Wrapping it up…

‘Queerness, then, is not an identity, but a position or stance. We can use “queer” as a verb instead of a noun. Queer is not someone or something to be treated. Queer is something we can do. The black woman is the original Other, the figure against which white women’s sexuality is defined..to be silent is, yes, unexpected in a world of stereotype. However, silence merely stifles [us]. Silence does not change the status quo.’

            – [1] Kimberly Springer, “Queering Black Female Heterosexuality”

It has been an exciting and insightful semester in From Archives to iPads: Investigating the Discourse on Sexuality at Emory. We have all exposed and engrossed ourselves in a world of sexuality. We have investigated Emory’s history as we leafed through old yearbooks and Emory Reports/Wheels. We have investigated sexuality in relationships, the sexual desires within us, sexually transmitted diseases, and sexual assault.

What we have done most this semester however, is talked. We have communicated our views and stands on sexually related issues and heard each other’s opinions about matters that affect us all. We have also learned how to keep silent. Silence is powerful- overriding communication, in my opinion. Our silence can denote our respect others opinions and our restraint to object however, this can also translate to our lack of concern. It can have detrimental effects, as we have seen with individuals failing to express their sexual preference, individuals failing to communicate medical conditions, and the inability to say ‘no’ and combat rape.

To finish off the semester, we have read an article by Kimberly Springer. In “Queering Black Female Heterosexuality,” she discusses the stereotypes of the black female and how pop culture views them- ‘hoes with silicone breasts and butts that jiggle and quake’. She also goes into great detail of the difficulties surrounding black women to profess their pleasures in sex without being viewed as “too fast” and a “jezebel” to society.

Public assumptions about black female sexuality cause insecurities within these woman and young women entering this group. ‘Perhaps, if we do not speak about black woman and sex, the whole issue will go away.’ Why can’t these women profess their sexual preferences and stand strong to their confessions without adopting negative stigmas by others?

This issue also can resonate with everyone and all communities. How easy is it to keep silent in these situations? Why has it become the norm for us as a society to create these stigmas of black females, heterosexuals, gay, and queer individuals? Why do we target black females as being sex icons?

Does this vision of black females victimize them sexually? When we think of rape and how it occurs, when one person fails to communicate and unwilling has sex, does this unwillingness to project themselves another form of sexual violence?

Silence and communication is essential to sexuality. What we fail is our ability to act one way or another. We should be able to profess openly about our sexual preferences and pleasures without receiving any negative push back from others; black females ultimately desire this. We should also learn how to tame ourselves and learn how to keep silent so that we can listen to each other’s needs and wants and prevent sexual assault. Silence will not change the status quo but it will defiantly feed it further unless we gather the courage to speak up and communicate our fight against sexual victimization and assault- it begins with NO!


[1] Springer, Kimberly. Yes Means Yes. Chapter 6: “Queering Black Female Heterosexuality” 77-91. California. Seal Press, 2008.

“I wasn’t raped but…” class discussion

I mean no disrespect to rape victims, but I feel that Gavey in “I wasn’t raped but…” used an incorrect analogy. We didn’t get a chance to discuss this in class, but I was curious how everyone else saw it.

Gavey paralleled rape to depression, suggesting that although one might say they’re not depressed, they can be if they have the symptoms. Similarly, some might say a person has been raped although the person does not identify as a rape victim.

Depression is in the DSM and a person must meet a couple of the requirements. Rape doesn’t have to meet requirements, its determined person to person. People interpret it differently so there isn’t a set definition- I see it similar to the definition of hookup (I think theblock wrote a blog on the definition of hookups). Some people might think rape is constituted by not giving consent while others believe the victim has to actively not give consent. It seems like there is a spectrum for the definition of rape to me.

Effects of Rape on Men

The article, “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis” by Jayne Walker, John Archer, and Michelle Davies shows some significant differences between male and female rape victims in the UK. 852 reported male rape victims may seem very small in number, compared to 11,441 reported female rape victims (in 2002) (Walker et al. 495), but the public ignorance on the male victims may be causing different and possibly more pain in them individually.

