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.


According to the ACHA (American College Health Association), 50-70% of all sexual assaults in college campuses involve alcohol. In today’s society, sex and alcohol are frequently linked. There is a stereotype that men drink to feel more powerful, sexual, and aggressive. This stereotype also believes that these men go out on a Friday night, and expect sex by the end of the night. This expectation can lead to misinterpreting a woman’s signals (nonverbal cues) to fit their expectations.

I can’t help but notice there is a double standard when it comes to alcohol consumption. Abbey states in Perception of Sexual Intent: The Role of Gender, Alcohol Consumption, and Rape Supportive Attitudes, “Traditional stereotypes convey a double standard regarding alcohol consumption: drinking men tend to be viewed more positively than drinking women. Women who drink alcohol are often perceived as being sexually promiscuous.” (Abbey 2) This stereotype can lead a man to think that a woman under the influence is more likely to respond (sexually) to his advances than a sober woman. Alcohol consumption leads to impaired judgment. Based on this statement, are women that were under the influence when raped somewhat (partially) responsible for what happened? This question has been used by lawyers time and time again to cast doubt on rape victims’ claims. In my opinion, regardless of involvement of alcohol, the full responsibility falls upon the rapist.

In Rana Sampson’s Acquaintance Rape of College Students she states, “Women ages 16 to 24 experience rape at four times higher than the assault rate of all women”. That would make the high school and college years the most vulnerable to women. Sampson also mentioned how college women are more prone to rape/sexual violence than women at the same age that are not enrolled in college. One in Four college women report surviving rape (15 percent) or attempted rape (12 percent) since their fourteenth birthday. The incidence of rape recording may be under representative of the actual number of rapes that occur. There are many factors that contribute to under-reporting. There might be different social costs for reporting rape at various universities, making comparisons between schools difficult. For example, Georgia State’s student body consists 22,587 undergraduates, while Emory only has around 5,500 undergraduates. When only referring to the students that “go out”, the 5,500 gets even smaller. With a small group of students such as this, there is a social cost that comes with a woman reporting a sexual assault. For instance, rumors about that woman can spread rapidly around campus, leaving people in her social bubble to judge and label her.

Abbey, A. “Perception of Sexual Intent: The Role of Gender, Alcohol Consumption, and Rape Supportive Attitudes.” Springer Netherlands, 05 Apr. 2002. Web.

Sampson, Rana. “Acquaintance Rape of College Students.” University of Nebraska – Lincoln, 01 Aug. 2003. Web.

Warsaw, R. I Never Called it Rape. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1994.

Abortion, AIDS, and Koop!

In Peter Lewis Allen’s “The Wages Of Sin”, he explains the history of AIDS in the United States of America. As part of his introduction, the sexual revolution as a major player to the awareness of AIDS in America. The sexual revolution eliminated most of the previous taboos associated with casual (outside of wedlock) sex, and replaced them with the notion that sex is just downright awesome. Needless to say, sex became an integral part of American culture, and was even evident in Hollywood films.

Allen mentions “Old scourges like syphilis and gonorrhea were now seen as minor nuisances that could be cured with a couple of shots……prophylactics, contraceptives, and abortion were increasingly socially accepted and easy to obtain.” (Allen 113) This quote made me question whether abortion was more socially acceptable during the sexual revolution versus the present. As we all know, abortion is currently a controversial issue in modern society, with different views regarding the morality of the procedure. From series of anti-abortion billboards/ads to abortion clinic riots throughout the country, I’m left with the thinking that it is overly optimistic to say that abortion is socially accepted in modern times. When looking through the 1971-72 Emory wheels, I found numerous abortion clinic ads. The Wickersham Women’s Medical Center in New York not only posted the prices depending on how long one is pregnant, but also advertised their free psychiatric counseling, family planning, and birth control. Another abortion clinic had an advertisement in large bold font “ABORTION $140. ABORTION”, and also briefly mentioned they had a no referral fee, and served up to 12 weeks. The third ad I found was a local non-profit organization that said “We will help any woman regardless of race, religion, age, or financial status. We do not moralize, but merely help women obtain qualified Doctors for abortions, if this is what they desire. Please do not delay, an early abortion is more simple and less costly, and can be performed on an out patient basis.” I was in utter shock when I found these ads countless times in the 1971 Emory wheels. Prior to seeing these ads, I was under the impression that abortion wasn’t prevalent in society until the 80’s; I guess I was wrong!

