Contra Mozilla

Monday, September 29, 2014

One Real Cause of Rape Culture

First, it's worth stating that "rape culture" is a bit overblown in the numbers. I'm fairly confident that the number of women who experience an actual rape in college does not approach 20% (1 in 5). But, with that prefatory caveat aside, even 2% or 0.2% is still not a good thing. I should note that while I find date rape to be vile and frankly intolerable, I do not equate it with rape*.

With those caveats aside, I can believe that both are much higher than they should be, and I can even believe that both are on the rise as compared with decades past. There is a compelling article posted on the Aletiea website explaining one of the root causes of why this might be so:
The issue of “rape culture” on college campuses swept into public consciousness through the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, which states that nearly 20% of college women in its survey experienced rape or attempted rape.   
Whether that high a percentage of young women are being victimized is much debated. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute, using a standard rule of thumb for reported versus actual cases (12%), ran the numbers for Ohio State.  He came up with the far lower percentage of 2.9%. 
Still, a serious problem exists.... 
Every examination of this issue has noted the close relationship of “hookup culture” with violent sexual assaults. Over the last four decades, dating and romance have gradually vanished from college social life, replaced by parties where college men and women meet, drink heavily, and then, in Lady Gaga’s words (from “Do What U Want”), “get naughty.”   
Universities countenance, and—in their non-judgmental way—even affirm the desirability of casual sex. A women’s counselor at Dartmouth, for example, explains that what’s important about a hookup is that “each person gets something out of it. If it's to get off, then that's great. . . . If it's to work some issue out—like sexual assault—then that's great. It's basically to get pleasure and enjoyment out of it . . . the hookup culture is good for experimentation, and what someone does for experimentation is up to them." The counselor does admit, however, that she never got much out of her own hookups.
Feminists in particular are quick to look for an institutional cause of the "rape culture" which can be blamed and then "fixed." It's always about what they can make other people do (a strange irony when looking for a means of fighting against a "rape" culture), and especially what that can force men to do in the name of fighting rape. To be fair, the guys are about half of the problem here. But all the "rape awareness campaigns" and marches and so on are just technical attempts at alleviating a very obvious moral problem--while at the same time institutionalizing one of the very causes of that problem.

* On the other hand, there are different levels of "date rape," some of which might be arguable worse than violent/"forcible" rape. Violence is very bad, but treachery can be worse.

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