Many of the male victims responded that they were shocked at the time of the assault by realizing how vulnerable they can be, probably being the major reason for 82.5% of the victims responding self-blaming for not being able to prevent the assault, 77.5% having low self esteem, and 68% feeling damaged with their masculinity (Walker et al. 501). The common stereotypes of men that expect them to be strong, active, and situation-handling seemed to be making the male victims suffer in different ways, compared to female victims, by making them to think that they failed to fulfill their expectations as men.

To me, it also seemed like an egg-and-chicken problem. Because of the lower number of reported rapes on men and the masculine stereotypes, people are generally much less aware of the issue. If a male becomes a rape victim, he is less likely to report or even just talk about his experience, because he cannot easily find a good place to start looking for help. The article also mentions that some “felt that their complaint was not taken seriously and [they] regretted their decision to tell the police” (Walker et al. 500).

Another interesting difference between male and female victims were questioning one’s sexual identity after being raped. Some formerly heterosexual male victims who experienced erection and ejaculation during the rape were confused with their sexuality because such bodily reactions were considered as enjoying. It is impossible to know how these male victims felt during and after the rape, but I thought they could also regard their erections as just a physiological response that are not different from having swollen face after being punched, or feeling tired after a sprint. Even Male babies are known to be capable of having erections when accidentally stimulated, but nobody would think that the babies were enjoying the accidental arousal.

Among the statistics, I was also surprised by the fact that 20% and 45% of the assaults happened at victim’s and perpetrator’s home, respectively (Walker et al. 497). As the article describes, this suggests that at least 65% of the victims could not imagine himself getting raped by their perpetrators. It actually reminded me of the “Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence” clip by Respect Program. In the video, male and female students and staffs are being asked what they are doing in daily basis to prevent themselves from being sexually assaulted or harassed. Almost every male responded that they are not doing much in daily basis whereas all female participants could respond without much hesitation.

In order to provide greater help to male rape victims, we should become more knowledgeable about the issue. In order to do so, we would need more research on the victims and the nature of assaults, which will become possible when male-male rape becomes more acknowledged by the society as an issue.



Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis by Jayne Walker, John Archer, and Michelle Davies

Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence by Emory University Respect Program (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCCaKuWQLp8)

A different gender bias

If you Google ‘men raped by men,’ you will find that it’s not a particularly useful search. The top results report women raped by men, most of which describe events that are only distinctive because multiple men perpetrated each rape. After scrolling down, the next most frequent results represent a blend of assault definitions and survivor resources that encourage education and communication about male rape. In the first few pages of results, only two report a news story involving an identified man (or boy) whose assailants are being pursued.

Male rape is not a well-publicized topic. Only through our class have we been forced to acknowledge this issue. It is a representation of the kind of violence that women either avoid thinking about or don’t understand and most men want to ignore completely. For years the law and the press ignored the rape of men. Accusations went unpursued, victims were discredited, and rapists were free to continue their lives with no fear of retribution.  The silence surrounding male rape prevented prosecution, but more importantly, it prevented victims from healing.

That silence could perhaps be attributed to the lack of occurrence in certain places. Although male rape likely occurs everywhere, it is in the areas in which its frequency is reportedly more prevalent where people have started to speak out against the violence (INCASA). It is also likely that the silence continues because of the fear of association with homosexuality. According to Tjaden and Thoennes, approximately 3% of American men have been raped in their lifetime. In comparison to the 17.6% of women, the number of men affected by rape is relatively smaller (Tjaden 7). However, ‘relatively smaller’ still equals approximately 2.78 million people so logically, there’s no reason for prevalence to be an excuse used to rationalize the lack of resources for male victims.

Walker, Archer and Davies report that, “the help and support for male victims of rape is more than 20 years behind that of female victims” (Walker 495). Although their study was focused on white British survivors, their findings support the hypothesis that there exists a gender bias in how society reacts and supports victims of sexual assault. Many of their participants claimed they were motivated to respond to the research proposal because they wanted to promote “informed publicity about male rape.” Many struggled to communicate with professionals who were not prepared to react to male victims in the same manner as they responded to females (Walker 500). Men have to worry more about being believed, because as one of last summer’s ASKMEN articles shows, many people don’t believe women can rape men. As a consequence, some men are left feeling emasculated. They are expected to be able to defend themselves and may develop self-blame as a result.

