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.

Alcohol and Sexual Violence:changing the culture

This week in the archives is stumbled onto an article about college programs and alcohol. This goes hand in hand with our readings Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence written by the American College Health Association (ACHA), especially the sections on alcohol and sexual violence’s correlation. The reading went into great detail about the effects of alcohol, “Approximately 50-70% of all sexual assaults involve alcohol.”(ACHA, pg19, paragraph1). It is no wonder that RA programs in the past have aimed at creating functions that are not completely controlled by alcohol {Note Nov 16, 2012}. On the night of Freshman formal, a returning RA went as far as pouring shots of coca-cola at a late night meal to give freshman an alcohol-free post-dance late-night activity. On page 22 of our reading in the section labeled “sexual violence assessment tool”, #11 on this list is the ability to provide an alcohol free environment for students to have activities. Freshmen are not supposed to be drinking alcohol; they are underage, so the possibility of them making poor choices and not well thought out decisions can be high. The article quotes one freshmen student,’” ..the programs are a nice idea, but I think its hard to prevent people who have a set plan to deter them from what they’re going to do.”’  (Borger,third picture- sixth paragraph).

Our readings clearly state that, “the influence of alcohol on behavioral and judgment may increase misperceptions of sexual interest and lead to perpetrators ignoring refusal cues or victims disregarding risk cues.” (ACHA, pg19, parag2) . This is more likely for freshmen students, who are mostly inexperienced in life. In my opinion this may be double true for Emory students protected by the Emory bubble.

RA sponsored programs like this contributed to a lack of alcohol related emergencies at Emory’s Freshman Formal. This article states that, “for the first time in eight years there has been no student hospitalized due to alcohol related incidents during the freshman semi-formal.” (Borger, line1, picture1). On average about 4-5 students drink far too much and require medial attention.(Borger, paragraph2, line1, picture1).  This is more of an alcohol problem than a sexual violence problem, but as we know from the readings and the previous paragraph the two can often go hand in hand. These alcohol free recreational activities help change the norm of alcohol abuse that is common amongst freshman. Personally, I have never drunk more often than my freshman years. The norm of alcohol abuse can often lead to sexual abuse, so changing this early part of college culture is a big step in the right direction.

On page 20 of our readings, there are a few things listed about alcohol and sexual violence. The article I found in the archives gives an example of Emory’s history establishing a community to help explain and deal with alcohol and its use. The article also gives an example of young adults being educated on the subject of abuse. This shows me that it is possible to change the culture and environment of any school, and in order to make Emory safer we must continue to carry on a tradition of awareness, alertness, and responsibility.

The Reason Behind the SIlence

In my last post I spoke about the lack of material that addressed male victims of sexual assault and rape. There was little to no mentioning in the toolkit of coping mechanisms for male victims, in fact, there was little that mentioned males as being victims of rape at all. The reality is that male victims of rape do exist and the discrimination and stigmatization society has against these victims may be the underpinning as to why the scientific community has turned a blind eye to their situations.
In 2011, it was recorded that 10% of all rape victims were male. Although this number may seem small, it is in no way insignificant. This number is probably grossly underestimated due to the fact that male victims are much less likely to report their assaults than their female counterparts. “Few male rapes appear in police files or other official records. 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” (Walker, Archer, and Davies, 495). I think that many of us feel that male rape only happens in the confines of prisons and military organizations, but the practice of men raping other men occurs around the world in a multitude of environments.
Although I am sure there are many theories behind this lack of reporting, I am going to address what I think is one of the most important factors that discourages male victims from reporting their abuse. “Previous research has suggested that gay and bisexual men are more at risk of rape than heterosexual men for two reasons. The first is that they are at risk of being raped by dates or while in relationships with men…The second reason that gay and bisexual men are more at risk is through homophobic sexual assaults” (Walker, Archer, and Davies, 495). I think the stigma that a vast majority of societies place on the homosexual community inhibits gay men from speaking out against their aggressors. I feel that this already extremely stigmatized community does not want to draw any negative attention to a major problem that has been plaguing it for years. The shame and humiliation that is felt after abuse can lead many victims to experience confusion, depression, and isolation from the community they originally associated themselves with.
The general public’s equation of rape with sex may bring on a shame attached to homosexuality. In a lecture given on prison sexuality it was said that, “The sexual penetration of another male prisoner by a man is sanctioned by the subculture, is considered a male rather than a homosexual activity, and is considered to validate the penetrator’s masculinity” (Scarce, 39). The sacred act of sex that homosexual men engage in with one another is therefore being stripped down for the raw purpose of prisoner’s justifying fulfilling their bodily needs. From a homosexual’s perspective, “Gay male victims may also experience problems with their sexual orientation. When behavior that is formerly associated with consensual sexual activity becomes associated with violence, gay men can experience difficulty in defining their sexuality in a positive way” (Walker, Archer, and Davies, 496). For what I am sure is a long and confusing process for homosexual men in establishing their sexual identity, adding rape into the equation is something I am sure few want to think about or deal with. Maybe the homosexual society feels that the lack of reporting is somehow protecting the inroads they have made on the general public in accepting them for their sexual orientation, and these inroads are something they are not willing to give up.


