that they had experienced sexual abuse while in detention. The forms of abuse began with forced nudity, taunting, and verbal sexual threats, creating an experience of degradation and humiliation. Ultimately, the abuse included various forms of genital mutilation and forced sex acts. Most of those abused had not reported the incidents to authorities, explaining that they were too ashamed.

Dying of Shame - Congolese Rape Victim

Dying of Shame – Congolese Rape Victim

The conflict in the former Yugoslavia eventually resulted in a uniquely thorough accounting of sexual violence against males during conflict. It was the first conflict for which an international body, the Commission of Experts created by the UN Security Council, was formed in order to investigate sexual violence. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia also instituted a Sexual Assault Investigation Team, which included investigations into the rape of men during the civil war. The team reported that men were castrated and otherwise sexually mutilated, forced to rape other men, and forced to perform fellatio and other sex acts on guards and one another.

One study of 6,000 concentration camp inmates in Sarajevo Canton found that 80% of males reported that they had been raped in detention. Accounts of abuse throughout the conflict were often quite graphic, including severe genital mutilation and forced incest.

Sexual humiliation was at the forefront of the abuse scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Investigation into abuses committed by individuals and small groups of American forces revealed that detainees were forced into acts such as nude posing in piles, group masturbation, and simulated sex, several of which were photographed. Other detainees were sodomized and some had electrical wires attached to their genitals.

The sexual abuse of men during armed conflict frequently touches on issues of shame and degradation.

Sexual Abuse of Boys

US prevalence estimates have range from 2% to 62%, depending largely on methodological design. One US survey of adult men and women found that 16% of men and 27% of women were sexually abused as children. Nearly one fourth of US victims under the age of twelve whose abuse was reported to police were male.

An analysis of childhood sexual abuse surveys from twenty-one countries found that prevalence rates ranged from 3% to 29% of males, in comparison to 7% to 36% of females.

A meta-analysis of thirty-seven studies published from 1976 to 1996 examined the impact of childhood sexual abuse and found that it substantially increases the risk of problems such as post traumatic stress disorder, depression, suicidality, sexual perpetration, and poor academic performance. It found no statistical difference in these outcomes between sexes.

The childhood sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church in the United States over the last several years provides an example of a specific context in which victims were actually more likely to be male than female. A total of 4,392 priests, representing approximately 4.3% of the priesthood were accused of more than 10,000 accounts of sexual abuse during this time period. Eighty-one percent of all victims were male, and over 40% of all victims were males between the ages of eleven and fourteen. A wide range of types of abuse were reported, but a substantial percentage involved serious abuse: 34% of all abuse incidents included either oral sex or sexual penetration.

Over 5,000 cases of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic clergy around the globe – spanning at least twenty countries – were reported in the media from 1995 to 2002.

The Use of Female-Specific Language on Sexual Violence in International Law

The international instruments that contain the most comprehensive and meaningful definitions of sexual violence exclude men on their face, reflecting and embedding the assumption that sexual violence is a phenomenon relevant only to women and girls. There are well over one hundred uses of the term “violence against women” – defined to include sexual violence – in UN resolutions, treaties, general comments, and consensus documents. No human rights instruments explicitly address sexual violence against men.

“Gender-based violence” is used only to describe female victimization, thereby leaving no room for a much-needed gender analysis of male rape. “Gender-based violence is a form of discrimination that seriously inhibits women’s ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.”

One example of an uncritical application of sex specificity in an otherwise thorough instrument is UN Security Council Resolution 1325. It begins with member states “[e]xpressing concern that civilians, particularly women and children, account for the vast majority of those adversely affected by armed conflict.” This sex-based framing serves to justify the exclusion of males from the proscriptive measures later in the articles which, among other issues, address sexual violence.

In general, the explicit mention of boys in UN instruments is rare. Men, like boys, are typically only included in language about violence in their instrumentalist capacity – as actors who are important to its reduction. The attention to the role of men as important actors in the reduction of violence would not be problematic if the instruments also acknowledged instances of men’s vulnerability.

In fact, men with characteristics that make them particularly vulnerable to violence are consistently excluded from human rights instruments. Subgroups of at-risk men, such as refugees, the internally displaced, migrant workers, disabled men, or men who are vulnerable to sexual violence because of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group during armed conflict are excluded. Human rights instruments that do address the vulnerability of these groups to sexual violence address only the vulnerability of women.

Problematic Theoretical Implications of the Female-Specific Approach

One’s sex and perceived gender identity plays a significant role [in a victim hierarchy]. The victim ranked at the top of the hierarchy is a heterosexual female (preferably a virgin) attacked and raped by a stranger, all the while struggling frantically, but futilely, to resist. Moving down a notch in the hierarchy, we find victims who are perceived as less innocent: non-virgins and women who know their perpetrators. Further down are promiscuous women, then women so promiscuous as to have had sex recently or with more than one partner within a short period of time, trailed distantly by sex workers.

Boys, with innocence still intact, certainly stand high above men, and arguably, very close to girls. But adult men are viewed as the aggressors. That men are often raped in unappealing contexts such as prisons – one cannot imagine a setting in which “innocence” is less prevalent – helps propel male victims to the bottom of a hierarchy of victim sympathy.

Adult male rape victims generally, and gay adult male rape victims in particular, find themselves attracting the least sympathy as the lowliest members of the sexual victim hierarchy. In the US prison context, gay men report sexual abuse at four times the rate of straight men. Many men who perpetrate rape maintain their heterosexual identity by feminizing their victims and enforcing their role as the penetrative partner.