The authors of the British study found that the majority (90%) of the victims had faced some form of violence during the assault (Walker 497). Whether their current sexual orientation was gay, straight, bisexual or asexual at the time of the survey, none of the men involved wanted this to happen to them. They were left psychologically and often physically damaged in equal need of support and reassurance as their female counterparts.



Tjaden, Patricia and Nancy Thoennes. National Institute of Justice. Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Rape Victimization: Findings From the National Violence Against Women Survey. January 2006. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/210346.pdf

Walker, Jayne, John Archer and Michelle Davies. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis. 2005

INCASA. Resources For Survivors. When Men Are Raped. 2011 http://www.incasa.org/advocacy/survivor-resources/when-men-are-raped/

Walsh, Wendy. ASKMEN.com. Men Raped By Women. Can A Man Be Raped? http://www.askmen.com/dating/love_tip_3800/3838_men-raped-by-women.html

sexual assaults on campus


The very first paragraph of Sexual Assault on Campus; A multilevel Integrative Approach to Party Rape states the saddest fact I have ever learned in college. “between one-fifth and one-quarter of women are victims of completed or attempted rape while in college.”(Armstrong480). As a man who absolutely loves women, and always insists on protecting, taking care of, and respecting them, this statistic haunts me. Why are our women living within a system that lets this happen?


The first fact I noticed to help me answer this question was one that I wrote about last week, alcohol and its correlation with sexual violence. Half way through the first paragraph Armstrong states, “At least half and perhaps as many as three-quarters of the sexual assaults that occur on college campuses involve alcohol consumption on the part of the victim, perpetrator, or both.” All through out life I never considered “party rape” to be rape. To me, rape was when a man or a woman, uses any type of force to have sexual relations with any individual against their will. I never considered being drunk the same as being forced against your will. But it is possible to be drunk enough to not be in control. Therefore, alcohol can be used to subdue a victim, just like physical force, a knife, or a gun. I always considered taking advantage of a girl who is too drunk to say no the lowest of all male actions. It is well known that alcohol takes away inhibitions, and sometimes leaves a girl defenseless. To my friends and I, man law states that if she is too drunk to know better than it is unacceptable, but as we all know, not all men live by such a chivalrous code. As the man if you are the drunkest person, you must be careful not to over step your bounds. Saying the wrong thing can have you walking home alone, and doing the wrong thing can have you in jail. If you’re both extremely drunk, then be extra careful. That’s the gray area, and suddenly two parties can both make mistakes. Regardless of who is how drunk, no means no, and real men should take a loss like a gentleman.

I have family and I would never want any of my younger female siblings to go through college having to worry about getting drunk and being taken advantage of. Armstrong repeatedly states that alcohol and environments with alcohol are key in setting up a situation where party rape can occur. It is listed that fraternity houses and bars are sexually threatening environments (Armstrong 481). This is a fact I agree with.  Many times in most of theses places men will be looking to get girls into bed, and women will be looking to get attention from the men who are trying to take them home (Armstrong 483). Girls can even “earn scorn” form a male by wearing a “failed outfit” (Armstrong 483). . To me too much emphasis is put on sex, instead it should be put on partying without sexual implications. Often times college students feel as though they are supposed to go out and party (Armstrong,482,). Both boys and girls seek acceptance into their own groups and the cost of this acceptance can often be steep.


The second paragraph of page 483 states, “partying was also the primary way to meet men on campus…..people “don’t talk” in class. This could not describe Emory more. Class is long and stressful, when the weekend comes around all one wants to do is party and blow off some steam. Men try to get drunk and hook up, and girls do too. But some times men are willing to do too much to get too far.