Scarce, Michael. Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame. New York: Insight, 1997. Print.

Walker, Jayne, John Archer, and Michelle Davies. “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis.” Archives of Sexual Behavior 34.1 (2005): 69-80. Print.

Sexual Violence: College Life and Beyond

During our class discussion with Lauren Bernstein yesterday, we had a very insightful discussion about the statistics of rape today at colleges across the United States. In addition to our discussion on this powerful subject matter, Bernstein informed us on her efforts here at Emory to provide support to victims through programs such as Respect.

Following this interesting discussion mainly pertaining to college campuses, I began pondering the larger picture of this issue. During our years in college, we are expected to gain knowledge, to increase efficiency and to learn how to juggle many aspects of life on our own. With all of this education going on, college campuses can be somewhat seen as controlled chaos. A place where students hustle and bustle to fit as much as possible in to one day, in one week and in four years, yet especially here at Emory, there are terms describing our campus as a bubble. Within this bubble sometimes, we as students fail to account for life and ways of thinking beyond the Emory campus. Therefore in these fundamental years, we should as students should walk away prepared for what lies ahead in life. This realization was partly sparked from a question that was directed to Bernstein about other instances of rape away from a college setting, and with this thought process in mind; I began researching for statistics pointing to where other instances of rape occur.

After a fairly simple search, I was led to the website An Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection (A.A.R.D.V.A.R.C.). This website combines various resources of information into one succinct location. On this site, data was provided from the Department of Justice Bureau. The table provides a series of tables based on criminal victimization in the United States from the year of 2005. Based on this data the majority of rapes occurred at the victim’s home, which was 36%. This was followed by 24% occurring at a friend, relative or neighbor’s home and 9% on a street other than near home.  Rapes occurring on school property were 8% of the data and a 3% total occurring at a common yard, park, field or playground. This information was then broken down into the activity of the victim at the time of the rape. In the order from highest to lowest, the activities were: leisure activity away from the home (29%), other activity at home (25%), sleeping (20%), working (11%), at school (5%), going to or from other place (4%), or going to or from school (3%) [1].

We can see from this data, which in all reality could be considered a bit out of date, there is certainly more of a risk for such instances to occur beyond the walls of Emory.  I would just like to urge my fellow classmates not to take for granted the safety that many of us are lucky to experience. I am not saying that we should walk around paranoid during our activities, but there should certainly be a level of awareness maintained. We have the fortunate experience of attending a close knit college, but as we explore beyond the limits of Emory and enter “real-life,” I hope that progress into a life of safety and happiness without having to experience such a tragedy as sexual violence.


[1] http://www.aardvarc.org/rape/about/statistics.shtml

Societal Blindness

Society, these days, is striated by a plethora of expectations and generalizations that are constructed through a process of following norms. Not bringing light to issues that are often overlooked further perpetuates this cycle and creates room for these stereotypes to grow in the future. This week, the readings were on a subject that is not often discussed and this is the rape of men.