The traditional male-on-female rape construct also neglects the rape of people for whom traditional gender categories do not apply, such as transgender persons. Intersex people are similarly marginalized by the current framework’s use of tidy binary sex categories and would be better served under a more comprehensive approach.

The failure of a man to defend himself against sexual threats can compound the shame that is routinely reported by male rape victims. The tendency of perpetrators to feminize their victims and the general use of misleading terms such as “homosexual rape” causes some heterosexual victims to feel that their sexual orientation has been compromised or altered.

In 1975, Susan Brownmiller famously described rape as “nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.” (Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape). With the might and imprecision of a sledgehammer, Brownmiller’s words forced sex and gender to the center of the rape discussion. By creating a perpetrator class of men, Brownmiller dangerously sets up men as implausible victims.

Both common understanding and research data point to men as the disproportionate perpetrators of sexual violence. Knowing that most perpetrators are male, however, does not beget the conclusion that most (let alone, all) males are perpetrators. This seemingly axiomatic bit of logic gets lost in Brownmiller’s blunt sex-based division.

Assumptions that real men are sexual aggressors and never victims promote harmful perceptions about the “one” way to be a man. They can justify violent behavior as an archetypal manifestation of maleness, promoting a sense of inevitability about its continuation.

Male rape will only be curtailed when the perception of men broadens beyond one that sees men as a monolithic perpetrator class, and instead recognizes that men and boys can and should also be a group entitled to rights claiming. It would be more helpful to understand the ways in which regressive gender norms harm both men and women. It is possible to take sex and gender into account without setting up false divisions that pit all men against all women, villains against damsels in distress.

Furthermore, a female-specific approach to rape… has also had the unintended consequence of reaffirming the portrayal of women as defenseless victims in need of protection.

Limitations of the Female-Specific Approach in Practice

The very states that failed to address any form of sexual violence for decades are likely to be unaware of, or unconcerned with, sexual violence against men and boys. The failure of the instruments to hold governments accountable for sexual violence against male victims, simply put, encourages states to continue to ignore the problem.

Advocacy work for men and boys that operates within a human rights framework must solely rely on sex-neutral documents such as the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, stretching these legal tools to fit a problem for which they were not explicitly crafted. These instruments are more general in nature and leave out the sexual component of this abuse, in contrast to many of the instruments focused on women and girls.

Advocacy work aimed at ending any human rights abuse is clearly thwarted when the abuse is undetected or unreported. Male rape victims rarely report their rape to authorities. Reasons for not reporting include feelings of embarrassment and distress, the fear that no one will believe that the victim was unable to defend himself, and the belief that reporting itself compromises one’s masculinity.

Studies which purport to demonstrate the extent of under-reporting of rape have themselves excluded men and boys. One widely cited US report determined that 84% of rape victims did not report the crime and found rates of rape to be five times as high as those reported by the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports and the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s National Crime Survey. Despite the sweeping title of this publication, “Rape in America: A Report to the Nation”, it was based on research that explicitly excluded all men and boys from the research sample. To date, there is little data on the extent to which sexual violence against males remains under-reported.

When male rape is unacknowledged by society, left out of crime reports, or excluded by the international human rights movement, victims may believe that their experience is an aberration or that the problem is unworthy of redress, further compounding the inhibition to report – creating a cycle which stymies advocacy against the problem.

The international human rights system is one in which principals of nondiscrimination are paramount, and excluding one sex, prima facie, from protection from sexual abuse is problematic from this perspective.

Conclusion

Assumptions should no longer be made in human rights advocacy, instruments, and other texts that “gender” pertains only to women. Attention to gender-based violence must include violence to which men are disproportionately vulnerable on account of their sex. Definitions of rape and other forms of sexual abuse must always leave room for male victims. Any gender analysis of sexual violence must tease out the ways in which harmful masculinity norms serve to render certain groups of men (men who are perceived to be gay, weak, small, or effeminate) vulnerable to such violence.

In a world in which, one hopes, compassion is not a finite resource, new concern for one type of victim, in this case, men and boys, need not signify the lessening of concern for women and girls. It is not a zero-sum game. Indeed, the total undoing of women’s sexual subordination must include an accurate understanding of rape and a thorough critique of gender assumptions – and should not and cannot come at the expense of failing to account for other victims.

 

Early Traumatization by False Accusation

A letter to … the girl who accused me of rape when I was 15 (November 2014)

I was 15 and you were 13. Exactly one year and four months apart. But they will say two years because apparently, in months, we are supposed to round up. I had never met you before, even though we went to the same school. After the usual Friday night routine of underage binge drinking and smoking to look cool, we ended up staying over at a mutual friend’s house. His not-so-traditional parents made it an ideal hangout.

We were talking casually when I first noticed you flirting. I wasn’t exactly a looker back then, and definitely not the kind of guy who girls at our school usually flirted with, so I guess I was flattered. I made some kind of attempt to mirror your advances and we kissed.

“Bed” turned out to be you, your friend and me sleeping on three mattresses in a dining room. We held hands when the lights were out and you guided my hand to your breasts.

We gave up our virginity in eight minutes of clumsiness and confusion. You took my belt off and I battled with your bra. We were as silent as we could have been so as not to wake your friend who lay just two metres away, asleep.

I think we were both relieved when it finished. We didn’t use a condom, I guess because I never expected to have sex any time soon and if you did have one with you it wasn’t offered.

It was entirely mute apart from the simple, but essential, “Do you want to … ?” and “Yes.”

We parted with closed-mouth kisses and I returned to my mattress to sleep.