Personally, I think party rape comes from two things. First, from the culture of “group acceptance” (Armstrong482). Men try to have sex to “fit in with their friends” and girls dress nice, get drunk, and go out to meet cute boys and girls :). Because these young girls think they need to dress to get attention, and get drunk to meet guys they are constantly in a dangerous position. Secondly, far too many men do not know when to stop, and do not have the fortitude to hold themselves to a higher standard of living. Far too many men would rather brag about taking advantage of a girl, than to enjoy the satisfaction of being a real man. A real man does not need alcohol; all he needs is a conversation.


Changing the culture of alcohol consumption will not stop sexual violence. But it will help decrease the rate of sexual assaults. There is not one way to stop sexual violence. To chop down a tree, the ax must be swung many times. By addressing alcohol abuse in our college culture, we can all take a huge swing against a society of rampant college sexual assaults.

What if I want to be a Jezebel?

In Kimberly Springer’s Queering Black Female Heterosexuality, she discusses ways for black women to be able to embrace their sexuality. She talks of how in black culture, black girls can be coined “fast” with just a slightly long look at a male. On page 77, she talks of how the phrase “Oooh, that girl know she fas’!” is only used for black girls.

She also goes on to discuss the silence that happens among black some when it comes to sexuality. In the American culture, black women are considered either sexual or asexual as she discusses on page 78. These extremes are used with the figures mammies and jezebels. The are both from the post-Civil War south. Jezebel is the term used for black women as “morally loose,” especially during this post-Civil War time when white men were having sex with black women. Springer says “White men claim sexual weakness being tempted by black devil women.” This can be compared to Emory during the times of Yun Ch’i-ho. Yun wrote in his diary of the white men having sex with black women prostitutes. How he described the culture, white male students were doing this with hardly any repercussions. It is hardly possible that administrators knew nothing of the males’ activities, so the reasoning that Springer brings up when it comes to sex with black women stands strong here.

On page 79, Springer explains how this is a very large reason why men were not convicted of rape of black women hardly at all until after the 1960s. Black females have help their hypersexuality characteristics by relation to white males. This is also the case for asexuality. The example that I never thought of is Queen Latifah in her roles like Bringing Down the House and Last Holiday, where to the white community, she is know as a a prude, quiet, nurturing black woman.

For solutions to these perceptions of black women, Springer gives seven points. When looking at them, i had some problems with them and had to play devil’s advocate/

1) “Come out as black women who enjoy sex and find it pleasurable.” With this point, I had problems with Springer saying that al women needed to come out in this way. Some black women find their sexual life very personal and do not feel the need to show the world how comfortable they are with their sexuality. Where would the line be drawn for those that decide to express their sexuality? Could it be shown at all in the workplace without giving off the wrong idea?

2) “Protest the stereotypes of black female sexuality that do not reflect our experience.” In the melting pot of America, regardless of being the same race, their is no real “our” that can represent all American black women. Living in America allows us to have the freedom of our own ideas and not having to form to a status quo. I am afraid that by using Springer’s second point there would not be a general consensus that could be made for all black women.

3) “All all black women-across class, sexual orientation, and physical ability-to express what we enjoy.” With this point, I believe there is no room for generality, which is a very good thing. Every woman should be able to express what makes them happy.

4) “Know the difference between making love and fucking.” Why does there have to be a difference? Who says that these two terms must be completely divided? For many women, these two words could be completely interchangeable, and making it a goal for all women to decipher between them seems unfair.

5) “Know what it is to play with sexuality.”

6) “Know that our bodies are our own-our bodies do not belong to the church, the state, our parents, our lovers, our husbands, and certainly not BET.” This statement seems to make black women go against what may be their foundation for how they live their life. I believe this is particularly true for religious black women. To have religious black women go against something that could possibly be in their religion for the sake of taking ownership of their body could unnecessarily complicate their mindset. I believe there is a difference between owning one’s body and mindset regardless of cultural perceptions and taking a stand against everything including what you may hold dear.