When I hear the term rape, I naturally think about a woman being the victim and a man being the perpetrator. I think about different programs and educational campaigns outlining the risks of rape and tips for women to keep safe. When I leave home whenever I visit Los Angeles and my mom tells me to be careful, I immediately relate danger to potential gang activity during which I may be in the wrong place at the wrong time or even being in a car accident. In fact, if my father were to give me pepper spray to keep on me, I can’t say that I would not be offended. Walking down a dark street perhaps after a party, if I were to be behind a girl walking alone, I would make sure not to walk too close so she doesn’t feel I am following her because I know there are many women that would be bothered by a strange male walking behind them. All of these, I admit, are ways in which I think that have been influenced by societal norms.

In “Effects of Rape on Men: A Descriptive Analysis,” Walker and colleagues state “it is estimated that the help and support for male victims of rape is more than 20 years behind that of female victims.” This, to me, is because due to two things. For one, a man getting raped is not something that is expected, or rather a woman is seen as a more likely victim. On the other hand, a male victim is likely viewed as more able to cope with the psychological trauma of such an invasion.

It all comes down to the ideas of masculinity and femininity. The vulnerable and helpless qualities that are close-mindedly yet habitually attributed to women make it seem as though they would be the more likely victims. In addition to this, the overly masculinized image of a man has created almost a set of laws, governing what can and cannot be done to and by males that wish to call themselves masculine. In fact, sixty-eight percent of the participants in the Walker et al. study reported having problems with their sense of masculinity after the assault. One participant quoted “the assault was a threat to my male pride and dignity. It was a shock to find that a so-called ‘strong man’ could become a helpless victim of sexual assault at the hands of another man. My sense of who I was (ex-army) was destroyed for about 10 years.”

In general, we limit ourselves by allowing our opinions to interfere with our awareness. Personal feelings are no match for the prevalence of violence and discrimination across America and more.

The Sexual Violence Continuum

In the article, ‘Re-visioning the Sexual Violence Continuum’ by Lydia Guy, our society is described as ‘rape culture’. ‘Rape culture’ is defined by the author as “complex of beliefs that encourages male sexual aggression and supports violence against women” (Guy 10). The author provides a diagram to show her realization that such continuum should include the whole feminism “to illustrate the concept of rape culture” (Guy 10). Since “successful primary prevention of sexual violence requires recognition of the problem” (American College Health Association 5), such diagram, which includes all possible causes of rape, should tell everyone how they are promoting rape culture and prevent sexual violence.

At first, ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles,’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction’ could seem a little far fetched, because of the commonness of the three concepts. The article did not mention any specific examples for these three or how they are parts of ‘rape culture’, but I see sexist ‘memes’ (such as ‘overly attached girlfriend meme’ jokes) quite regularly on my friends’ Facebook updates (sexist jokes), and know several married couples who rely on husbands’ income and wives’ housekeeping (gender roles), yet are still satisfied with their lives. Sexualized media depiction is pretty much everywhere these days, from advertisements like sexy beer commercials (below) to movies like 007’s with ‘Bond girls’ (the media depiction). Realizing how closely we are involved in the ‘rape culture’, I could not avoid asking myself, ‘am I promoting somebody to get raped by looking at these and not doing anything about it?’ ‘Are my friends and the couples I know making some women to get raped?’

These are open questions that are quite debatable, but what I realized was that, on the article’s diagram, these three ’causes’ of rape I mentioned are at least five steps away from rape. The distance between ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction,’ and the actual rape is significant that it could be the reason why many of us are blinded in seeing the fact that the atmosphere created with such attitudes is creating the rape culture. This diagram not only includes everyone in the society, but also the fact why we have not realized the role of our culture on sexual violence.

To many people, evidences could be too limited to say that all ‘Sexist Jokes,’ ‘Rigid Gender Roles,’ and ‘Sexualized Media Depiction’ are connected to rape. Even if there are conclusive evidences, as the author says, changing these concepts that have been remaining in our culture for a long time, would make rape-prevention more difficult than many of us think. However as Lydia Guy wrote, “rape does not happen just because one individual chooses to rape another”, but “happens because there are attitudes and norms that allow it to happen” (Guy 10), we should be aware of the roles of the norms and stereotypes in sexual violence, so that we can be more knowledgeable in the relationship between our culture and rape. With more physical or just hypothetical but specific evidence, more people will be more actively preventing sexual crimes.


Works Cited

(1) Re-visioning the Sexual Violence Continuum by Lydia Guy, BA

(2) Shifting the Paradigm: Primary Prevention of Sexual Violence by American College Health Association