I woke up being shaken by my friend’s father and two policemen. They were telling me to get dressed and come with them. I didn’t have a clue what was going on.

One of the officers instructed the other to “bag” my T-shirt so my friend’s dad gave me his to put on; all the while I was being escorted through the house rubbing my eyes and asking what was happening.

Through the living room door, I saw more police comforting you. My friend was shouting something in my defence but it wasn’t until I was being arrested at the side of the police car for rape that I realised what was happening.

The arresting officer held my arm in detention until I finished heaving my stomach on to the street before pushing me into the back of the police car and driving me to the station.

I was processed and taken to a single cell where the door was closed and my head exploded. I didn’t make a single sound and declined the blanket and the solicitor, as if they might let me out for good behaviour. They took my shoelaces so I didn’t hang myself.

I woke up in tears to the realisation that I was still in a nightmare that couldn’t possibly be true. My foster dad had been called and he came and cried with me, demanded a solicitor and sat through a police interview so in-depth and humiliating that I still refuse to let myself remember it.

I had samples of my nails, saliva and pubic hair taken.

For three months, my bail was renewed monthly while the case was investigated. All this time, I wasn’t allowed to arrive at school until every other pupil was in class, for their safety. I spent every day in isolation, having work from each lesson sent to me via reception staff. If I went to the toilet, I’d be accompanied inside and prevented from talking to any other pupil in the school who I’d spent the last three years trying to make friends with.

My foster placement nearly collapsed because social workers were not sure if I could be trusted to live in the same house as my foster sister. I became completely introverted.

The charges were dropped in January, after the worst Christmas of my life. I was told that charges against you and me for underage sex had been considered but weren’t pursued. They did not give me any options to take action against you.

I never saw you after that night. In the six years since, I have done all I can to block out the horror of not just that night but of every month spent on bail. While the police seemed to hold true to innocent until proven guilty, my friends and their families certainly didn’t. Even when I returned to a you-free school, I never quite recovered. My relationships since have been damaged and I still struggle to trust my partners. I tell practically no one now about what happened, for fear of being perceived as a rapist and because I guess they’d say stories like mine make it harder for real victims of rape to be believed.

I moved away from home and keep minimal ties with my old life, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget what you did. I don’t know why you told your friend that I had raped you – maybe because you didn’t want to admit you’d had sex so casually or maybe because you were scared.

But I will never be able to forgive you for what you did to me.

You damaged my perception of women entirely and the only relationship I have since been able to sustain is with a man I can trust.

Rape is an abhorrent crime and every victim should be able to report it. But false accusations of rape are abhorrent too, and the victims too easily forgotten. Not only do false allegations damage the life of the victim but they also contribute to the trivialisation of the seriousness of genuine sexual violence.

Anonymous

 

Coercive Sexual Activity is an Equal-Opportunity Event

But this man responded to it much more constructively than do most college women.

Rethinking gender and sexual assault policy: My story (January 11, 2015)
In October 2013, I was sexually assaulted by a female student on campus.

I arrived at a party with a group of friends and struck up a conversation with a girl. We both were a bit drunk, but not to any dangerous levels, and slowly moved our conversation to the dance floor. We started dancing, then making out, then before I knew it, her hand was down my pants. I was surprised, as I hadn’t given her consent to take things a step farther, but I was nevertheless okay with it. Time passed with us together on the dance floor until she began whispering in my ear that she wanted to have sex. While I was enjoying myself, sex was not on the agenda for the night. I took a step back and realized that her friends were gone and she was seemingly alone at this party with me. Even though I didn’t want to end the night in her bed, since she was drunk, I felt I should help her make it back to her dorm.

We started walking home together, but our walk was prolonged by frequent stop-offs. We’d take a few steps holding hands, then take a moment to move off the path and make out with each other for a bit. After a while, these stop-offs became less of a mutual decision and more of a demand from her. I began denying her advances; it was late and I just wanted to get her home safely so I could get some sleep. She continued to engage with me and I denied her requests with a verbal “no” several times. After several failed attempts to push off her advances, we got to the point where I was trading kisses and gropes for steps back to her dorm. Several times her hands went down my pants, and I was not okay with it. I did my best to stick to my “no” every time she demanded more, but at each denial she would stop dead in her tracks and refused to walk with me unless I complied. I felt stuck. Dragging her back to her dorm with her fighting against me simply didn’t feel right. Physically fighting her struggle was not the safest means to that end. But, it didn’t feel right to abandon her there either. She was drunk and could not be left alone in the state she was in. So I felt I had only one option: I complied.

When I got back to my dorm at 2:30 that night, I was confused. Didn’t I go out wanting to engage in sexual contact? Shouldn’t I feel proud and confident that someone wanted me? As a man, shouldn’t I always want sex? This had been what I wanted for so long, but once it was in front of me, it simply didn’t feel right.

I don’t fault her for my change of heart; I fault her for not listening to my clear “no” several times after I made my final decision. Was the situation handled perfectly? No. I was confused, horny and intoxicated. I wasn’t properly educated to even understand that this experience would qualify as sexual assault. But even with all of these things in play, the fact of the matter is that my “no” was not respected. Sure, she didn’t use force, but what was I supposed to do?

***

About eight months had passed since my assault before I even considered the gravity of what happened that night. I relayed the experience to a few friends and at first, we nervously laughed about it. It all just seemed like a joke. Trading kisses and gropes for steps back toward her dorm? The whole situation seemed laughable, all centering on the inconceivable image of a horny college male denying a female’s sexual advances.