Allen explains how C. Everett Koop was the surgeon general that gave America its first talk about AIDS. Koop wanted to address all people, just as the British government had done, to inform every single American household about AIDS. However, this was difficult to achieve, because the disease was viewed as immoral and vulgar. All Koop wanted was to inform that just because one isn’t a young gay men, or drug user, doesn’t mean they are safe from AIDS. Eventually, he finally got the funds for the AIDS brochure, and sent it out over 107 million American households. The White House then wanted to update the brochure by deleting any reference to risky sexual practices and condoms. The GMHC brochures had a similar problem with Reagan administration; they released brochures that taught how to engage in safe sex, how to kiss, and how to perform various sexual acts without exchanging infectious fluids. All of this policy against comprehensive sexual education to me sounds ridiculous. In my opinion, people need to be aware of what is really happening. Do the 1971-72 abortion ads I mentioned earlier promote abortion? Does teaching about safe sex, aimed prevent exchange of infectious fluids, promote sexual activity? Does teaching homeless individuals to use sterilized needles encourage them to do more drugs? I will leave those questions up to anyone who is willing to answer. pLuTo

Allen, Peter Lewis. The Wages of Sin: Sex and Disease, Past and Present. Chapter 6: “Aids in the USA” 119 -133. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000.




Abstinence, Homeless, Aids..

In Risk, Identity, and Love in the age of AIDS, Judith Levine describes the risk group theory. This theory included two distinct populations; the “high risk groups included gay men, Haitian immigrants, and intravenous drug users and their sex partners and babies. In the low risk or no risk groups were suburban teens, heterosexuals, white yuppies…” This was new and interesting information to me, how a group of people can be treated almost like a different species. The concept of risk groups becomes a little more complicated when you have inter-crossing between the groups. Levine uses the example of how a man who has sex with a teenage hustler in a downtown park, could have sex with a man from a random bar, and that man could then have sex with his suburban wife at home. This is a perfect example of how misleading this risk-group theory can be. In my opinion, it needs to become on the individual level, rather than the group level which can lead to rejecting certain types of people. A perfect example of this is how promiscuity is tied together with being gay. Besides how false that is, this societal belief leads people askew from actual AIDS preventative measures (e.g safe sex, not sharing needles and syringes).

Levine gave examples of homosexual youth coming out to their family, and getting a hostile response, often leaving them eating out of a dumpster. One in particular was Stephen Graham, who was banned from his family and church, and left in state institutions and friend’s houses. Being homeless doesn’t mean you get to do the most safe activities (e.g. prostitution, sex for drugs). I found an interesting CNN article about a homeless women in Atlanta (Crystal). She is HIV/AIDS positive like many homeless in downtown Atlanta, and is barely concerned with treating her disease, but more concerned with where she is going to sleep, eat, and stay clean. This leaves little time to avoid spreading her HIV/AIDS, sometimes having sex for drugs, and sharing needles. Elizabeth Landau states in the CNN article “Poverty, sex trafficking, food  insecurity and continued stigmas attached to the disease all help make Atlanta a center of the southeast epidemic. AID Atlanta, and the Jerusalem House are both organizations that provide clinics, housing, and education to people living with AIDS. These organizations both have the goals to reduce/prevent spreading infection, and to improve health of those with HIV/AIDS.

Sexual education at a young age can be very influential later on in life. There are two different types of sexual education, abstinence base and comprehensive. The abstinence approach to sex education primarily teaches youth not to have sex before marriage – preaching that it is best to ensure that they will avoid infection with HIV/AIDS, other STI’s, and pregnancy. This approach is a wrong approach in my opinion. It teaches kids to not have sex before marriage. The problem with that is this approach doesn’t teach kids how to have safe sex. It also leads to kids thinking that oral and anal sex are other options to explore, which isn’t exactly the most healthy mentality to have. Abstinence advocates also do not teach about condoms, because they feel it encourages sex. The comprehensive approach does not focus on teaching kids they should refrain from sex until marriage. instead, it explains the benefit of delaying sex until emotionally/physically ready. This approach makes sure the kids know how to protect themselves from infections and pregnancy.