Party Rape

“Rather than criticizing the party scene or men’s behavior, students blame victims…” (Sex Matters 48). Students are blaming victims, victims are blaming themselves. What causes rape? Most would say “drinking too much”, “dressing too provocatively”, etc. But what most would not say is “the rapist.” The rapist is to blame, not alcohol, not what you’re wearing, not where you are or who you are.  “At least half and perhaps as many as three quarters of the sexual assaults that occur on college campuses involve alcohol consumption on the part of the victim, perpetrator, or both” (Sex Matters 47). The correlation is too dramatic for their not to be something done about drinking and rape… but what can be done? College students drink and will always drink. Inebriated college students make bad decisions. Usually the friends that would halt bad decisions from being made are also drunk altering their judgement as well.

Most parents would hope that they’ve raised their boys to be gentlemen and treat a lady right – that they wouldn’t make bad decisions like getting a girl too drunk and sleeping with her. However, college is the perfect breeding ground to turn gentlemen in to slobs. I’ve seen it more than once. There’s always that one guy pushing shot after shot in to your hand; if you don’t take the shot, you get nasty looks and bad comments. 1 shot, 2 shots, 3 shots, 6 shots later, the guy is fine, but the girl never really is. It’s the perfect time for the guy to take advantage of the girl – she’s in no state to make good decisions in a sexual context. The next morning, the girl feels used, dirty, and terrible but always thinks it her fault for getting too drunk. If she were to ever say that she was sexually assaulted, most of her friends would just say she got too drunk. Most would never let her admit that she was raped. That’s the rape culture that needs to be changed. “The most common way that student – both men and women- account for the harm that befalls women in the party scene is by blaming victims. By attributing bad experiences to women’s ‘mistakes’, students avoid criticizing the party scene or men’s behavior within it. Such victim-blaming also allows women to feel that they control what happens to them…” (Sex Matters 487).

Emory’s party scene allows rape culture to continue. The beginning of the night starts with a pre game by consuming a minimum of 3 drinks. Then, it continues at the frat houses where guy hands girl drink after drink, whether it be a shot, or a solo cup of sketchy punch from a cooler. When everyone is way too drunk for their own good, the party is moved to a bar where the consumption only continues. By the end of the night, most everyone’s goal or (newly-realized inebriated goal) is to find a hookup. Many girls are dangerously close to blacking out but the men are still on the prowl. This proves to usually result in risky sexual behavior.

What’s to be done about party rape? I think the most important factor in preventing this is to be informed. Know that it happens, and know that it doesn’t have to happen. Be aware that if you’re too drunk, you don’t have to tolerate risky sexual interactions. Inform your friends that they never have to blame themselves when they’re involved in party rape. Know that it was never the victim’s fault.


Sex Matters: The Sexuality and Society Reader.  Ed. by Mindy Stombler, Dawn Baunach, Elisabeth Burgess, Denise Donnelly, Wendy Simonds, Elroi Windsor. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2010. 481-495

Even Men Get Raped

Talks with S


Today, society is well versed with the notion that women all over the world can be, and are, sexually assaulted or raped. Over the last few years, the idea that “even men can be raped” has come to surface; however, it is a fairly new and untapped ideology. The questions that may arise in the minds of people are, “who rapes men?” or “how can a man be raped in the first place? aren’t men strong enough to protect themselves?” In addition, society is still not well equipped- socially, medically nor legislatively- to “handle” men getting raped. The women’s resource center of Georgia College, defines “rape” from the Georgia Law Book as a situation when a “male” forcibly penetrates a “female’s” sex organ. According to this Georgia Law Book,

“A person commits the offense of rape when he has carnal knowledge of:
(1) A female forcibly and against her will; or
(2) A female who is less than ten years of age.
Carnal knowledge in rape occurs when there is any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ. The fact that the person allegedly raped is the wife of the defendant shall not be a defense to a charge of rape.”