In June, I started asking why the events happened even though I said no. It didn’t seem like sexual assault. I wasn’t physically beaten or forced to engage with her. This wasn’t some traumatic event that threw me into a deep depression.

But Stanford’s current definition of sexual assault states, “Sexual assault is the actual, attempted or threatened unwanted sexual act, whether by an acquaintance or by a stranger, accomplished against a person’s will by means of force (express or implied), violence, duress, menace, fear or fraud. If coercion, intimidation, threats and/or physical force are used, there is no consent.”

Actual unwanted sexual act? Check. Coercion? Check. There was no consent. However, this still wasn’t enough for me.

After I returned to campus for my senior year in September, I began the process of reaching out to the Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse (SARA) Office on campus. When they were unable to meet immediately, I attempted talking to one of Stanford’s Confidential Sexual Assault Counselors. That position not yet having been set up, the University eventually forwarded me to the YWCA Sexual Assault Center on campus.

I began recounting my experience to the woman on the other line. I told my side of the story and she listened attentively until I ended with the simple question, “Does this qualify as sexual assault?” After a short moment acknowledging the difficulty of all the factors at play, what she said left me flabbergasted.

“You just have to be careful,” she said to me plainly. She began to outline how situations like these are difficult when alcohol is involved, but when I reiterated that I clearly said “no” and felt trapped in the situation she continued to astound me with her suggestions at what I should or could have done. “You could have just left her,” she insisted. “If I were a man in your shoes, I would have definitely called 911.” At this point it was tough to hold back my frustration. I was calling this hotline because I was trying to figure out if what I experienced was sexual assault. How could I have called 911 in the moment if I didn’t even know I was being sexually assaulted?

I continued and began speaking of how I felt my gender could have played a role in the incident and how it was beginning to color our conversation. In response to this she began explicitly insisting that the woman in my case might not even know what happened that night and could accuse me of sexual assault. I had gone from possible victim to possible attacker in this woman’s eyes. Not having received the counseling I sought, I quickly ended the conversation. I understand that I didn’t handle things perfectly that night, but not once did this YWCA representative give any ounce of support. She didn’t refer me to any further resources. She never once validated that this was indeed sexual assault. As a man calling into the Young Women’s Christian Association, it’s tough to think that my gender did not play a role in this woman’s response. It was incredibly frustrating that an organization known for warning against victim-blaming in the case of women had no problem jumping straight to this tactic against a male victim when the tables were turned.

A few days after my encounter with the YWCA, I was able to meet with staff at the SARA Office. I explained the same story to the director and feared that I would experience the same victim-blaming that occurred with the YWCA. Instead, she immediately answered my question. Yes, what I described does count as sexual assault.

From there she provided me with a multitude of resources, from Counseling and Psychological Services for psychological help all the way to instructions for entering the judicial review process if I wanted to press charges. My experience with the SARA Office was wholly positive, as the director took the time to see me not as a victim, not as a male, but as a person with a tough question that needed an answer.

***

While Stanford has a concrete definition of sexual assault, the SARA Office affirmed that before even consulting legal definitions, it is first up to the survivor to define what happened based on how they feel. I personally do not want to press charges; we both strayed blindly into grey areas that night. Luckily, I came out the other side without any traumatic emotional scarring or depression. However, not everyone may be so lucky if put in this situation.

Never once have I called this woman my “attacker” or “assailant” because I didn’t emotionally respond as though it were an attack or an assault. To me, she’s just a student that made a mistake. However, she does deserve to know that what she did is defined as sexual assault.

What she does not deserve is expulsion. We need to understand that we can’t solve these grey issues with black and white statements and punishments.

By demanding a “strong presumption in favor of expulsion” through last quarter’s ASSU Task Force Proposal, we begin to force the hand of the administration in cases where they should instead be using a discerning eye. Under the proposal, the only mitigating factor that can be brought forth to fight expulsion is the presence of a “pertinent, acute mental illness”. Mistaken consent, cooperation with the judicial review process and evidence of a lack of malicious intent are all outlined as factors that are inadequate to bring forth an argument against expulsion. It is completely understandable why the ASSU would deem these as inappropriate, but in practice this results in harsh punishments that fail to account for the differing degrees of sexual misconduct and rape.

In my case, I don’t believe she had any especially malicious intent during the incident and her presence on campus does not present any imminent danger to me. Despite these factors, under the above policies, she would still fall under the category of recommendation for expulsion. She deserves to be educated about her mistakes, but this education remains unavailable to her as a result of the punitive approach proposed by the ASSU. The burden of providing her with this education should not fall onto me simply because I disagree with the recommendation for such a harsh punishment. There is definitely a time and place where expulsion is necessary and we need to ensure that the University is able to apply it to keep students safe. However, in cases where education is all that is necessary to ensure a safe learning environment, overreactions like expulsion begin to look less as a decision to ensure student safety but more as an attempt to deliver retribution for emotional distress, which should never be the goal of punishments.

We need to create a better space where everyone can speak constructively about this issue, as this can happen to anyone. Yes, sexual assault happens significantly more often to women than men; however, when we gender these conversations, it marginalizes the already silent population of male victims even further. It reinforces the idea that as a man, you won’t be assaulted. Therefore, when it happens it’s seen as a joke or an issue raising questions surrounding the man’s sexuality instead of his assault. Stripping gender from these conversations is necessary to constructive conversation because its presence provides no benefit outside of reinforcing a statistical fact that we all should already understand. Gendering these conversations often leads to victim-blaming of women and the demonization of men, which simply divides us on an issue we already stand hand-in-hand against.