Keys, Doors, and sex

In Moore and Davidson’s “Communicating with New Sex Partners”, they explain how risk-taking sexual practices is more related to self efficacy than knowledge. They stated, “High Self efficacy is associated with both the intention to discuss STD prevention and reported discussion of past sex partner.” I thought it was interesting how they compared the three different groups of college females in regards to asking about their sexual partners about sexual history. They categorized them into three groups: rarely, sometimes, and almost always. Moore and Davidson’ then brought in a nurturing aspect to each group, further distinguishing them from one another. The AA (almost always) is known to have had more sexually related conversations with their mother figures than the R (rarely) and S (sometimes). This is compelling in that something so minuscule when growing up can make the biggest differences later on in life.

After reading this article, I feel like that when it comes to asking about sexual history, that responsibility has mostly fallen upon women in modern day American society. I heard this quote when I was younger, “What would you rather have, a key that can open any door, or a door that can be opened with any key?”. This made me think of how society says it is ok for a man to sleep with numerous women; however, when a woman sleeps with numerous men, she is frowned upon. Knowing this information, I think men should be equally as responsible for asking the question. Sure, a women has more on the line besides contracting STDs, but a man still has enough on the line to bring up the question.

STD’s can be asymptomatic depending on the strain, and gender infected. for example, A man can carry Chlamydia while being asymptomatic/clueless, and pass it on to a woman – possibly making her infertile. It makes me angry how a simple test or question can prevent something terrible like the example I gave from happening. Men do have more than enough on the line to bring up the question, but I am positive most don’t ask. I think it is odd how women have been thrown this responsibility of being the “careful ones”, when it is obvious that men should be equally as responsible.


Sexual Revolution!

Being on yearbook duty this week, I learned some interesting things about the 1970’s. By the end of the 1973 Emory yearbook, my iPad was full of pictures exhibiting nudity, recreational sex, hippies, and “far out” mustaches. From my understanding, these and many other social trends played major roles in the sexual revolution or sexual awakening.

The late 1960’s and early 1970’s was a psychedelic time that started a brand new perspective on human sexuality. From the Playboy Penthouse to the invention of birth control (“The Pill”) in the 60’s, there surely was an outgrowth of the counterculture that cast aside traditional (outdated) views on sex. During this decade, adolescent sexual activity increased with skyrocketing numbers, which indicates that many, if not all, sexual taboos were broken.

The Pill played a major role in the sexual revolution. It may not have been the actual start of the revolution, but this contraceptive certainly changed moral standards across college campuses, especially the ones that could afford it. During the revolution, people talked about sex more openly, and birth control was certainly a heavy topic. If one were to be taking birth control, they were considered sexually active. There is one thing I am not sure about, is birth control partly responsible for earlier sexual interactions? The risk of pregnancy, and the stigma that went with it, was something that freaked out most traditionalists from having recreational sex. In my opinion, the pill served as a fairly convenient scapegoat during the sexual revolution among these social traditionalists.

Open homosexuality was another part of the sexual revolution during the 1970’s. During this time, shame had turned into joy when it came to looking for gay sex because of the gay bars and bathhouses. Many gay liberation fronts and gay activist organizations were prevalent in the United States and Canada during the 1970’s, many of which consisted of students at a University/college. The one big example I can think of is Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay man to run for office in a city where same-sex behavior was punishable with jail time.

I always associated the 1970’s with heavy drug use, psychedelic rock, and sex. However, before this week, I was not aware of how prevalent the sexual revolution was during the late 1960’s and 1970’s. Below are a few examples of nudity in the 1973 yearbook.



Ask, and I’ll tell

I feel that in today’s society, we tend to overlook the severity of discrimination that still exists against inter-racial relationships. With gay marriage as a major political debate, it is easy to forget that mixed-race marriage was against in the law in our country until 1967. Through his interviews with various couples, Patrick Johnson demonstrates the struggles that many gay couples have been forced to face – including racism. In his book, Sweet Tea, Johnson interviews various men who were in committed, long-term, gay relationships. Johnson not only focused on the homosexual relationships, but also inter-racial relationships between gay individuals.

I would love to see how well The Notebook or Hunger Games would have done in the box office if the main character wasn’t white, or better yet, wasn’t heterosexual. Johnson’s unique approach to this paper was interesting, and reminded me that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is just as wrong as racial discrimination.

