Essay, Research Paper: Date Rape

Sexuality

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There are many questions concerning what date rape actually is. One criminal
justice book states "date rape is unlawful forced sexual intercourse with a
female against her will which occurs within the context of a dating
relationship" ( Schmalleger 735). There are many other meanings that could
define date rape, however this is from a legalistic point of view. Date rape
occurs on almost every campus large or small, private or public, rural or urban.
There are many elements that attribute to the causes of date rape: drugs and
alcohol, miscommunication, and changing sexual mores. Date rape often occurs
with people that the victim knows and who would "supposedly" be their
friends. This usually happens when the woman is alone with the man. It can occur
when others are relatively close by such as outside a house, or downstairs in a
house. The mix of drugs and alcohol are significant factors of date rape. They
compromise your ability to make responsible decisions. Drinking has become a
popular social activity amongst college students and has been seen throughout
society as setting the mood for romance. After a few drinks a woman’s judgment
is altered, and it is often difficult to push away sexual advances. Women can
say that they drank too much or did too many drugs to know what exactly was
happening. Many people will say that when alcohol is in their system, it
disables your vision, allowing other people to become more appealing to the eye.
This could be one of the reasons why date rape often occurs on college campuses
at fraternity houses or bars. Between a woman’s lowered inhibitions and
delayed reactions and a man’s raised confidence, it is often difficult to
resist some sexual advances. Sometimes a woman will pass out and wake up with a
man having sex on top of her. The woman would not even know that she was being
raped if she hadn’t woken up. This also wouldn’t happen if she weren’t
under the influence of alcohol or any other drug. Rohypnol (roofies) is referred
to as the "date rape drug." This drug is a sedative, meaning that it
makes the person drowsy. Rohypnol is much stronger than any other sedative,
making it illegal to prescribe or use in the United States. Looking like an
aspirin, Rohypnol can easily be placed into a woman’s drink. The woman would
not even know whether it was in her drink because it dissolves, and it is
odorless and tasteless. The drug knocks you out so you have no idea what is
happening, nor do you remember what had happened. Often Rohypnol is used in date
rape because the woman wouldn’t even know that she was being raped, nor would
she have denied sex. Alcohol and drugs play an important role in date rape, so a
woman should be cautious when drinking and to whom and where her drinks are
being placed. Miscommunication is another important cause of date rape. The
woman may act friendly, and the man would interpret that as an invitation to
have sex. "No" can be heard as "maybe" and even a consistent
and strong protest can be ignored, under the delusion that "no" can
actually mean "yes." "For if the girl did not physically resist,
then sex did indeed take place by clear and mutual consent" (Rothbard 271).
If communication about sexual intentions were clear and firm, it would be easier
for the man to accept a woman’s decision. "Advances by males, in almost
any form, that do not receive clear and explicit consent are deemed coercive or
assaultive" (Gilbert 278). Acting in manners of flirtation and strong
sexual signals, this often gives off the message of wanting sex, being assertive
and cautious would help the miscommunication. Some men find it sexually exciting
and kinky for a woman to struggle. If a woman’s protest isn’t very strong, a
man may think that he is persuading her into having sex. The man will believe
that the woman’s struggle is just an act of foreplay, urging sex to happen.
Men have been taught early in their lives to turn no or maybe into a yes.
Sometimes a woman isn’t sure if she wants to have sex. She doesn’t
necessarily want to go along with it because of the stereotype of being
"loose." She could go along with sex, never having consented to it,
but not denying it either. If she then proceeds and during decides not to go
through with it, the man could become angry and hostile. Then the man would
force the female into sex, and he would then be raping her. The miscommunication
between males and females about sex should be clear so that there is not
question of whether the man raped the woman or not. Changing traditional mores
of males and females in today’s society also play a large role in the cause of
date rape. Men are taught to be aggressors, from the sports that they play to
their sexual feelings. This belief which encourages these actions often leads
males to believe that they can have sex when they want it. Women on the other
hand are taught to be lady like, and be passive. Women are often discouraged
from having sexual feelings and experimenting with them. In today’s society if
a woman is to experiment with her sexual desires she is often called a slut,
whore, or tramp. This double standard allows men to act on their sexual
feelings, but a woman can only do this if it involves some emotional aspect. In
the last few decades there has been a loosening of sexual standards. The birth
control pill and condoms have made many people engage in sex at a much earlier
age, thinking they will not get pregnant or get a sexually transmitted disease.
Many college men think sex is a given after dating a female a few times.
Sometimes women may share the same expectation, but then again she may not.
"Many men need to educate themselves about what is permissible in various
situations" (Celis 267). Some men believe that women that are already
sexually active are willing to have sex with them. Then the man will try and
when the female says "no," the man will persist anyway. Traditions of
sex and the male asserting dominance are changing, and females are becoming more
informed and educated on the subject of date rape. Date rape is often an attempt
to assert power, and feel superior to the female. Date rape has many elements at
play roles in it including alcohol and drugs, miscommunication, and changing
sexual mores.
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