Ensuring safety for everyone is our priority when fighting sexual assault, and it’s important to remember that while we may disagree on the path, we’re all envisioning the same goal. I’m extremely excited that we continue to hear from voices that have been previously marginalized and silenced when these issues arise. However, we need to ensure that we do not marginalize and silence those that may be fighting alongside us in the process.

Justin Brown ‘15

 

When Men Are Raped

A new study reveals that men are often the victims of sexual assault, and women are often the perpetrators. For some kinds of sexual victimization, men and women have roughly equal experiences, by Hanna Rosin, April 29 2014 (excerpts)

The 2013 National Crime Victimization Survey turned up a remarkable statistic. In asking 40,000 households about rape and sexual violence, the survey uncovered that 38% of incidents were against men. The number seemed so high that it prompted researcher Lara Stemple to call the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) to see if it maybe it had made a mistake, or changed its terminology.

Stemple, who works with the Health and Human Rights Project at UCLA, had often wondered whether incidents of sexual violence against men were under-reported. Stemple began digging through existing surveys and discovered that her hunch was correct. The experience of men and women is “a lot closer than any of us would expect,” she says. For some kinds of victimization, men and women have roughly equal experiences. Stemple concluded that we need to “completely rethink our assumptions about sexual victimization,” and especially our fallback model that men are always the perpetrators and women the victims.

For the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, the Centers for Disease Control added a category of sexual violence called “being made to penetrate”. This definition includes victims who were forced to penetrate someone else with their own body parts, either by physical force or coercion, or when the victim was drunk or high or otherwise unable to consent. When those cases were taken into account, the rates of nonconsensual sexual contact basically equalized, with 1.270 million women and 1.267 million men claiming to be victims of sexual violence.

“Made to penetrate” is an awkward phrase that hasn’t gotten any traction. It’s also something we instinctively don’t associate with sexual assault. But is it possible our instincts are all wrong here? We might assume, for example, that if a man has an erection he must want sex, especially because we assume men are sexually insatiable. But imagine if the same were said about women. The mere presence of physiological symptoms associated with arousal does not in fact indicate actual arousal, much less willing participation. And the high degree of depression and dysfunction among male victims of sexual abuse backs this up.

In the last few years, the BJS did two studies in adult prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities. Those surveys turned up the opposite of what we generally think is true. Women were more likely to be abused by fellow female inmates, and men by guards, and many of those guards were female. For example, of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89% were boys reporting abuse by a female staff member.

 

When Women Sexually Assault Men

How gendered cultural scripts help conceal and laugh away a legitimate problem, by Livia Gershon, October 09, 2014 (excerpts)

In news coverage of campus sexual assaults in recent years, scenarios with male victims aren’t depicted too frequently.

The assumption that men always want sex and that women are inevitably more reluctant is so universal in our culture that the unambiguous rape of men by women can serve as a punch line in popular movies.

However, the reality is not humorous: Women do sexually assault men on college campuses, on a regular basis. Each year, according to an estimate in a literature review, roughly 19% to 31% of male college students experience some kind of unwanted sexual contact, and researchers say the vast majority of that is perpetrated by women (“Sexual victimization among male college students: Assault severity, sexual functioning, and health risk behaviors”, Jessica A. Turchik, Psychology of Men & Masculinity, Vol 13, Jul 2012). These men’s experiences usually aren’t as horrific as those of women who are assaulted, but they represent a clear, and mostly hidden, problem. They also contradict standard assumptions and cultural scripts about male aggression and female passivity.

Cindy Struckman-Johnson, a psychology professor at the University of South Dakota, has studied male victims of sexual assault since 1985. Studies showing widespread sexual coercion and assault by women against men, on college campuses and elsewhere, have trickled in consistently for decades, but they haven’t entered the public discussion of sexual violence, she explains. “It’s so contrary to the stereotypes of female behavior,” Struckman-Johnson says. “When you talk to the general public, there’s the idea that this can’t happen. They just can’t put it together.”

The image of men’s sexual desires as constant and all-consuming and of women as the gatekeepers to sex makes it impossible for many people to imagine men as victims. If men are always seeking sex, and frequently shot down by disinterested women, then they should be grateful – or at least not traumatized – by any kind of sexual attention from a woman.

Research consistently shows that Americans are more likely to find coercion of men by women acceptable, compared with the reverse. We’re also more apt to label an incident of heterosexual sex as rape if it involves a male aggressor and female victim, perhaps in part because men are seen as more threatening. In some cases, people code coercive behaviors by men as aggressive but coercion by women as romantic and seductive.

News reports and training programs on sexual assault may acknowledge that it’s possible for men to be victims, but they typically focus almost entirely on male-on-female assaults rather than the reverse. “It reinforces the old stereotypes of men being the sexual predator, always sexual, always wanting something,” Struckman-Johnson says.

Men who experience sexual assault or other violence by intimate partners are less likely than women to report the incidents to the police. They frequently think no one will believe a woman sexually assaulted them, are embarrassed at not being able to fend off an attack by a woman, or harbor fears of being perceived as “gay” or not masculine for not wanting to have sex, Struckman-Johnson suggests.

The literature suggests that around one in five men who are sexually coerced experience long-term effects. For those who do, the fallout can be serious, including symptoms of post-traumatic stress. The negative effects are particularly common in cases where older women take advantage of teenage boys, especially when alcohol is involved.

Struckman-Johnson says there’s not a huge amount of research on female perpetrators, but popular perceptions of men and women’s sexuality may make it easier for women to rationalize sexual aggression.