This definition of rape stems from the traditional view of a heterosexual relationship- where men were having sexual intercourse with women only, and vice versa. Since “manhood” has always identified men to be physically stronger than women, it was always assumed that only men could rape women. The concept of women raping men, although is not rare, has very seldom been reported. Even though the concept of homosexuality is not new, society has not fully integrated this “new model” in society. Thus men, sexually assaulting other men is a relatively new concept that can be fully addressed only once society fully acknowledges (comes to “positive” terms with it) the existence of homosexual or bisexual relationships. Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis, talk about men getting raped by other men, and the negative effects the victims suffer as a consequence.

I wanted to take a moment to provide the definition of terms such as “aggravated sodomy” and “sexual battery” to then better explain how the concept of “men getting raped or sexually assualted by other men,” has been made space for in the legal system in the U.S.

With effect from 2001, “Aggravated Sodomy” is a concept that addresses men getting sexually assaulted. The ‘Lectric Law Library, in Georgia Sexual Offences, states,

“A person commits the offense of sodomy when he performs or submits to any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another. A person commits the offense of aggravated sodomy when he commits sodomy with force and against the will of the other person.”

Furthermore, the term “sexual battery” also addresses both “males” and “females” getting sexually assaulted. The Georgia Law Book states,

“A person commits the offense of sexual battery when he or she intentionally makes physical contact with the intimate parts of the body of another person without the consent of that person. The term “intimate parts” means the primary genital area, anus, groin, inner thighs, or buttocks of a male or female and the breasts of a female.”

As of January 2012, the Obama Administration expanded the definition of sex crimes. The revised FBI definition states,

“rape is ‘the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object,’ without the consent of the victim. Also constituting rape under the new definition is ‘oral penetration by a sex organ of another person’ without consent.”

This definition uses the term “another individual” or “victim” that can refer to both men and women.

Although the legal system may have extended it’s definition to include men as potential victims of sexual assault, this wasn’t the case at the time of the research study published by Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis. At that time (though it may still occur today as well), the police or the judicial system looked down upon men who got raped. This research study mentioned in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis, draws out such instances of male victims. Archer, Davies and Walker state, “Very few male rape victims report their assault to the police because they think that they will experience negative treatment, be disbelieved, or blamed for their assault” (495). Several victims found the police to be unsympathetic, disinterested, and homophobic. They found the police not to take their complaint seriously, and therefore many victims regretted informing the police of the sexual assault (Archer, Davies and Walker 500). One victim who responded to the study by Archer, Davies and Walker, was able to bring himself to justice convicting his penetrator of the crime he had committed. Despite this, the victim described his experience in court as distressful, and even as “leaving a worse effect on him than the rape itself” (Archer, Davies and Walker 500).

Archer, Davies and Walker state,

“As majority of male rape victims cannot fight back, self blame for not doing so may contribute to the victim failing to seek medical help from the police, medical sources or friends and family.” (503).

Raped- male victims suffer various negative effects as a result of their “experience”.This includes self-blame for “allowing” this to happen to themselves, as they believed to have put themselves in such situations where they may have trusted a stranger or acquaintance, or for inability to fight back, or for punishment for being homosexual, etc. (Archer, Davies and Walker 502). The long-term effects of being assaulted also include, but may not be limited to: suffering from severe depression, anxiety in interactions with other men, increased sense of vulnerability, lowered dignity and pride, lowered self-worth, erection failure and lack of libido, confusion about sexual orientation- say now engaging in homosexual activity, bulimia and excessive alcoholic consumption, attempted suicide, etc. (Archer, Davies and Walker 496, 500, 501 & 502).

These long-term effects result from two main aspects of the victim’s sexual assault- the reactions of the victim “during” the assault, and “immediately after” reactions of the society after the assault. While some men were able to put up a fight, majority of the men who participated in the study stated that they were unable to put up a fight. The reactions of these men “during” the assault included feelings of fear and helplessness. Archer, Davies and Walker, in Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis stated, “ these men reported that the sense of helplessness and loss of control during the assault was worse than the sexual aspects of the encounter” (499). The “immediately after” reactions pertain to the societal reactions that these men believed themselves to have faced. These men fall victim to the personal and societal “secondary victimization”, as they were expected to have been “manly” enough to have saved themselves (Archer, Davies and Walker 503). In addition to the various long-term effects mentioned above, various victims may even begin to question whether they can protect their families or loved ones.