Bob’s story in Johnson’s Sweet Tea was a touching and poetic. While reading his story, I couldn’t help but think that his experience consisted of every element necessary to create a blockbuster romantic film. Bob met his partner in the military in 1968. The two didn’t see each other again until John happened to come across his number a year later while enrolled in Emory’s nursing program. Rare stories like this are all you need to make a romantic movie; however, I wonder how many people would run to the movie theater to catch this love story between two men. Lately, there have been many movies and television programs with homosexual themes (e.g. Milk, HBO), but I think it is overly optimistic at this point to say that discrimination (racial, sexual orientation) doesn’t exist in Hollywood any more. In fact, racism is still very much alive – especially in Hollywood. Brokeback Mountain was groundbreaking in Hollywood film history. It opened the doors for filmmakers to take on gay themes in film without as much fear of failure. I can’t help but wonder… how would the reaction to the film have changed if one of the main characters had been black. An inter-racial, gay relationship? I think I know what the answer to that question is… but I will let you decide.

Another Part of Bob’s story that caught my eye was the fact that he met his partner in the Military. Racial segregation was government policy until Truman’s order in 1948, which allowed for people with any race, color, religion, and national origin to have equal treatment. It boggles my mind how It was only a year ago when “don’t as, don’t tell” was repealed. People, regardless of sexual orientation, were allowed to serve openly in the military. Wikipedia’s definition of  “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) is: a United States policy that prohibited military personnel from discriminating against closeted homosexual/bisexual service members, while barring openly gay/lesbian/bisexual person from military service. The only thing I can think of is why the hell did it take so long for this ridiculous policy to get repealed?


While to some, Disney’s animated children movies may seem innocent and harmless, but when looked into, may not be so G-rated. Sharday Mosurinjohn states in his article “we constantly feed them narratives that give them a narrow sense of their options when it comes to forming social, romantic, and sexual attachments.” It is true that clever plot twists can keep us glued to the screen for hours. However, for impressionable young and adolescent viewers, these movies can send a message that heterosexual love is superior to all other types, as well as the norm in society. Surrounded with music, flowers, fireflies, and dancing, these movies can depict a heterosexual landscape fairly persuasively. Being that, in 2002, 97.84 percent of households in United States owned at least one television, and most Disney G-rated movies grossed over 100 million in U.S, one can say that these movies have the ability to mold many young minds.


Before this weeks reading, I never thought of asexuality as an actual sexual orientation. The first thing that came to my mind was whether or not asexuality is a biological phenomenon, or a social label. An environmental assault such as a traumatic childhood experience (e.g. rape) could be a possible reason for a transition to asexuality. Chromosomal mutations could also be a biological factor for the lack of sexual desire in an individual. There is a similar acquired vs. situational debate for other types of sexual orientation, such as homosexuality; the only difference is that homosexuality has a stronger presence in today’s society.


In Nicole Prause and Cynthia A. Graham’s study, they mention the pros and cons of asexuality based off questionnaires. The one advantage that drew my attention was the higher amount of free time. All I could think about when I read this was how much time people actually spend thinking about and chasing sexual desires. Dr. Brian Mustanski of Psychology today did a study on exactly that. She collected data by giving a tally counter to 283 students to click whenever they think about sex. The results were 34.2 for men, and 18.6 for women. The one problem with this study is the method and possibly audience. If someone were to tell me to click whenever I think about sex, I would think about sex more often. I would expect that an asexual would be far more productive than individuals with sexual desires, assuming the asexual individual isn’t lazy.










Sexual Desire & Homosexuality

Same-sex marriage is a constant headline in the news and rightfully so. When I was
younger, social norms made me believe that same-sex marriage was “wrong”. As
a heterosexual, young, self-centered male, I didn’t give the social notion a second
thought because quite simply – it did not affect me. In college, things changed. I now
had homosexual friends – male and female – and the topic became more real and
present in my daily life. Under Social Control of Sexuality, the author of the article
compares same-sex marriage to mixed-race marriage, mixed-ethnic marriage,
mixed-faith marriage. I consider myself a well-informed, educated person… but I
had never thought of sexuality in this way before. Mixed-race marriage was against
in the law in our country until 1967. That was only 45 years ago, the ageß of many
of our parents! Historians say that we must study our past to prevent making the
same mistakes again in our future. How has our society missed this mistake that was
rectified only 45 years ago?