“Because of the idea that men are sexually oriented and wanting it all the time, it kind of lets them off the hook,” she says. “They get to assume they’ve got a ready and willing partner here who would just love to have sex with them. That is not the case, that’s denying individuality, it’s denying personality, it’s denying people’s rights to choose their sexual situations.”

If women are uncharacteristically pushing, or even forcing, men into sex, then it seems like the only acceptable response is gratitude. Throwing out these traditional scripts could mean rethinking sex as something that can, and should, be sought and enjoyed by everyone involved.

 

Reverse Sexual Discrimination & Denial of Due Process

Unsubstantiated accusations against my son by a former girlfriend landed him before a nightmarish college tribunal, by Judith E. Grossman, a Mother, a Feminist, aghast, April 16, 2013

I am a feminist. I have marched at the barricades, subscribed to Ms. magazine, and knocked on many a door in support of progressive candidates committed to women’s rights. Until a month ago, I would have expressed unqualified support for Title IX and for the Violence Against Women Act.

But that was before my son, a senior at a small liberal-arts college in New England, was charged – by an ex-girlfriend – with alleged acts of “nonconsensual sex” that supposedly occurred during the course of their relationship a few years earlier.

What followed was a nightmare – a fall through Alice’s looking-glass into a world that I could not possibly have believed existed, least of all behind the ivy-covered walls thought to protect an ostensible dedication to enlightenment and intellectual betterment.

It began with a text of desperation. “CALL ME. URGENT. NOW.”

That was how my son informed me that not only had charges been brought against him but that he was ordered to appear to answer these allegations in a matter of days. There was no preliminary inquiry on the part of anyone at the school into these accusations about behavior alleged to have taken place a few years earlier, no consideration of the possibility that jealousy or revenge might be motivating a spurned young ex-lover to lash out. Worst of all, my son would not be afforded a presumption of innocence.

In fact, Title IX, that so-called guarantor of equality between the sexes on college campuses, and as applied by a recent directive from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice. On today’s college campuses, neither “beyond a reasonable doubt,” nor even the lesser “by clear and convincing evidence” standard of proof is required to establish guilt of sexual misconduct.

These safeguards of due process have, by order of the federal government, been replaced by what is known as “a preponderance of the evidence”. What this means, in plain English, is that all my son’s accuser needed to establish before a campus tribunal is that the allegations were “more likely than not” to have occurred by a margin of proof that can be as slim as 50.1% to 49.9%.

How does this campus tribunal proceed to evaluate the accusations? Upon what evidence is it able to make a judgment?

The frightening answer is that, like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, the tribunal does pretty much whatever it wants, showing scant regard for fundamental fairness, due process of law, and the well-established rules and procedures that have evolved under the Constitution for citizens’ protection. Who knew that American college students are required to surrender the Bill of Rights at the campus gates?

My son was given written notice of the charges against him, in the form of a letter from the campus Title IX officer. But instead of affording him the right to be fully informed, the separately listed allegations were a barrage of vague statements, rendering any defense virtually impossible. The letter lacked even the most basic information about the acts alleged to have happened years before. Nor were the allegations supported by any evidence other than the word of the ex-girlfriend.

The hearing itself was a two-hour ordeal of unabated grilling by the school’s committee, during which, my son later reported, he was expressly denied his request to be represented by counsel or even to have an attorney outside the door of the room. The questioning, he said, ran far afield even from the vaguely stated allegations contained in the so-called notice. Questions from the distant past, even about unrelated matters, were flung at him with no opportunity for him to give thoughtful answers.

The many pages of written documentation that my son had put together – which were directly on point about his relationship with his accuser during the time period of his alleged wrongful conduct – were dismissed as somehow not relevant. What was relevant, however, according to the committee, was the unsworn testimony of a “witnesses” deemed to have observable knowledge about the long-ago relationship between my son and his accuser.

That the recollections of these young people (made under intense peer pressure and with none of the safeguards consistent with fundamental fairness) were relevant – while records of the accuser’s email and social media postings were not – made a mockery of the very term. While my son was instructed by the committee not to “discuss this matter” with any potential witnesses, these witnesses against him were not identified to him, nor was he allowed to confront or question either them or his accuser.

Thankfully, I happen to be an attorney and had the resources to provide the necessary professional assistance to my son. The charges against him were ultimately dismissed but not before he and our family had to suffer through this ordeal. I am of course relieved and most grateful for this outcome. Yet I am also keenly aware not only of how easily this all could have gone the other way – with life-altering consequences – but how all too often it does.

Across the country and with increasing frequency, innocent victims of impossible-to-substantiate charges are afforded scant rights to fundamental fairness and find themselves entrapped in a widening web of this latest surge in political correctness. Few have a lawyer for a mother, and many may not know about the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which assisted me in my research.

There are very real and horrifying instances of sexual misconduct and abuse on college campuses and elsewhere. That these offenses should be investigated and prosecuted where appropriate is not open to question. What does remain a question is how we can make the process fair for everyone.

I fear that in the current climate the goal of “women’s rights”, with the compliance of politically motivated government policy and the tacit complicity of college administrators, runs the risk of grounding our most cherished institutions in a veritable snake pit of injustice – not unlike the very injustices the movement itself has for so long sought to correct. Unbridled feminist orthodoxy is no more the answer than are attitudes and policies that victimize the victim.

[Judith Grossman is one of the founders of Families Advocating for Campus Equality, dedicated to “fairness and the right to due process of law for all parties involved, when allegations of sexual misconduct are presented”.]

 

A Letter From a Survivor

I am Joshua Strange. I am a survivor of false accusations of sexual assault and criminal domestic violence.