The results of the study conducted in “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”, concluded that only one man considered himself to have fully recovered from the assault, and 8 out of the 40 participants defined themselves as having not recovered at all since the assault. This recovery, if at all, was largely due to passing-of time, psychological treatment, prescribed medication, support from medical staff and other persons who actually believed their story (Archer, Davies and Walker 500 & 502). Archer, Davies and Walker state, “In general, the most helpful aspects of the treatments included being told it was not their fault, having someone to talk to, and someone to listen and express care and concern” (500).

The American College Health Association Guidelines on Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence on college campuses that we read for this class last week was from the viewpoint of protection of females from sexual assault. Prevention methods to avoid sexual assault, and support groups for raped victims were traditionally addressed only towards women’s safety and health. It is estimated that the help and support for male victims of rape is more than 20 years behind that of female victims (Archer, Davies and Walker 495). The participants of the study in “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”, knew that the public is not well aware about male rape victims. Archer, Davies and Walker state,

“When asked why they had participated in the study, responses focused on promoting informed publicity about male rape. For example, men said that they responded to the advertisement [about participation in this study] to try to help professionals understand male rape and what victims experience, to bring male rape to the attention of the public, to help future victims, and to establish support for male victims…” (500).

Currently, women have several 24- hour help lines, rape crisis centers, and support groups available to them. The same needs to be opened for men as well. Currently men can call RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline 24/7 for help, find a therapist or participate in discussion forums organized by “male survivor” and can even seek help from “1in6” online help support for men. Several other such forums need to be opened for male survivors. Furthermore, the police and other professionals need to be more empathetic and less homophobic towards male victims, the laws should fully incorporate punishment for sexual misconduct of a man by one (or more) other man, the American College Health Association should have a guideline outlining primary prevention methods for sexual violence against men, and loved ones need to be explained how to react to male victim’s when they confide their experience in them. The first step required here is education of society. Only once society is aware that both men and women are potential victims of rape can male victims be open about having been raped. This will help the victims to avoid long- term “post- rape trauma”, allow them to freely get themselves testing for STD’s that they may have contracted during their rape, be upfront with others about their “experience”, and press legal charges against perpetrators without fear of being judged by society.





1in6.  “Get Help”

American College Health Association (ACHA Guidelines). “Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence”

Archer, John. Davies, Michelle. Walker, Jayne. “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis”

Georgia College. Women’s Resource Centre. “Sexual Assault” http://www.gcsu.edu/womenscenter/projectcare/sexualassault.htm

Huff Post. “Men As Rape Victims: Obama Administration Expands Definition Of Sex Crime”

Male Survivor. “Overcoming Male Victimization of Boys and Men”

RAINN. “Male Sexual Assault”

The ‘Lectric Law Library. “Georgia Sexual Offences”



Sexual Assault at Emory

The main takeaway message I got from our discussion with Lauren Bernstein was that the prevention and control of sexual assault is extremely complicated. As Armstrong outlines, “processes at individual, organizational, and interactional levels contribute to high rates of sexual assault” [1]. Individual expectations combine within a policy that promotes male controlled party atmosphere. This ‘heterosexual script’ defines the sexual interaction between young men and women, and increases the likelihood of sexual assault. Whereas Armstrong calls for a decrease in alcohol usage and abolition of this gendered party scene, I agree more alone the lines of ¬¬ Lauren Bernstein [1].  Emory policy prohibits freshmen from visiting fraternity row for a certain period each year. Anyone who believes this actually prevents young men and women from going is certainly being naïve. Underage drinking happens, and it is likely going to continue to happen in the absence of fraternity presence. Within the recent press about the 7 instances of sexual assault occurring on Emory’s campus, the majority of focus has been placed on Greek life’s role. Of the 7 reports, only 2 were involved with fraternities. This suggests that this is not only a Greek problem; it is a campus problem.
Policy is not going to be able to change the culture of Emory. Students themselves need to be able to place value in getting rid of the ‘rape culture’. It should not be a pre-arrival online education module. It needs to be an interactive process where the actual reasons behind sexual assault can be understood and combated. With the removal of Emory’s Health and Physical Education requirements, it seems we are moving in the wrong direction. The other aspect that I do think will help stop these acts from occurring is the prevalence of organizations and events devoted to stopping assault. Increased awareness allows people to see that there is a problem and will help promote discourse about a somewhat taboo topic. 