“You may break the rules or follow them, but you can’t forget them.” We are raised
to think a certain way – by our parents, teachers, friends, the media, politicians
– that creates unspoken rules that impose limitations on the way we think about
or perceive sexual norms. I have homosexual friends; I enjoy their company and
friendship the same that I do my heterosexual friends. But at the end of the day, I
can’t help but think that their homosexual preference is something “wrong”. Before
you label me a homophobe, hear me out. Growing up in the south, I was immersed
in an environment that was constantly teaching me that homosexuality was a sin;
it was disgusting and wrong and I should hate people who engage in homosexual
behavior. These “rules” of thinking were forced upon me at a very young age. I
have chosen to break the rules – to not participate in the ostracizing of homosexual
individuals and extend to them the same respect and friendship I would to any
other person. Shamefully though, I cannot forget the rules that were etched into my
brain as a child. As much as a value my friendships with my homosexual friends, the
notion of homosexuality as something “wrong” is a rule that, as much as I truly want
to, I cannot forget.

Schwartz and Rutter make it clear that sexual desire is anything but clear. There
are biological explanations, evolutionary psychological explanations, social
constructionist explanations that all make valid arguments and present valid
theories in regards to sexual desire and gender. Personally I think a blend of all
research disciplines makes the most sense. In any case, we only have immediate
control over one discipline – social constructs.

Homosexuality makes headlines because as a society, we are still imposing
the “rule” that homosexuality is wrong. I could start listing off court cases that have
demonstrated the fundamental right we have as individuals to freedom of choice,
but instead I will just say this – throughout its history, this country has enforced social decisions that time and time again we come to realize are, quite simply, wrong
– one of the greatest examples being slavery. These decisions are made and forced
upon us, but inevitably, we realize how incredibly idiotic and mistaken we were
to make these decisions in the first place. It takes years, decades, centuries, even,
to rectify the damage these social decisions make on our society’s mental view on
certain issues. The social damning of homosexuality is a mistake. We are making a
mistake that even when resolved will show consequences well into the years of our
children and grandchildren.

My parents moved to this country to ensure that their children would grow up in a
society that was less hostile, suppressive and controlling than the one they escaped.
Why do immigrants view the United States this way? – Because we are a progressive
nation. In most cases, I agree with this notion. But when it comes to embracing
the diversity that in fact defines our country, I think we have a long way to go. The
United States prides itself in being a “melting-pot” society but I think it’s time to
practice what we preach.

Yun Ch’i-ho and America

Sexuality, in many aspects, is a big topic in modern culture and society. It is a broad topic that can be looked at through many perspectives. However, in Yun Ch’i Ho’s experience, race was the most prevalent factor, and was the main cause of his insecurities. It was obvious that during Yun’s time here, United States of America was, for lack of a better term, white. Yun made it evidently clear that he was insecure about who he was genetically, which only added to his sexual frustration. By stating no one would have him for a sweetheart because he was Korean, Nettie Candler only made Yun’s sensitive situation far worse. Not only was Yun close to the Candlers, but he commented regularly in his journals about how beautiful the white women were, so one can imagine how deeply that comment hurt him. Things did change for Yun when he met Tommie, a white women that had “genuine affection for him that transcended race, even if it ran into the social class barriers that defined life in Oxford.” Yun stated in his journal “I was surprised at my own indifference to the girl. I couldn’t possibly persuade myself to love her”. It was almost as if from the beginning he thought there was too great of a-racial-cultural gap between them for anything to work.
Yun gave a great example of how racism was during the late 19th century. in 1892, a boy named M.T. Cleckley was to be dismissed from Emory due to association with paid sex workers in African American neighborhoods. Besides Yun’s hatred of how this event was handled, it is an interesting example of how strict Emory’s policies were at the time. It was apparent to me that the student was in trouble for having sex with the African American paid sex worker, rather than not getting permission to leave campus. When I think of racism up until the late 19th century, all I can think of is the unfair treatment of the Native Americans and African Americans. However, during the 20th and 21st centuries, one can see while immigration was increasing in numbers/diversity, the complexity in racism was increasing as well. Glazer and Moynihan once said “America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting Pot where all the races of Europe are melting and reforming!…German and Frenchman, Irishman and Englishman, Jews and Russians – into the crucible with you all! God is making the American.” Disregarding the religious aspect of this quote, Glazer and Moynihan’s words describe how the composition of an “American” is a impacted by the vastly diverse group of people who constitute the United States.
The term “American” has a completely different meaning now than it did during Yun’s time at Emory. Despite the on going debate on the true definition of term, when I think of “American”, I think of an amalgamation of various subcultures, ethnicities, religions; creating a complex societal structure. However, Yun’s time period yields a far less complex societal structure with little diversity. I think this is an interesting thing to think about how things have changed so drastically since 1890.