In the Spring of 2011, I had just completed my second year at the school of my dreams: Auburn University. I had a large group of friends, I was Chaplain of my fraternity, and I had just watched the Auburn Tigers win the National Championship in football and Cam Newton win the Heisman trophy. It was an amazing time to call myself a Tiger. In late May of 2011, I began dating a girl I met at a friend’s party. We dated through the Summer of 2011 and seemed to be doing very well – she even moved into my apartment. Toward the end of the summer, however, I ended our relationship due to her continued close relationship with her former boyfriend. I was hurt and disappointed – she was my first serious girlfriend – but I had no idea what was about to happen to me.

A couple of months after we broke up, she decided to accuse me of sexual assault/rape both through the legal system, as well as through Auburn University. It was completely untrue and absolutely devastating.

Over the course of the next few months, my world rapidly unraveled. My fraternity deactivated me. I lost most of my friends, and although I was completely cleared of all criminal charges through the legal system, my beloved Auburn University expelled me from school. They gave no care or consideration for the truth, having systematically denied me the opportunity to present my side in a fair and equitable manner.

My world was destroyed by a false accusation from a bitter ex-girlfriend. I lost my self-confidence and I fell into a deep depression as I struggled to come to terms with the injustice of my circumstances. I had committed no crime but I suffered 100% of the consequences.

Things really do get better and with the support of my family and close friends, my life is improving every day. I now realize that I am the only person who can define who I am and what I do with this experience. I am Joshua Strange and I am not a rapist.

 

Going to Court to Get Belated Justice, Denied by Federal Law & Policy

Corey Mock – Sexual Assault on College Campuses, by C.D. Mock, wrestling coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

His son, Corey Mock, is a nationally ranked wrestler. A former UNC-Chapel Hill student, he was a star athlete at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga until the senior was accused of rape last March and was expelled in December.

“Our case is a classic he said, she said case,” C.D. Mock said. “You don’t kick someone out of school or punish somebody because he said, she said.”

He started a blog to share his frustration with the handling of sexual assault cases on college campuses. Guilt or innocence is left up to the university, not the criminal justice system, he complains.

Assault on young men on college campuses: a father’s perspective (12/18/2014)

My son, Corey Mock was accused of sexual assault by a young lady named Molly Morris [she had published her name previously] while at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in the Spring of 2014. I am not writing this to defend my son; the truth is, no one really cares – that’s life. I am writing this because I don’t want to ever read about this happening to another wrestler again.

My son asked Molly Morris if she wanted to go into the bedroom; she said “yes”. They both lay in the bed and began kissing. He removed her pants and performed oral sex. At some point, he stopped to remove his clothes and she removed her bra. He climbed on top of her and after having some trouble entering her, she reached down and guided him inside her. At NO TIME during this encounter did Ms. Morris communicate in any way that she did not wish to engage in sexual activity, verbal or otherwise. She does not dispute that any of these details happened, she merely says she does “not remember” (a toxicology exam a day later was negative confirming there was no drug in her system). Two days later, after a series of very pleasant text message exchanges between the two of them which are in evidence, she suddenly informs him that she “never gave consent to sex”.

At the initial hearing conducted by the school, my son was found innocent of all charges. One week later, with absolutely NO additional evidence or explanation, the judge simply reversed her decision.

There has been a fundamental change on college campuses all over this country. In this current culture of “hookups” in lieu of dating, with women every bit as sexually aggressive as men on campuses, parents, wrestling coaches, and wrestlers heading to college need to understand the extent of this new danger. I am not just the father of a wrestler, I am a Division 1 wrestling coach as well and I am very familiar with the college culture.

If a woman accuses you of sexual assault at UTC, you will immediately be removed from the wrestling team prior to any investigation or determination of guilt. YOU HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS IN COLLEGE. The colleges have taken the position that you relinquish your rights when you sign the application and the courts have upheld this. This is not just at UTC, this is everywhere. The University or College will do everything in its power to prosecute you and kick you out of school regardless of the evidence and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, and they know it. You can sue the school and the alleged victim as we are doing, but the minimum cost to sue is $50,000 and the NCAA isn’t going to give you your year back if you win.

This sounds nuts right? This can’t be true! Thanks to our liberal politicians who cater to the very well funded and well organized feminist groups, the Dept. of Education through Title IX (sound familiar) has put every college in the country on notice that if they find a college has not been “responsive” to sexual assault accusations they could lose their federal funding. Colleges are scared to death and their reaction is to crucify young men who are accused. Why are we not hearing more about this? Because most people can’t afford (or choose not to afford) to sue the schools and therefore, the schools are not being held accountable. The Duke Lacrosse case and currently the UVA fiasco are two exceptions that are in the media.

Morally and ethically I want to say, don’t have sex until you get married. We all know that would be naive. Ignoring this problem because it’s edgy would be irresponsible. Having said that, my strong and now experienced advice to you is if you choose to have sexual relations with a girl, get her on video on your phone consenting verbally. Make sure it is clear on the film that she is of sound mind. There is little else that will help you if she suddenly decides she made a mistake and accuses you of assault.

Relaying the specific explicit details of this event bring myself, my son, and our family no pleasure. This has been a very difficult and heart breaking experience. Corey will lose the opportunity to compete his last year and he emphatically denies doing anything wrong; we intend to prove that in a court of law. But, we agreed not to be silent; and to do everything we can to help prevent this from happening to others.

[1/11/2015 – We are finally out of “school court” and in a REAL court system with a REAL judge where they require REAL evidence and are not subject to REAL politics. A place where unlike the colleges, the feminists and activists pushing the man-hating agendas have no power or influence. A real judge reviewed the case and SHE ordered him back in school.]