Finally, I think it is important not only to consider this topic within only our setting. I liked someone’s assertion in class about the focus often being placed on college as the only instance where sexual assault or rape occurs. In our context, Emory’s campus, yes it is important to understand sexual violence from the collegiate context, but it is also important to remember that these acts occur in other societal places as well. It may be that colleges, often with increased support services for victims relative to outside society, have increased reporting of violence and thus the appearance that it occurs more often in this scene. A change in this larger context of sexual assault and rape will subsequently lead to a change in the ‘rape culture’ of colleges as well. This problem extends into many aspects of society and can only be prevented if we use an approach that considers the complexity of these factors.

1- Armstrong EA. Sexual Assault on Campus: A Multilevel, Integrative Approach to Party Rape. Pg 480-494.

Women, Men, Victimization!

Jayne Walker’s Article Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis pointed out how “research on effects of post-rape trauma has focused on female victims.” I went ahead and did some research on the definition of rape, and was surprised how many different definitions came up. According to Sue Rochman, In Georgia during the 1990’s, rape was classified as Forcible penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.(Rochman 1991) As you can tell, traditionally rape was only seen involving a penis and a vagina, and not the mouth or anus. Instead of acknowledging male rape, terms such as child abuse, sodomy, and prison rape have been used instead. Besides Georgia, Some states actually acknowledge male rape as an issue (during the early 1990’s), one of them being New Jersey. Their law involved all sex crimes regardless of the victim being male or female. In 1994, the Sexual Offenses act was altered, making male rape an equal crime to female rape.

Going back to Walker’s article, it is mentioned that since the 1970’s (Sexual Revolution), there has been a copious amount of research and literature on the effects of rape on women. There was very few studies on the effects of male rape, but it was in its infancy. Walker and her team gathered 40 male rape survivors in Britain to investigate their psychological health by comparing to the health to a control group. These volunteers completed a questionnaires, which measured psychological health, perspective about the world, and self-esteem. The results were something I had expected; the male rape survivors had poor psychological health and self esteem when compared to the control group. Walker mentions “As predicted, the majority suffered from intrusive re-experiencing of the rape: 58% reported experiencing intrusive thoughts often…” (Walker, 5) After reading this, I think of how many rape victims do not seek help (professional or not). Rape survivors can have serious long lasting psychological/health issues, and treatment services can really help

In Ruth Graham’s article Male Rape And The Careful Construction Of The Male Victim she mentions “Conceptualizing men as offenders and women as victims assumes that a clear distinction can be made between victims and perpetrators of crime. This distinction makes male victimization difficult to understand, as the existence of male victims directly challenges dominant understanding of victimization that often problematize men’ sexuality.” (Graham 3) I remember in class watching the video “Project Unspoken: I am tired of the silence”, and noticing how the men (including myself) didn’t consciously think about sexual violence, perhaps because it would directly conflict with their masculinity? In other words, men don’t view themselves as victims to the extent that women do, and only see themselves vulnerable in prisons. According to Graham, there is a small amount of research on male rape that expose the traditional belief that a male body is impenetrable to sexual assault. There is also research on why male rape is considered a vulgar/horrific form of rape. These types of research, in my opinion, are important for male victimization and male rape to come out of the shadows.

Graham, Ruth. “Male Rape And The Careful Construction Of The Male Victim.” Sage Publications, 2006. Web.

Rochman, Sue. “Silent Victims: Bringing Male Rape Victims Out of the Closet.” The Advocate, Issue 582, 30 July 1991. Web.

Walker, Jayne, John Archer, and Michelle Davies. “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis.” The British Psychological Society (2005): 1-8. Print.