ACQUAINTANCE RAPE Public attitudes and legal definitions of rape are changing to encompass a wide range of sexual events, with varying degrees of violence, submissiveness and injury, but all involving women having sex against their will.
Michele Hughes, for instance, allowed a man to sleep at her San Francisco apartment after a long night of drinking and wound up raped and infected with gonorrhea. She invited him in, Ms. Hughes said, because she did not want to hurt his feelings since she was introduced to him by a close friend, was worried he had no way to get back home and was too tired to continue bickering at the door about weather he could come inside.
Ms. Hughes, now a 26-year old administrative assistant in a small office, was celebrating her 21st birthday the night of her attack. She said she told the man, who walked her home after they had met in the bar, that there was would be no sex and had made up a couch for him in a separate room.
She awoke hours later, still fuzzy from alcohol, to find him raping her (McCarthy A14).
Acquaintance rape most often happens between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. It happens during the dating years to young women and men who have trouble with social relationships. Acquaintance rape victims share certain characteristics that make them especially vulnerable to that experience. Once they have become victims, however, they are not likely to define what has happened to them as rape because they feel guilty and think they have been responsible in some way.
In an acquaintance rape situation, the victim usually knows her attacker, possibly quite well. This knowledge may in fact encourage her, and those around her, to attribute more blame to the victim, especially if she fails to resist immediately.
Most acquaintance rape victims are female. They often have low self- esteem; they exhibit sex-role stereotypic behavior patterns, want to have a higher status within the peer group, and may even had past experience with victimization. Some of these people may be low achievers academically, fearing that if they do well they won't have any dates. They think that males do not like females who are smarter then they are.
The best way for such a girl to raise her status, in her opinion, is to be around a high- status male such as an athlete or a fraternity guy. She may think being the girlfriend of such a popular guy will make her be accepted into the "in group"ÃÂ. Even if the guy is treating her bad and exploiting her, she won't tell here date that she doesn't like what he is doing to her. Just so she doesn't lose the chance in her newfound status. She may not correctly interpret warning signs indicating that he is a dangerous person to be dating.
Young man can also be victims of acquaintance rape and can exhibit many of the same characteristics as female victims and may become victims of either male or female assailants. Regardless of the sex of the attacker, a male victim usually doesn't report the assault because he is embarrassed, ashamed, or may be concerned about what this means to his masculinity.
Most assailants of acquaintance rapes are men. Many who forces sex on their dates don't know what they have done is wrong. They may feel that sexual behavior patterns between men and women give them a right to sex under certain circumstances, and these guys often think that "no" never really means "no"ÃÂ in a sexual situation. Most of the time they are likely to have low self "ÃÂ esteem and traditional sex-role behavior patterns and acting " macho"ÃÂ; to exhibit other forms of antisocial behavior such as driving drunk.
Many women believe they will never be raped. We are convinced that rape will only happen to the girls that "ask for it"ÃÂ. This rape myth along with others, is one of the reasons a rapist catches so many women off guard. , And because so many rapes are by acquaintances, many go unreported.
The biggest question that hits most people is what causes a man to rap a woman? Unfortunately, there is no easy way to tell if a man will be aggressive against a women. There are some common risk factors that women should know because " most studies show that between 15% and 25% of male college students engage in some level of sexual aggression"ÃÂ. Some major causes are alcohol, prior abuse and miscommunication.
Many people believe that a couple of drinks such as beer will be okay on a date. This may be true, but becoming fully intoxicated can be extremely dangerous. Studies have shown that 55% of college men and 53% of college women that experienced a sexually aggressive date had used alcohol directly before the assault occurred. Drinking alcohol has many effects on the body. Although it has little effect on sexual arousal, it does improve the mood, decrease motor skills, and increases aggressive behavior. Men who want to rape but feel guilty may use alcohol to release this inhibition.
There are five types of acquaintance rape: beginning, early, relational, rape within sexually active couples with battery and rape within sexually active couples without battery. They are both described in terms of length of the relationship and previous sexual activity. It is also very important to keep in mind that just because a couple previously had intercourse does not mean that sex is always consented. It has been determined that 30% of raped college women were raped by their boyfriends while 21% were raped early in the relationship. " Strangers, nonromantic acquaintances and husbands"ÃÂ fall into the rest of the categories of 49%.
Beginning date rape happens within the first few dates while a couple is still getting to know each other. College students usually do not have sex on the first couple of dates, so the biggest cause is most likely not miscommunication. In this case the guy probably thinks he will have a better chance of not being accused of rape because he knows the victim. The date ends up being more of a plot then a social gathering to get the female alone and to take advantage of her.
Unlike the beginning date rape that is within the first few dates, early date rape is after several dates. This is still way before sex has been discussed. A major cause of this form is miscommunication. One common reason for miscommunication is the "rape myths"ÃÂ of our society. Some rap myths sound something like "She deserved to get rapped because that outfit was way o tight"ÃÂ, or because " she wanted to get rapped because she went up to that guys room"ÃÂ. However, miscommunication probably is not the only problem this early in the relationship.
Relational date rape is another from of acquaintance rape that occurs later in the relationship. Miscommunication is not likely in this form because attitudes and values toward sex are established, although sex is still not involved in the relationship. Men in this situation tend to rape just to keep control. They feel it is a sign of love or commitment. Regardless of intentions, one should remember that forced sex is still considered rape.
A question all women would like to be answered is, how do we prevent rape from happening? The best solution is education. All women should be aware of surroundings and situations that lead to date/acquaintance rape. Since there is a low report rate, many women think that the problem is minimal and it will not happen to them. Some women also believe that they will have the ability to control the situation if it happens to them. Many people, both female and male, have a problem discussing issues concerning rape. A female must realize that it is okay to say "no"ÃÂ. Once she does say no, she has to be firm and stick with her response. If rape does occur women must realize that it is not there fault. I also think that group discussions are also a good form of an education program. Talking about rape may help women realize that acquaintance rape can happen to anyone.
Statistics show that in, 1986 data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics from 100 of the country's largest counties, the average sentence a rapist serves is approximately seven years.
Every woman should be aware of the consequences and situations leading to acquaintance rape. Even though it's a horrific thing to go through there are organization groups that offer help and support to the women in this kind of trouble.
ACQUAINTANCE RAPE ALLA GLOZSHTEYN COMPOSITION PER.2 JUNE 12,2000 BIBLIOGRAPHY Byers, S. Sexual Coecrcion in dating Relationships, NY: Haworth Press, Incorporated June 1996 McCarthy, " Even the Victim Can be Slow to Recognize Rape"ÃÂ. New York Times, May 28,1991: A14 Pirog- Good, M. Violence in Dating Relationships. NJ: Greenwood Publishing Company, June 1991