In other blog posts, C.D. Mock wrote:

When you sign an application to go to college, you waive your constitutional rights. The courts have upheld this stating that it’s considered a contract. Almost all schools have established behavioral policies related to drugs, alcohol, fighting, theft, sexual assault, and many other issues. Those policies often deem your child to be guilty until proven innocent. And, within the college system, the determination of your final judgement and consequences occur often at the sole discretion of one single official. And, you have no recourse.

Universities are educational institutions; we pay them to provide an education to our children. That is their expertise and is contained in every college mission statement. Officials at colleges have no formal law enforcement training or education. They are not lawyers, police, or judges. They are administrators, teachers, and counselors. Why has our government, specifically the Dept. of Education utilizing Title IX, put educational institutions in charge of law enforcement issues with our children? How did they do this? By clearly communicating that if the schools do not play police, jury, and judge to sexual assault accusations and deal with them harshly, they could lose their federal funding. This leaves college officials with very little choice.

The solution is common sense. Women are going to be sexually assaulted. And, men are going to be falsely accused of sexual assault. We have allowed our entire society to be so sexually open that these young people are bombarded constantly via TV, movies, magazines, internet, etc. with SEX every hour of every day. The feminist activist groups take the position that the answer to this problem is to lock up every male accused of sexual assault. They react this way because for years it was extremely difficult for a rape victim to get a fair shake in the legal system let alone at schools that brushed them under the carpet.

How about this? Let’s all acknowledge this “yes means yes” idea sucks. The idea that college kids are going to whip out cell phones and record their partner saying “yes” just before sex is just stupid.

Let’s take the positive things from “yes means yes” and throw out the crap. Few would argue that if a female is fully conscious, kissing and making sexual advances to a male, that this does not constitute “consent”. Now, consent to what? Only the female knows this. Once actions that clearly constitute some form of sexual activity exist, the female needs to say “no” to set the lines of behavior for it not to go further. So, the male knows either by a verbal “yes” or by her clear actions that he has a green light. That green light exists until she puts out the red light, which she can do at anytime with either a verbal “no” or any reasonable form of resistance.

The idea that a woman who is intoxicated has no control is ridiculous. Hate to break it to you feminists out there but the whole idea on college campus’ today is to drink alcohol in social environments to reduce inhibitions. I agree that at some point, given enough alcohol, one becomes unconscious and incapable of control; no one would disagree that person needs to be protected. But, to suggest that a girl who has had two drinks is incapable of saying “no” is ludicrous.

If the colleges have to play court to some extent then let them up to a point where there exists a minimum standard that determines the issue needs to be dealt with by the experts. In all college policy statements there should be a clear time in any case where it gets booted to the courts if the college can’t provide a fair resolution. If someone is clearly going to lose his education by being kicked out of school, only a real court should be permitted to do this. That means real evidence and proof must exist.

***********************************************************************************

by Robert Riversong: may be reproduced only with attribution for non-commercial purposes

See also:

When Progressive Social Change Becomes Regressive Ideology: From Women’s Liberation to Cultural Misandry – ReHonoring Masculinity & Achieving Gender Justice

Misandric Feminism vs. Progressive Gender Equality (excerpt of above)

Male Victims of Sexual Violence (also an excerpt of the first essay)

Yellow Journalism and the Meme of “Rape Culture” – Rolling Stone and U-VA Gang Rape

Dear President Sullivan – letter from 17 attorneys involved with campus sexual assault claims throughout America, detailing specific reasons why they “are concerned that the University’s Proposed Student Sexual Misconduct Policy is both vastly over inclusive in attempting to define prohibited conduct and ill equipped to guarantee a procedure for resolving allegations that is fair and impartial”.

It’s Time for a U-VA Apology – Op-Ed from a 25-year U-VA professor and his U-VA junior son

Journalistic Fabulism and Ideological Agendas – the Sabrina Rubin Erdely Story

New Puritanism – New Paternalism – The “Rape Culture” Narrative Demeans Women, Demonizes Men, and Turns Universities into Witch Hunt Tribunals

Dear Senators – letter from 20 attorneys critical of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (S. 2692)

Sexual Assault and Justice: Can we reconcile the belated attention to rape on campus with due process? by Nancy Gertner, feminist lawyer, retired federal judge and Harvard Law professor

The Pendulum Reverses – Again – The Betrayal of Liberty on America’s Campuses & Men Strike Back against Title IX Tribunals

HELP for DOE Regulatory Excess – A Senate Task Force Report Recommends Scaling Back the Mountain of Regulations Strangling Higher Education Institutions

Two Sexual Assault Studies Contradict Stereotypes

All Sex is Rape – All Men are Rapists : Patriarchy = Rape Culture

A Model of Campus Gender-Based Harassment – The Columbia University “Mattress” Story

A Case Study in “Politically-Correct” Reactionary Response – The Duke Lacrosse Team Stripper Rape Hoax

When the Megaphone becomes the Gavel – Two legal experts on sex discrimination law and procedure argue that the current Title IX mandates for America’s colleges and universities are legally unsupportable and both practically and ethically indefensible.

Two Over-Privileged Millennials Engage in Sex and Get F-cked – The Stanford “Model” Student and her Silicon Valley Mentor

Insurance Industry Revelations and Prescriptions about Campus Sexual Assault

The Feminist Movement has Cannibalized Its Own Core Values and Become Its Own Worst Enemy

The Rape Culture Meme – It’s to authentic human culture what genetically modified corn is to maize.

 

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